Best films of 2013! I'm never going to get around to seeing everything I want or need to see that came out last year, so this is what I've got for now. My top 5 of the year (in order): Inside Llewyn Davis The Way Way Back Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me Pacific Rim Mud Also damn good for various reasons (in alphabetical order): Elysium Killer Joe The Kings of Summer Miss You Can Do It Twenty Feet from Stardom The Wolf of Wall Street World War Z The World's End
Damn enjoyable movies from other years I saw this year for the first time (in alphabetical order): The Bad Seed (1956) Bullhead (2011) Dear Zachary (2008) Dredd (2012) The House I Live In (2012) Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011) Miami Connection (1987) Room 237 (2012) Sinister (2012)
The Indy, our local weekly paper used one of my photos for their review of the Perfect Pussy show. My review will be next month hopefully, or just read the one in the link for less rambling, more coherent wordsmithery. Two new photo
journal entries - band photos (Pontiak, Schooner, Libraness, Heather from Mount Moriah, and more) and just a chunk of miscellaneous snaps from the last few months.
In the Music reviews, still going through my old seven inches and posting poorly written reviews. New music reviews of note include Fuzz (which I thought I already had written about), Bad Sports, Belle & Sebastian, Cheap Time, and more.
Counting both old and new reviews, I've posted about 53 different
releases this month! That's a lot of bullshitting.
I've been a huge fan of Midlake
for years and seen them live a number of times - their 2006 album "The
Trials of Van Occupanther" would easily make my top ten records of the
last decade. But then their singer Tim Smith left before they finished
their most recent record "Antiphon," and honestly I didn't know how the
hell their live show would turn out. You can lose a drummer or a
guitarist and generally replace them fairly seamlessly, but losing the
voice of the band is another thing entirely. Short of holding an
international search for a new singer and finding a diminutive
sound-alike from the Philippines, they did the next best thing and just
had guitarist Eric Pulido take over on the mic.
Last time the band was in town they played at the Cradle -
it wasn't full, but there was a healthy crowd there. This time,
they're playing to a half-full Local 506. Probably not a good sign, but
I hope that doesn't serve as a deterrent for them as a band or from
returning to our area. Even with the singer change, it still worked -
they are still a fantastic group both recorded and live. The new lead
vocals aren't spot on, but they're close enough. they showed up with
their own pro lighting gear and a personal sound man, which is a funny
sight for such a small club. IT was such a tech set-up they didn't have
monitors but rather ear pieces, arena rock style. The band did a good
job mixing their new songs with older tracks from "Van Occupanther" and
"The Courage of Others," as it should be. I really enjoyed myself
tonight, and I'm glad they are able to continue even with the change in
According to the band this was the first time Coliseum
had ever played in the the Triangle in their ten years of exis- tence. A
band bypassing our area for a long period of time isn't that strange,
but given these guys are only from Louisville it does seem odd they
never would have toured here. But hey, they're here now and that's what
counts. I have heard from multiple friends that they put on a
top-notch live show, and those reports turned out to be 100% true.
Their records are enjoyable but they just can't measure up to the power
and ferocity of the band on stage. I'm not sure if it's just me or a
truism for the genre, but I find this often to be the case with heavy
and/or metal bands. These cats are more than just metal though, I hear a
distinct tinge of punk throughout most of their music - specifically,
Black Flag. And then there wee a couple of other times when they
approached a Queens of the Stone Age radio-friendly hard rock vibe.
Regardless of sound, it was all great, and hopefully it's not ten more
years before they come back.
I might have been at the show slightly more for Coliseum, but I've been a fan of headliners Pelican
for years, having even seen them a good decade ago when I lived in San
Francisco. I don't remember much from that show other than being there
(at Bottom of the Hill I believe), so it was nice to get a refresher
from this instrumental metal act. I'm not sure what to really say about
them though - they sounded great, the songs rocked. I've listened to
their records but couldn't tell you the name of any of their songs,
which obviously isn't helped when the songs have no words. If it was me
I would have flipped the order of the bands because Coliseum seemed a
more fitting closer, but two good bands is two good bands regardless of
when you see them on a bill.
I never tire of seeing Built to Spill
live. I've seen them dozens of times and like a fine wine they get
better with age. At least this is what I'm told, I ain't one of them
fancy yuppies what partakes in spoilt grape drink. Brett Netson and the
other bald guitarist who isn't Doug Martsch were still with the band,
but they had a new rhythm section. Other than that it was business as
usual with a BtS live event - great songs. hot solos, and the always
awful crowd they seem to attract. I guess that also says something
about me but I'm old now and who gives a shit really. This outing they
played a lot more older songs than usual, especially from "There's
Nothing Wrong with Love" - "In the Morning," "Car," and "Big Dipper" off
the top of my head. Other highlights included "Kicked It in the Sun,"
"Joyride," "Carry the Zero," plus a couple of covers: Blue Oyster Cult's
"(Don't Fear) The Reaper" and the Smiths' "How Soon Is Now?". On the
cover songs in particular Doug and Brett really got to play up their
guitar god status, they nailed all the riffs and solos per- fectly. I
eagerly look forward to their return again next year.
They had an interesting opener called Slam Dunk,
and as is typical for Built to Spill they appeared to be friends of
theirs from the Pacific Northwest. I guess they had sort of a "cow punk
garage pop" thing going...imagine the Meat Puppets crossed with the
Craps crossed with some indie pop like Modest Mouse. I seem to recall
there being a lot of shouting on stage. As you might imagine with a
combination of sounds like I heard, some songs were interesting and
enjoyable, and others were a bit of a mess. I liked them more than I
didn't though, and I'd check out their record if I came across it.
The Mae Shi - Boys in the Attic. The recordings of these guys never came close to their live show.
The Secret Machines - Alone, Jealous and Stoned. In the world of over blown major label indie rock, this group was still pretty damn good. Honestly if they would have been British I think they would have been huge.
Thousand and Fourteen***
As a christmas present to ourselves the wife and I decided to have a portrait made. Dig that hip goat man!
Kind of a light update, what with the mid-month "best of" post in December, taking a trip to LA (photos next time), and, of course, a large helping of laziness.
Jon Rafman - finding art through google street view. It doesn't sound nearly as interesting as it actually is. Grant Taylorofficially made the move to Antihero, and even though the welcome video is likely just throwaway foot- age filmed in the last couple of months, it's still nuts. One new Photo
journal entry - band photos including Superchunk, Parting Gifts, Birds of Avalon, Speedy Ortiz and a few others.
In the Music reviews I continue working through my old seven inches as I organize my collection. New music reviews of note include Polvo, ASG, and a couple of other things I wasn't overly excited about.
This is the second time I've gone to see Lovers
at the Pinhook, and it's the second time I've rearranged my schedule to
do so. The first time, I didn't exactly postpone my vacation so I
wouldn't miss their show, but I definitely made the vacation plans a day
late because of it. This time around I already had a ticket to the
first night of Mountain Oasis for the purpose of seeing Neutral Milk
Hotel, and as soon as I saw Lovers were playing that same night I sold
the shit out of that ticket a soon as I could. It was worth it.
It is hard to say if the crowd was better this time
around than a couple of years ago, but what we lacked in numbers we made
up for in enthusiasm. Despite my constant prattling on about this band
and trying to get my friends to give them a chance, no one listens.
Never mind that I rarely listen when people suggest bands to me, that's
not the point here! I did bring the wife with me just in an effort to
make sure as many people were at the show as possible. Their set list
was mostly songs from their last two records, the perfect "Dark Light"
released in 2010 and their most recent release, "A Friend in the World,"
which will definitely be found on my "best of" list at the end of the
year. They sounded fantastic, especially the vocals, which drive their
music. I rarely talk to bands after the show but for the second time I
kinda com- pletely fanned out on them, lauding them with so much praise
they probably thought I was screwing with them, but I stand by
everything I've ever said by them. Brilliant, brilliant electro pop
music that should be light years more popular, but I'm partly glad I
still have them to myself.