Saturday, April 30, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
I came to these artists backwards. I've never hidden the fact that Jaime Hernandez of the comic Love and Rockets has been a primary influence. I think that's pretty obvious in any of the various Grey Legacy projects that Fred and I have done. Jaime has always talked about the influence of DeCarlo and Lucey and it took me awhile to really go back and look at what he was talking about. I'm glad I did.
And it's more than just the art. The stories I've been reading are great. The simple love triangle of Archie, Betty and Veronica lends itself to endless variation. The relationships and friendship among all of the characters is truly timeless. Many stories turn on a very simple punchline, some completely subvert traditional storytelling and cross the fourth wall into the surreal.
In the late 60's the Archies were a real band. Okay, they had actual humans playing the instruments and singing, but they were billed as The Archies. The song Sugar Sugar was the #1 pop song in America in 1969. There was this weird promotion where breakfast cereal boxes would have a playable record on the back of the box. The grooves of the record were actually embedded in the cardboard with some kind of plastic/vinyl. You could cut the record out and play it on your record player. I remember doing this with the Archies.
For the record, I'm neither a Betty or a Veronica. I completely understand Archie holding on to both of them.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Break out your skinny ties and duct tape; the 80’s are back. It’s been twenty years since the airwaves were filled with the sounds of synthesizers, so the time is right for a new wave of New Wave nostalgia. From its opening burst of static it’s obvious that the Epoxies are all your favorite bands from 1982 rolled into one. Filled with the beeps and blips of electronic keyboards, the Epoxies self-titled first album continues the musical heritage of Devo, Thomas Dolby, the Vapors, and Gary Numan. Lyrically, they exist in a world of plastic and glass, looking for love amidst the nuclear fear of a Cold War era. But it is the voice of singer Roxy Epoxy that is the most evocative of the period. With slight changes of inflection she is able to summon the spirits of Blondie, Missing Persons, and Bow-Wow-Wow. Throw aggressive drumming and the signature Adam Ant tribal yodel into the background and the package is complete. While the Epoxies wear their influences openly, they manage to make it all seem fresh and exciting again. The challenge is to continue to do so without devolving into a Sha-Na-Na like novelty act.Wayne Wise They released a self-titled album and a second full-length release called Stop The Future. Singer Roxy Epoxy formed a new band called The Rebound and released Bandaids on Bullet Holes. I saw The Epoxies three times in about a year at the Rex Theater on the South Side and met the band. The shows were great.