Cocksure’s TVMALSV is the only industrial album you need in 2014.

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Fans of Chris Connelly are in for a treat in 2014 as the eclectic vocalist returns to industrial in a huge way with not one, but two projects being released. There’s Bells Into Machines which sees Connelly partner up with his former Ministry co-hort Paul Barker and the RevCo-inspired slab of awesome that we’re talking about here: Cocksure!

Teaming with Acumen Nation’s Jason Novak, Cocksure’s debut full-length is a rollicking throwback with a firm foot placed firmly in the now. Were you a fan of early Revolting Cocks or the Connelly-era of Ministry in the early to mid-’90’s? Then you better not miss this one.

“Skeemy Gates” comes out swinging and easily lays waste to most industrial music out there today. Connelly, as always, is in fine form with a range that goes from Bowie-esque croons to “Cannibal Song” shrieks of madness instantly. “Alpha Male Bling” distorts Connelly on top of swirling, hypnotic Novak electronics while “Guilt, Speed, & Carbon” is almost The Damage Manual “Take Two” with its’ Geordie-like guitar line looped throughout.

If you’re craving some raunch, go no further than “Cock Ripped To The Giddy Tits” which has some hints of NIhil-era KMFDM swagger and would make for some fine pole dancing music (Imagine the booty shakes to Connelly’s “Hoo! Ha!’s”). “Silikon Suckaz” is even more perfect for that setting with Connelly at his most maniacal. Soon to be touring partner Richard 23 of Front 242 shows up on “TKO Mindfuck” further into TVMALSV  to really bring things full circle on a track that is instantly mesmerizing and a reminder that you can’t keep a good Cock down.

TVMALSV is the album you need if you’re looking for some old school industrial without having to go on a nostalgia trip. It’s fresh, it’s new, and it’s easily a must-have for any industrial music and Chris Connelly fan.

Cocksure’s TVMALSV is out through  Metropolis Records on August 12th. You can pre-order yours here.

Video View: Sex Hands, “Pivot”

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In the all encompassing category of “Don’t judge a book by its’ cover”, Sex Hands come out of left field with “Pivot”, reminding listeners of Caesars’ raucous “Jerk It Out” albeit without that organ. It’s a wacky video (Those eyes! Mad psychedelia!) for two solid minutes of jangly guitars, dreamy hooks , and solid beats on a song which may or may not be inspired by a particular Friends episode (It’s totally not. I think).

Anyway, Sex Hands might not be a household name on theses shores yet but with “Pivot” and their debut full-length right around the corner that’s going to change real soon.

Sex Hands debut album, Pleh, is out on July 28th through Faux Discx and Negative Space. Pre-order here and get an immediate download of “Pivot” as well!

 

Mike Dean: A Rock and Roll Fables conversation

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Corrosion of Conformity bassist/vocalist Mike Dean has the perfect answer for those out there looking for a description of his band: “Well, it’s kind of an eclectic long standing heavy band that was originally born out of the American hardcore and crossover metal/punk hybrid era of the mid to late ’80’s. We went through many line up changes and configurations and have sort of landed in this spot where we just dabble in various Black Sabbath-inspired swarms of musical expression. That’s kind of it. It’s just heavy stuff with a little melody and attempt at being timeless.”

On their latest, IX, Dean along with guitarist Woody Weatherman and drummer Reed Mullin are once again in the trio “configuration” and that suits him just fine: “There’s less participants in the creativity but maybe the opinions are stronger. I think there’s a clearer sort of focus. You can play more notes. You can try crazier things harmonically when you don’t have a second guitar (In terms of the bass and the guitar). Things will come across a lot better but if they’re not working it’s really obvious because there’s nowhere to hide basically. Politically, it’s expedient. Financially, 33% is pretty good compared to 25%.  It’s another format. I like the 4-piece band. It’d be awesome to play with Pepper (Keenan, guitars/vocals). I like Thin Lizzy guitar harmonies and things like that so that’d be cool. We’re open to his contribution and kinda logistically just trying to make that happen and it’s something that everybody wants to do but for now, I like this format a lot as well. We’re just gonna roll with the changes or lack thereof and see what happens.”

Speaking of Keenan, Dean says the door is always open for his return but please don’t expect the current band to attempt any Pepper-fronted songs: “At some point we just figured that Down was too busy for us to do something with Pepper. Most of that stuff is just not gonna happen without Pepper. I don’t know, man. It just doesn’t quite feel right to take any of that on. We were supposed to do some shows with him in 2010 and it turned out he couldn’t make ’em and when he heard we were gonna go ahead and tour I think that’s one thing he was really concerned about is we would just take a lot of work that was his and try to ride the gravy train and that’s not something we’re interested in doing, y’know?”

Elaborating more on the song writing process and the songs for the latest record Dean continues: “I think the approach to writing is pretty much the same. It’s not like we’re great troubadours that sit down and we’re moved by seeing this bird with a broken wing singing to her mate and we wanna write a sad song and compose lyrics and music on the spot. We’re basically heshers. We come up with some cool riffs and some ideas, we show ’em to each other and make a basic structure and at that point it’s time to see what sort of vocal and lyrical ideas it compels you to produce. The basic style of writing is the same and some times we do it by committee collaboratively and sometimes we bring compositions that are nearly complete to the group.”

“As far as writing lyrics…since we come from traditional hardcore and at that point we were all 18 years old and we knew everything the songs would be pretty topical, pretty on the nose, taking on weighty issues and things like that. Over time we’ve kind of moved on towards more evocative type of lyric writing. We like to put things that will work to different people at different times in different situations and still resonate. We’re looking for imagery and sometimes there’s an agenda there that’s a little sneaky and a lot of times we’re just starting off with the usual gibberish the universe gives us.  Put that together with some nice turns of phrase and you start to see a coherent pattern merging. There’s a little bit of a stream of conscience element to it.”

“An early favorite was “On Your Way”. We kinda fast tracked that one to do a little music video that’s probably gonna be nice and strange. We were working last night at a very hot warehouse location deep into the morning hours just this morning. Y’know we’ve been playing that one live and it works pretty well. Beyond that, “Trucker” is one of my personal favorites and the riffs that Woody brought for “Brand New Sleep” in the studio just fell together. I really like writing lyrics and coming up with vocal melodies for songs with musical structures I didn’t have anything to do with much and I’m hoping we end up playing that piece for sure.”

Outside of C.O.C., Dean has reactivated Righteous Fool with Mullin which came about initially during the gap between 2005’s In The Arms Of God and 2012’s S/T album and handled live bass for Vista a Chino: “I would looove to work with them down the road. I went and did a couple tours with them and I felt musically Bruno (Feverey, guitars) and Brant (Bjork, drums) and John (Garcia, vocals) and I were communicating really well. It sounded really good. It felt really good. It felt like they were coming out the other side of a dark period imposed on them by an overly litigious legal action concerning the Kyuss Lives! name. It actually felt like there was some blacklisting type of activity going on that I was witnessing and privy to.”

“All in all it was pretty positive. I just enjoyed playing with them and enjoyed their new material. For awhile, John has been hatching the idea of doing a solo project so he went ahead and did that so Brant kinda did the same thing  so they’ve got these simultaneous solo endeavors which is cool cuz it gives me time to work on C.O.C. and dedicate some time to that. I would anticipate with one record remaining on their contract that certainly within the next year and a half they’ll probably reconvene on some recording. I hope they ask me to take part in that because that’s sort of what we were planning  and to play with Bruno Fevery is an awesome thing. Brant and Bruno and I would jam quite a bit and I thought we could be really comfortable just winging it and come up with a pretty good musical result just about every time so I’m looking forward to continuing that. But, y’know, those guys  have a great musical contribution whether separately or combined or whatever. Whether it’s with me or not, there’s amazing chemistry between Mr. Feverey, Mr. Garcia, and Mr. Bjork.”

Looking back, Dean agrees it’s a completely different world for musicians these days: “I would say the major difference is the landscape for music. Rock music, in particular, is not as big a piece of the cultural landscape and certainly a lot less of the cultural economy simply because there’s so much competition for our attention in terms of entertainment and all types of online time-sucking activities (Or inactivities really). Plus, the collapse of actually being able to sell a musical document to people when they can just figure out the bit torrent situation. That has kind of eaten away at the economy of it and while it’s been a great equalizer in a way it’s sort of taken out some of the meritocracy of the situation because anybody with with a certain amount of money can go and produce their music and, to some extent, distribute it so there’s actually kind of an overload of sort of mediocre to incompetent musical output with very little audience. It’s kind of an unfortunate situation in that regard but I like the egalitarian aspect of it in theory but the actual result of that development is less than ideal as far as there being a lot of music I want to listen to. I mean, there is a lot of music I wanna listen to but you have to dig around to find it.”

Thankfully, you don’t have to dig hard to find Corrosion of Conformity’s latest, IX, which streets on June 24th through Candlelight Records. Our review (With pre-order links) can be read over here.

 

Untitled Metal Column: Volume 3 (Prong, Ruining Lives)

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Prong can do no wrong in my book and, to be honest, I’m just happy they still exist because there seemed to be a time where that might not be the case anymore (Happily, that reality is in the distant past). Not only is Prong reinvigorated after 2012’s jaw dropping Carved Into Stone but the band has bounced back with one of the quickest turnarounds for a new studio album ever (For Prong, anyway).

The result is Ruining Lives which is undoubtedly more straightforward and more vicious than its predecessor. Probably the greatest surprise to be found on Ruining Lives is the amount of melody found within. Sure, it’s Prong through and through but RL succeeds the most when it takes the elements that made Carved Into Stone so great and experiments further. Where as CIS experimented with song structure, RL focuses instead on mastermind Tommy Victor using his voice in another way: to actually sing! Sure, the snarls and sneers are still there but the overall vocal presence on this one suggests a more mature Victor as lead vocalist.

For every thrasher like “The Barriers” and “The Book Of Change” (And boy, are those two thrashy!) there’s a pummeling song like “Windows Shut” with a chorus that’s just out of this world for Prong. Or take “Remove, Separate Self” which combines all the shredding Prong is synonymous for with another chorus that makes the song destined to be the next great crowd pleaser . Producer Steve Evetts returns once again to craft this next Prong classic along with new members Art Cruz and Jason Christopher on drums and bass, respectively.

Ruining Lives triumphs and strengths (Which is the whole of the album) also further proves why Victor is a staple when it comes to new albums by legendary personalities like Glenn Danzig and Al Jourgensen and why he has constantly served as a mentor for so many young musicians because at this point, and with the bass/drum revolving door within, Prong IS Tommy Victor. Prong band camp perhaps?

Ruining Lives is available now everywhere. Get your copy here now!

 

Powerman 5000 successfully crowdfunds new album, releases new single!

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It’s funny how there was once this middle ground between the Cummings boys of Haverhill, MA when White Zombie was achieving mainstream appeal and Powerman 5000 was just starting out and now, the respective bands have almost entirely traded sounds with each other. While Rob Zombie has embraced more of a rock sound since going solo (But without the funk/groove aspects that were found in early PM5K recordings), Spider One has evolved into a futuristic cyber rocker making music that would’ve been the next step after Astro Creep 2000.

But I digress. Too much.

Powerman 5000 is back with Builders of the Future (due on May 27th) and their latest single from the upcoming album, “Invade, Destroy, Repeat”, is a rollicking slab of electro-metal that’ll have fans banging their heads and singing along instantly.

You can pre-order your copy of Builders of the Future now over on AmazonItunes or at their Pledgemusic page.

To hear “Invade, Destroy, Repeat” now head on over to Loudwire.com for an exclusive stream.

 

 

Those Mockingbirds is your new favorite band in 2014!

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Looking for something to do in and around Boston this weekend? Sick of the music scene and need a band to come along and totally change the face of rawk? Then you’re looking for Montclair, New Jersey’s own Those Mockingbirds! I’m not going to mention the many accolades the band has already received because, quite frankly, the tunes speak for themselves.

Just one listen through “How To Rob A Bank” (Stream it below) or “A Ballad From Hell” (Here it here) should assure you that you’ve made an excellent choice should you choose to venture to one of their three (3!) shows in the area this weekend.

It’s hard to describe Those Mockingbirds to the uninitiated. There’s some Clutch in there (Check out some of the riffing in “…Bank”), some Von Bondies in other spots and enough “Whoa-oh” sing-a-long moments to bring a classic Misfits record to shame. But Those Mockingbirds is none of the above. Something else entirely, they pave their own way and that’s just fine by me.

Their first full length, Penny The Dreadful, should see the light of day this summer. Meanwhile, you can get all your TM needs over on their official Facebook page or better yet catch them live as they hit Pittsfield, Providence, and Cambridge’s Middle East this weekend with New City Ghost, Islands In Motion, Arms & Ears, Nemes, and Friendly People.

 

 

From the ashes of Flickerstick: Jetta in the Ghost Tree!

I think it’s safe to say that Flickerstick is one of my all time favorites. I have the original version of Welcoming Home The Astronauts along with the Sony version (It’s “lie here naked with my girl” not “taken” you corporate suit people!) and the EP’s, live albums , and studio album that followed. I loved VH1’s Bands on the Run and relentlessly tracked down copies of the series on a shitty VHS transfer just so I could relive the awesomeness that was the ‘Stick doing what they do best: Rockin’!

Cut to 13 years later: Flickerstick has broken up but after a few false starts it looks like singer/songwriter Brandin Lea is finally back with his new outfit Jetta in the Ghost Tree.

“It’s so nice to see you/I’ve been gone for awhile/The time in the spotlight paralyzed…” sings Lea on first single “Down and Out” and no truer words were ever spoken. I had no idea the troubles that Lea went through after the dissolution of Flickerstick but if anything Jetta In The Ghost Tree has reminded us why he is such a relevant songwriter and voice in the 21st Century.

At just over seven minutes, the debut single from JitGT is a haunting tale of woe that gives so much hope as to what the future holds for Lea and the rest of his new band with echoes of Noel Gallagher’s most recent solo endeavors shining through in spots while in others showcasing how far Lea has come as a songwriter since his Flickerstick days.

For more on Jetta in the Ghost Tree head on over to their official Facebook page and don’t forget to “like” us on ours!

 

Sierra mixes old school Tool with COC-style swamp boogie on debut album Pslip!

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The debut release from Kylesa mainman Philip Cope’s Retro Futurist label is here and it is a glorious amalgamation of everything that can go right in the world of heavy rawk. The band is Sierra, the album is Pslip, and they deliver a down home-style rock album straight from the swamps of Ontario (Wait, what???).

“Pslip In” starts off with an almost Adam Jones-like riff leading into the epic “Little Smoke” which clocks in at just under seven minutes and introduces Jason Taylor’s COC meets COC vox (A little John Custer, a little Pepper Keenan, a whole lotta awesome).

“Control Folly” really displays what this band can do and lets drummer Ky Anto shine a little while Taylor lays some thick and crunchy riffs. Bringing up the low end is never an easy task in any band but bassist Robbie Carvalho does an excellent job especially during instrumental track “Psquigalogz” which brings to mind the vastly underrated Karma To Burn.

And as they say, the hits just keep on coming especially as you “Pslip In” more to the album. “Pseptember” is an unbridled riff session while “Smoke Filled Room” is quiet and introspective before giving way to an all out assault on your senses. Kylesa like Sierra already. Pslip is the evidence of why you should, too.

For more on Sierra, head on over here and please don’t forget to “like” us on our very own Facebook page!

Pslip is out on January 28th through Retro Futurist. Snag your copy here.

 

 

 

14 for ’14: A Rock And Roll Fables guide to new music in the new year!

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If I follow this thought process, 2025 is going to be a very long post. Anywho, there’s some new music coming out in 2014 that I really think you should pay attention to. Here goes nothing (No particular order, by the way):

1. He Is Legend (Untitled/TBC)

What kind of a band releases the most amazing album of their career and then disbands? He Is Legend, that’s who! But never fear, HIL is back and has been diligently working away on the follow up to 2009’s It Hates You between bouts of touring which should see the light of day this year. Will it live up to its predecessor? With a new song teased to be dropping imminently, we’ll soon have our answer.

 2. Tom Vek (Untitled/TBC)

Um, have you heard Leisure Seizure? If you have then you’ll know why I’m so excited for the third full-length from Tom Vek. The progenitor of Brit-hop makes music in fits and spurts but when it’s finally released it is so worth the wait.

3. Breton: (War Room Stories/February 3)

First single “Envy” has been on a steady rotation in RNRF offices since it was released late last year so the full-length that includes this masterpiece is easily high up there on our most wanted of 2014 list. I can safely tell you, though, that the whole of War Room Stories is brilliant as well. Watch this space for a review soon.

4. Prong (Untitled/TBC)

There is a lot of metal that we’re looking forward to in the new year and Prong is always a proven force of brutality. Their last, Carved Into Stone, managed to capture the entirety of Prong’s illustrious catalog on a single album. Will the follow up be more of the same or a step beyond? Here’s hoping it’s the latter.

5. Maximo Park (Too Much Information/February 3)

“Brain Cells” is the only song you need to hear in 2014 to prove that Maximo Park is not fucking around. Barely a year and a half after the phenomenal A National HealthToo Much Information sounds like an instant classic from the two or three songs released so far.

6. Reverend & The Makers (Thirty Two/February 24)

No song hit me like “Bassline” and the Youth-produced (He, of the mighty Killing Joke who might releasing a new rekkid in 2014) @reverend_makers album in 2012. Friends of Alex Turner who sound like an electrified Happy Mondays, Rev & co. is back with another one that’s sure to rule and first single “Your Girl” is the proof.

7. Nate Newton/Max Cavalera goodness (TBC/Throughout 2014)

Let’s see, there’s the just announced new Cavalera Conspiracy album which will have local boy Nate Newton on bass duties, the Max Cavalera, Greg Puciato, Troy Sanders Killer Be Killed supergroup, oh, and a little band called OLD MAN GLOOM featuring Newton, Aaron Turner, Caleb Scofield, and  Santos Montano all with albums out this year. Three for one. You’re welcome.

8. Dog Fashion Disco (Untitled/Spring)

Another band that soon disbanded after releasing what was probably the best of their career up to that point, Maryland’s Dog Fashion Disco is back and at it again with their first new record since 2006’s Adultery. Recording begins later this month. Adultery was, hands down, the band’s best which means the follow up can only be better.

9, Primitive Race (Untitled/TBC)

The only industrial album you need to seek out in 2014! The brainchild of Chris Kniker, this veritable supergroup features Raymond Watts (New PIG in 2014 please?), Burton Bell, Chris Vrenna (In some capacity although he’s since left the group/recording project), Graham Crabb of Pop Will Eat Itself, Luc Van Acker, Kourtney Klein…the list goes on. There’s an EP on the way along with, hopefully, a full-length. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook for the latest additions and news.

10. Nachtmystium (The World We Left Behind/ Spring 2014)

The final Nachtmystium album! Blake Judd is sure to go out with a scream and not a whimper when he puts the final nail in the coffin of his black metal/prog band. “Voyager” was released towards the end of 2013 and gives a little taste of the upcoming long player which sounds more like the experimental Assassins: Black Meddle , Part 1 than 2012’s Silencing Machine.

11. Marriages (Untitled/TBC)

Emma Ruth Rundle and the boys are back with another slab of female-fronted Isis-like shoegaze post rock. It’ll be epic and you should buy it.

12. Crowbar (Untitled/TBC)

Kirk Windsrein left Down to focus on Crowbar so you know he means business especially when it comes to their 25th anniversary. 2011’s Sever The Wicked Hand was a refreshing return to form melding the New Orleans sludge of ’93’s Crowbar with the sonic brilliance of Odd Fellows Rest so frankly, the sky’s the limit for this one.

13. Combichrist: (We Love You/March 25)

Aggro-industrial at its best, Combichrist is destined to deliver a wallop on their latest if first single “From My Cold Dead Hands” is even an inkling of an indicator of where the rest of We Love You is headed.

14. Eagulls (Eagulls/March 4)

This is kind of cheating because I have this one but if you’ve heard “Nerve Endings” or “Tough Luck” already then you know that this post-punk outfit means business. The rest of Eagulls is no joke. You’ve been warned.

Also worth your time in 2014 are new albums from: Guster, White Noise Owl, Mastodon, Hank & Cupcakes, Slipknot, Fear Factory, Godflesh, and Bells Into Machines featuring Paul Barker and Chris Connelly

Best & Worst of 2013: bostonregina Edition

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Best Album: AM by Arctic Monkeys

Hot damn, these boys. I remember when they were pimply and floppy haired and playing Oasis covers in whatever basement would have them. Now they’re all slick-coiffed and wearing leather. Their time in the desert with Mr. Josh Homme continues to do them well. Highlights include  the “question trio”, started with last year’s early release rockandrolla anthem “R U Mine?” (A: “Um, sure?”), followed by “Do I Wanna Know?” (A: “Yes, fuckkkk, yes!”), and rounded out by “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” (A: “For reasons. Sexy reasons.) The rest of the tunes, including the absolutely perfect night-driving anthem “One For the Road”, make this the album I have been waiting for since Humbug. Combined with a smashing set at The Paradise Rock Club in Boston, Mass., it’s been the Year of the Monkeys, music-wise, so much so, I became one of those girls. (P.S. An older Monkeys track that has made a surprise comeback for me in 2013 is “Brianstorm” off 2007’s Favourite Worst Nightmare.)

 

Best Video:***Flawless” by Beyonce

Do I really need to say more about this? Sweet fancy Moses, no video has captured my id so well since !!!’s “Must Be the Moonlight”. This is, honestly, fucking flawless. From her amazing outfit, to the perfection of the hook (“I woke up like dis…”), to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie basically saying everything about being a successful woman in today’s society. “We say to girls, ‘You can have ambition, but not too much.'” The first time I watched this video, I actually cried. And then I danced around the room and felt fucking amazing. The way Queen Bay released this album, with no fucks to give, makes this entire album basically about one one message for me: Ladies, we flawless.

 

Best Live Show: !!!, The Sinclair, Cambridge, Mass.

I am stupid happy that The Sinclair is fucking open. I rolled to this show by myself, specifically because I am selfish and needed to completely focus on losing my fucking mind. Chk-Chk-Chk rarely comes to Boston, so when they do, you can bet I’m going to be there, on the barrier, dancing like a maniac. I can’t even talk about how awesome the show was, because it’s so personal, so private, intimate even. All I know is that I got whipped by Nic Offer’s mic cord (stupid hot, almost as hot as Nic’s blushing apology afterward), my gin ‘n’ tonic was spilled more than once and replaced more times than that, and I got butt-boosted onto the stage for the last jam by a delightful gentleman (Note: Seriously, Jesse, he was a gentleman, didn’t even try to feel me up on the way.)  who was stronger than he looked. In short, a fucking amazing night, and I would recommend it to anyone. Just don’t expect me to babysit your purse or jacket — come prepared to dance your ass off.

 

Best New TV Show: Sleepy Hollow

This show was a surprise to me — I watched it on OnDemand as a time-killer some weekend, and got promptly sucked in. A combination of the “man out of time” trope (with Ichabod Crane waking from a magic grave to track down the Horsemen of the Apocalypse) with a Fringe-type procedural, with amazing chemistry between the leads the like I haven’t seen since Mulder and Scully, it’s a great watch. Orlando Jones (who plays our intrepid duos beleaguered boss with a painful past) kills it as the biggest fanpoodle ever on Tumblr and Twitter, and raises the game for any actor-creator-professional interacting with fandom. The man should teach a master class on how to treat fans respectfully while still having a damn good time. For once, the interactions with the “talent” online don’t turn me off from a show/movie! It’s the fucking future!

 

Best Returning TV Show: Arrow

Stephen Amell could be Orlando Jones’ TA for the Fandom Interaction Master Class. He posts Q&As on his Facebook, says what he means and means what he says, posts pictures of his insane workouts when he’s still sweaty and miserable, and does great work for cancer charities. On top of that, he’s bringing his A-Game as Oliver Queen this season, killing the nuances of a wonderfully complicated character with an extraordinarily complicated life as both Oliver and his alter-ego the newly rechristianed “Arrow” (ne “The Hood”). The supporting actors are bringing it, as well, with David Ramsey’s Diggle making it happen for me in so many ways. The only beef I have with this season is the inconsistent treatment of Laurel Lance, played by a seemingly exhausted Katie Cassidy. Between the terrible writing and the really bizarre styling choices, there is no way this Laurel is going to end up being Black Canary. (That’s okay with me, though, because between Emily Bett Rickard’s take on Felicity Smoak, Oliver’s EA by day and his proto-Oracle by night, and the surprise of Sara Lance coming back from the dead and kicking misogynistic ass all over the place, I’m doing good for ladies on this show.) The introduction of “powers” into the universe this season is awesome (Uh, Barry and Roy, anyone?), and I can’t wait to see what they do with the Deathstroke plotline and, uh, well, everything! (And I didn’t even mention the hotness of Oliver tripping Russian off his tongue like it’s nbd. Ngggghhhh!)

 

Best Movie (Theaters): Pacific Rim

It’s the goddamn Iron Giant come to life. Well, without the sentience and Cold War stuff, but there is no way that Guillermo Del Toro didn’t hork Brad Bird’s concept drawings of IG for Gipsy Danger. I have so many ridiculous feelings about this movie, including wide-eyed dissertations about the globalization of war and the fact that if you watch really closely at the fight scene between Charlie Hunnam’s Raleigh Beckett and Rinko Kikuchi’s Mako Mori, you can see them aping each other’s fighting style, foreshadowing their drift compatibility. (You can see Raleigh take down Chuck with Mako’s signature face-slap and twist-and-sweep in a scene shortly thereafter.) Actually, everything about Raleigh and Mako’s epic friendship is amazing. I love the fact that Mako is a true heroine, trying and failing at her dream of piloting a jaeger, being completely and absolutely fascinated by Raleigh, but keeping it platonic. Gosh, thank you, GDT. THANK YOU. If anything, the epic romance trope was picked up by Charlie Day and Burn Gorman’s scientist duo — you can’t tell me that their pigtail pulling wasn’t preamble to some total ridiculous and awkward make-out sessions.

Best Movie (OnDemand): The Canyons

Listen, do not even start with me. This was a goddamn surprise highlight of the year for me. James Deen was mesmerizing. I can’t even talk about this movie without making incoherent noises. He was amazing as Christian, an absolutely lizard of a human being, the personification of Hollywood’s underbelly. And Lindsay Lohan, barely keeping it together underneath a veneer of LA cool as Tara…honestly, I really don’t know why people hate on this film. The off-screen drama just heightened the experience for me. There were so many bits where you could see the tension just snap and pass into something transcendent. I really think that Paul Schrader’s work on this trainwreck in a dress was highly underrated and completely overshadowed by the media machine surrounding the production. Highly recommended, and a welcome addition to our DVD collection.

Worst Movie: Spring Breakers/Star Trek Into Darkness (tie)

Look, I thought Spring Breakers was going to be a comedy. A dark comedy, sure, but a comedy. Don’t ask me why. Honestly, it was like watching a Greek tragedy. I wanted nothing more than to talk to my high school mythology teacher about the ~symbolism~ of the direction and cinematography. If I could sit through another showing of this cringe-fest, I’m sure my mind would be blown. Nothing tops the threesome scene with James Franco’s Alien deep-throating two silenced guns, though. You can see the moment where he just gives in and basically goes for it. Holy crap, Franco, you self-referential douche-b, how can I hate you after that?

 

And onto the fucking sham of a movie that was Star Trek Into Darkness. I had super low expectations for Star Trek 2009, and was blown away. It was a perfect Alternate Universe take on the insanity that is ST canon, and I really enjoyed the fact that it took the character of James Kirk, who I have always hated, and made him actually sympathetic and interesting. Chris Pine shows up for STID, as does the rest of the cast from the 2009 flick, but that’s about all they do. JJ Abrams takes a classic story that was perfectly told already with the TOS episode “Space Seed” and the movie Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan and completely and utterly fucks it up. I have a love-hate-fuck relationship with Benedict Cumberbatch, so I was hoping that the rumors were false that he was rolling as a white-washed Khan — but I was sadly let down. The thing about ST canon is that while it’s mental, it’s so rich. There were many ways for JJ and his Band of Merry Assholes to take that story and turn it on its head, but he screwed the pooch. This movie made it obvious to me how much he hates the source material, and truly hates the fandom. For those nerdpoodles like me, I say that he could have easily made Cumbersnatch’s Khan into one of the other augments (How awesome would it have been if one of the pod’s destroyed was Khan’s and Bendysloot ended up being his second in command Joachim or some other crazypants fucker?) without fucking with a POC character and pissing off a bunch of people. Also, I straight-up laughed at Zachary Quinto’s Spock screaming “Khan!!!” after finding his bro Kirk dead. Only redeeming feature of the movie? The fight scene between Quinto and Bendy Dick Cum On My Baps where they both just lose their fucking minds and beat the snot out of each other.

Worst TV Show: Teen Wolf, Season “3a”

I get it, Teen Wolf is not meant to be quality television. But it wasn’t a total guilty pleasure, either. I enjoyed the first two seasons’ supernatural aspects combined with attractive twenty-year-olds pretending to be teenagers. Season 3a just shit all over the characters, and highlighted the fact that showrunner Jeff Davis is a complete cunt and has no idea what he’s doing. Too many new characters, killing off all the lady villains while letting the dude villains stick around, and shitting all over poor Tyler Hoechlin’s increasingly despondent Derek Hale. I had the ~pleasure~ of attending the first Teen Wolf fan convention in London this Fall and making googly eyes at how much the actors realize how ridiculous their jobs are, and that was the only shining moment in an otherwise shitty year for this show. (More from the convention is here; it’s a fucking delight.)

Album I Bought and Didn’t Listen To: Franz Ferdinand’s new one

I don’t even know the name of it. I might have opened it? I don’t know. I basically just buy their albums out of guilt for listening to a bootleg of them from their first album from German radio that remains one of the best live shows I have ever listened to and not attended. Honestly, talk about one-and-done. I’ll just pretend they broke up after the first album and keep playing this jam over and over again. Thanks.

Worst Live Performance: Wicked, Apollo Victoria Theatre, London

OMG, did I hate this show. I hated everything about it, from the music to the stage direction, to the costuming, to the arrogant little fucks sitting next to me whispering throughout the entire thing. Why do people like this shit? No, really? WHY?! It’s put out that it’s a feminist anthem, but it’s really just about a terrible love triangle where everyone is a complete asshole and no one wins in the end. Fucking terrible.

If you’re interested in more ridiculousness from me, you can find me on Twitter having virtual arguments with Jesse while we sit next to each other, seriously discussing things like traffic patterns in the Greater Boston Area, and random moments where I get introspective about misogyny.