Archive for May 31, 2003

Is there a just and loving God?

May 31, 2003

Well, I’ll just say that I just watched Cybill Shepherd, as Martha Stewart, put on a conical hat and act like a quote little magic gnome unquote in an effort to seduce Tim Matheson. You tell me, folks. You tell me.

Alt Text Fun

May 31, 2003

See the little fish up there near the top of the page? Hold your little mouse cursor thing over it. See? Isn’t that funny? Hat tip to Chris Onstad for letting us rip him off inspiration.

Made of this?

May 31, 2003

Except he’s not cool, and not funny, and can’t sing, and he’d play a lousy cowboy, and the best he can do for a Frank Sinatra equivalent is Justin Timberlake. But yeah, other than that, exactly like Dean Martin.

Listen, I’m glad they publish Hitchens on a regular basis, but someone at Slate needs to put a stop to that kind of malarkey.

Now it’s dark

May 31, 2003

As my friends and family can readily attest, I am so far ahead of my time. But even though I’ve been drinkin’ PBR since well before the last millenium, I’ve still got to give credit to a) My father-in-law and b) Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet. (I feel much the same way about Heiniken as he does, too.)

Yes yes, not of California

May 30, 2003

Hey, I enjoy the San Diego Comic-Con as much as the next nerd, but this –well, it made me glad I read through an issue of Spin (where I first saw it mentioned), which is saying something. Too bad it conflicts with my regularly scheduled geek activities.

John Entwistle was wrong

May 30, 2003

My wife is awesome for many reasons, one of which is her amazing ability to get me to like good music I should have liked in the first place. Back when I was in college she labored for literally months to get me to listen to Radiohead’s OK Computer, a thankless task until I finallly heard the first notes of “Airbag” and began a three-week jag of listening to that album and that album alone 24 hours a day. More recently, she got me into Interpol after I had written them off as trendy rip-off artists (they’re neither) and Queens of the Stone Age’s Songs for the Deaf after I’d written it off as spotty and dull (it achieves what Alvy Singer might call “maximum heaviosity”).

Her latest stroke of genius is reintroducing me to Tori Amos’s latest, Scarlet’s Walk. When I was in high school I got into Tori right around the same time I got into Pantera, and for the same reason: Trent Reznor liked them both. I loved Tori’s first three albums, and still do: they’re haunting, beautiful and brutal. But she started to lose me on the producery From the Choirgirl Hotel, and she shook me entirely with the double-disc To Venus and Back (the first disc of which seemed like a fairly spectacular failure to become Bjork and the second of which, a live performance, seemed unenjoyable unless you’re part of the hermetically-sealed world of Toriphiles, aka Ears with Feet (don’t ask)). At that point, I kinda preferred to make believe that she had lost weight and recorded two great records under the name “Fiona Apple.”

But Tori’s covers album, Strange Little Girls, was a return to form: the arrangements were sparse, tense and genuinely creative, with the usual riveting guitar work by King Crimson/Bowie/NIN axeman Adrian Belew and fascinating versions of songs from “Enjoy the Silence” to “I’m Not in Love” to “Heart of Gold.” Scarlet’s Walk follows in that project’s footsteps, with tons more attention to songcraft, allowing her vocals and piano to go unsmothered by electronic noodlings. It’s a long album without a weak track in which each song serves a different and vital purpose. My favorites, “Crazy” and “Your Cloud” (as well as the wonderful single “A Sorta Fairytale”) are as different from each other as they are from every other song on the album. Much has been made of the whole “It’s Tori’s take on post-9/11 America,” but it’s Tori’s take on her own voice, instrument and relationships that make it great.

So thanks, Ferg, for doing what you usually do: pointing out all the wonderful things I overlook.

Chorus: Awwwwww.

One Nine Six Eight Hancock, Charlie!

May 30, 2003

Apologies to anyone who came to see this blog and wasn’t even able to access the page. The server that alltooflat is located on goes down more often than Linda Lovelace writing about the Titanic on Blogspot. (That worked on so many levels. Damn, I’m good.)

Immovable Object/Unstoppable Force

May 30, 2003

Not sure how much either gentleman would appreciate being compared to the Blob and the Juggernaut, but basically you can’t go wrong with a Frank Miller interview conducted by Gary Groth. (It’ll only be up for a month or so, so now’s the time.) (This concludes Fantagraphics Suck-Up Week at Seanieblog.)

Technicality, or: The Kessel Run

May 30, 2003

Permalinks pending. As are archives, and the ability to see more than the last handful of posts, and timestamps, and links from the other relevant parts of AllTooFlat.com, and the overall ability to view the page at will without the dumb server melting down. Master programmer Kennyb has been hindered by our fricking CONSTANT server problems, but I have faith in his handiwork. Y’hear me, baby? Hold together.

Did I say I wasn’t going to be writing long reviews?

May 30, 2003

Clearly, I lied.

Words of Welcome

May 29, 2003

So, Seanieblog. Hello, everyone, and welcome to my new home on the web.

If you’re reading this you’re probably familiar with some of my previous efforts to maintain a literary presence on the Internet, such as In the Court of the Crisco Bandit (deader’n Elvis) and All Too Factual (still alive, believe it or not–not unlike Bob Hope or the United Nations). Both of these jaunts into webwriting were/are delightful in some ways but frustrating in others, largely due to the formality of the writing I did for them.

The Court of the Crisco Bandit featured lengthy diatribes about politics and pop culture. This was fun, but more than a little redundant, as there are approximately 387 billion blogs that feature lengthy diatribes about politics and pop culture, most of whom (take Bill Sherman, just by way of a for instance) are a lot better and a lot more consistent than mine. Who needed another blog alternating posts on The War with posts on The White Stripes, you know? Plus, it got to the point where what I was writing was so long and, in my delusional opinion, so good, that I really felt I should be getting paid for it, and since I wasn’t and am easily embittered, I gave up. (I do get paid to write, though, honest!)

All Too Factual is something I’ll still be doing from time to time, and the other members of Team Too Flat have been contributing occasionally. It’s fun, but I quickly learned that writing a daily news parody without being repetitive or strident is next to impossible, as is finding something worth writing about every day. After three weeks of war with Iraq you just run out of moustache jokes. Beside, ScrappleFace has cornered the pro-war parody market and the Onion, I guess, is anti-war (I haven’t read it since it stopped being funny), so where did that leave me? (Answer: It left me cracking wise about Eminem and people who don’t use the men’s room properly.)

As I said, I write for a living, and after spending a day and trying to make interviews with WB stars interesting and doing things with superheroes that haven’t already been done, believe me, your creative energy is shot to shit. So if I was gonna give free-time webwriting another shot, it was gonna have to be fairly informal, the kinda deal where I could write about whatever I wanted for as long or as short as I wanted to and you’d all read it and be all “well, that was 30 seconds-2 minutes of my life I’ll never get back” and I’d be like “yeah WHATEVER.”

Fortunately, such sites already exist. My wife Amanda has two blogs, The Realm of the Ferg and the slightly saucier Lexapropriate Ramblings, that achieve an almost zen-like balance between formal brilliance and poop jokes. My longtime friend Kenneth Lance Bromberg has Autobiographically Too Flat, where on a semi-regular basis he runs down the quotidian details of his life, and despite this people read it. And of course there’s The Illustrious Jim Treacher, forced from the Occupied Territory of the Comics Journal Message Board, who has never let his lack of things to say prevent him from saying them on his blog, Mother, May I Sleep with Treacher? (You can find his golden oldies here.) My strategy: steal from these people.

So that’s Seanieblog: a forum where I’m going to post any damn thing I want. I’m going to try and stay away from extended political rants, because a) I’m as tired of my extended political rants as you are and b) I enjoy being called a Fox News watcher due to my pro-war stance so much that I want to keep the times I’ve been called it already special, you know? And like I said I’ll probably steer clear of traditional review-type things, because quite frankly I bill at the rate of a buck a word for that stuff at this point, and you can’t afford me. But beyond that, anything goes. You might even end up seeing some good stuff I’ve written in the past–old reviews, comedy sketches, God only knows. I’m not gonna hold back. You know those tough broads you see on Law & Order sometimes who don’t hesitate to give Briscoe a piece of their minds? This blog will be exactly like that, except I don’t get to trade one-liners with Jerry Orbach. (Hey, if you’re reading this, Jerry, CALL ME!)

I do my part

May 29, 2003

In a move that surely has Tom Spurgeon spinning in his non-grave, Fantagraphics, publisher of some of the god’s-honest best comics in the whole world, has issued a plea for people to go to their website or call their number and buy their stuff. Their big graphic novel distributor has gone belly up and it’s caught up with them in a bad way. If you like comics at all, or even if you don’t (unlikely if you’re reading this blog, God knows), please go to their site, snoop around, and pitch in. (Hint: Buy Jimmy Corrigan.)

First Post!

May 28, 2003

This is the first Seanieblog post! So huge!