Monthly Archives: July 2008

Marat/Sade at Forum

Fringe is over, but Forum’s Marat/Sade has two more weekends left in its run. Reviewed for DCist . . . more than a week ago. I’m a bit behind in my blogkeeping.

Three Guys and a Singular Girl: Old 97’s at 9:30

Reviewed for DCist.

Old 97’s at the 9:30 Club, Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Setlist

01 The Fool

02 Barrier Reef

03 The One

04 The Other Shoe

05 Designs on You

06 Color of Lonely Heart Is Blue (Murry Hammond lead vocal)

07 Lonely Holiday

08 My Two Feet

09 Early Morning

10 Stoned

11 This Beautiful Thing (Murry Hammond lead vocal)

12 Question

13 I Will Remain

14 Niteclub

15 No Baby I

16 Smokers (Murry Hammond lead vocal)

17 Over the Cliff (Jon Langford cover; marvelous)

18 Rollerskate Skinny

19 The Easy Way

ENCORE 1:

20 Come Around (Rhett Miller solo)

21 ? (The Spring Standard with Rhett Miller)

22 Valentine (Murry Hammond lead vocal)

23 Dance with Me

24 Big Brown Eyes

25 If My Heart Was a Car

ENCORE 2:

26 Indefinitely

27 Timebomb

The Band

Philip Peeples — drums

Ken Bethea — guitar

Murry Hammond — bass, vocals

Rhett Miller — vocals, guitar

Media Mix XIV: When Alyssa Met Johnny

Coupla a serviceable new releases from emerging artists this week. Details.

Old 97s at Old Low Prices

How many things cost only one-third more now than they did seven years ago? Concert tickets, following their stratospheric mid-90s leap (another reason to hate Don Henley) may actually have leveled out in the first part of the 21st century. When the Old 97s play the 9:30 next week, they’ll be charging only $5 more face than they did back in 2001. (Good seats still available, incredibly.) These guys have kids and mortgages! How can they do that?

Here’s my review of their reassuring latest, Blame It on Gravity, from today’s Weekend section. I haven’t been able to find it on the Paper of Record’s web site anywhere except for right here.

Making Sweet Musical

Natascia Diaz and Doug Kreeger in Rooms: A Rock Romance. Photo by Colin Hovde.

Ever wonder how an original musical gets written? A: Very slowly.

And now I’m writing about theatre for the Paper of Record.

The Freak Flag Flies High

My first MusicMakers profile for the Paper of Record is about the man who installed the Mothership Connection . . . President, One Nation Under a Groove . . . the Atomic Dawg his own bad self, Mr. George Clinton.

Off to que up for The Dark Knight at the Uptown now. I’d be doing exactly the same thing if I were 11 years old. I’d be embarrassed over how excited I am to see the flick if everyone I know weren’t nearly as excited as me. We’re counting on you, Chris Nolan.

Stuever on the Clown Prince of Crime

How the hell did I miss this? Stuever’s one of my favorite scribes at the Paper of Record, and The Joker is, of course, the scariest killer in fiction. Decent essay — Stuever’s are never less — but he misses that people said the same thing about Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman that he’s saying about Chris Nolan’s 2008 The Dark Knight: That the villain is more interesting than the hero. Well, yeah, Hank: The villain is always more interesting than the hero.

I can’t recall if it was an issue of Detective Comics where I first saw the ad pictured above on the back. (Could they advertise “Suggested for Mature Readers” books on Comics Code-approved books?) It would have been late 1987 or early 1988. I do remember being terrified by Brian Bolland’s depiction of The Joker — those swollen, murderous eyeballs! — and reading longtime editor of the Bat-books editor (an occasional writer) Denny O’Neil’s “From the Den” warning that The Killing Joke was most certainly not appropriate for children. His column ended with the sentence, “You are alerted.”

A smart salesman, that O’Neil.

Naturally, I had to have it.

I’d read The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One by that point, both “adult” Batman stories that had found a massive audience outside of the comics mainstream — one that O’Neill hoped, no doubt, would spend $3.50 on The Killing Joke, too. (The new hardcover reissue will set you back $17.99.)

When it finally hit the comic book shop to which I faithfully pedaled a sweaty mile, several times a week, Roger (the rat-tailed manager who was exactly like Comic Book guy on The Simpsons, only disgustingly skinny instead of corpulent) slapped a “PG-18” sticker on it, which made it like an R-rated movie, only you couldn’t buy a ticket for something else and then sneak in. Your parents, could however, sign an index card granting you permission to buy PG-18 comics (mostly the DC fantasy/horror books like Swamp Thing and, a year or so later, Sandman; the kind of stuff that in the 90s would comprise DC’s Vertigo line. I’m pretty sure this store didn’t carry anything that might approach any legal standard of obscene, though probably a lot of parents would have called Love & Rockets that.) Incredibly, my dad accompanied me to the store at my urging so I could buy The Killing Joke. (Later — somewhat incredibly, he even signed one of those index cards.) It was the first comic I ever saw where the bad guy actually seemed evil, and his acts horrifying and irreversible.

I’m going to have another look at The Killing Joke tonight, before I see The Dark Knight on Thursday. Can. Not. Wait.