FCIO – Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

rogue one

I was born in 1975.  So like a lot of guys around my age, Star Wars was a dominant piece of childhood.  It wasn’t like today when you had infinite access to re-watch something as a kid, only one TV in the house & I think we got a VCR for Christmas in 1983, so most of my ideas about Star Wars come from playing with the action figures with my buddy Sam & only vague ideas about the actual films.  I remember being totally let down when the prequels came out because I remembered Star Wars as this dark edgy thing; but having seen bits & pieces of the originals on TV over the past ten years, I’ve come to realize my memories of the movies are completely inaccurate – which kinda hurts to admit (though I still think Empire seems good & I liked Revenge of the Sith).  A couple years ago when the new Star Wars movie was coming out, me & my wife (who’s never seen any of the Star Wars movies) tried to watch the original Star Wars & we couldn’t make it through it, I was shocked that it crept along at the pace of 2001 & so I still haven’t seen the 7th movie.  But I heard good things about this one & so I got it with my free Redbox rental to watch while working my data processing job.  I have to say the tone of this is fairly close to my personal memories of Star Wars.  A dark bleak world wear resistance is futile, but you resist all the same.  You pray to gods you don’t understand only hoping they’ll allow you to not die in vain.  I hardly think that if you have never liked Star Wars that this movie will change your mind, but if you’re around 40 & been let down by actual Star Wars versus your memories of it, this is a good one.

Oh, & I guess I’ll mention part of what this whole movie is about is answering the geek question, “Why the hell did they make the Deathstar easily destroyed?”  The answer essentially is the main designer was a rebel who intentionally put the defect in, which is a better answer than I could come up with.

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Almost Back

I hope everyone is doing good, I know I haven’t been too active lately.  I did get the Silber machine back up & running, but then my daughter came down with a cold & insisted on me holding her through the night & missing a sleep period, so that gave me the cold & now Bride of Silber has it as well & it’s taken away the time/energy to do my Silbering.  It’s always something.  But hopefully I’ll be back on track in a few days & be getting some things done.  I did send out about 35 solicits for interviews for the QRD Father’s Day Special the other day (only one back in so far), so that’s at least something & I have a few button orders to fill & then a bunch of comics to assemble after some art tweaks & then some press releases to write & new releases to prep & I’m looking forward to a productive summer.

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Not a lot going on, but hopefully I’ll get the parts at my parents house to rebuild my laptop on Sunday.

Old Dreams
June 14, 2014
I’m working at the video store again. I’m shocked the place is still open almost twenty years later & that they are still dominated by a VHS back catalog instead of DVDs. My buddy Matt still works there & our task for the week is a physical inventory of the entire store. I’m working in a section that’s nine shelves of animated non-anime non-kids movies that definitely didn’t exist when I worked here. There’s a movie called “Birth of Cool” with a biker on it done in a style somewhere along the lines of Fritz the Cat & the front says, “A loving tribute to rock & roll.” There’s another on the next shelf called “Death Dealer” with a Frank Frazetta cover & on the back, the stills look like charcoal sketches actually by Frazetta.  While I’m working on the inventory, a lady checks out a movie & Matt is telling her about how for $2 more she can rent four more movies & she says, “I don’t have time for that!  I’ve got to get to a hair appointment!”

June 18, 2014
I’m staying with Nathan Amundson (Rivulets) in a bullet ridden cinderblock building.  In the bathroom, part of the wall & ceiling are missing.  I wish it was after the apocalypse, but I’m pretty sure it’s just a really shitty apartment.

June 20, 2014
Instead of starting QRD & Silber at ages 19 & 20, I started them at ages 16 & 17.  It’s the first week of my senior year of high school & in all my classes I’m busy writing letters to bands & music directors & reviewers & I realize I just need to drop out of school to focus on my work.

I have a new guitar pedal that looks like a Digitech PDS double stomp delay pedal; but instead of two stomps, it has two rows of two stomps (four total).  I think it is a double looper with the ability to synchronize or non-synchronize the loops with each other.

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Making a Go

So I finally got the replacement drive in, but for some reason I can’t get the cloning software to work properly.  So I’m going to try to find my image of my current drive that I think is at my folks house on Easter rather than trying to find a new software that will work as I got to get to work on my taxes & I just drug those off that computer & will be doing that on my data processing machine & I’m sure it will take up all my time this week anyhow.

For the curious, I finally did the physical inventory & the production cost of the discs destroyed by the flood last year was $9,924.01.  Which I guess should help my taxes to be a bit lower this year!

I got to go to a baby shower today for a family that takes the music class my daughter is in.  I dread needing to talk to other parents.  The fear of both them judging me & me judging them.

Was listening to a talk about Robert E Howard.  Later in his career while still taking care of his mother he was writing around 20 pages a day.  What a machine.  One day I can get my groove back on & balance it all.  I like to think I’m still as productive as plenty of artists/cartoonists/musicians are in my lull period, so I’ll take that as a win.

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Because No One Actually Reads This

So of course the replacement drive so I can fix my computer & work on Silber stuff didn’t arrive yesterday so I couldn’t get that process started while I’m out all day on a drive job for my medical transporter gig.  & because I didn’t get the replacement drive I ended up totally caught up on my data processing job.  So I decided to bring some of my old notebooks with dream entries with me to type in while I’m sitting in the waiting room.  I’ve been threatening to start typing them in again for a while, so now seems as good a time as any…..

May 23, 2014
I’m working at the airport & because it’s designed poorly, I have to drive the luggage across twenty gates run by a different airline.  I run over a chock someone has left in the middle the tarmac & I think the carts are going to flip, but I hit the gas & the forward momentum keeps them from capsizing.  A supervisor from the both airline starts yelling at me to learn how to drive, but I just keep going trying to do my job.

I’m on a spirit quest & the road I’ve been following leads into the ocean.  I go on a nearby pier & a woman gives me a ship in a bottle with the masts down & tells me I’m not done yet.  She points down at the beach & there’s a man standing on the shore where the road turns into cobblestone before going into the sea.  I go down to the man clenching to my chest the bottle & a notebook documenting the journey.  The man tells me to follow the road.  He can tell I’m scared.  He takes my right hand, holding it with his left, which is somehow re-ssuring instead of creepy.  I walk into the ocean holding his hand.  When the water is up to my waist I notice he’s walking on the surface of the water.  I keep walking & he’s let go of my hand sometime after my head is already below the surface of the water.  The turbulence of the ocean knocks me off my feet & the waves cast me back on the shore.  But it’s not the same beach; I’m not even sure it’s the same planet.  I try to write everything down in the notebook still clenched to my chest, but it’s been destroyed by the water.

May 25, 2014
I’m watching Cheers & it’s an episode I’ve never seen before.  Frazier asks Sam to seduce Lilith to find out if she’s been faithful or not, but it creates an internal moral struggle of Sam’s ideas of friendship, infidelity, & the value of the entire life he’s lived.

May 31, 2014
My body’s in a room so large & dark that I can’t see the walls.  It’s on a gurney with dozens of wires hooked up to it.  I can’t tell if I’m sleeping or in a coma.  A technician comes to one of the machines & starts twisting knobs that alter my dreams, which fundamentally alters my reality, but I can’t get my consciousness back into my body to wake it up.  The dream alterations are pulling off everything that makes me me, one piece at a time.  It hurts & I already can’t remember why anyone would want to do this to me.

June 6, 2014
I’m riding in my car with Adrian Wilson (Maya Gallery) in Asheville talking about ideas to push his shop & Silber.  Both one time ideas to make it through the month & bigger ideas to survive long term.

I’m a gladiator in an alien arena. They give me a rifle & tell me that if I survive the day’s games I’ll be set free. I know they’re lying to me, but I’ll do my best all the same. I wish I had the guts to just let myself die.

June 9, 2014
I’m playing at a relatively small club opening for KISS.  KISS decides they want to play first because they want to get to bed early.  Not only are they not in make-up, they are super loose & generally awful.  The lead guitarist’s parts are out of place, too loud, & he has a horrible tone.  Half the crowd has left before Gene has a chance to spit blood (I thought he might not even bother).  After they’ve finished & I’m setting up my equipment, the sandman comes over & tells me there’s no reason for me to bother playing & I tell him, “I’m already here & ready to go.”

June 12, 2014
I’m loading explosives & mortars & shrapnel in an AKE (a contoured container designed to fit perfectly in an aircraft for shipping – jargon for these containers is “cans”) & from the back of the can through its clear wall dozens of TV crews are filming me do it. When I finish, I tell the people standing around the back that the load is designed to destroy anything within 50 yards of the back of it & I don’t suggest hanging around behind it. A gas station attendant in her green polo shirt with a BP logo embroidered on it asks me, “Where are we supposed to go? Where’s safe? Mexico?” I tell her, “Lady, Mexico isn’t even Mexico anymore. If I were you I’d just drive out into the country, to the middle of nowhere, & just stay alive for as long as you can.”

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Cheers & Fears

Okay, so I was out of town for a week & a half going to a comic convention & visiting family.  Things went well at the con, I got in the spare time the previous week to have 5 new comics debut there. Not a lot of sales, but a lot of hanging out with friends & feeling like what I am doing is worth my time.

So before I left my computer had acted wonky.  I thought it maybe had a virus or something & had switched anti-virus software, but I was mainly worried about getting the comics ready.  When I got back home it wouldn’t boot properly & a little web-search told me the problems I had were the symptoms of a failing solid state drive. So today I went to the local place to get a new drive in the hopes to clone the old drive & get the machine going again & they didn’t have any SSDs that were over 40 gigs in stock, so I had to order one & I’m still in limbo as far as my ability to do anything because all the folks on the internet say the more you use an SSD with errors, the more corrupted files you’ll end up with.  So yeah, it sucks & my wife has been telling me for over a year that I really should get a new machine & learn some modern softwares to do the things I do & she’s probably right, but maybe with the new drive I can avoid that reality for a few more years, but it’s hard to want to change from softwares you’ve been using for 15 years & I hear that the programs I use that were designed for Windows 98 don’t work on modern machines.  If this had happened a few years ago when things were kinda on hiatus I would’ve unquestionably just let it all go & keep writing music & making comics & writing stories that no one would ever see, but as it is I feel the need to keep going as I feel like things are on an upswing for Silber for the first time in a while.

So anyway, that’s why there’s been delays on some of the expectant new releases & such.  Love you all for caring.

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New Post Rock, Shoegaze, & Psych Pop from Hotel Hotel, Moon Gravity & d’Animal


I hope all is going well.  The warm afternoons we’ve had lately I’ve tried to out maneuver work & take my daughter to play at the park, but we’ve still managed to get some stuff ready for your eager ears the past few days.  An EP of epic guitar & violin based post rock from the final Hotel Hotel studio recordings from back in 2009, the debut EP of glacial krautgaze from Moon Gravity, & an album of psychedelic/experimental pop gems from d’Animal (Dan West of LoveyDove & Sidewalk Society).  More info on them all below & you can save $2 on the download on our sales page – http://www.silbermedia.com/sale/

Of course if you’re a Spotify user you can always listen to the ten latest releases from Silber here – https://play.spotify.com/user/silberspy/playlist/4nuz7tocaNt9OkFetPsHhG

Over the next few months I plan to be putting the entire Silber back catalog up on Bandcamp.  So if you’ve ever thought about doing the Bandcamp subscription thing, now is probably a great time to do it.  In fact for $7 you get the three newest releases plus four out of the back catalog along with the stuff coming soon.  Here’s the link – https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/subscribe

As far as the up & coming releases, the M is We/Thorn1 split as well as the Space Sweeper album have been postponed a little by us making videos for them, but should still be out soon as well as releases from Fullness Off Lack, Jon Dawson, Andrew Weathers/Shaun Sandor, Moodring, & Small Life Form.

Thanks for caring about our work.  It’s always good to know some people still care about the work we’re doing.  If you want to be taken off the mailing list, just let me know.

Brian John Mitchell

Hotel Hotel: Cactus hands
Recorded in 2009, Cactus Hands is the first half of the follow-up to The Sad Sea.  The band expanded from what I think of as their classic three piece line-up (guitar, violin, drums) to have piano, bass, & a second guitar.  Soaring shimmering instruments, this is post rock from Texas.
Listen or buy on Silber - http://www.silbermedia.com/hotelhotel/cactushands.shtml
Listen or buy on Bandcamp - https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/cactus-hands
Listen on Spotify – https://play.spotify.com/album/250kddxiwRRBiiQbgeq1dg

Moon Gravity: Antarctica
Moon Gravity’s debut Antarctica is a droney, shoegazey soundtrack for freezing winters, its sound living in the realm somewhere between Slowdive & Stars of the Lid.
Listen or buy on Silber - http://www.silbermedia.com/moongravity/antarctica.shtml
Listen or buy on Bandcamp - https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/antarctica
Listen on Spotify – https://play.spotify.com/album/1ivc9DPztJaZOomCn9goTJ

d'Animal: d'Animal l'Ogic
This is a poppier spin on the Silber style & we’re excited to have it in our catalog. Combining both timeless 1960s psychedelia & ahead of its time experimental pop, d’Animal l’Ogic fits in at the party whenever the collective time machine crash lands in a post modernist pop paradise.
Listen or buy on Silber - http://www.silbermedia.com/danimal/logic.shtml
Listen or buy on Bandcamp - https://silbermedia.bandcamp.com/album/danimal-logic
Listen on Spotify – https://play.spotify.com/album/3R7laxuT6scuCXfDeepajF

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Remora – Music Box Stuff

Here’s a couple videos from music box reworkings of Remora songs.  The style will probably be the foundation of the next Remora album….

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Going My Way

So in the past couple days some fluke positive things have happened.  I won a contest where I get 48 free Silber t-shirts & not only that, I got a design together that I like in just a second attempt.  It’s super satisfying to feel like something positive is happening.

I might not have mentioned it here before, but a couple of months ago it was announced that my comic Genius Junkies was nominated for a prize at the only comic convention I bother to attend.  Always nice to be thought of kindly.

Now just a few minutes ago I was solicited by This American Life about wanting to cut a licensing deal for using an If Thousands song on an episode of the show.

A few days ago I got a bigger than normal check for Spotify earnings.

It’s weird to feel this much hope & love for the work I do.  Thank you all for your support.


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One of our cats died today.  Hit by a car & I can’t even be mad about it because the cat loved to sit in the street & block the driveway & things like that; but he was a feral cat who moved in three years ago, so the idea of making him an indoor exclusive cat felt kinda cruel so that wasn’t really an option.  In a way it was a blessing because even though he was only four years old or so, it was clear he wasn’t in the best health.  Two vets diagnosed him as blind even though he routinely caught mice & snakes that he brought into the house & while his eyes were clearly screwed up from something before moving in with us, he could see well enough.  But his screwy eyes are why he was named after The Elephant Man.  Ever since he moved in he walked with a weird gunslinger swagger, presumably from something wrong with his hip or back & presumably the same issue made it so he couldn’t properly groom himself & I had taken to combing him every day to keep him a little more presentable.  More recently he’d started to gain a lot of weight & it seemed to make the hip/back issue worse.  But he was the sweetest cat I’ve known, the ambassador & soul of our home.  When my wife was pregnant & had hyperemesis graviderum he laid next to her pretty much every moment except for her hospitalizations, he’d stand outside the bathroom door waiting for her to come out when she went in to throw up for 30 minutes.  After Violet was born & started to move around & the other cats started freaking out, he’d let her use him to pull herself up off the floor with tufts of his fur coming out in the process.  When we took Violet for walks we’d have to lock him in the house to keep him from following us.  He was not a normal cat & I am happy he moved in with us & gave us all he had to give.

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