Why Scott Pilgrim is the best Indie comic out there.

Posted in Books/Comics/Manga by jukeboxparables on January 4, 2010

I glance over online comics or manga every once in awhile. Theres plenty out there covering pretty much everything topically but none closer to my heart than Bryan Lee O’Malley’s “Scott Pilgrim” series. I first ran into one online a few years back. I noted that I should pick up the series (I don’t like reading stuff entirely online) and oneday last year I was in a bookstore and there they were starring me in the face, I decided to get Volumes 1 and 2 as a refresher. Needless to say I was running back to this specialised bookstore within the week for the rest of the series.

Volume 1; from the website:

Scott Pilgrim’s life is totally sweet. He’s 23 years old, he’s in a rock band, he’s “between jobs,” and he’s dating a cute high school girl. Nothing could possibly go wrong, unless a seriously mind-blowing, dangerously fashionable, rollerblading delivery girl named Ramona Flowers starts cruising through his dreams and sailing by him at parties. Will Scott’s awesome life get turned upside-down? Will he have to face Ramona’s seven evil ex-boyfriends in battle? The short answer is yes. The long answer is Scott Pilgrim, Volume 1: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life!

It’s kind of scary how one can relate to the scenarios and characters Bryan Lee O’Malley has dreamt up. It’s not easy being a mid 20’s slacker who plays in a band whist dealing with conflict of the female variety via 8bit retro coloured video game glasses. My private life aside though, I love how Bryan contrasts “mundane” reality in this book, you think everything is going swimmingly and it’s all rather realistic… a miniature sitcom based around your musical life. Until Scott Pilgrim is found fighting off his new girl’s evil ex boyfriend(s) in true video game / anime style. It’s perfect. Imagine your favourite ‘cool’ (Skins?, Buffy?) sitcom revolving around bands / good music and add… Naruto-esque battle scenes. You’ve got Scott Pilgrim.

Basically the series progresses through the troubled waters of life revolving around relationships, music(being in a band), friends and the mirky history of its characters.

Nerd alert time: It manages to drop subtle one liners and plot points referencing an array of oldschool retro late 80’s mid 90’s videogames. The Secret of Monkey Island (PC), Super Mario Bros /series (NES), Clash At Demonhead (NES), Crash n the Boys (NES), Zelda (NES)? and/or some other earlier EXP based game, River City Ransom (NES), Sonic The Hedgehog /series (SEGA), Bomberman (NES), Street Fighter (Arcade).

Hell those are the ones I spotted because I grew up playing those games!, but heres a bigger list

The series has a distinct ‘punk’ or ‘indie’ feel to it. There’s a heap of music referenced and a deep music knowledge (as lengthy as the retrogaming list no doubt) but I cbf hunting back over it. Think mid 90’s Indie bands though as well as some classics. Anyway this all adds up to give Scott Pilgrim a sort of shiny nostalgia to it. It feels completely genuine. I suppose the subject matter isn’t for everyone. But if your reading this blog then chances are you’ll be into it!

You can read previews of all of the Volumes online at the official website. There are currently 5 volumes in stores with a 6th and *gasp* final still being written, to be released soon.

It’s kind of hard to explain a Series really, perhaps I should have just reviewed the Volumes one at a time! Maybe I will down the line until then though you’ll just have to grab one off the shelf!

ALSO the big news last year was A real-life movie adaption is being made. Which will either ruin the series for everyone and there will be a bunch of rabid SP fans ready to hunt down and combo dragon punch the director to his demise OR it’s going to be great and hence the best movie of 2010. Fingers crossed for the latter.

All the latest on the movie.

If thats not all, a videogame has also been announced! It will apparently be oldschool sidescroll beatem-up. HECK YES!

Sonic Youth – Happiness is a warm gun… Vinyl!

Posted in Music, Oldschool/Classic Things by jukeboxparables on March 23, 2009

I’ve been meaning to start a real vinyl collection for the longest while, It’s always been on the back burner because everything and anything else has kept me occupied instead. But yesterday I was in Repressed records in Newtown watching a friends band Royal Headache play and simply could not leave their vinyl collection alone.

Especially this 1991 Bootleg LP out of Germany entitled “Happiness is a warm gun…” It’s a Sonic Youth compilation of sorts and the track list is quite amazing;

1. Personality Crisis
2. Dirty Boots (demo)
3. Is It My Body
4. Flower (Anti Fuckword Radio Edit)
5. I Wanna Be Your Dog (live)
6. Song For Karen (live) [Tunic]
7. Computer Age
8. Burning Farm
9. Gum
10. Electric Pen
11. Disappearer (demo)
12. That’s All I Know (Right Now)
13. White Cross
14. Sister (live) [Schizophrenia]
15. Rewolf (Special Natas Mix)
16. It’s An Interview
17. My Friend Goo (live)
18. Cinderella’s Big Score (live)

* 1. from Sassy magazine promo 7″
* 2. from Sassy magazine promo 7″
* 3. from Sub Pop Singles Club 2×7″
* 4. from Flower 7″
* 5. live 6/4/87 London, England w/ Iggy Pop on vox (same as Screaming Fields)
* 6. live 9/17/90 Hamburg, Germany @ Docks
* 7. from The Bridge compilation
* 8. from Every Band Has A Shonen Knife… compilation
* 9. from Mirror/Dash 7″
* 10. from Mirror/Dash 7″
* 11. from Disappearer single
* 12. from Disappearer single
* 13. from NME’s Hat Trick 7″
* 14. live 6/4/87 London, England (same as Screaming Fields)
* 15. from Flower 7″
* 16. from 1990 promotional flexi interview 7″
* 17. live 9/17/90 Hamburg, Germany @ Docks
* 18. live 9/17/90 Hamburg, Germany @ Docks

Let the vinyl collecting begin. I suppose I should now dish out heaps of cash for a good system too. Oh the woes of liking oldschool things. This Sonic Youth LP is definitely worth it though. Bootleg goodness with songs off Daydream Nation, Goo and others and a track featuring Iggy Pop on vocals. All on a Blue Vinyl 12″ How could I not get this?

Wall of death!

Posted in Oldschool/Classic Things by jukeboxparables on March 13, 2009

It’s amazing that token-everyday things that went on decades ago are unheard of today, well I suppose fads come and go. Back in the day before Ipods, Mp3 rollerskates, moonpies, internets and television people had to find alternate ways to entertain themselves.

Que the circus! which I’m sure you’re all aware probably featured Animal mistreatment, bearded ladies and strong man contests. I’m of course talking the 1920’s/30’s here. But how many of you have heard of the Wall of death? And no I’m not talking about that insanity that goes down at Metal festivals.

You might have recently seen the ‘sphere of death’ in where two people on motorbikes ride in perfect sync at high speed inside a rather large sphere and its all death-defying and the crowd roars.

But how about something on a larger scale, with a motorbike… and a car driven by a women… with a live lion as her passenger?

I stumbled across this link that has all of that and more. It’s pretty surprising what people got up to back in the good ole’ days before Occupational Health & Safety and Public liability laws. But then again there’s a video of it being performed in Afghanistan of all places, recently.

The first such sideshow was premiered at the Coney Island amusement park In New York, USA back in 1911. Called the motordrome it then due to popularity became a traveling carnival sideshow traveling the country and even reaching Britain in 1929.

The motorbikes of choice? Indians of course! I love the style of the early era Indians circa the 1920’s and 1930’s. More on them sometime soon.