Review: Marked Men, Ghosts

Let me confess before I begin: I think The Marked Men are the best band of this young century. On certain days, I think they are the greatest band to have ever existed. They could have released a garden hose and I would have called it the first cumming of Christ. Continue reading


Post-Show: Epic Proportions

Here’s my problem with Project 891’s production of Epic Proportions, recently closed (thus making this review woefully obsolete) at Chemically Imbalanced Comedy: I had to go by myself.  The person I was supposed to go with ditched me the day before, and I don’t have enough real friends to have been able to find a replacement to go with me.  I “know” plenty of people in Chicago, but in reality I am that geek alone in the corner of a room full of 2.8 million cool kids.  I usually hang out with my roommates.  Why didn’t I just take one of them?  Because they’re both actors and they’re both in shows right now.  One of them is playing James Dean in a show about Marlon Brando.  We already saw that one.  The other roommate is in this show.  This show.  And I really couldn’t ask him to sit next to me in the audience in between his scenes, now, could I? Continue reading

Comedy: The Apocalypse

Hey, everybody!  How y’all doing?  My name is Collin A. Bullock and I’ll admit, I am just tickled pink (and a few other colors, if you catch my drift) to be here today.  So, sit down, and pour yourself a nice glass of lemonade and help yourself to some chicken.  It’s from Popeye’s.  You know, has Popeye’s ever gotten anyone’s order right?  They always forget to give you biscuits, or they give you green beans when you SPECIFICALLY ask for corn on the cob.  Hmm.  I’m writing a letter to Reader’s Digest about this. Continue reading

Review: Mass of the Fermenting Dregs, Made

On the general subject of the Japanese music industry one could forge a hefty list of grievances, if one were so inclined. Foreigners living in this country, specifically those from the States, love to highlight one problem above all others: Cost. Continue reading

Story: Japanese Video Stores

The “Science Fiction Monster” section

The “Science Fiction Monster” section

Japanese video stores.  They’re well-stocked and ubiquitous in big cities and small towns.  The problem is they’re just too confusing.  In the US, movies are organized within 5 to about 10 genres.  The categories are kept at a low number to cater to those looking for a specific movie, but remain specific enough for those just wanting to curl up with a good “romance.”  In Japan, however, the movies are organized into small subgenres, making it much more difficult to find specific films.  That means if you’re looking for Batman, you can’t just go over to action/adventure and look under the “B”s.  You have to go to the Science Fiction aisle, then the “Science Fiction Action” section, and then look under the “B”s.  Wha?

I counted 42 subgenres in the last store I was in, and that was only for the American movies.  This is the story of my experience looking for movies in a Japanese video store.  This is an observation. Continue reading

Review: Persona 4

This review contains spoilers for the video game, Persona 4.

The heated carpet warmed my buttocks through the green fleece of well-worn sweatpants.  I was in the midst of a ritual of semi-herald importance here in Iwate prefecture, Japan: playing video games on a lonely morning in a freezing house in the middle of nowhere.  The game was Persona 4, a fitting choice given its setting in a slightly supernatural occurrence-prone town in rural, modern Japan.  The room’s air had a mysterious crispness to it as well as a pungent stench of kerosene burning in a life-giving icon to the gods of love and benevolence:  the space heater. Continue reading

Report: World Theatre Day 2010

I don’t think any of us was prepared to talk about what World Theatre Day actually meant to us, or even meant to the rest of the world.  Who, in fact, is supposed to celebrate the holiday?  Does anyone outside the theatre community even know about it? Continue reading