Holy Bat-Signal Batman; Is that a vinyl record or a ‘baterang’? – Where to buy S#!t vol. 2 – Mondo

With a quicker step than usual Tristan and I would beat a hasty retreat from the ugly Mackinnon Building to the drafty basement of Johnston Hall; not because the food on campus was any better there than anywhere else, but because there was a TV.

The opening notes of Danny Elfman’s score would begin and then the greatest superhero show of them all would start – Batman: The Animated Series. A show so cool it didn’t even bother putting the name of it on during the opening theme.

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During that first season in ‘92, it was on right after class and we wouldn’t say a word until the commercials. To this day, the debate over who is the best ‘Batman’ is so frickin obvious I scoff at anyone who denies it.

Kevin Conroy (the voice of the Bat & Bruce). You may never see him in the costume… but he is the Bat!

The official series may have finished many years ago, but to fans, it lives large in the psyche. So imagine my fan-boy glee when I’m looking at different types of collectibles and this appears…

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The opening and closing themes on bat-shaped vinyl! Bat –shaped and with grey splatter on the variant limited edition. ( http://mondotees.com/products/batman-the-animated-series-die-cut-12-single?variant=967910731)

Now, that is the thing about Mondo (http://mondotees.com/), the good people who have released this glorious single, everything they do is limited and outstanding and is collectors gold. In fact, this isn’t even the first time they’ve released the theme on vinyl. Others in the series include covers of the Joker, Harley Quinn, Clayface and Man-Bat.

In terms of vinyl, they pretty much only release soundtracks. So, in addition to my bat-vinyl I also picked up the Jon Brions’ original soundtrack to Paranorman.

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However, they got all kinds of wonderful things for those geeky folks who seem impossible to buy for. Iron Giant t-shirts, Fargo knit-wear, and a Gremlins Christmas sweater are hi-lights of the clothing, but it’s the posters and original artwork you really want to see.

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Coinciding with the 75th anniversary of Batman, there is certainly a lot of material for fans to choose from, but honestly, that just scrapes the surface. Big with Mondo is variant movie posters released in limited edition. They are mostly based on cult horror or sci-fi/fantasy films, and are absolutely incredible. Here are a couple examples…

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The other thing that is a little on the insane side is the resale value, or at least what people are selling them for on e-bay.

This Guardians of the Galaxy poster originally sold for $60.00 and was limited to 750 copies.

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On e-bay sellers are now asking for more than $750.00 for it. Oh, and don’t for one second think this is an anomaly.  In ten minutes of research I could literally find dozens of examples. Just this week I tried to order an X-Men: Days Of Future Past poster and the damn thing sold out in the 45 minutes I was away from the computer. So, if you’re looking for a unique gift for that crazy super-fan or collector… keep an eye on Mondo. Now, maybe I could call Tristan up for a Batman: The Animated Series marathon. In fact, I think maybe a whole party or something… I am such a geek.

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Top Three New Vinyl Releases 2014 #1 – The Both by The Both

The Both

The Both

Superego

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http://aimeemann.shop.musictoday.com/Product.aspx?cp=379&pc=AILP04

Back in the day and over time I’ve picked bands that have gone on to massive success and then others I’ve scratched my head at and wondered why they haven’t found “rock star status”.  Sometimes I’m just at a loss. Why aren’t people hearing what I hear?

This has always seemed the case for Aimee Mann and Ted Leo who I have been fans of for a number of years now. Mann has put out a consistent string of records that are perhaps too smart to be considered pop, and to soft to be considered rock, but have always stood out as great pieces of perfection. If you go back to her Oscar nominated work on the Magnolia soundtrack, she inspires emotions through song that come off as these awesome award winning short stories. She can twist a phrase to play irony, despair, or revenge in quick order… in fact, she can do that often in one line. She is just that damn good.

Ted Leo for his part is a former punk purveyor who turned his politicized lyrics toward a more power-pop sound. As a bonus, he is just as comfortable singing politics as he is singing 80’s pop hits while blasting it all from a nicely distorted electric guitar. Even his melancholy stuff can be emphasized with waves of amplified sound.

There was literally a point in the early 2000’s that I was listening to both of them in heavy rotation on the carousel of my CD player. So imagine my surprise when the two played a show together a couple years back – then to my absolute delight when I heard they were recording together.

Later, of course, came the worry. How would they sound together? Would this be chocolate and peanut-butter or chocolate and potatoes… I mean, I like both, but that doesn’t sound like a good combo at all. (see Minor Alps for a combo that didn’t work last year.)

Would Aimee surpress a bit of that Jon Brion sound in favor of Leo’s guitar, or would Leo turn down the volume enough for Mann sense of tongue-in-cheek wit to shine?

Well damn folks, it was like Belgian chocolate covering June picked strawberries. The best of both artists brought together. The songs are instantly catchy, driven by melodies, harmonies and powerful guitar. Leo has shortened his solos to emphasize emotion rather than guitar prowess. Mann has stepped back to let Leo’s political ramblings filter in without drawing attention away from the overall sound of the record. What we have is the best elements from their solo careers shining in. Mann is edgier and Leo is more ‘poppy.’

The result is that this record is perfection.

Then you have the vinyl in blue and an inner sleeve with animated cardboard cut outs of both artists with instruments and a change of clothing (AND YES, a download card). The record is fun and best of all, my kids sing along with it as it plays in the car, at the cottage, at home, at friends, at families, at…etc.