Archive for the ‘Frank Quitely’ Category

jup[iterSOUNDTRACK: BUILT TO SPILL-The Normal Years (1996).

btsnormalIn 1996, Built to Spill signed with a major label.  In the meantime, K Records, released this collection of early singles and rarities (not bad for a band with two albums out).

It’s not a bad collection, but it’s also not terribly essential.”So & So So & So from Wherever Wherever” is a very good song, with a weird almost seasick guitar intro and then some big heavy guitars in the chorus.  It, like most of the songs here, is pretty lo-fi.

“Shortcut” is a fast and simple song and is only 90 seconds long.  “Car” is the original version of the song from Love.  This one has no strings and is “Some Things Last a Long Time” is a Daniel Johnston song.  It opens slow with “ah ah” backing vocals and slow guitars although at 90 seconds the guitars kick in and pick up the noise.

“Girl” is done on an acoustic guitar song.  It seems very honest and confessional with the lyric that he would like “someone I can talk to; someone I don’t have to talk to.”

“Joyride” is like the opposite of “Girl.”  It’s probably my favorite song here–sloppy and funny, with a great line: “I screwed her and she screwed me but we never once had sex.”  And the whole second verse talks about the structure of the song, including which chords are being played.  It even includes a car crash.   “Some” is a live recording that opens with slow pounding drums and a long solo to start.  It mellows out by the end.

“Sick & Wrong” is an early single with a surprisingly funky bassline.  “Still Flat” comes from the Red Hot & Bothered collection, so it sounds better recorded than the other songs.  It also has a trombone.  The final song, “”Terrible/Perfect” starts slow but builds big and ends with a long mellow instrumental section.

While there are certainly some good songs here, it’s really for the die hard fan.

[READ: September 29, 2015] Jupiter’s Legacy

Jupiter’s Legacy Book One collects books 1-5 of the Jupiter’s Legacy series.

I didn’t love the artwork of this story.  There was something about it that I found disagreeable.  And it made my initial impression of the story less than great, too.  There is a bunch happening all at once that needs to be unpacked and I was a little distracted by the art.

But the story is so good.  It takes ideas that have been bandied about recently–What do superheroes do if there are no more super villains?  What do the children of superheroes do?  And what would happen if superpowers become illegal–and adds a personal drama (and a very elliptical storytelling style).

The story opens in 1932.  A group of people are requesting transportation to an island which the ship’s captain says simply isn’t there.  The leader, Sheldon, has had a dream about it being there and everyone (including his brother William) trusts his visions completely.  And they do find the island just as Sheldon imagined.

Then we flash forward to 2013.  We see two young people who look a bit like the earlier men and women.  It turns out that they are the son and daughter of the 1932 folks.  They are celebrities living in Los Angeles, and they looks somewhat the worse for wear.  Meanwhile in Vermont actual superheroes are battling Blackstar.  And that’s when we see Sheldon is one of those superheroes.  He has gray hair but, well, he’s a superhero–in tights a cape and he is known as Utopian.  He is super string and has a cool ability of removing a person’s mind from their body and putting it in a safe place while that person’s body is getting pummeled.  This prevents them from fighting back. (more…)

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