Love, Superheroes, and Narcotics

My Chemical Romance

Named for the Irvine Welsh book Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance -- a drug-infused collection of short stories more altered than life-altering -- emo-lovin' new wave punk-rockers My Chemical Romance aren't known for being doe-eyed softies. Still, bassist Mikey Way took time out from his tour schedule to share some of the great romances that pull at his heartstrings:

Wolverine and Kitty Pryde: There was Elektra and Daredevil, but then there was that movie, so I don't want to talk about them. How about Kitty Pryde and Wolverine? Growing up, reading the X-Men, there was always some weird thing going on between them. But what they didn't explain is that Kitty Pryde is way too young to be hanging out with Wolverine. She was definitely underage, and Wolverine was definitely 40 years old. It's one of those weird things that you don't get why they put in a comic book for kids.

Florence Henderson and Barry Williams: There was that creepy thing with the Bradys too -- the mom [Henderson] and her son, Greg [Williams]. I actually sat behind Greg on a plane once. All the stewardesses, these older women, were getting all excited because growing up he was some teen heartthrob or something. Makes you realize that kind of thing is fleeting.

Joanie and Chachi: They're cool 'cause they knew each other for a long time. Chachi was always trying to get with Joanie, and eventually it worked out in Joanie Loves Chachi. They finally got married in one of those reunion shows.

Invisible Girl and Namor:There was that strange thing with Sue Storm and Namor the Sub-Mariner. She was messing around with Namor while she was married to Mr. Fantastic. It happened a lot, actually. There was this weird sexual attraction between them, though. The Sub-Mariner would always try to get her to leave Mr. Fantastic, but I don't think Mr. Fantastic ever knew.

King Kong and Ann Darrow:It might look like the campy, '30s-like stop-motion horror movie. This ape loves this woman [Fay Wray], but she was kind of playing around with him like girls usually do. It all ends up with him belly-up in the streets of New York, riddled with bullets. Yeah, there's a message in that movie. -- Cole Haddon

My Chemical Romance plays with Alkaline Trio and Reggie and the Full Effect at 6 p.m. Monday, October 10, at Revolution, 200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets are sold out, but you can always try to romance your way past the bouncers.Highway 61 Re-revisited

So you were more than happy to shell out for the new Dylan collection to go with your caramel macchiato at Starbucks. You hunkered down for PBS' Bob biopic last week, ready to absorb the life and times -- all six decades of them -- of America's most important artist. Then you realized that No Direction Home, touted by the press, directed by Scorsese, sponsored by Apple, spanned only as far as 1966, the first 25 years of Dylan's life. What about the rest?

Somewhat disappointingly, No Direction Home played out as another romanticized paean to the '60s. Though Dylan's ascendancy was certainly tied to the social upheaval and cultural shifts of the time, the film made it apparent -- via Dylan footage from then and now -- that he was not to be pegged to any single movement or era. By default, Homeequivocated, simultaneously hailing and harping on Dylan's restlessness and wallowing in its subjects' halcyon memories -- from artist Bobby Neuwirth ("Times were simpler then") to Joan Baez ("Times then were cut and dried"). Even more regal in her advanced years, Baez still sang with the same songbird voice that made her the gentle warrior-queen of the protest movement. Dylan, on the other hand, has warped and twisted into some bemused, omniscient narrator. He's the only one who "moved on," as Baez said, after enduring fan estrangement from Newport '65 and crushing media scrutiny in '66. Eventually, the rest of the world caught up to his genius while his peers remained happy to reflect the politics of the time. Dylan got past the '60s. Home, for ambiguous reasons, did not.

Fortunately, where Home failed as a comprehensive study of Dylan's oeuvre, the book Writing Dylan: Songs of a Lonesome Traveler,released last month, fares admirably. Author Larry David Smith, whose previous work includes examinations of Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townshend, and Joni Mitchell, gives a remarkably thorough academic treatment of Dylan's output. Far from a freewheelin', pop-culture assessment or in-depth biography of Dylan (both of which are available from other authors), Writing Dylan is one avid, articulate devotee's elucidations on Dylan's entire canon. Smith acknowledges Dylan's social and chronological context but, rather than miring him in them, speaks almost exclusively to the music itself. The seven distinct phases of Dylan's career -- defined by Smith as weigh-stations along Dylan's thematic and personal growth -- help interpret Dylan's work and place it in the larger context of his life and cultural significance. If Scorsese's insightful but myopic documentary left you wanting more substance, Writing Dylan provides the depth and breadth you're looking for. -- Jonathan ZwickelHardcore Poet

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