This is Chris dot com
Music, Movies, & General Geekery: Life.
by Christopher Grant Harris

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Glory of Glories: You Can Now Download Chubby Mummy

chub-e-the-mum

Is this the real life? Or is it chubby fantasy?

All of my musical fever dreams are coming true. Last year, we finally got the glorious music of Trevor Peach released.

Earlier this year, the long-gestating glories of The Crazy Boy Floyds began to trickle out into the world.

And now we have the Glory of Glories, the most exalted of all music.

All of Chubby Mummy has been upload to the internets.

All Time Alblums

A Quarted of Insane Inane Genius

For those of you who aren’t in the know, here is the official description of Chubby Mummy:

Two fully grown siblings whose improvised silliness is preserved on platinum hit “alblums” via tape recorders and cell phones. Chubby Mummy kind of has to be heard to be believed.

That really doesn’t do it justice. For starters, they’re completely bonkers insane. For seconds, they can’t carry a tune and have almost no sense of rhythm. They make The Shaggs seem as competent and skilled as Yo-Yo Ma. But they are frikkin’ funny. Many “songs” just collapse at the end because one or both of them are laughing too hard to continue. They’re also unreasonably enthusiastic and it’s completely infectious.

May I be pretentious for a moment? I shall: CHUBBY MUMMY IS THE GREATEST “OUTSIDER ART” MUSICAL ACT SINCE WESLEY WILLIS. Chubby Mummy is the raw, unspoiled joy of absolutely-uncensored improv.

Here’s a typical sample, where the two try to come up with what the next song will be, and then try (and fail) to perform that song:

And here is one of their more “successful” songs, where they actually manage to keep going for more than a few seconds:

Glorious.

Wait, I didn’t do that right.

GLORIOUS

There’s that’s better.

Head on over to the Chubby Mummy Bandcamp site to catch ’em all! You might be sorry you did! Or you might just find everything you never knew you were missing in your miserable life (spoiler: that last part probably won’t happen).

Don't let Chubby Mummy down!

Don’t let Chubby Mummy down!

Categories: Music.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

“Of the Month” May 2016

Album of the Month:
tacocat_lost-time
Lost Time by Tacocat

It’s no real secret that one of my favorite genres of music is mid-late 90s female-led power pop/rock. One of my favorite all-time musicians and songwriters is Kay Hanley (of Letters to Cleo fame). Veruca Salt’s “Eight Arms to Hold You” is one of my favorite albums. So it should be really no surprise that I’m totally digging on local Seattle band Tacocat right now, seeing as how they’re basically the heir to this sound infused with a healthy dose of 90s Olympia Riot Grrrl. Their songs are catchy, catchy, catchy, with lots of interesting influences from the 60s, punk of the 70s, and of course the grunge of the 90s. Also, they’re big nerds. “Lost Time” is a reference to UFO abductions, and the first song on the album is called “Dana Katherine Skully” after the main character of The X-Files. Also, they wrote the new theme song to the Powerpuff Girls revival that’s currently airing on Cartoon Network. Nerds. Here:

Movie of the Month:
star-wars_the-force-awakens
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Spectacular.
Wait, I didn’t do that right.

SPECTACULAR!

There, that’s better. I mean, come on. It’s so, so, so much fun.

Comic Book of the Month:
msmarvel
Ms. Marvel

G. Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel is a great comic book about the fun and angst of being a superhero (not to mention being a teenager, a girl, a muslim-American, and a nerd to boot). What’s so great about it is that it never gets bogged down by any one thing. It’s zippy and funny and genuine, but also really weird and cartoony and embraces all of its weirdness in a charming matter-of-fact way. The Marvel universe is full of almost-constant bizarre happenings. A Norse god disrupting your school dance isn’t really that out of the ordinary (and certainly nothing to get freaked out about). Protagonist Kamala is a refreshing bit of brightness in an all-too-often-gloomy genre. She doesn’t know exactly what she’s doing; she only knows she wants to help people. Ms. Marvel is the best comic book to come out in the last five years. This omnibus collection doesn’t come out until this Autumn, but I’m very much looking forward to it.

Categories: Of the Month.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Fools Play May Day Riots this Saturday!

Fools Play May Day Riots: April 30

It’ll be a LAUGH riot. A LAUGH riot.

This Saturday, April 30th, is the next episode of Fools Play Improv. In this episode all the Fools will collaborate to create an improvised city, and a laugh riot will ensue. A LAUGH riot.

If you don’t think that sounds impressive, well, (1) SHAME on you, and (2) it is an idea actually inspired by some important, not-at-all-made-up social work done in “the turbulent 1960s.” In fact, there was recently an actual, real-life TED talk about this topic that you should watch now because it is a completely legitimate TED Talk in every way and in no way a fake one or anything like that:

So you should definitely see Fools Play Improv this weekend.

I can't emphasize this enough: It'll be a LAUGH riot. LAUGH riot.

I can’t emphasize this enough: It’ll be a LAUGH riot. LAUGH riot.

Details:
Fools Play Laugh Riot (Faced Book Event)
Saturday, April 30th 9:00 PM
@ 924 Broadway, Downtown Tacoma (map)
All-ages, $10

Categories: Fools Play.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

*Ring-Ring* It’s the Congratumaphone for Tacocat!

Who's got the power?

Who’s got the power?

You might not have noticed it, but included in the long, long list of TV shows and movies that are returning for another go at it (a list that also includes The X-Files, Twin Peaks, Gilmore Girls, Samurai Jack, Pee-Wee Herman, and probably several others I just don’t want to take time to remember right now) is the wondrous PowerPuff Girls!

That’s right, a new season of The PowerPuff Girls has just started airing, and with some minor tweaks here and there it looks to be doing a bang-up job of continuing in the spirit of the original. One of the tweaks is a brand-new theme song, recorded by none other than Seattle band TACOCAT! It’s called, “Who’s Got the Power?” Take a look and a listen:

There are a few really cool things going on here. First, Tacocat is the heir to the 1990s Riot Grrrl phenomenon; they’re an unabashedly feminist, girl-power-filled, and bright-punk group, and their brightly-colored aesthetic is an ungodly good match to the brightly-colored PowerPuff Girls.

Sadly, neither Tacos nor Cats in RL.

Sadly, neither Tacos nor Cats in RL.

Continuing in that theme, the visuals in this new introduction include a lot of the low-fi, DIY, photocopied aesthetic of the 90s zine culture (see the screenshot at the top of this post) that was extraordinarily popular in the Puget Sound area in the 90s, and was a huge part of Riot Grrrl. As a Puget Sound native, these are all things that I greatly appreciate.

Plus, the song is just catchy and fun, much like The PowerPuff Girls.

So, yes, *Ring-Ring* goes the Congratumaphone. Well done, Tacocat.

Also in honor of the return of The PowerPuff Girls, I “Powerpuffed” myself (which you, too, can do here). What do you think?

I dunno, they look kinda creepy with a beard...

I dunno, they look kinda creepy with a beard…

Categories: Cartoons, Music, Videos.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

“Of the Month” April 2016

Album of the Month:
hella_personal_film_festival
Open Mike Eagle & Paul White: Hella Personal Film Festival

This album is ungodly catchy. Paul white’s production is astonishingly eclectic, bouncing from full-on, straight-up jazz to darker, juicy electronic beats. Mike’s vocals are as on-point as ever, full of dark comedy and wry, biting humor, liberally sprinkled with nerdy references and self-deprecation. All at once familiar and comforting (it is Mike being Mike after all) and delightfully surprising. This is BY FAR the best album of 2016, and lemme tell you: it’s gonna be a jaw-dropping shocker if anything tops it.

Here, watch this video for “Check 2 Check”

Video Game of the Month:
miitomo
Miitomo

Nintendo’s first foray into mobile gaming is almost a parody of social media. You play as your Mii (a self-designed cartoony avatar), and you answer questions it asks of you and then you get to listen to the answers your friends gave. You can comment on answers. But also by doing so you get virtual moneys that you can use to buy outfits for your Mii, and there are some minigames you can play (of the drop-your-Mii-in-a-pachinko-machine variety) for various prizes. It’s all rather charming and silly, though you can learn a surprising amount of insight into your friends based on how they answer questions!

And if you have the app, you can look at this QR code and be my frieeeeeeend!

It's me Mii!

It’s me Mii!

Movie of the Month:
Pee-wees-Big-Holiday_poster_goldposter_com_2
Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday

A new Pee-Wee movie after (almost) 30 years? Don’t go into this movie expecting a rip-roaring, laugh-a-minute redefinition of comedy. That ain’t this movie’s bag. Big Holiday is a surprisingly gentle and pleasant ride, with gentle touches of comedy that make you smile more than laugh. Everything is restrained and, well, just so darned pleasant. It just breezes by. There are some great gags, like a balloon gag towards the back third that is funny not for what is happening but for just how long it keeps happening. The greatest bits, though, are about the incredibly intense bromance that Pee-Wee strikes up with actor Joe Manganiello (playing himself), and several slow-motion dream sequences that sometimes are inexplicably in Spanish. Big Holiday is a very childlike—but not childish—movie. I enjoyed it.

Categories: Of the Month.

Friday, 1 April 2016

See Me In the South Sound Improv Comedy Festival Tomorrow (Saturday), and Also In the Newspaper Again!

3rd Annual Improv Comedy Festival

The festival starts tonight (Friday), but I won’t be innit until tomorrow (Saturday)

So this Saturday night (April 2nd), Fools Play Improv won’t be having a show in Tacoma as is their habit, they’ll be venturing back down to their old stomping grounds of Olympia to be a part of the 3rd Annual South Sound Improv Comedy Festival there!

We’re one of four troupes performing that evening, so we’ll only get a wee bit o’ stage time (plus we’ll be in a big all-troupes mash-up at the end of the show), but if’n you’re in the area you should stop by and see all the funny!

PLUS there’s a big ol’ photo of me (AGAIN) in The News Tribune in the article that talks about both Fools Play (and our now-over Improv & Dragons event) and the Festival!

Fools Play Improv in The News Tribune

HELLZ YEAH I’M IN THE NEWSPAPER AGAIN!

Details:
3rd Annual South Sound Improv Festival (Faced Book Event)
Saturday, April 2nd, 7:00 PM
@ The State Theatre
202 4th Ave E, Olympia, WA 98501 (map)
All-Ages, $20 (or $30 if you want to go both nights)

I SHALL SEE YE THERE! And you’ll also see me when ye purchase a copy of The News Tribune to gaze upon handsome visages of the Fools.

Categories: Concerts/Shows, Fools Play.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

😢

"The deliberate taking of human--even super-human--life goes against every belief that I have--and that you have. That's the one thing we've always had in common. It's what made us what we are."

This is one of the main reasons why I don’t want to see Snyder’s Batman v Superman.

Categories: Movies.