29 February 2012

MUSIC VIDEO: Gorillaz (feat. James Murphy & André 3000) - DoYaThing

Happy Leap Day, folks! Before celebrating by bumping into Leap Day Williams on the street, take a gander at the just released video for Gorillaz collaboration "DoYaThing." The video features the combination of live action and 3D character rendering we last saw in director and Gorilla Jamie Hewlett (Tank Girl)'s "Stylo" video. The video features the morning routine of the Gorillaz gang at their apartment on 212 Wobble Street, London.

Looking like the digs of some broke college kids rather than the self-touted "world’s most successful virtual band" (Comic Book Resources), the video follows 2-D in his morning routine. Along the way, he's interrupted by Murdoc comically holding up the staircase by chairlift and later beating 2-D with the very shoe that inspired all this nonsense. Meanwhile, OutKast André 3000's apparition also haunts the cupboards and refrigerator, looking like Pimp Racer X.

Check out the video above and follow the jump for video storyboards and more.

26 February 2012


I wanted to follow up on the rampant "DoYaThing" news (which we should all be well aware of by now) with a link to the possibly leaked 13-minute cut, but however righteous the news, I felt another post would be approaching overkill. So, I took a few moments to scour the interwebs for some overlooked and generally noteworthy music headlines to supplement.

First, here's that Gorillaz+James Murphy+André 3000 extended jam. I searched far and wide for a download to no avail. Same goes for embedded streaming content, so head on over to those news-greedy bastards at 107.7 The End to listen to Murphy's extended electro-rock jam and André's now infamously ad lib refrain, "I'm the shit," which we can only assume was pirated directly from Murdoc's hard drive.

In related news, André 3000 revealed to GQ magazine that there are no plans for a new OutKast album, despite a 2008 interview with Pitchfork where Big Boi indicated the two were recording new material. Bummer.

23 February 2012

THIS WEEK IN PANELS: Feb. 22, 2012

THIS WEEK IN PANELS showcases our favorite comic book panels each week. No criteria, no rhyme, no reason. Excelsior! (Click pictures to embiggen)
The theme this week seems to be superhero team dynamics. And, go:

Secret Avengers #23 by Rick Remender & Gabriel Hardman; Marvel 2012
Secret Avengers has Hawkeye on the verge of a breakdown, unable to manage his new team and clearly opposed to Captain America's newly appointed recruit. Remender does a great job of establishing a new villain in The Father who threatens the creation of a new species homo synthezoidus -- superior even to the homo superior mutant -- and for making Ant-Man a total bad-ass, even if he had to kill him to do so.

"DoYaThing" Out Now

The Gorillaz, James Murphy, André 3000 collabo we've been repping is finally out today, and let me say, it's well worth the wait. The four-and-a-half minute track packs all the elements you'd expect from each artist involved. Gorillaz is way up front with a reggae-funk beat and Albarn's mumbled vocals which Murphy accentuates with LCD-ish keys and falsetto vocals on the chorus. André pops in at the 1:49-minute mark with some The Love Below stylized crooning, singing "every time we try we get nowhere," before dropping some serious whirlwind rhymes.

Download the track and follow the bump for Murdoc's official announcement.

22 February 2012

MUSIC VIDEO: Gonjasufi - The Blame

Check out the video for "The Blame" from almost colossus tested and approved genre-bending singer/songwriter Gonjasufi. The video is directed by photographer Neil Krug (who has previously worked with Ladytron) and features a contemplative and often angry Sufi (born Sumach Ecks) in various locations in what appears to be a sand-buried post-apocalyptic Los Angeles.

20 February 2012

JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER: Homeboy Sandman: Subject: Matter [EP]

JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER makes a preliminary judgment on a work of art based solely on the merits of its cover. A second review of the content will then challenge the idiom "never judge a book by its cover." Almost Colossus Mythbusters.
Homeboy Sandman, Subject: Matter [EP]; Stones Throw, 2012
Critiquing hip-hop on the merits of album art could be a challenge. So much of what defines hip-hop is in the lyrics, its content and flow. But the cover of Subject: Matter says a lot about the artist and content. Its the maximalist counterpoint to the minimalist matter-of-fact-ness of the Black Keys' Brothers by way of Mackie Osborne's backwards-forward packaging that's become synonymous with the Melvins' Ipecac catalogue.

There's a distinct vintage Nineties Hip-Hop vibe here, too -- before hip-hop got too flashy. Homeboy Sandman is decidedly under-dressed (are those sweatpants?), looking like he walked right out of a Naughty By Nature video, although the wordiness of the "liner notes" (the actual content of which I'm choosing to ignore for now) indicate Sandman wants more than other people's, er... property. He wants their minds, their attention. Homeboy is deep; he makes you think. He's not looking down on you and you're not looking up at him. You're looking into him.

Musically, the art suggests simple beats -- an 808, sparse samples -- while the Stones Throw label dictates with almost certainty obscure jazz and R&B breaks. Independent, underground; adverbs aside: non-mainstream, backpacker rap.

16 February 2012

THIS WEEK IN PANELS: Feb. 15, 2012

THIS WEEK IN PANELS showcases our favorite comic book panels each week. No criteria, no rhyme, no reason. Excelsior! (Click pictures to embiggen)
No recurring theme in panels this week, folks; just an à la carte of great art, storytelling, and notable moments. More, of course, after the jump.

Batman #6 by Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo; DC 2012
The "Court of the Owls" storyline continues from last month's dizzying maze issue as Batman takes a serious beating by Talon at the bequest of the Court. This marks a literal turning point to the story arc, though, as the events of this issue seem to mirror themselves as the *ahem* Dark Knight rises.

15 February 2012

Tobacco - Streaker (feat. Notrabel)

Tobacco (birth name Thomas Fec, Black Moth Super Rainbow) continues to deliver the goods to his fans from his Facebook page. Last night, Fec posted a track from the upcoming as-yet-untitled Tobacco album via his Soundcloud page. "Streaker" features guest work from Notrabel (Brian LeBarton) and what sounds like Fec repeating "Ride / Ride / Ride, motherfucker / Ride" under heaps of vocal distortion.

One Soundcloud user commented on the track, "methlab junkyard fucken [sic] doomcore sockhop spankysuit yo." We're just going to stick with that description because there are no precise words to do this absurdist noise jam justice.

Gorillaz - DoYaThing (preview)

Last week we reported the Gorillaz would release "DoYaThing," a collaboration with James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) and André 3000 (OutKast) in partnership with Converse for their "Three Artists, One Song" series. Radio station 107.7 The End posted a 30-second preview of the track as well as a behind the scenes clip (below) to their website today. Without official word from damn near anyone, the clip remains unofficially unofficial and seems to have originated from Gorillaz Youtube fan page AllEyesOnGorillaz.

"DoYaThing" drops February 23rd on Converse.com.

10 February 2012

BMSR Album Scrapped for Tobacco Album, Air Remix

Last time we checked in on Thomas Fec, a.k.a. Tobacco, he and bandmates Black Moth Super Rainbow were poised to release an EP with psych-weirdos The Flaming Lips. BMSR were also in the process of recording the follow-up to 2009's Eating Us. Neither the collabo or Psychic Love Damage ever saw the light of day. When greeted with the question of what to expect from the new album in an interview with the website CMPRSSR posted January 16th, Fec responded, "I guess the first thing they shouldn't expect is an album," adding, "it got scrapped." He released a statement via Facebook regarding the abandoned album:
sorry guys, i don't have a pr person right now to write press releases for me so gotta do this on my own. in 2011 i made a bmsr record called Psychic Love Damage. it was supposed to come out this year, but it wasn't very exciting. and not good enough in my opinion for you to spend your $ on. so i junked it for its best moments and made an album that i'm really in love with. not sure how or when that'll come out, but in the meantime, enjoy these bits from the orphaned psychic album.
Fec's Facebook page has been a hotspot for Tobacco activity this year. Among the posts, he alleged that Yolandi of Die Antwoord turned down an opportunity to appear on the new album, "because it made her sweat all over." True or not, she would have made a good fit for an as-yet-titled album which seems to be a growing experience for Fec, who had this to say, "learning what a disgusting person i [sic] am through the making of this tobacco album. PSYCHED FOR MYSELF!"

Max Landis and the "death" of Superman

Supergeek Max Landis
When does a Youtube fan video become a legitimate film? When it features the likes of Elijah Wood, Simon Pegg, Ron Howard, and Mandy Moore. Or perhaps when written by and starring the son of one of the most iconic comedy film directors of the last century. Max Landis, son of John Landis (Blues Brothers, Animal House, Coming to America, Michael Jackson's "Thriller;" need I continue?), seems to be a bit of a comic book geek. Judging from the reception of Chronicle (written by Landis), a sort of Blair Witch Project faux-superhero home video, he's already begun to redefine the idea of the superhero in Hollywood.

A look at his IMDB profile also lists a writer credit for a short entitled The Death and Return of Superman. DAROS (produced by Brian Basham) features Landis as he tells the tale of, well -- read the title, but also of comic books in the 1990s, when a single issue could potentially sell in the millions and, as a friend of mine recounts, one's first comic book could have even been purchased at a hair salon. Acting out the hilarious events of the *sigh* classic Superman story are Elijah Wood as Cyborg Superman, Mandy Moore as Lois Lane, and more, as Landis narrates from a white leather chair, Johnny Walker Black in hand, in what appears to be the Matrix white room.

09 February 2012

Gorillaz + James Murphy + André 3000 = "DoYaThing"

Albarn, Murdoc, Hewlett
Free from an apparent gag order, Murdoc, the Satanic bassist of cartoon band Gorillaz, announced a new track from musician Damon Albarn (Blur) and illustrator Jamie Hewlett (Tank Girl)'s alternative (in every sense of the word) cartoon pop band via his SoundCloud page. "DoYaThing" will be available as a free download Thursday, Feb. 23rd, through Converse. Yeah, the shoe company.

Now, get this -- "DoYaThing" features two "retired" modern music icons: James Murphy (in his second post-LCD Soundsystem appearance) and André 3000 of OutKast.


THIS WEEK IN PANELS showcases our favorite comic book panels each week. No criteria, no rhyme, no reason. Excelsior! (Click pictures to embiggen)
A common theme across Marvel Comics this week seems to be economic and civil unrest. To quote the late, great comedian Bill Hicks, they must be "going for the righteous indignation dollar. That's a big dollar. A lot of people are feeling that indignation. We've done research -- huge market."

First, Sgt. Nick Fury lays into a couple "candy-ass pogues" over the handling of the UC Davis protestors and more in the finale to what can and should be considered the equivalent to Morrison and Quitely's All-Star Superman -- the quintessential continuity-free Punisher story:
PunisherMAX #22 by Jason Aaron & Steve Dillon; Marvel 2012
Then the England riots in Secret Avengers and general economic woes (albeit of the supernatural variety) in part 2 of the "Circle of Four" storyline in Venom:

06 February 2012


almost colossus is proud to announce a sponsorship with former harbinger of the Spirit of Vengeance, the once Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze.
My name is jamius and I approve this message.

This image will be available as a button on the lower right-hand column shortly should you wish to link to almost colossus from your own blog or page.

Listenings: Gonjasufi, MU.ZZ.LE | Grimes, Visions


THIS WEEK IN PANELS is a feature presenting our favorite solicited comic panel(s) each week. No criteria, no rhyme, no reason. Excelsior!
Venom #13
by Rick Remender & Tony Moore
Marvel Comics; 2012

Aside from being one of my surprise favorite issues this past week, part 1 of the Circle of Four arc (reprising The New Fantastic Four from Fantastic Four #'s 544-550) features two laugh-out-loud panels. The first suggests what's on Johnny Blaze's iPod:

While the second shows Raoul Duke, the bumbling, perpetually tweeked narrator of Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and his attorney Dr. Gonzo, among the tourists outside Flash Thompson's motel. Buy the ticket, take the ride:

Did you see what God just did us, man?!: Various artists, We Were So Turned On: A Tribute to David Bowie

JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER: A Place to Bury Strangers: Onwards to the Wall [EP]

JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER is a feature where selected media (music, film, book, etc.) is first reviewed based solely on the merits of its cover. A second review of the contents then proves or disproves the idiom "never judge a book by its cover." Almost Colossus Mythbusters.
A Place to Bury Strangers
Onwards to the Wall [EP]
Deep Oceans; 2012

A juxtaposition of modern and ancient buildings? Looks like a David Byrne TED lecture.

The left side of A Place to Bury Strangers' EP, Onwards to the Wall looks immediately like a close-up on last year's Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will by post-rock vets Mogwai. It could just as well be the cover of any trendy NYC indie band, so the sound could vary anywhere from droning guitars and electronics to whatever hipsters listen to today. So, like, Black Bananas? Yeah, whatever they sound like. But the right side's temple is deceiving. It's easy to think jam-band. But the psychedelic Instagram water-coloring hints at something less Rusted Root and more Akron/Family. It's also eerie; a pillar of impending doom -- Mayans, 2012, all that. Wait, that's it -- doom, stoner metal, drone. Whatever you want to call it, there is definitely some amplifier feedback and sludgy guitars to be found within.

02 February 2012

THIS WEEK IN PANELS: Justice League Dark #5

THIS WEEK IN PANELS is a feature presenting our favorite solicited comic panel(s) each week. No criteria, no rhyme, no reason. Excelsior!
Justice League Dark #5
by Peter Milligan & Mikel Janin
DC Comics; 2012

[Edited to accommodate THIS WEEK IN PANELS feature. Original post follows:]

Here is a panel from DC's Justice League Dark #5 out last week. I cropped it for a "this week in comic panels" type feature that never came to fruition and I just couldn't pass up posting. You should just be reading Justice League Dark, anyway.

I like to think the fiction readers are book owners and the reality TV folks are eBook readers.

Tunage: A Place to Bury Strangers, Onwards to the Wall [EP]


WHO DID ST. VINCENT COVER NOW? is a feature where we follow the many cover songs performed live by the lovely St. Vincent. She tends to do this quite often, but who's complaining?
During the Bowery Ballroom, NYC, stop of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein's Portlandia tour, Ms. Clark made an appearance for a rendition of Pearl Jam's 90's hit, "Black." The performance will air on February 3rd's episode of Portlandia on IFC.

Watch the video below, courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan. The song begins at 2:56 after some character interaction between the show's stars. Watch for Clark urging the audience "Don't make me fucking sing this all alone" during the somewhat uncomfortable performance.

Click here for previous installments and follow the jump for two recent performances we missed.

01 February 2012

Mr. Bungle Reunion Slightly Less Bungled

Ipecac Records posted an article on their Facebook page yesterday from music news website Gun Shy Assassin reporting that front-man of innumerable bands Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Fantômas, Tomahawk, Peeping Tom, Mondo Cane, etc.) has contributed vocals to a Secret Chiefs 3 track on the Traditionalists: La Chanson de Jacky/Exile 7-inch vinyl single, out now.

Patton's contribution appears on Side A's cover of Scott Walker's cover of Belgian singer-songwriter Jacques Brel's not-cover "La Chanson de Jacky."

Secret Chiefs 3 is the brainchild of Patton's former Mr. Bungle/Faith No More band mate Trey Spruance. The musicians have had a bitter relationship since Mr. Bungle dissolved, officially, in 2004. While we shouldn't expect a reunion tour anytime soon, this is the second time in as many years that Patton and Spruance have set aside their differences and performed together. In 2011, Spruance joined the reunited Faith No More onstage in Santiago, Chile, for a performance of the entire King For A Day... Fool For A Lifetime album, Spruance's contribution to the FNM catalogue.

Mr. Bungle was and is one of my favorite bands and helped shaped the way I perceive and my expectations of music to this day. Check out this live performance of Disco Volante's incredible "Desert Search for Techno Allah" and a fan-made video of my favorite Bungle track, "Retrovertigo," from their final album, California:

Tunage: Secret Chiefs 3, "La Chanson de Jacky (feat. Mike Patton)" | Mr. Bungle, California

11 Albums of 2011

Here it is, gang; I made it! Well, almost. It's nearly 1:00 a.m., February 1st -- so technically, its The Year of Colossus -- but who would I be if I weren't fashionably late?

I made some complaints about the state of music in 2011 (what self-avowed critic hasn't), but looking back, it really wasn't that bad. Still, it lacked many familiar names and The Onion AV Club declared it The Year of No Important Albums. Near the end of the year I found myself scavenging the critics lists and downloading everything I hadn't heard that received some fanfare but when finally piecing this together, it came down to my own personal favorites, anyway. Trust your gut.

I took the liberty of numbering the selections, but they've changed daily leading up to "print." So, really, in no particular order:

11 ALBUMS OF 2011

1. Fleet Foxes, Helplessness Blues
Helplessness Blues is the long-awaited follow-up to 2008's critics list-dominating Fleet Foxes. All the familiar elements are here: the elegiac Beach Boys harmonies ("Montezuma") and the pensive neo-folk guitar ballads ("The Shrine/An Argument"), but this time it's all about the title track. "Helplessness Blues" begins as expected -- folk strumming and crunchy philosophical ponderings ("What's my name, what's my station?"). Then, it suddenly elevates into a lush vibrato electric guitar and cascading harmonies until front-man Robin Pecknold finds solace at last in tending an orchard where he'd "work 'til I'm sore." It's all quite inspiring, actually. I think I'll go plant a garden.

2. St. Vincent, Strange Mercy
Strange Mercy continues Actor's formula of unapologetic personal lyrics thrust against Annie Clark's penchant for catchy, fuzzed-out Guitar Anti-hero pop songs. Clark plays the naïve ingénue card a little heavy this time around, from the source material of opener "Chloe in the Afternoon" to the admission "I've spent the summer on my back" ("Surgeon.") Clark's string of heroes covers (Tom Waits, Big Black) paved the way for an irresistible third outing.

3. Shabazz Palaces, Black Up
Palaceer Lazaro (née Ishmael "Butterly" Butler of Digable Planets) and  multi-instrumentalist Tendai Maraire lay down some spaced-out jazzy electro hip-hop ish, channeling Butler's own 90's rap past with cut-and-paste vocal harmonies, exotic instrumentation, and Def Jux beats. But despite its own noir, Black Up is easy, uplifting ("Recollections of the Wraith") and inspiring ("Swerve... The reeping of all that is worthwhile...")