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LITERATURE» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
MUSIC» The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
MUSIC» Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
It goes without saying that modern society is not so much drifting toward digitization as it is being swept toward it, but one of the most beautiful things about electronic media is that it makes so much more possible. Such is certainly the case with the world of print, where access to wholesalers has cut the hassle and expense of obtaining supplies, the assemblage of forums and self-help guides have disseminated the information of the trade, and the evolution of the online marketplace has provided an international showroom for even the smallest scale artist.
01. Best/Worst-The card I got from my Grandmother in June.
02. The email my best friend sent me saying he was planning on proposing to his girlfriend.
03. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
04. Chicago Stories by Aaron Cometbus
05. David Cross's letter to Larry the Cable Guy
06. All of the Vice Magazines my roommate used to bring home from his job at the record store.
07. The email from the guy who said that not only was my writing not funny, but I sounded retarded.
Sorry I didn't include all of those love letters you sent to me.
01: 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare - James Shapiro
Following on the heels of Stephen Greenblatt's Will in the World, Shapiro tries to patch together what 1 year of Shakespeare's life might have been like, though biographical information about the Bard is sketchy. Shapiro is careful not to make assertions, rather he gives a glimpse of celebrity lifestyle in Elizabethan England and illuminates the context in which Shakespeare worked and wrote.
02: The Rock Snob's Dictionary - Kamp
I didn't take this compendium of knowledge seriously at first, weighing in at under 300 pages. It's no breezer, though; there's simply too much information to process. It does serve as a handy/snarky reference, and people seem to love picking it up when they see it on the bookshelf.
03: The List section of McSweeney's - Various
Of all the things the McSweeney's people have done, this branch of their outfit makes me laugh the most.
04: Don't Get Too Comfortable - David Rakoff
Essays by a David Sedaris that leaves his apartment.
05: The coasters my dad got for christmas with fake wine descriptions on them. Because now he has something else to say besides "precocious."
Best of Print 2005 (or the reading I did this year that wasn't required or forgettable)
01: Chuck Klosterman - Killing Yourself to Live
Klosterman and I would disagree on many-a-thing, but his books are like an addiction. Part dark voyeurism, part rock-history Killing Yourself to Live speaks to the crazy, fucked-up and anti-social tendencies in us all.
02: Aaron McGruder - Public Enemy #2: An All-New Boondocks Collection
The new Adult-Swim cartoon just might be the best thing on TV. The daily strip, however, is where it all started. Good stuff, that.
03: Patrick Dean - Big Deal Comics
Patrick Dean is amazing. Big Deal Comics may not always make sense, but that's only part of their charm. See: www.flagpole.com
04: Rachael Ray - 30 Minute Get Real Meals
I hear the evil queen O has taken Ray under her wing, but the idea of a 30-minute meal (that doesn't come in a box from my freezer) is genius.
100 Posters, 134 Squirrels by Jay Ryan
> Seminal Chicago printmaker publishes an anthology of his works
Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis
> Take the trademark, over-the-top frenzy of Ellis' benchmark American Psycho and craft a story of disappearances and murders through the eyes of Charlie Kaufman.
Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie
> All I knew about this guy before this book was that he pissed off the Ayatollah. Which is cool. Also cool is the way Rushdie dashes through the power plays of the international community over the course of the last century in a ramble to explain why a diplomat is stabbed to death by his chauffeur.
1491 by Charles C. Mann
> 480 pages on the decimation of native North American cultures by smallpox.
> This shit is so dumb that it is the best.
My best print in 2004 was September issue of the Wire magazine with Derek Bailey on cover. He was a jazz impressionist with a strong improvisation kick. He was then portrayed with his arms lifted to the sky and a circle above his head. I'm writing in the past because Derek Bailey died a few days ago, precisely on Christmas Day. Now, that I'm compiling my best print list for 2005, my thoughts are with him.
1) December's issue of the Wire magazine featuring Lightning Bolt on cover.
2) Cover of Boards of Canada's latest record, The Campfire Headphase.
3) Greg Treleaven's wax painting Merlin's Escape.
4) Poster of Marco Martins' Portuguese movie Alice.
5) Mike Shea's Field Day #16: What kind of grown-up will Ralph be?
Jason Holley illustrations - I have been so enamored with Holley's work for so long now, it having caught (and held) my eye most regularly as accompaniments to Outside magazine's Wild File column. Holley finally got his proper due with a facing page illustration of Reinhold Messner for a feature article in the January 2006 issue. Which, by the way, I got in 2005, qualifying it for the list.
Go By Bicycle by Scott Larkin - Each issue has articles, cartoons and interviews related to bicycle advocacy, bicycle culture, public transit and the darkside of car culture and, to boot, his website has a splash page listing "15 good reasons to go by bicycle" and an archive of printable fliers perfect for leaving notes of disdain under windshield wipers.
Exit Strategy by Aaron Winters - Burgeoning Sacramento artist Winters, who heads up the Abide Visuals camp that published last year's notable collections of drawrings by Jay Howell, has launched a by-artists for-artists publication that fits in an LP jacket. The print runs are free of advertising and limited in quantity, and Winters hopes it will some day rival Arkitip.
Banksy - The brash anti-hero of the UK graffiti not only provokes thought with his illegal street art but provides an entertaining persona to follow through the media. The classic art moment of the year was when Banksy, the self-promoting vandal, voiced opposition to thugs stealing part of a sculpture he had installed.
Design For Chunks - Airline sick sacks done up with limited edition print designs.
01 Black Dice - Broken Ear Record cover art
02 Peterborough United FC home shirt
For years Peterborough have been responsible for some of the worst club shirt designs. I think we've got it about right now.
03 This Ain't Vegas - Don Benito Saved My Life cover art
Having lived in the north of England for a few years now I'm beginning to really appreciate its landscape. The photography on the TAV album cover is quite simple, but quite a common site round these here parts.
04 2005 edition of War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Makes me feel like an intellectual when I read in public.
05 Crap Towns: The Worst 50 Places to Live in the UK by Sam Jordison
An emotional photographic journey.
06 Denise's Cards
Denise's Cards is a market stall in Leeds that sells tacky and visually unattractive birthday cards for 25 pence each. Most have a picture of a farmer standing with his dog, or a young boy playing football, or some such nonsense. Whether I'm a pretentious southerner who can't take simple traditional northern life seriously and finds humour in ridiculing it, or I simply have no taste - I don't know. I quite like them though.
The LAS Staff
A number of the Lost At Sea staff have worked and continue to work for various publications, both independent and commercial. Often very stifling in their narrow focus, conventional media outlets left our writers hungry for something bigger, more diverse, more communal. More active, because this is the twenty-first century and it makes sense. During it's short life LAS has accomplished many of its goals (but not all) and has in turn set new ones. Everything that we accomplish is through teamwork and cooperation, both with our regular staff writers and with our contributing writers. LAS is nothing short of a collective. Another contrasting point to some of the magazines out there is that we've checked our egos and scene ethics at the door. We welcome anyone and everyone to contribute and cover a wide range of topics. LAS does not follow your guide lines.
See other articles by The LAS Staff.
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