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              Calendar
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/2018)                                     Photo Journal   (updated 4/30/2018)       
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Photo Archive:       
 +++People+++         +++Places+++         +++Bands+++        
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***April Thirtieth Two Thousand and Eighteen***   



It's prom season...dance with the one what brung ya.


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Instagram -


Toddler vs. giant Costco pizza.  Apex, NC.


Auction Thursday.  Marion, NC.  


Country store.  (Outside) Mocksville, NC.  


Sale on red paint.  Raleigh, NC.  


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Links -

Quartersnacks put together a Bobby Worrest remix video...why?  No idea, but I'm always happy to watch Bobby.

Girl tour videos are always a ton of fun, and this one is no exception.  As always, never enough Rick Howard or Mike
Carroll, but thankfully plenty of Vincent Alvarez.  

Good reason to watch this Mark Frolich part?  He's damn talented.  
Better reason?  Not one but two Roky Erickson songs.  
Best reason?  That mustache.  

LINKS

Not quite as many new reviews...as I've now been working from an office for two months, my backlog of music I hadn't
listened to yet has diminished.  I've still put a few things up
here though.  Records of the month are the new ones from
Hot Snakes and Superchunk, and both will likely be fighting out to be my favorite of the year.      


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Movies -

I missed my monthly quota by one!  That padding from January through March is starting to pay off.  29 out of 30 for
April, and 126 out of 120 for the first third of the year.  

Best of the month: Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Worst of the month: Lady Psycho Killer (2015)
Well, that was fucking depressing: I Am Evidence (2018)
Four hours of Elvis is probably too much Elvis: Elvis Presley: The Searcher (2018)
Hey, I get this joke!: Steve McQueen being a terrible driver in The Hunter (1980)
Even though it's a joke movie I legit love this song: "Beautiful Ride" from Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007)
Unsure if I can still have a crush on her in this role at this point in my life: Cherry Valence in The Outsiders (1983)
If he knocked up his mom could he have become his own father?: Back To The Future (1985)

Everything else: 
New Wave: Dare To Be Different (2018), Jasper Redd: Jazz Talk (2014), Sherlock Holmes And The Secret Weapon
(1943), Gip (2016), The Secret Life Of Pets (2016), Murder On The Orient Express (2017), Pink Floyd: The Story Of
Wish You Were Here (2012), Time After Time (1979), Loving (2016), Fugitive Alien (1987), Andre The Giant (2018),
Girls Trip (2017), The Art Of The Shine (2018),  First Lady Of The Revolution (2016), Adore (2013), Okja (2017),
Geostorm (2017), GI Jews: Jewish Americans In WWII (2017),Operation Odessa (2018), Look & See: Wendell
Berry’s Kentucky (2016), King In The Wilderness (2018)


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PRF South (Day Two)
With Wailin’ Storms, Spider Bags, and Maple Stave
The Pinhook
4/14/2018

I’m still not entirely sure what PRF is (some sort of music forum I think?), but they put on a whole weekend of shows in
Durham under the name PRF South.  It had been a while since my lazy ass had left the house for some rock music,
and this seemed as good a time as any. 

There were bands scheduled all day at the Pinhook, but I'm rarely an “all day” sort of person, and instead got there in
the early evening to take in just a few sets.  First was Wailin’ Storms, a local group I’m always seeing listed on bills,
but I've never actually witnessed in person.  They’re a four piece of mostly tall dudes, which I only note because so
many musicians are short.  I don’t know why that is, but it felt noteworthy.  They had a smoke machine, and they had it
working overtime…not great for photos, but who doesn’t enjoying feeling like they’re watching a band inside of a bub-
bling cauldron?  They were pretty damn heavy, yet not what I consider metal – my first instinct was the punk of Drive
Like Jehu crossed with the sludge of Tar, maybe throw in some Unsane…I really need to update my references past
the early nineties probably.  I dug it for the most part, and since their set was only thirty minutes they never overstayed
their welcome.  Let me go on record that with only a few exceptions, I’m totally fine with thirty minute sets being the
norm for every band.

After all that rock and hard work of standing around losing my hearing, I was forced to go upstairs to Pie Pushers and
eat pizza.  That all rock clubs don’t have a pizza parlor directly above them is a goddamn traveshamockery, and it
makes me question their dedication to the craft of making me happy.  

Speaking of my desire for short sets, the next act I saw, Spider Bags – are maybe my favorite local, are definitely one
of the exceptions – they are always welcome to play as long as they want.  I haven’t seen them in what feels like for-
ever (actual elapsed time: a little less than three years) – they used to play constantly, but much to my chagrin they
have slowed way, WAY down.  There were new songs this evening, and a mention of an impending new record, so
hopefully the live appearances will again become more plentiful.  In fact, outside of starting their set with “Que Viva
Rock N’ Roll” and one other older track, they performed nothing but new songs.  And if those new tracks are indicative
of the rest of what is to come, their transformation from garage punk to a modern version of the James Gang is getting
closer and closer to completion.  You know who’s a-ok with that?  This guy right here.

The last band I caught this night was Maple Stave, the closest thing we have in this area to the late-nineties/early-
oughts math rock that used to dominate my listening habits.  I’m not sure if that once dominant style of music has
died out, or I’m just not tuned into the scene anymore, but it feels like you rarely hear math rock anymore.  Or maybe
it was never as popular as I thought it was back then, and it was my own listening habits that skewed my perception? 
Fuck, who knows.  They’re pretty damn good at it though, and even if I don’t listen to this kind of rock all that often now,
if you are in the mood Maple Stave is a pretty good option.  Double baritone guitars but no bass, a drummer that plays
so hard you’re afraid he might have a heart attack at any moment, exceptionally silly song titles…they check all the
boxes, and with aplomb.  Good on them. 


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PRF South (Day Three)
With Five Eight, Conan Neutron & The Secret Friends, and 1970s Film Stock
The Pinhook
4/15/2018

Like the day before, I headed back over to Durham to catch a few acts from the all day festivities that are PRF South. 
This day featured a special guest: a torrential storm!  I found their music a little redundant, to be honest.

No slight to the other performances this night, but the real excitement for me was Five Eight.  They were one of the first
bands I ever saw live, back in the early nineties as a 10th grader (I think).  The club was called the Squashpile - it was
in a bombed out, super dead part of Asheville that now is the home to breweries and high end lofts for rich people.  It
also doubled as a makeshift skatepark, which was actually the reason I was there, but I dug what Five Eight was offer-
ing and bought whatever cassette they had for sale (which is long since gone, apparently with all the rest of my tapes
that got lost in one of my many moves).  I saw them one other time a couple years later during college, but it had still
been nearly 25 years since this band was last in my life.  They’re a little older and greyer now (who isn’t), but honestly
not a thing had changed…equal parts punk and art rock and that jangle pop sound for which their hometown of Athens
is famous, their songs manage to be both weird and catchy at the same time.  My biggest surprise was learning this
show wasn’t part of a reunion – this band never stopped!  The output has been sporadic, but they’ve seemingly seem-
ingly remained a group throughout, including a new record last year that I need to make a point of hearing.

Next up was Conan Neutron & the Secret Friends, a loose musical collective featuring Conan and whichever of his
musician friends are free to record and/or play gigs with him at any particular time.  Collaborators have included former
and/or current members of Melvins, Big Business, Coliseum, and more; and on this particular evening, they employed
two-thirds of Maple Stave to round out their line-up.  Conan and I go way, WAY back - I met him pretty early on after I
moved to SF, and saw his old band Replicator tons of times.  This is very different – you’re much more likely to get a
Kiss comparison for this act rather than the constant Shellac comparisons Replicator always got.  They're going for a
very big, almost theatrical heavy rock n’ roll sound, and Conan has a stage presence that far outsizes a place with the
capacity of the Pinhook.  They’re definitely fun, and even though I’d never heard it before, their song “Chair Of Antlers”
wormed it’s way right into my head for the next few days.

I stuck around to hear some of 1970s Film Stock, knowing absolutely nothing about the act but having seen the name
on a number of show bills over the last couple of years.  Turns out it’s not a band, but just one dude playing guitar.  It
was mostly instrumental with the occasional sparse vocal, plus a shitload of pedals and samplers and god knows what
else at his disposal.  He did a lot of layering - playing notes/chords, looping the line, then adding a different part on top
of that, etc - it was at times spacy, swirly, psychedelic…insert like-minded adjective here.  It was somewhere loosely in
the realm of Umma Gumma-era Pink Floyd combined with Chuck Johnson in his Spatula days.  These are all things I
like, so I give 1970s Film Stock the proverbial thumbs up. 


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“Sometimes when you make an omelet you’ve gotta break a few eggs. What’s the alternative? No omelets at all? Who
wants to live in that kind of world? Maybe birds. Then all their babies would live.”

Jenny Besetzt - Only.  This might be my favorite song of the year so far.  Too bad it's six years old.  
Always
Hours We Could Have Spent Fucking With The TV On

Lee Hazlewood - Forget Marie.  There's like an 80% chance I've posted these Hazlewood songs before.
No Train To Stockholm
The Night Before

Ryan Adams - Love Is Hell.  So adams went from trying to be Uncle Tupelo with Whiskeytown to trying to be Radio-
head with his solo work.  Ok then.  
This House Is Not For Sale

Sturgill Simpson - In Bloom (Nirvana cover).  The only country thing about any Sturgill record are his covers of
non-country songs.  

All Around You
Keep It Between the Lines

Webb Pierce - In the Jailhouse Now.  OG honkeytonk.  Turns out the Soggy Bottom Boys didn't write this one after
all!
There Stands The Glass
Wondering

Wooden Shjips - Black Smoke Rise.  Tune in, turn it up, zone out.
Lazy Bones





***March Thirty First Two Thousand and Eighteen***   



Hey, does anyone know if Aerosmith has a new album coming out?


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Instagram -


Sunbeam'n.  Cary, NC.


Datsun 240z.  Raleigh, NC.


Dorton Arena.  Raleigh, NC.


Easter Bunny.  Cary, NC.  


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Links -

Only a couple of videos this go around...

Jb Gillet turns 40 this month.  And he's still producing footage like this for Nike.  I should probably stop complaining
about how bad I am at skateboarding because I'm old now.  

It gets mentioned below, but you can watch the scarily realistic British film Threads here.  If you somehow didn't find
the prospect of nuclear holocaust scary before, this unflinching look on what would really happen in the event of wide-
spread bomb dropping will probably have you shitting your pants.  

My new job has me working in an office every day.  This means I'm listening to shitloads more music.  That has lead
to a renewed attack at my own special brand of shitty music reviews, to be found 
here.  Bat Fangs gets my vote for
record of the month.  It's also a strong contender for record of the year.  


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Movies -

It felt like I was behind in my movie count for the entire month, what with working in an office every day and all, but I
somehow managed to just barely go over my monthly quota, 32 in 31 days, and a first quarter total of 97 in 90.

Best of the month: 
Black Panther (2018)
Worst of the month: Bye Bye Man (2017)*
Best Use of Ed Schrader's Music Beat in a Soundtrack:
Rat Film (2017)
Most Depressing British Film (aka the Ken Loach Award): Threads (1984)**
AMC Javelin Appearance-of-the-Month:
Bug (1975)
Kids Film That Was Actually Mostly Enjoyable: Sing (2016)
Most Hilarious Car Explosion in Mid-Air for No Good Reason: Walking Tall (1973)
Least Creepy Film Where an Adult Man Flirts with a Pre-Teen Girl:
Beautiful Girls (1996)
Doofus Dude in Drag Award: Sylvester Stallone in
Nighthawks (1981)
Of Course the Creepy Lady Next Door Is Also a Ping Pong Champion: Ping Pong Summer (2014)
Most Impressive Giant Snake Strap-On Dildo:
Lair Of The White Worm (1988)

*Ignoring the two MST3K films in here(
The Girl in Lovers Lane (1960) & Time of the Apes (1987)), which are tech-
 nically worse but much more entertaining
**Narrowly defeating the actual super-depressing Ken Loach film I watched -
I, Daniel Blake (2016)

Everything else: Word Is Bond (2018), Jonestown: The Women Behind the Massacre (2018), The Zookeepers
Wife (2017), They Came Together (2014), I Am Another You (2017), The Weekend Sailor (2016), The Light Between
Oceans (2016), Friday the 13th Part 3 (1982), The Woman In Green (1945), McLaren (2017), Sebastian Maniscalco:
Why Would You Do That? (2016), Black Christmas (2006), Terror By Night (1946), Jackie (2016), The Bitter Buddha
(2012), Johnny Mnemonic (1995), Pecking Order (2017), The Beguiled (2017)


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Destroyer
Cat’s Cradle
1/30/2018

I almost forgot to write about this Destroyer show, and I likely would have totally forgotten had I not also taken photos
and if those same photos haven’t been staring at me for well over a month begging me to edit them.  There’s a good
reason one might forget about a Destroyer show – they’re all more or less the same.  Well, the songs change, as Dan
Bejar and company tend to mostly just play their newest record (in this particular case, “Ken”) with a couple of recent
classics thrown in, but their subdued performance doesn’t lend itself to strong memories or compelling reasons to
rehash a gig.  Despite that, every time they come through town  I can’t buy my ticket fast enough...I’ve gone through
this cycle a number of times, and at no point has it ever really made sense to me.  I guess there’s that part of your
brain that wants to hear these songs you love live no matter how interesting the journey is…it also doesn’t hurt that
despite barely moving, Bejar is still pretty damn photogenic.  It might be the Kramer hair.  I’m really jealous of that hair. 
Well, I’m really jealous of any hair these days, but his is particularly fantastic.

Anyways, Destroyer played a show.  It was totally fine,  Sounded great.  Not much happened.  I can't wait to see them
again.


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"I had sponsors in from all over the coast and I'm hugging, and holding hands, and praying for a good showin'. And
what do we do? We end up looking like a monkey fucking a football out there."


Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys - Blue Moon Of Kentucky.  I should probably branch out and listen to other
bluegrass artists than Bill Monroe, but for some reason this is all I need anytime I've got an itch for banjo.
Roll On Buddy, Roll On
When The Cactus Is In Bloom

Carl Perkins - Caldonia.  The king of rockabilly.  I'm not sure he requires a lot of explanation.  
Pink Pedal Pushers

Sade - By Your Side.  Her best song probably?  Probably.  

Stephen Malkmus - Jenny & The Ess-Dog.  Been on a big Malkmus kick lately, which corresponds nicely with him
going on tour and playing here in June.  
Phantasies
Troubbble

The Flaming Lips - Oczy Mlody.  The Lips really haven't done much for me since Yoshimi, but this most recent record
of theirs was a real return to form, at least for me.  And I'll be goddamned if having Miley Cyrus on one of your songs
doesn't make it better!
One Night While Hunting For Faeries And Witches And Wizards To Kill
The Castle
We A Famly (feat. Miley Cyrus)

The Hold Steady - Chips Ahoy!  I still liked Lifter Puller better, which is what I've probably said every time I've ever
posted any songs by the Hold Steady.  
Hot Soft Light

The Radio Dept - This Thing Was Bound to Happen.  Those damn Swedes are so damn good at this sort of
mellow, electronic pop.
We Got Game





***February Twenty Eighth Two Thousand and Eighteen***   



I think we're all ready for spring.  Especially the sex dolls.  God help those poor, bedraggled sex dolls.  


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Links -

Slow month for Instagram...everything decent I posted was when we were in Mexico.  See that page, along with two
other pages of photos from that trip on the
photo journal directory.  

A few things worth watching...

With the implosion of Cliche a couple of years ago, it looks like Flo Mirtain finally found a new home at Habitat,
and put out a great welcome part.  Why it took a dude as good as him so long is beyond me, but I'm just happy to see
new footage.  

Hiroki Muraoka put out some damn fine footage for Traffic...it's quite fitting this guy is hooked up by Ricky Oyola.  
I don't know what it is with these quick-footed Japanese dudes, but I can't get enough of it.  

Not a skate part per se, but this mini-doc on Nora Vasconcellos by Adidas is enjoyable.  Not only is she great on a
skateboard, but she seems like a pretty damn interesting person off of it.  


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Movies -

At the first of the year I decided I was going to try and average watching a movie a day for all of 2018.  So far so good,
but I'm about to start a new job where I'm rarely going to get to work from home so it's gonna get a lot tougher...anyways,
here is my report for the month of February...32 movies in 28 days, for a total of 65 in 59 days.    

Best of the month:
Wind River (2017)
Worst of the month:
Raw Meat (aka Death Line) (1972)
Most ridiculous CGI: when the creatures in Tremors 2: Aftershocks (1996) stack on top of each other
Least intelligible dialogue in an otherwise decent movie:
Miami Vice (2006)
Best Chevy Chase impression: Joel McHale in
A Futile and Stupid Gesture (2018)
Movie that could have been cut in half and it still would have been too long: Knightriders (1981)
Film most likely to get the song "Strange Brew" stuck in your head for a week:
Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars
(2018)
Biggest biscuit:
CB4 (1993)
Least believable wigwork: Marky Mark in
Rock Star (2001)
Everything else: Swingers (1996), David Bowie: The Last Five Years (2017), Rough Night (2017), American Heart
(1992), Eden Lake (2008), Freejack (1992), The Family (2016), It (2017), Mindhorn (2016), Sample This (2012),
Chris Rock - Tamborine (2018), Strong Island (2017), Heroin(e) (2017), The Car (1977), Do Not Resist (2017), Todd
Glass - Act Happy (2018), Atomic Homefront (2018), Winnie (2018), UHF (1989), Warren Jeffs: Prophet of Evil
(2018), Fred Armisen: Standup for Drummers (2018), Atomic Blonde (2017), A United Kingdom (2016)

Since I forgot to post it last month, here are the results for January - I managed 33 over 31 days.

Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond (2017), Superman IV (1987), Belko Experiment (2017), Motherland (2017), The
Crazies (1973), Sully (2016), Dunkirk (2017), The Untold Stories of Armistead Maupin (2017), A Cure for Wellness
(2017), The B-Side (2016), The Meyerowitz Stories (2017), Second Sight (1989), Cameraperson (2016), The Polka
King (2018), Truth and Lies: Waco (2018), Totem (2017), Good Time (2017), Unrest (2017), Chasing Train (2017),
XTC: This Is Pop (2017), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (2017), Baltimore Rising (2017), WALL-E (2008), Tideland
(2005), Goon: Last of the Enforcers (2017), War Machine (2017), Chuck (2017), Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017),
Snatched (2017), War for the Planet of the Apes (2017), All Eyez On Me (2017), Logan Lucky (2017), The Girl on the
Train (2017)


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Bat Fangs
With Pipe & Solar Halos
Cat’s Cradle Back Room
2/3/2018

Bat Fangs were one of my favorite new acts from Hopscotch 2017, and when the pseudo-local duo (drummer Laura
King is from Chapel Hill, best known for her work with Flesh Wounds, while guitarist Betsy Wright, also of Ex Hex, is
from the DC area) announced this record release show I bought a ticket right away.  And a good thing too, because
the damn thing ended up selling out!

I got there in time to see the last couple of songs from Solar Halos, one of those local groups I've been meaning to
check out for ages but, you know, laziness or something prevented me.  I liked what I saw - the three piece was doing
sort of a space metal thing (is that a thing?), and I recognized one of the members as being from Fin Fang Foom. 
Minimal (and non-Cookie Monster) vocals, good guitar work, heavy but not overbearing.  I'll have to make more of an
effort to catch them again, or at least not drag in late if they're opening a bill I'm already planning on attending. 

Much to my great delight, I got to see Pipe again.  Much to my even greater delight, they're still the same band playing
the same songs I've loved for the last 20+ years.  They really don't need a review at this point - the gist as always is
catchy, sloppy punk with a charismatic singer (Ron Liberti) who is damn funny.  As always, Ron is very quotable - he
kicked off with "We’ve got 12 [songs] tonight - pace yourselves accordingly!"; at some point he commented out of the
blue "I heard Buddy Holly died last night"; and then for reasons that likely only make sense in his brain, he let everyone
know "If you don’t love the moon, get the fuck out."  I need to remember to write down his nonsense every time I see
these guys. This was just the tip of the iceberg. 

If Bat Fangs aren't already sponsored by Adidas, they should be - between the matching shoes and their love of the
brand's signature track suits, you couldn't ask for better advertisement.  Given this was the release of their debut
album, you can probably guess that most of their set was them playing their new self-titled record.  Betsy Wright is a
natural as a front woman - tons of stage presence, a boatload of charisma, and, as always, bonus points for looking
like OG Pat Benatar.  At some point a shitload of balloons got released into the crowd, so it felt like we were cele-
brating catchy-ass songs and a winning election at the same time.  They closed the evening in grand fashion - a cover
of Poison's "Talk Dirty To Me."  You might think that an odd choice, but go back and give that song another listen -
hairspray and ridiculous spandex outfits aside, that's a fuckin' gem of a pop song. 



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"
I make it a rule never to get involved with possessed people."

Built Like Alaska - Burnin' Mine.  This band is a true Central Valley (California) lost gem.  From my favorite record
of theirs "Hopalong."  They fittingly opened for Grandaddy all the time, but had a heavy...I dunno, Sparklehorse edge to
them from time to time.  
Graft Vs. Host
Meat On Your Bones
Mistake #2

Elliott Smith - A Fond Farewell.  I still think all the time about seeing Smith at the Great American Music Hall in SF a
couple of months before he passed...it was a mess, he couldn't remember the words.  Some of the crowd was angry
and booing, but I think most just felt sad...I know I did.  
A Passing Feeling
King's Crossing
Pretty (Ugly Before)
Twilight

Matthew Sweet - Everything Changes.  After years of not listening to him, I've been heavy back into Matthew Sweet
the past few months.  Goddamn he could write some pop songs.  
Sick Of Myself
We're The Same

Scud Mountain Boys - Holy Ghost.  I never liked Scud as much as the Pernice material, but it's still worth a listen.  
Penthouse In The Woods





***January Thirty First Two Thousand and Eighteen***   



This sandbox appears to be getting fucked as hard as the country currently is...at least the sandbox appears to be
enjoying it.  


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Instagrams


Puppy love.  Cary, NC.


It's called fashion.  Cary, NC.  


Reynolds Coliseum.  Raleigh, NC.  


Snow impersonating cotton.  Cary, NC.  


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Links

Louie Lopez has released a shitload of footage this year, all of it great.  This most recent part is no exception.  

It's easy to forget Caswell Berry, he stays out of the limelight for the most part, but a new part for Transworld out of
the blue is a nice reminder of hos damn good he is.  

Krooked put out a new video called LSD (Let's Skate Dude), a title only Gonz would have thought was a good idea.  
The whole team is fucking great obviously, but the MVP goes to Brad Cromer, who has the first part.  Honorable
mention to the always entertaining Sebo Walker too.

The Quartersnacks edit of the best of 2017 is everything you need to see to sum up this past year in one place...
seven minutes of nonsense and then the best ten tricks of the entire year to finish it out.    

You know what isn't a great skateboard film?  This doc on the band Yazoo.  Like their career, it's short but quite good.  

I finally finished my electric photo journal entry from my trip to San Francisco in November the the public has been
clamoring for.



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Howard Ivans
With Skylar Gudasz
Cats Cradle Back Room
11/17/2017

The name Howard Ivans might sound familiar - supposedly he's the long lost twin brother of Rosebuds singer Ivan
Howard, but I have a sneaking suspicion they might actually be the same person.  It's unclear what the status of the
Rosebuds are these days and if they'll ever make any more records, but this alter-ego allows Howard to explore his
more sultry, soulful side.  The vocals might be mostly the same between the two outfits, but the music is...slinkier? 
Sure, why not.  His debut solo record was recorded with the help of Richmond's Spacebomb Collective, but live he
had a trio of local lads backing him up (Rob Lackey, Mark Paulson, and Brian Weeks)...all of which are my friends,
one that might have even been my roommate years ago so I'm definitely not being biased here.  Obviously.  And my
totally unbiased take is that while more stripped down than the record, they were really great live.  Rob and Mark held
down the backbone, Ivan handled the rhythm guitar, and Brain spent most of the night playing a bunch of solos and
leads that were straight out of the score from an eighties Michael Mann movie...given his hair metal background, it
was a gig that well suited him.  I was way into all of it, and my only regret is with Ivan living in Portland now these
shows will be few and far between. 

The opener this evening was Skylar Gudasz, who I've reported on a few times.  I don't have anything particularly new
to say here on her, just know her voice is one of the best in the business (not just locally, anywhere), and it's always a
joy to hear her live.  She had a four-piece backing band this time, made up of four well-traveled local musicians sport-
ing four high-quality beards.  Skylar had no beard, which might be a sign she's not a very good team player.  We'll
monitor this situation in the future and see if she gets on the beard program, or continues to flaunt the best interests of
band unity. 



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Hot Snakes
The Chapel
11/10/2017

I didn't necessarily travel all the way to San Francisco to see the recently reunited Hot Snakes play, but I did choose
this particular weekend to take a trip I had been wanting to make all year because of them.  After having now seen
them perform for the first time in probably a decade, it actually would have been entirely reasonable to make that
cross-country pilgrimage based on the performance they gave at the Chapel.  The place was packed, the show sold
out long ago - I actually bought my tickets to this gig before I bought my plane ticket, because it was the much more
important purchase.  The sausage party levels in the club were off the chart - from where I was standing, I couldn't
count more than a half-dozen women in the crowd, and three of them were from the opening band.  I'm not entirely
sure why this is, as I've known a number of women who like Hot Snakes, but the facts remain that most metal shows
I've attended were more diverse than this one. 


The whole band is great fun to watch, but I had forgotten just how amazing it is to see John Reis on stage.  He is truly
possessed - prowling the stage like a wild tiger in a small cage, a crazed look on his face, spitting everywhere, and
mixing it up with the crowd constantly (those interactions include occasionally berating them for their lack of energy). 
He has a smile on his face almost the entire time, but it's the type of smile you see on a demonic toddler after they
just decided to dump all of their food on the floor while staring you straight in the eye.  They were also touring with
both of their drummers - the first half of the show was with with their original drummer Jason Kourkounis, the second
half with Mario Rubalcaba, and then Jason came back out for the encore.  Given we're all getting older and how hard
they play, two drummers might not be bad idea for any band that's been around this long. 


Other than them not playing my favorite song "Mystery Boy," I have zero complaints about this performance and I'm so
glad I made the trip for it.  Word is this reformation isn't meant to be short-lived - a fourth record is on the way for Sub
Pop, and a tour in support of that album to hopefully/probably follow.  I'll go pretty much anywhere to see them again,
though financially I wouldn't be mad if they decided to play closer to my home. 



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"Bird triflin', basically. Kill an everyday workin' man and all. I mean, I do some dirt, too, but I ain't never put my gun on
nobody that wasn't in the game."


Blur - Girls & Boys.  Probably because they were so popular with my peers and I'm such a contrary asshole, I never
paid much attention to Blur the first time around.  It's been fun to go back and "rediscover" them.  So many pop gems.  
Parklife

Spoon - Tear It Down.  The newest Spoon record "Hot Thoughts" still doesn't live up to their classics from the late
nineties and early oughts, but I like it a lot more than their other output from the last decade or so.  
WhisperI'lllistentohearit

T. Rex - Metal Guru.  My second favorite dinosaur-named band.  
Telegram Sam
The Slider

The Cranberries - Dreaming My Dreams.  I was planning on posting these songs even before Dolores O'Riordan
died a few days ago, because I'd been listening to them some again.  Such a great voice.  RIP.
I Can't Be With You
Zombie

Whiskeytown - Don't Wanna Know Why.  What I said about Blur also applies to Whiskeytown, with the extra
addedlevel of stupidity that they were local and I could have gone to see them live a thousand times if I wasn't such a
stubborn dickhead sometimes.  
Easy Hearts
Mirror Mirror

Three cuts from the great Studio One Soul comp...I think the title pretty much tells you what to expect here.  
Norma Fraser - The First Cut Is The Deepest
Sound Dimension - Time Is Tight
The Heptones - Message From A Black Man





***January Twelfth Two
Thousand and Eighteen***   


The Best Movies of 2017!
Of the ones I saw, obviously.  What am I, a critic?  I have to pay for this shit.

Top 5 (in alphabetical order):
    
The Big Sick
Dunkirk
Logan
Thor: Ragnarok
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Honorable mention
(in alphabetical order):
Baby Driver 
Get Out 
Kong: Skull Island 
LA 92 
The Meyerowitz Stories
Mudbound 
Star Wars: The Last Jedi 
The Void 


The Best Movies not of 2017 That I Got Around To Watching in 2017!
I think that's fairly self-explanatory.  As you can see, it's mostly 2016 flicks I just managed to finally watch this year.  

Top 5 (in alphabetical order):

Hell or High Water (2016)
I Am Not Your Negro (2016)
The Red Turtle (2016)
Rogue One (2016)
Tower (2016)

Honorable mention (in alphabetical order):
The Arrival (2016)
Hard Ticket To Hawaii (1987)
Solitary: Inside Red Onion State Prison (2016)
Streetwise (1984)
This Property Is Condemned (1966)


The Best Stand-Up of 2017!
Good year for comedy.  I like laughing.  

Top 3 (in alphabetical order):
Todd Barry: Spicy Honey 
Neal Brennan: 3 Mics 
Al Madrigal: Shrimpin' Ain't Easy 

Honorable mention (in alphabetical order):
Marc Maron: Too Real 
Rory Scovel Tries Stand-Up For The First Time 
Sarah Silverman: A Speck of Dust 
Michelle Wolf: Nice Lady 
...and of course all 467 specials that Dave Chappelle released.


The Best Unclassifiable Shit of 2017!
I had no idea where to file these two, but I loved both.  "Oh Hello" might have been the funniest thing of the entire year.  

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return 
Oh Hello On Broadway 


The Best New TV Shows of 2017!
Yeah, a bunch of these weren't actually on TV, but you know what the fuck I mean.  

Top 5 (in alphabetical order):

Big Mouth 
Godless
Mindhunter
Ozark
Trapped*

*Technically was released in 2016 in Iceland, but wasn't released until 2017 here.

Honorable mention (in alphabetical order):
American Gods 
At Home With Amy Sedaris 
Detroiters 
The Deuce 
Feud: Bette and Joan 
GLOW 
I'm Sorry 
Manhunt 
Mr. Mercedes 
Punisher 
The Tick 
 

The Best Returning TV Shows of 2017!
Man, I really watched a lot of TV this past year.  Also, every other year.  

Top 5 (in alphabetical order):
   

Gomorrah
(second season)*

Narcos (third season)
Please Like Me (fourth/final season)
Schitt's Creek (third season)
Toast of London (all three seasons)**

*Technically the second season came out in 2016 in Italy, but wasn't released until 2017 here.
**The last season aired 2015, but all three seasons were only made available in the US in 2017.

Honorable mention (in alphabetical order):
Black Mirror (fourth season)
Bojack Horseman (fourth season)
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (second/final season?)
Halt and Catch Fire (fourth/final season)
Longmire (sixth/final season)
Master of None (second season)
The Missing (second season)
Rosehaven (second season)
Stranger Things (second season)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (third season)
Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later (second season...kinda sorta?)
You're The Worst (fourth season)





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