September 6, 2004

The Best Kept Secret(s) In the West

Like many others, I spent this Labor Day...getting some well-earned rest and relaxation. It was also one of those days where I wanted to do something really unnecessary. Maybe, for academic interest, watch Animal House and Old School and compare and contrast. Not wanting to exert myself that much, I decided to just chill with some old favorites...and some new ones.

First, the new - in terms of comic blogs, check out Polite Dissent and Brill Building. Although neither one is the greatest comics blog in the multiverse, they come rather close. Polite Dissent (which I had featured in a previous post) is a medically-oriented blog, alternating between comics reviews and demystifying medical matters in comics. (Just the way my uncle John took all the romance out of ER, since he is a real-life emergency room specialist). Brill Building has a slightly humorous tone, and you gotta read it if only for Ian's suggested post-Avengers 500 lineup.

Anyway, the first thing I did was crank up Passion is No Ordinary Word, Rhino's 1991 Graham Parker anthology. It's funny - I can't remember how I got into his music in high school, but I was amazed at how well his music stands up. Alternatively angry, biting, yet with an intelligence that surpasses many of his contemporaries (and, in all fairness, the last album I heard was Acid Bubblegum. In an age where Joe Jackson's hitting the oldies circuit, and Elvis Costello has become an "artiste", it's nice to hear from a man who may have lost his youth, but has regained a much sharper bark and bite.

Lunch was reading time, and I chose a book which I was first introduced to at the bargain in at the old Kroch's & Brentano's bookstore on Wabash in Chicago. (It's now a pair of high-priced perfume and soap stores). The Killer Inside Me is Jim Thompson's masterpiece - a gripping tale about a sociopathic sherrif. It's one of those books that you just can't put down once you begin - kind of like Mickey Spillane's books. Trust me, you'll dig this book.

Finally, I ended the day on a much lighthearted note - season one of the Kids in the Hall on DVD. I am a rabid KITH fan - so much so that I went to Toronto with a friend of mine to see some of their final tapings. (Be sure to head to her blog and annoy her for me). Anyway, it's great to see a young troupe begin to stretch themselves - within five years, they would have reshaped tv comedy. For now, enjoy them gradually bending the rules.

By the way, if you have never sampled anything listed above, please do. These are not the most popular, nor do they get the most attention (although, thankfully, there will be a season two KITH DVD boxed set). Dive on in - you won't be disappointed.

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