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   (updated 1/12
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Photo Archive:       
 +++People+++         +++Places+++         +++Bands+++        
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***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)

***December Seventeenth Two Thousand and Seventeen***   

It's December so that means another round of...
Top Records of 2017!!!
Wherein an old dude picks mostly predictable old dude rock music, with a few exceptions.  These are mostly in order.  

Run The Jewels - RTJ3 (Self-Released)
Sure, this technically came out last year, but it was late in December after all the lists came out and deserves recog-
nition and years are just a social contruct developed to keep old man hip hop like Run The Jewels down.  Plus, the
actual physical manifestation of the record didn't happen until this year, so, you know, fuck record of the year.  
Legend Has It
Talk To Me
Thieves! (Screamed The Ghost) (feat. Tunde Adebimpe)

The War On Drugs - A Deeper Understanding (Atlantic)
Not as good as "Lost In The Dream."  Still really damn good though.
Holding On
Strangest Thing

Grandaddy - Last Place (30th Century)
Grandaddy decided to be a band again and then make a new record that sounded exactly like their old records, but
guess what?!?  I love their old records and I'm totally fine with that.  And then their bassist Kevin Garcia died way too
young and that really fucking sucked.  
Brush with the Wild
The Boat is in the Barn

ISS - Endless Pussyfooting (State Laughter)
I'm pretty sure these guys requested to be known as the Postal Service of punk rock.  Rich formerly of Whatever Brains
continues his effort to be in as many good bands as possible.  This shit is catchy.  
penISS envy

Protomartyr - Relatives in Descent (Domino)
Detroit dad and the kids released another collection of professor punk...sometimes it feels like this band was custom
made just for me.  
Don't Go To Anacita
Up The Tower

Spiral Stairs - Doris & The Daggers (Nine Mile)
You know those Pavement songs that Spiral Stairs sang?  This is a lot like that, but for a whole album.  This is def-
initely the best dad rock record of the year.  
Angel Eyes
Dance (Cry Wolf)
The Unconditional

Destroyer - Ken (Merge)
There's kind of a dancy vibe to this version of the Dan Bejar Musical Review, but it still mostly sounds like what you
expect and/or want a Destroyer album to sound like.  
In The Morning
Tinseltown Swimming In Blood

Future Islands - The Far Field (4AD)
Jesus, I pretty much just keep listening to the same bands make more or less the same records, but goddammit
eventually you just figure out what you like, ya know?

Booji Boys - Booji Boys (Drunken Sailor)
Catchy punk that sounds like it was recorded inside of an old coffee can buried two blocks from the recording studio.
Dear Donnie
Dream Of Booji

King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard - Murder Of The Universe (ATO)
I'm always in and out on this band, but this record is a non-stop multi-guitar orgy of Dungeons & Dragons-esque silli- shouldn't work, and it might not for most people, but I'm feeling it.     
(This is sort of a tough one to post individual song from, cause the whole thing plays as one long song, so just con-
sider these excerpts.)
Altered Beast I
The Lord Of Lightning


Honorable Mention!
Better than bad but not quite great.  Listed in alphabetical order.

Alvvays - Antisocialites (Polyvinyl)
Birds Of Avalon - Operator's Midnight (Third Uncle)
Brad Pot - Brad Pot (Slovenly)
The Clientele - Music for the Age of Miracles (Merge)
Diet Cig - Swear I'm Good At This (Frenchkiss)
Jeremy Enigk - Ghosts (Lewis Hollow)
Escape-ism - Introduction to Escape-Ism (Merge)
The Flaming Lips - Oczy Mlody (Warner Bros)
Guided By Voices - How Do You Spell Heaven (Guided By Voices Inc)
Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble - Find Me Finding You (Drag City)
Metz - Strange Peace (Sub Pop)
The New Pornographers - Whiteout Conditions (Concord)
Pallbearer - Heartless (Profound Lore)
Sylvan Esso - What Now (Loma Vista)


Best Singles/EPs!
Note: The B&S EP is getting two friends in 2018 to make an EP box set, and the whole thing will probably be high on
my best of 2018 list because I'm psychic and also that's where B&S records always end up.  

Belle & Sebastian - How to Solve Our Human Problems (Part 1) EP (Matador)
Chavez - Cockfighters EP (Matador)
Superchunk - Break The Glass 7'' (Merge)
Superchunk - I Got Cut 7'' (Merge)
Total Control - Laughing At The System 12'' (Alter)

***November Thirtieth Two
Thousand and Seventeen***

I've been sick and had a sore throat for most of the month of's left me a little hoarse.  



Clear day.  Jordan Lake, NC.  

Leaf monster.  Cary, NC.  

Surly rattlesnake.  Asheville, NC.  



New Balance put out a new web video called "Tricolor" - and while all of it is great, it's particularly noteworthy in that
PJ Ladd has an actual full part and not just a handful of tricks like he usually does.  No, it's not as impressive as his
breakout ender section in "Wonderful Horrible Life," but I'm pretty sure we'll never see anyone that good and so com-
pletely out of the blue again with how the internet works...but he's still really really REALLY damn good.  

Zion Wright recently went pro for Real, and in honor of that they cobbled together this "Greatest Hits" part to more
or less make sure that everyone understands why this kid is now a professional.  After watching this, there is no doubt
he is deserving.

Despite their desire to film all of their videos with the worst camera equipment available, the new Palace video
"Palasonic" is well worth a watch.  Highlights include Chewy Cannon skating a hundred miles an hour to PM Dawn;
Jamal Smith and all his shuvit glory (with a small Lucas Puig section in the middle of his part); Danny Brady,
who I always forget is even on this team but never fails to impress; and Lucien Clarke...goddamn.  No words.  

Not only did Riley Hawk release a great part for Lakai a few months ago, he apparently so much footage that he
could pull off a six minute part in the homie video "Shep Dawg 5" too...I'm not saying he'll win SOTY, but he should be
on the final ballot.  

There's a photo journal entry of band photos: Guided By Voices, Moon Duo, and more.


Moon Duo
With Birds Of Avalon

I wonder, is it weird that while on tour, you get to play one of the gigs at the club you own?  I'm guessing not a lot of
bands have their own club at which to perform, but a third of Birds Of Avalon do - aka both of the guitarists, Paul and
Cheetie.  Aside from my love of the band, the best part of BOA being the opening act is no one has to sit through them
setting up their gear....between two drum kits and what I estimate to be roughly 4000 guitar pedals, it can be taxing. 
Luckily, their music is good enough that it fixes everything - heavy psych/prog/pop with a shitload of vocal harmonies,
I'm not sure it makes much sense on paper but it sure as shit does live.  The band just released a great new record
called "Operator's Midnight," well worth checking out in my opinion. 

Here's my hot take on Moon Duo - they're terrible music for a basketball fantasy draft, their hypnotic take on krautrock
caused me to space out and take a fourth mediocre point guard when I really needed to be drafting big men.  Much
like Birds Of Avalon, they bathe themselves in trippy light projections that, while I have no concrete proof, were custom
designed to frustrate my ability to take any worthwhile photos...but were pretty cool to watch otherwise.  Moon Duo are
one of those bands that I rarely listen to recorded, but always make an effort to see live...that might be true of the style
of music they play in general - it translates better to the stage than to tape. 


If there's anything that upsets me, it's having people say I'm sensitive."

Built To Spill - Another Day.  Doug Martsch mostly just keeps writing the same few songs, but I'm not complaining -
they're really damn good songs.  
Some Other Song

Marvin Gaye - Too Busy Thinking About My Baby.  Ever heard of this guy?  I think he has a real chance to be
something special.  
That's The Way Love Is
Can I Get A Witness

Thurston Moore - Germs Burn.  I've listened to a lot of Sonic Youth over the years, and unless you told me different
I would just assume this was some song from their back catalog instead of new material.  

The Jayhawks - Save It For A Rainy Day.  Every time I listen to the Jayhawks I can't help but think if they were from
the seventies instead, they probably would have been huge stars.  

Mind Spiders - Ulcer.  These doods make good synth punk, like a harsher Devo.
No Filter

The Afghan Whigs - The Spell.  It took a few listens, but their latest record "In Spades" has really grown on me.  Of
course it's not OG Whigs, but it's still better than most bands out there.  
Toy Automatic

Dogs - Greatest Gift.  French punk / pub rock from the late seventies that I can't get enough of.  
Stranger Than Me

***October Thirty First Two Thousand and Seventeen***

I kept my halloween costume low-key this year.  



Moth or butterfly?  Asheboro, NC.  

Suspicious sunning.  Cary, NC.  

Buick Skylark.  Cary, NC.  

Magnum PI - the next generation.  Cary, NC.

Non-Smokey Mountains.  Marion, NC.



Even by my very low standards, I ain't got much this month.  

This doc called "Streetwise" about street kids in Seattle in the early eighties is fascinating, well made, and most of all
really sad.    Crazy post-script - one of the girls actually ended up being one of the victims of the Green River Killer.  You
can watch it on youtube here.  

A couple of photo journal entries, one of Lola's second birthday and another from our recent trip to the NC zoo.


Guided By Voices

To paraphrase Uncle Bob towards the end of the night - "This was billed as a night with Guided By Voices - our encore
is longer than any opener we might have had!"  I mean, he's not wrong.  This write-up feels like it should be nothing but a
bunch of short bullet points, basically the review version of GBV themselves. 

 - I left after two and a half hours...I felt like I had gotten my money's worth of Bob and company.  It's entirely possible
   they're still playing. 
 - According to, they played 52 songs.  Honestly, that number feels much lower than I would have guessed.
 - They played a lot of the last two records, but Bob also knows what most of the crowd wants to hear, and every three
   or four songs he's throw in a "Motor Away" or "Echoes Myron" or "My Valuable Hunting Knife" to re-energize the
 - They played the national anthem before the band took the stage...I have no idea if this was an ironic decision or not. 
   It's possible no one knows. 

 - "KISS is the dumbest motherfucking band of all time."
 - He mentioned they already have a new album in the can for release in March and the demos for a double album that
   will be out next summer.  The man is a machine. 
 - Bob was much chattier and rantier than usual, giving Trump the business at every turn.  And plenty of entertainers as
 - "With all due respect to the Foo Fighters, I hate the fucking Foo Fighters."
 - When I pointed out to the guy beside me that he was about to sit his hoodie into a pool of beer, he shrugged, sat it in
    the beer anyways, and then offered to share his vape pen with me - I politely declined.  The world is a weird place. 
 - "I bet Tom Brady never wrote a song in his life."
 - I'm so happy this band has been in my life for more than two decades. 


"Oh, I'm in no condition to drive. Wait a minute. I don't have to listen to myself. I'm drunk."

David Kilgour & The Heavy Eights - Christopher Columbus.  New Zealand pop greatness, as always.  
Like Rain

Lydia Loveless - Bilbao.  I'm not as nuts for her most recent record "Real" as I was for the previous one "Somewhere
Else," but these are two damn songs.  
Same To You

Some selected cuts from the Trojan Producer & Upsetter box sets.  
Clancy Eccles All Stars - CN Express
Jah Lloyd - White Belly Rat
Lee Perry - Yakety Yak
Lee Perry & The Upsetters - Jungle Lion
The Upsetters - Popcorn
The Upsetters - The Vampire

I needed more songs for this month, so let's hear it for some of the best jams of 1989!
De La Soul - Eye Know
Fugazi - Margin Walker
Kate Bush - This Woman's Work
The Cure - Lovesong
The Stone Roses - I Wanna Be Adored

***September Thirtieth Two Thousand and Seventeen***

Life is short, live your dreams.  Doubly so if your dream is to play saxaphone to chickens.  



Afternoon walks.  Cary, NC.

Claimed she was a cat while wearing this.  Cary, NC.  



In my lone non-skate choice this month, how about a documentary on the rise & popularity of darts in England?  Take a
look at "Bullseyes and Beer: When Darts Hit Britain" if this sounds like it might scratch an itch you have.  

More "raw" files from the most recent Lakai video:
Vincent Alvarez (one of the funnest people in the world to watch.)
Riley Hawk (yep, the son of Tony...the kid might be just as good as his dad, but in a totally different way.)

In other Girl Skateboards news, some kind soul took all the Mike Carroll & Rick Howard footage from the many
episodes of 411VM,  and made a compilation out of it.  

Real Skateboards put out a (mostly) am video called "By Any Means" - everyone was great but jesus christ, Zion
Wright is on a whole other level.  

If you ever counted DC out, their new promo video will change your mind right quick.  They have a stacked deck of
up-and-comers, a crapton of Brazilians, and a few vets that still turn heads.  For me personally, getting a bunch of new
Wes Kremer & Tiago Lemos footage is reason enough to pay attention.  Lemos does a backside tailslide that might
be a 100 feet long...that is not an exaggeration.  


It''s that time of year again, Hopscotch Music Festival in downtown Raleigh.  As always, it was pretty fun.   You can see
all my photos via the
photo journal page, and read daily reviews if you're so inclined at the below links:
Day One
Day Two
Day Three
Day Four


with Essex/Muro

It seems like nearly every time BODYKIT has played lately, I've been out of town or already had tickets to something
else - and that was going to hold true again for their upcoming Hopscotch performance as well.  Luckily, this last-
minute benefit show for Charlottesville popped up...well, not lucky that the events of Charlottesville happened, or that
Nazis still exist, but lucky for my eyes and ears.  As always, the two of them  (Rich and Josh) had set up their table full
of electronics on the floor, away from bothersome intrusions like lights and sightlines.  Much to my delight and their
chagrin though, there was still enough light coming from the stage that I managed to get a couple of decent photos of
the band for the first time ever.  Take that, band who doesn't want their photo taken and I should totally respect that
instead of being an asshole!  They still sound a lot like Liars to me (Liars of the past few years specifically, but less so
their newest record "TFCF"), but as I've noted before this is not a genre of music I know a ton about and my compar-
ison game is pretty limited.  They're heavy, they're distorted, they're electronic, there are samples, Rich sings and/or
yells, and it makes me think of my early high school years listening to Ministry.  I may not be able to describe it, but I
like it, and I'm excited they have a full-length record coming out soon. 

The only thing I knew about Essex Muro is they seem to play out a lot and they recently released an album on local
label Sorry State - this lead me to believe that while it wasn't a forgone conclusion they were a hardcore band, the
odds were heavily in that favor.   The verdict: they were a hardcore band.  Hardcore has never done a ton for me, but
as far as the genre goes they were perfectly fine - the singer was excitable, the band played fast, and the set was short. 


"I do not see plays, because I can nap at home for free. And I don't see movies 'cause they're trash, and they got
nothin' but naked people in 'em! And I don't read books, 'cause if they're any good, they're gonna make 'em into a

Hey here's the Superchunk EP Leaves In The Gutter, which is basically the Learned To Surf maxi-single and why
they didn't call it that I don't know.
Learned To Surf
Misfits & Mistakes
Screw It Up
Knock Knock Knock
Learned To Surf (Acoustic Demo)

Cocteau Twins - Iceblink Luck.  This will always be "that song that Jeremy Klein skated to in Ravers."

El-P - Tougher Colder Killer (feat. Despot & Killer Mike).  Is this the roots of Run The Jewels?  It's from his 2012
record "Cancer 4 Cure," which predates the first RTJ release.  Wait, El-P was also on a Killer Mike track from the
same year...fuck, who knows.    

Here are some Ramones songs.  They were a band that wrote catchy songs.  You might have heard of them.    
Blitzkrieg Bop (Single Version)
Do You Remember Rock N' Roll Radio (Demo)
Judy Is A Punk (Demo)
Needles & Pins (Early Version)
Sheena Is A Punk Rocker (Single Version)

Songs Ohia - Blue Factory Flame.  When Jason Molina passed, the world lost one of it's best songwriters.  Do your-
self a favor and listen to as much of his material as possible.  
Ring The Bell

The Strokes -  Last Nite (Original Demo).  Remember when the Strokes were a thing?  That first record is still
pretty damn good.  


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