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***January Thirty First Two Thousand and Eleven***

  

We're starting this year off right, with automatic guns and wicker chairs.  Any man without both is not a real man.


A month late, but here are my...
Top Fourteen Movies of 2010

Why fourteen?  Cause I couldn't think of a fifteenth one. 

1.   True Grit
        - I'm willing to accept that I may biased, but the Coens can do no wrong in my book.  Hell, I even liked "The Ladykillers".
2.  
Valhalla Rising
        - This is black metal in film form.  Just brutal. 
3.  
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
        - Finally, a comic book movie that really tries to be like a comic book. 
4.   Exit Through the Gift Shop
        - Best documentary of the year, assuming it actually is a documentary.  We may never know. 
5.   The Ghost Writer
        - This felt like an instant classic, like a well respected thriller from the seventies.  Nearly perfect.  Polanski might be
           a rapist, but goddamn he knows how to make a movie. 
6.   Winter's Bone
        - Amazingly well acted considering how much of the cast is just kids.  I'd be lying if I said it didn't remind me of home.
7.   Restrepo
        - Best documentary if "Exit Through the Gift Shop" turns out to be a sham.  It's amazing what these soldiers are able
           to accomplish, and depressing what they are asked to do. 
8.   The Fighter
        - A really good movie, but the lasting impression is that of Christian Bale and his completely mesmerizing portrayal
          of a former boxer turned crack addict.   Melissa Leo is also fantastic, but she always is. 
9.   Kick-Ass
        - The title of this movie is a perfect descriptor of it.  And isn't it nice to see Nicholas Cage in a decent flick for a change?
10. The Kids Are All Right
        - Am I the only one who really felt sorry for Mark Ruffalo's character?  Anyways, well acted, interesting film.
11. The Social Network
        - I didn't really want to see this movie, or really like this movie, but I saw it.  And liked it.  Jesse Eisenberg really does a
          top notch job from start to finish.
12. The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights
        - They really did a wonderful job taking what would otherwise be a tour film and making it an actual movie that (I would
           imagine) even non-fans would enjoy.
13. The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia
        - This follow up to one of the greatest films of all time, "The Dancin' Outlaw", is equal parts depressing and hilarious. 
14. Jackass 3D
        - By far the best 3D movie featuring a poo volcano to come out last year.  Easily.

I was also going to include
Zombieland, but it came out in 2009.  So did Bronson.  And Hunger came out in 2008.  So
let's just call these the best recent movies I've seen that didn't actually come out this year. 


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A few random links what for the wasting of time and such.

There is a film called "Deadly Prey", and it features a man getting beaten with his own severed arm.  This fact alone
makes it probably the greatest movie ever made.  The good folks over at Everything Is Terrible did this amazing three
minute edit of the flick
for your enjoyment.  And here's a direct video link, as their website goes down more often than
Dante's girlfriend from "Clerks".

A website of Literal New Yorker Captions, wherein some dude or dame recaptions New Yorker cartoons literally.  It's
the sort of thing that get's funnier and funnier the more you read them. 
http://www.themonkeysyouordered.com/

I'm a sucker for any sort of urban spelunking website, and here's another one - The Kingston Lounge.  This one is
mostly set in and around New York City.  On top of the interesting photos, they really get into the history of the buildings
they explore. 

Everyone loves comical athlete names, and here's another list of hilarious baseball ones.  We're not talking about
pedestrian choices like Dick Pole and Rusty Kuntz, these cats dug deep, and include stats.  for the love of god, there
was a man named Ugly Dickshot.  And as great as that is, I find myself really loving Chicken Wolf and thinking of
changing my name.

You ever find yourself thinking you don't own enough new music released on 3 1/2 inch floppy disks or in tins accom-
panied by animal bones or on microcassettes inside of aroma therapy candles?  Well wait no longer, because
Auris Apothecary is here to meet all your ridiculous music packaging needs. 

Instagr.am photo of the month -



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Obits
Kings
1/12/11

My first show of the new year, and it was a keeper.  It would have been a super-duper keeper if the opening band
Gentleman Jesse & His Men hadn't been snowed & and iced in back in their hometown of Atlanta, but Obits is entree
enough for any rock meal.  I got there right at the end of Whatever Brains opening set, and it sounded good as always -
I always hear the Fall in them, but this time I picked up on a tinge of "TV Party" era Black Flag party punk in there too. 
One thing of note though - I like them live and I like the recordings I've heard, but the two seem to never sound alike to
me.  Maybe my ears are broken, but it's like two different bands.  I probably prefer the live version best, if pushed to
pick. 

Kings was probably  half to three-quarters full by the time Obits took the stage.  How this show isn't sold out but Girl
Talk sells out Disco Rodeo, I'll never understand.  Insert grumpy old man rant about kids these days.  Anyways, Obits
were fucking fantastic.  I was a HUGE Hot Snakes fan and got to see them a few times living out in California (no idea
how much they played the east coast, they didn't seem to like to tour much), but this was my first time seeing this new
Rick Froberg production.  Obviously their sound is going to be compared to the Hot Snakes, and understandably so. 
But Obits aren't nearly as aggressive as the Snakes, and seem to harbor a strong undercurrent of surf rock in their
sound.  I suppose calling themselves Shadowy Snake Men on a Shadowy Hot Planet was shot down in the preliminary
stages of band name choosing.  The set seemed to be mostly new songs and only a few from their only full-length
"I Blame You".  This would obviously point towards them having a new record out in the near future, which is clearly a
good thing.  They seemed to really enjoy Kings, so hopefully there will be more stops in the City of Oaks for us fans. 


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Light Pines
Tir Na Nog
12/2/2010

I've beat around the bush but my final thought on the matter - Light Pines really remind me of Doves.  This show
crystallized this thought into my brain, and I don't see it shaking any time soon.  I consider this a good thing, for the
record - those first two Doves records are quite good and listenable even to this day, and I saw them live a few times -
always a great show. 

It was kind of a crappy night out but there was still a big crowd at Tir Na Nog for this free gig - was it because of Light
Pines, or was it because local pants kings Raleigh Denim were giving away a couple pairs of their really nice (and
pricey) pants?  It was probably both, cause last I checked everyone loves both awesome music and free pants, or at
least everyone with any goddamn sense.  And let it be stated that I did not win any pants, but I'm not going to hold that
against Raleigh Denim, I hold it against all those other people that showed up for the show.  Plus they were all wearing
pants, so I'm not sure what they needed them for (I was, of course, bottomless - as I always am at local shows, so the
pants would have been really handy). 

Wasn't this supposed to be a show review?  Did I mention Light Pines were awesome, like they always are?  I really
really REALLY wish they'd put out a damn record.  I want to listen to them all the time, not just at shows.  Put out a re-
cord Light Pines, your pantsless fans need something to keep them warm on these lonely winter nights. 


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Future Islands
with Lonnie Walker
Kings
11/19/2010

It had probably been a few months since I'd last seen Lonnie Walker.  And going a few months without seeing them is
a real feat.  A nice problem to have, an awesome local band that plays a lot locally.  But I guess they had recently par-
taken in a tour of some sort (supporting the night's headliners, Future Islands, or at least I think that's the case), and
good lord were they tight and together and really kicking ass on stage.  I constantly fluctuate on what/who these guys
remind me of, but I seem to come back to Modest Mouse more than anyone.  But the thing is, I only think this when I'm
watching them...when I sit around and write a review, the idea of comparing them to Modest Mouse doesn't really make
much sense.  Certainly Brian Corum doesn't sound anything vocally like Isaac Brock, but something in their style of sing-
ing their delivery...I dunno, it's just a comparison I can't shake. 

I'd gone on and on and on to the old lady about how great Future Islands are live, had convinced her to go with me
next time they were in town, and then she went and got sick and sent me out alone.  But any displeasure in electro-
rocking out solo is easily washed away with the presence of glow sticks...and there were glow sticks everywhere.  I
thought there were a lot of glow sticks last time, but it felt like they had multiplied like rabbits.  They were being thrown to
and fro, at the band, at the audience, folks making necklace and bracelets out of them.  I tucked a few in my hat like a
feather, cause that's how I roll. 

The show sold out in advance, and packed to the gills with happy kids (and a few old folks like myself) there to dance
and really enjoy themselves on this pleasantly cool fall night.  Like the last time I saw Future Islands, the attendants were
really living it up and having themselves a grand ol' time to the music.  As expected the band played pretty much both all
of their last two records, along with a couple of new tracks one would hope will find their onto a recording in the near
future (hopefully very near future).  Two things came to me during their set...first, this is performance art as much as it is
live music.  Band front man Sam stalks the stage like a caged tiger forced to dance for his dinner, and I mean that in
the best way possible.  He looks like he might pounce on an audience member at any moment, and who knows what
will happen from there - a lick on the cheek or a bite to the neck, either seems possible.  Second, it finally dawned on
me what they sound like - Ian Curtis fronting New Order if he hadn't killed himself (obviously we're assuming Joy Division
would have broken up anyways, and New Order formed as they did).  And I still say he sounds a little like the singer from
U.S. Maple, a comparison a fellow U.S. Maple fan agreed with.

But none of that nerdy pointless comparisons and hogwash really matters - Future Islands put on one of best live shows
in the business.  And we're lucky in that they perform here all the time.  So don't be stupid, go see them play.  Assuming
you like to have fun. 



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"What are you gonna do, hit him? No, that's a terrible idea, I'll tell you why: it doesn't unbang your mom."

I was listening to the CD single of the Pixies song "Dig for Fire", and it's so awesome I decided to post the whole
damn thing. 
01 Dig For Fire
02 Velvety Instrumental Version
03 Winterlong
04 Santo

Elliott Smith - A Fond Farewell.  Elliott Smith writes pretty, depressing songs.  these are facts. 
Bonus: Twilight

A few Jeff Tweedy songs from the Sunken Treasure DVD.  I'm not sure the audio came out in any form other than
bootleg, though I could be mistaken. 
ELT
How to Fight Lonliness
One by One
Not cover songs per se, but songs from Tweedy's other groups...
Acuff-Rose (Uncle Tupelo song)
Radio King (Golden Smog song)
The Ruling Class (Loose Fur song)

Radar Bros. - Rock Of The Lake.  Can't think of anything witty to say about Radar Bros, other than they can do
no wrong.
Bonus: This Xmas Eve

The Kingsbury Manx - Over The Oeuvre.  The most recent Kingsbury Manx record is probably my favorite since
their debut.  "These Three Things" is stuck in my head all the time.  Consider that a warning. 
Bonus: These Three Things

Wolf Parade - Little Golden Age.  I didn't get overly excited for the newest Wolf Parade record, but these two songs
stuck in my craw. 
Bonus: Pobody's Nerfect





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