One Day Left for Prime Deals 2019! And here are the ones everyone forgot!

A lot of people are concentrating on the tech deals, but there are also deals on what Amazon initially built its empire on… books.

 

Here then are great book deals recommended for you to pick up this Prime Day… and beyond. (While supplies last!).

Everyone is aware of Kareem Abdul Jabbar as one of the great basketball players of all time. Fewer are aware of him as an acclaimed writer. From non-fiction books on all Black tank units in World War II, to his recent Graphic novel work, Kareem Abdul Jabbar proves himself as compelling a writer as he is a personality. I recommend this Prime Day, picking up his books and audio books.

 

https://amzn.to/2jGI80Y

https://amzn.to/2lJvqiN

https://amzn.to/2kcEoV8

https://amzn.to/2lJxIhT

https://amzn.to/2lImXML

The last link above is for the audio cd. There is only ONE left. So hopefully I beat you guys to it. 🙂

 

https://amzn.to/2lkVVek

The hardcover is almost sold out.

 

And below is his new Mycroft book, the third in the series, coming out this September.

https://amzn.to/2lJMs0d

And I would definitely also recommend the graphic novel, available here:

Cover Image

https://amzn.to/2lJbsEZ

Use the links, get a great item for yourself, and earn a couple pennies for this humble blog. A win-win! 🙂

 

Youtube Channel of the Day : CEREAL AT MIDNIGHT and why Physical media Matters in the age of Digital!

 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsVgZNzzvedehALS-dTIFhA

 

CEREAL AT MIDNIGHT –  Is the only Youtube channel devoted to physical media, DVDs, CDs, Blu-Rays, etc that I am subscribed to. Just a great channel, with a personable host, showing his love for physical media.Love his channel, highly recommend it for all fans of physical media. They have a nice recent episode, perfect for Halloween, and the films of the great Vincent Price.

For those of you saying either ‘what is physical media?’, or ‘boo! hiss!’ to physical media, here is me… about to break it down.

Here is the thing, streaming is fine, and VOD is fine, and Hulu is fine, and Spotify is fine, but at the end of the day, it is all vaguely out of your control. And we live in a Millennial age where the mob thinks nothing of bigger issues such as Anti-Trust and eradication of public domain and setting up a Monopolistic regime, with no viable competition, just as long as they get to see Avengers in the same movie as Fantasic Four. If you don’t understand that, do a search for Disney, and add all those words i just mentioned… and maybe when the searches return… a lightbulb will go off.

We live in an age where the masses think nothing about the loss of privacy and human rights, as long as they get to easily scream at people in their MMOGonline game.

 

Between you and your entertainment is various levels of gatekeepers, from your ISP to your cloud storage, to your streaming platform. And we live in a bullshit age of witch-hunts and ‘me too’ bs bandwagon jumping, where people can get fired and vilified before they have a day in court, and programs and movies  can be censored or altered based on the screaming of the uninformed mob, or soundtrack altered due to rights issues.

Where you don’t have to be proven guilty, you just have to be attacked like you are.

So suddenly that movie you love, may or may not be available depending on licensing agreements, and it may or may not be the same edit of the version you grew up with. It could be censored to comply with the sensibilities of fools, or the fear of companies , that faceless twitter trolls will say bad things about them.

‘I hate, hate, hate… Peter Pan!’ In my best Dustin Hoffman, Hook Voice.

God bless the child that has his own.

Here’s the thing, gatekeepers, businesses are always behind the curve, and seldom do anything for the good of the people, or posterity. They do it because of expedience and the bottom line, and that is contrary and in direct opposition… to culture. The health of it, and the growth of it.

We here in the 21st century have access to movies from the Silent age of cinema, and radio shows from the dawn of sound, and TV shows from the infancy of the medium, not because of businesses, but in spite of them.

It was collectors decades ago, when businesses could not perceive the idea of a radio show being listened to over, or a television show being re-watched, or a movie after its initial run being rescreened, it was collectors, just normal people like you and I, who preserved these things, when the gatekeepers, burnt the films, and erased the tapes, and recorded over the video tapes, it was collectors who saved much of the early history of mass media. And it was collectors who ultimately taught them, the gatekeepers, the businesses,  to value these things, if not for the love, then for the monetary value it could generate.

But still, for all the teaching, Businesses and the Gatekeepers, while they have definitely learned to monetize, and secure the rights to everything they create, they still have not learned to respect the creations.

The creations remain to them as mercurial and open to change as a ledger balance. While they control art, the gatekeepers and businesses do not understand art. And therefore art will always be at risk in such hands. Will always be at risk in the hands of accountants.

So end of the day, I love having all these shows and movies and music, available via gatekeepers, via VOD, and Hulu, and Spotify, and Itunes, etc.

But end of the day, have your hard media to fall back on, against the day that ISPY or AIRPLANE or HOUSE OF CARDS or insert show here, is not politically correct to view or hear or watch.

End of the day, do not trust the things you love… to gatekeepers. Own the shows you love in a form that no gatekeeper can edit at their whim, or remove, or bar you from.

So that is one reason I’m a fan of CEREAL AT MIDNIGHT. It is a reminder that physical media is still out there, and can be picked up affordably. And is worth picking up.

Here endeth the rant! 🙂

Best & Favorite of 2017!!!

This is a bit belated but I think you will find a nice overview to 2017 and pointers to 2018 in the ramblings below.

Favorite movies seen in the Theater in 2017:

KONG:SKULL ISLAND

LOGAN

 

I only saw two movies in the theater in 2017, so looking to improve on that in 2018. Nothing in January had me jazzed to pay theater prices for, however I am looking forward to the following in 2018:

click for larger (if applicable) click for larger (if applicable) click for larger (if applicable)

EQUALIZER 2

click for larger (if applicable)

 

FAVORITE TV SHOWS IN 2017:

  • LEGION
  • TAKEN
  • POWER
  • AMERICAN NINJA
  • CHOPPED
  • AMERICAN PICKERS
  • LOVE IT OR LIST IT
  • LETHAL WEAPON
  • THE GRAND TOUR
  • GODLESS
  • RUNAWAYS

FAVORITE STREAMING TV CHANNEL IN 2017

The one two punch of AMAZON PRIME and HULU gets this award. NETFLIX that was riding high in 2016 with LUKE CAGE and other shows, had a disappointing 2017. With a non user friendly interface compared to Amazon Prime and a selection of shows and movies that weren’t as interesting or well curated as either HULU or AMAZON PRIME, I cancelled my membership at the end of 2017. The last straw being the overhyped and ultimately lackluster PUNISHER series, as well as news of the studios pulling their content from Netflix.

In 2018 the TV shows that I am or will be watching are:

CASTLE ROCK

GRAND TOUR

TAKEN (I think the new showrunner made a mistake getting rid of most of the cast from season 1, but hopefully he can course correct and fix it)

STRIKE BACK and ELEMENTARY return after long hiatuses

LONGMEYER went out with a bit of a whimper, so looking forward to YELLOWSTONE

JACK RYAN

LETHAL WEAPON

CHOPPED

IZOMBIE

BLACK LIGHTNING

AMERICANS

And lastly looking forward to Season 2 of what, without question, was the best, most inventive TV show of 2017, Noah Hawley’s LEGION.

And for those keeping score… LUKE CAGE tied with FARGO Season 2 (Also by Noah Hawley) were the best TV shows of 2015, and DAREDEVIL Season 1 was the best TV show of 2014.

 

BEST MUSIC OF 2017

I loved everything binaural in 2017, adding many great CDs to my collection. THE HEAVY and GREGORY PORTER remained in heavy rotation. Gregory Porter being my favorite live performance of 2017. And I added new interests RAG N BONE MAN, Andra day and Brian Ferneyhough. With Spotify to allow me to try before I buy, I’m looking forward in 2018 to discovering more great music, both old and new.

BEST READS OF 2017

I didn’t read as many novels, or listen to as many audio books in 2017 as I did in previous years, so I definitely hope to turn that around in 2018.

I did do substantially better with Art Books, Graphic Novels, Reference Books, and comics in 2017. Some of the standouts:

 

MATT BAKER THE ART OF GLAMOUR

CREEPING DEATH FROM NEPTUNE

THE WOLVERTON BIBLE

ARTIST EDITION BASIL WOLVERTON (This and the other two previous books having to do with Basil Wolverton, I went all in on him in 2017. Still absorbing these three books here in 2018)

JACKIE ORMES

THE SIGNATURE ART OF BRIANSTELFREEZE

SEX AND HORROR THE ART OF ALESSANDRO BIFFIGNANDI

In 2018 writers I intend to go all in on are Percival Everett, Victor Lavalle, Colin Whitehead and Walter Mosley, as well as revisiting work by Ligotti, Lebbon, Ellison, Stephen King, Clive Barker and Bennett.

 

In 2017 Marvel had a great POWER MAN AND IRON FIST series I was reading, the only thing I was buying monthly from Marvel Comics. And Marvel letting greed get in the way of common sense, killed a series everyone was loving, with a creative team everyone was loving, David Walker and Brian Stelfreeze, to instead both dilute audience attention and oversaturate the market with multiple books, almost all of which are ready to be canceled. So going into 2018, with Marvel sticking to their insane $3.99 price point per book, there are no titles I pick up from Marvel Comics.

 

In 2017 DEATHSTROKE by Christopher Priest was the only DC Comic I was getting on a monthly base. It’s arguably the one series that you can just pick up and enjoy without having to read any other title, or care about any other title. Priest has been able to just do… what he does best, create a fantastic read; month in and month out. So it is the only DC book I’m reading in 2018. However, greed rears its ugly heads and the idiots who get paid to make stupid decisions have decided to add DEATHSTROKE to their floundering team book… JLA,  basically gutting the standalone nature of the comic that allows Priest, to do his magic. Basically the same poor decision making that happened last year with POWER MAN AND IRON FIST.

 

I figure the conversation went like this… ‘man everyone is talking about this book, let’s put the characters in multiple other books, and then they will be talking about all those other books too.’ No, you EFFING morons! The reason people are enjoying POWER MAN AND INRON FIST or DEATHSTROKE is because it is well drawn and well written and not part of your insipid crossover infested universe. Your very attempts to duplicate that success, without understanding it, will kill the character in the new book, and kill interest in the character in the original book.

So yeah here’s hoping someone with brains over at DC, vetoes the horrible idea to put DEATHSTROKE in the JLA, because I’m not going to read the JLA, and you’re editorial interference will create a character that no longer works in his solo book. You have therefore killed the golden goose and have nothing to show for it.

 

The good news is when you get sick of the stupid decisions and overpriced ad laden product at DC and MARVEL, you have great content from other publishers to enjoy. Publishers that give you more for your money. Publishers such as IMAGE, AFTERSHOCK, DARK HORSE and many more.

As far as where to buy new comics from, a lot of people will steer you to DCBS. I personally in terms of pure customer service and ease or ordering prefer LONE STAR COMICS. You can order comics in advance from the at http://www.mycomicshop.com at a discount.

 

They are highly recommended, and I use them myself, and this is an unpaid recommendation. Tell them Heroic Times sent you.

 

And wrapping this up, favorite podcasts of 2017:

 

11OCLOCK COMICS

COMIC GEEK SPEAK

WTF with Marc Maron

BLACK TAPES

GEEK SYNDICATE

 

To name a few. Okay that is it for my 2017 Pop Culture overview. Thanks for bearing with it and if you enjoy, spread the word. Enjoy WEEK #6 of 2018!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Deals of the Day! Amazon Edition!

DEALS OF THE DAY!

‘With this CD on Winter & Winter, the Arditti String Quartet celebrates 40 years of cutting-edge performances. Long recognized as the leading string quartet in avant-garde circles, and admired for the brilliance and virtuosity of its performances of the most demanding works, the Arditti gave its first concert in March, 1974, and over four decades it has not stopped rehearsing, studying, performing, and recording the most challenging music of our time. This program consists of 14 short works by some of the most prominent contemporary composers — Wolfgang Rihm, Hans Abrahamsen, Toshio Hosokawa,Brian Ferneyhough, Brice Pauset, Mark Andre, Marco Stroppa, Liza Lim, Harrison Birtwistle, Hilda Paredes, James Clarke, Georg Friedrich Haas, Uri Caine, and Johannes Maria Staud — and the variety of their compositions makes this survey a fascinating exploration of innovative techniques and original concepts. Adventurous listeners will be impressed by the Arditti’s fearlessness and directness in approaching this uncompromising music, and the liner notes by violinist Irvine Arditti provide background information that will be helpful to those just discovering the group.’ — All Music

View/price it here:

http://amzn.to/2EsqSTm

FERNEYHOUGH:TERRAIN – with the 21st century’s most complex composer ‘s most famous CD out of print and commanding multiples of its msrp, this TERRAIN cd is a good way to sample some of the composers best works without taking out a mortgage. Great CD at an affordable price.

Get tge CD here:

http://amzn.to/2BGw1Ed

 

Jack Kirby’s FOURTH WORLD OMNIBUS – At over 1200pages this hardcover is big enough to go into battle with, or you can do something more traditional with it and enjoy it and put it on your bookshelf. Rushed out just at the end of 2017, to be part of the 100th Anniversary of Jack Kirby, it is easily the must own collected edition/graphic novel to have. The first printing does have a printing error, all that rushing I was talking about. One page is printed twice. It is an easily corrected error.

You can find details here:

https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/12/21/fourth-world-omnibus-major-printing-error/

I printed the correct page (found at the link above) on my color printer and slipped it in the book at the correct spot. Job done. And sure we can wait for a corrected edition, or future printing, but considering we have no idea when or if that is happening, my 10 cent fix more than suffices.

Get your copy, while it is still below cover price, here:

 

http://amzn.to/2ErGztV

 

Come back next time for more… Deals of the Day!

 

WEEK 5 of 2018! Best Youtube Video/Channel!

Kudos to CEREAL AT MIDNIGHT for some excellent content on his blog and Youtube videos. His Youtube video on COLLECTING MEDIA IN A DIGITAL WORLD….  absolutely essential viewing.

 

http://www.cerealatmidnight.com/

 

As someone old enough to remember the pre digital days and the coming of vhs and dvd and cd, those formats empowered the consumer. And these Millennials growing up to think physical media ownership is a burden, and the instant gratification of the cloud is the way to go, do not realize the power that they are relinquishing back to the studios.

Do not realize that the freedom to be free of physical media, comes at the cost of never being able to have a product that is not subject to being removed, or altered or banned, at any time.

Comes at the expense of having anything that you can actually own, without the oversight of gatekeepers.

VHS and DVD and CD, in fundamental ways started an evolution that empowered the consumer and got the market to cater to the consumer. Increasingly with digital (sans physical media) the conversation has returned to a one way monologue.

Consumers being dictated to, rather than catered to.

And that will get worse if we let physical media as a companion or alternative to ‘in the cloud’… disappear. Because we have sold a new generation on a lie that privacy and physical ownership is a burden, that takes them too much effort… to preserve.

Much as our media and politicians are selling them on this idea that Liberty and Democracy and Civility… are likewise burdens that take too much effort… to preserve.

So yeah give CEREAL AT MIDNIGHT some patronage, especially that video. It currently has about 500 views, it deserves to have 5 billion.

Week 4 of 2018! Still my favorite band… THE HEAVY!

THE HEAVY, as I wrap up the first month of 2018, has been on heavy rotation on my CD player (remember those) in my nice non-self driving car. 🙂

Take that Elon Musk and Google!!!

I’m joking!I am a HUGE fan of Elon Musk  and his Tesla and Space X projects. He is a real life Tony Stark/Reed Richards pushing a nation that has been too long held hostage by backward leaning corporate interests into the future.

That said, I’ll keep my cd player in my car, and drive my own darn car, Thank You very much. 🙂

And when I’m driving that car, I like to listen to… THE HEAVY!The Heavy

THE HEAVY is a band, that has a fresh, vibrant, energetic, genre defying sound that  marks them as something … new, and exceptionally good. Arguably with 4 albums under their belt since 2009, their rock-soul-fusion sound, marks them as the best band of the 21st century. A 21st century British answer to the short lived 20th century phenomenon of HOOTIE AND THE BLOWFISH. But where HOOTIE was more lyrical folksy, THE HEAVY true to their name has a growl in their music, that is pure power, and pure Rock. Not the Rock of metal and noise, but the Rock of Hendricks and Morrison and The Who.

I’ve been listening to these guys 2 or 3 years now, and week 4 of 2018 they are still my favorite band. I own all 4 of their CDs. You can too. All 4 of their CDs are works of art in terms of naming and construction.Get yours here:

Great Vengeance & Furious Fire

http://amzn.to/2DzNeAP

 

The House That Dirt Built

http://amzn.to/2EhnbQl

The Glorious Dead

http://amzn.to/2DG7WPO

Hurt & The Merciless

http://amzn.to/2DGUZ8h

NPR All Things Considered Best Lists of 2017!

https://www.npr.org/sections/allsongs/2017/12/18/570799909/poll-results-all-songs-considered-listeners-100-favorite-albums-of-2017

You can hear and view the chosen ones at the link above, or see the top ten right here:

Listener Picks: Top 100 Albums Of 2017

  1. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.
  2. Lorde, Melodrama
  3. St. Vincent, Masseduction
  4. The War on Drugs, A Deeper Understanding
  5. The National, Sleep Well Beast
  6. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, The Nashville Sound
  7. LCD Soundsystem, American Dream
  8. SZA, CTRL
  9. Big Thief, Capacity
  10. Father John Misty, Pure Comedy

As someone who has been… not a fan, of what I have heard from Kendrick Lamar; needless to say this list is not my top ten list (that is coming) but this is a start.

Quite frankly listening to their top ten selections…. not a fan of this list, however there are some standouts. Your mileage may vary.

Stay tuned for more lists, and hopefully a few I even agree with. 🙂

 

And a quick aside on Kendrick Lamar, I do not get it.

As someone who is not a stranger to call and response, to ballads,to instrumental, to folk, to blues, to country, to soul, to rock , to spoken word, to rap, to hip-hop to avant garde, I am no stranger to good music and bad music.

So, put the records of say Oddisee or Childish Gambino against any of the records of Kendrick Lamar, for me the work is not even in the same league.

Oddisee and Gambino and tons of others have music that is creative and enjoyable, for me the work of Kendrick Lamar is  full of a couple of curse words repeated, and some not compelling rhyming.

I’m not an Eminem fan, but you can’t argue he can put out FANTASTIC music, I can see where the praise comes from for him.

I just don’t see it for Kendrick Lamar, all his praised albums, I don’t just find them not great, I find them not good, and a chore to listen to.

Give me IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE or PUBLIC ENEMY or SNOOP DOG  if you want to talk great rappers, but Kendrick Lamar???.

I mean congratulations for his success and if you are one of the people who love him, great.

However, I just find his across the board praise by critics… inexplicable. Truly a case of the Emperor has no clothes.

 

Okay, off my soap box, and I’ll have my list up soon.