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Thursday, March 30, 2006

music videos!!!

Minus The Bear have a new music video for "Pachuca Sunrise," one of my favorite tracks from 2005's Menos El Oso, although I doubt many will disagree with me when I say that each successive release they put out proves weaker than the last, except for maybe Menos El Oso which I enjoy more than the preceeding They Make Beer Commercials Like This EP but still less engaging than Highly Refined Pirates and its preceeding EPs.

The Flaming Lips released their new video for "The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song". It takes forever to load, but its kinda worth it. Delightfully messed up in the typical Wayne Coyne manner.

Akiva Shaffer from The Lonely Island directed this new video for Eagles of Death Metal's "I Want You So Hard (Boy's Bad News)", with guest appearances by Jack Black and Dave Grohl.

and finally, I'm going to submit my music video "Sweet Nothing" for Best-of-Ringling because i feel like it, nyah-nyah. I'm submitting it along with two webpages, a poster, a book, and a memory card game, so obviously I just don't care what people think of me.

p.s. - MoCCA, for serious.

7:19 PM
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Tuesday, March 28, 2006


We may have come up with a drug to significantly stop the spreading of HIV!!! (No joke!)
Big news on the potentially awesome front, I've been invited to participate in the Art Directors Club's annual Design Student Reviews, where my graphic design work could potentially be reviewed by representatives from the New York Times, Tiffany & Co., and Pentagram, among others. That's AMAZING. I've begun sketching ideas for my business card and promotional buttons. See:

The back of the business card (with my contact info and all) will be laser or inkjet printed onto the paper (that's a rough approximation of the paper's color. its 80lb. cover stock, so you can really feel it) and the front will be releif printed from a linoleum block that I will hand carve. It should give the cards a more textural and handmade feel that will hopefully be memorable. In that extent, I may round the edges of the card with the new corner rounders i bought last week. The button, as I see it right now, will be 1.5" in diameter. The text would be along the edge (the pink lines are just guides, not to be printed), and I'm still totally up in the air regarding color and whatnot. Please email any suggestions you may have (email address in the box in the upper right)
My favorite podcast, TMBG Podcast, has a new episode out today, including a great new recording of TMBG's Other Thing doing a very horn-friendly version of "Metal Detector," a new recording of "The Edison Museum" as it shold have originally been recorded, on a Wax Cylinder at the actual Edison Museum, and a phenomenal new song called "Summer Is The Worst," which in name alone reminds me of His Name Is Alive's "Springtime Can Really Hang You Up The Most"

Finally, I'm beginning to get amped for another great summer home in NYC, especially the concerts. I am an ardent fan of the Siren Music Festival, but the big news right now is that Eels have announced a FREE SHOW at the NY World Financial Plaza on June 13th, a scant two days after the MoCCA Art Fest. Also proving that the World Financial Plaza is apparently the hip, happening place to be (who knew?) The Books are doing a free show there on May 24th!
For people who aren't sick of New Pornographers yet (read: not me), thay're at Central Park Summerstage on August 3rd.
Central Park Summerstage will also host Leslie Feist and Jason Collett on June 25th and Ani DiFranco on July 13th, the same day that Yo La Tengo rock the Prospect Park Bandshell.

I love live music.

4:46 PM
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Sunday, March 26, 2006

A cute little story about art perception and sibling rivalry.
Hundreds turned out for the 23rd annual Pooh-sticks race World Championship, based on the game Winnie the Pooh used to play with Piglet and Christopher Robin.
There was a huge protest in the streets of Japan demanding the dismissal of a law banning the sale of vintage electronics. These photos show protesters weilding old Casio keyboards and even playing old Nintendo Famicoms (the 8-bit system later released in the US as the NES, or Nintendo Entertainment System, pretty much everybody in my generation's first home video game system)!
Nick Paumgarten reviews Del Posto, Iron Chef Mario Batali(pictured, at left)'s new (and apparently completely absurd) three-star, high-fashion restaurant.
Al-Jazeera is establishing and English-language offshoot. Now, when the world news networks show clips and reports from Al-Jazeera (which they've done a lot of in the past four years) they won't have to use their crappy in-house translators, they can have it done by the people in the know. I would actually watch that channel if we got it here.
AWWWWWWWWWWWWW! I love Chris Ware's "Building Stories".
Be sure to watch tonight's episode of The Simpsons. In addition to being written by the guest-starring Ricky Gervais (British comedian and creator of The Office), the episode will also feature the live-action opening sequence produced by British syndicate Sky as a promo spot for The Simpsons that has become a viral video fave over recent weeks.
Speaking of viral videos, the mainstream media has finally caught on to them and there will soon be four regular shows on major American networks showcasing the clips in a format similar to America's Funniest Home Videos. I've already seen both VH1's Web Junk 20 and Bravo's Outrageous and Contagious: Viral Videos and neither has interested me all that much, the VH1's at least has some personality.

1:26 PM
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Saturday, March 25, 2006

Remember Nature Valley? They made those crunchy granola bars that came two to a pack and were wildly popular in the mid 90s? Then, in the early aughts they became popular again with their chewy trail mix bars? Well, they've struck gold again with these new Sweet & Salty Nut bars. I bought one box of the peanut variety out of curiosity two weeks ago after seeing it on a sale display. I found them tarribly tasty and satisfying, so I bought two more boxes yesterday. Tasty!

I am currently in love with the title track from Voxtrot's new EP Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives. Download the mp3 here.

Judging of graphic design pieces for Best of Ringling is next weekend. I know I should be working on that a little, but I'm far too focused on working on my website. I've finally got all four sections up with content as of yesterday, but I've still got a lot to add and enough quirks to fix. Also, MoCCA work is expectedly crazy right now. I've never been so comfortable with such a wild workload!

12:59 PM
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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Changes, they are a'comin'

i think my previous posts on here were already more than enough hype for last night's episode of South Park, so let me just quickly express my feelings on the episode:
Fantastically appropriate.
I had a feeling they would use intentionally sloppy audio samples to construct new Chef phrases, and they were used to excellent effect in the brainwashed new Chef. the parallel between "This is what Super Adventure Club actually believe" and the Scientology episode was exactly what I expected from this episode. Chef's amazingly grusome demise, while upsetting to watch, was again more or less exactly what I imagined would occur. what didn't I expect? well, the child molesting, for one. the strip club scene was another. Darth Chef, i think that took everyone by surprise (though I suppose I really SHOULD have seen that coming). What really sold the whole episode, though, in typical South Park fashion, was the final appeal for reason joke, in this case delivered by Kyle as Chef's eulogy.
We shouldn't be mad at Chef over what's happened the past week, we should be mad at that fruity club for scrambling his brain.

Trey and Matt were not joking with that statement last week. If this episode was anything other than a sendoff for one of the shows most beloved characters, it was an all out declaration of war against the Church of Scientology.

anyway, enough of that.

Jeff updated the senior portfolio webpage today with the portraits we took in class on tuesday.
I look about thirty pounds heavier than usual, and most of it is in that one cheek, but whatever, I display a lot more personality than most of those photos. Now you can finally see the faces of all the people I've been working alongside with and competing with for the past three years. You can also scoff at their utter lacks of websites. I've added speech balloons to three of the pages of mine that display commentary when you roll over them. I think its really quite exciting and this whole "comic book" concept is starting to come together.

also, things are happening over at 49Music, where I am one of three moderators/siterunners. For one, Mike has established a partnership with one of the popular Canadian radio stations resulting in the "Classic Canadian Series," and the first segment is all about Gordon Lightfoot. Also, I've begun embedding music videos from YouTube directly into the artists' videography pages. you can watch four Arcade Fire videos, two Islands-related videos, two Stars videos, four Buck65 videos, six Broken Social Scene videos, three Sloan videos, and six Metric videos. Pavan wants me to try to get to some concerts and interview the Canadian bands. If I wasn't annoyingly far from Miami, I would go over there this week and see if I could talk to MSTRKRFT (I've got a ton of questions for them, actually). I'm actually thinking of setting up a MSTRKRFT section on the site. I feel bad that I'm one of the three guys really doing anything on the site and I've never even been to Canada.

4:31 PM
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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

ChefGate keeps getting hotter!

As I mentioned last week, Isaac Hayes abruptly quit his role as Chef on the ever popular animated series "South Park" over an episode from this past November which blasted Scientology, the religion that Hayes has been an outspoken advocate for for fifteen years now. The controversy surrounding his resignation earned Hayes the dignified position of BBC News' Face of the Week, and rumors started swirling that Hayes was pressured by fellow Scientology advocate and all around crazy person Tom Cruise to chastise the show and that Cruise threatened Viacom executives not to promote the upcoming Mission: Impossible 3 unless the episode was pulled from future broadcasts (Viacom owns Paramount, who is producing M:I3, as well as Comedy Central, who produces "South Park". Viacom is apparently banking on M:I3 being their biggest money-maker of the year). Of course, all of these rumors have been denied by the people involved, but that hasn't stopped "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone from amping up the funny. Once Comedy Central pulled the episode's reairing last week, Parker and Stone release this statement through their lawyer (yes, this is the actual statement, not an internet joke):

Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for Earth has just begun! Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!!

-- Trey Parker and Matt Stone, servants of the dark lord Xenu

Man, those kids are wacky. And keeping with their typical topical issues on the show (remember the big payoff "wardrobe malfunction" joke from the season 8 premeire? I sure as hell do. Or how about the treatment of Osama Bin Laden as an Arab Elmer Fudd back in late 2001? Wild!) tonight's premeire episode for season ten pays tribute to the past week's hilarious controversy:
The launch of South Park’s tenth season is marked by the triumphant homecoming of school chef, Jerome McElroy. “The Return of Chef!” premieres Wednesday, March 22, at 10 p.m., only on Comedy Central.The town is jolted out of a case of the doldrums when Chef suddenly reappears. While Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman are thrilled to have their old friend back, they notice that something about Chef seems different. When Chef’s strange behavior starts getting him in trouble, the boys pull out all the stops to save him.

And if you're asking yourself how the hell can they make a full episode making fun of this situation so soon, don't forget that season 8 also featured a disheveled and heavily bearded Saddam Hussein making a spiderhole joke a mere TWO DAYS after his capture in the real world. I know I'm going to be watching tonight at 10pm and I think everyone else should too.

Speaking of things people should be watching, Liam Lynch has a new video podcast, so anyone with video podcast receiving capabilities should totally tune in and tune out. The videos are in m4v format, so very specifically designed for the video iPod and the newest versions of iTunes, though Quicktime 7 should still play them with no problem. For those who don't remember Liam, he was the brains (and hands) behind MTV's "Sifl & Olly Show" in the late 90's, he wrote songs for Richard Linlater's School of Rock and MTV's cancelled-too-soon animated series "Clone High", he recently directed the cult hit film Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic and he's spent the last few years working with Jack Blank and Kyle Gass on their feature film Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny.
He's totally hilarious and totally cool, so tune into his podcast sometime and watch all of his wacky little short films. They are divine.

11:23 AM
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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Weekly News blah blah blah

- I absolutely love Seth's cover to this week's New Yorker (at left)
- In no manner a surprise, this review of "V For Vendetta" says "for aging kids stoned on pop rapture, it could be a trip. And for people driven mad by the ineptitude and folly of the Bush Administration this film may seem like a brazen romp."
- A profile of Mark Newgarden on the release of "We All Die Alone," an anthology of his "worst pain imaginable" comic strips and whatnot.
- Everybody deserves a homemade birthday cake (recipe included!)
- Chris Ware's "Building Stories" is just getting better each week. It seems he's finally established who the main character is (although I expect the other tennants will get the focus later on) which makes it a bit more engaging. Hurrah!
- With its current levels of hedonism making it a "holiday" I never really want to experience for myself, it is sometimes easy to forget the innocent beginnings of spring break.
- Can Barack Obama live up to the hype?
- The Smiths turned down five million dollars offered for them to reunite at this year's Coachella festival. Good call, boys.

12:08 PM
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Friday, March 17, 2006

the secret's out

I can't live in secrecy anymore. I think I've dodged the bullet long enough here. I know what everybody wants me to admit, so I'll just go ahead and answer the question on everyone's minds: What movie are you the most excited about coming out this year?
Yes, that is a bit of a heavy question, and most pop culture junkies like myself are wise to avoid the topic altogether and just wait for the movies to actually come out before allowing themselves to be swayed by any sort of hype. Obviously, the big player this summer is expected to be Bryan Singer's Superman Returns, and there is a tremendous expectations behind X-Men: The Last Stand. Ron Howard's The DaVinci Code is a sure thing, and Thank You For Smoking looks pretty fantastic. And then there are smaller more niche works like Nacho Libre, Art School Confidential, and The Fountain, but none of these are the film that truly has me amped (though I do intend on seeing all of these eventually. I am actually least interested in Superman and DaVinci). No, no, only one film scheduled for release later this year has truly raised my expectations to the point where I am almost certain I will not be satisfied simply because I will crave more of it in my veins, and that film is A Scanner Darkly.

Based on the classic sci-fi novel by Philip K. Dick (whose stories also inspired the films Minority Report and Blade Runner, among others), directed by Richard Linklater (Waking Life, Before Sunset, Dazed and Confused) and starring Keanu Reeves, Wynona Ryder, Woody Harrelson and Robert Downey Jr, the film is animated using a noticably more advanced and evolved version of the rotoscoping used to animate Linklater's Waking Life (which all links back to A-Ha's music video for "Take On Me") to amplify the drug-crazed near future distopian paranoia and present the story as "a sort of animated graphic novel". Just watch that trailer and tell me this film isn't glorious to watch already.
And as if that wasn't appealing and commercial-artsy enough, Entertainment Weekly has just confirmed the long-standing rumor that Radiohead (!) will be providing the film's score.
As avid an X-Men fan as I am, and as much as Dan Clowes' Art School Confidential tickles me, nothing, absolutely nothing, can top a Radiohead score for Richard Linklater directing a rotoscoped Philip K. Dick movie.

1:05 AM
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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Fine! Sue me!

well, the big news on Monday was that Isaac Hayes, the legendary composer of the score and theme to Shaft along with countless other movies, quit his role as Chef on Comedy Central's groundbreaking topical animated series South Park, claiming "he can no longer stomach its take on religion". He'd played the character Chef, the small mountain town's grade school cafeteria chef, sage advice giver to the boys, lone black character (until a few years ago when they introduced Token and his family), and all around ladies' man, for roughly eight years, performing many songs and even inspiring an all-star tribute episode and CD called "Chef Aid" which featured brand-new original songs by Master P, Perry Farrel, Elton John, Rancid, Ween, and then-still-called-Puff-Daddy, among many others.
Hayes said in a statement:
"There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins..Religious beliefs are sacred to people, and at all times should be respected and honored...As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices."

A respectable arguement, but one that raises the question Then why did he do the show for eight years? After all, the very first episode of South Park poked fun at Christianty and both Christianity and Judaism have been regular targets for jokes all along the way, with special episodes targeting Mormonism, Buddhism and others. There was even a special "Super Duper Friends" episode where a variety of historical religious figures formed a superhero team (along with Aquaman) that made fun of all of their stereotypes. And lets not forget the "Passion of the Jew" episode from the beginning of Season Eight, where Kyle tries to convince his temple to admit their responsibility in the death of Jesus after he sees Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, all while Cartman, also inspired by the film, tries to lead a new Nazi regime to get all the jews out of town, and Stan and Kenny are stalked by a raving mad Daffy Duck-like Mel Gibson after demanding their money back when they dislike the movie. Religion has been a consistant target in the world of South Park, and Hayes has never spoken out about it before, so why now?
it all has to do with an episode from this past November titled "Trapped In The Closet" (if you have a half-hour to kill and a broadband connection, you can view the whole episode here.) which pokes fun at the widespread belief that Tom Cruise refuses to admit that he's really gay as well as the phenomenon that was R. Kelly's "Trapped In The Closet" music video soap opera. the main plot in the episode, however, has to do with Scientology. in the episode, Stan is discovered to be the reincarnation of L. Ron Hubbard and the entire Church of Scientology crowds around his house to hear the words of the new prophet. from there, the episode stays fairly true to pretty much everything you may have heard or imagined about the Church of Scientology, complete with on-screen text reminding the audience "THIS IS WHAT SCIENTOLOGISTS ACTUALLY BELIEVE". I'd heard a great deal of the "secrets" a year before this episode aired, so it was no surprise to me (still hilarious, though) but I can see how this might have been a bit of an absurdist shock to much of the audience. besides, i love it when a telelvision show's grand joke extends itself into the end credits, and this one's are particularly tickling.
Isaac Hayes has been an outspoken Scientologist for a while now, and clearly the episode (which he was not featured in) did not sit well with him, hence the quitting suddenly. South Park co-creator Matt Stone once again proved that there is an educated but spiteful mind inside his afro in a counter statement:
"[We] never heard a peep out of Isaac in any way until we did Scientology. He wants a different standard for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin...This is 100 percent having to do with his faith of Scientology... He has no problem - and he's cashed plenty of checks - with our show making fun of Christians."

between this and Tom Cruise squaring off against Matt Lauer over the summer, it seems to me that Scientologists are just a bunch of whiny little tempermental kids. I, personally, love it when they make a Unitarian joke on The Simpsons and in Kudzu. i remember at least six, three from each. the Kudzu ones were usually more accurate, but the Simpsons ones were pretty funny too and always made me smile.

11:30 AM
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Monday, March 13, 2006

there was a particularly interesting article on the cover of yesterday's Arts & Leisure section detailing for non-comics fans how and why Alan Moore came to be so bitter and hostile at seemingly everyone and everything.
In Mr. Moore's account of his career, the villains are clearly defined: they are the mainstream comics industry — particularly DC Comics, the American publisher of "Watchmen" and "V for Vendetta" — which he believes has hijacked the properties he created, and the American film business, which has distorted his writing beyond recognition...

..."Alan was one of the first writers of our generation, of great courage and great literary skill," said Paul Levitz, the president and publisher of DC Comics. "You could watch him stretching the boundaries of the medium."

But by 1989, Mr. Moore had severed his ties with DC. Mr. Moore says he was objecting to language in his contracts that would give him back the rights to "Watchmen" and "V for Vendetta" when they went out of print — language that he says turned out to be meaningless, because DC never intended to stop reprinting either book. "I said, 'Fair enough,' " he recalls. " 'You have managed to successfully swindle me, and so I will never work for you again.' "

Mr. Levitz said that such so-called reversion clauses routinely appear in comic book contracts, and that DC has honored all of its obligations to Mr. Moore. "I don't think Alan was dissatisfied at the time," Mr. Levitz said. "I think he was dissatisfied several years later."

Mr. Lloyd, the illustrator of "V for Vendetta," also found it difficult to sympathize with Mr. Moore's protests. When he and Mr. Moore sold their film rights to the graphic novel, Mr. Lloyd said: "We didn't do it innocently. Neither myself nor Alan thought we were signing it over to a board of trustees who would look after it like it was the Dead Sea Scrolls."

I remember what a big deal it was in the mid-90's when Moore wound up with his own imprint at Wildstorm (Jim Lee's division of Image Comics, a company founded by artists sick of the limitations of working at Marvel Comics) called "America's Best Comics." he came up with four monthly series and all of them did extremely well in both sales and critical acclaim. whenever i read them, it felt like a nostalgic look back at the heyday of old science fiction and it was really fun. and, of course, i was just as confused and shocked as everyone else when Jim Lee sold Wildstorm to DC Comics in 1998. everyone was sure this meant Alan Moore would throw a hissyfit and quit.
"We did the deal on the assumption that Alan would be gone the day it was signed," said Mr. Levitz. But Mr. Moore's loyalty to his artists trumped his aversion to his former employers, and he stayed put. "It seemed easier to bite the bullet meself," he said.

It was about two years ago when Moore announced he was shutting down the ABC imprint, closing up the regular series "Tom Strong," "Promethea," "Top 10," and "Tomorrow Stories," but that he would continue producing the once-yearly series of mini-series "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen". This announcement came after the releases of the nearly unrecognizable film adaptations of his books "From Hell" and "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen". The latter particularly gave him trouble:
Screenwriter Larry Cohen and the producer Martin Poll sued the studio, charging that elements of the film had been plagiarized from their work. Though the film, which was one of the year's costliest flops, differed drastically from the graphic novel, the lawsuit nonetheless claimed that the "Extraordinary Gentlemen" comics had been created as a "smokescreen" to cover up the theft.

Mr. Moore found the accusations deeply insulting, and the 10 hours of testimony he was compelled to give, via video link, even more so. "If I had raped and murdered a schoolbus full of retarded children after selling them heroin," he said, "I doubt that I would have been cross-examined for 10 hours." When the case was settled out of court, Mr. Moore took it as an especially bitter blow, believing that he had been denied the chance to exonerate himself.

Most recently, the producer of this week's release "V For Vendetta" said in a press conference that he had spoken to Moore about the film adaptation at that Moore was "very excited" by it. Moore called him on the lie and demanded a public retraction. When no such retraction came, Moore quit again.
The result of all of this that I find actually interesting is that now Moore has landed at Top Shelf Productions, the independant comics publisher that is home to Craig Thompson's "Blankets," Andy Runton's "Owly," and James Kochalka's "American Elf," among many others. They should be publishing the third volume of "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" later this year.

and speaking of independant comics publishers, check out the exhibitor list for the 2006 MoCCA Art Festival. plenty of new names, a lot of returning favorites and pretty big names. i'm excited. and i've still got a good chunk of names to add. some special last minute guests that i think are really cool and of course our Guest of Honor isn't even listed yet because i don't want to let any cats out of their respective bags just yet.
i swear, that list was a good solid two days of my spring break.

the names on the list that excite me, you ask? well, for one, Brian Wood's back from california and ready to rock MoCCA after a two year absence. Christine Norrie's back after having her baby girl. Chip Kidd is doing a panel conversation with Charles Burns. Dan Nadel and the whole PictureBox crew are gonna drop some science on the Art Fest floor. and of course, i'm always super-happy to see Art Fest regulars Damon Hurd, Dave Roman, Raina Telgemeier, Jim Mahfood, Keith Knight, Brenden Burford, and Joe Staton. guests for the MoCCA table haven't been announced yet, but i wouldn't be surprised to see Jeff Smith, Mike Mignola, and Patrick McDonnell on that list, as they're consistent MoCCA supporters. i heard a rumor that a certain bald vegan electronic rock star might make an appearance too.

10:32 AM
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Sunday, March 12, 2006


today i swung by the good ol' Borders and picked up the Baby-Sitters Club graphic novel by Raina Telgemeier and Twilight of the Superheros: Stories by Deborah Eisenberg. i've talked about both of them in this blog in the past month.
having never read BSC when i was a kid (i was more of a Boxcar Children type of kid) i naturally dove into it and was pleasantly surprised by how immediately likable and relatable all the characters were. of course, it didn't hurt that Raina's drawings and storytelling are so adorable that i stopped every three pages or so to go "Aaaaaaaaaaawww!" out loud.
i'm on Eisenberg now and the first story is pretty good so far. i'm not sure i'll get through it before class starts again (i doubt it) but i do look forward to reading it fully through.
i also signed up for Borders' new rewards program. there was no committment or anything, its just one of those deals where their tracking what people actually buy helps them order more accordingly and save money so they entice you to be their guinea pig by offering you big-time savings, and i'm game for saving money. i saved 25% on the Eisenberg book (the more expensive of the two i bought today) so that was a good deal already.
late friday night, early satuday morning, i finished my match card project for graphic design class. the theme is anatomy of letterforms, and i packaged the whole thing like a pocket-sized dictionary because i'm a self-defeatist idiot who loves making TINY things that require a great deal more craft than the simply posters most of my classmates work on. here are a few photos:

cover and slipcase (pulling away the outercase of the book reveals the skeleton of the letterform!)

interior of the "book" with cards removed

look! you just matched the tail of the "Q" to the fish tail! Tail! you got a match!

oh, i almost forgot, i recorded a new song today. its only 1:12, two tracks a cappella, and i wrote it while making breakfast this morning. it's called "Most Important Meal of the Day" and you can stream it or download the mp3 on my PureVolume page.

1:15 AM
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Thursday, March 09, 2006

I find John Hodgman rather amusing.

over the past few months, i've rather enjoyed John Hodgman's performance as They Might Be Giants' arch-rival, the Deranged Millionaire. most noticably, this character introduces each of the Venue Songs videos from TMBG's collection of...well, venue songs.
his role received its own theme song in TMBG Podcast 2A and he reprieved the role for a long-winded interview in TMBG Podcast 3A.
stream a bunch of the Venue Songs videos here. my favorites are the sensationally catchy melodies and joyously effortless videos for Anaheim's "Anaheim House of Blues" and Asbury Park's "Stone Pony"
keeping with the theme, you can hear live recording of both of those songs and many others in TMBG Podcast 4A

back in December, my friend Dan was raving about John's new book, The Areas of My Expertise. i haven't gotten around to it yet because of my own self-inflicted reading regimen, but i look forward to it finding its way onto my stack of paperbacks.

the reason i'm writing about him today, though, is this absolutely brilliant segment from last night's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
wow. that is my kind of funny, and apparently the audience agrees.

6:45 PM
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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

its no secret that i quite enjoy the cute pop sensibilities of Detroit's PAS/CAL, but i was a bit taken aback by something i saw on their MySpace page:

is it just me, or do all of their "Top 8" look eerily similar? maybe its just that that's what almost everybody on MySpace looks like, but i do find it a tad bit creepy seeing them all grouped together like that. these kids are the primary demographic for Oh Honey, We're Rediculous? these are the kids who go to the shows and bounce along joyfully to the falsetto "la la la-la"s?
my, how the face of pop music has changed

3:15 PM
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keeping with the previous post, Warn announced earlier today that next week will see the release of Livonia With Strings. he completely rewrote and rerecorded his 1990 debut album with a string quartet instead of guitar loops. pretty wild. i can't wait.

also worthy of note, Raina Telgemeier's comic book adaptation of the first Baby-Sitter's Club novel is in stores today! go hit up your favorite bookstore and look for it, or just hit up the good ol' Raina was one of the first people i met at MoCCA way back when this blog was only one month old and i've come to consider her and her fiancee Dave as friends, plus her storytelling is really phenomenal, so everybody should go out and buy a copy today before she becomes too famous to shake your hand.
for those who never read Baby-Sitter's Club or have somehow forgotten the plot of the first book, it goes a little something like this:
In this new graphic novel edition of the very first BABY-SITTERS CLUB book, Raina Telgemeier captures all the drama of the original in warm, spunky illustrations. Witness Kristy's eureka moment, when she gets the idea for a "baby-sitters club" and enlists her best friends, shy Mary Anne and artistic Claudia, in an exciting new venture. But the baby-sitting business isn't the only thing absorbing their attention: Kristy is having a hard time accepting her stepdad-to-be, and the newest member of the gang, Stacey, seems to be hiding a secret.

Its a part of Scholastic's new Graphix line of graphic novels, which includes the color reprints of Jeff Smith's Bone, along with brand new teen-oriented books by Chynna Clugston-Major and Christine Norrie.

trying out the new layout and listening to the Mad Spin Zone.
check out that bar on the right. pretty snazzy, huh? nested CSS. feel free to email me and let me know what you think of this layout, which obviously still needs some work. also, i finally put up the RSS feed link, for people like me who rely on their RSS clients to get them through the day. also, is tracking my iTunes content for weekly updates. digitally spying on yourself is so much fun.

1:23 AM
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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Blogger's been unhaappy with me for a day or two. I'm amazed I'm even logged in right now.

Spring Break has been fantastically busy so far and I still haven't gotten nearly enough work done, but I am enjoying a little bit of free time at least. Today I watched Good-Bye Lenin! and yesterday I finally saw Tim Burton's interpretation of Charlie & the Chocolate Factory and both were fantastic. I knew Good-Bye Lenin would be great, but it was a lot less humorous than I expected (I don't really know why I thought it would be a funny movie anyway) and I don't care what anyone says, I thought Charlie & the Chocolate Factory was a beautiful and heart-touching reinterpretation and everything made sense and it was just lovely.
I also got my new His Name Is Alive poster in the mail yesterday:

Its the official promo poster from their 1996 album Stars On ESP and is loosely based on the original cover art:

Stars On ESP was the first album Warn recorded after his parents died and he had the house all to himself. Feeling freed from any restrictions, Warn decided to look past the tape loops and dissonant guitar swoops of HNIA's first three albums and instead did his best to make a Beach Boys album, including "Universal Frequencies," a note-for-note recreation of "Good Vibrations." My favorite parts of the album are the three different versions of the same song, "This World Is Not My Home," "I Can't Live In This World Anymore," and "Last One," the last of which features the first appearance of vocalist Lovetta Pippin, who was also featured on 1998's Ft. Lake and 2006's Detrola and took center stage as HNIA's primary vocalist on 2000's Someday My Blues Will Cover The Earth and 2002's Last Night.

in between two websites, two print projects, a children's novel, and a variety of MoCCA issues, i am also working on a new layout for the Speed of Boredom. I've had this blog for almost three years now, with eight major graphic/layout changes in that time, all within the first year. this layout has started to become stagnant and i crave something new. because of my recent obsession with cascading style sheets, i'm trying to see just how much i can do with those before i rely on anything else like tables and graphics. nerd.

11:10 PM
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Friday, March 03, 2006

spring break for me officially starts this afternoon around 2pm. on the one hand, i don't have to go to class or work for a week. on the other hand, i've still got a tremendous amount of things to do, and now limited lab hours available. not much of a vacation, but hopefully it will provide me the opportunity to get exactly what i need to get done to a degree of comfortable completion.
let this entertain you for now:
Acclaimed comics scribe Warren Ellis wrote this little rant in his blog about this summer's San Diego Comic-Con and inadvertantly launched the funniest flame war I've ever seen between himself and Buffy The Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon (scroll down to the comments and read. hi-f'n-larious)

as i mentioned before, all the senior graphic designers are working on their portfolio websites. check out the progress we're all making on this menu Jeff made with links to everyone's pages.
on tuesday, 21 of the 43 students had nothing up there. this morning, only 17 are still completely devoid of content, with a good number of them still bare bones.
mine has made significant changes since tuesday and will have more in the coming weeks.

11:25 AM
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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

so i'm designing a new portfolio website with the theme of cheesy superhero comics (sorta) where all of the pieces are displayed in sequential panels and commentary comes up in speech balloons and blah blah blah
i just made up a logo for myself in this theme:

this may go through changes...

also, Best Week Ever is having a contest where you can photoshop comedian Paul Sheer's head anywhere you want and submit it to them. they say "Whoever submits our favorite entry will get a prize" and that's just ambiguous enough to get me interested.
here's my first hastily-done try, Paul Sheer as all six Village People:

3:01 PM
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