Monday, April 07, 2008

CD new releases April 8, 2008

B0014DBZT2 Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! By Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Buy New: $9.99

B0013FCYGE Boo! By Was (Not Was)
Buy New: $13.99

B0013P6TK6 Colin Meloy Sings Live!
Buy New: $12.97

B0014I4KNU Because Her Beauty Is Raw & Wild By Jonathan Richman
Buy New: $16.98

B00110YOEQ Inside Folk Songs By Shel Silverstein
Buy New: $14.99

B00110YOEG Hairy Jazz By Shel Silverstein
Buy New: $17.98

B0013XZNA0 The Impulse! Albums, Vol. 2 By John Coltrane
Buy New: $39.97

B0012CJM8Q To Sir with Love/It's Lulu By Lulu
Buy New: $19.98

DVD new releases April 8, 2008

B00104QSOM There Will Be Blood
Buy New: $22.99

B0012IWO0I The Water Horse - Legend of the Deep
Buy New: $18.99

B0011FDVEK Classic Musicals from the Dream Factory, Vol. 3
Buy New: $48.99

B0012EM5F6 Perry Mason 50th Anniversary Edition
Buy New: $34.99

B0012KSUTK Bette Davis Centenary Celebration Collection
Buy New: $36.99

B0012OSGJK Houdini
Buy New: $29.99

B0012EBV9C Mythbusters - Collection 3
Buy New: $22.49

B0012KSUTU All About Eve
Buy New: $14.99

New and upcoming books of interest to pop culture fans

Click titles to order books from Amazon.

Fear Of Music: The 261 Greatest Albums Since Punk and Disco
If there had been a music book of the year award in 2002, Garry Mulholland’s This is Uncool: The Greatest 500 Singles Since Punk and Disco would have walked away with the honors. Not only did it receive impressive reviews, but Mulholland simply has the knack of writing about music with such clarity that you can practically hear the song playing in your head. With his newest guide, he moves on from the single to the album format and produces an equally fantastic volume. Fans will be thrilled to discover that Fear of Music features all the witty, irreverent, and insightful criticism they expect from Mulholland. He takes on classics from the last 30 years by everyone from Iggy Pop (The Idiot), Television (Marquee Moon), and David Bowie (Heroes) through the Rolling Stones (Some Girls), Eminem (The Marshall Mathers LP), Madonna (The Immaculate Collection), Outkast (Speakerboxx/The Love Below), and The Prodigy (Music for the Jilted Generation). Of course The Talking Heads, whose Fear of Music gave the book its name, are here too. It’s the perfect gift for everyone who loves popular music, and readers will have a blast debating the selection.

The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion
Quite simply, the greatest albums of all time—and how they happened. The smartest, most keyed-in music critics from London’s best rock magazine provide opinionated, funny, insightful portraits of the best pop music records ever made. Redesigned and updated to include the most recent releases, and with a new section of artists contributing their top-five albums of all time. Informative, gossipy, and wide ranging, The MOJO Collection is an essential purchase for those who love and live music.

Beatles for Sale: How Everything They Touched Turned to Gold
Beatles for Sale is a brand new way of looking at a story you may think you know inside out. Author John Blaney shows for the first time how the group and their inner circle invented so much of what we now recognize as the modern business of making and selling rock music. This was certainly not because Lennon, McCartney, Epstein, and the rest had a clear vision of the way things ought to be. Very often it was simply down to making things up as they went along - because no one had been there before and no one knew how to do these things. The book details the ups and downs of the group as they promoted, advertised, and sold records, played concerts, sold merchandise, made films, and set up publishing and record companies of their own. It is a story of naivety and greed, inexperience and luck, gullibility and ingenuity. It is the story of every aspect of how the Beatles made money - and how virtually every group since then has followed in their footsteps.

Rock 'N' Roll 39-59
Snare drum backbeat plus electric guitar: the simple formula that launched the rock star, and contemporary teen culture along with it. Today rock 'n' roll seems to define postwar American culture, especially in its impact abroad. Though its inception is often imagined as sudden and seismic, it was of course a gradual and complex transition from boogie-woogie to the stardom of Elvis Presley and Bill Haley. A thorough survey of rock 'n' roll's bloodline would even reach back as far as 1939, a time when the electric guitar's role was mostly played by piano or saxophone. Rock 'n' Roll 39-59 does this, with the assistance of some of the genre's finest photographers. Bruce Davidson, Wayne Miller, Robert W. Kelley, Esther Bubley, Eve Arnold and Ernest C. Withers are all here, amid a wealth of visual props, including priceless period posters, records, rare souvenirs, photographs and film stills, and indices of the movement's key venues, events, artists, producers and people. This book describes a lively mess of genres, from boogie-woogie to blues, gospel, big band jazz, country and most of all rhythm and blues--interbreeding against a backdrop of colossal social change, and culminating in the rock 'n' roll explosion of the mid-1950s.

Simpsonology: There's a Little Bit of Springfield in All of Us
In this amusing and informative appreciation of The Simpsons, sociologist Tim Delaney looks at the many ways America's longest-running sitcom and animated TV program reflects American culture. For more than fifteen years, the Simpsons have touched upon nearly every aspect of the American social scene--from family dynamics and social mores to local customs and national institutions. With over four hundred episodes aired so far, Delaney finds a goldmine of insights couched in parody on any number of perennial topics:

· On television's influence on American culture, Krusty the Clown says, "Would it really be worth living in a world without television? I think the survivors would envy the dead."

· On New Age religion, Homer says, "To think, I turned to a cult for mindless happiness when I had beer all along."

· On the thorny issue of gun ownership and home security, Homer purchases a pistol at "Bloodbath and Beyond" and then tells Marge, "I don't have to be careful, I got a gun."

· On the theme of community spirit, Bart thoughtlessly signs up with a local Boy Scout troop while on a sugar rush from eating a "Super-Squishee." The next day he realizes what he has done: "Oh, no. I joined the Junior Campers!" To which his sister, Lisa, responds: "The few, the proud, the geeky."

Delaney finds many more episodes relevant to major sociological issues such as environmentalism, feminism, romance and marriage, politics, education, health, aging, and more. Students of popular culture and laypersons alike will learn basic sociological concepts and theories in a refreshing, jargon-free work that offers plenty of entertainment.

A Complete History of American Comic Books
This book is an updated history of the American comic book by an industry insider. You’ll follow the development of comics from the first appearance of the comic book format in the Platinum Age of the 1930s to the creation of the superhero genre in the Golden Age, to the current period, where comics flourish as graphic novels and blockbuster movies. Along the way you will meet the hustlers, hucksters, hacks, and visionaries who made the American comic book what it is today. It’s an exciting journey, filled with mutants, changelings, atomized scientists, gamma-ray accidents, and supernaturally empowered heroes and villains who challenge the imagination and spark the secret identities lurking within us.

From the Back Cover
"One part history and one part how-to add up to a book that really puts the ‘Pow’ back into comics." —Joe Quesada, Editor-in-Chief, Marvel Comics

"Shirrel Rhoades reflects on his journey through the world of comics as a reader, collector, and executive, offering a very personal perspective on a unique American art form and industry." —Paul Levitz, President and Publisher of DC Comics

"It’s a rare treat to read a book on this peculiar medium by a man who knows it as well, from the inside, as Shirrel Rhoades—and a fast, fun, crystal-clear book it is." —Gerard Jones, Author of Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangster, and the Birth of the Comic Book

Teenage: The Prehistory of Youth Culture: 1875-1945
“The definitive history of youth in revolt, from the gaslight age to the dawn of rock.”
—David Fricke, Rolling Stone

“Compulsive reading . . . Teenage is a rich, rewarding book that makes an important contribution to cultural history.”
—Camille Paglia, The New York Times Book Review

“Resonant . . . Savage explores . . . [an] array of teenager types, from the wild, sensational precursors to juvenile delinquency to the straight-laced good-citizen proto-preppie. It’s Savage’s claim to being a great historian, and it’s mighty convincing.”
—The Onion

In his previous landmark book on youth culture and teen angst, the award-winning England’s Dreaming, Jon Savage presented the “definitive history of the English punk movement” (The New York Times). Now, in Teenage, he explores the secret prehistory of a phenomenon we thought we knew, in a monumental work of cultural investigative reporting. Beginning in 1875 and ending in 1945, when the term “teenage” became an integral part of popular culture, Savage draws widely on film, music, literature high and low, fashion, politics, and art and fuses popular culture and social history into a stunning chronicle of modern life.

Wacky Packages
Wacky Packages—a series of collectible stickers featuring parodies of consumer products and well-known brands and packaging—were first produced by the Topps company in 1967, then revived in 1973 for a highly successful run. In fact, for the first two years they were published, Wacky Packages were the only Topps product to achieve higher sales than their flagship line of baseball cards. The series has been relaunched several times over the years, most recently to great success in 2007.

Known affectionately among collectors as “Wacky Packs,” as a creative force with artist Art Spiegelman, the stickers were illustrated by such notable comics artists as Kim Deitch, , Bill Griffith, Jay Lynch, and Norm Saunders.

This first-ever collection of Series One through Series Seven (from 1973 and 1974) celebrates the 35th anniversary of Wacky Packages and is sure to amuse collectors and fans young and old.

Working with Walt: Interviews With Disney Artists
Walt Disney created or supervised the creation of live-action films, television specials, documentaries, toys, merchandise, comic books, and theme parks. His vision, however, manifested itself first and foremost in his animated shorts and feature-length cartoons, which are loved by millions around the world.

Working with Walt: Interviews with Disney Artists collects revealing conversations with animators, voice actors, and designers who worked extensively with Disney during the heyday of his animation studio. The book includes fifteen interviews with artists who directed segments of such classic animated features as Dumbo and Fantasia. Some interviewed were part of Disney's famed team dubbed "The Nine Old Men of Animation," and some worked closely with Disney on Steamboat Willie, his first cartoon with sound.

Among the subjects the interviewees discuss are the studio's working environment, the high-water mark of animation during Hollywood's Golden Age, and Disney's mixture of childlike charm and hard-nosed business drive. Through these voices, Don Peri preserves an account of the Disney magic from those who worked closely with him.

Radio Drama: A Comprehensive Chronicle of American Network Programs, 1932-1962
Grams (CBS Radio Mystery Theater) has unearthed a mother lode of information about old-time radio. Over 300 programs are alphabetically arranged by title, not just drama and genre programs but documentaries, variety shows, and musical comedies. The titles of individual episodes are listed with air dates and cast members. Directors, producers, writers, and musical personnel are credited, and meticulous care is given to title changes, sponsor, and the day and time of broadcast. Sometimes, though, attention to minutiae obscures more important facts. The entry on The Return of Nick Carter, for instance, notes that the first two episodes were called Nick Carter, Master Detective but neglects to mention that after a three-year run the program used this title again for another eight years. Better use of cross references (only one now appears) would help clarify connections among various programs. Also, some popular shows are inexplicably omitted, notably Little Orphan Annie, The Lone Ranger, and The Shadow, and the 39-page three-column index gives ample access to the people involved but doesn't refer to program titles, sponsors, or networks.

Captain Kirk's Guide to Women
Casanova, Don Juan, James Bond -- these are men of legendary romance, but only one man can boast that his seductive powers take him boldly where no man has gone before: James T. Kirk.

Captain Kirk's status as an interstellar stud is proven by his ability to seduce any woman, in any situation, in any part of the galaxy. From high-society princesses to unbalanced Orion slave girls, from gender-switching shape-shifters to emotion-deprived androids -- they all swoon, acquiesce, and malfunction from just one kiss.

But a single question remains in the minds of millions: How does he do it?

Captain Kirk's Guide to Women is the first book to answer this question by probing deeply into Kirk's character, charisma, and seductive techniques, making it possible for any man to model himself after the Casanova of the Cosmos. It is also the only warp-powered romance manual written with enough wit, charm, and humor to help the female of the species make first contact.

Employing meticulous research, along with fanatic-level detail and the kind of pointy-eared logic even a Vulcan would find fascinating, Captain Kirk's Guide to Women shows you how to be as effective as Captain Kirk.

Pop links

Fred Hembeck has some great new 'toons up for auction. Click to see: All New X-Men, Kirby Kreeps, The Inhumans, Movie Monsters.


The Edgar Allan Poe-fest continues at Golden Age Comic Book Stories, with "The Tell-Tale" heart adapted by Archie Goodwin and Reed Crandall (part one, part two) and "The Raven" adapted by Richard Corben (part one, part two).


Word has it Amy Winehouse will be doing the theme for the new James Bond flick.


Mike Sterling humorously and brilliantly displays how Marvel Comics has completely lost the plot.

New Get Smart movie pictures

Will this movie be bad? Most likely. Am I rooting for it anyway on the basis of inspired casting? Yes I am.

Here are some fresh pics of Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway as Maxwell Smart and Agent 99.




Star Wars: The Clone Wars pictures

Here are some new images from the upcoming "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" CGI-animated film, which opens next summer to be followed by a series on the Cartoon Network.




New Batman 'toon present kid-friendly Crusader

Mike Manley, character designer for the Cartoon Network's upcoming "Batman: Brave and the Bold" series talks about the new show's approach to Batman, and offers up a pretty apt assessment of today's comic book fanbase.

One of the things I enjoy about this new Batman cartoon is the fact we are going back to a kinder, friendlier Batman. A Dick Sprang version, which is the guiding design principle we are working from and there still is a slight echo of the BT [Bruce Timm] styling, which is a nice break from the grim and gritty. Let's face it, these cartoons are for children, young children 5-10,12 years old. Cereal eating, fruit rollup snacking, toy buying kids, not 30-something, 40-something bitter bee babymen who want these characters in adult situations.

The message boards are already full of babymen angst about the show, how they hate the art, the idea of a kid friendly Batman and I have to just laugh at the ridiculous comments. IMO one of the biggest reasons comics suck ass and have since the 80's is the rise and overtaking of the biz by the Babyman fan and the loss of kids reading comics as a hobby. Now we are stuck with an aging fanbase with limited taste, long memories, a twisted taste where the comic heroes have to be dark, gritty, sexy, adult...REAL!

Me, I'm 40-something and aging all the time. But I don't want my heroes to get decrepit (and embittered) along with me. I remember being 10 and having a whole spinner rack of super-hero (and other types) of comic books available to me--all pretty much geared toward my age group.

I've got my own kids now and think it's downright weird that most super-hero comics today aren't appropriate for them.

A lighter, brighter Batman sounds great to me.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Pop links

Digital Spy shares a bunch of pics from the season 4 opener of "Doctor Who."



USA Today has several images from the next James Bond film "Quantum of Solace."



A monument to the Beatles will be erected in Mongolia.

In support of the initiative, Prime Minister S.Bayar attended Friday a news conference called on this matter. Saying that the Beatles launched a globalization process, Mr. Premier told that he has been listening the Beatles' sings for over 40 years.

Standing close to a guitar sculptures of four "Beatles" will be made of bronze. Songs of Beatles and of Mongolian groups and singers will sound all day through. Over MNT 100 million is required for this project.

Birds of Prey DVD details

This short-lived DC Comics-based series will be out on DVD July 15 (right before the new live-action Batman film hits movie screens).

Along with all 13 episodes, it'll include the animated, online "Gotham Girls" series. You can pre-order it now from Amazon.


Frank Miller's "Spirit" flick - big bunch of pics

Forty-some "green screen" images from Frank Miller's film based on Will Eisner's "The Spirit," starring Gabriel Macht, Samuel L. Jackson, Paz Vega, Scarlett Johanson, Eva Mendes and others have been posted here. The greens will be CGIed in afterwards, as was done with Miller's "Sin City" film.

As mentioned yesterday, I don't have great hopes for the film capturing the style and feel of Eisner's strip, given how much more the promo poster, etc., look way more like Miller's world than Eisner's, but some of these images do look Eisneresque (the goofy pic of the Spirit feeding those cats, the Spirit atop the chimney). If Miller can incorporate some humor into his grim'n'gritty noir, maybe the film will do an ok job. But, still...

We'll see.

P.S. The Spirit's suit needs to be blue. Going black was NOT a good move.












Thursday, April 03, 2008

Sin Ci..., I mean, Spirit movie posters unveiled!

I'm beginning to suspect (well, maybe not "beginning," since I kinda figured all along) that the Frank Miller-directed "Spirit" movie is gonna be a lot more about Frank Miller than Will Eisner.

This poster design doesn't strike me as Eisneresque in the least, but smacks entirely of Miller's artistic sensibilities. The images are part of the outdoor marketing campaign for the film.

I mean, if you're gonna do a movie based on "The Spirit," which had a look and design sense all its own, shouldn't you go with that?


Pop links

Golden Age Comic Book Stories posts another Archie Goodwin-penned Edgar Allan Poe adaptation. This time it's "Berenice" with art by the wonderful Jerry Grandenetti.



John Lennon and a very stoned Bob Dylan take a limousine spin in this YouTube video from the infamous unreleased Dylan docu flick, "Eat the Document."


The BBC's official "Doctor Who" site is sporting a new look, with lots of materials touting the show's upcoming fourth season.


Mail it To Team-Up presents a nice gallery of works by comics artist Jim Mooney, who passed away recently.