Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ready to Rocket: Guardians of the Galaxy

Images from Guardians of the Galaxy #13 (2009). Click to make 'em bigger.

Got a ton of things I'm supposed to be doing right now, but I just had to take a break and rhapsodize about how utterly awesome Guardians of the Galaxy is. You can keep your Secret Invasions and Dark Reigns and whatever the hell it is DC is doing; the current GotG series is consistently more cosmic and entertaining than any Big Event comics out there (and when it does get embroiled in a Big Event, it's worth it).

I owned an issue or two of the old GotG series in the 80s (and I believe there was some sort of horrible 90s incarnation), but this current one is way, way better. First of all, it has Rocket Raccoon in it. Rocket Raccoon. I used to read Hulk comics back in the days of Sal Buscema, and my single favorite issue was the one that introduced Rocket. And it has Star-Lord, and Mantis, and the insect-astic Bug, and giant man-tree Groot, and the most kick-ass incarnation of Drax the Destroyer (i.e., not the stupid one) ever. And an Adam Warlock who isn't annoying. In other words, it's got all of Marvel's most interesting star-spanning characters on one team, and actually tells stories worthy of that lineup.

I first got hooked on the whole Marvel-in-space thing with the Annihilation events, which were much better than I thought they would be. And the funny thing is, I'm not even that inclined towards space adventure stuff to begin with. But I hope this series runs for a long, long time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Write a Novel While Commuting

That's what this guy did, and wow do I hate him for it. He wrote a whole 400-page novel on his smartphone while going to and from work.

"I got very fast at writing with my thumbs. I found myself writing more and more." Soon, he was averaging 400 words each morning and evening. "I trained myself that at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. every day when I got on the train, that was my writing time," he said.

So his book (a demon-laden fantasy, the first of a series) hit the bestseller lists and he quit his day job and now writes full-time... but he still takes the F train. "He insisted his word per minute count is higher on the subway than at his desk at home, where distractions include the Internet and a 9-month-old daughter."

When I was working at Smart I used to eat up 2+ hours a day just commuting back and forth, from QC to Makati. Oh, the unwritten books! Of course I'm a freelancer now, with theoretically (I emphasize the theoretically) more free time on my hands... But, you know, those comics aren't going to read themselves. And there are TV series to catch up on. Priorities, man.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Shameless, Thy Name Is "Star Pilots"

"Simultaneously the most gay and the most straight thing we've ever seen."

Thank you, Popjustice! Because "the problem with Top Gun was that it wasn't quite camp enough."

And those of you familiar with the usual sexy-girl-doing-a-car-wash routine may want to fast forward to around 1:49 where they do the same thing, except with a jet airplane.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Music Mix: Dreaming All The Ways That You Will Smile

For your listening pleasure: an assiduously arranged, special summery mix of eight songs that I've been listening to lately, mostly culled from music blogs and the like. Please to download it from here.

Megaupload's interface can be a little confusing, so here are some instructions:

1. Click on the big "Download File" button. But first you have to enter the robot-filtering code above it.
2. When you fill in the code and click on "Download File," a countdown in the lower right corner starts: "Please wait __ seconds"
3. When the countdown ends, a "REGULAR DOWNLOAD" button appears. Press that. :)

And heeere's the tracklist:

01. Telekinesis - Coast of Carolina
02. Robbers On High Street - Shout to the Top (The Style Council cover)
03. Kennedy - Karate
04. Fever Ray - When I Grow Up (Lissvik Remix)
05. fun - At Least I'm Not As Sad (As I Used To Be)
06. Harlem Shakes - Sunlight
07. Theresa Andersson - Birds Fly Away
08. Amadou & Mariam - Sabali

Some comments. I took the title of the mix from the Telekinesis song, a great stick-in-your head slice of sunny pop-rock. The Style Council cover may hew a bit too close to the original but I like it anyway. "Karate" is silly and fun and dance-inducing. I haven't listened to too much Fever Ray yet but I liked this remixed number. fun is what The Format became after they broke up (I loved The Format). The voice of the guy from Harlem Shakes sometimes sounds too slurry and sloppy but they generally make great music and the singer gets it together on this track. You've probably seen the YouTube videos of Theresa Andersson playing all these instruments with her fingers and toes; disregard the novelty value and appreciate her excellent songcraft. Finally, you will love Amadou & Mariam. Damon Albarn says so.

All worthy acts. Click on their names to visit their sites!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

World Rushing In

Want to hear an excellent house track and help out a couple of well-regarded local music talents? Go here and check out "World Rushing In," by DJ Brian Cua and Medwin Marfil. (Click on the "LISTEN" button below "OVERALL RATING.") Excellent production, and a lush, catchy melody and vocal.

And then take time to click on "Register/Submit track" on the navbar near the top of the page so you can sign up and vote for the song. (If nothing else, they really need votes to offset that guy who mistakenly gave the track the lowest rating possible when he meant to give it 5 stars -- sigh.)

And then dance deliriously around the room because that's what the song is for.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back in the Fun Machine

Thanks to Aimee M's posts on Thundercats and Silverhawks*, I ended up going on a short 80s cartoon opening theme spree on YouTube. As a kid, I used to put a tape recorder in front of the TV speakers so I could record my favorite themes. Here's my Top 5!

(I left out Japanese giant robots because they really deserve their own post. And yes, I realize that most if not all of these cartoons were never on Saturday Fun Machine. I just love that name so much: Saturday Fun Machine. Genius.)

5. Mighty Orbots

Admit it, until you saw that intro again, you had totally forgotten about these guys. (I love that disco-clap bit after they introduce Bo and Boo.) This series had fantastic animation, but I really can't remember any of the stories, and I never liked the designs of the guy robots, who were too goofy-looking for my discerning grade school tastes.

4. Spaceketeers

The only instrumental on this list. I guess the Force Five folks couldn't be bothered to do an English translation of the lyrics. Even as kids we wondered why these people rode around outside their ships like idiots. I remember I had a toy of the big fat green one with a dial on his belly though.

3. Captain Future

Big in Germany, apparently. This might never have shown on local TV. A lot of these series I watched on Betamax compilations rented from Angie's Video House in Paranaque.

2. M.A.S.K.

'Cause Spectrum's got such super visionnn... MASK! Extended version here!

1. Captain Harlock

Whether they had giant robots or not, Japanese cartoons were a huge part of my formative years. That can't be good. Take to the skyyyyy...

I just noticed that the Captain Harlock vid ends with him winning a duel by stripping his female opponent naked with one sword-stroke. Thanks Japan!

*NOTE: I think I actually preferred the concept and designs of the Silverhawks over the Thundercats, when I was a kid (Cheetarah being the exception, of course. There's no improving on that.) Even the Silverhawks' rogues gallery (sorry, I meant "intergalactic mob") was well-designed -- check it out!

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, "The Sun Ain't Shining No More"

Been listening to this song a lot for over a month now, and it's still fun. Mette Lindberg's voice startles when it first hits, but then after a split-second adjustment it clicks into place and you're shimmying along.

The Danish band was Amy Winehouse's opening act, and their music has been on an iPod ad as well as Gossip Girl, but don't hold all that against them. Watch and enjoy!

Official site here, and wiki here.