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

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



Puppy love.  Cary, NC.

It's called fashion.  Cary, NC.  

Reynolds Coliseum.  Raleigh, NC.  

Snow impersonating cotton.  Cary, NC.  



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.


Howard Ivans
With Skylar Gudasz
Cats Cradle Back Room

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. 


Hot Snakes
The Chapel

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. 


"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.  

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.  

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

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
Thor: Ragnarok
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Honorable mention
(in alphabetical order):
Baby Driver 
Get Out 
Kong: Skull Island 
LA 92 
The Meyerowitz Stories
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 

*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 
The Deuce 
Feud: Bette and Joan 
I'm Sorry 
Mr. Mercedes 
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):

(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)


Archive -
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