HUMOUR COLLECTION THE DOOFUS OMNIBUS
Rick Altergott (Fantagraphics) 0.0
Dear to the hearts of fellow comic artists Robert Crumb. the Hernande7 brothers and Daniel Clowes (Clowes co-writes the first stery). Altergott's Doofus is the ultimate all-American
anti-hero. Residing in the
idyllic fictional hamlet of Flowertown. USA. he and his idiot sidekick. Henry Hodgekiss. spend their days sniffing women's soiled underwear. beating off and drinking beer. Strangely. these high- brow storylines wear a little thin by the end of these collected works. creating an unwanted sense of familiarity with the baser side of life that's offset only by
Altergott‘s tenderness for his subject and his skill in
sketching backdrops. (Catherine Bromley)
SATIRE THE LEAGUE OF
GENTLEMEN VOL 2 NO 4
Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill
(America's Best Comics) .0...
With Sean Connery currently in Prague filming volume one of the exceedingly eccentric adventures of the Victorian
‘superheroes'. you could
do no worse than catch up with Captain Nemo. Jekyll and Hyde and co's latest rum doings.
The war of the worlds is indeed well undenrvay. with Martian tripods storming South London. Meanwhile. Miss Mina Murray and Alain Quartermain head to the country to elicit the aid of a ‘devil doctor' and end up . . . ah. buy the book. Moore pens like a man soaked in Iaudanum. while O'Neill has clearly smoked one opium pipe too many. Thank goodness. Rule Britannia. Etc. (Miles Fielder)
HUMOUR RAISIN PIE Rick Altergott (Fantagraphics) 00
‘Never mix business with pleasure" — a maxim sadly not heeded by celebrated comic artist Altergott. creator of Doofus (see above). That other great maxim (‘Never set up a comic with your far less talented wife') clearly went unheard too as
HENRY HOTCHkiss, voua DAD WAS A LONELY OLD INVENTOR'. WHAT DID 4 HE LEAVE mu IN HlS WILL
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92 THE LIST 16—30 Jan 2003
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shown by this. issue one of Altergott and Ariel Bordeaux's new collaborative project. Fusing the further adventures of Doofus with Bordeaux's kindergarten strips. the result is that Altergott comes off looking far better than he is. while his wife no more than a doodler way out of her league. (Catherine Bromley)
CRIME STRAY BULLETS NO 28
David Lapham (El Capitan) 0000
Having completed his nine part self-proclaimed ‘harrowing comic' Murder me Dead and flirted with Hollywood (he put a Matrix spin-off strip on the film's website). Lapham gets back to his baby. Stray Bullets. the episodic 1980s America—set crime comic which operates on the endurineg nasty principal of shedding the blood of innocents. ISSue 28. ‘The Prize'. sees a boy's beloved pet caterpillar get squished before it blooms into a butterfly. It is. of course. an unpleasant metaphor. here for the aftermath of a child kidnapping case. during which the responsible paedophile is murdered and various criminals and low-lites fight over his “prize victims' for their own purposes. Terrifically brutal. (Miles Fielder)
\f\v - " .-. _ ‘
Doofus: beats beating off
COUNTRY BONNY PRINCE BILLY
Master and Everyone (Domino) 0.”
It's a quiet kind of genius. but a kind of genius all the same. This is Will Oldham's third album as Bonny Prince Billy. and it sees the alternative country troubadour mellowing slightly from his previously hard line miserablist tendencies to let a tiny sliver of light into his darker-than-dark head.
Having said that. it's not all party hats. streamers and hoedowns — Oldham is adept at treading the thin dark line without crossing into parody. and songs like ‘Wolf among Wolves' and 'Maundering' are effective and tOuching downbeat c0untry tunes wrthout every becoming maudlin. (Doug Johnstone)
JAZZ SCOTTISH NATIONAL JAZZ ORCHESTRA Miles Ahead (Spartacus) «co
the SNJO perform Gil Evans‘s ClaSSlC arrangements for Miles Davis's Miles Ahead album with real style and aCCuracy on this excellent debut recording from the band. Canadian trumpeter Ingrid Jensen takes on the Miles role as soloist. but she creates her own expressrve approach to the music. rather than trying to recreate Davis' distinctive sound.
The entire contents of the 1957 album are performed as a suite. and the recording is drawn from the first half of a concert at the Queen's Hall in December 2000. (Kenny Mathieson)
RAVEONETTES Whip it On (Crunchy Frog) “0
An eight-track mini-LP rendered in a Single key (‘glorious' B flat minor no
less) sounds like the kind of expensive musical whimsy that went Out with the Ark and Rick Wakeman. Actually. if there's anything wrong with the first release from this pair of precocious yOung Danish noise—niks. it's the unwavering pace and instrumentation — all squally guitars and driving bass — rather than the lack of modulation.
That said. this collection is worth possessing if only for infectious opener. ‘Attack of the Ghost Riders'. and the wonderfully sombre skulk through a B-movie murder sequence that is ‘Bowels of the Beast'. Album two. recorded in ‘booming' B-flat major will be with us soon. (Allan Radcliffe)
JAZZ MUTHSPIEL, JOHNSON, BLADE
Real Book Stories (Quinton) COO.
New York-based Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel is one of the most original guitarists around. and combines a lucid. highly inventive flow of ideas with crisply articulated execution. Rea/ Book Stories is his first album of jazz ‘standards'. but he brings what he calls “the perspective of an outsider who has moved to the inside” to them.
Marc Johnson and Brian Blade are exemplary collabOrators. and they combine to create a disc of subtle. reflective. finely energised trio playing. and find fresh ways into claSSic jazz compositions by the likes of Coltrane. Monk. Miles Davis and JJ Johnson.
ELECTRONICA VARIOUS ARTISTS
Fabric 8: Radioactive Man (Fabric) one
One half of Two Lone Swordsrnen alongside the masterful Andrew Weatherall. Keith Tenniswood knows a
thing or two about fucked-up beats. Glitchy. intense yet strangely hypnotic in his approach to the techno form. this is abstraction of the 4le beat at its best; a seamless. grimy mix of dance music's seedy underbelly.
The total highlight has to be Radioactive Man's very own "ave That'. a menacing thug of a track that nicks yOur lunch money. sanity and self respect but leaves you begging for another SOund thrashing. A fine addition to Fabrics thoroughbred stable. (Henry Northmore‘i
INDIE ROCK PAVEMENT Wowee Zowee (Domino) 0.. WEEN
God Ween Satan (Restless) COO
Those were the days. my friend. We thought they'd never end. Then Britpop swaggered in taking itself all seriously and stuff. and nonsensical. shambling. American indie rock was exposed for the self- indulgent craziness that it was. These two reissues from the early 90s afford us the opportunity to see if all that weird. comedy rock actually makes any sense in these post- everything times.
In that respect Ween avoid the whole issue. cos God Ween Satan never made any sense in the first place. An absolute wrbble hatstand of a record. its 29 tracks cover every genre Imaginable in purely puerile style. from punk metal to lounge ja27. Spanish folk and Half Man Halt Biscuit scundalike ditties. Madness. I tell you. Pavement fair slightly better in retrospect. but Wowee Zowee is still the college rock doyens' most wilfully obscure release. shunning any thoughts of linearity to create a wonky stew of folky pop. skewed art rock and hapless experimentalism. Those were the days. my friend. (Doug Johnstone)