Monday, June 11, 2012

Have you heard about this comic this other guy draws on the internet? What about this band?

Just like any writer, I am occasionally struck with that most foul contagion known by the name of writer's block. I've mentioned my previous struggles with this foul demon in the past. And before you ask, yes, you can probably expect an update like this every three to six months. Deal with it.

Anyway, over the last few weeks I've again found myself in its grotesque embrace. Things have gotten so bad that I've considered using cleaning off my desk as an excuse to avoid writing.

That might not seem like much, but this is what my desk looks like:

If you look real close, you can read this blog post on the screen.

Initially, I figured it was just the whole final exams thing stressing me out, so I didn't worry too much. I had a week of downtime after finals. I could totally get back in the groove then. As I'm sure you can guess, it didn't play out that way and I squandered the time that could have been used to get another several months ahead on The PianoTuner's Niece (updates Mondays, which is TODAY, how about that?)

So instead I went to a karaoke contest (which turned out not to have a contest element), a friend's birthday party, and a music show. (Gig? Performance? This is not my usual scene.) Both were fun, but let's talk about the birthday party first.

Unfortunately, because of my work schedule I arrived late. I tried to offset this by arriving with a bottle of tequila, but I apparently lack to superpowers of a certain friend who shall remain nameless because he works with kids and that isn't the sort of job where people respond well to hearing you have tequila-based superpowers. How can a person have tequila-based superpowers? That's a story for another time.

Anyway, by the time I arrived there was no pizza left and lots of people were fading fast. Honestly, the highlights of the evening were: an hours long discussion on the difference between sex and gender and how that ties into current conceptions of femininity, masculinity, feminism, and equality; a game that consisted to seeing who could keep in physical contact with another person for the longest (like one of those games radio stations sometimes make people play where the person who keeps their hand on the new car the longest wins it, only in this case the only prize was the satisfaction of victory and some disgusted looks [I won, obviously]); and meeting a kid named Marcus Schlueter.

I had not previously met Marcus to the best of my knowledge, but he seems like an all right dude. He is also a member of the Elite Missoula Webcomics Community. He is also the only person I know off the top of my head who is a currently active member of EMWC.

Marcus writes and draws a fun little autobiographical gag-strip called A Consistent Tangerine. The art is impressively consistent and the fun, cartoony style heightens the humor. You should probably read it if you have time and trust me, you do have to time. I personally recommend this comic and since meeting Marcus and starting to read the comic less than a month ago I haven't missed an update.

Moving on the the rock show. Well, not really a rock show. Some other genre, maybe the blues? I'm not a music guy, okay.

Anyway, the same friend with tequila-based superpowers invited me out to see our buddy Sam Ore's band, Three-Eared Dog, play. Before we get into how awesome this band is I would just like to say that I knew Sam before he was famous and he once slept on my floor while he was looking for a place to stay. We offered him the couch, but for some reason he turned it down.

But back to the music. Like I said, I'm not a music guy. I like music and I know what I like, but that's about it. With that ringing endorsement of my own musical chops, I really enjoy Three-Eared Dog and not just because I know these guys. They've got a fantastic energy and there's a weird sort of alchemy in their sound. Even my un-tuned ears can pick out a lot of different influences that these three fantastic musicians blend into their own distinct sound.

Honestly, I can't give these guys a fair shake with just describing them. If you like music you should check out their stuff and if you're in the area maybe go to one of their shows and buy their album because these dudes are great.

And now that I've helped with the exposure of another EMWC member and an awesome local band maybe I'll have earned enough karma tickets to actually be productive. Though I probably lose a few points for helping out for selfish reasons.

Assuming the writer's block leaves me, next week should be more fun.

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