October 29, 2014

Rancid has a new album out! Spinning "Honor is All we Know"

It has been, what, six years since Tim and company released something under the Rancid banner. I've been a fan for going on 20 years now, and  I have been eagerly awaiting the release. I have been waiting since Branden was talking on twitter about going back into the studio in 2013.  Amazon had it as scheduled for earlier in the year and then they cancelled it. I had it preordered in like April.

I listened to the first three songs and I liked them.

I then had it on my doorstep as I cam home on Monday. I put it on my turntable and listened to it through, flipping it and then the extra 7" that came with my preorder. As I sat there, I had sense of deja vu, where I was 16 again, walking through the summer streets feeling invincible. But there was a corner of sadness; that sixteen-year-old no longer exists. There are bills to be paid and chores that had to be done. I put the CD in my car, replacing the new Sick of It All that has been on permanent play for the last three weeks.

A new Rancid album is an event, and each song is to be treasured. The songs sound like Rancid songs. If you took this album and played it to that kid who first heard the ...Wolves tape when he was 12 and fell for the sound, he would recognize the sound, and Tim's voice and Matt's Bass. But there is something missing. The sneer of Journey to the East Bay is missing. There's a mellowness that pervades, even in the bouncy sing-alongs. Maybe Rancid's gotten older. I know I have. I like the album, but it's just not what I want it to be. I just don't know what that is. 

October 14, 2014

Bumperhead by Gilbert Hernandez: Bildungs-roman

This is an interesting coming of age story about a kid who doesn't seem happy until everything falls in around him. 

It's told in multipe parts -- boyhood, youth, early adulthood, and then later adulthood.
One thing gets me though, that threw me off and lessened my enjoyment. There is a character that we meet in the first part who has an iPad. They're kids so it seems like present day. Then it jumps to the same characters, and they're older, but it's like the early 70s. The kid still has the iPad. That was jarring. If I was more academic I might try to make something of it, but as a lay reader, it didn't work.


The Star Wars: Based on the original rough draft screenplay by George Lucas

I'm a fan of the series, but not a fan fan. That means it has been a while since I've seen the movie. It also means that my memory of it is sketchy. So when I was reading this, I was trying to match it up in my head with the movie, and then things kept getting further apart.

So here's the thing. It is a fun space-opera thing that has some similarities to a famous movie. It can be enjoyed as a stand-alone book. Or at least that was when I started enjoying it, right around the time I saw Han for the first time and just had to accept that some things were different.

It's worth a read.


Last Days of an Immortal: Haiku Review

The art's a little
but don't let that detract from
the story told here


Feynman by Ottaviani and Myrick

If you took the nonfiction collections of essays Feynman, wrote, and made a graphic novel out  of it, you get this book.

Two things though: There’s more of a narrative structure here, and there is less about drumming. I’m not sure if that hurts or helps the book,  but that we me coming in as a fan.