Soundtrack For The Night.
"Ashtray Rock" by the Joel Plaskett Emergency has been in my car's CD player non-stop for the last week. It's the return of the concept album, and it's a beautiful thing. The songs are fine on their own, but where it really shines is in the transitions. As he segues from Chinatown/For The Record (Track 10) into The Instrumental (Track 11), the music starts to shift. It's like watching Bruce Lee in action: every step has its own purpose, and still manages to support what's coming next. The melody goes from place to place, always driving forward, always getting to a higher state of energy. After the ascent, we go on the ride down: a "wish you were here" postcard, narrated by the girl at the center of the album's theme. It illustrates the concept perfectly, and opens up the final two tracks for a wistful conclusion.
It's an excellent album, so I started digging around for some more information about it. The first thing I noticed was that the girl who narrated the postcard was the same one that illustrated the cover, the liner notes, and did the woodburning for his previous album, "La De Da": Rebecca Kraatz.
Talented lady. Also, somewhat familiar... where have I seen her work before?
Ah, yes! She did a guest comic for the not-always-readable-yet-always-rewarding Dinosaur Comics by Ryan North. The fact that her strip dealt with archaeology in Saskatchewan was just icing on the cake. After making that connection, I dug a little deeper in her portfolio, and I found that she's a friend and collaborator of Hope Larson... who is married to Bryan Lee O'Malley. And that ended my little journey of links right there, because I don't need to go any further than that. You see, Bryan Lee O'Malley is the creator of...
This is important. You see, Scott Pilgrim is perhaps the most awesome comic series I have ever read. I can't describe it; I've tried before, and failed. Describing it as "The Hyper-Real Life Of A Slacker In Toronto" is accurate, but it doesn't explain why it's so good.
Don't believe me? Drop me a line. Give me your home address. I will mail you a copy of Volume 1, free. And then, you can send me an e-mail saying, "This is awesome!". Then, I will send you a reply, saying, "I know! It's so awesome!". And then you'll say, "I'm buying you a drink the next time you come to visit!", and so forth. See? Everybody wins.
...aaand that, my friends, is the story of how Joel Plaskett taught me the value of Facebook.