- I’m giving an album AllMusic gave a fairly glowing review of recently. The album is called “Cover Art”; the debut from a new Jazz-based group of musicians called The NEXT Collective. What’s interesting — considering the amount of talent and experience that comes with the group — is that this is an album of covers. But it really does not feel that way, considering it is instrumental music: jams that go on without much structure beyond, “alright, just keep in the key Drake initially had…” It’s an interesting way to do a debut, and it’ll test your opinion on how artistic covers can or cannot be. If you didn’t know it, you’d think this is a collection of 10 original and very organic songs, recorded with very few takes. This is the cover:
- That blog I spoke of last week is now up and running (though the visuals may still change). The first piece is mine. Which means you’ll know my real name. Oooohhhh… I’m definitely trying to flex some creative muscles I haven’t used in some time; I’m sure it could be better. But it was a blast to get back into more creative writing. There’s definitely a thesis, I hope it’s as clear to everyone else as it is to me. Hopefully this will turn into a good little music blog for people to RSS and follow on Tumblr, cause it’s a great mixture of people writing for it.
“A pair of psychology professors have discovered that a hockey player’s month of birth influences how scouts and coaches judge his talent, and this subconscious selection bias often puts the wrong players on the roster. The study, published online in the journal PLOS ONE, found NHL teams have long underestimated the talent and potential of players born in the second half of the year and tend to overlook them in favor of relatively older players. That is exactly the opposite of what they ought to do, said James Deaner of Grand Valley State University. For any given spot in the draft, players born in the first three months of the year are more likely to be successful than those born in the second half of the same year. “If teams really wanted to win, they should have drafted more of the relatively younger players,” Deaner said.”
“But with The Dark Knight Returns being given the full conversion treatment, this criticism of the film can no longer be the result of compression failure. The problems of the film do not come from lack of loyalty to the source. Far from it – this movie shows us, once more, that overzealous reliance on the original work is not necessarily a boon. A lot of what made The Dark Knight Returns such a good comics was, well, comics-related stuff. The movie tries to re-use some of these elements which remain inert in a medium not suited for them – there are long parts in the novel in which Batman’s actions are interjected with a point/counterpoint-style TV show, Miller and Johnson’s art scatter these discussions (along with dozens of other occurrences) all over the page, they become a representation of fragmented culture (as opposed to the more unified and direct media age that gave birth to Batman and his ilk) and watching them, we realize that Batman no longer operates in a world he was not meant to inhabit (and why the story must end the way it does).”
This is what a lot of people fail to comprehend: there are certain storytelling tropes that are completely unique to sequential art. These tropes may very well explain why (some) comics have turned out to be about the things they’re about; these tropes lend themselves very well to certain high-concepts, visual action, and narrative succession. No matter how faithfully you adapt a comic to a film, or television show, or web series… it still will never be the same thing as reading the comic. Because sequential art — though it’s been around since the Dawn of Man — is one of the most unique storytelling mediums we have, for many reasons I won’t get into here.
A really great explanation of this, in the said form (so it’s pretty meta), is Scott McCloud’s “Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art”. Great book.