Calvin James Pynn
“The Devil Makes Three” :
Playing a rustic, whiskey inspired brand of old time music, The Devil Makes Three is gradually making its name known in the current folk music scene. The band hails from Santa Cruz, Cal., and consists of lead singer/guitarist Pete Bernhard, upright bassist Lucia Turino and guitarist/tenor banjo player Cooper McBean. While traditional in sound, the band delivers a mix of bluegrass, old time, country, folk, blues, ragtime and rockabilly, which collectively, is referred to as folk punk, and in some cases, psychobilly. To date, the group has released three albums, the most recent being 2009’s Do Wrong Right. Overall, the band is driven by Bernhard’s clever storytelling lyrics, which cover situations and subjects ranging from the clarity of religion and the scandal of politics to the joy of gambling and the reality of being down and out while drowning your sorrows at the bar. I had the pleasure of seeing TDM3 when they played nearby in Floyd last September. From my experience, their live show is a guaranteed good time that you cannot afford to miss.
The Joker Blogs:
If you are as big of a fanatic about Christopher Nolan’s Batman series as I am, then continue reading. The Joker Blogs surfaced on YouTube.com at youtube.com/user/TheJokerBlogs in October of 2008, gaining a viral following. Installments were released monthly, coming to a total of 19 episodes. The series follows The Joker after his defeat in The Dark Knight, as he is held in Arkham Asylum and interviewed by Dr. Harleen Quinzel, the Nolan-esque counterpart for the villain Harley Quinn, a situation which later explodes into a disaster of chaotic and dramatic proportions. Amateur actor Scott McClure portrays the Joker with near flawless execution, an unbelievably faithful performance of the late Heath Ledger. The series is shot in a “found footage” style, which can be seen in films such as Paranormal Activity and The Last Exorcism; giving it a uniquely eerie feel. The Joker Blogs is a must see for Batman fans, especially those who love Christopher Nolan’s realistic take on the character, and those dying to know what happened to the Joker between “The Dark Knight” and the upcoming “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Married to the Sea:
Comic strips seem to be a fading art form, but fortunately, we have marriedtothesea.com to keep it alive in the most bizarre form possible. Married to the Sea is a web comic produced by Drew and Natalie Dee, creating new comics daily since its debut in 2006. The cartoons generally feature public domain illustrations that date back as early as the Victorian era of the late 19th century, to as recent as the early 1970’s. Each picture is generally paired with a dialogue or caption that explains the action in the picture, but in a humorous and anachronistic style. Most of these comics are too raunchy to appear in the funnies of your local newspaper, so head to the website and check it out!
“Bored to Death”:
Bored to Death first premiered on HBO in October of 2010, and presents an unusual yet hilarious premise as a comedy series. The show focuses on Jonathan Ames, portrayed by Jason Schwartzman, and based on the show’s creator, a New York author with a love of marijuana, white wine and the incurable burden of writer’s block. After being dumped by his girlfriend and reading a Raymond Chandler novel, he decides to advertise himself as an unlicensed private detective on craigslist.com in a moment of impulsive self-doubt. The show follows Ames as he struggles with his new profession while still trying to remain afloat as a writer and dealing with his friends Ray Hueston (Zack Galifianakis), a comic book artist and George Christopher (Ted Danson), the womanizing editor of the magazine Ames works for. Overall, the show is an entertaining narrative that features witty dialogue, entertainingly pitiful characters and hysterical situations that anyone can relate to in real life.
“Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of
Curious People and Dangerous Ideas”:
Few writers seem to understand American pop culture the way Chuck Klosterman does, and this collection of essays, editorials and interviews are prime evidence of that. Known for writing the popular novel Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, Klosterman presents his work in three different sections, titled Things That Are True, Things That Might Be True and Something That Isn’t True At All. Klosterman’s interviews are compiled in the first section of the book and include in-depth profiles of artists such as Radiohead, Bono, Robert Plant, Britney Spears, The White Stripes, Metallica and more. If any of those caught your attention, then you’re definitely in for a treat.