MC Lars Interview and Poe Playlist (music)

Happy Wednesday!

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Unfortunately I was unable to get a picture with MC Lars after the show however when I think back, this is about what I think it’d look like.

MC Lars was the fourth and final artist I saw at the Manchester show.  I really liked his set, I was vaguely familiar with his music before now but after the show I’ve found a new nerdcore great.

The First song I heard from MC Lars was a song about Edgar Allen Poe(1).

 

Then recently when I started listening to him rap, I noticed a trend:

 

 

Big thank you goes to MC Lars for the following interview:

OBOP: Who inspires you? Musically, artistically, writing, personally? (As many answers as you want, don’t worry about restricting yourself to one source)

MC Lars (MCL): My biggest influence is definitely “Weird Al” Yankovic! I love how he was able to, as Lin-Manuel Miranda said on Marc Maron’s podcast recently, strip music of its “genre clothes” and comment on everything. He’s definitely my biggest influence and I was so stoked that he thanked me in his last album.

OBOP: Did you always want to be a musician/songwriter or was there a “monkey touch monolith” moment?

(MCL): I always wanted to be a cartoonist, but when I did my first Shakespeare rap in 1998, I knew I was onto something!

OBOP: What do you consider your greatest artistic and/or professional and/or personal achievement? (Feel free to answer all three or one or a combination, whatever man)

(MCL): Definitely playing Carnegie Hall in 2012! We debuted “Flow Like Poe” and I felt like I’d finally made it.

OBOP: What superpower would you have if you could have one and why/what would you do with it? (Seriously anything, from the mundane, to the established, to something completely original)

(MCL): I’d have the power to heal people’s hearts. 🙂 I try to do that with music anyway!

OBOP: If you could be in possession of a pocket dimension that you could travel into and out of at will, that contained any established cannon (books, movies, comics, video games, Salvador Dali paintings, anything) what would it be and what would you want to most do in there?

(MCL): It would be amazing to go into the Bible and meet Jesus – I’d love to hear what he has to say about today’s political climate.

MC Lars is one of the most approachable people I’ve ever met, I mean that includes all celebrities and everyday people,  when he says

I’d have the power to heal people’s hearts. 🙂 I try to do that with music anyway!

-MC Lars

I can really buy it.  Funny thing is my friend and I had gotten to Manchester a few hours early and we thought the doors opened at 7.30 and so we walked in and there was like this hush of when people are present who aren’t immediately recognized and like 5 dudes standing around.  I thought we were early and didn’t think much of it until one of the roadies (I assume, maybe he was an employee of the club) asked me if we had tickets and I said yea and as he was informing us that we were 30 minutes before the door this big dude, who I didn’t at first recognize as MC Lars comes over to us and asks us if we’re here to see the show.

This giant man has a butter melting smile and his handshakes turn into back-pat hugs, even with me and my mate who were strangers to him.  We get to talking and MC Lars hears my accent and asks me where I’m from, I frequently forget that I have a discernible accent, and I tell him I’m from St Louis and how I’ve been trying to see MC Chris in concert for 10 years and had missed him in concert in St Louis 3 times including October 2016 and all that.  He then asks how long I’m here for and all that which leads me into talking about how I’m a study abroad student and somewhere around minute 5 of me rambling on I realise this guy has been giving me his ENTIRE attention as if I was an old friend and we were catching up. As my friends can tell you, I have no problem talking(2), but I’m not always used to having someone pay so much attention to what I have to say much less this strange celebrity.

I feel bad because I remember asking him where he was from as well and couldn’t tell you where without looking it up but I do remember he told me that he studied abroad when he was in college too.  He told me it really changed his life.  Dude’s a great artist, writer, performer, and if you ever see him live don’t be afraid to approach him.  If he doesn’t approach you first.

Footnotes:

  1. Remember “Offbeat, On-point: A literary blog…kinda”
  2. One of my friends has described me as “Fin doesn’t say much until you get him talking.  Then you can’t get the guy to shut the fuck up.”

Let’s Have a Selfie (comic)

Happy Funny Friday!

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Tell Me a Story #1 (comic)

Happy Friday!

My friend Evan, a very funny and talented writer, inspired this comic.  This one’s for you, buddy.

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I learned that beelzebub is portrayed as a bee in some texts. I learned this when I was writing an essay on Emily Dickinson‘s “I heard a Fly Buzz – When I Died” or the more catchy title (591) and I postulated that the Fly was actually a flying buzzing bug rather than specifcially a fly.

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Tune in next Friday to see what happens next!

A Joke for Book and Dog Lovers (Literary comic #3)

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“Woof” obviously.

Pardon my typo, I was in a rush (as you can tell from the sketchy lines), It was supposed to read “What did the dog say to the book?” “Nice Tale”.

I like making up original “Dad Jokes” for the amusement of my friends.  Feel free to borrow it.

Happy New Years Eve…eve! (comic)

Happy Friday Folks!

Oh boy it’s here guys, the long awaited end of 2016 and what a fucking strange year it’s been.  There are already plenty of articles talking about how many people we lost year, the implications of a Trump presidency and how relations between the US and Cuba will change with the death of Castro, and if the Cubs can take the World Series is that a good omen for the Blues in the Stanley Cup? (like did you even SEE the hat trick the other night?!)

However here I want to just reflect a little bit about my personal year (don’t worry, there is a comic this week) because as you can probably guess it has been a big year for me.

  • I got accepted into Lancaster as an exchange student in March
  • I got sober 25 April 2016
  • I started Offbeat On point in May
  • I got to live in one of my “Dream Neighborhoods” over the summer(1) (June – September)
  • I ran my first half marathon (110 minutes) in July
  • I moved to a new country (October)
  • I got to meet my musical hero MC Chris (November)
  • I got accepted into Lancaster as a degree seeking student (December)
  • I celebrated my first Xmas away from home

Overall it’s been a good year but it hasn’t been with out struggle.  Most of this year I’ve spent in one form or another of extreme isolation.

Before getting sober, this was my life:

Monday – Thrusday: School (12 credit hours), work (30 hours), drink alone at home until I couldn’t remember passing out(2).

Friday – Sunday: Friday I would work then go home and drink.  Saturday and Sunday I would do 12 hours of homework each day then come home and drink.

I had no friends left and I sort of tried to make friends at work and school fell kinda flat for numerous reasons. After getting sober, school was out and I started working a lot more, got promoted to manager at the sandwich shop and got back an old job I had in light construction. Between the two jobs I was working 80-100 hour weeks, which has never never really been a problem for me because ever since high school I’ve kept a kinda manic schedule where I would be “on” for a few months to a year and “off” for a few months to a year (“on” = working and/or in school; “off” = unemployed and not in school or unemployed and in school) which is partly why I’m 28 and still working towards a bachelor’s degree. All of this considered, you can probably start to see why I didn’t have friends.

When I got here, I knew from pretty early on that I was going to spend winter holiday alone on campus and that isolation kind of scared me a lot.  Like a lot a lot.  The week before xmas was my first week alone here and I might have been alone but I felt so so loved because every single day I would wake up to a phone full of messages from friends who lived in my block and others from school (and the odd person from the states) texting me “Hey how’s Lancaster?” “How are you doing?” “What’s the weather like there?” and it would literally take me about an hour every day to respond to everyone(3).  I’ve mentioned before that I feel the warmth of community here and that sense of community has really changed me.  Not dramatically but it’s helped me heal quite a bit.  It’s been a hard year for everyone but let’s not forget to take stock of the beautiful little moments that we’ve enjoyed this year.

Have a happy and safe New Years Eve, folks.

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Footnotes:

  1. I mentioned in a previous article about the Webster Groves area but basically it’s one giant botanical neighborhood just on the county/city line where people who make much more money than I ever hope to live but what gives me (a little) hope is the guy I was living with was the original editor and chief of a few small local news papers and he had a nice place. If that writer could make a good living, I can too (maybe).
  2. I could hold my own when in company, as in I could drink upwards of 30 drinks in a night and not vomit, but when you develop a long term drinking habit you start to experiment and see if you can get that nail that precise amount of alcohol to time ratio for the “daily ritual”.  Mine was a 6 pack of beer, 3 nips (this is what we called airplane bottle shots, usually 1.5 floz/50mL), in the space of 3 hours.  I had it down to a science because when you’re a functional alcoholic, having “leftovers” is a really bad idea because when you wake up: you already have booze and because of that I found it very very hard to get my day started.  I needed to not have booze in the house so I could be motivated to get some work done and then walk to the shop for my “reward”.  Also if you don’t have enough booze, woah that is like seriously the worst.  Like you drink and drink then if you’re still awake and booze free then you’re at a conundrum: walk to the store and pray it’s not too late to buy booze (legal limit was 3am in St Louis but frequently grocery stores, they had the best prices, would shut down their booze isle by 1 or 1.30am) or try to tough it out.  Guess what won most times.  This set amount played deeply into the psychology of being in control. See I knew even if I ate, I’d pass out; I knew if I got this much, it would be enough and if I wanted leftovers I knew that I would need more; I also knew when to start drinking to be in bed by a certain time, I could even tell by texts and other time stamps precisely when I would black out and just about how long I was conscious before I actually fell asleep.  All these things are important in the addict’s mind when trying to maintain the illusion of control because as long as you’re in control, you don’t have a problem.
  3. Taking so long is probably mostly my fault because I like to talk and my average text is probably 160-300 characters.

Meet the Cast (comic)

Happy Friday!

As I mentioned in my post Tuesday-Turnaround I have fried my laptop and I don’t have access to my favourite (or really any to speak of) vector program, Inkscape, and I still have plenty of web comic ideas however drawing them by hand and then just taking a picture of them seems a bit cheap so at least this week I’m trying something slightly different.

So I keep a regular journal and the other day before starting to write I had a thing at the back of my throat and coughed.  Out came what is known as a “tonsil stone” (NSFL, seriously there’s a picture on the front page and it’s gross, click at your digression and only google image it if you’re feeling particularly brave(1)) which, for those of you not willing to follow the link, are “…clusters of calcified material that form in the crevices of the tonsils (tonsillar crypts).” (2)   They’re gross but everyone gets them however most of the time they go unnoticed because they are coughed up (and go missing, so so gross, let that be a lesson to cover your mouth when you cough) or they are swallowed.  This was one in particular landed right in the middle of my journal page.

When things like that happen (3) I like to make an outline of the wet footprint before it dries up (4) and then just write around it.  However sometimes, also while journaling, I will make a box around a paragraph of an idea that I feel needs closure or separation.  This was a time for a box.  Then I kinda looked at the box and thought about Fin and Louie and this is what happened:

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I cleaned it up, and drew a second draft:

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And there you have it folks: I got the whole cast together just in time for xmas eve eve!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little insight into how my mind works and that this is as okay as a normal web comic posting.

I’ll see you Monday for what I’m now calling “Mystery Monday”. Who knows what I’ll write about? Nobody because it’s a mystery to everyone. Though I promise it won’t be as gross.

 

Footnotes:

  1. I did google image search it on accident the other night, while trying to figure out how to spell “tonsil stone”, by reflex I clicked on the “Images” tab (I use google image a ridiculous amount) and I saw things that I can not un-see.
  2. For more information with out being subjected to very gross images, check out the channel Today I Found Out video “What Those Nasty White Chunks That Sometimes Come From Your Throat Are”.
  3. tears, sweat, water whatever
  4. I couldn’t tell you why I do this, I just started doing it one day and it was kind of interesting looking so I kept on.

My Hair has a Mind of it’s own. (comic)

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This is what I think when people tell me “my hair has a mind of it’s own”.