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July 2023:
babysue comic strips, a Jesus comic strip, News, Views and Perspectives & Notable New Releases

July 2023: News, Views and Perspectives

* There's a new documentary out that focuses on the life and career of Peter Case.  Entitled Peter Case: A Million Miles Away, this one is bound to be an interesting viewing experience.  The documentary was directed by Fred Parnes.  *  Everyone is talking about a lot of things that everyone is talking about.  But no one is talking about a lot of things that no one is talking about.  *  Rex The Runt is one of my all-time favorite shows.  If you've never seen it, it is highly recommended.  The show is nothing short of fantastic.  It was created by the fine folks at Aardman.  Most people are familiar with this animation studio by way of their cool and creative Wallace and Gromit series (which is great, of course).  But the earlier wildly creative threads that run through Rex The Runt are much funnier and far stranger.  The show features storylines and dialogue that can't be topped.  Insanely wonderful stuff.  *  Speaking of animation...  Once again I'd like to mention the ultra cool Thunderbean company.  These people are doing wonderful things.  They are in the business of bringing very early cartoons back to life, many of which have been in dire need of restoration for many decades.  The company tracks down the best available sources for their releases.  And they continually come up with wonderfully obscure and crazy stuff.  All Thunderbean releases are genuinely entertaining and shed light on how the whole world of cartoons actually got started many years ago.  *  Is it better to analyze everything to death...or to NOT analyze everything to death?  I've discussed this topic with numerous people over the years and have heard all kinds of different viewpoints.  My final conclusion is that it doesn't really matter that much.  But for some reason it seems like conversation is much more lively and interesting when extremely analytical folks are involved.  *  Lots of people are trying to figure out what hamburgers are.  While that may seem like a monumental task, even more time consuming is the task of determining what cheeseburgers are.  Cheeseburgers are, apparently, slightly different from hamburgers in one way or another.  This discrepancy will eventually be determined once and for all.  But in the meantime, debates will continue.  *  Dusty Springfield was one of the truly great singers and performers.  She was magnetic and had a wonderful voice.  But, most importantly, she had an aura that was extreme and profound.  Sure, the hair and the marketing were huge parts of what made it all work so well.  But underneath it all there was an amazing lady who had something genuine to offer her fans.  *  John McKiel's exceptional music label You've Changed Records has been acquired by the finel folks at Forward Music Group.  The label's most recent releases include Nico Paulo's debut album and Sarah Page's Voda elpee.  *  The guys in Semisonic have released two new songs ("Little Bit of Sun" & "Grown Your Own") and are doing their first national tour in 20 years (!).  This was probably prompted by the overwhelmingly positive response to their 2020 You're Not Alone EP.  Semisonic produced some of the coolest pop music out there in the 1990s.  I'm pleased as punch to see these guys creating new music for their diehard fans.  *  The folks at Orlando, Florida's Gulcher Records have released Gulcher Magazine #0 [digital edition].  Originally published in 1975, the magazine was way ahead of its time.  It  is available now on bandcamp and includes a download of The Gizmo's Raw '76/'77 tape.  Cool.  *  Hamburg's DIY band Pulsus Furor will now be distributed by the folks at Crawling Chaos.  Recommended for fans of thrash, classic metal and punk.  *  Canada's Dennis Pilon is a man with excellent taste and a real flair for writing.  Pilon continually unearths all kinds of wonderful musical gems on his website Pop Rock Record (PopRockRecord.com).  This is what more music-oriented websites ought to be like in 2023...but, sadly, are not.  Highly recommended.  *  After releasing three solo albums Mike Jacoby is back with a brand new album from his band The Mike Jacoby Electric Trio.  Entitled The Long Haul, the album features the talents of Jacoby, Mike Levin (drums) and Don Read (bass).  Eleven groovy tracks with thought and purpose threaded into the tunes.  *  A show that always hits the target here in babysueland is SpongeBob SquarePants.  Continuously creative and ultimately clever, the show is a good example of what is possible when great dialogue is combined with simple striking graphics.  *  If you're reading this, you probably already know that longtime babysue favorite Ben Folds has a new album out entitled What Matters Most.  This is Ben's first new album of new material in several years.  Initial reactions are extremely positive.  Most people love it.  The important thing to note here is that Mr. Folds is writing and recording again.  And that is most certainly what matters most.  *  Outrageous Cherry is without a doubt one of the greatest bands of all time.  Alice Cooper's cover of "Our Love Will Change The World" helped generate a bit more interest in Outrageous Cherry, but the band remains somewhat of a passionate underground favorite.  I am hoping to hear new recordings from Matthew Smith soon because he is most certainly one of the most uniquely talented musicians in our world.  And also one of the most criminally overlooked.  *  Here's some crackin' news.  Kickass Canadian buzzsaw pop/rock band The Mcrackins are back with a brand new studio album entitled Wake The Fun Up.  It's been about thirteen years since the band released their last studio album so this one is bound to be welcomed by their fans with wide open arms.  The album comes at a time when the band's fun-loving upbeat sound is just what a lot of listeners need in their lives.  Long live The Mcrackins!  *  Monsieur Minimal has released a new song and video entitled "Desert In Your Eyes."  It's a beautifully crafted dreamy tune and the video is strange in very subtle ways.  Cool stuff.  *  The twenty-first century began with so many high notes.  One of those high notes was the Australian television show Invader Zim.  Very much unlike other cartoon series, this one features unusual graphics, good story lines and hilarious dialogue.  *  One of my favorite motion pictures...and one that will never ever be released commercially...is Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story.  Directed by Todd Haynes, the film is probably the most realistic depiction of what really went on behind the scenes with the Carpenter family prior to Karen's death in 1983.  And that is amazing, considering the fact that all of the actors and actresses are dolls (!).  Simultaneously funny and strangely frightening, Superstar is a must-see for a variety of different reasons.  It will never be released commercially because Haynes used real Carpenters recordings to move the story along.  Beautifully crafted...and strangely real in so many ways.  The voices are spot-on.  And you can't help but think that someone who knew Richard and Karen's mother during those years was somehow involved in writing some of the over-the-top realistic conversations.  You can view it for free on the internet.  It's a thought-provoking scream.  *  The folks at Seismic Wave Entertainment continue pushing forward with a whole slew of cool things.  The label has just released new discs from Conan Neutron & The Secret Friends (Dark Passengers & The Erratic Retaliator Strategy), Action Chief (Just The Solos), Resurrectionists (Now That We Are All Ghosts), and The Caterwaul Society (Songs For Rainer Fronz).  Another fine batch of releases from a label that is doing everything right.  *  Speaking of doing everything right.  I’ve yet to hear anything on the Drip Audio label that isn’t interesting and unusual.  Once again this holds true with the label’s latest release by Vancouver-based band Longhand.  Entitled Plays Long, the album features ten groovy progressive tracks that are sure to please even the most discerning listeners.  *  Up-and-coming superstar Maggie Andrew is bound to catch a lot folks off-guard with her latest song and video entitled “Better Than You.”  Andrew takes an unconventional approach with her lyrics, presenting ideas that are decidedly controversial and off-center.  And, by doing so, she has come up with music that is both funny and thought provoking.  * 

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July 2023 Notable New Releases
Apryll Aileen - Bad Things.  Kevin Kastning & Laszlo Gardony - Leviation II (Greydisc Records).  Manuel Kane - Back (Agua Salada Records).  Onesie - Liminal Hiss (Totally Real Records / Pillow Sail Records / Kool Kat Musik).  Tommy Stinson - Wronger (Cobraside).  The Oxys - Generation Irrelevant (Dead Beat Records).  Keaton Henson - House Party.  Pamela and Pamela and Pamela - Please Don't Call Me Pamela and Pamela and Pamela (Pamela Records).  Mr. Inch and Mrs. Centimeter - Measure This, Measure That, Measure Anywhere We're At (Phlordex Limited).  Wreckless Eric - Leisureland.  Dengue Fever - Ting Mong (Tuk Tuk Records).  Glenn Povey - Dark Side of the Moon: A Visual History.  Rick Wakeman - At Lincoln Cathedral.  The Projectors - The Projectors (Sakamano Records).  Don Campau - Where's The Water (Lonely Whistle Music).  Trevan - Brand New Start.  Chortles Nopter - Romp Through the Nopter World (Nopter).  Liquid From Liquid - From Liquid From (From Liquid Music).  Yes - Union Live 30 (Gonzo Multimedia).  Handbook - Desires (Cascade Records).  The Penske File - Half Glow (Stomp Records).  Janne Borgh - Fanclub (Kool Kat Musik).  Blown Owl Candid Loopy Loop - Trowls On Mars and More Stompy Stomps (Glindich Rowler).  Ex Ox - Nervous Complaint.  MSB - Borrowed Time.  The Bleeding Hearts - Loaded Gun (FnA Records).  AMAARA - Child of Venus.  Argonaut - Songs From the Black Hat (Criminal Records).  Parallax Project - Autologous (Kool Kat Musik).  Jibbernaut / Phuture Memoriez - Coulrophobia Split EP.  The Offspring - Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace (reissue, Round Hill Records / UMe).  Fender Jones - Reflection and Echo.  Jason Hersco - How You Move (Aqua Salada Records).  Lee Rice - God Has Had Enough.  Roselit Bone - Ofrenda (Get Loud Recordings).  Buffer the Buff Buff Buffer - Life Is Buff (Bufferistic Music).  The Parlophonics - Dying of the Light (Kool Kat Musik).  Phillip Vonesh - If Only For The Night.  Blind Equation - Death Awaits (Prosthetic Records).  Mason Lowe - Morning People (Killroom Records).  Between Beach and Forest - Imagined Troubles EP.  Mick Fury - 1981-1996.  The Breath of Life - Down We Go EP (Alfa Matrix).  Leanne Hoffman - The Text Collector.  We Do Not Belong Here - Strange To Cope in Today’s World.  Soccer Committee - Lamb (Morc Records).  X
[This section only includes full-length releases and EPs.]

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