A personal diary keeping people abreast of what I am working on writing-wise.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Fans of the U.S. Office will understand the inspiration for my costume today.

Others may not. Personally, I like the idea of a costume of a guy in a costume, and next year I encourage someone to go as me in the costume of a guy in a costume.

Happy Halloween!

Current Soundtrack: Chynna's Halloween Mix 2005

Current Mood: scared

[to leave comments, click on the time-stamp below, then scroll down on the new page] – All text (c) 2006 Jamie S. Rich

Monday, October 30, 2006


I remember this photo. When the guy was setting up his camera and said he could get the whole booth in one go, that's when Joëlle suddenly had to go to the bathroom. That would be her seat next to me. From left to right: Corey Lewis, Joe Nozemack, Jared Jones (James' brother, not Joëlle's), Douglas Sherwood, and me, Stumptown 2006. There is a whole Flickr photopool for the interested.

Reader Views also has a new interview with me up, largely talking about the prose, but touching on a little of everything. Check it out.

Current Soundtrack: Pet Shop Boys, Fundamental/Fundamentalism

Current Mood: bored

[to leave comments, click on the time-stamp below, then scroll down on the new page] – All text (c) 2006 Jamie S. Rich

Sunday, October 29, 2006


You've got to appreciate the speed at which the internet moves. Steve Duin went to Stumptown on Friday night and had blogged a review of our book on his OregonLive column the very next day. You can read his review of 12 Reasons Why I Love Her right here. I don't know where I was when he bought the book, because I was surprised to hear from Diana Schutz on Saturday that he had. Judging by his review, I don't think my absence disappointed him. It's all about Joëlle! I think the guy's just mad at me because I get to hang out with her and he doesn't.

It was actually pretty cool that a handful of people bought the book at Stumptown on Friday and came back to the show on Saturday having read it, and we were able to get instant reactions. I did feel bad during one conversation, though, as when it was done, I worried maybe the gentleman thought I was schooling him and telling him he was wrong when I was saying there was possibly another interpretation of the ending. All interpretations are valid, I was just suggesting it could also have gone a different way, and that it's interesting for me to hear what people choose. So, if it was you and you read this, I'm sorry!

The show overall was a real success for Joëlle and I. 12 Reasons sold extremely well. We signed a lot of autographs, and Joëlle did some cool sketches. I liked her drawings for fans of Death from Sandman, a monkey, and Storm from the X-Men (though, not all in the same sketch), as well as her personal sketches of people in the crowd. Naturally, I walked away with the best (Kelly Sue, eat your heart out!):

Both days seemed very well attended, and what I liked was it seemed to me that the cycle of people kept renewing. It's not a huge room, so anyone coming could scope it out, meet the creators they wanted to meet, make their purchases, and then make room for the next set.

Among the highlights for us was our editor giving Scott McCloud a copy of our book and later talking to Paul Chadwick about it and hearing what he has going on these days. I bought a really great minicomic from Clio Chiang called Soooo Lucky, and Corey Lewis gave me a copy of Stab Kids, which I think is my favorite thing he's done. We also got to see Craig Thompson, Steve Rolston, Sabina, Colleen Coover, Paul Tobin, Gail Simone, Greg Rucka, Shannon Wheeler, Liz Prince, Matt Black, Mason West (who also wrote up 12 Reasons and the show), David Walker, a lot of the Top Shelf and Fantagraphics gangs, Lois Buhalis & Tom Orzechowski, Vera Brosgol, Steve Lieber, Katie Moody, Diana Schutz, Bob Schreck, and I'm sure a bunch more I'm forgetting. People I've met at previous shows and on MySpace also said hello.

The Oni/Top Shelf party at Voodoo Lounge after the show was a great way to top it off. Jacquelene Cohen, Top Shelf's intern and a product of the comic book factory that is Atlantis Fantasy World in Santa Cruz, organized a pretty spectacular event, with Jason from Floating World DJing. I got pretty sloppy by the end of the night, but that's what I was there for. Frank Beaton and I sat down and discussed writing at one point, so I wasn't too far off my game. Of course, I recall having two drinks in my hand at that moment, and I think by the end of it someone could have gotten drunk by wringing out my pants, but such is life.

Current Soundtrack: shuffling Gruff Rhys, Public Enemy, Spiritualized, T. Rex, Morrissey, Hope Sandoval, Bryan Ferry

Current Mood: cheerful

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

[to leave comments, click on the time-stamp below, then scroll down on the new page] – All text (c) 2006 Jamie S. Rich

Friday, October 27, 2006


If you can't go and do this...

...then go to the movies.

* Marie Antoinette, the historical epic as personal narrative, starring Kirsten Dunst, written and directed by Sofia Coppola

* Big Love - The Complete First Season, HBO's surprising series about polygamy, starring Bill Paxton and Jeanne Tripplehorn
* Hail Mary, Jean-Luc Godard's mid-'80s retelling of the Christ story
* Inside the Actors Studio: Dave Chappelle, a long interview with one of today's most compelling performers
* Sweetie - Criterion Collection, Jane Campion's quirky debut
* They All Laughed, the final big role of Audrey Hepburn is a nouvelle vague-wannabe from Peter Bogdanovich

Current Soundtrack: The Return of Dr. Octagon

Current Mood: on mission


Permanent Records is a year-long project. Each Friday (or thereabouts), I will post a new entry about one specific album, chosen due to its significance to myself as a fan. Though the list is numbered, a particular record's placement should not be considered a ranking. There will be 52 albums in all.

10. UTFO - UTFO (1984)
Personnel: Kangol Kid, Educated Rapper, & Doctor Ice, rappers; Mixmaster Ice, DJ (According to this website, this is the explanation of their names and personas: "Doctor Ice was the 'Hip-Hop Physician,' Educated Rapper was a college student who wore a suit and tie, Mix Master Ice assumed the persona of a ninja since he would 'cut things up' on the turntables, and Kangol Kid got his name due to his affinity for always wearing Kangol-brand hats.")
Producer: UTFO / Label: Select

Before rap and hiphop went completely mainstream, it seemed like my friends and I could only get our hands on it through strange avenues. Most of what we heard was either off of the soundtracks of various breakdancing movies or played as novelties on radio or TV. Outside of Run DMC and a few others around them, you didn't really hear rap on pop radio as of yet. I had a friend with a K-Tel compilation that had stuff like Kraftwerk and Newcleus, and we all thought that was the coolest treasure in the apartment complex. Even so, that gave us what? Ten songs? We were a few years before "Yo! MTV Raps" and MC Hammer, and even after that it was a slow climb. I would argue The Chronic was the final barrier buster. After that album, rap was everywhere.

I guess I would have been 12 when we visited my mother's family in Michigan for Christmas in 1984. Living closer to an urban area like Detroit, my cousin seemed more in tune with rap than I was. I was going to Francis Parkman Junior High in Woodland Hills, CA, and the fad there was stuff like the Cure and Duran Duran and things they played on KROQ. The other choice was KIIS FM with Rick Dees, which had some crossover but was more pop oriented. Still, pop at the time meant Prince and Madonna, so it wasn't so bad.

My cousin could tune in a station from Detroit, and one of the nights I was there, we stayed up and listened to a show called the Midnight Funk Association. The DJ was a smooth-voiced man who spoke in seductive tones like a DJ character from a movie. He played a seamless stream of music, without commercials, blending one track into another, only coming on occasionally to announce the show or explain his track selections. It was probably my first exposure to real mixing. He played a lot of tunes that night. I remember Whodini's "The Freaks Come Out at Night" and "Friends" being in there. There was were many I have also forgotten or maybe never heard again to cement my knowledge of what they were. Most intriguing, though, was this story of a girl named Roxanne. The DJ played a track early in the show where a bunch of MCs stepped up to a girl and she shot them all down. Then, later in the show, there was another song by the girl herself, completely tearing the guys a new one. I was absolutely fascinated by this. These songs (there may have even been a third) were constructing a narrative, and the DJ of the Midnight Funk Association was sprinkling them across his program like a serial we were returning to over the course of his hour.

Of course, what I had stumbled onto without knowing it was the famous Roxanne rap battle. I was hearing the initial salvos. The songs I remember were both by UTFO (Untouchable Force Organziation). The first was "Roxanne, Roxanne," the members of UTFO comparing notes about the super hot girl they had all asked out and how they had been sent packing. There was Kangol Kid, Educated Rapper (EMD), and Doctor Ice, and their DJ, Mixmaster I-C-E. It has an old school structure--long verses over a simple loop and scratching, and a chorus coming in as a dividing line between each MC, who rattle off their stories in a conversational manner that matches perfectly with the driving music. In addition to telling their own tragic tales, there was some boasting and dissing of each other. Doctor Ice in particular thinks he's got the goods, only to get shot down, too. When you think about it, it's abnormal for a rap band to be so self-deprecating. These days, it's all about how much money they have, how many "hoes." I can't imagine current rappers talking about being slammed by girls.

Even further, I really can't see them putting a song on their albums where the girl gets her due, but sure enough, the second song I heard that night was the closing track of UTFO's self-titled debut. "The Real Roxanne" is Roxanne delivering her rejections. UTFO don't even give themselves a chance to present their counterpoint in the song, it's all Roxanne ripping them apart.

I loved it! My cousin and I kept aping the chorus, and quoting weird lines like "She wouldn't give a guy like me no rap," where the MC's voice would rise up high and then drop down to a baritone all in one sentence. We had taped the show, and we listened to it over and over, even in his mother's car. Much to her chagrin, when the DJ would talk, he'd layer traffic sounds over the instrumental track, and my aunt couldn't understand why so many people were honking at her that holiday season. She never figured out it was on the tape.

I really wanted to take that cassette home, but no dice. Given that those were my junior high days, I'm actually surprised I didn't just steal it. I would take a five-finger discount quite often back home, and what would my cousin have done had I absconded with the Midnight Funk Association? Fly out to California to get it?

Alas, I did without. Being back home meant I missed out on all the response records that came out from other Roxannes and the ongoing war over who the "real" Roxanne was, but I eventually found a cassette version of the UTFO album at a swap meet. There was a guy there that sold what must have been bootlegs, because all of his cassettes were too long for the album, and usually side two started at the same spot as side one ended, you just had to flip it over rather than go to the end of the side. I know it had a different cover than the one posted here, because it had Mixmaster Ice in his ninja outfit, which I thought was awesome. Ninjas were totally in at the time. Kangol also carried a samurai sword, and you can hear Roxanne make fun of it (she pronounces it "samurai suh-ward") on "The Real Roxanne."

The rest of the album was more of the same. There was a second part to their Roxanne diss, "Calling Her a Crab," which was a term that was like a precursor to "pigeon," and on "Lisa Lips," a rap about a girl that is a little easier to get but you're not sure you want to, Lisa is instructed not to be a Roxanne. "Calling Her a Crab" was the bite back that had previously been missing, where the guys spend an entire track answering Roxanne's cutdowns. In addition to the raps, there is also a soul-style croon called "Fairytale Lover" that hasn't aged well.

Still, UTFO's UTFO was my first exposure to a concept album, maybe the first rap version of a rock opera. (Pete Townshend, take note.) And despite the sonic leaps hiphop has taken over the years, it's still hard to beat the pure and original energy of old school platters. Kind of like no matter how good new rock bands are in 2006, they still have a hard time being better than the Beatles. Listening to UTFO puts me back in the car in 1984, driving through Michigan while my aunt wonders what it is about her car that is pissing off all the other drivers, but it's also as fresh and fun now as it ever was.

NOTABLE B-SIDE: A fun bit of trivia I found in researching this: "Roxanne, Roxanne" was the notable B-side. It was the flip to "Hanging Out," but the A-side wasn't very distinctive and the B took off instead.

#26 #25 #24 #23 #22 #21 #20 #19 #18 #17 #16 #15 #14 #13 #12 #11
(The first 26) (Permanent Records iMix 1)

Reminder: As always, this post is full of links to Amazon. Click on any one of them when shopping, and Amazon will shave a few pennies off their take to give to me. So, if my reviews make you all hot and bothered and you just have to own one of the things I'm talking about, use my link and contribute to buying me more stuff to review. (Those reading a Live Journal feed will likely have to click to the actual blog page first before heading over to Amazon, though.) Either way, thanks for reading.

Current Soundtrack: Sweetie DVD commentary

Current Mood: pensive

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

[to leave comments, click on the time-stamp below, then scroll down on the new page] – All text (c) 2006 Jamie S. Rich

Thursday, October 26, 2006


For those of you paying attention (like my buddy Craig), you may wonder how my misgivings about She Wants Revenge panned out live. They were about as dull as could be. It doesn't get any duller. Seriously, they should just be a covers band and perform songs by all the bands they wish they were, then I'd at least hear songs I like. If you think they are awesome, you might want to have a sitdown with yourself, because there is a good chance you are also boring and just don't know it. (Great. I'm about to get more hate mail from Bitsy.)

Placebo, on the other hand...they are sharing the bill with She Wants Revenge on this tour, which is a little wrong. Because, like, if Placebo were the United States of America, She Wants Revenge would be Guam. Apparently, they switch every night, and one night one band opens and the next the other opens. We got unlucky in Portland, and Placebo headlined at the Roseland. Unlucky in that they don't actually get a longer set because they are on top, they only play about an hour, meaning we had to sit through She Wants Revenge Because All the Songs You Write About Her Inspire Narcolepsy to hear the mighty Molko.

I reviewed Placebo the last time they came to Puddeltown, and I really don't have much new to say about their live show. They are reliable and thus always grand. Performing Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill" was a definite highlight, performing nothing earlier than Black Market Music except "Every You Every Me" was a lowlight, though probably just a product of a short set. Most interesting was hearing the material from Meds live. I find the newest album to be lacking in spirit, and the performance proved that Placebo as a live band has surpassed Placebo as a recording band. All the songs off of Meds sound cracking from the stage and fit right in with the rest of the Placebo discography. The songs in their set could have all been from the same album, that's how tight their live show is. What's lacklustre on record is mega when performed in the flesh. Somehow they need to capture that energy on wax.

I actually went to the show with Oni publisher Joe Nozemack, and he said that reorders on 12 Reasons Why I Love Her have been great. If you're still on the fence, can I point you to yet another postive review, this time by Vroom Socko at Ain't It Cool? He says, "This romance is about as far from typical storytelling as you can get without slipping into the abstract. It’s not going to click with everyone, I’m sure of that. But everyone who does have it click will remember this book for a good long while, I promise you that." That's true. It won't click with everyone. I have it on good authority that stupid people don't like it. You don't want to be stupid, do you? Or a She Wants Revenge fan?

Yes, it's 3:30 a.m. and I have indeed been drinking. Why do you ask?

Current Soundtrack: Keane, Under the Iron Sea (also boring)

Current Mood: drunk

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

[to leave comments, click on the time-stamp below, then scroll down on the new page] – All text (c) 2006 Jamie S. Rich

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


The latest to review 12 Reasons Why I Love Her and crush on it is the ever-supportive Marc Mason over at Comics Waiting Room. Here is a clickable excerpt taking you to their Oni Press page:

"But Rich’s superb grasp of relationships and cute dialogue isn’t the only reason to buy the book. Joelle Jones absolutely shines in her first full-length graphic novel work, proving to be a very capable artist... Together, these two creators have made one of the better original graphic novels of the season, and it has the feeling of one that will be a perennial seller."

And I've got a Love the Way You Love-centric interview up at Pulse, and it has several new pages from the third volume. You can read it here, though regular Confessors will likely not be surprised by most of what I have to say. Fear not, there are interviews with Marc Ellerby on the way. He can expose me for the fraud that I am.

Current Soundtrack: sampling She Wants Revenge on MySpace again because I am seeing them with Placebo tonight, and they still stuck. Do people really listen to this band? I'm all for wearing your influences on your sleeve, but you have to bring something to the table. This is like an eighth-generation photocopy.

Current Mood: lazy

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

[to leave comments, click on the time-stamp below, then scroll down on the new page] – All text (c) 2006 Jamie S. Rich

Monday, October 23, 2006




This October, Oni Press will be releasing 12 Reasons Why I Love Her, the debut graphic novel by creative team Jamie S. Rich and Joëlle Jones. A love story told in twelve interlinking vignettes, it follows the ups and downs of a relationship, looking at all the things that drive men and women crazy about one another. To mark the release, Rich and Jones will be making appearances in Portland, Oregon, their current base of operations.

First, they will have a table at the Stumptown Comics Fest. The convention for alternative comics will take place at the Oregon Convention Center on October 27 and 28. Rich and Jones will have a table connected to Oni Press, along with copies of 12 Reason Why I Love Her. For more information: http://www.stumptowncomics.com/

The following week, on November 2, the creative pair will be teaming up with new comic book store Floating World Comics to present pages from 12 Reasons as part of First Thursday. This gallery show will double as the grand opening for Floating World's new downtown location. "I've known Jason Leivian, the owner of Floating World, from back when he worked at another comic book shop," Rich said, "and it's exciting to see him finally running his own store. It's been too long since we've had a comic book store on the west side."

"This is a nice converging of events," Leivian added. "A new store and a new book are both good excuses to celebrate. I'd like to offer a different kind of comic book experience with Floating World, and Jamie and Joëlle have definitely created a different kind of romance comic with 12 Reasons Why I Love Her."

"Since the book is crafted in various styles across its twelve chapters," Rich continued, "Joëlle uses a variety of techniques. This lends itself well to a showing of this kind. It's not just a graphic novel you'll want to read, but one you'll want to pause and linger on individual pages of. And that's exactly what you'll be able to do when the pages are hung on a wall."

Jamie S. Rich has been a Portland-based author for over a decade, working as a writer for various arts weeklies and as an editor for both Dark Horse Comics and Oni Press. Though he has published three novels and has worked on an ongoing comic book series for Oni, 12 Reasons Why I Love Her marks his first time doing a stand-alone comics volume. Joëlle Jones attended the Pacific Northwest College of Art and illustrated a short story in the Dark Horse anthology Sexy Chix. This is also her full-length comics debut.

Floating World Comics is located at 20 NW 5th Ave #100, Portland, OR 97209; (503)241-0227; www.floatingworldcomics.com. Contact jason@floatingworldcomics.com

Current Soundtrack: My Chemical Romance, The Black Parade

Current Mood: grumpy

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

[to leave comments, click on the time-stamp below, then scroll down on the new page] – All text (c) 2006 Jamie S. Rich

Friday, October 20, 2006


Don MacPherson has started a new site, following the closure of the Fourth Rail. Eye on Comics is his new platform to review comics and pursue other stories about the art form. He dropped a nice 9/10 review of our comic, and if you click on this excerpt, you can read the whole thing:

"Ultimately, this book isn’t about what it takes to make a relationship work and whether or not it’s meant to be. I think the greater message is that whether it’s Forever or For a While, the collection of the experiences alone is the reward. The prize isn’t the storybook ending but the story itself. "

For those of you who ordered the book off of Amazon, I'm told they have been sent their stock and it's expected to be fully processed by Monday.

* Flags of Our Fathers, the new WWII epic from Clint Eastwood
* The Prestige, Christopher Nolan's awesome magician mystery
* Running With Scissors, Ryan Murphy's adaptation of the famous memoir

* American Dreamz, a disappointingly limp satire from the director of About a Boy
* The Fox & the Hound: 25th-Anniversary Edition , a new release of one of my favorite Disney films
* Reds: 25th-Anniversary Edition, at long last Warren Beatty's masterpiece comes to DVD
* Scrubs: The Complete Fourth Season, the hospital sitcom at its very best

CURRENTLY READING: Now and On Earth by Jim Thompson. Makes Bukowski look like Peter Pan. (This was a Christmas 2004 present from Christine Norrie; yes, I'm that slow.)

R.I.P. Gillo Pontecorvo, 1919-2006

Current Soundtrack: Robbie Williams, Rudebox

Current Mood: pause


Permanent Records is a year-long project. Each Friday (or thereabouts), I will post a new entry about one specific album, chosen due to its significance to myself as a fan. Though the list is numbered, a particular record's placement should not be considered a ranking. There will be 52 albums in all.

This endeavor is based on a concept started by Chris Tamarri at Crisis/Boring Change. It has since been expanded as a concept, as Neal Shaffer takes on a study of album covers over at Leftwich.

Personnel: Jaime Harding, vocals & harmonica; Tony Grantham, guitar & piano; Phil Cunningham, guitar; Nick Gilbert, bass; Murad, drums & percussion
Producer: Al Clay/ Label: London Records

A lot of albums I've written about on this list aren't ones I listen to that regularly--unless you count a couple of times a year as regularly. More likely, they have songs that from time to time will leap into my head for no apparent reason, drawing me back to listen to a track or two. Marion's debut This World and Body is a record where more than half of the songs on the disc is one of those siren moments. The machine gun riff on opening track "Fallen Through" starts it off, but then there are the handful of singles like "Sleep" and "Time" and "Toys for Boys." "Let's All Go Together" is an hymn of mass suicide, "Your Body Lies" is soft and soothing, and "My Children" is a cry in the dark, an excited expression of anxiety and escape.

Even with that in mind, This World and Body wasn't slated to show up here. I figured this close to the top 10, I'd be scrambling to get to albums I can't believe I had neglected this long (there isn't yet any Paul Weller of any kind, for instance). It just happened that I was messing around with something this week and Marion came to mind and before I knew it This World and Body was off the shelf and being played. From there, it was straight down memory lane.

I know I've written before about my mid-90s heyday as a groupie chasing bands all over the West Coast (and sometimes beyond). Portland was the best place to stay, though, because when the British bands came through (they often didn't, which is when travel would commence), it was virtually guaranteed my friends and I would be the only ones hanging about. Even for the bigger groups like Elastica, most people in this town were too busy being hip and thus had to demonstrate their distinct ability not to care.

Which was fine by me. Let them hang out in sweaty punk rock clubs watching some shitty little combo fresh out of high school that would be broken up before their first shift at McDonald's. Less of them meant more for me.

Marion came through town at the bottom of a three-band bill headlined by Edwin McCain. I don't remember what his one hit was, but suffice to say he was tangentially related to Hootie & the Blowfish and so there is an actual reason he was forgotten. The main club in Portland at the time was La Luna, and I was there three or more times a week sometimes. Shows cost between $5 and $10, sometimes maybe cresting up to $12. It was an easy time to be out in the wilderness, one could get by on very little. We'd go down early in the day and meet the bands before soundcheck, and often we'd get to go in early or hang out after the show was over because we got to know the people working at the club.

At this point in time, the posse consisted of myself and Christopher, two Japanese exchange students who were totally adorable (and also an easy pass into a British band's backstage), and another girl. We had become a pretty tight knit group at that point. Spend enough time sitting on the concrete with someone waiting for a club to open, and a bond is going to form. It just happens.

I don't remember the exact meeting we had with Marion, but we did get inside as things were being set up. Our collective gasp when we learned that their manager was Joe Moss and that the older gentleman with the group was the selfsame Joe Moss probably earned us some points. Joe had managed the Smiths, you see, and we naturally knew such trivia. A similar thing happened when it was discovered that the photographer down front for Suede's first Los Angeles performance was Kevin Cummins. Both he and Joe Moss were positively aghast that kids all the way out on the Pacific Ocean would know who they were. Christopher in particular gravitated to Joe, and they talked pretty much all night.

I chased Jaime, the dark haired and gorgeous singer. Yes, he had the same name as me, but he also had a certain cat-like sensuality, his skinny frame gliding through the empty venue like he'd been born to his tight-fitting clothes and that the more you stared, the more alive he'd be. I also felt protective of our young Japanese girls, and I made it my business to know where they were at all times. Rhythm sections in particular were filled with wolves.

Before the show, while Jaime and Joe waited for the rest of the band to finish setting up, getting the very last soundcheck because they were the first to go on, Christopher and I hung out with them off to the side where some chairs lined the wall. Somehow the subject of PJ Harvey came up, and Christopher decided to tell the guys that I didn't like PJ Harvey. His motivation is still unclear, though it likely had something to do with him generally having less luck than the rest of us when it came to band chasing. One of our most often told stories was when we were watching Blur do their soundcheck on The Great Escape tour--well, we minus Christopher. He was late, and when he arrived at La Luna he went to the side door and peered in through the window. Barely had he had a chance to get our attention and wave when the security guard closed the curtain on him. Poor hapless Christopher. This Marion anecdote probably ranks as #2 behind that Blur moment.

You see, this PJ Harvey thing was a total lie. I love PJ Harvey! So, when I heard the malicious words come out of his mouth, I was completely shocked. How could he say such a thing? I defended my honor, and Christopher started to backpedal--quite literally, as it were. He took a couple of steps back, oblivious to the fact that five or six guitar cases were lined up behind him, all standing on edge, placed in a row like dominoes. The back of his shins hit the first one, and as he realized what was happening, a strange gravitational anomaly occurred. He lost his balance, but rather than tumble over backward, I swear he was suspended in mid-air, his arms spinning in great arcs as if he were a hummingbird and the swift movements held him up. The first guitar case teetered there, as well, but then it tipped, hitting the one behind it, knocking them all down one by one. As if on cue, whatever was keeping Christopher afloat burst, and he tumbled back after them. It was the best case of instant karma I had ever seen. (God, he's going to kill me for this!)

The show that night was blistering. Marion were on fire. The way La Luna was set up, though, anyone besides us that had come early could avoid giving the band a chance. Oregon law requires drinking areas and non-drinking areas be totally separate, so the bar was located at the back of the hall and though the partition that marked it was open, it still left quite a bit of distance between stage and boozers. Everyone but the five of us was all the way back there. Jaime would occasionally send out calls to the estranged, but it did little good.

Not that you could tell from the band's performance. Whether it was their determination to win people over or the freedom that comes from thinking no one is really listening, they tore through their set with wild abandon. Marion's performance at La Luna is up there with the best of all live shows. You'd have thought they were playing to the biggest crowd the world had ever seen. At one point, the guitarist Phil was so into it, he fell over backwards right off the stage, crashing onto the hard wooden floor. He kept playing, lifting himself up and jumping back on stage. Dedication to rock 'n' roll!

As soon as the set was finished, we all ran backstage to tell them how excited we were. The gig had gotten us totally amped. We sat around the dingy hole that served as the band area and drank everyone's beer and chatted. Eventually, we made our way to the upstairs bar where there was a game room, and Jaime and I played air hockey for bragging rights to say which of us spelled our name properly. I lost. Though I still contend he spells it like a girl.

This World and Body was already one of my favorite albums. I liked it instantly, its ferocity taking me completely by surprise. I had not actually come to the band that easily. Their B-side "Late Gate Show" was on a Select Magazine giveaway cassette and it didn't jazz me up, and I actually passed on their singles "Violent Men" and "Toys for Boys" at Ozone when I had sampled them there. (Christopher actually got them, I believe, so he owed me, really.) But when I put on This World and Body it shook both for me. Seeing them destroy Portland from the live stage, and having the entire city be unaware of its own obsolescence, though, ensured I would love Marion forever. Like so many great bands of the period, they would release one more record (produced by Johnny Marr, no less), originally only in Japan and then in the UK, and then disappear amidst personal turmoil too sad to recount. Recently, however, Marion came back and posted some cool demos to their MySpace page. I can only hope they'll do another album and hit the road. Portland may have rebuilt itself, but that doesn't mean it can't be torn down once more.

NOTABLE B-SIDE: Though I missed "Violent Men" as an A-side, it resurfaced on the B of "Sleep," the last single from This World and Body. It actually still plays as a bit of a wannabe in the Britpop canon, like other lackluster debuts by also-rans like Powder or something off that first Shed Seven album. Yet, if you dig deep, the trappings are there. Jaime's vocals have a richness that a lot of the more famous Britpop singers never touched, like Thom Yorke if he actually woke all the way up, and the guitar riff in the chorus is like an early scribble of the sharper hooks of "Fallen Through" and "Time." Plus, you have to love the sensitive boy lyrics decrying the ridiculousness of his own gender. Why oh why hadn't I bought this when it was in my hands? Thanks be to the band for putting it on the flip, as it was not on the album.

#26 #25 #24 #23 #22 #21 #20 #19 #18 #17 #16 #15 #14 #13 #12
(The first 26) (Permanent Records iMix 1)

Reminder: As always, this post is full of links to Amazon. Click on any one of them when shopping, and Amazon will shave a few pennies off their take to give to me. So, if my reviews make you all hot and bothered and you just have to own one of the things I'm talking about, use my link and contribute to buying me more stuff to review. (Those reading a Live Journal feed will likely have to click to the actual blog page first before heading over to Amazon, though.) Either way, thanks for reading.

Current Soundtrack: My Chemical Romance, The Black Parade

Current Mood: recumbent

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

[to leave comments, click on the time-stamp below, then scroll down on the new page] – All text (c) 2006 Jamie S. Rich

Thursday, October 19, 2006


art by Marc Ellerby, coloring by Guy Major
published by Oni Press, December 2006

Current Soundtrack: Def Leppard, "Comin' Under Fire;" Camouflage, "Dreaming"

Current Mood: exhausted

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

[to leave comments, click on the time-stamp below, then scroll down on the new page] – All text (c) 2006 Jamie S. Rich

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


This is an upgrade for the reviewers at Broken Frontier, who previously called me an amateur: "Novelist and ex-Oni EIC Jamie S. Rich teams-up with newcomer extraordinaire Joëlle Jones for an original romance graphic novel that is as simple and poignant as it is experimental and complex...[Joëlle] was the perfect choice for Rich to bring onto the 12 Reasons book, and whatever flaws the script may suffer are more than covered and nearly forgotten by the startling grace of her portrayal of its contents."

To be honest, I couldn't agree more. Joëlle is awesome, though I can't get her to believe me when I tell her my enthusiasm for her work exceeds any influence that our friendship has on my opinions. And, in a moment of brutal honesty, I'd tell you my greatest fear as a writer is that I delude myself into thinking I am any more than bubblegum pop in a prog rock world. Hell, look at me at SPX faking a smile:

Even so, I think that guy is pretty wrong about my script. I can have it both ways. So, there!

For those who didn't see the link that Greg McElhatton posted in the commnets to the pdf of the edition of the Washington Post Express with the article about me, I made a large scan of it. I also scanned the little plug we got in this past Sunday's Oregonian, thanks to writer Kristi Turnquist:

And this screen cap from Amazon showing the strange company we keep cracks me up.

On another subject, as promised, I was going to mention the minicomics by Yali Lin I bought at SPX. I was unfamiliar with Yali's work, but was, of course, attracted to her collection of shorts called With Love. Two of my favorite stories from that book are excerpted at the link. Not all of the comics work as well as these two, and sometimes the characters look inconsistent from one panel to another, but there is a natural sweetness to the material that really shines through.

In addition to With Love, I also bought the first issue of Fate, which interested me as a retelling of the Apollo and Daphne story. The style of the book has a classic shojo manga feel, and while so far I like Yali's shorter pieces better, I'm curious to see what else she has. It turns out that she is currently working on an adaptation of Romeo & Juliet for another publisher. So, pretty soon she won't need a plug from little ol' me.

Current Soundtrack: The Decemberists on "play all"

Current Mood: confused

golightly@confessions123.com * The Website * Live Journal Syndication * My Corporate-Owned Space * The Blog Roll * DVDTalk reviews * My Books On Amazon

[to leave comments, click on the time-stamp below, then scroll down on the new page] – All text (c) 2006 Jamie S. Rich


This is just to let all know I am back online, and will be working heavily the next couple of days to get caught up on DVD reviews and the manwha volume due on Saturday.

I am also caught up on e-mails, I think, so if you didn't get a reply...sorry, my bad.

To my paying clients: please send checks!

Monday, October 16, 2006


This is going to be short, because I am at the public library--whose search engine tells me the Portland area has nine copies of 12 Reasons Why I Love Her on order and zero The Everlastings--because the final frustration of a very frustrating SPX was leaving my computer power chord in the hotel. Luckily, James and Randy from Oni had not yet left, so they are bringing it to me, hopefully tomorrow, only leaving me without a computer for two days.

This SPX was a personal nightmare. It began with being taken to the wrong hotel on Thursday night, and ended with me lodging a complaint against a very assholish Super Shuttle driver and the panicked discovery of said power chord's disappearance. It seemed like if there was a metaphorical table end to bang my metaphorical knee into this past weekend, I banged it.

The worst injury amongst the insults had to be the absence of 12 Reasons Why I Love Her from Oni's shipment of books, and the subsequent screw-up of the two replacement shipments meant to fix this mistake. That's three errors in a row by one corporate body which I must stress was not Oni. James and Randy did everything they could to get the books there, and I don't know who I pissed off at the other place, but frankly, they owe me about $450 in expenses.

Not to say the trip was a total waste, but imagine having a write-up in one of the top newspapers in the area and being up for an award for best debut and not actually having the book being promoted to sell. I managed to move a lot of other books, but I could have sold so many 12 Reasons, I can't stand it. Much love goes to the people who came and asked for it on Friday and then returned on Saturday to see if they had arrived. I take it as a high compliment that you remembered to keep looking.

On the plus side, it was a good social show. Oni's crew consisted of Matt Loux, Brian Hurtt, Scott Chantler, and Dave Dumeer, and we all had a fun time hanging out. Plus, Neal Shaffer and Joe Infurnari were around at different times, and Matt's excellent girlfriend Abby Denson. I stayed up until 5:30 in the morning drinking with Bob Schreck, Scott Morse, and Paul Pope, the latter of whom watched as the other three lambasted some poor soul who wandered into our conversation and had the completely opposite opinions on the movies we were discussing. You don't want to mess with drunk movie nerds.

Also, a shout-out to my new friends Greg Thompson & Jen Simmons, who were there with the CBLDF, and to my unofficial weekend hosts, Sarah Grace McCandless and Greg McElhatton. I met Adrian from Broken Frontier, Chris from cIndy Center, Scott Rosenberg who wrote the Express article, Gina from First Second, and Phil from Indie Spinner Rack; I also tipped a glass or two with Phil Bond and Brett Warnock and Jacqueline (sp?) from Top Shelf. Jacqueline has awesome shoes. Finally, I have a minicomic I bought, the only thing I bought that didn't go in my stomach, but it's at home, so I'll plug that at a later date.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Read Joëlle's new interview HERE.

RE: The Washington Post - The interview with me is in today's Washington Post Express, which is their commuter version. Not sure if it's available beyond the area, as it's a daily freebie. If I discover there is a link online, I'll post it, but haven't seen the physical paper yet.

The flight here went well, though I find it ironic that the three older people sitting behind me complaining about how the world now has too much ambient noise would not shut up for the entire flight.

And this dude hates me.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


I have a lot of DVDs stacked up to review. Some really good ones, too. So, expect a big list next week. But, for this week:


* Little Children, starring Kate Winslet, directed by Todd Field
* The Queen, starring Helen Mirren, directed by Stephen Frears


* 12 and Holding, an underappreciated winner from director Michael Cuesta (also read the DVD Talk interview)
* IMAX: Vikings - Journeys to New Worlds documentary
* Land of Plenty, a low-budget, digital video experiment from Wim Wenders, starring Michelle Williams
* Mrs. Parker & the Vicious Circle, an amazing portrayal of a wonderful writer, beautifully acted by Jennifer Jason Leigh

(Cartoon by Tom Gauld, (c) 2004)

Current Soundtrack: Bonnie "Prince" Billy, The Letting Go

Current Mood: ready