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Posts made in April 2nd, 2011

TOP 20 MONTHLY COMIC BOOKS—The ones you should be reading!

Granted, I don’t (couldn’t possibly) read every comic book published on a weekly basis. I don’t even read every Marvel comic published each week, and they’re far and away my favorite publisher. But I do read an awful lot. So I feel competent to tell you that if you’ve got the money (about 80 bucks) and time (about 2 hours, depending on how long you savor the experience—and not counting re-reads) to read 20 books a month, these are the ones I’d go with. I’m not counting minis and one-shots here—just regular series.

As I created this list, I was shocked to find out that I don’t think that much of Brian Michael Bendis’ Avengers work anymore. If I’d created this snapshot a year ago, New Avengers and Dark Avengers would have been at the top. Also, S.H.I.E.L.D. and Secret Warriors would probably have been on here—but now, they’re cancelled.

So hit the break for the books that should be on your pull list.  Or else, Batman will kick you in the head.


J MASCIS-Several Shades of Why

“Several Shades of Why” is the best album Eddie Vedder ever made as lead singer for the stripped Rolling Stones. Oh, wait.  That’s not Eddie.  The voice is a little too clear–no growl, no phlegm.  And that’s not Keith Richards, either.  It’s a little too precise.  A little too gentle.  Who the hell is this?  J Mascis?  That guy from Dinosaur (Jr.)?  Oh, okay.  That answers two questions: (1) Why it sounds like Pearl Jam; and (2) why it’s so fucking good.

Dinosaur (Jr.) are one of those bands to whom everyone who loves alt-rock owes a great debt, but they still remain largely unheard.  People like to say they like them, but they don’t own a single record.  Well, if you’re one of them: Shame on you.  If you’re not: Good for you.  You need to get this album.

Several Shades of Why is an unusual, intimate, largely acoustic album.  It’s J’s only solo outing–and it’s completely different from anything he’s done before.  Featuring guest appearances by the likes of Kurt Vile (whose “Smoke Rings For My Halo” will compete with this album for a lot on my best of the year list, I am almost certain), Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses), and many other talented indie musicians.

This is one of the best albums I’ve heard this year, hands down.  It clocks in at ten songs, and every one is a keeper.  Get this, and you’ll understand why everyone from Eddie Vedder to Kurt Cobain considered Dinosaur (Jr.) a major inspiration and influence.

Not Enough

And here’s a little hippie love on the video:


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