Radical’s forthcoming illustrated novel, Jake the Dreaming will be available for the iPad (and iPhone) around December 2011. I do know that it’s the story of boyhood, forever tilting at the world, reimagining the world as it adventures its way through. Jake discovers the power to walk into others’ dreams and save them from Nocturnus, the demon that would poison sleep forever. It’s also the story of technological shifts inscribing a new cultural story. And, speculating on 40 years down the line, it seems to be a story that will not need a second act.
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Julie Taymor’s experimental film adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest was quite unfortunate and problematic. Helen Mirren as the female Prospera (not the male Prospero, as in the original play) was brilliant but too underused. The comic bits, which could have been well-performed, basically ruined the film. But “Prospera’s Coda”, a song that immediately followed the film, was most touching, dark, and brooding. Shakespeare wrote the lyrics, and Beth Gibbons of Portishead fame took over on vocals. Beth Gibbons did an excellent job at illustrating loss, despair, and, finally, retirement, via her singing.
Chris Tarry is internationally recognized for his bass playing and composing, but as his new release, Rest of the Story, proves, he’s an author, too. Tarry has been publishing fiction in Canadian and American literary journals. His smartly titled new CD for Nineteen-Eight Records is a piece of hybrid art that includes 100 pages of his writing. Described on the website as a product “that speaks to a time when album design still mattered”, Rest of the Story is an exercise in the art of the CD from one of jazz’s top band leaders.
Joss Whedon once claimed that he and his friends loved shows like Dawson’s Creek and Party of Five but that they really didn’t have enough rocket launchers or people kicking each other in the face – something that explains a lot of the unique pleasure of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Fans of Whedon’s style of action-heavy teen angst might also want to take a chance on the upcoming Aussie action spectacular, Tomorrow, When the War Began.
Based upon the book of the same name by John Marsden, a popular novel for teens and common set text in Australian schools, the film is the first of a planned trilogy of Australian-made action blockbusters. Already out in the Antipodes, it’s been garnering praise from fans of the novel and a generally positive critical reception, but in the UK we’ll have to wait until April 8th for our fix of meaningful teen bonding and hardcore ass-kicking.
Beyond the punk hype, the seminal Please Kill Me and other distinctly unique published works. Beyond the erudite caricature and inside track on the New York City underbelly, Legs McNeil is a friend.
Today is Legs MeNeil’s… well, it doesn’t really matter how old Legs is, because he’s perpetually however you want to think of him. In his character makeup is still the teenage hoodlum who co-founded Punk; the inquisitive rapscallion who turned a love of true crime and titillation into The Other Hollywood, an exploration of the two. He’s an historian, an elder statesman, a chain-smoking television celebrity and an absolute fucking riot. Today is Legs McNeil’s birthday, and if you’ve ever spent even one minute of your life flipping through one of his book at random and marveling at what you’ve found, you’ll raise a glass of whatever your particular fancy is and send him your kindest, filthiest regards. And go pick up a copy of Please Kill Me, and maybe a t-shirt or something from his website, www.pleasekillme.com. You’ll feel much cooler if you do.