Halloween Gallery: Neal Adams' House of Mystery/Secrets covers
The legendary Neal Adams did a great run of covers for DC Comics' House of Mystery House of Secrets series from 1968 to 1971, all putting kids in spooky situation, and all with a definite Halloween vibe. Here's a look!
Hot Trax '71: Michael Jackson, Aretha, Beach Boys and more!
New records on the charts 50 years ago this week. Listen to the Hot Trax '71 playlist.
Pop Diary: Jennifer's Body, Lord Huron, Beatles Get Back
What I'm watching, hearing, reading, drinking, etc.
"Jennifer's Body" (2009). This is a cult movie, I guess. Or at least I've seen it presented as one. Once you get to be a certain age, there are only old cult movies and the idea that a later generation might have landed upon a new cult movie seems weird.
At any rate... I never saw this when it came out (and I understand there's now a TV series based on it), because I'm of a certain age. But we did watch it last weekend, and it's pretty fun. It eviscerates (sometimes literally) high school culture in a way that "Heathers" (now there's a cult movie) did and has some witty dialogue and use of invented slang that reminded me of (cult reference ahead!) "Buffy." The script is by Diablo Cody, of "Juno" fame.
It's a good Halloween watch, more funny than scary and only slightly gory. Megan Fox is good and relatively ominous in the title role and Amanda Seyfried, as Jennifer's plainer/saner friend, is always great. Also nice to see J.K. Simmons as a high school teacher with fun hair. We're not sure why Amy Sedaris was aboard, though, as she was given nothing funny to say or do.
Lord Huron - Long Lost. Some albums are collections of songs. Others - like this one - are gorgeous sound worlds.
Lord Huron isn't a guy, but a Los Angeles-based band with, now, four albums under its belt. The less I know about the group, though, the better, because the sonic environment it creates is full of mystery.
There are soaring melodies, rich arrangements, reverbed guitar twang aplenty, and lovely vocals that put me in mind of Jim James of My Morning Jacket. The tunes range from Roy Orbison-ish balladry to elements of classic country and folk. These are melodic, well-crafted tunes that sound like they've been around forever, but are brand new.
There are some snippets between songs that I don't really understand or mind, and a 14-minute closing tracks that sounds like the soundtrack to a David Lynch film. Not sure I understand why, but it's ok, in that you can switch it off early if you like, although there's a liner note encouraging you to listen to the LP front to back. That something I'll, mostly, do many times, I think.
The whole book, minus a too-long introduction, is made up of transcripts from the Nagra sound tapes made during the filming of "Let it Be," and anyone who's slogged through the many bootlegs of those sessions will recognize bits and pieces of Beatle talk, including arguments, George's temporarily walking out, and frank discussions about possibly breaking up.
It's nice to have all of this presented in print, since some of the tapes are very hard to hear. And reading through them provides added context. We see that John wasn't as disengaged from the project as he's been made out to be, for one thing. In fact, in a few spots, he seems more upbeat about the project and its progress than Paul, its instigator. It's probably more fun to read ahead of Jackson's film instead of behind it, as it will likely get you excited to see it all play out on screen. Can't wait!
New music out this week: Johnny Cash, Billy Bragg, Beatles in India, more!
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