OMD to Release New Album This April

Synthpop duo OMD is releasing a new full-length album, English Electric, on April 9. It’s described in the press release as  “a 12-track letter to technology, space, love.” If it’s half as cool as the trailer they just released, I’ll be happy. Seriously, it’s a pretty sweet trailer.

The band will be back out on the road this spring with the original line-up to celebrate OMD’s 35th anniversary.

 English Electric will be released on vinyl. I’m already calling dibs on that.

The tracklisting has also been released. I’ve reposted it from the press release below, in case you keep track of these things.
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Underground Set list 1/11/13: Where We Hear Xmal Deutschland and Discuss Things ‘One Does Not Simply’ Do

Hanging out with my pals Tony and Flora. (Photo: Carlos R.)

You know the “One does not simply…” meme? There was an image going around on Facebook that read, “One does not simply ask for guest list at 8 p.m.” I think everyone who ever worked at a club shared it. I know I did. It’s one of those things that drives club people wild. By 8 p.m., we have our lists printed out and are on the road to the gig. What’s funnier though is when your friend who liked that particular status update texts you the next day, after 8 p.m., with the message, “One doesn’t simply ask for guest list at 8 unless it is Tony.” Since Tony and I have been friends for almost our entire adult lives, and since that text made me laugh so hard that I almost fell off my platforms, he became the exception to the rule. Point being, when you post anything resembling a rule on Facebook, be prepared for your friends to break it and for you to laugh so hard you can’t say no.

So, a few of my friends stopped by the party, which was great because I could dance with them on my breaks instead of sitting at the bar looking at my Twitter feed. The turnout was pretty good and the crowd was dancing all night, even when I threw in Xmal Deutschland. Someone requested that and, since nobody has ever asked me to play them at Underground before last night, I had to do it.

Here’s the set list.

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‘Manda Looks Up,’ Now with More Bacon

One of Jeaux’s thumbnails from our forthcoming comic.

At the tail end of 2012, Jeaux and I decided that we would release the comic we have been working on forever online on February 14, 2013. As of today, that means we have a little over a month to get the first chapter finished.

Yesterday, Jeaux came over to my place so that we could have an extensive jam session. I busted out the script, he busted out the thumbnails that he had already sketched and we started working. After hours of reading and re-reading lines and drawing and re-drawing panels, we came up with something we really liked. The photo above is one the thumbnails that Jeaux thought was appropriate to post online.

As far as the comic goes, I’m the writer, Jeaux’s the artist, but there is so much back and forth between the two of us that, sometimes it’s hard to say when one person’s job ends and the other begins. That’s what is making this project really fun.

The character in the above panel is Manda. We’ve worked with her for years in various forms on different projects. She is a completely different character than she was when we first developed her, which was about seven years ago. It’s been fun to watch her evolve, something I imagine will happen a few more times before we get the comic rolling.

We’ll show you a few more updates after next week’s jam session.

 

I’m Playing at Underground and David Bowie Is My Muse


David Bowie turned 66 this week and he celebrated with a new song and video, plus an announcement of a new album. Naturally, Bowie has been on my mind all week. It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan and have been pretty much since birth. (Seriously, my mom’s a fan too, his is some of the first music I remember hearing.) I was also fortunate enough to have the chance to see him live at the Forum back in 1995. He’s spectacular.

Since I’m playing at Underground on Friday, I wanted to channel all this Bowie energy into my set. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll play a lot of his stuff. Rather, I want to piece together tons of artists who have been influenced by him. Check out the videos below for a sneak preview.

Underground is at the Grand Star in Chinatown. It’s 21+ and $8 all night unless you RSVP. An RSVP is good for you and one guest to get in for free before 10 p.m. and $5 after that. You can RSVP via Facebook or by emailing clubundergroundla@gmail.com . If you have a birthday that you’d like to celebrate at the club tomorrow night, contact us on Facebook or through that email to make arrangements.

 

Yeah, I’m an Anime Fan

Ran into Mike from Cel Count Media at the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex panel. (Photo: Jenny Park)

I almost didn’t go to Anime L.A. this year. I had been getting worn out from covering convention after convention. I was thinking that maybe I should take a break this year. But, ALA is a special con for me. It’s the first one I attended, way back when they were throwing the party in the Valley. I wrote about the experience for Razorcake years ago. I went looking for Paranoia Agent DVDs. I came out of there obsessed with conventions.

Mostly, though, I went for the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex panel. I’m a bit of a GITS fan and I wanted to write about it for my L.A. Weekly column, Cult Stars. I did that. There will be more tales from ALA coming soon too.

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You Need a Copy of Hi-Fructose Volume 26

I just got my copies of the latest issue of Hi-Fructose. It’s a beautiful issue with work from Beth Covener Stichter on the cover and artists like Sage Vaughn, Mars-1 and more inside. On top of that, I wrote a whopping three articles for this issue. In Volume 26, I talk to Michael Mapes, whose specimen box portraits are intensely fascinating. I also write about the work of German siblings Low Bros and the haunting landscapes of Vasilis Avramidis.

As usual, these stories are only available in the print edition of Hi-Fructose. If you can’t find a copy at your local magazine supplier, you can order one online.

In other news, I recently interviewed Claude VonStroke, who is playing Holy Ship!! this weekend, for Pure Volume. Read it when you have a chance.

And there’s still more news, maybe. I just finished writing a story that will be the first installment of a podcast thing I’m putting together. Should time permit, this will be online within the next week. More details when they’re available.

 

Hey, New Year, I Broke Out the Glitter Platforms Just for You

We’re spending the last few minutes of 2012 inside a club, drinks in hand, horns on standby. I’m wearing glitter and velvet platforms that I bought at H&M the day prior. They are huge shoes. I might be hovering around the six feet mark when I wear them. I’m taller than all the girls around me, some of the guys too, but I don’t feel any of that anxiety that I did back in junior high, back in the days of “How’s the weather up there?” jokes. Instead, I think I’m Wonder Woman. A clumsier, wimpier Wonder Woman, but you get the point.

After midnight, I try doing a Morrissey rockabilly dance as I fire off lyrics from “Sing Your Life.” Dancing in platforms is rough for a girl like me, the kind of girl who can hardly stand still without injuring herself. I get through it, though, because it’s a new year and anything can happen. I might actually wake up one morning and not be a trainwreck in really big shoes. Anything can happen.

All that is to say that I’m excited for 2013. My friend Jeaux Janovsky and I will finally release our comic on February 14 of this year. (We’re keeping the title so secret right now that even we aren’t sure what it is.) There are some other projects on the horizon as well, but I can’t talk about those yet.

I’ve been writing constantly lately, writing about every stupid thing I see as I walk down the street. The fruits of those exercises will be coming up soon– probably tomorrow– and will be available to read here. Bookmark this page or whatever it is people do these days.

Happy New Year. Hope you have an awesome 2013.