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Teen Blog

Reading, Wellington, and whatever else – teenblog@wcl.govt.nz

Category: General Monty

Best of 2013: Monty’s Picks

Trashy comic fun!

Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison, W. Haden Blackman

I personally love movie characters being loyally and accurately transferred from the big screen to comic books (often) and evil Sith lord Darth and an innocent, everyman lieutenant slug it out with whole battalions and win. You’re never really sure if Darth will destroy his young companion (like he does everyone else) and that tension lies at the heart of many scenes. We wonder what remains of Anarkin, but mostly, we enjoy one lusty, enormously destructive battle scene after another!

Demon Knights 2: The Avalon Trap, Paul Cornell

Reinventing old, neglected super characters seemed to be one of the major drives of DC’s new 52 series, but whilst The Blue Beetle, Captain Atom and Firestorm have long since been cancelled The Demon Knights, still runs (thankfully) and continues to impress. Mystical groupies include the rhyming demon Etrigan, Lucifer and Madame Xanadu and this unstable mix of good, basically evil and good or evil (depending on which side of the moral bed they got out of on) characters makes for an unpredictable, surprising comic, drawn awfully and horribly well by Diogenes Neves.

FF volume 1: Fantastic Faux, Matt Fraction

Fun parody and reimagining of the Fantastic Four story with Ms Thing, Ant Man and Valentine’s Day! For those who like kooky, often ridiculous meta-fiction.

Best of 2012: Monty’s Pick

Monty, who is fortunate enough to buy both the YA comics and the YA music, has found this list of best apps of 2012, which contains some incredible creative genius, and also a Monty recommendation:

Chopsticks, Jessica Anthony.

“After her mother died, Glory retreated into herself and her music. Her single father raised her as a piano prodigy, with a rigid schedule and the goal of playing sold-out shows across the globe. Now, as a teenager, Glory has disappeared. As we flash back to the events leading up to her disappearance, we see a girl on the precipice of disaster. Brilliant and lonely, Glory is drawn to an artistic new boy, Frank, who moves in next door. The farther she falls, the deeper she spirals into madness. Before long, Glory is unable to play anything but the song “Chopsticks.”

“But nothing is what it seems, and Glory’s reality is not reality at all. In this stunningly moving novel told in photographs, pictures, and words, it’s up to the reader to decide what is real, what is imagined, and what has been madness all along…” (goodreads.com)

Monty adds that it’s “a mish-mash of styles and good on the expectations and pressures of society on teens, contains romance and ends with surprise and mystery – what more could you ask for?”

Chopsticks is, as Monty says, a “multi-media extravaganza”! Visit the Chopsticks tumblr for more visuals, including a link to the app at the Apple store (for the downloading (note: it’s not a free app)).

The School Library Journal reviewed both the book and the app.

New Zealand Music We Like: Monty again!

Great news for the modern man: live at the Auckland Town Hall by Eru Dangerspiel.

Eru Dangerspiel is Trinity Roots band member Ricky Gooch’s side project, though it’s seriously major in concept.

22 piece group (plus choir!) including Whirimako Black, Anna Coddington, Nathan Haines and members of Fat Freddy’s, The Black Seeds, Fly My Pretties, Dimmer, The Phoenix Foundation – whew! It’s funky, it’s futuristic, it’s Great news for the modern man!

~ Monty

New Zealand Music We Like: Monty

Seth Haapu by Seth Haapu

Seth didn’t get a lot of fanfare when his self-named title was released in 2011 and it’s kind of a shame because he’s very talented.

Natural voice, melody to spare, multi-instrumentalist – don’t take my word for it though – watch keyboard and vocal skills here:

~ Monty

~~~ A Cappella ~~~

We’ve started a new YA  CD collection devoted to the voice, and mostly the human voice in harmony. I’d recommend these CDs to anyone who’s enjoyed Glee (The Warblers, especially!) or has listened to (and enjoyed) your local college’s barber shop quartet.

An American programme called The Sing Off has just been renewed for its third season and has seen a resurgence in interest in ‘a cappella’ singing, which Wikipedia describes as ‘solo or group vocal or singing without instrumental sound.’ Watch a clip from Nota, the winners of the 2009 Sing Off competition here.

Here are some of the CDs in the a cappella collection!

The Sing Off : The Best of Season 2
by Nota
The Sing Off : Harmonies for the Holidays
With a Twist, by Straight No Chaser
University A Cappalla!, by Ben Folds