Saturday, March 26, 2011

nurghophonic jukebox: "Who Is He And What Is He To You?" by Me'Shell NdegéOcello

Written By: Bill Withers
Album: Peace Beyond Passion
Released: 1996 (Withers: 1973)
Single?: #1 on the Billboard Dance chart.

I was going to run the original, but the embed was disabled, and NdegéOcello did a solid cover as a single with an actual video. Done!

A man we passed just tried to stare me down
And when I looked at you
You looked at the ground

I don't know who he is
But I think that you do
Who is he, and what is he to you?

Something in my heart and in your eye
Tells me he's not someone just passing by
And when you cleared your throat
Was that your cue?
Who is he, and what is he to you?

Ahh now
When I add the sum of you and me
I get confused when I keep coming up with 3
You're too much for one man
But not enough for two
Who is he and what is he to you?

You tell me men don't have much intuition
Is that what you really thinkin girl
Or are you wishing?
Before you wreck your old home
And searcht another new

Who is he, and what is he to you?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Morning Glories Volume One (2011)

Brian K. Vaughn returns to Runaways! Except he's working under the pen name of "Nick Spencer," and he stole his premise back from Marvel to run at Image, and he couldn't afford as good of an artist.

Morning Glories is about a group of sixteen-year-olds whom the creators clearly want you to want to fuck, between the Justin Bieber MK I-II hair styles and all the gym fit chicks wearing schoolgirl short skirts (no fatty-boom-batty-Girties or pedobait Mollys here.) Instead of being the children of a local demon-worshiping super-villain team, our young protagonists are brought together by a prestigious prep school with a demon-worshiping faculty. They are strategically multicultural and unencumbered by unattractive characters that do not fit modern high school archetypes. Think I Know What You Did At Degrassi High Last Summer. There are... shhhh... seeecrets aplenty, which I'm sure will play out over multiple volumes of the projected hundred issue series.

I tend not to want to give away too much of the initial story. The characters are paper thin, so the whole of the enjoyment of the book is in seeing the plot unfold. There's plenty of scheming that is pretty smart in its execution, and tons of foreshadowing to the scope and depth of a grand conspiracy. Spencer makes some of the more blatant exposition, tired cliché, and forced character moments palatable through high grade snark that helps one to embrace the less savory pieces on the chessboard.

The art by Joe Eisma meets my minimum expectations for this type of story. It isn't bad enough to put me off the book, and is serviceable in presenting the story. It is also chronically rushed, looking like reasonably tight layouts, or the story page equivalent of a competent convention sketch. The artist is unfortunately terrible at depicting acts of violence, looking like doodles of the killing of a math teacher from a bored high school student's notebook. More often than not, it is up to colorist Alex Sollazzo to cover Eisma's ass. The style of the interiors does manages to just barely evoke the pretty covers of Rodin Esquejo, which are not reprinted in this trade paperback. How's that for a "Fuck you Charlie-- buy the separate hardcover cover collection in two years?!" Esquejo is to Jo Chen as Eisma is to the various artists on Runaways and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with the obvious downgrade in franchises noted.

You might think I'm some huge Brian K. Vaughn fan, but the truth is I only read his books when I get them for free, and only halfway liked the first few Runaways digests. It's just that the parallels are easy to harp on, but I actually think Morning Glories has the stronger and more versatile story engine to run on. Suffice to say, while a lot of this book will be very familiar to genre fans, it steals from high calbre sources, and presents the elements in a reasonable quality fashion. The first collection is a satisfying read unto itself, and at the low introductory price of ten bucks, worth your while to sample.

Friday, March 4, 2011

radio free nurgh

This blog has always been unfocused and never quite what I wanted it to be. I tried it as a daily for a year or so, but never seemed to have the time to juggle all the things I'd have liked to publish. We went from a daily to a few posts monthly, from a relief to a chore. Of late, it's mostly been reviews. I'm trying to keep this blog on the "every three days" schedule pioneered by several of my super-hero blogs, and tackling long moribund sections like Emmanuwednesday. I always wanted more music, and the nurghophonic jukebox has seen a lot more spins lately. It seemed like a good time to revise my index of music posts, incorporating everything into one menu and updating the great many YouTube embeds that have gone dead. As of yesterday, every significant music post has been linked here, and every video proven to work. I hope someone enjoys the tunes besides me...

There is nothing wrong with your internet. Do not attempt to adjust the musical selection. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the artists. We will control the decade. We can roll the selection, make it unfamiliar. We can change the focus from Merle Haggard to Vandals to Crystal Method. For the next video clip, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your internet connection. You are about to participate in a sonic adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner ear to... the nurghophonic jukebox.

Ze Greatest Songs Of Mein Time
A progressive "greatest hits" compilation of all the music I love...

"Add It Up" by Violent Femmes (1983)
"Cities in Dust" by Siouxsie And the Banshees (1985)
"Kick Him When He's Down" by The Offspring (1992)
"Midlife Crisis" by Faith No More (1992)
"Skip A Rope" by Henson Cargill (1968)
"Wave Of Mutilation (U.K. Surf)" by the Pixies (1989)

nurghophonic distress
Worst. Fucking. Songs. Ever!!!

"Heartspark Dollarsign" by Everclear (1995)
"One Sided Love" by Mandy Moore (2001)
"Smoke" by Natalie Imbruglia (1997)
"Wannabe" by Spice Girls (1996)

Audio Neurotic Fixation
Albums rarely reviewed, track by track...

Bastards of the Beat [2003] by The Damnwells
Beauty & Crime [2007] by Suzanne Vega
"The Love Symbol Album" [Unnamed, 1991] by Prince
Students of the Unusual Giant-Sized Music Special #1 [2008] by Various Artists

Audio Neurotic Compilation
All Killer, No Filler Artist "Mix Tapes"

1976 Rolling Stones Black And Blue Comic Book Ad
1989 Pepsi/Madonna "Make A Wish/Like A Prayer" Ad
2001 Aaliyah Album Comic Book Ad

nurghophonic jukebox general selections by song title
"A Little Bit Of Soap" by the Jarmels (1961)
"Ain't She Sweet" by Gene Austin (1927)
"American Made" by Oak Ridge Boys (1983)
"Anything" by Sixpence None the Richer (1997)

"Bernadette" by The Four Tops (1967)
"Black Flag" by King's X (1992)
"Breakin' Dishes" by Rihanna (2007)

"Come Back When You Grow Up" by Bobby Vee (1967)

"Don't Get Around Much Anymore" by Nat King Cole (1957)

"Fake Tales Of San Francisco" by Arctic Monkeys (2006)
"Fashion Freak" by Naked Ape (2005)

"I'm Gonna be a Wheel Someday" by Fats Domino (1959)

"Jungle Fever" by The Chakachas (1972)

"Know Who You Are at Every Age" by Cocteau Twins (1993)

"Leftover Wine" by Melanie (1970)
"Like A Drug" by They Eat Their Own (1990)
"Like A Prayer" by Madonna (1989)

"Maria" by Blondie (1999)
"Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" by Crash Test Dummies (1993)
"My Girl Bill" by Jim Stafford (1973)
"My Man" by Fanny Brice (1921)

"No Hard Feelings" by The Bloodhound Gang (2005)
"Nobody Move" by Eazy-E [featuring MC Ren] (1988)

"Phantom 309" by Red Sovine (1967)

"Saturday Saviour" by Failure (1996)
"Sea Legs" by The Shins (2007)
"Sick and Beautiful" by Artificial Joy Club (1997)

"Tall Cans In The Air" by Transplants (2002)
"Teach Me Tonight" by Jo Stafford (1955)

"Undo Redo" by Naked Ape (2006)

"Wait" by The Beatles (1965)
"We Need A Resolution" by Aaliyah [featuring Timbaland] (2001)

ALL Songs By Artist
Aaliyah: "We Need A Resolution" (2001)

Arctic Monkeys: "Fake Tales Of San Francisco" (2006)

Artificial Joy Club: "Sick and Beautiful" (1997)

Gene Austin: "Ain't She Sweet" (1927)

The Beatles: "Wait" (1965)

Blondie: "Maria" (1999)

The Bloodhound Gang: "No Hard Feelings" (2005)

Henson Cargill: "Skip A Rope" (1968)

The Chakachas: "Jungle Fever" (1972)

Cocteau Twins: "Know Who You Are at Every Age" (1993)

Crash Test Dummies: "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" (1993)

Eazy-E: "Nobody Move" (1988)

Everclear: "Heartspark Dollarsign" (1995)

Failure: "Saturday Saviour" (1996)

Faith No More: "Midlife Crisis" (1992)

Fanny Brice: "My Man"

Nat King Cole: "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" (1957)

Fats Domino: "I'm Gonna be a Wheel Someday" (1959)

The Four Tops: "Bernadette" (1967)

Natalie Imbruglia: "Smoke" (1997)

The Jarmels: "A Little Bit Of Soap" (1961)

King's X: "Black Flag" (1992)

Madonna: "Like A Prayer" (1989)

Melanie: "Leftover Wine" (1970)

Mandy Moore: "One Sided Love" (2001)

Naked Ape:
"Fashion Freak" (2005)
"Undo Redo" (2006)

Oak Ridge Boys: "American Made" (1983)

The Offspring: "Kick Him When He's Down" (1992)

Pixies: Wave Of Mutilation [U.K. Surf] (1989)

Red Sovine: "Phantom 309" (1967)

Rihanna: "Breakin' Dishes" (2007)

Jim Stafford: "My Girl Bill" (1973)

Jo Stafford: "Teach Me Tonight" (1955)

The Shins: "Sea Legs" (2007)

Sixpence None the Richer: "Anything"

Siouxsie And the Banshees: "Cities in Dust" (1985)

Spice Girls: "Wannabe" (1996)

They Eat Their Own: "Like A Drug" (1997)

Transplants: "Tall Cans In The Air" (2002)

Bobby Vee: "Come Back When You Grow Up" (1967)

Violent Femmes: "Add It Up" (1983)



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