Is There Safety In “Flocks” ?

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

By any standard of measure, cartoonist L. Nichols’ recent Secret Acres-published comics memoir, Flocks, is a bit of a curious beast — for one thing, Nichols chooses to portray himself (or, earlier on, herself — I hope the pronoun is appropriate given his gender presentation at that point in life) as a stuffed doll, while everyone else is a standard human being. For another, he often communicates his internal thoughts, feelings, and self-perceptions by means of physics (or maybe they’re calculus? I dunno, I always sucked at both) equations. And for a third, the first several chapters essentially repeat a lot of the same information.

These things are all entirely explicable, of course — the first two, it should be said, are down to simple artistic choice, and while they took me some time to “get with,” I eventually found both to be “true” to the proceedings in terms…

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Song of the Day: Kill Bill (by Brown Eyed Girls)

BEG Kill Bill

This is not the first time I’ve featured the K-Pop girl group Brown Eyed Girls. Their 2008 song, “Abracadabra,” was featured as a song of the day. It was really that song that first introduced me to K-Pop. While my interest didn’t skyrocket after that song, it did simmer for a few years before I was finally fully on-board.

The latest K-Pop Song of the Day is from B.E.G. and it’s their 2013 single release from their 5th studio album, Black Box. It’s a song titled “Kill Bill” and the song and accompanying music video is a homage to the 2003 Quentin Tarantino grindhouse mash-up. Even the music video literally lifts sequences and camera shots from the film.

Some have called this a loving tribute to the film of the same name which inspired the song. Others have called it a blatant rip-off. No matter which side one is on the song showcases the group’s ability to remain relevant in a music industry that either caters to the cute, bubblegum pop scene or to the overtly sexual (at times way too sexual) aesthetic.

B.E.G. continues to show that they can still bring a more mature visual that toes the line between the two extremes of cute and sexual. This is not to say that the song is just all about the visuals. “Kill Bill” is a catchy tune that  shows it’s Western-infused sound of acoustic guitars, bluesy electric guitar riffs and the ever-present whistling of past Spaghetti Western scores.

Music Video of the Day: Rocket by Def Leppard (1988, directed by Nigel Dick)

The seventh and final single to be released off of their album Hysteria, Rocket allowed the members of Def Leppard to acknowledge the music of their youth.  Among others, the song’s lyrics cites The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, T. Rex, and especially Lou Reed’s Satellite of Love.

Directed by Nigel Dick, the video for Rocket features Def Leppard playing in the same warehouse that was used in the video for Women. This time, the band is surrounded by televisions that flash footage from the 70s.  Not only are there the expected clips of Richard Nixon, the Apollo 13 disaster, and Edward Heath but there’s also plenty of footage of various artists performing on Top of the Pops.  Because Def Leppard is an English band, there’s also a good deal of footage of Arsenal winning the 1971 FA Cup Final.  There’s also a very brief shot of the infamous Gary Glitter, who was a British icon at the time this video was released but who, nine years later, would dramatically fall from grace after being convicted on charges of downloading child pornography.  This video was the last to feature lead guitarist Steve Clark, who died from alcohol poisoning in 1991.

Rocket ultimately peaked at number 5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.