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I Wanna Be Literated #148
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Collection, Vol. 1 by Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are a force that transcends generations. My version of the heroes in a half shell involves the Saturday morning cartoon on TV in the early 90s: what I consider to be the “right” content for turtles fan. I just couldn’t get enough of them, and considering how slim the pickings were for a kid growing up in the Caribbean, I did...

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Wednesday, 22 March 2017
I Wanna Be Literated #147
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Moonglow by Michael Chabon I know we run a column here on Ground Control called I Wanna Be Literated but the fact is we’re not literary guys here on the site. We know what we like, but we’re not going to argue for or against an Oxford comma, for example. One thing is clear, though: this reviewer definitely has a soft spot for Michael Chabon. I first heard about Chabon on the Simpsons (again, we are NOT literary guys) and...

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Thursday, 16 March 2017
Vinyl Vlog #207
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The Bouncing Souls Simplicity The Bouncing Souls will always be an important band in my life. Not just because they were my gateway band to punk rock and some truly great music, but because when I put on some of their records, they still manage to move me after all these years. These would be their Maniacal Laughter, the Selftitled, and Hopeless Romantic. Track for track, these albums are simply classics and monsters of punk rock. But I started noticing...

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Thursday, 09 March 2017
Vinyl Vlog #206
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the 2LP reissue of Surrender by The Chemical Brothers. Then as now, the conventional wisdom is that Dig Your Own Hole has the biggest of The Chemical Brothers’ entries into the mainstream but, for this critic’s money, the greatest creative triumph of the group’s storied career is their third full-length, Surrender. With Surrender, the group had the mainstream’s attention and knew it, but rather than shying away or being evasive of their...

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Tuesday, 07 March 2017
I Wanna Be Literated #146
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A Contract with God: And Other Tenement Stories Hardcover Centennial Edition by Will Eisner   Let’s talk about the words “graphic novel.” You know it just means comics, right? Well, the thing is, mainstream comics want to use it to label their kiddy superhero comics and try to “legitimize” them. Where it really applies is the comic book stories that have been approached with a sort of elegance and integrity that has eluded superheroes comics for the past god-knows-how-long. The...

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Tuesday, 07 March 2017
Vinyl Vlog 205
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A deeper look at the grooves pressed into the 2LP reissue of Dig Your Own Hole by The Chemical Brothers. …And then, with the release of Dig Your Own Hole, The Chemical Brothers became a pop culture phenomenon. Now, it could be contended that the arrival and immediate public embrace of Dig Your Own Hole was the result of several different factors intersecting (after grunge, Brit-Pop overtook both the charts and popular imagination thanks to bands including Blur, Oasis and...

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Thursday, 02 March 2017
I Wanna Be Literated #145
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Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong No matter how much you think you know about Seinfeld, there’s always more to uncover. I considered myself a fan of the show ever since I would watch the live broadcast back in high school. But it’s only several years later when the show was being released on DVD in these nifty box sets that I decided to actually commit and rewatch the entire series. By then Seinfeld...

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Wednesday, 01 March 2017
From the GC Archives: The Weirdo Years by R. Crumb: 1981-’93
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The Weirdo Years by R. Crumb: 1981-’93   Robert Crumb is THE man in indie comics. Having been around for so long and having put out material of such high quality, and having been such an influence on not just other artists, but other writers and on pop culture in general, it’s imperative that everyone even remotely interested in art (any art) should check out R. Crumb’s work. But where to start? Like I said, R. Crumb has such a...

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Tuesday, 28 February 2017
Vinyl Vlog #204
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Ben Webster Gone With the Wind   I think it says a lot that I can go from listening to GG Allin to Ben Webster in the same day. But that’s what being a true punk rocker means: your music world is constantly expanding and your appreciation for different genres is elevated. The punk and jazz connection is there in some form or another and I’m sure entire articles and even books have been dedicated to the subject. But, let...

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Friday, 24 February 2017
From the GC Archives: Beck “Morning Phase” Vinyl Vlog
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Beck Morning Phase Beck, you guys. Beck! One of the only artists (along with Radiohead) that appealed to me in high school, taught me a thing or two about how good music should be made, and kept me with them all these years. Odelay changed the game for me. At first, I thought it was too different and weird. Then I just realized that I was the weird one and that his albums were just fine. Unfortunately, after his album...

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Thursday, 23 February 2017