Saturday, June 25, 2011

Count3rCu1ture News Desk: 06.25.11

Another edition of the news desk features two brand new songs, DC Comics continuing to wuss out, and a wrestling promo you have to see to believe. Let’s get in to this.

Music Fuels The Savage Beast

First off, two new tracks from Apathy off of his new album, out August 23. The album that holds the honor of having my single favorite title of 2011 (at the very least)...Honkey Kong.

Track one is the first official single, “Check to Check”. Slightly more laid back than I’m used to from Ap on first listen. But a few more have revealed a focus and drive that Ap conveys best in a great track about trying to make it in today’s entertainment business.

Second up is new music from Anthrax. Oh yeah, you heard. The band’s first new album in seven years - and their first with Joey Belladonna in 21 years (!) - is upon us, as Worship Music is out September 13.

Now, most that know or have read me know I was totally against the idea of John Bush being ditched in favor of bringing back Belladonna. However, I have to say after seeing that lineup live last year, I will totally admit I was in the wrong here. They sound as good as they ever have on stage with Belladonna back in the fold.

So how does that translate in to new studio music? Holy crap, man. Almost like they never left.

Seriously, go get “Fight ‘Em ‘Til You Can’t”, like, right now. Trust me on this one. You won’t be sorry.

Superman Fears Politics

Remember when Superman renounced his American citizenship? And then had to take that back because of the reaction? DC apparently learned a lesson about how much the mainstream does not want to have to think when reading comics, because they did it again this week in much quieter fashion.

CBR broke the story that DC had announced in its weekly email to comic shop retailers that Superman #712 (which came out this past Wednesday) would have a completely different story that was inserted at the last minute. The original story, which was to be part of the “Grounded” story (which features Superman walking across America reconnecting with the people...think about that one for a second), saw Superman arrive in Los Angeles and featured a Muslim superhero called Sharif.

DC’s official reason? “DC Comics determined that the previously solicited story did not work within the "Grounded" storyline.“

Why is this a line of bull? The originally solicited issue promised a story where "Sharif discovers that in today’s current cultural climate, some people don’t want his help – they just want him gone."

What officially makes DC’s reason a line of bull? Writer Chris Roberson himself told CBR, "As much as I look forward to seeing an unpublished Kurt Busiek Superman story, it's a shame that DC didn't determine that the story we prepared for Superman 712 didn't work in the Grounded storyline in time for us to do a different story. As it happened, the Sharif story was included in the outline for the remaining issues of Grounded that I submitted in November. The outline was approved, and in February the issue synopsis that I provided was used to draft the solicitation text, to work up character designs for Sharif (the grown up version of Sinbad from the early 90s), and for cover art to be pencilled, inked, and colored. The script for the issue was accepted in April, and was drawn, inked, and lettered. Unfortunately, when the issue was ready to be sent to the printer in the third week of May I was informed that the decision had been made not to print it."

I’ve written about this sort of thing before. Nearly six years. Only then, it had to do with the WWE character Mohammed Hassan. When WWE turned a sympathetic American character with Arab origins in to the typical, one-dimensional “USA-hock-*ptui!*” heel, I thought it was a shame that a character like that couldn’t be used because of how people would overreact in such a knee-jerk fashion. It’s a shame that, five years after that, there’s been no growth in the area of public conscious and intelligence whatsoever.

To their credit, DC realized this before they had a chance to come under from Fox News and the rest of those zombies for the second time in a few months. It’s just a crying shame they’ve been forced to do so.

What could have been:
The unused cover for Superman #712

”What y’all boys know about the Murphy Rec Center?”

In promoting this Sunday’s “Best In The World” show from Ring of Honor - as well as their future under the Sinclair Broadcast Group banner - the Briscoe Brothers aired a promo on YouTube. Some people love it, others hate it.

Put me in the former category. I’m pretty sure now I can officially declare the Briscoes (not Jack and Jerry, mind you) my favorite tag team ever. Part of it is because they go non-stop, from bell-to-bell, at a pace that has to be seen to be believed. The other reason is because the Redneck gimmick isn’t really a gimmick. What you see with jay and Mark is what you get. They’ll speak out about how they feel, and that stalwart passion has turned in to one of the best promos so far this year.

Bear in mind, though, this is NSFW due to bad language:

Whether it’s part of the storyline or not, I totally believe that they feel as if they’ve been overlooked and they’re looking to prove that they’re the team to take Ring of Honor in to the new frontier. And that’s what good wrestling should make me do - believe.

And speaking of the “Best In The World”, I’d lastly like to welcome back Ari Berenstein and the Column of Honor. I don’t know if this is a return to regular duty or not, but Ari previews “Best in The World” better than anyone else could even think about attempting. In short, it’s what he does and I’m glad to see it back for this.

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