Robert Wm. Gomez's

April 2010

Black Sheets of Rain by Bob Mould (3/10)

Format: 
CD

What a supreme disappointment this CD is. Mould would eventually redeem himself in the band Sugar, but man, these songs are boring, overly long and completely lack the subtle 60s pop vibe and hooks that permeated throughout Hüsker Dü's music. Gawd, some of these guitar solos are just nauseating. Arena rock for 50-something college rockers.

Spider Baby (7/10)

This is a cult classic from what I hear. I thought it was pretty good but not great-a little too heavy handed in its humor at times. The intro credits are fun and the whole premise of a crazy killer family that is slowly regressing in age is good.

Muzik for Insomniaks Vol. 2 by Mark Mothersbaugh (6/10)

Format: 
CD

Another collection of "EZ Listening" synth arrangements by Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh. There's not much to differentiate this from volume 1. If you are a Devo completest and are seeking out these CDs be warned: the disks were printed using a gold-tinted surface that looked cool at the time, but very easily deteriorates over time. My disks look like they have spots of bread mold on them and skip in my CD player. My computer was able to rip them to MP3 without skipping.

Muzik for Insomniaks Vol. 1 by Mark Mothersbaugh (6/10)

Format: 
CD

This is a collection of digital synthesizer compositions by Devo's frontman, Mark Motherbaugh. The songs a very similar to Devo's EZ Listening CD but without any drums. If you are familiar with the cartoon Rugrats then you know exactly what this sounds like. I would liken it to laid-back 16-bit era video game music. This is out-of-print so it is one of the more valuable CDs in my collection.

The Twelve Chairs (6/10)

Mel Brooks's second feature doesn't do much to differentiate itself from every other late 60's era comedy. I found it rather predictable and the characters were all pretty dull. Although I have yet to see Dracula: Dead and Loving It, this may be my least favorite Brooks Film.

How to Train Your Dragon (8/10)

Hackneyed story benefits from some amazing computer animation. Basically, it's yet another retelling of E.T. where kid finds animal/alien/monster/robot, befriends it and proves to everyone that each creature, no matter how big or small, should be equally loved. Unless you're the boss dragon. In that case you must die.

Zombieland (8/10)

This was a somewhat refreshing take on the zombie genre with funny, Zombie Survival Guide inspired narration. The movie does come to a grinding halt about two-thirds the way through when the characters hold up in a mansion for the sole purpose of throwing in a lame cameo. Also, I take umbrage to the term zombie being applied here. In this film, the monsters are sick people and not the walking dead. Heck, they are not even walking. Fast "zombies" suck.

Split Second (3/10)

A terrible sci-fi monster movie where the action exists mainly in the form of Rutger Hauer grabbing other characters by the shirt collar and slamming them against the wall to prove his renegade-ness. Some of the worst dialogue ever captured on film.

Why Archival Paper Is Important - Etching

From my series about my art experiences, it's is my favorite of the series and it's about printmakers' obsession with making prints that last longer than they will. I rather like the self-portrait shown in this detail (never mind that the top of the shirt doesn't line up with the bottom):

Why archival paper is important, detail

Ritual Dimension of Sound by Mortals, The (7/10)

Format: 
CD

One of the better bands in the slew of Estrus record's straightforward garage rock outfits. They are always better when they stray a little from the formula in songs like "Glow."

The Final Rip Off by Monty Python (9/10)

Format: 
CD

Another great 2 CD collection of skits to memorize with your nerd friends. You know how they always say that CDs have a shelf life of 5 years? Well, this is the only disks I own that have actually deteriorated to become unplayable. Bittorrent has come to save the day!

The Printmakers vs. The Painters - Etching

From my series about my art experiences, this print is my take on the jealousy printmakers feel against painters. In the art world, printmaking has a sort of second class status beneath painting. Sort of in the way RC Cola™ has always taken a back seat to Coca-Cola™. RC is usually cheaper, it's not as flashy, you don't see top celebrities endorsing it, but it tastes just as good (I'd say it's even better) than the entrenched status-quo softdrink, Coca-Cola™. Anyways, if it were ever to come down to fisticuffs the printers would win anyway because we have sharper tools.

The Art Critique - Etching

In graduate school I made a series of five etching which were about art and my graduate school experiences. This image was one of the earlier ones from the series. Basically, I hate art critiques. They are boring and they bring out all sorts of cliched remarks, especially in an art school setting. This image depicts some of the stereotypes I noticed over the years The composition is ripped from a Bosch painting, Ecce Homo.

Bulletproof by Mortals, The (8/10)

Format: 
CD

Straight forward rock with a slight 60s garage vibe. By its very nature this is derivative music and can live or die based on the musicianship (or lack thereof), gimmick, or just your mood when you first hear the music. I happen to like The Mortals and consider this their best record. It has a nice full sound and a few surpisingly catchy tracks.

Dolph Lundgren Awesome

Dolph Lungren's Cultural Sensitivity

Here's the mighty Dolph Lungren from the movie Showdown in Little Tokyo. I highly recommend it for lovers of bad movies. This movie just reaks of super-awesome-tude. In the above scene, Dolph looks like he is doing a little stand-up at the Improv. He is, in fact, getting connected with his Japanese cultural roots by dressing like a Karateman and then machine gunning pony-tailed Yakuzas who wear double-breasted suits.

You Don't Mess With The Zohan (4/10)

A heavy handed attempt at goofball comedy that fails at least 95% of the time. The makers of this film don't seem to grasp how to make a comedy that builds up effectively. They throw some of the wildest jokes in the first ten minutes and then the movie comes to a grinding halt, occasionally bringing back recurring gags that weren't very funny to begin with.

Oh, Hello There...

Although I try to minimize political posting here on the Pages of Fun, about a week ago I decided to run with a post featuring a "Tea Party" protest poster I created: Teabagger / Teabaggee. I tweeted (I hate that term... almost as much as webinar) a link, got a few dozen hits and that was that.

However, yesterday I started to get all sorts of notifications of new comments in my inbox regarding this post. I went and checked my analytics account:

Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem (10/10)

It has been a while since I've read a contemporary novel that I liked this much. Motherless Brooklyn is a pretty standard hard-boiled detective story with the noteworthy twist being that the protagonist/narrator has tourette's syndrome. In many ways Lionel Essrog is like T.V.'s Adrian Monk—counting, touching, and ticcing his way through life—but, unlike Monk, Lionel's disorder isn't his super-detective power. His outbursts seem to explode at the worst possible times which adds an additional level of tension to already tense situations.