Routine Check 11/23/12

– I will leave all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday reporting to less lazy people, but I have noticed that a new round of Record Store Day releases has gone a little under-reported. Check out your local music store for interesting limited releases from Tenacious D, the White Stripes, Wes Anderson, and more. Here’s the full list.

– I was at an of Montreal concert in Atlanta back in 2008 (with Homestar Runner’s Limozeen as an opener) which had fancy cameras swirling around for what was obviously some sort of official production. Later, it turned out to be part of a feature-length documentary called In a Fit of Hercynian Prig, Oculi, directed by Craig Zobel (a Homestar associate and director of Great World of Sound and Compliance), which seems to have been partially abandoned and retooled into Song Dynasties, which is now raising money on Kickstarter for completion and release. Hopefully all the time and tinkering will be a blessing; they should certainly have enough footage by now that I wouldn’t expect much filler. Anyway, if you like the band (and you should), there are a lot of fun treasures to be had if you donate.

– Speaking of waifish, long-running melody wizards, Beck’s sort-of-pretentious, sort-of-interesting new “album,” actually an original songbook meant to be played and sung by anyone but Beck, is coming out in a few weeks and he’s talked about it with The New Yorker, explaining the concept and its inception and letting some of the magazine’s staff premiere one of the tunes in a pleasant but hipster-hater-unfriendly video. Check it out via Pitchfork.

– Matt Besser, co-founder of Upright Citizens Brigade and one of the funniest people in the world, is offering a digital collection of his character-based stand-up for the just-ridiculous price of $1.99. It’s his first proper stand-up album, though he released a classic “reverse prank calls” CD years ago, and I can’t wait to enjoy it. You can also watch his feature directorial debut Freak Dance, based on his long-running stage show, at Netflix Instant, though you might need to be in the right mood for a grating teen dance spoof (read: I couldn’t get into it.)

– I don’t often learn something useful from Entertainment Weekly, but this list of actors who narrowly missed out on playing James Bond had a few names that were news to me. On a related note, Skyfall is totally solid.

– Quentin Dupieux, the French DJ and commercial and feature director, has his follow-up to his cultishly divisive Rubber spreading out through festivals now, but Slashfilm has some pictures and details on two more after that, more appropriately weird-looking dark comedies variously starring Eric Wareheim, Jon Heder, Steve Little, and Marilyn Manson. That makes three movies I will probably watch.

– I’m only casually familiar with Jason Horn’s Ninjasaur comic, but I walked past his demonstration of a work-in-progress mobile app at HeroesCon and was really impressed with it, particularly its clever use of touch-screen to quickly cycle through various production levels of each page. The app is now available, and Comics Alliance has a breakdown and review of it. I will probably pick it up if/when it comes to Android; it seems like the most pleasurable way to get into that comic at this point.

– Lastly, I enjoyed this quick comic illustrating an R. Kelly story told by The Wire‘s Michael K. Williams.

Today in streams and freebies: 1) The Fleischer Superman cartoons, some of the greatest shorts ever created and arguably the height of Superman-related media, have never been particularly hard to find thanks to their public-domain status, but Warner Bros. is officially streaming them on YouTube now if you’re interested. (Thanks to Comics Alliance for the link.) 2) The Evens, the routinely exquisite duo of Ian MacKaye and wife Amy Farina, are streaming their third album The Odds at NPR. 3) Also check out Damon Albarn’s brief but intriguing BBC commission at Pitchfork, along with some explanation.


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