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Fear The Forehead

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As always, the Heroes Convention once hit the convention center with the force of Thor's hammer, and comic book fans and Trekkies rejoiced. This year's fest was the biggest yet, and even managed to attract a few non-traditional fans (likely a few came thanks to the interest surge spawned by the Spidey movie -- they were instantly recognizable, as they were the ones not wearing goofy costumes or arguing about whether Spider-man's web could stop Wolverine's adamantium claws). Featuring at least half of the industry's big guns as special guests, artist and writer tables were packed, especially if the artist or writer works on a Spider-man or X-menbook.

Several titles are hot right now, at least according to the people I talked to Sunday. Marvel Comics' MAX line -- the "adult" imprint of Marvel -- is likely the hottest, featuring some rather tart profanity and the odd breast shot here and there (Odd breasts, indeed. Most of them looked like they were filled with helium). Which is no surprise, really -- who needs to see breasts and cussing more than your stereotypical comics fan? If you're going to visit a fantasy world through comics, why not add in the biggest fantasy of all -- girls? Plus, it's more socially acceptable than reading Hustler or Penthouse if you're on an airplane or something. Slightly.

Also hard to miss were folks all duded up like Star Trek characters. Hey, it's good clean fun. At least they're not all out rolling drunks or beating their children (their children are likely beating themselves). They're just normal folk like you and me, who just happen to like wearing big artificial foreheads and clothes that are supposed to look futuristic but actually look like something someone dreamed up in the 50s, with enough gold and silver lame to make Liberace blush. The future is never -- and I repeat, never -- like we imagined it (seen any flying cars lately?). Don't you imagine folks in the future might have simplified the whole clothing then by then, perhaps not wearing anything at all? Maybe then they'll all get together at conventions and don booty jeans and Dockers, longing for the good old days. Rest assured, though, there'll still be some Star Trek offshoot series on TV.

What's In A Name? Tremont Music Hall hosted a nice local/national double bill Saturday, featuring Charlotte's First Night on Earth sharing the stage with The Rocking Horse Winner. Now, FNOE isn't an emo band, so I'll leave them out of this. But is there some rule, written or no, that your band name has to have as many words in it as you have bandmates? Granted, TRHW were named after a D.H. Lawrence story, which does give them a certain air of coolness. However, the band loaded in about as fast as Lawrence wrote, though they did seem to have about 20 folks helping out. Fronted by Jolie Lindholm, perhaps more widely known as a sorta-frequent, guest vocalist from Dashboard Confessional, The Rocking Horse Winner played a catchy, warm and hook-laden sound -- a welcome relief from Dashboard's woe-is-me bleat. First Night On Earth continues to improve, courtesy of a rock-solid rhythm section comprised of Vance Carlisle and Chris London, and the placing of the talented Tina Cargill up front more in the music. Singer Wes Grasty, of course, is the svengali behind the group's cascading, early-U2-mixed-with-electro sound. Grasty's biggest score to date, however, is his invention of an official band dance. Yes, an official band dance. Basically, it involves gyrating softly through the verses and then holding up your forearms like Mike Tyson does when he's handcuffed and then shaking and gyrating them madly like Thom Yorke of Radiohead hopped up on Ritalin. It's pretty damn fun, too. I was too concerned with being cool to do it at the show, but later that night I nearly tore my rotator cuff. Later that night I nearly tore my rotator cuff...hey, that's a damn good emo band name! *

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