Saturday, August 11, 2007

The League too old to rock?

So last night Jason and I went to see Ween with a herd of folks. It was my first rock show in several years, and, if memory serves, the first since I saw Bowie in Phoenix.

One seriously weird phenomena I suffered in Phoenix was that I would buy tickets to shows and something either health, work or miscellaneous would come up and I couldn't go. I missed shows by Beck, The Pixies, the Walkmen, Willie Nelson and others in the span of the four years I was there. It was sort of incredible.

I started going to shows as early as middle school thanks to folks who appreciated leniency in such matters, and continued going to shows past the first year or so when we were married. But when we hit Phoenix, the sorts of folks we wanted to see tended to go through Tuscon rather than Phoenix, or would skip AZ all togther.

if you ever wonder who the heck are all the people buying Goo Goo Dolls and Blink 182 albums, look no further than Arizona and its love of Clearstream Communications.

Last night was hot and humid. The heat index for the afternoon downtown was around 107.

It was also my first visit to Stubbs as a venue. Somehow prior to my departure, I'd kind of skipped shows at Stubbs, which seems odd now.

I sort of assumed that once the sun went down, things would cool off and perhaps a breeze would kick in.

Ween hit the stage comfortably early for a dude like me who just put in a week's worth fo work and was sort of uncomfortable with the idea of a two hour set starting at 10:30. Fortunately, they came on before 8:30.

By 9:30, I began to seriously ponder the fact that so many people still actually smoke. In some ways, I'm completely shocked. With the constant barrage of ads and scientific info floating around out there, smoking has sort of become something I expect for folks to do if they're my age or older and seriously addicted or just plain ornery. But not having been a part of any nightlife scene in years, I had forgotten the category of person who "smokes when they drink".

And drinking folks were doing. In vast, vast quantities.

It did occur to me that when I would go to shows in my prior life, I would get very close to the front, and stand off to the side so as not to block anyone else's view with my height or width. So I may not have been aware of the other 3/4's of the crowd who was there to get goofy on overpriced beer and talk with their friends, let alone even have elbow room enough to light up a cigarette without causing themself or someone else some bodily injury.

I was anticipating Ween would play until 11:30 (they payed three hours on Thursday at their first show), and so when it was 10:00 and standing on a sloping incline for an hour and a half started to fatigue me a bit, I realized there's really nowhere to sit down at Stubb's. I paid 30 bucks to stand in a dirt lot.

Add in the sorority girls in front of me who had one dance, the "raise the roof" hip-hop dance, in their repertoire, which they employed no matter how fast or slow the song (which also meant I had to stand a few feet back lest their constant string of Marloboro's might catch my face), and I moved to the edge of the crowd.

I had probably 6 years, if not 10, on a lot of the crowd. I am feeling old. The wackiness that was wacky when I was 18, 20, 22 is all old hat now. You sort of hope the kids will bring something new to the table, but instead it felt a bit like time stands still in the yard at Stubbs. There will always be a new crop of college and post-college folks to fill in the gaps when I'm so used to sitting at a computer all day that my legs start to hurt after standing around for two hours. Their lungs are pink and fresh and their stomachs don't turn as the dork in the ironic beard next to them blows smoke in their face.

It's not that Ween didn't put on a good show (although The League has never been a fan of solo'ing outside of jazz shows, and there was more than enough noodling at the Ween show). It was the realization that I left Austin at one age and came back at another, and I'm old and beat up now. I'm not cut out for standing in suffocating heat in a cloud of smoke anymore. I can't ignore the shooting pains in my legs from standing on a hill in one position for a few hours.

Is The League too old to rock?

Well, we've got ACL Fest passes for three days in the grueling Texas sun to figure that one out.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Opting for sleep

My blogging has been rotten of late. I apologize, sort of.

I just decided that, last night, I needed some sleep after pitching a fit because neither Jamie nor Jason would go to Target with me to buy $10 sunglasses. Granted, I needed sunglasses, but my reaction was greatly out of proportion to the very reasonable arguments for not going put before me.

Anyhow, I was sort of punchy while I was there, bought the wrong dogfood, bought some fairly cheesy 80's-looking sunglasses, came home, watched the Colbert report, read some Jimmy Olsen and then went to bed. I pondered blogging, but it didn't happen.

Going to see Ween tonight at Stubbs. I'm sorta pumped as I've never had opportunity to see them before.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

comic post

Today was once again new comic day, as it is so often on Wednesdays.

The highlight of my DC selections this week is Green Lantern. There's a great story going on here called the Sinestro War, which is tying together elements from decades of DC Comics (but doesn't necessarily require a masters in DCU), while adding in new elements. It's just an absolutely huge story, and is infinitely better scoped and written than the ultra-dull Amazons Attack! in Wonder Woman and in its own limited series.

Countdown is rapidly becoming a huge disappointment. I'm beginning to wish the Jimmy Olsen storyline were just a back-up feature in Superman and/ or Action Comics.

Over at Marvel, I've picked up recent issues of Spider-Man, Hulk, World War Hulk, Thor and a few other titles. (Hey, Thor just moved to Oklahoma! Who knew?)

By and large, I think DC is having some serious problems with editorial driving things and rewarding Dan Didio loyalist writers with work they aren't qualified for. It's certainly harming Countdown as whatever scheme Dini is putting together keeps getting mired down in glacial pacing, clumsy dialog and the now grim reminder on the cover of each issue how many more weeks of this we're putting up with.

Further, the limited series tying into other editorial mismanagement, such as the Green Arrow/ Black Canary wedding stuff is leading into half-baked limited series.

I'm caught in a bit of a pickle as I'm the resident DC reviewer for Comic Fodder, and, right now, I'm about ready to give up on a whole bunch of DC. But I'm just tired of shelling out money for comics written by guys who don't deliver and seem to be responsible for huge portions of DC's output.

Meanwhile, guys like Morrison and Mark Waid have kind of disappeared to the sidelines, when DC should really be putting these guys front and center as the controlling factor in the DC Universe. Fortunately, Geoff Johns seems to have no problem maintaining his high profile, and is doing good thinsg with the GL Corps (with Dave Gibbons and Patrick Gleason making GL Corps a solid book).

Right now, though, I'd be putting my money on Marvel. World War Hulk is idiot simple with high concept, and seems to be delaying some ctastrophic event, but at least its interesting. Thor is just out there enough that even a guy like me who could usually give a flip about Thor is picking it up.

Spidey... well, we'll see. I'm just so curious about where this is going that that I really, really hope they don't totally drop the ball on me.

FF is okay, too. But I dig Black Panther. I'm not as crazy about the depiction of Storm, but I haven't been okay with Storm since she gave up the mohawk and leathers. Those were the days.

Overall, the Superman books are better than anything during the Berganza run, aside from maybe the initial No Limits stuff and parts of Our Worlds at War. Actually, no... this stuff is still mostly better.

Batman and Detective, wen not waiting through a fill-in artist, are both really sound Batman books.

And, personally, i've been really digging JLA and JSA, as well as their respective "Classified" sister series.

If anyone feels like going comic shopping, let me know. We may want to just save up for the big Labor Day blow-out at Austin Books.

All you back issues of Jimmy Olsen will be mine! MINE!!!!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Randy takes it up a notch

Hey, Leaguers. You might notice that Randy is listed as a "host" on the site.

Randy is trying for round 2 of Operation: Domain Name.

This February I spent a few bucks buying a domain name from Randy tried to get it to work then and failed. Just totally, simply, utterly failed.

I kid. I don't recall what happened, but it was one of those "well, why would Blogger do THAT?" sort of moments. Anyhoo, this week he got a bee in his bonnet about the domain again and he's taking a whack at getting that domain up and running again. Go, Randy.

Hope ya'll are having a good day.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

New DC Animated Projects

I don't know how many of you have read DC's series "New Frontier". I'm a huge fan of the series, and don't think it's really gotten the appreciation it deserves, especially in comic geek circles. It's one of my favorite DC projects of the past ten years or so, and I sort of think it's what they should probably do if they ever want to make a JLA movie.

Anyhow, they went ahead and made a feature film of "New Frontier". It just happens to be animated. Luckily, it's animated by Bruce Timm's folks, with input directly from Darwyn Cooke.

Check out this promo video:

Also, here's a look at the new season of Batman on Kids' WB. Superman, Lois and Jimmy will be playing a part for at least a few episodes.

And, here's a promo for Season 2 of Legion of Super-Heroes. My understanding is that there are two Supermen this season. One is the one you know, the other is a clone from the 41st Century, I believe.

I also think Legion has a great theme song. But that's just me.

Hey, Leaguers.

Well, it's been a magical weekend here at League HQ.

Friday at work got seriously Twilight Zone weird at the end. I'll be curious to see how that pans out. When it does, I will re-cap here. We either had some serious corporate espionage, or else my boss was pulling an elaborate hoax for reasons I cannot begin to fathom.

Friday night Jamie and I stayed home and relaxed. I watched "Elvira's Haunted Hills", which was extremely silly. But, as a completionist of sorts, I felt I had to see it. And, hey... it featured Richard O'Brien, too.

Saturday was pretty good. We met up with Jason to go see "The Simpsons Movie". If you were ever a Simpsons fan, its definitely worth catching the movie and seeing the characters back in classic form rather than the by-the-numbers, often saccharine stuff you see on the show these days.

I popped by Matt's new place (in the same place he was living, but in a new unit, and now he actually owns it as a condo), and visited with he and Nicole. After popping by Austin Books seeking a comic that has not yet been released (no worries, I still found some stuff) we wound up at Nicole's last night for some drinks. May the League recommend: Not trying Mike's Hard Lemonade: Mike-a-rita's. Unless you really like the taste of cheap margarita mix, the Mike-a-rita's might be worth skipping.

Today Jason came over for breakfast, and then we headed down to Gus Fruh swimming hole. Man, had I remembered some suntan lotion and lunch, we certainly could have stuck it out a lot longer. It was very nice down there, and Lucy was having fun. Until she got tired. Then she was crying a lot. She's actually dead asleep on my foot right now.

I've long been a fan of a good swimming hole, and today was lovely. Sun, wind, water with a slow current. Dogs, good folks, and no cops to hassle us about our lack of respect for leash laws.

Jamie is now tired, the dogs are tired. It's been a good weekend. Hope yours was swell.