Saturday, December 29, 2007

Neptune City

Pretty song. Pretty Video. Both remind me of the movie City of Lost Children.

Boyfriend of the Year

This is an excerpt from a profile on I think it's the scariest, funniest two paragraphs I've read all year. Click to magnify. And don't spill your Starbucks.

Then We Came

Various covers for Joshua Ferris's book. Top two are European, I think. Bottom is Rodrigo Corral's US hardcover.

This absurdist novel takes place at a Chicago ad agency in the late 90s, as the dot-com crash rears its head. The story revolves around the lives of the employees, who are layed off one by one. In the midst of layoff fears, they are given a ridiculous and seemingly pointless account to work on.


CD Cover for Earlimart's Mentor Tormentor.

Gettin Hitched

As most of you know, I recently got married to English rugby star, Ben Cohen. Ben is a well-behaved orthodox Jewish boy so my mother was very happy indeed. Here are some pictures of Ben that I took over the last few weeks:

1. Ben writing holiday cards to our Shiksa friends:

2. Ben waiting for sundown so he can bless the Shabbat candles:

3. Ben arguing with me over who makes better Challah:

4. Ben laughing at one of my jokes as we get dressed for Alison's holiday party:

Friday, December 28, 2007

Who is Conrad Hirst?

Is it Rodrigo Corral?

Glamazon says:
" British author Wignall (For the Dogs) successfully channels Robert Ludlum in this lean, muscular thriller with more than a few parallels to Ludlum's Jason Bourne series. Conrad Hirst, a remorseless European hit man burnt out by a life of violence, plans to walk away from the business by eliminating the only four people who know his identity. Of course, it isn't that simple."

mmmm....lean and muscular...

The Farther Shore

Interesting new take on the "ye olde book cover" look. Designer to come. OMG! Is that a map of some country (the red shape)?

From Glamazon:
"A unit of young American soldiers lost in an unnamed city in an unnamed desert nation struggle to maintain a tenuous grip on their lives in this haunting debut novel by Eck, a veteran of U.S. Army efforts in Somalia. Narrator Joshua Stantz recounts his wanderings with such quiet objectivity that the horrors he witnesses evoke winces and poetic details stand out in contrast: there are wounds that hiss and bubble, but there is also a girl's lone eyelash falling from the creases of a letter..."

Craig Thompson

Craig Thompson is a graphic novelist - the panels above are from his amazing book Blankets. His latest is Carnet de Voyage. He was also nominated for a Grammy for his design of Menomena's album Friend or Foe:

His website:

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Cousin Max Does Good Photo

My brilliant cousin Max took these amazing shots this past weekend at his son's 2-year birthday party. That's Max and David in the first shot (don't know who took that one, but it's also good). Max is a radiologist, but he also inserts tubes into brains. And he takes wicked awesome photos.

In The Year 2525

This song was a huge international hit in 1969. It was also the basis of the theme song to the cult sci-fi TV series "Cleopatra 2525". Still relevant, yo. Click for a leesen.

Merry Christmas, Shiksas!

Click on da link for Death Cab for Cutie's version of Baby, Please Come Home.

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

This movie absolutely stunned me. I had seen the musical back in the 90s on PBS with Angela Lansbury but I didn't like it. It was too heavy for a frolicky teenager like me. And I guess just not as pretty as Tim Burton's version. My God. Burton seriously makes this version of Sweeney the best one I've ever seen. His visuals are insanely gorgeous. There's this silent-movie feel to everything - intense shadows and beautifully-composed tableaus. The highlights are mostly not pure white - but a 5-10% shade of color (see Helena Boner, above). It looks as if the movie was shot in BW and subsequently tinted. The only times the highlights go to white are in a flashback and fantasy sequence. This goes perfectly with the grimy, dark industrial London of the story.

The font chosen for the poster and the end credits is pretty hot too. His visuals so perfectly complement the story that the music and lyrics shine brighter than ever.

Check out the following screen shots from the official website,


Phaidon Kicks Ass

Look for these at your local Barney's & Schnobles.

Anne Rice / Mary Renault

Classical art has been the backdrop of Anne Rice's book covers since the 90s. I think Chip Kidd started it off with the fourth vampire novel, The Tale of the Body Thief. The cover depicts Giambologna's scultpture The Rape of the Sabine Women. There's a spray-paint-like mist coming in from the left that is a spot metallic silver. Later on, paintings were incorporated into the covers, and I think Carol Carson did some later covers. I kinda like the idea of using paintings for these covers. For one, the genre - horror/fantasy usually gets the supermarket-check-out-line treatment. This keeps it classy. It adds a deep time dimension to the selling point - like, this book is RICH in history, yo, so check it. And it looks gorgeous on your shelf or framed on your wall.

Mary Renault's books, written in the 50s and 60s, were mostly about ancient Greece, Alexander the Great, and classical mythology (cover by Claire Williams).

Interestingly, both Rice and Renault write about homo/bi-sexuality. Renault was a lesbian in post-war England. She had a life-long partner and they actually left England to live in South Africa in a gay-friendly community in 1948:
"The Last of the Wine (1956) , the story of two young Athenians who study under Socrates and fight against Sparta. These books had male protagonists, as did all her later works that included homosexual themes; her sympathetic treatment of love between men would win Renault a wide gay readership." (Wikipedia)

Most of Anne Rice's vampires are bisexual:
"her characters' sexuality is fluid, often displaying homoerotic feelings towards each other. Rice said that bisexuality was what she was looking for in her characters; a love beyond gender especially with the Vampire Chronicles because the vampires were not of human society, therefore did not go by the expectations of that society." (Wikipedia)

Rice's son, the author Christopher Rice is openly gay. Rice converted back to Catholicism in 1996 after being an atheist. In 2004 she announced she would "write only for the lord" and give up writing about vampires. Still, she continues to be an advocate of gay rights. I'm going to venture a guess that Rice's husband's death in 2002 had something to do with this return to God and literary conversion. Similarly, it was the death of her six-year old daugher in 1972 that threw Rice into a deep depression that helped to generate her first hit novel, Interview with the Vampire, and the character of the forever-young girl Claudia.