Here’s where I show off how little I know, and that I’m not as clever as I think I am.

Great News from Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel is really important in the music part of my life.

In 1986 he released “So”, an album that was met with a lot of derision from his hardest core fans, but also introduced him to a wider, more mainstream audience, such as myself.  “So” lead me to his other, darker, works and then to his part in Genesis (the original, cool progressive rock version).

Anyway, fast forward to 1993.  Gabriel had released “Up” and went on a tour.  I didn’t get to see the tour he did for “So” and when he brought the ‘Secret World Tour’ to Dallas I was about as excited as I’d ever been in my young life to see this concert.  I took my new girlfriend at the time and told her in an odd conversation how “important” this show was to me.  I remember her looking at me like I was extremely silly, and today I’m thankful despite all of that she ended up marrying me.

Also at that time I  was in the early stages of my radio career and had a part time gig at Q102, the Dallas heritage rock station and thru that I got two bitchin’ seats.  Seats I would in no way be able to otherwise afford.

The show turned out to be a revelation to me.  The two stages, connected with a bridge, the imagery and all of the visuals just blew my mind.  It wasnt just a concert.  It was a fully choreographed spectacle that leaned more towards what you would see at a Cirque du Soleil performance.  From the opening song “Please Talk To Me”, Gabriel appears in an English style phone booth, on the phone.  As he implores the person he’s talking with, he leaves the booth with the receiver in hand… The cord keeps extending with him as he walks away. Walking from one stage to the other, phone in hand, cord stretching along with him, it was a visual that is burned in my memory.  Later, he would reveal his own face from a mound in the self-realizing song, “Digging in the Dirt”,  the powerful performance of my personal favorite “Red Rain” and Paula Cole’s place in the very effecting and personal “Don’t Give Up” is actually better than Kate Bush’s original on the CD.

The reason I am telling you all of this is because Gabriel announced yesterday that “Secret World Live“, the Grammy Award winning film from 1994 has been restored, remastered and will be re-released on BlueRay in July of this year.  The original 16mm film was cleaned, then scanned at 2k and will be available in full high definition.  Wonderfully, the performance, filmed in Modena, Italy across two nights in November 1993 will include Red Rain which was omitted from the original DVD release.

I have waited for this version to be released for a long time.  If you have even the slightest interest, when it comes out, watch it.  It’s tremendous.

This Is Why I’m Glad I’m Not a Teen in 2012

I was driving back from a out of office meeting today and listening to the replay of today’s Howard Stern show (something I’ve done a lot lately since getting a free trial of Sirius, and have a 1000 thoughts about Howard that probably aren’t of interest to anyone but me).  The show was talking to this kid,  who posted this insane video on YouTube.  You can watch it below.  It is NSFW (language), but with Howard there was a whole discussion about how kids today can do these types of things and suddenly be seen all over the world and have no idea of how it could impact them later in life.

Now, in this video this kid is ‘singing’ a song he made up about masterbating to girls he knows and their Facebook pictures.  It is wickedly funny simply because it’s so silly raw, graphic and downright creepy.  (“Lotion is my best friend” is my favorite line)  In the interview the kid told Howard while he was trying to be funny and make fun of internet lurkers and that it was supposed to be satire, but he understands that anyone might find it offensive and creepy.  He just didn’t want his mom to see it.

And that’s my point.  The kid, who btw already had another YouTube video – where he extemporaneously speaks about the reality of Super Saiyans from Dragon Ball Z – with over 4 million views, seemingly has no concept of who may or may not watch this thing.  He knows the girls in school will see it, but somehow, he’s only ‘worried’ that mom won’t see it.  Never mind the idea that Mr Job Interviewer, College Acceptance Person or Woman He Might Want to Marry in 2027 will happen upon this video and wonder just how fuck’d up he was in 2012.

I know I did a lot of stupid things when I was a teen.  I simply can not comprehend the trouble I would have created for myself if I’d had the internet, much less the ability to record and distribute videos worldwide (for free!).  When I add that to the insanity seen in the recently shut down IsAnyoneUp.com and how many teens and 20somethings are willing to send the most sexually graphic images of themselves to be posted on Twitter – well, I really begin to feel a total sense of agreement with my wife on our decision not to have kids.  Good grief.

But damn, this video makes me laugh – a lot.  Some it though probably is nervous, self conscience laughter only because I can’t quite be assured I would not have done something as stupid as this if I was a teen in 2012.  Although in reality, what I most likely would have produced and distributed would have been closer to this famous video

 

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Topless Tinkerbell Tat Gets Mom Booted From Legoland

This is a story that appeared in the Dallas Observer blog yesterday.  Driven largely by Lana Massey, the owner of the tattoo seen to the right (and according to her Facebook page a manager of a Gas Pipe – a long standing chain of Dallas area head shops)  and her claims that the manager of an area Legoland children’s park found her tat offensive enough to ask her to leave and receive a full refund.

You can read all the full details on the blog, but essentially Massey is claiming that she was discriminated against because of her looks.  While she insists that she was never told it was a specific tattoo that got her and her son booted, everyone agrees it was probably this one.

In Massey’s opinion there is nothing offensive about her tattoo – a rendering of Tinkerbell, topless and looks to be having a erotic moment with a light switch.  While the latter detail is more sublime, the former is out there for the world to see on Massey’s calf (ironically about the height of many children running around Legoland).  Massey claims that the manager is lying that others complained and that she was singled out and that she’s never been asked to leave from anywhere before.

Massey has several tattoos and is very proud of them.  You can go to her Facebook page where you can find that she has made this incident a personal crusade and has spent the last few days contacting local Dallas media for attention as she plans on suing Legoland.  There she has posted copies of emails from Legoland and gives further explanation to her side of the story.  She does find it perfectly ok to rant about the manager that kicked her out, as “Morbidly obese, she was just gross” and has friends that feel that anyone that would find that tat offensive at a child’s attraction are, “fat, twinkie eating, bible banging hypocrites” (peet: a look at it again this morning reveals that she appears to have edited out many of the postings about her story – probably on the advice from a lawyer).  She does also clearly state her objective, money, “We will be compensated, believe that!”

Interesting enough Massey does have a limit to what she would understand as offensive, “I could see if it was like a gaping vag or something like that, but I don’t have anything like that.”  She also claims that the tat is original artwork from the 1940’s, but Tinkerbell – the animated Disney version – didn’t come out until the 1950’s.

I have added this story mostly because of the highly ridiculous nature of the tattoo and the idea that showing it off at a children’s park is somehow “ok” in her mind.  I really admire tattoo culture and art, but this is where tattoo owners and I part.  I have a t-shirt I think is really funny, “Abortions Tickle” (with a illustration of a woman looking coy), but I never wear it because I know it will offend people.   But I also realize I am supplying her what she wants, attention, and that there are people that think she is in the right.  It is certainly an interesting discussion.

I Miss Public Music Judgement

I’m well aware that there is now a generation of kids that have grown up discovering music via YouTube, but it’s still a foreign idea to me.

The forgotten idea of going to a “record” store and sitting/standing and listening to records/CDs while there was my favorite pastime up until those brick & mortar stores evaporated several years ago.  So now, like everyone else, I am digging around the net looking for new tunes.  It can be a good experience, but for some reason it just doesn’t bring the romantic results that an outing to Sound Warehouse, Virgin Records, Peaches or my old local mom&pop, CD World used to.  Spotify has been an improving experience, although a strong argument can be made that Rdio and MOG are better services for the same price.

Yesterday on Facebook someone posted this video.  And via the power of YouTube I again was introduced to a singer/band I’d never heard of, but this video is a few minutes of awesome.  Of course that led me to her site and listening to her and her band’s stuff.  She’s a little Sheryl Crow (not that’s a bad thing), but I particularly enjoyed the background singing in the video.  Additionally the concept of the band making these videos while driving from gig to gig is a pretty good one too.

So what I know is that the new way to find bands is actually a better, more efficient way.  I don’t have to wear half operational headphones previously donned by who knows who, and be judged by passers by in the store as I tried out the new Phil Collins CD.  Now, I can listen to all the dad rock I want in the private confines of my own home.  I guess that’s better.  maybe.

Before MLS2012 Starts, A Memory

The 2012, and 17th, Major League Soccer season begins this weekend.  I will be at FC Dallas Stadium on Sunday as the club takes on New York Red Bulls in the season opener.

There are story lines galore to be told: Kenny Cooper -now with his 3rd MLS side – returning to face his original team, can David Ferreira recover from the brutally broken ankle to lead FCD, how can a New York side that is largely star-filled improve from a sad 2011, how can Dallas get any better without adding any depth and there are probably three or four more good stories I’ve left off.

As mentioned above, this is the league’s 17th season and there are days I am really surprised it’s made it this far.  Like many things I notice in my advancing age I can believe how time has flown.  Steve Davis has written a great piece about how close MLS came to folding back 10 years ago, but has come so far from the brink that the sport is arguably the nations fifth major sport.  And if you’re going by attendance figures, maybe its the fourth.

I stopped trying to get people to follow soccer years ago.  I don’t debate it anymore, but MLS is a real league and worth your time.

Yesterday FCD announced that their annual youth tournament is being renamed in honor of the late Bobby Rhine.  It will also serve as a qualifying tournament for the Dallas Cup, which is the nation’s premier youth tournament.  It made me think of Bobby again and in terms of how much the club, the fans and I miss him.  I wrote this for another blog when he died.  At the time I didn’t have my own, but I wanted to reprint it here so it was on my own blog for posterity.

Here’s to hoping my club finally grabs the cup, but the realist in me knows FC Dallas, as they are rostered now, are probably not a deep enough club with too many older pieces in starting positions to do that.  But I will be there Sunday, as giddy as ever for a new MLS season.

*****

It seems everyone has a feel good story about Bobby Rhine.  Of course they do, he was a guy that you’d have to be a total louse to not like.  Bobby didn’t have to try to get you to like him.  Seriously, he was just that kind of guy that you instantly liked because his genuinely kind and honest persona just stuck to you.

Today we all found out Bobby died at the age of 35, while on vacation with his wife and two young sons.  Reports tell of a heart attack, which should scare anyone plus/minus 10 years of that age, because I can tell you Bobby appeared to be in amazing shape and health

I personally have always admired Bobby for a lot of reasons that I never wholly considered or really took to the time to think about.  I considered him a friend, but I would guess that if he had a Google+ account, I would have fallen under the “Acquaintances circle”.  My relationship with Bobby was one that crossed only through the sport of soccer but when we did bump into each other, he was always quick with a handshake and a common courtesy so lacking in general human interaction in 2011. 

Way back, about the turn of the century, I was privileged to be the co-host and producer of the Dallas Burn radio show.  It was good ‘ol Brad Sham and I chugging along trying to cobble together a weekly radio show about a pro soccer team that wasn’t terribly popular to the masses.  The team would recruit different players to come in each week to discuss the state of the team and the game, but 99% of them just froze when the mic came on.  

Oh boy, most of those guys were just terrible on the radio.  Monotone, one-word answers or didn’t speak English very well (or at all).  

Then there was Bobby Rhine.  

Bobby, a rookie from UConn, but originally from St Louis, walked in – all blonde haired and big white teeth – and just naturally understood how to talk, converse and be a real personality.  I clearly remember him telling me that he wanted to get into broadcasting after he retired.  He did just that – 10 years later.  

Before then he scored some goals, always played at 137% and was that guy on a team that everyone loved because he just played the game so honestly.  Never took the easy fall, or kicked a ball away to waste time Bobby was just that guy fans wanted on their team.  

My ever lasting remembrance of Bobby will be in the last years of his playing career.  Bobby was a striker in college, did a lot of midfield work for most of his pro career but late he was asked to move to right back.  A defensive spot that is difficult for anyone to transition to, especially if you’ve spent your playing life in attack mode.  But Bobby, being the team-first guy he always was (and smart enough to know it would extend his career) took on the challenge.  

The coach, wanting a guy that could add to the attack from the back, got that part in Bobby.  It was the defending part that was the issue.  You just don’t “know” how to defend.  It takes players years to develop the know how to be a pro level defender.  Bobby worked so hard, in such a small amount of time, to learn this part of the trade.  He was never great at it, but as a fan you always, always knew that Bobby Rhine was going to try harder than the guy he was defending.  For that, he was beloved.  From me, it earned my admiration.

When he retired it became clear that the team was going to move him to a place where his good looks, passion for the club and desire to build a new career could be put to good use.  When I heard that he was going to start doing TV as an analyst for matches, I really thought he could grow into that.  He did.  So very rarely do players make the conversion to broadcasting without sounding like idiots.  Not Mr Rhine.  Bobby’s smooth move was more natural than manufactured.  

Then I learned that Bobby was going to become the play by play guy for the team.  Now that is something totally different.  That’s going from being a passenger in the back seat to driving the bus.  I think it fair to say that everyone wondered how that would go as it takes years for a professional broadcaster to learn to do play by play and not suck at it.

Just like his transition from attack to defense, Bobby tried harder than anyone else I know and was far more successful at it, sooner, than anyone could have imagined.  No, he hadn’t reached Al Michaels/Joe Buck territory, but I’ll be damned if Bobby Rhine hadn’t turned himself into a completely respectable play by play guy that was worthy of a match time viewing.  Just leaps and bounds better than 90% of the dredge that most MLS teams trot out for their broadcasts.  

It wasn’t until a few hours after I’d gotten the call with the rumors of Bobby’s shocking demise that I remembered that day, back in the 90’s,  during the commercial break of the radio show when he told me he wanted to get into broadcasting.  

I had totally forgotten it.

Today, it just returned to rebroadcast itself in my noggin’.  

Alone its not much, but when I add it to my feelings about his playing career, the personal interaction I actually had with him, it really completes a total picture of who he was and really solidifies for me why I admired him so much.

It’s probably a good example of why everyone has a good story to tell about Bobby Rhine.

 …

(You can donate in the memory of Bobby to the FC Dallas Foundation here:  https://www.fcdallas.com/form/donations)

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Radiohead. Yes Please.

I have recently, officially, been diagnosed with tinnitus.  100% my fault.   I didn’t really need a doctor to tell me.  Too many years listening to hi-fi systems at loud volumes, headphones and air horns.

So when I go to shows I now take ear plugs, but at last night’s stop in Dallas of Radiohead I just couldn’t bring myself to insert them.  Ok, I did a couple of times just to see how much it would lessen the experience.  It did.  Too much.

Sadly,  i’ve only seen Radiohead twice.  Last time was three years ago at a local outdoor pavilion, this time inside the barn-like confines of the American Airlines Center.  It was a packed, sold-out show, but the truth is that I yearn to see this band in a proper, smaller venue.  I was along the side, and far enough back that I had a great, full view of the stage and the wonderful light show.  Being equidistance from the stage as the sound board, the sound was surprisingly good.

And when I awoke this morning the ringing I went to bed with was still present and louder than it normally is during my average day…but I don’t care because it just reminds me of the great show I witnessed last night.

Here are professional and spot-on reviews from The Dallas Observer and Preston Jones.

The current tour is one to see on different stops simply because the setlist has changed dramatically from night to night in just the five shows leading up to and including the Dallas stop.  Each night almost half the set is different from another show, and I’ve read that the band has prepped as many as 75 songs for the tour.  On the first night they debuted two new songs, “Identikit” and ” Cut a Hole“.  Dallas only got the former, but were treated to the debut live performances of two songs, “The Amazing Sounds of Orgy” and “Skirting On the Surface” (videos of both below).

Bloom, the new CD’s opener was also the first song of the night.  The band’s bravery in playing every aspect of this live is very much a high wire act.  There are several different rhythms taking place and there were moments when it sounded like it was all about to fly apart – but then it all came together and ended as a proper rock song.

Highlights for me were “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi” from In Rainbows, the back to back mellow mix of “The Daily Mail/Pyramid Song”, the very soulful rendition of “Karma Police” (a song I’ve heard so many times I’m apathetic about it until I heard the way I did last night), the shockingly day glow eye burning light show that ended the first set with “Idioteque” and the pure beauty of “Give Up The Ghost”.

Couple of other notes.  What makes Radiohead admirable, but others find “self indulgent” (you know who you are) is the band’s apathy towards making set lists that will set the crowd afire.  A man in front of me pronounced that he, “felt ‘Creep’ coming on”, and I instantly felt sorry for the old guy.  No, what he got was a 2nd encore that not only started not with a loud rock uptempo, but the complete opposite in “Give Up the Ghost“.  And just to step on the throat of everyone in the audience waiting for a “rock song”, they rolled out one that “you’ve never heard before, ever”, in “Skirting on the Surface”.

Sure, they ended with the much beloved, and rightfully so, “Paranoid Android“, but in the two hours leading up to that moment Radiohead was doing what they wanted and leaving me with even a worse case of tinnitus than I came in with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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If You Watch One Video Today

This aired during the Grammy’s last night.  I missed it because I was watching “Luck” and “Walking Dead”.  Later I saw lots of mentions of the “Chipotle commercial” on Twitter and today actually saw it for the first time on You Tube.

It is marvelous.  For so many reasons.

Sure, the message is great and I do admire Chipotle greatly, for working hard to “make a better world” with the way they garner their ingredients.  I love Chipotle, and those of you that know me, know I am a creature of habit and go to particular lunch places on specific days.  Mondays is “Chick-Fil-A Monday’s” and Wednesdays is “Chipotle Wednesdays”.  (Tues & Thurs I take my lunch to work and Friday is a random day – wacky, I know).

But, for me, the real beauty of this spot is the animation.  The stop motion work, the loving care put into the wooden characters, the actual real set and what appears to be a single shot sweep through the whole thing.  Oh, and Willie’s version of “The Scientist”.  Even listen to the thing closely.. Check out the sfx that go with the animation.  Just awesome.

The whole darn thing is just beautiful and makes me look even more forward to my Wednesday visits and 17 pound burrito.

If you have a HD monitor, please make sure you set the video to 1080p and blow it up big.  Really take the time to check out the level of detail in these two minutes.  Really, really impressive.

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Maynard and Me Revisited

After the series of tweets from the recent Tool show I attended, someone asked me about the essay I wrote about the day Maynard appeared on Lex & Terry to promote his vineyard.  I’d forgotten about it until that request and found it the other day on the notes page of my Facebook account.  Here it is in full, with a couple of updated notes.  It is way too long, but at the time I wrote it I was really consumed with trying to figure out why he acted the way he did.  It very much changed my perception of him, both as a person and performer.  Not in a bad way, but sometimes when you realized that even rock stars are human, it just changes how you see them.   I can tell you it is a story I still tell to this day, and in the essay I don’t really fully explain the story about Maynard and the Asian girl.  That in itself is a great “rock star” story… So here you go, from March 2009:

**************

I am an “B+” grade Tool fan, I like A Perfect Circle, and I have a passing interest in Puscifer (peet: which has since grown into a true like for the band). My interest in Tool has way more to do with the musicianship than the weirdness, although that does add to it. I’m not even sure I own Tool’s first CD (peet: I do now).

I was very lucky to have been able to stand in the front row of a Tool performance when they were doing a series of small venue warmup shows before their last big tour (10,000 Days circa 2006). Here in Dallas it was at a very cool, tiny venue at SMU and where my interest and like of the band jumped. My position was so close to the band that I was never more than 20 feet from any of the members. The treat of watching the band made me realize that in reality the most interesting person in the band isn’t Maynard, but the other three guys.   Those three are just insane on their instruments and I have only a passing idea what it takes to play music.  Obviously this is something well known to any good fan of the band, but it was new to me.

Maynard on the other hand is odd because he appears to not really want to be there. Hell, he all but hides behind the drum riser. After my experience with him this week I can say that the rumors that he can treat people coldly are very true. But where my frustration lies is, or rather my confusion, is it simply an act? And why do I care enough to be confused?!??

I was very concerned about his appearance on the show. There is a littered history of failed interviews with the guy and radio people just sitting there uncomfortably while he responds to clique questions with one-word answers. But L&T aren’t normal radio guys and that’s why he sat in on their show for what has to be a record 45 minutes. I really think he liked them because they didn’t press him on the music stuff and because they were just themselves and so not impressed with his place in the rock star totem pole.

I met him in the lobby and was immediately blown away that if I hadn’t been told it was “Mr. Maynard” awaiting me, I would have likely walked right past him. He was wearing the hoodie/blue jeans outfit that you could come across in any Best Buy. He was reserved, but polite. He shook my hand and followed my lead (things were a bit screwy because his wine partner had bailed and he had shown earlier than expected).

The interview was almost exclusively about wine. The only reference to the music was his totally passive agreement for us to air “The Mission”.
During the interview whenever a caller started up with the “you’re my hero/ the best/”the #1 guy in my life” compliments, it was very obvious that he was put out by all of it. He responded to them not with “thank you”, but with sarcasm and eye rolling.

During the breaks, and while the song was playing, he was talkative, engaging and comfortable. Yes, it was mostly about wine, food and the combinations of both. There was some of Lex explaining that he had recently become a fan of Tool because the band’s beginning came during Lex’s self described “cocaine days” and that he didn’t listen because at the time he didn’t need that darkness in his life.

Maynard loved that. He actually laughed.

So after the interview he took some pictures and seemed very disinterested. We waited in my office for his car and he told me that he thought the “Asian chick” (Lisa, as seen in then aforementioned pic to the left) that was in one of the fan pics was hot and that he was single. I told him I was going to tell her just to make her day.

On the way down, I finally asked about music and he nicely told me that Puscifer was the only new stuff and the other stuff was so much pressure and that was it. Nothing else. As we walked out we were having a totally normal conversation when I spotted a 20-something standing by the awaiting car with a load of Tool stuff that filled up both arms.

This is where the transformation took place. Maynard the regular dude was gone and “Maynard from Tool” appeared.

Maynard made no attempt to avoid, in fact, he actually turned and walked towards the kid. In an almost begging voice came from the fan, “Please, just one thing”, and Maynard walked past him, without looking, and simply said in a calm voice, “No”.

I tried to explain, as a second fan rounded the corner, “Look, if he signs for you he will have to for everyone”, and the kid responded with, “But it’s only two of us!”

Maynard, stopped as he was getting in the SUV, and said, “I know, and its kinda creepy”, shut the door and like that, he was gone.

The kid looked crushed and I am convinced he went home and put a bullet in his head while listening to “Prison Sex”, sitting naked on his collection of Tool crap.

Now, I have heard a ton of “Maynard is a huge cock-ass-douche-hole-bag” stories over the years, but in under an hour this was the first witness of it.

This, along with the accompanying story of his amazing ability to conjure up the cell number of the previously aforementioned hot “Asian Chick”, taking her to dinner that night, and subsequent very odd text exchange that ended with him digitally asking her to come to the hotel to watch some pay-per-view (which she declined), has totally scrambled my brainpan.(if you go to the version of this on my blog at lexandterry.com – there you can download the audio of her telling of her Maynard story)

What I now have is a relatively cool personal interaction, a frighteningly cold blow off of what was obviously a hard core fan and a funnily awkward exchange with a hot chick that ended in failure.

I have to admit I feel silly spending all this time unlocking this odd equation. I don’t really know why I care.

I am confronted with deciding if the “dick” thing is an act, or the result of something else.

What I have decided, at least for now, is that he just flat out hates the “hero worship”. My limited understanding about Tool’s music is that its a lot about false idols, hypocrisy and themes that I think he feels discourages people from labeling anyone as a “God”. So when his fans do that to him, I think he feels they aren’t paying attention and it makes him nuts. So, his response is to be a dickhead to those people in hopes that maybe it gets them to stop “worshiping” him. Yes, he is never gregarious with anyone, but I do think he is kinda of shy guy in general, but the uber fans with their arm loads of stuff for him to sign turns him into a douche bag.

Now, that doesn’t account for the stories of him being awful to people other than uber fans and my only explanation is that he has developed this persona and fosters it because he thinks that is what people have come to expect.

I do think Maynard wants everyone to just be themselves around him, not hassle him about the music and talk about things that interest him – hence why he got along with Lex & Terry so very well.

So, was I disappointed in my visit with Maynard? Did it ruin the band for me?

No, on both points. Hell, I was rocking out to “The Pot” at my desk after the show today, and between talking and writing about him I certainly have spent an embarrassing amount of time – on Maynard.

Maybe that is the point.

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Do We Really Need Watchmen Prequels? Maybe.

Cover of "Watchmen"

Cover of Watchmen

There was a massive shift in the force when DC Comics announced that it would be producing a collection of miniseries that would act as prequels for Watchmen.  Remember, this is the publisher that earlier this year relaunched 52 different titles with reboots of story lines  and characters to much varied reviews.

Watchmen is the legendary 12 issue mega series from 1986-1987 that is generally considered to be a high point in comic publishing.  It won awards, people wrote thesis’ about the storyline and it was eventually turned into a movie in 2009. (The full length director’s cut on BluRay is the only way to watch it).  EW’s Jeff Jensen wrote an outstanding essay on Watchmen back in 2005 and is a must read for anyone with an interest.

Now, DC wants to take the world of Watchmen and explore the main characters as they were in their youth and as a collective as is mentioned and depicted at great length in the original storyline.  Much like the movie, the original writer, Alan Moore, refuses to have anything to do with the project and told the New York Times,

 “completely shameless…I tend to take this latest development as a kind of eager confirmation that they are still apparently dependent on ideas that I had 25 years ago”, that the series is a reminder of “draconian contracts” he signed with DC and that “I don’t want money. What I want is for this not to happen… As far as I know, there weren’t that many prequels or sequels to ‘Moby-Dick.’”

While original artist Dave Gibbons has embraced the concept,

“The original series of Watchmen is the complete story that Alan Moore and I wanted to tell. However, I appreciate DC’s reasons for this initiative and the wish of the artists and writers involved to pay tribute to our work. May these new additions have the success they desire,”

The cast of Watchmen, created in 1986 by Gibbo...

While my personal initial reaction was that of horror and distain, after thinking about it, I’m willing to give it a shot.  The list of artists and writers lined up to do the different characters is of the highest level, J Michael Straczynski, Len Wein, Jae Lee, Adam Hughes and Darwyn Cooke to name a few.   The original colorist of Watchmen, John Higgins will participate with a two page backup story at the end of each issue called, “Curse of the Crimson Corsair”, which harkens back to the original backstory “Tails of the Black Freighter“.   It will be interesting to see how “Corsair” relates to these new stories as “Freighter” did to Watchmen.

Each of the following characters will get a run of at least four issues, some more: Rorschach, The Comedian, Dr Manhattan, Nite Owl, Ozymandias, The Minutemen and Silk Spectre.

First issues to hit this summer (dates, titles TBA) and at the end of the run everything will be collected in a single issue, with even more material.

My original knee-jerk reaction of “how can they?” has subsided into a curiosity and I’m certain I will be back in my comic shop (something I haven’t done regular in 10+ years) as soon as we know when #1 is due.

Bleeding Cool has all of the covers that DC released here.

Alan Moore

 


 

 

 

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This is How You Call a Game

Yes, I love soccer.

That has been established for a long time and I gave up trying to convert people to the sport almost as long ago.  It’s just not worth it.  If you don’t like soccer now, odds are you never will.

But I do think I can convince you that the sport of soccer has the right idea when it comes to commentary and how it should be done.

At least Ray Hudson does.

Ray Hudson is a former player with Newcastle United in England, and some of the old NASL teams here in the states.  He was the coach of the now defunct MLS team, the Miami Fusion.  But what Ray is most famous for is his unbridled passion for the sport and how it erupts during the games he is doing color commentary.  Ray is the color guy for GolTV, a soccer only channel that owns the US rights for La Liga, the top division of soccer in Spain.  That is the league that has Real Madrid and Barcelona, the only two teams that ever win the league and have all the star players.

Barcelona, in particular, have the sport’s best player, Leonel Messi.  He’s amazing, and may end up establishing himself as the sport’s best ever player if his young career continues like this (he’s only 23).  Watching him play is like watching Jordan play basketball in his prime.

Now back to Hudson…. When he calls matches the verbage he uses is unlike anything you will ever hear in a NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL broadcast.  I don’t know if he pre-writes these or what, but he’s gotten so popular that people have created websites and blogs to reprint his crazy quotes.

“More often than not, you’re coming into the lion’s den, men, you gotta put your shield up and you’ve gotta defend yourself with some long spears.”

“ Barcelona were like a three pound chicken trying to lay a four pound egg …. just constipated in front of goal.”

“Matador. Look at him, so languid, look at him walking. He’s like a big, beautiful zombie, Riquelme, like a big, beautiful zombie. He just strolls around languid like, like smoke off a cigarette, you know. And then he jump out and just draw your blood.”

“It’s chameleon eyes I believe that strikes it with just enough technique to take it towards goal but it takes a wicked deflection, and the saints ain’t smilin’ on Saint Iker now.  This is a gangster goal from Barcelona and it’s Xavi that’s holding the revolver.” 

But my favorite thing about Ray is how when something magical happens, he just. can. not. contain. himself.  A goal is scored and he well emit a shrek or scream like a 11 year old girl spotting Justin Bieber at the mall.  Here is what happened this past weekend when Messi finished off a hat trick.  Phil Schoen is his play-by-play guy and the perfect setup partner for Ray.  And yes, Ray does say after the goal that Messi is, “running like he’s got a food mixer down his shorts”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Qi-nGx2opq4#!

…and if you really want a full sample of Ray, check out this edited collection from a recent clash between Real Madrid and Barcelone (El Clasicio is it called in Spain, the biggest and baddest rivalry there is).   It’s 11 minutes of color commentary perfection.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjpgIPhXb1g&feature=player_embedded

You may never love soccer, but you just have to love listening to Ray explode with joy.  Could you just imagine Troy Aikman shrieking with delight as Tom Brady throws a winning touchdown?  no, me either… *sigh*

 

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