Two steps forward-Six steps back: Best of 2007~Part 4

Small step for him. Big Jump for me....continued...CD-Atmosphere-Sad Clown Bad Dub seasonal series. 5 new songs on each. Slug and Ant have dropped 3 of the 4 so far. My personal fav is the summer one. I also really dig the artwork..concert-Modest Mouse-Orpheum shows. Although I didn't think this years new album We Were Dead Before the Ship Sank is necessarily one of their bests, I did really enjoy the two shows here in April and December...pro wrestler-Chris Jericho returned to the ring this year. Finally a reason to have someone with cable, tape RAW for me again...CD-Love him or hate him, Kanye West is a talented mofo. Graduation is proof...gallery-Okay, maybe I'm a little biased but dang man, the Back Alley Gallery in Lowertown St. Paul was on point this year. A few old members returned to the fold as well as some new ones and everyone is bringing their A-game to each show. It's been so fuckin' inspiring to be part of it. It all culminated in a great opening night for the Fall Show & Sale...concert-It was a couple of mix tapes made by my uncle when I was in junior high, that got me into punk rock. One of the bands on those tapes was M.D.C. So it was only fitting that my uncle and I went down to the 7th st. Entry to see the old-timers. Talk about things coming full circle. It was an all-ages show with w D4, Cognitive Dissonance and Useless Wooden Toys. Between bands we had beers in the main room and got to watch the Birthday Suits sound check for their Drinking With Ian performance...CD-Black Eyes & Neckties-Apparition. My brother turned me onto these guys a couple years ago because he knew how much I liked the Murder City Devils. They are from Bellingham, WA., where he lives. He also got me this album. If I didn't miss the Devils so much I might hate these guys for straight up ripping them off. I don't. Speaking of...concert-Murder City Devils reunion shows in Austin, TX. First night @ the Mohawk and second night @ FunFunFun Fest. I wrote a shit ton about this earlier, so I wont spend to much time on it now. If they keep up with this reuniting once a year thing, I wont be mad...concert-Wayne Hancock @ Lee's Liquor Lounge. He aint called "the Train" for nothin'. Dude can play all night. Tulsa!...movie-Grindhouse. Really bad cinema on purpose. Love it. I really liked both Planet Terror and Deathproof, but mostly I love the preview for Machete. I don't recommend playing either of these two films for the family on Christmas day. Ask my brother about that one...CD-Perhaps my favorite album of the year was EL-P-I'll Sleep When You're Dead. I love EL-P's crazy smoking meth underwater beats and schizophrenic rhymes. I spent many a late night at the canvas, paint brush in hand, letting I'll Sleep take over my mind and movement. My fav track is The Overly Dramatic Truth. Big Business-Here Come The Waterworks and LCD Soundsystem-Sound of Silver are also a couple of my most listened to albums of the year...bands-As usual, I saw a bunch of local music in '07. So much in fact that I have a hard time remembering who is who. My picks for best new local bands of the year (or at least new to me) are Vampire Hands, The Sinks and the awesome thrashness that is Pandamonium...concert-I developed a man-crush in '07. It all started when, on a whim, a friend and I went to see Justine Timberlake @ the Xcel Energy Center. I've taken a lot of shit for this and I will probably continue. Bring it on. I'll defend JT and my subsequent liking of him to the death...

Okay folks, that's it! Done. Thanks for reading. I know I pretend to be the professor of all things cool and act like a snobby cockhead sometimes, but the truth is, I really do appreciate anyone that has wasted some time reading my crap. I sincerely wish you all the best for 2008. Thank you.


At home he feels like a tourist: Best Of 2007~Part 3

...continued...Movie-Ian Curtis and Joy Division come back to life in the bio-pic Control. The film probably doesn't appeal beyond a small circle of people that are/were fans of the band, but it's pretty deec nonetheless...Concert-Apocolypticrust Festival. Karlos from Shamen Records organized 2 nights of crusty, thrashy, hardcore punk at the Black Hole in Chicago. My personal favorites were Appalachian Terror Unit, Riotous, Catheter, Protestant, Tierra De Nadie, and Coaccion...Movie-Superbad. Hi to the larious! Seth Rogan was hot this year. Knocked Up was good, but Superbad was outrageously funny. I laughed just as hard the second time, as I did the first. "McLovin!" And of course, how could you not love the awkward, nerdy, former George Michael, Michael Cera? He also does a great job in...Movie-Juno. Although it was really funny, what I really liked was the underlying story of a family that bonds together to make the best of an otherwise undesirable situation. And Ellen Page was fabulous too...Concert-The third annual installment of the Doomtree Blowout took over the main room at First Avenue. I personally could have used a little less Mictlan and Dessa and little more Cecil Otter and Paper Tiger. I was pleasantly surprised to see Jesse Greene (and her legs) make an appearance, as well as Crescent Moon. Unfortunately there only seemed to be one good mic working and POS had some technical difficulties that slowed down momentum. Overall though, it was still a hype night of local Hip Hop...Sport-Mixed Martial Arts have been steadily gaining popularity over the last few years, but the sport blew up in 2007. Pride FC bit the dust but numerous other promotions have popped up since then and MMA is all over television. IFL, Bodog Fight, EliteXC, K1, WEC and of course, UFC, all had TV this year...MMA Fights-Bisping vs. Hamil (UFC 75), Dan Henderson vs. Quinton Jackson (UFC 75), Randy Couture vs. Tim Silva (UFC 68), Randy Couture vs. Gabriel Ganzaga (UFC 74), Chris Horodecki vs. Shad Lierley (IFL 6/1) and Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlei Silva (UFC 79)..Fighters-Quinten Jackson, Anderson Silva, Roger Huerta, Thales Lietes, Chris Horodecki, and Urijah Faber....Fighter of the Year- is a tie between George St. Pierre and Randy Couture. Even though GSP started the year with a surprise loss to Matt Sera, he still proved what a dominant fighter he is, in his wins over Josh Koshcheck and Matt Hughes. Plus I loved his pro wrestling style promo he delivered following his submission of Hughes for the interim welterweight title at UFC 79; saying he doesn't accept the title until he beats the real champion Serra. Couture gets it just because he is simply the best. He retires after a second knockout loss to Liddell in 06. A year and a month later, at 44 years old, he comes out of retirement, moves back up the heavyweight division and challenges Sylvia. Not only does he beat the taller, heavier, younger man, but he does so in a dominating fashion. Five months later, Couture does the same thing again, against Gonzaga (another larger, younger man) and retains his championship. He has since vacated the title because UFC is unable to sign Fedor Emilienko, quitting UFC while he's on top...CD-Against Me! released New Wave this year amidst crys of sellout from former fans. Having not really been a fan of them before, I was totally able enjoy this album. I had seen them once before, but didn't really familiarize myself with them until my brother burned me a copy of this. I have since checked out all of their old albums from the library. I don't listen to much "pop-punk" these days, and New Wave is a fairly polished album, compared to their previous releases. However, it is my introduction to the band and I like it...CD-Bad Brains~To Build A Nation. What can I say? I'm a Bad Brains fan. The reggae parts are superb. MCA, from the Beasties produced it...OK, that's enough for now. I need a break. This is exhausting. Stay tuned; the fourth and final installment is on the way...


At home she's looking for interest: Best of 2007~part2

...continued...CD-Brother Ali dropped The Undisputed Truth this year to rave reviews. What can I say that hasn't been said already? Believe the hype. I believed the hype a bunch of times. I don't have an exact number, but I know I saw Ali at least 3 times in...Concert-First Avenue twice. The first, for his amazing homecoming show, and again for the Paid Dues Festival tour, where he stole the show. He also headlined the Black Dog Coffee Block Party in Lowertown, St. Paul. Due to rain, the party was moved indoors to Station 4. It was hot and humid but that didn't stop the crowd from staying late for Ali. It was worth it. Also noteworthy, is the performance on Conan with Mint Condition as the back-up band. While I'm on the subject...Concert-Paid Dues Festival @ First Avenue. A literal who's who of indie hip-hop, including a rare performance by Slug and Murs as FELT. Also featured Cage, Brother Ali, Sage Francis, Living Lengends, Blueprint, Hangar 18, and many more...Movie-Darjeeling Limited. Immediately following the credits, my uncle Robert told my mother and I his impression of the film. "A family that smokes together, stays together." We laughed. Wes Anderson does it again...punk Concerts-As you probably already know, If you're a regular reader (or homie) of mine, one of my favorite things in the world is a good punk show. This year I was yet again privileged to see a bunch of bands from not only around the country, but from around the globe. Standouts include: La Fraction and Iskra @ the Triple Rock, Dropdead and Regulations @ the Bedlam Theater, and Stormcrow, Pisschrist and Wolfbrigade @ Memory Lanes...Art show-Ta-coumba Aiken @ Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Inspiring on so many levels...Bike Gang-The coolest bike gang in the city was formed over this past summer. We call ourselves The Coolest Bike Gang In The City. We are awesome. Our rides take us all over the city, lasting for hours, stopping for art shows, beer, pizza, ice cream, graffiti, whathaveyou. Speaking of...Graffiti-Last year it was the Eye. This year it's the Face. I'm seeing it pop anywhere form hidden drainage pipes to freeway overpasses. Of course Duece Seven was hot too. Besides bombing the whole city, as well as NYC, he had an opening at Soo Visual and press in the Village Voice, City Pages and Urban Decay. 27's wicked characters seemed to be everywhere. My favorite street art though, is the simple drips of solid colors that have decorated the short stretch of I94 between 35W and the Lowery Bridge. NYC had the Splasher this year, but the TC had, what I am calling, The Dripper. I love the simplicity of this particular "vandalism." It looks as though full cans of house paint have been dumped and allowed to drip all the way to the ground. Very similar but less deliberate the KR. (Shit, maybe it is KR?) I'm glad the city hasn't cleaned it up yet. I still need to get some pics...stay tuned. I'm only about half way through...