Oh Monday. How I wish you were Friday. I have one review in today’s Manga Minis at Manga Recon, for volumes 2 & 3 of Go!Comi’s Ultimate Venus. It is a silly, silly series that I enjoyed quite a bit more than expected. This initially led to a rambling post musing on the futility of assigning grades in reviews, but it sort of pushed itself into a corner so I’ve given it up for now. Instead, here are a few random links to things I’ve enjoyed recently:
2. Her Majesty’s Dog at soliloquy in blue. Over, oh, basically a day, Michelle read and reviewed this series in its entirety. The reviews are funny and fun, and they’ve been an awesome read. Enjoy!
3. Katherine Farmar’s response to the whole Hooded Utilitarian thing at Whereof one can speak. I can’t bring myself to make fantastic, heated arguments about much nowadays, but I still love it when other people do.
4. Viz Media’s new jobs feed. I keep waiting for “Woman who loves manga, lives on the other side of the country, and has no useful skills” to turn up, but so far it’s a bust. I never give up!
5. Ed Sizemore’s Reflections of a Rookie Reviewer at Comics Worth Reading. Ed talks about his first year as a CWR reviewer, and it’s pretty damn inspiring.
Now for a strange personal interlude. I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic lately, both for NYC (certain aspects, at least), and my little sister, and when these things are put together, it gets me thinking about music. So I thought I’d share a few free mp3s! As some of you know, I recorded an album, oh, ten or eleven years ago, filled with songs mostly written by me. The physical albums are long sold-out, and I doubt we’ll ever print more, but you can still buy the mp3s at CD Baby or iTunes (I think the CD baby album download is cheaper, but you can buys single songs at iTunes). I’m not sure I can truly recommend it after all these years (a lot of it seems seriously embarrassing now), but here are a few tracks, just for fun.
Goodbye: This is still my favorite song on the album after all this time, though it seems kind of ridiculous in retrospect. Heavily influenced by a childhood love of Goodnight Moon, this is accompanied mainly by cellist James Jacobs who recorded sixteen cello tracks, plus double bass and recorder. Sixteen cello tracks. I play guitar on it too, but it’s all about the cello. It’s technically a happy song about leaving New York for a better life. On the other hand, the guy who I was planning to leave New York for broke up with me soon after. Over e-mail. Ah, life. Most of the songs have stories like this, since pre-2000, you could best measure my life in increments of ex-boyfriends. Even the cellist was an ex-boyfriend, though thankfully far ex enough by that point to play on a recording of songs about ex-boyfriends without being included. Heh. Katie doesn’t sing on this, but I always think of her, because she cried the first time she heard it.
She Waits For Him: One of the few songs not about me (weirdly, it’s actually about, uh, Buffy… and Angel… what?), and my baby sister sings on it with me, which is what I was getting nostalgic about. I was listening to a lot of Joni Mitchell at the time, which I think is pretty obvious. This is, actually, the very first song I ever wrote.
Unless you count Dan, Dan the Eyeball Man, written by my sister and me while we were in college, about a guy she had a crush on her freshman year. The chorus was written over the phone (from her dorm to my apartment), and the rest in the back of a van over vacation, while accompanying our parents on their move from Michigan to New York. It is mostly incomprehensible unless you went to our school (Carnegie-Mellon University), and at one point all of the buildings (some of which no longer exist) burst into song. This is the one song from the album you can’t get online, as it was an unlisted bonus track. And you know, really this is my favorite song on the album. Katie, *smooch* this is for you.
Lastly, I Don’t Think You Know, the one upbeat track on the whole album, though it’s only the tempo that is actually upbeat, while the song itself is pretty damn bitter. My sister is on backing vocals again (wahoo!), James on cello, and this time we’ve also got engineer Ralph Grasso (who was really responsible for making this album possible) on drums, and his friend Robert Derby (who also mastered the album) on guitars and electric bass.
I’ve shared these tracks before in various places, but I think never here. Hopefully there’s something there to enjoy still, after all this time. Ah, nostalgia. If only I had a glass of wine.