Album of the Month:
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:
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!
Movie of the Month: 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.
Comic Book of the Month: Junior Braves of the Apocalypse
by Michael Tanner & Greg Smith
A troupe of “Junior Braves” (think Boy Scouts) heads into the mountains for a retreat, only to return to town to discover that a zombie-like apocalypse has happened in their absence. The boys must use their wits and their Junior Brave training to survive and discover if any of their families have made it through the horrors alive. This book, co-written by Fools Play’s own Green Fool Michael Tanner, is like the fun of The Goonies and Monster Squad meets The Walking Dead in one fantastic graphic novel!
Podcast of the Month: Conversation Parade with Open Mike Eagle & John Moe
Adventure Time is a cartoon that has attracted a tremendous adult audience. So here is a podcast where two very smart, very nerdy, and very funny people (John Moe and my pal Mike Eagle) discuss undercurrent themes that run through the show and also interview creators and cast members! It’s a lot of fun to listen to, so DO IT. Oh, and the title of the podcast is based on a rather obscure BMO-created video game from the cartoon. You can watch it in “action” in this clip:
Website of the Month: North of Reality
A delightful series of (almost daily) short prose vignettes of fantastic, surrealist, and unfettered imagination, often with a sinister or threatening air hanging in the background. I’ve written about Uel Aramchek before when I posted his series of tweets about the “Invisible States of America.” These are like those, only a bit longer and more developed, but still with that same sense of mystery and awe.
Whanna whet your whappetite? (What is whappening?) Look no further than here, as yesterday Mike released a preview track from the EP, titled “Raps for When It’s Just You and the Abyss.” It’s a dreamy, succulent offering:
Nice nice, eh?
Hey, listen, if you’re like me (and you should be) and you can’t get your fill of Open Mike Eagle, you shouldst really be listening to his podcast as well: Secret Skin. In fact, in the most recent episode (which featured special guest Busdriver—who has a song called “Secret Skin” on one of his albums… hmm… I wonder…) Mike premiered ANOTHER track from the new EP. So go listen to that. Do it. For me. And for Mike.
You’ve probably noticed, but I rather unashamedly promote my friends’ creative endeavors on this website. There’s a reason that a recurring handful of artists routinely appear on my “Of the Month” lists. I love seeing my friends do well.
So I am very excited that none other than the LA Weekly itself has named Mike Eagle Best Rapper Los Angeles 2014. And they say some very nice things about him.
It’s not that he wasn’t great before, but he now seems completely at ease with who he is — a struggling, conflicted artist and dad who somehow thrives in an industry that doesn’t know quite what to make of him.
Whelp, I know what to make of him: he’s pretty durned awexome, and this is well-deserved.
Oh, and check out his latest music video for “Dark Comedy Morning Show” right here:
We went to a hippity AND hoppity show over the weekend, and (as is my nature) I made some animated .GIFs from the performances. Enjoy!
Julie C hosted the event, and she graced us with two songs! Wish she could have done more, but it was great to see her go. She has quite the stage presence, as can be seen by just how much she jumps around in this .GIF:
Go, Julie, go!
And here are some animations of Mr. Open Mike Eagle:
Mike at his board.
Go, Mike, go!
It was an enjoyable show, and Mike kilt it deed. Although with so many acts on one bill some of them went on a li’l too long. Well I’m pushing 40 now, and Carrie & I get tired starting around 11:00 PM.
Lots of the hippity hoppity happenity this Saturdaty.
HEY! What’re all y’all doing Saturday night? Well, if you’re in the South Puget Sound area, you should probably go see Fools Play Improv, because it’s their penultimate show before they must leave their venue in Olympia, so it might be your last chance for a while.
But if you’re not in a position to easily access Olympia on a Saturday night, then you shouldst prolly head to Columbia City Theater in Seattle to see a hippity-hoppity show of somewhat epic proportions!
It’s headlined by my pal Open Mike Eagle, and it’s emceed by the one-and-only Julie C, a mainstay of the Seattle indie hip-hop scene (and someone on whom my wife has a great big girl-crush).
The crushable Julie C.
There are also a great gob of other acts who will be performing on the stage, the only other one of which I’ve seen perform before is Graves33 (warning: video autoplay), whom I saw at an Open Mike Eagle show a couple years ago.
Open Mike Eagle @ Columbia City Theater hosted by Julie C (Facebook event)
Saturday, August 23rd 8:00PM
@ Columbia City Theater
4916 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118 (map)
21+, $10 (adv) $12 (door)
Open Mike Eagle: On that “laugh to keep from crying” tip.
Continuing last Thursday’s article, I am now going to analyze the back half of Open Mike Eagle’s “Dark Comedy” album and talk about the nerdy references of the final seven songs. What’s that? You haven’t read the first part of this article?? Well, fellows, just click here: