How many of our best and brightest do you need?
With things dreadfully serious in existing X-books such as Uncanny X-Men, All-New X-Men, and even Uncanny Avengers — which, with the Apocalypse Twins making things no fun for anyone is more of an X-book than not right now — the field was ripe for a rip-snorting, swashbuckling adventure through, well, anywhere. The realms of the afterlife? Sure, why not?
Enter Marvel’s latest X-offering, borrowing its title from one of the alternate Age of Apocalypse books (after all, it’s not like Spider-Man is using the adjective right now). From the beginning, Amazing X-Men teased the return of everyone’s favorite two-toed teleporting mutant, and with this issue, we get it, in spades.
With the latest issue, writer Jason Aaron and penciler Ed McGuinness have offered up the single-most crazy fun comic I have read since the last issue of Bad Dog. In short, Nightcrawer’s dad, the red devil Azazel, has a pirate ship and is plundering both heaven and hell for … who cares? Pirates. With cannon and swords. In Hell. If that doesn’t sound like the best idea for a comic book, I’ll eat my tricorne hat.
Especially refreshing is Aaron’s treatment of Dr. Hank McCoy, the Beast. For a character who has spent the past year moping his way through All-New, dreadfully sorry that he displaced the Original Five in time, it’s great to see him swinging from the ropes, talking shit, doing math, and kicking ass.
I’ll admit I was originally on the fence, but after this issue, I’m headed down to Blue Moon and adding Amazing X-Men to my pull list.
This is the distillation of what I’ve learned in 47 years, call ’em “life squeezin’s” for the lack of a better term. Personal application may cause serious rash and/or burning. Contents may have settled. Objects are much, much closer than they appear.
#26 Sweatpants are for sweating. Wearing them away from home for any other reason sends the signal that you’ve completely given up or are ill. Go change.
#27 Coffee is magic.
#28 Never trust a man who wears shoes with no socks, unless in the tropics, then avoid sock-wearers at all cost.
#29 If asked to leave a job, do not burn it down on the way out; all parties may become desperate enough to revisit this relationship.
#30 Do not, under any circumstances, return. This rule applies to women and bands* as well, only more so.
*Unless you’re Ozzy, but you’re not.
One Man’s Manifesto (Pt. 4)
One Man’s Manifesto (Pt. 3)
One Man’s Manifesto (Pt. 2)
One Man’s Manifesto (Pt. 1)
More helpful hints I’ve stumbled across in 46 years of lurching about. These suggestions may or may not work for you. Contents may have settled. Objects are much closer than they appear. Don’t turn your back.
#21 Stairs are nature’s Stairmaster. Use them whenever possible.
#22 Always carry some cash, hidden even from yourself. Something between $20 and $50. Although nothing bigger than a $20, you won’t be able to break it when you need to.
#23 Choose a day—Sunday’s a good one—and every week get rid of 10 things. Give them away, recycle them, set them on fire; it doesn’t matter. Live like the plane is going down. It’s time to jettison cargo.
#24 A grown man needs a muffin like he needs a heart attack. Have some fruit you fat bastard.
#25 Don’t be so hard on yourself.
The minute you stop learning, you start getting stupider; I think Bob Dylan said that. I don’t know about you, but I can’t really afford that. Here are some more things I’ve figured out during the last 46 years kicking around this big blue marble. These suggestions may or may not work for you. Contents may have settled. Objects are closer than they … Watch out!
#16 Admit when you are wrong. Eat crow, it will not kill you (although it could use some hot sauce).
#17 Always carry a bottle of hot sauce.
#18 Don’t subscribe to negativity. Bear witness to others’ pain but don’t make it your own, and—for fuck’s sake—don’t spread it around.
#19 If you need to be somewhere out of your range at a particular time, bring a map. Don’t rely on technology or the kindness of others; they’re both fine but flawed.
#20 If you have time to kill—get lost.
I wandered back to
the shop, gunpowder
and cement dust in
my hair, ’grabbed a cup
of burnt coffee and
listened to old Ben
Greenwood jaw a while.
He was tomcattin’
with some poor fool’s wife
in the tarpapered
days of roadhouses
built on dirt levees.
I listened awhile
and nodded in all
the right places then
left him still talking
to grab cartridges.
Green ones have the punch
of a .22.
McElroy, he had
a partner in ’Nam
who would collect ears,
which didn’t bother
Mac till after work when
his wine would whisper
how fucked-up that is.
Acceptance is part
of pressing a gun
up against a rock
wall and pulling the
trigger. Sometimes nails
hit buried rebar
and come shooting back.
Or a big charge can
shatter the concrete
like a bomb. Most times,
however, they stick
in the rock like an
Or a memory.
Here is more distilled essence of what I’ve learned in 46 years on (and occasionally off) this earth. These suggestions may or may not work for you. Contents may have settled. Objects are closer than they appear. As is your doom.
#11 Do not blurt; think before you open your mouth. No one is called an idiot for carefully considering a well-measured response.
#12 Declarations of love (or friendship, or solidarity), however, should not be postponed. Life is short.
#13 Things that should never be lent out: knives and guitars … actually, anything that can kill or maim if used correctly.
#14 Don’t curse so much, Goddamn it! What the fuck is wrong with you?
#15 Be kind to others—even if they’re rude pricks. This will either show the error of their thinking or get them to drop their guard so you can punch them in the neck.
After driving the 80 from California through the nicotine-blasted wasteland that is Nevada, I was as happy as a pig in mud to discover that Salt Lake City boasts several fine microbreweries. Who knew?
While preparing for our extended road trip, I had asked several friends whether or not Utah was a dry state, and if so, how much beer could I get away with carrying for personal use; they looked at me like I was stupid, which, on this matter I am willing to throw myself on the mercy of the court.
Red Rock Brewery boasts several locations in the greater SLC area and a healthy selection of brews to choose from. Topping the list, their Bobcat Nutbrown Ale makes an excellent starter. Available in bottles, it pours a chestnut brown with a monster head that collapses down to a respectable quarter-inch of mocha-colored foam.
The first sip reveals a crisp hop profile, balancing out the otherwise dominant taste of toasted malts. The Cascade and Columbus bitterness places the Bobcat well within the West Coast purview. Subsequent quaffs unlock the complexity of the grain bill: a creamy mouth feel with dark chocolate and caramel notes.
BOB DYLAN & HIS BAND plus MARK KNOPFLER; Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA; Thu, Oct. 18, 2012
If you have been wondering if you should bother to go see Bob Dylan or not, now is the time to get off your ass and go. Dylan is on fire and the band is probably the best he’s been with since … well, The Band.
Guitarist Charlie Sexton is back in the fold and the whole group is firing on all cylinders. Dylan isn’t playing guitar right now, but more than makes up for it with some barrelhouse, Little Richard-inspired work at the piano. Repeatedly stepping out from behind the keys to grab a harp and blow some of the best melodic lines that I’ve heard him play, Dylan proved he can be a consummate showman when he wants to be.
Naysayers who will tell you that his voice is shot are missing the point entirely. Dylan’s aged croak cuts through the cultural haze like a damaged warning from the end of days, a tenor that gives even old chestnuts like Ballad of a Thin Man and Highway 61 Revisited new and bone-chilling gravitas.
Opening for Dylan on this tour is his occasional partner in crime, Mark Knopfler, who turned in a sublime set of Celtic-tinged folk blues, much in the Richard Thompson mould.
The former Dire Straits leader drew almost entirely from his solo and soundtrack projects and was perfectly supported by a crack seven-piece band who fleshed out—yet never overwhelmed—the subtle arrangements. Knopfler’s set was a perfect appetizer for the avant-rockabilly-blues-punk-western swing of later day Dylan. What a show.
Setlist: Watching The River Flow, Love Minus Zero, No Limit, Things Have Changed, Tangled Up In Blue, Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall, High Water (For Charley Patton), Chimes Of Freedom, Highway 61 Revisited, Love Sick, Thunder On The Mountain, Ballad Of A Thin Man, Like A Rolling Stone, All Along The Watchtower, Blowin’ In The Wind