Friday, August 28, 2009

Video find: The Byrds "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere"

From Hugh Hefner's "Playboy After Dark"

New music I like: The Blockheads

Pop links: Remembering King Kirby! Kurtzman! Suggs! More!

Happy Jack Kirby Day! The great comic book artist and co-creator of the Hulk, Fantastic Four, X-Men and more would be 92 today. The Comics Reporter offers up a huge gallery of iconic images in tribute.

By the way, if you love Kirby--and don't own it already--get this:


More Kirby: Even the "King of Comics" had his role models, as the online Jack Kirby Museum points out. Dig this look at how art from a Hal Foster "Prince Valiant" strip likely inspired Kirby's Demon character. More here.


Shifting our attention to another funnybook genius, Pappy presents this suspenseful 1943 tale illustrated by the great Harvey Kurtzman.


Suggs, singer of the great British band Madness, has penned a book in tribute to his beloved London. One of my favorite cities too...

Armed with a spirit of adventure, a passion for London and a trusted A–Z, Suggs embarks on an unpredictable journey through the bustling main drags and little-known side streets to explore the eccentric story of his extraordinary home town. Having lived in London as man and boy, this is Suggs’s personal take on an ever-changing London, a city whose traditions and foibles are under threat from the march of time. From the suited and booted tailors of Savile Row to the sex traders of bohemian Soho, by way of quaint and quirky habitats, brilliant but beleaguered boozers, the exotic eateries that have made London a gastronomic heartland and a music scene that's both the envy of the world and dear to Suggs’s own heart, SUGGS AND THE CITY is a journey under the skin of a living, breathing city. It’s a guided tour of the quirks of its chaotic centre and the surprises of its sleepy suburbs. And it’s a love letter from one of its favourite sons.


What the f...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Video find: The Byrds "Goin' Back"

From the Smothers Brothers Show

Amazon US now sold out of mono AND stereo remasters box sets

As of just a while ago, Amazon US is announcing it's out of the Beatles in Stereo remaster box sets until after the 9/9/09 release date. You can visit the listing here to sign up for e-mail notification when the set is available again.

You can also sign up to be notified if Amazon gets more copies of the limited edition Beatles in Mono box. It's unknown if they will or not. However, I wouldn't be surprised if Amazon starts listing the mono set as available "new or used" from other sellers after the release date. It'll be interesting to see how much these go for. If the box is truly in short supply, prices could be very high.

So far, it looks as if the individual remastered albums are still available for pre-order at Amazon. Abbey Road is the top-selling entry, followed by "The White Album," and Sgt. Pepper.

New music I like: Mayer Hawthorne

Pop links: Doctor Who! Lester Young! Elvis Costello! Disneyland Hotel! Jack Kirby! Lucky Luke!

A couple of Doctor Who-related tidbits:

* Britain's Pinewood film studio has announced an exhibit focusing on underwater filming, which includes images from underwater shoots for "Doctor Who" and other TV shows and movies.

* A British community is trying to save one of the last-remaining TARDIS-like police call boxes left in the country.


NPR celebrates the 100th anniversary of genius jazz musician Lester Young. The tenor sax was a key member of the Count Basie Orchestra and one of Billie Holliday's favorite accompanists. Here's a clip of the two together:


Also on NPR: Elvis Costello and Allen Touissant on "Piano Jazz."


Ultra Swank checks into the groovy Disneyland Hotel.


Man, Jack Kirby could do a lot with three panels.


Man, I never realized there was a Lucky Luke film and TV series. Thanks, Booksteve, for setting me straight. I wish those of us in the U.S. could see it--not to mention all those Asterix movies--on DVD.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Video find: The Byrds "Chestnut Mare"

Continuing with some late era Byrds music:

Songwriting great Ellie Greenwich passes away at 68

One of the great Brill Building songwriters, Ellie Greenwich has died at age 88, Rolling Stone reports.

Working with Jeff Barry, Greenwich penned a whole raft of classic 60s tunes, including The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” and “Baby, I Love You,” the Shangri-La’s “Leader of the Pack,” the Dixie Cups’ “Chapel of Love,” Tina & Ike Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High” and the Crystals’ “Then He Kissed Me” and “Da Doo Ron Ron.”

New music I like: Laura Vane and the Vipertones

More info.

Pop links: Steranko! Free Shonen Knife!

Today only from Amazon, get a free download of "Barbecue Party," a fun new tune from cult Japanese girl band Shonen Knife.


Read "The Block," a 1973 tale by the great Jim Steranko.

Official details on Bob Dylan's Christmas album

It's for real. Details from Dylan's official site:

Dear Friends,

We at Columbia Records are happy to announce the October 13 release of Bob Dylan's brand new album of holiday songs, Christmas In The Heart.

Christmas In The Heart will be the 47th album from Bob Dylan, and follows his worldwide chart-topping Together Through Life, released earlier this year. Songs performed by Dylan on this new album include, "Here Comes Santa Claus," "Winter Wonderland," "Little Drummer Boy" and "Must Be Santa."

All of Bob Dylan's U.S. royalties from sales of these recordings will be donated to Feeding America, guaranteeing that more than four million meals will be provided to more than 1.4 million people in need in this country during this year's holiday season. Bob Dylan is also donating all of his future U.S. royalties from this album to Feeding America in perpetuity.

Additionally, Bob Dylan is partnering with two international charities to provide meals during the holidays for millions in need in the United Kingdom and the developing world, and will be donating all of his future international royalties from Christmas In The Heart to those organizations in perpetuity. Details regarding the international partnerships will be announced next week.

Bob Dylan commented, "It's a tragedy that more than 35 million people in this country alone -- 12 million of those children -- often go to bed hungry and wake up each morning unsure of where their next meal is coming from. I join the good people of Feeding America in the hope that our efforts can bring some food security to people in need during this holiday season."

Your friends at Columbia Records

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

New comics Aug. 26, 2009: Batman and Robin! Eclipso! Fantastic Four! More!

Items of interest in shops this week. Click the title links to order discounted books and action figures from Amazon.

BATMAN AND ROBIN #3 Grant Morrison's new Batseries is still gathering steam. I like the characterizations of this Dynamic Duo and their dialogue, but the plot and villains--the gross-out Professor Pyg and the Circus of Strange--of this first arc haven't really captured my interest. We know little about their backgrounds and motivations--they just seem like run-of-the-mill funnybook villains. And if you're gonna do a good Batman comic, you've got to have great villains. We'll see where it goes from here.

BATMAN THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #8 BILLY BATSON AND THE MAGIC OF SHAZAM #7 DC's two best kiddie comics. Lots of fun, imagination and energy in these titles

GOLDEN AGE FLASH 1/6 SCALE FIGURE I've always loved his helmet.

Another batch of nice, George Perez-based figures.

SHOWCASE PRESENTS ECLIPSO A big black-and-white collection focusing on DC's great anti-hero. Collects HOUSE OF SECRETS #61-80 with nice work by Bob Haney, Lee Elias, Alex Toth, Jack Sparling and Bernard Baily.

WEDNESDAY COMICS #8 Another ish of DC's enjoyable tabloid-size anthology.

FANTASTIC FOUR #570 Writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Dale Eaglesham take over as the book's new creative team. I love the FF, but haven't read it in years. I may give it a try. Nice cover by the great Alan Davis. But the short-sleeve uniforms have got to go.

MARVEL MASTERWORKS INCREDIBLE HULK VOL. 1 TP The first Hulk stories in a nice, color paperback collection. Collects THE INCREDIBLE HULK #1-6 with work by a trio of young guys named Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko.

Video find: The Byrds with Earl Scruggs

Pop links: Superman supports universal health care! Jim Aparo! Jim Maneely! Mojo covers Abbey Road! More!

And now a word from Superman on health care reform.


Here's some nice newspaper strip work by the great Jim Aparo. I agree with Steve, Aparo was one of the greats. And he's one of my all-time favorite Batman artists.


And how about a couple of vintage tales illustrated by the fabulous Jim Maneely?


The always Beatles-friendly UK mag Mojo celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Abbey Road LP with an exclusive Paul McCartney interview, news on Beatles: Rock Band, the Beatles catalog remasters and more, plus a CD featuring various folks covering Abbey Road in full.


From Funky Junk Trunk: "Ready Steady Go" presenter and the Rolling Stones' Brian Jones mime Sonny and Cher's "I Got You Babe." Truly odd.


Actor Levar Burton will voice Black Lightning in an upcoming direct-to-DVD Superman/Batman feature from DC Comics.

Monday, August 24, 2009

CD new releases: Willie! Arctic Monkeys! Fogerty! Danko! Mama Cass! Wood Guthrie! Cheap Trick! Paul Revere and the Raiders! More!

New releases of note this week. Click the links to order discounted CDs from Amazon.

American Classic by Willie Nelson

Humbug by Arctic Monkeys

Ellipse by Imogen Heap

The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again by John Fogerty

Sgt. Pepper Live by Cheap Trick

Time Flies When You're Having Fun by Smokey Robinson

My Dusty Road by Woody Guthrie

Cass Elliot/ The Road Is No Place For A Lady by Cass Elliot

Live at the Folklore Center, NYC: March 6th, 1967 by Tim Buckley

Kitty Daisy & Lewis by Daisy and Lewis Kitty

Live at O'Toole's Tavern, Scranton, PA, December 1985 by Rick Danko & Richard Manuel

Live at Dylan's Cafe, Washington D.C., December 1987 by Rick Danko

Black River Killer by Blitzen Trapper

Hungry for Kicks: Singles & Choice Cuts 1965-69 by Paul Revere & The Raiders

Me About You/ To Be Free by Jackie DeShannon

DVD new releases Aug. 25, 2009: Smallville 8! Adventureland! Untouchables! Here's Lucy! Cheap Trick does Pepper! Wanted Dead or Alive! Billy Jack!

New releases of note this week. If any of these items are of interest to you, please consider clicking the titles and ordering them from Amazon, as part of the proceeds help support this site!

Smallville: The Complete Eighth Season


The Untouchables - Season Three, Vol. 1

Here's Lucy: Season One

Sgt. Pepper Live ~ Cheap Trick

Wanted Dead or Alive: The Complete Series

The Adventures of Robin Hood: The Complete Series

The Complete Billy Jack Collection (Born Losers/Billy Jack/The Trial of Billy Jack/Billy Jack Goes to Washington)

Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Vol. 1

Upcoming Disney Comics collections from Boom! Studios

Along with a batch of new monthly comic book titles, Boom! Studios is exercising it's license to produce Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse comics with a number of upcoming collections featuring classic and more recent Disney comics material. Here's a look at all the info I've been able to find to date. Click the title links to pre-order discounted books from Amazon.

Walt Disney's Christmas Classics Vol.1
128 pages, Nov. 3, 2009
Don't be a Scrooge McDuck this Christmas season! It's the perfect present! BOOM! Kids has raided the Disney publishing archives and searched every nook and cranny this Christmas season to find the best and the greatest stories from Disney's vast comic book publishing history for this "best of" compilation -- Disney's universally appealing characters starring in stories written and drawn by creators who are legends in the field! A timeless classic from the world's most iconic characters that should be on every shelf, Walt Disney's Christmas Classics are an essential this holiday season for family fun! Featuring artists such as Carl Barks, Walt Kelly, Floyd Gottfredson, Daan Jippes and legions more!

Walt Disney's Valentine's Classics Vol. 1
128 pages, Jan. 19, 2010
Love stories from the world's most famous couples -- Mickey and Minnie and Donald and Daisy -- in some of the greatest (and most painful) romances ever told! Romantic, suave, debonair- all these words and more have never been used to describe Donald Duck! Check out how many humiliating ways he can ruin a nice night out with Daisy! Mickey has better luck, but he's a hopeless romantic at heart, and everyone knows that's nothing but trouble... Featuring the industry's greatest all-time talents like Carl Barks, Walt Kelly, Daan Jippes, and more on the world's most well-known characters!

The Life & Times Of Scrooge McDuck: Volume 1
By Don Rosa
112 pages, February 2, 2010

Donald Duck Classics: Quack Up
112 pages, March 2, 2010

Wizards Of Mickey: Mouse Magic
112 pages, March 2, 2010

Mickey Mouse Classics: Mouse Tails
112 pages, February 2, 2010

The Life & Times Of Scrooge McDuck: Volume 2
112 pages, April 6, 2010
By Don Rosa

Mickey's Hero Squad
112 pages, April 6, 2010

Mickey Mouse Classics: Mouse Mayhem
112 pages, May 4, 2010

Donald Duck and Friends: Double Duck
112 pages, May 4, 2010

Wolfman movie pics

Here are some images from "The Wolfman," starring Benicio Del Toro, Emily Blunt and Sir Anthony Hopkins.