Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Epitaph Logo

This is the Epitaph logo. It is one of my favorite logos of all time.

That is all.

We Love Typography Is Addictive

Nubby Twiglet (yep, her again) pointed the way to this great new site, We Love Typography. Take some time an wander around, it's amazing.

Top Ten Manic Street Preachers Songs

I cannot believe that it took me this long to start posting lists, as everyone who knows me knows I think alot about rankings. In honor of my earlier post about the Manic Street Preachers, here is my Top Ten Manic Street Preachers Songs. I've included youtube links. Enjoy.

1.A Design For Life (Everything Must Go)
2.Sleepflower (Gold Against The Soul)
3.Faster (The Holy Bible)
4.Motown Junk (Single)
5.Yes (The Holy Bible)
6.Motorcycle Emptiness (Generation Terrorists)
7.The Everlasting (This Is My Truth)
8.Die In The Summertime (The Holy Bible)
9.Ready For Drowning (This Is My Truth)
10.PCP (The Holy Bible)

CAUTION - MSP is an acquired taste. They are not for the faint of heart - really, I'm not joking!

The Tudors Is Back, Better Than Ever

I am a big fan of Showtime's The Tudors. The series stars Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as King Henry VIII of England. It is an amazingly tumultuous period of history, one that reverberates through today. Henry VIII's life ripples through the English/Irish Troubles that continue to the present day.

Anyway, the show is fascinating. Rhys-Meyers gives a tour-de-force performance in the series. While he was previously spectacular in Todd Hayne's absurdly underrated Velvet Goldmine (where he brilliantly portrayed David Bowie), it seems that this is the part he was born to play. Rhys-Meyers embodies Henry VIII's royal charisma and brutal ferocity effortlessly.

The new season just began, and it has been riveting. It's so good, that even though I know what is going to happen, I find myself on the edge of my seat every episode. Do yourself a favor and watch them from the beginning. Not only will you be fully entertained, but you can pick up some history while you are at it.

New Manic Street Preachers Is Enticing

In the late 90's, one of my favorite bands was the Manic Street Preachers. Maybe more than any band in history, I felt like the band themselves were occasionally more interesting than the music. At least Simon Price's Everything: A Book About the Manic Street Preachers certainly was more interesting than any of their albums (except for The Holy Bible).

The Manics (or MSP as I prefer) were truly unlike any other band - four friends from the dirty coal fields of Wales, exceptionally literate, self-referential, self-destructive, and occasionally brilliant. Enigmatic, charismatic "guitarist" (the quotations are in place because it is debated how much of his playing wound up on any of their albums, and live his amp would be so low as to be inaudible) and lyricist Richey Edwards (or Richey James) was a true original in rock. In 1994 he disappeared, a true mystery. No body has ever been recovered, and though legally dead, his friends and family still hold out hope that he might return or be found.

MSP soldiered on, releasing the excellent, Britpop classic, Everything Must Go in 1995. After that, it seemed like they got really soft, and the law of diminishing returns certainly came into play upon each respective release. They've had a few good songs here and there, but not an album that is even remotely memorable.

Journal For Plague Lovers is their soon to be released album. Why is this noteworthy?

We’ve been waiting with one hand on the feather boa to see what might come from the Manics’ first return to Richey Edwards’ lyrics since ‘Everything Must Go’. The first peek beneath the tarpaulin reveals a leopard-print beast that shakes off the weight of accumulated myth with a stern, gruff riff, betraying Steve Albini’s production in a heartbeat. Described by the band as “oblique, skewed punk pop” influenced by Pere Ubu, The Skids and Pixies, it picks a deft path between their past and their present. The track opens sweet and restrained, with the understatement of later work, before the refrain of “Oh mummy, what’s a Sex Pistol” breaks into the mile-a-minute, veiny-throated, word-spitting ferocity of old. Full circle and full throttle.

In other words, they are writing new songs with some of Richey's left over lyrics. I am totally OK with this because the writings were intended to be lyrics, not poetry or prose. I hope having to live up to Richey's lyrics cause them to rise to the occasion. I could go on about them all day, but instead watch this.

The cover is again painted by British artist Jenny Saville - one of the best contemporary painters in the world.