Archive for June, 2011

Music Tweet Music

June 27, 2011

twitter music

I must admit I am still finding my way around Twitter. Figuring out what it’s purpose is, what really to use it for. It’s quite obvious that the vast majority of people using it are doing so as a means of self-promotion, large or small. Whether it’s your blog or your acting career or your reality t.v. show, you now have a way to make your audience feel intimately involved in your life and work, right up to the goddamned minute. And why not? It sure as hell seems to work in that respect.

But lets’ not kid ourselves that it’s some wonderous, wholesome social confluence happening. Tell it like it is. It’s the All About Me network for most folks. Which, like I say, is fine. You’ll find yours truly indulging in it now. Talking about myself is my second favorite hobby, don’t forget. So it works in that sense.

I have, however, figured out what it’s not for and that’s following bands that you love. Yes, I’m sure that a lot of music artists have had whopping great success promoting themselves via Twitter and good for them but I’m not talking about it in that sense. I’m talking about someone who just loves music, loves great songwriting, loves the ethereal and transcendental aspects, the emotion and the mystery of it. Let me repeat. The Mystery.

The Mystery is what Twitter removes from a band. When I’m listening to some shimmering new track from your latest dream pop offering, I don’t need to be thinking about what you had for breakfast or what movie you watched last night. When I want to be transported to another emotional plane of existence by your plaintive acoustic croonings, I don’t want to be reminded of how much you like the NBA. And I sure as hell don’t need to know how annoying you are when you’re drunk.

I want to be awed by your talent as a musician and a songwriter. When I find out, via Twitter, just how boring you are in real life and that you use words like “tweeps” and phrases like “hells yeah” it kinds of kills the mystique. So I’ve gone and unfollowed all of the musicians I like. I think it’s a necessary thing for me to be able to fully enjoy the music.

I think I’d like to go back to the old days. When a band was the murky cover image on a 12″ e.p. or the shiny black vinyl inside. When the mystery of who you are could only be found through your art, the way you presented yourself through lyrics and sound and the odd interesting band photo. There is a magic to not knowing. The imagination fills in the spaces around the music with nebulous ideas and emotions. Dark swirling shapes and half-memories.

I never wanted to know what a singer looked like, back then. I still often try to avoid finding out. I love not knowing what Chris Adams of Hood looks like. I love just using the image his voice creates for me. It’s even more important if it’s a female singer. The images I had in my head of Elizabeth Fraser, man. All crushed one misty May evening when I had front row seats at the Orpheum Theatre in Boston. Good god, I appreciate how angelic a voice like that truly is but I’m not sure I can ever shake the image of the facial hair.

This might eventually apply to authors I like, as well. I won’t go into heavy details but you can probably infer from the above how I feel about those author photos that appear at the backs of books. Again, it’s the art I want to focus on, not the person doing it.

I’ll tell you what Twitter is good for, by the way. Science. Scientists love to tweet. And who better to give us excellent thoughts in 140 characters or less than the finest, most reason oriented minds on our planet? Whether it’s Prof. Brian Cox or the astronauts currently orbiting the Earth at 17,000 mph. SETI or JPL or ESA. Cassini or Voyager. It’s all there from official organizational sources right thru individual team members and scientists all over the world. Tons of quality information right up to the logical minute there for your twatty consumption.

So there. My two cents. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go tweet about this post.

And remember to follow me @kensocrates



The Art of the Trailer

June 22, 2011

girl with the dragon tattoo trailer

I paid ten buck to see X-Men First Class tonight and thoroughly enjoyed it. Great film. However, I would have felt my money well spent before the opening credits after seeing the trailer for David Fincher’s adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Pulse pounding, mesmerizing, astonishinly good. Featuring an incredible cover of my favorite Zeppelin tune, Immigrant Song, done by Trent Reznor and Karen O. It draws you toward the screen more than the powerful hands of Magneto over could.

Do yourself a favor and go experience both in a darkened theatre. If you can’t, turn off all your lights, put on some headphones with the volume cranked up and watch it here. It’s worth a goddamned look, believe me.

There is an art to the Trailer. Some folks are very good at it. Sometimes, often, a well done trailer might be even better than the film it’s selling. I’m thinking that might be the case with Green Lantern. It was almost the case with Watchmen, which featured, up to now, the greatest trailer I’d ever seen.

Fucking blown out of the water tonight, folks.

Quitely’s Moore

June 15, 2011

frank quietly alan moore

A portrait of Alan Moore by Frank Quitely.

The beard is quite literate, is it not?

Makes a fucking stellar iPhone wallpaper if you frame it right.

One Game

June 14, 2011

At some point I may try to crystalize into words exactly what this season, this playoffs, this amazing fucking series has been like for me but right now it’s just a glorious, spinning, dizzy swirl of wonderful. Right now I’m just a guy who can’t sleep because there is so much great hockey buzzing about inside his head that I’m just pacing the house in semi-darkness like a big caged bear. The thought of what is coming Wednesday night. The anticipation is maddening.

One Game To Rule Them All.

One Game To Win It.

Tonight I just feel like this kid.

I think we all do.

This Looks Horrible

June 2, 2011

jim lee justice league

I’ve been looking at some of the announced plans for DC Comics’ upcoming “reboot” this September when the company will release a staggering 52 new #1 issues, restarting their entire line with new creative talent and, in some cases, complete character overhauls.

It just looks like an awful idea, folks.

Not just that it’s a tired ploy to generate interest and sales, restarting a title at #1, or even that it’s a tired ploy that never really seems to work in the long run. It’s the ideas behind it and the selection of the creative talent that seems to be what’s truly frightening here.

Jim Lee? Jim. Lee? The guys been done for years. In the same way that a lot of artists whose style and talent shone through in their youth (see John Byrne) he has slipped into the realm of stock pose hack work (see John Byrne) and it’s clear he’s not really invested in his work. Look at the above cover of Justice League #1 for all the proof you need. Lack of detail and original creative ideas, anyone? The absence of such is screaming off the page in the same way the absence of Hal Jordan’s ring is.

Sloppy fucking work, people.

It doesn’t end there, however. Check out this rundown of some of the initial releases planned.

Dan Jurgens? Dan. Jurgens? When was the last time a single word that guy wrote was relevant. When was the last line he drew that wasn’t a generic piece of shit? It’s a trick question because the answer is never. But, hey, let’s give him not one but two titles to make totally irrelevant.

Right down the line the selection of writers and artists is pretty questionable, with few exceptions. Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis, two of the few actual notable talents on board, are being wasted on a doomed title like Aquaman. When has an Aquaman book ever succeeded? When will DC understand that one never will.

The new Wonder Woman artist looks brutally bad, as does the youngster being handed the reins to The Flash, despite DC’s deranged claim that he’s a “rising star”. The work is wholly unremarkable. Not half as bad as the apparent Firestorm or Captain Atom redesigns, though. Actually, if you look closely, you’ll see that some of the information released is inaccurate, listing the wrong cover artists for various books. Again, sloppy. And confusing.

The whole notion just seems savagely ill-conceived. You have to wonder if Grant Morrison, currently helming a Batman title or two, will use this as his chance to pull the ripcord and bail out of the flaming zeppelin before it hits ground and erupts into full fledged conflagration. Because that’s my prediction for this entire relaunch, folks.

Total. Failure. Crash. Burn.

Sorry, DC. There was a time you understood that the foundation for good and successful comics was to hire talented professionals willing to take chances with their art and tell mature, intelligent stories. Not tired, disinterested, used-up talent with naught in their bag of tricks but an attempted flashy new #1 issue or costume redesign.

This just looks super-fucked.