Sean Maher's Quality Control

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I'm Pissed Off Today

And here's why.

I don't wanna talk about any fucking comics today. Shit. Fuck shit cunt bitch. Goddamn ass crackin' motherfuck.

Okay, I got more cussin' to do but it's the kind of thing that'll get in in trouble with Blogger, so I'll tell you guys about two other cool things that aren't comics at all.

The first is Thomas Perry's first novel, The Butcher's Boy. This is a great pulpy book about a mob hitman who takes down a senator and goes to Vegas to collect, only to find his employers have betrayed him. What follows is classic, a man-against-the-world revenge caper with the same kind of craftiness you get playing the Hitman videogame or reading the best parts of Garth Ennis' Marvel Knights Punisher run - when ol' Frank Castle scopes out the battleground, makes do with the tools at his disposal and takes everybody out simply by planning the fight better than they did. I thought Ennis did a great job conveying the sense of military intelligence his character was supposed to have, and Perry does a similarly brilliant job with his character, the protege of The Greatest Hitman Ever (the title of the book being a reference to our hero).

The second is Restless on the Farm by Jerry Douglas. This is a good one for you O Brother Where Art Thou? fans, a diverse album by the man often called the greatest dobro player alive.

"What's a dobro?"

Basically, it's a guitar and a slide guitar and a banjo all in one. I say this based on doing no research whatsoever, except listening to lots of awesome dobro music on this CD. The disc opens with "Things in Life," a lightning-speed assault of awesome bluegrassy riffs and some nice smooth singin' from guest vocalist Tim O'Brien (whose stuff I've been loving ever since he did Red on Blonde, a great collection of Bob Dylan songs rearranged as bluegrass tunes). Then the disc does a complete 180 with "Turkish Taffee", a middle-eastern jam that makes me thing of Quentin Tarantino movies, or Desperado - somebody busting in and shooting up the joint, looking all cool and slo-mo while their bitchin' wardrobe flaps around amidst gunfire and explosions. It's smooth and stylish, very cool, and the dobro playing is still just jaw-dropping. Steve Earle sings on a great downbeat cover of Johnny Cash's "Don't Bring Your Guns To Town". A sweet Celtic melody in "Follow On". It's just a really wonderfully diverse album with some killer licks hitting you left and right, and it's the only thing keeping my spirits up today.

Ooh, and you can download two free MP3s from Amazon, too, though they're not from this album. "Fluxology" and "Randy Lynn Rag", both from the disc Everything Is Gonna Work out Fine. They're a little cornier than what's on Restless on the Farm, but still plenty fun.


  • At 10:56 PM, Blogger Jason said…

    If ten percent of the people that bitched about their monthly comics would just try knew things shit like this wouldn't happen.

  • At 12:37 PM, Blogger Sean Maher said…

    Ah, those people aren't the audience we need. Anyone without the sense to spend their money on books they ENJOY isn't gonna try out a new book just because it's good. It's gonna have to be tied to something they know already.

    I dunno, it's a complicated industry and I'm the last guy who knows how it all works, but I think it's that mythical New Reader that would have really vibed with Small Gods.

    That, and people who like Gotham Central, and Sleeper, and Human Target, and...

    (Maybe you're just plain right.)

  • At 1:22 PM, Blogger Edward Liu said…

    What's a dobro? The short version is that it's a mechanically amplified guitar that works its magic through a clever use of metal cones. This is why it produces that distinctive metallic twang to the music.

    Dobros and National Steel resonator guitars figure prominently in old timey blues and bluegrass music because it was a good way to be heard in the raucous din of a party before the days of electric amplification.

  • At 12:08 PM, Blogger Sean Maher said…

    Edward Liu, you're the man.


  • At 5:14 AM, Blogger zilla said…

    sean - butcher's boy sounds like a great read... almost impossible to find a HC tho - i had no idea it was so old - what turned you on to this so many years after it was released?


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