Monday, May 28, 2007

Finally, Some Reviews

Sorry guys, been working on some relationship issues with my girlfriend. I haven't had time for reading or watching much of anything. But, we're doing this weird "scheduled visits" thing, so I should have most of my weekdays free now. Hopefully that will lead to more reading, then more posting!

So, I got some stuff from Top Shelf a few weeks back, and I finally had the chance to sit down and read most of it. So, here goes with the first book:

Please Release by Nate Powell

It's a collection of four autobiographical stories that take plave in Powell's life between 2002 and 2005. Music is one of the most prevalent topics throughout the stories, despite never really being the main focus of any of them. The book opens with a string of lyrics, and Powell's art reminds me of some jazzed-up movie title sequences. There's also a lot mentioned about Powell's job at the time, providing help for mentally disabled adults. There's an air of self-deprication that runs through the tales as well, but it never feels like Powell wants you to feel sorry for him. It's not that he hates his life either, on the contrary. What he seems to hate about himself, or what he questions within himself I suppose, are his motives. Does he do this because he loves it, because he really does believe in it, or is it because of the feeling of self-satisfaction it gives him? That Powell questions this about himself shows a humanity that is few and far between these days. It's not often you find someone taking responsibility for their actions, much less questioning the reasons behind those actions.

I mentioned that music plays heavily here, and that's pretty fitting. The stories themselves feel like songs. Please Release is an album with four distinctly different tunes that share certain themes. Humanity, fear, hope, survival, our past, our future, youth, old age, life, death...themes prevelant in all great music. And really, there's not enough great music in the world today.

(For a much better review check out good buddy Alan David Doane's here)

Tomorrow I'm gonna tackle Jeffrey Brown's latest, Feeble Attempts.


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