We’re Gonna Dance ’til the Dance-Floor Falls Apart

29 12 2008

Happy Crimbo, folks. As I’m currently moving into my new place in Stranmillis as well as getting work done (check out this friday’s Tele for my predictions for the best gigs/events in ’09) I won’t be updating much for a few days, so don’t hold it against me.

I trust everyone got great prezzies?I got a new record player for my LPs as well as tons of Hulk dvds/paraphernalia,tattoo vouchers and a swish Pretty Girls Make Graves print that kicks my ass. I was also pleasantly surprised to see some of my choices for the Hot Press end of year polls actually make a dent in the charts. If you pick up the annual with Kings of Leon on the cover you will be thrilled to learn Miley Cyrus’ ‘See You Again’ has made the top 26. whoop whoop!

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And The Winners Are…

19 12 2008

Traditionally in the land of features journalism things start to wind down in the month of December. Record companies send you endless best of compilations, magazines and papers only ever want to post end of year polls and no-one really seems to give a toss. Don’t worry though, you’ll be glad to know the young McFee is still working his heiny off (is that how you spell heiny?) right up until Christmas Eve Eve because I’ve been lumdered with some horrible deadlines this year. So to make up for the lack of Dead Horse activity this week, here’s my top ten comics of the year that is currently published in this month’s AU.

And The Winners are…

 

As we wave a cheery goodbye to 2008, your trusty comics correspondent casts his eye back over the last 12 months and picks the top ten books of the year while also picking highlights from ‘09’s calendar because we’re dead clever like that. If you feel there’s anything missing from the list let us know via www.iheartau.com

 

 

Top Ten Comics of 2008

Captain America (Marvel)

 

Ever since writer Ed Brubaker took over the reigns penning Marvel’s Star Spangled Avenger (and soon to be film star in 2010) Steve Rogers has never had it so good. Well, apart from the fact that he was gunned down in public in issue 25 and is now as dead as Russell Brand’s career at the BBC. Still, with a new Cap in place courtesy of his former WW2 side-kick Bucky and an epic plot involving fake presidential candidates, unborn babies and a schizoid Red Skull, Bru ensures that even though it’s now 25 issues since we last saw Steve Rogers we’re still glued to this must-have book.

 

Hack/Slash (Devil’s Due)

Hack/Slash is an independent comic starring Cassie Hack and her best friend Vlad. They’re slasher slayers (try saying that one after a few Brandy Balls) and each issue they hunt down serial killers who refuse to die while wearing skimpy clothing and looking all hot and shit  (and that’s just Vlad we’re talking about). This year the ongoing series just got better and the characterisation, jokes and gross out moments are spot on every time. Add that to the fact that the recent Hack/Slash Annual featured former AU cover stars the Suicide Girls and you have a guilty, but great read.

 

Hulk (Marvel)

After the events of last year’s World War Hulk, Marvel bosses decided to give the title a reboot, start it off with a new number one and enlist Heroes’ producer Jeph Loeb as writer and Ed McGuinness as penciller. It could’ve sucked harder than an over-zealous porn star, but thankfully, with the introduction of the rather mental Red Hulk (whose identity is still a mystery) it has turned into one of the most successful books of the year.

 

The Walking Dead (Image)

Robert Kirkman’s zombie epic continued to shock readers in 2008 and after the gruesome events of the recent issue 50 it’s hard not to see why. By focusing on the people rather than the dead, Kirkman’s book is as compelling as it was when it was first launched in 2003.

 

Secret Invasion (Marvel)

Secret Invasion was THE event in this summer’s comics calendar and the ride isn’t over yet in this eight part mini-series. The story revolves around the shape-shifting Skrulls who have infiltrated Earth and intend to take it over and the Marvel heroes’ struggles to find out who to trust. From the reveal of Spider-Woman being the Skrull Queen to Ms Marvel getting shot by a returning Nick Fury this series has had us hooked.

 

Action Comics (DC)

It hasn’t been a good year for DC fans, but Geoff Johns’ and Gary Franks’ Action Comics is the pick of the publisher’s roster. The long running Superman title made the headlines a few weeks ago after they killed off Clark Kent’s Pa and this was just one of the many jaw dropping moments from the must read book.

 

 

Blue Monday (Oni Press)

Blue Monday is an independent mini-series about the life and loves of high school student and Britpop loving Bleu L. Finnegan. The black and white, manga influenced comic is all about teenage kicks and is a great purchase for those who enjoy comics with as little spandex as possible.

 

 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Dark Horse)

When the mega-successful TV series ended with series seven, Buffy creator Joss Whedon decided that he would continue to tell stories about his characters on the printed page. Series Eight has been a huge success and hasn’t lost any of the invention and wit that fans loved originally and the sight of a skinless Warren is worth admission price alone.

 

 

Fantastic Four (Marvel)

When it was announced that the super-star team of former Ultimates writer Mark Millar and artist Bryan Hitch were to once again pool their talents for Marvel’s first family, I’m not ashamed to say I gave a little yelp of glee. After some first few issues that were rockier than the Thing’s under carriage, FF is now firing on full cylinders and shows no signs of slowing down.

 

 

The Boys (Dynamite)

Garth Ennis’ Marmite book about a black ops team who police super-heroes has been a great read this year. Pulling no punches, the title has already had hamsters living inside super-hero Blarney Cock’s nether regions, zombie teens, super-powered gay orgies and features more swear words than a night out with the Osbournes. Not for the faint hearted….





Spinerette

16 12 2008

Back in 2003, Tim Armstrong and Brody Dalle made two break up albums about their personal lives. Being a fan of both Rancid and the Distillers, I was interested to see what they would come up with in light of Tim’s former lady hooking up with Josh Homme and the results were pretty mixed when all was said and done. Rancid’s ‘Indestructible’ won the battle with ‘Fall Back Down,’ ‘Start Now,’ ‘Ghost Band’ and the rare track ‘Tattoo’ all being as close to perfect as you can get and the Distillers’ patchy ‘Coral Fang’ failed to live up to ‘Sing Sing Death House’s’ potential (though ‘Die On a Rope’ was brilliant-especially the scathing lyric-“I wish you didn’t love me no more, I’ve been dead for years.”).

A year or so later the Distillers broke up and Brody took some time out for herself. After a few years in the wilderness she’s back with a new band-Spinerette. After a few listens I’m far from impressed by this mess of a single and it’s hard not to hear Homme’s influence bleed through the speakers. To be honest I’m a bit disappointed in the tune.I was always a Distillers fan (I even flew over to London to see them and Pretty Girls Make Graves) but ‘Ghetto Love’ just sounds like a b-side from the recent piss poor Queens of the Stone Age album. I hate saying it, but it’s true. Hopefully the rest of the record will prove me wrong.

 

Tim 2, Brody 0.





R.I.P.Bettie Page

12 12 2008

Pin Up Queen Bettie Page died yesterday. Anyone who knows me knows I love her ,so I thought I’d put a post up as a mark of respect.

R.I.P.

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/US/12/12/bettie.page.obit/





Albums of the Year

11 12 2008

Ok, so it’s that time of year when editors ask me to put together a list of records for their (ultimately) pontless end of year polls. I’m not really into lists/listing things in general. For some reason my brain doesn’t work that way and my idea of hell is when people ask me who my favourite interview was or what my favourite gig was. I usually draw a blank.

This week ,the new issue of AU is out and and as usual they have their end of year album poll (http://iheartau.com/features/great-in-2008/). Although I’m still a contributer (six years and counting next year) I didn’t enter into the spirit of things this time around and never compiled a list. “It’ll only end up the usual, predictable indie shite” was my take and guess what? I was right! Still, if that’s what people voted for, then who am I to argue? I should also add that there’s nothing wrong with indie music,it’s  just that too much of it makes Edwin an angry boy.

However, a month ago, while sitting in a Dublin hotel, I decided that since I’m still a new boy at Hot Press (nearly a year and counting) I’d put aside my misgivings on these things and send in my top 20 albums. It was all done anonymously through a feature on their website and I spent a LONG time putting it together because I just didn’t know where to start. Anyway, below is what I came up with. If you think I’ve missed something out let me know (it can be hard to remember everything when you review about 10records every single week of the year).

Anyway, without further ado, here’s Blogging a Dead Horse’s top 20 albums of the year.

1) Fight Like Apes-‘Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion.’

2)Sons and Daughters-‘This Gift.’

3)Valient Thorr-‘Immortaliser.’

4)Fighting with Wire-‘Man Vs Monster.’ (It’s been kicking around for a while but this year it was officially released).

5)Geoffrey Oi!Cott-‘The Good, the Bad and the Googly.’

6)Outl4w-‘Outl4w.’

7)Girls Aloud-‘Out of Control.’

8)Blaze Bayley-‘The Man Who Would Not Die.’

9)Johnny Foreinger-‘Waited Up ‘Til It Was Light.’

10)The Night Marchers-‘See You In Magic.’

11)Horrorpops-‘Kiss Kiss Kill Kill.’

12)Down-‘III.’

13)Black Kids-‘Partie Traumatic.’

14)The Sword-‘Gods of the Earth.’

15)Imelda May-‘Love Tattoo.’

16)Jaguar Love-‘Take Me to the Sea.’

17)Glasvegas-‘Glasvegas.’

18)Mindless Self Indulgence-‘If.’

19)Guns ‘N’ Roses-‘Chinese Democracy.’ (I’m probably the only one to vote for this but I love it because it’s as mad as a bag of hammers).

20)Story of Hair-‘Cheap Rate.’

 

So there you have it. It’s more than likely out of order and I’ve probably forgotten the odd thing, but fuck it. I’ve always been about looking ahead rather than looking back anyway.

Onwards and upwards!





WOMBIES!!!

9 12 2008

So as I’ve mentioned before, I’m just back from a brilliant trip to London this weekend. Over the space of a few days we caught the Annie Leibovitz exhibition in the National Portrait Gallery (what I liked I really liked and what I didn’t I pretty much hated) saw the Voodoo Glow Skulls, the Peacocks and more in the Camden Underworld, caught some stand up comedy (apparently the comic couldn’t think of any jokes to do with me being a music journalist) did lots of shopping and went to (wait for it) the London Bridge Experience.

The LBE is a new attaction that’s right beside the London Dungeon, which I adore. After being greeted with some undead types giving out flyers we decided to take a chance on this new place and I’m glad we did. For about an hour and a half we had the shite scared out of us with the highlight being the London Tombs at the end. This was where they used to throw the poor fuckers during the plague days and they led us down in the pitch black, gave us hard hats and basically told us to find our own way out. It was pitch black (apart from a super creepy strobe light) and as we all shuffled around in the dark, actors dressed as wombies jumped out as us. It was like being in a horror film and I loved it. I, of course, didn’t scream once coz I’m hard as nails…..

I have to say if you’ve any interest in horror/acting the eijit, then this place is for you. www.thelondonbridgeexperience.com





Pop Goes the Weasel

9 12 2008

Last night we arrived back from London and watched Lost Boys the Tribe. I genuinely thoutght it would be trunks but it’s actually class and it even had an homage to my favourite part from the first one-the greasey saxophone bloke!

If you haven’t seen it yet check it out. Edgar Frog has a quare voice.