everybody's talkin' 'bout their short list (2009 Best Of preview)

As the two double aught niner comes to a close so comes the onslaught of Best Of lists. And of course I must fulfill my self-imposed contractual duties as a blogger and contribute to said onslaught.  It's no easy task, let me tell you.  (As well, this year were pulling double duty, as it's also the end of a decade.  Yikes!)

Inevitably, each year when I begin to compile my "short list"* I realize that a, I'm not exactly as on top of things as I'd like to think, and b, I might be losing touch.  Admittedly, I spent the first half of this year catching up on last year and thus missed crucial inclusions like the brilliant film The Wackness.  And shit, I still haven't heard Fucked Up's The Chemistry of Common Life.

So anyway, my full list will be coming in late this year...again.  But here is a preview...

Raekwon the Chef-Only Built For Cuban Linx II- Not since El-P's 2007 masterpiece I'll Sleep When You're Dead have I considered a rapper for Best Album of the Year.

Film (U.S. Comedy)
Adventureland- This year it was all about The Hangover, which was great but I was able to connect with the characters in Adventureland on a more personal level.

I Drink For a Reason- David Cross- Although I'm still reading it I'm fairly certain it's the only book released in '09 that I've even opened.  So there you go.

Emotional Investment
The Minnesota Vikings- It's been 11 years since I allowed them to do this to me, but Sweet Fucking Christ!  These guys are toying with my emotions like I'm the 9th grade nerdy girl that the hottest senior boy in school has been cheating on his prom queen gf with.

*I use quotations because nobody's, especially not mine, is actually ever that short.


Road Trip Record Reviews

A couple weeks back I took a mini road trip up north.  With me, I brought three brand new CDs for the ride.  In between thinking about how I totally missed the boat on cougers, I was writing little reviews in my head.  They are as follows:

AFI-Crash Love
Word on the street is that on AFI's most recent trip to the TC, vocalist Davey Havoc mentioned something about playing shows back in the day with (recently reunited) locals Assrash.  Not surprising, as on more that one occasion I've heard him lovingly recall the short-lived but impressionable local all-ages venue, the Foxfire Coffee Lounge.  I've always liked that about AFI; that despite their steady progression into pop music, they don't shy away from their punk roots and make an effort to keep connected to older fans.  However, Crash Love falls somewhere between trying too hard and not trying at all.  This shit is so clean you can smell Davey's body wash.  There is only one song-Medicate-where I said to myself "Damn, this fucking rips!"  Although, come to think of it, I was pulling into Tobies, so my excitement could have been more about the impending custard-filled doughnut than Jade Puget's guitar solo.  Anyway, I'm sure, like with most AFI releases, I'll learn to enjoy it the more I listen to it.  I should also note that even with his new haircut, Havoc has in no way compromised my man-crush.

Modest Mouse-No One's First, and You're Next
This is a collection of b-sides and outtakes from their last two releases-the breakthrough album Good News For People Who Love Bad News and the dissapointing follow-up We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank.   Similar to the aptly titled Building Something Out of Nothing, a previous collection of non-album tracks, No One's First and You're Next is fully capable of standing on its own as an album.  In fact it's actually quite a bit better than We Were DeadNo One's First is the perfect early fall soundtrack for that stretch of highway that runs from Moose Lake, through Cromwell and Floodwood, up to Hibbing.  There are a few parts of the last song-I've Got It All (Most)- that sound exactly like every Public Image Limited song ever.  This, in my expert opinion, is absolutley not a bad thing. 

Raekwon-Only Bulit For Cuban Linx Pt. II
One of the things I love most about Raekwon and Ghostface-who, of course, is all over this album-is that they indulge the specifics of a story.  They won't just say a dude got murdered.  They'll give you a detailed description of how a shiesty muafucka who sold coke that was cut with too much baking soda was walking down a dirty street last winter, wearing baggy-ass sweats and fresh Nikes while eating lake trout with extra turkey grease from the corner store, got blasted with three shots by gun that already had two bodies on it that was purchased in a dingy basement in Brooklyn, and was then robbed of the re-up package that he had stuffed up under his North Face parka and left laying in a blood-soaked snow bank with a piece of half-chewed fried fish hanging still hangin' out of his grill.  Cruising through Nashwauk, with the widows down, and the bass cannon turned up on this thing, made me feel all warm inside; like a kid again.  (Yes, I have a bass cannon in my car.  Not by choice.  Long Story.  But it does come in handy when cruising through Nashwauk with the widows down, listening to Raekwon.) 


No Cage

What happens when indie music darlings from both coasts end up playing just blocks from each other in the same Midwestern city on the same night? Well it's sort of like a giant trash compactor trying to squeeze the Sovereign States of Flannel Shirts, Ironic Mustaches and PBR into a one-mile radius of United Hipsterdom. I figured there were two choices: jump in headfirst and go to both or lay in bed, wondering what I'm missing out on. Either way I'm not getting to sleep til after 1am. And it's a school night. Might as well make it worth it, right?

Cage, (along with Yak Balls) from NYC, set up shop at the Triple Rock, while No Age, from LA, held court at the new 501 Club...

Yak Ballz

No Age

...And yes, it was worth it.


This Is A Love Letter~The Best Of 2008!

Two and half weeks into the new year and I'm finally getting around to this. Personally, 2008 was a pretty good year. I'm not going to rehash it here; it's all in previous posts. One thing I've learned from reading other blogs (and taking advice from my own readers) is to keep it brief. Catering to short attention spans is crucial to maintaining an Internet audience. So with that, I'll just get started. By no means is this meant to be a comprehensive list. I didn't see a lot of movies this year and most of the music I bought wasn't from '08. Hell I didn't even read a book that I hadn't started the year before. Still, don't you dare, for even a second, think this is a weak list...

Best of 2008
Pineapple Express...007: Quantum of Solace...In Bruges...Rambo (Panic-attack inducing gore. I suggest seeing it with a group of your buddies. And who doesn't love mercenaries?)...Slumdog Millionaire...Tell No One (US release)...The Dark Knight...Forgetting Sarah Marshall...Gran Torino (A little heavy on the racial slurs at times but all in the name of character developement.)...Indiana Jones & Kingdom of the Crystal Skull...Iron Man...Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist...The Wrestler (Best movie of the year, hands down. Rourke is back, and breaking your heart in nearly every scene.)

Pro Wrestling and MMA
The Figure Four Weekly/Wrestling Observer merger...attending the UFC live @ the Target Center...Edge & Vickie Guerrero...Faber vs. Pulver...Ric Flair retirement: match vs. Shawn Michaels @ Wrestlemania and subsequent ceremony on Raw...Knockout of the year: Rashad Evans over Chuck Liddell (Scary!)...Chris Jericho...George St. Pierre...BJ Penn...Frank Mir...Gina Carrano...Miguel Torres vs. Yoshiro Maeda.

Baby Guts-The Kissing Disease CD...El-P & Dizzee Rascal @ Triple Rock...Doomtree-self titled CD...Cecil Otter-Yellow Rebel CD...Jay Reatard-Singles '06-'07 ('08 release) CD...Suicidal Tendencies @ Station 4 (There was a time in my life I thought I'd never see ST. Went with my uncle. Jason, Josh, Matty and Jack were all there, as was everyone in the TC you'd expect to be there. It was like a TC punk metal scenester reunion, spanning 3 decades.)...Big Business w/Melvins encore @ Triple Rock...Jake One-White Van Music CD...Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death-Old Jail EP and Bird Songs LP (Everything they put out is just amazingly great.)...Jaguar Love-Take Me to the Sea...The Streets-Everything is Borrowed...Atmosphere-Sad Clown Bad Spring EP and When Life Gives You Lemons You Paint That Shit Gold CD (In all actuality, probably my least favorite Atmosphere albums. One of the best albums of the year, regardless.)...Chicago Apacolypticrust Fest II...Wild Billy Childish & The Musicians of the British Empire-Thatcher's Children CD...Dillinger Four-C I V I L W A R CD (The D4 is the kind of punk I don't really like anymore BUT I'll never not like the D4. This album makes it easy to skip all the Midwestern copycats and stick with the real thing.)...Against Me! & Ted Leo & the Pharmacists @ First Ave...Dillinger Four's D4th of July show @ Triple Rock...The Cool Kids-That's Stupid Mixtape...Desobediencia Civil-No Hay Libertad Sin Desobediencia CD (Actually an '07 release but I didn't get it until this year. It's so good, it would be a shame not to make the list.)...Beastie Boys @ Roy Wilkin's Auditorium (Greatest band in the world. Period.)

Art: Sword & Gnome show @ the Back Alley Gallery, No Easy Explanation: Dave Witt @ First Amendment, Mud On Your Face: Peter Jadoonath & Jason Trebs @ the Back Alley Gallery, ...Day Old: May Day Cafe, Moose & Sadie's...Breakfast: Seward Cafe...Latte'-St. Paul: Brewberry, Cafe Benne'...Latte'-Minneapolis: One on One Bicycle Studio, Anodyne...Appearance by a famous person at my work: T.I. (Charismatic, soft spoken, honest, knowledgeable and gracious. A real gentleman.)...Girlfreind: Courtney...Website: Street Boners & TV Carnage.com (Addicting.)..Shit story: Fleet Farm, as told by Matty...Coverage of The Fest 7: Loren from scenepointblank...Late Night Alley Party: behind One on One bikes on closing night of the Bicycle Film Fest...Graffiti: Danger, UC, TKG, CSE, Isaj, Yayo...Post game promo: Kevin Garnett following the Celtics championship win over the Lakers...Place to find great road-kill: Wisconsin highways...Bar: The Hexagon (Good bands, no cover, cheap drinks and great people-watching.)...President Elect: Obama...Fashion comeback: Flannel.

So that's about it...for now. I'll play catch-up on some of the stuff I missed and throw out an updated list later. As always, I'm gracious for anyone that has visited this silly little site. I always appreciate the feedback, even if you hate it. With the arrival of 2009 I've officially moved into a different marketing demographic. Apparently I'm not supposed to like wrestling or cool shoes anymore??? Whatever. I imagine you'll still be able to count on me when you need a fix of self-indulgent arrogant ramblings, punctuation misuse, pictures of me with food, or the world's shittiest advice column. And now the official unveiling of my newest moniker...


~King of Punk (Hey, I've earned it.)

Here's lookin' at you "kid."