Grab Bag!!!

http://www.citypaper.com/arts/review.asp?rid=14165 A fun to read review of the new book, Jetpack Dreams: One Man's Up and Down (But Mostly Down) Search For The Greatest Invention That Never Was by Mac Montandon from Baltimore's CITYPAPER.

A National Post article about the precarious place of graphic novels as they try to break out of the comic book ghetto.

Article on Olivia from the LA TIMES.

Here are a few articles on sometimes Bettie Page impersonator Joey Arias from GAY CITY NEWS, TIME OUT NEW YORK and THE NEW YORK TIMES.

A fashion article that draws a line between Bettie Page bangs and an embrace of existentialism! Interesting to say the least!

THE YAKIMA HERALD does a hard-hitting investigative piece on the pernicious threat of BREWLESQUE... coffee served by lovely ladies in pin-up garb.

Did anybody in the UK see the burlesque-themed movie MAKE IT HAPPEN? Is it as bad as it looks?


PAIGEY! THE ART OF PAIGE PUMPHREY is a visual "greatest hits" of the art of this rockabilly-infused comic book artist. Paigey's absolutely adorable figures are plump and round and uncomplicated, almost as if created for animation. Despite the "line against curve" figure drawing, she injects enough specificity to create a sense of reality about even her most cartoonish figures.

Where Paigey shines is in allowing her characters to radiate personality. Some artists come up with one great "character" and then swap hair and props to stretch that character into a career. Paigey can use a consistent stylistic approach on a series of figures (as she does in her wonderful portraits of roller derby teams) and by squashing, stretching or shifting basic anatomy, creates fully-realized, totally differentiated characters that genuinely come alive on the page. For this reason, it's easy to see why she is increasingly in demand for her stylized commissioned portrait. When being a Paigey character looks as much fun as it does in this book, who wouldn't want to be one???

If a fault could be found, it's not with the art, which, from the tributes to EC horror and 50's romance comics, the many 'toon tributes to roller derby girls, pop culture figures such as Kat Von D, comic characters like old skool Kitty Pryde (inclusion of her purple dragon Lockheed earns her nerd points) and scores of captivating designs for a goth/vampire comic, "Pearly Whites", is all inspiring. Rather, the slim volume has almost no written copy -- not on the back, not a foreward, nothing to put this grouping of commissions, character sheets and posters into context. If it ever goes back to press or when Paigey is ready to fill another book, she should consider adding some commentary.

The bottom line is that if Walt Kelly and Bruce Timm both listened to Gene Vincent, they might draw rockabilly boys, pin-up girls and roller derby queens with as much sass and panache as Paigey!

PAIGEY! THE ART OF PAIGE PUMPHREY may be purchased directly from the artist, via her MySpace page.

First Blush Music Reviews

Imelda May has some serious vocal chops and her songs are all constructed around showing off her pipes. Clearly, this is an artist who has done her homework (evidently, she was the vocalist for a roots rock band for seven years prior to going solo). Like a subtle perfume, her various vocal stylings hint and whisper at sources of inspiration... full-throated, husky, imperiousness that Wanda Jackson couldn't handle better, whispered laments that could move Billie Holiday or sultry come-hithers that would have Petty Lee swinging her hips. The success of Imelda May is that none of these influences overpower her own talents, and it is precisely this ease as moving from country to jazz to pop (even if "pop" music as it hit turntables a half a century ago) attitudes that makes her music such a delight to behold. The music is tasteful, featuring a full band but restrained arrangements, recorded to sound warm and alive -- as proven by the "live room" sound of the thumping upright base that opens "Johnny Got a Boom Boom".

Joe Brown blends US and UK influences to create a satisfying roots rock sound. The clean, modern and full production stands in contrast to much of the ethic of today's retro and alt-country approach. Instead, the work sounds either like when past country luminaries tried to sound "relevant" in the 80's and 90's (think the Cash/Nelson/Jennings/Kristofferson supergroup THE HIGHWAYMEN or Carl Perkins' star-studded 1996 effort, GO CAT GO) or when 60's and 70's rock gods grab a mandolin or bust out a shuffle lick (think TRAVELING WILBURYS). The picking is more crisp than ferocious, but it'll get your toe tapping.

The Honeybees - genial, witty ditties that rise on the wings of high harmonies and the sweet (if occasionally pitchy) female dual vocals of Barbara Clifford and Rachel Decker, ably abetted by sunny playing that nods to many styles found in the pre-British Invasion hit parade.

Rockabilly Roundup!

PhotobucketSince we featured a glowing review of Dave Alvin's BEST OF THE HIGHTONE YEARS, here's some "equal time" for his no-less-talented brother, PHIL ALVIN, the lead singer of THE BLASTERS. THE RED BANK ORBIT, from Red Bank, NJ, caught up with him for a fun interview.

PhotobucketJODY REYNOLDS, the cat who brought us "Endless Sleep" has joined the protagonist of his 1950's "teen tragedy" hit. No teen, he, Reynolds lived to see 75, having played on for decades, as well as carving out a successful career in real estate.

For more:

Finally, a little Q&A with Jim "Reverend Horton Heat" Heath, in which he talks about having "Psychobilly Freakout" on GUITAR HERO II and how recording a great record does not necessarily make you a musician.



Tonight, THE SUNDANCE CHANNEL is airing a documentary entitled CARNY tonight at 9 PM. CARNY is about the modern-day, anachronistic life of circus and sideshow folk. The documentary is spun from the amazing photo essay by Virginia Lee Hunter.

Here's a trailer for the doc:

CARNY Documentary trailer