I’m Ekko. I’ve been blogging since 2001. I started with music, then added some humor and miscellany, and now also write extensively about comic books. These are my lifelong loves.

If you want to submit your music or art for consideration, please e-mail me ekalett@yahoo.com. I read and listen to all submissions, but only review the ones that I really like. I do not review music released on a label that is part of the RIAA. This is an independent site.

This is the “home page” of my site. If you’re only interested in specific topics, please click on the topic from the menu bar at the top of this page.


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a little bit of BK in VA

LUPE FIASCO-Tesuo and Youth

The problem with most rap albums is the music. It’s usually beats and hooks, without actual music. And there’s usually no sense of “album.” Kanye West tried to change that with his 808s and Heartbreak album, and it looks like the game has caught up–and surpassed him. In 2015, Kendrick Lamar released the most layered and complex rap album I’ve ever heard, and Lupe Fiasco released his riskiest. It’s hard to pick one line, or even three or five, that show Lupe’s skill as a lyricist–and how much he’s grown as an artist–but it’s worth mentioning his reference to Bach. The song, “Murals,” is an 8-plus minute masterpiece that begins with musical swirls that provide more than just the standard when-will-the-rapping-start anticipation–they provide context, and, frankly, they’re beautiful.

Long-form rap songs don’t sell. But Lupe, who experienced several false starts in his career and recently released Lazers to a terrible reception, seems totally at peace with that. And in embracing the fact that he is an older, more mature artist, he has found true freedom and powerful expression. And created one of the best rap albums of the year.

And if you can find the “Leftovers” mixtape, it’s quite good, too.



I have been super-busy with work lately and unable to keep up with the latest happenings, and then this story hit my feed: “FOX is Moving Forward with Fantastic Four 2.” I’m sorry, but I can’t let that stand. 20th Century Fox has greenlit a sequel to the worst comic book movie ever made, a title previously held by Man of Steel. Why is F4 the worst? The reasons are legion: It’s a superhero movie, but nobody runs; the bad guy is kind of stupid and is ultimately beaten with a single punch; the evil plot doesn’t make sense; the negative zone doesn’t have anyone in it; the best scene (Thing used as a bomb) from the preview was cut from the film; I could go on and on. But perhaps the worst of all? I would never watch it again. It didn’t even make me angry, like the terrible mistreatment of Superman’s legend in Man of Steel or the ponderous plot of Ghost Rider. It just … Sucked. I’m hoping this story is just a lie planted to try to boost sales of the DVD, which is probably coming out soon.

So, what else is going on in the comics world?

TWO BROTHERS GRAPHIC NOVEL WILL BE AWESOME. Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon have a new project coming out. The creators of one of the best comics of all time, Daytripper, will release Two Brothers at the end of the month via publisher Dark Horse. It adapts a novel by Milton Hatoum’s about twin Lebanese immigrants in Brazil, one of whom becomes rich and the other a gutter drunk.

OMEGA MEN IS NOT CANCELLED. One of the few DC books I read regularly has apparently been rescued from cancellation. Of course, I’ve been away so long from the news arena I didn’t even know it was under review. DC promises 12 issues, but it probably won’t be put into a trade so go and buy it guys. Seriously. It’s really good.

MARVEL’S DENIABILITY AS MUTANT HATERS DWINDLES. Fans have speculated for over a year now that Marvel’s push towards Inhumans and its killing off of characters like Wolverine, and marginalizing many more mutants, is part of its goal to use only characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe in its pulp properties. Marvel has denied it, and to be fair there were several X-books in the Secret Wars events, but the Terrigen Mists appear to be killing more and more mutants, and there appear to be only six mutant books in the new Marvel lineup (dropping many books like Storm, Magneto, and Cyclops, reducing to two Wolverine books, and cancelling X-Factor and X-force, among others). And the Wolverine books will be Old Man and Girl Wolverines, not the Logan we once knew. And lastly, it looks like the new X-books will put the mutants on another planet, so they don’t touch the mainstream Marvel comicverse. It becomes harder and harder to believe that they aren’t trying to avoid cross-promoting another studio’s movie property.

HELLBOY AT THE LIBRARY! Buffy, Astro Boy, the wonderful Blacksad, and Sin City are just a few of the 900 Dark Horse comics that will now be available via Hoopla, a streaming service used by public libraries. The service already offers some DC, Vertigo, Image, IDW, and Boom! comics. This is a great way to introduce new readers to comics, and to address the dwindling usability of hardcopy books.

A BOOSTER GOLD/BLUE BEETLE MOVIE? Apparently, Warner Bros is considering an action buddy comedy starring the Blue and the Gold, to be written by Zak “Avengers” Penn and directed by Greg “Arrow and Flash” Berlanti. It might be nice to see a little humor and light in a DC supermovie.

THE AVENGERS ENDS. MCU boss Kevin Feige basically confirmed what we all suspected: Avengers: Infinity War will be an end to the use of the current versions of Cap, Iron Man, etc., and Phase Four will have a new roster. They haven’t said for sure, but I can’t imagine Robert Downey, Jr., stays on board—or Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner or Scarlet Johannson. And Thor’s gotta age sometime, and lose those looks that make my wife swoon.

NEW ALL-STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN? Jim Lee has hinted that he and Frank Miller might actually finish their run, which stopped abruptly many moons ago after pissing off tons of Batfans. Not me, though. I loved it. Robin kicks Green Lantern’s ass by putting him in a room painted yellow. How cool is that?

MORE BAT-NEWS. Batman: Europa, another Batman book that was prematurely terminated (this one, before the first issue ever got published), will definitely be returning. It will be written by Brian Azzarello and Matteo Casali and drawn by Jim Lee and Giuseppe Camuncoli, as originally announced in 2011. It will be four issues about Batman on vacation in Italy.

AND FINALLY…DARK KNIGHT 3! You all must know by now that Frank Miller will partner with Azzarello, Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson on a new book about his vision of future Batman—the book that, along with Watchmen, changed comic book making forever. Dark Knight III: The Master Race will be an 8-issue series, and every issue will have a backup story. Issues will be 50 pages and cost $6, with a special bound edition of each issue that will run you $13 a pop (with a slipcase to store all eight issues in).


WEEKENDS ARE FOR SINGLES featuring Cousin Stizz, a live mash up, and more!

Mash ups are good, but often at some point they trip over themselves but, really, they’re two songs that aren’t supposed to go together. But live mash ups have a better chance, because the band can smooth out the edges and make it seamless. And this one, off the new Surreal McCoy’s album, “Howl and the Growl” is terrific.

And now, a few more great tunes for your weekend….
Cousin Stizz’s Suffolk County mixtape may just be the best rap release of the year, so I’m not sure why he’s so upset. “Been smoking this weed ‘cause I’m stressin,” he says, on this new single. I fucking love this guy.

Germany Germany are from British Columbia. Go figure. But their new ambient instrumental (mostly) album is pretty good.

“It’s Alright” is the best song off Katie Stump’s new EP, Feels Like Home. It’s a bright, sunny song from a promising new artist.


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