The Weekly Town Crier

YeOldeTownCrierWell hello there. I’m sorry we didn’t get a chance to connect last week. But, you know how it is. Life with 8 kids and all. Or, maybe you don’t know how it is. Either way, you’ll take what you can get. I’m not beholden to your expectations. Though I do appreciate them. And you.

You can buy my original pieces at my Etsy shop and you can order prints (framed or un) and shower curtains and duvet covers and such sundry items at my Society6 page.

Watch Ryan Adams Visit CBS This Morning”.

Learn about the formula behind most of your your favorite sit-coms.

Read as Consequence of Sound‘s review of Tim Burton’s Big Eyes.

Read Draft Magazine‘s picks for their 25 favorite beers of 2014.

Read The Atlantic‘s piece: “How Facebook Designs the ‘Perfect Empty Vessel’ for Your Mind”.

Browse Paste‘s picks for the best comics covers of 2014.

Read about the beer brewed to help you solve problems.

Read about the road trip where two guys spent a year traveling to breweries in every (lower 48) state in the US. Cuz ‘Murica! And Craft Beer!

Read as Slate considers our obsession with being obsessed over things.

Read about the recent study finding: “Animated children’s movies depict more on-screen deaths than R-rated adult dramas”.

Browse the list of movies being added to Netflix in January.

Read Boston Magazine‘s piece: “Wasted How the craft-beer movement abandoned Jim Koch”.

See some “unfortunate publishing layouts”.

Browse NPR’s “Grammar Hall of Shame”.

Browse a “Beginner’s Guide to Dub”.

Read about Mark Zuckerberg’s book club.

Read about Phoenix selling the historic Barrister Place building downtown to PB Bell.

Browse this list of “12 Hidden Celebrity Cameos in Movies”.

Browse Time’s list of musical artists to watch in 2015.

Overpay For All Your Favorite Classic Rock Records” at Neil Young‘s Pono store.

Read Salon‘s report that Bono may never play guitar again.

Browse Flavorwire‘s “Year In Culture”.

Download a free Erased Tapes compilation featuring Nils Frahm, Kiasmos and Clark.

Read Paste‘s report that Sylvester Stallone has confirmed a fifth Rambo movie.

Read the Phoenix New Times‘ piece explaining why you can’t get certain beers in Arizona.

Read NPR’s piece looking at the name shortage and litigation surplus in the craft beer industry.

See an AZ photo of a family of sasquatches.

Browse Paste‘s “Beginner’s Guide to Craft Beer”.

Read FACT‘s report that there is a “McDonald’s-Themed Black Sabbath Tribute Band” called Mac Sabbath.

Read as Consequence of Sound wonders about the future of the album cycle.

Read Phaidon‘s piece: “How Kandinsky helped create abstract art”.

Download Noisetrade‘s “Best of What’s Next: 2015” playlist.

Browse this list of “7 cultural concepts we don’t have in the U.S.”

Read Pitchfork‘s report that Coachella’s 2015 line-up has been announced.

Read about the 75 year study of what truly makes men happy.

Browse “Relevant”‘s list of movies they’re excited about this year.

Read Paste‘s report that Pixar has released concept art for The Good Dinosaur.

Two Book Series That Should Be Films

3813e557e99d02aca03ae9f82f8206f85f5b35f1Despite our continued best hopes to the contrary, Hollywood continues to turn our favorite books into lowest-common denominator drivel. The Narnia movies weren’t that great. The Harry Potter movies ranged from fairly decent to pretty good. The Lord of the Rings movies may have been OK but they certainly didn’t hold my interest long enough to find out.

And yet, with all the common sense of a leaping lemming, I sometimes think Hollywood might one day get it right. There are two series in particular where I would love to see filmmakers get it right. Centering

First, N.D. Wilson’s 1oo Cupboards series. Centering around Henry P. York, a young man who finds his connection to otherworldly adventure through a series of cupboards, this tale of discovery, loss of comfort and search for identity has everything a good Fall blockbuster should.

Second, I would love to see The Wingfeather Saga. The Igiby family’s struggle will draw you in and keep you to the end.

What are some books you’d like to see made into movies?

 

My Favorite Stuff of 2014

2014 ReviewIt’s no secret that I love year-end lists. I mean, come on. For someone perpetually interested in popular culture, it’s the most wonderful time of year. You get to see what other people liked and didn’t like. You get to be introduced to new things you would have otherwise missed. And you get your own disproportionate sense of self-worth inflated when the “real” publications agree with your great taste. What could be better?!

So, every year I not only read many year-end lists, I like to compile my own. It’s more for me than anyone else but I have found that some people find them interesting, so I post them for all the honest world to feel.

In keeping with last year, my list originally appeared at Habañero Collective. But I do want to take some of your megabyte space and add some elaboration  on some of my picks. I want to share some thoughts about a few of them. So, we’ll start with listing lists of lists:

My Favorite Music of 2014 (In Approximate Order)

  1. Modern Kin by Modern Kin

  2. Everything’s Different, Nothing’s Changed by Armon Jay

  3. Live In Ravenna by Moon Duo

  4. Sunday ’91 by Annie Eve

  5. Lost Colony by William Tyler

  6. Singles by Future Islands

  7. Dark Was The Yearling by the Bones of J.R. Jones

  8. Dark Night Of The Soul by Jimbo Mathus the Tri-State Coalition

  9. Our Lobe by Caribou

  10. Single Mothers by Justin Townes Earle

  11. You’re Dead! by Flying Lotus

  12. Heal by Strand of Oaks

  13. Lese Majesty by Shabazz Palaces

  14. Invisible Hour by Joe Henry

  15. Small Town Heroes by Hurray For the Riff Raff

  16. They Want My Soul by Spoon

  17. Forget Where We Were by Ben Howard

  18. Intensity Ghost by Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band

  19. Blind Water Finds Blind Water by Adam Faucett

  20. Way Out Weather by Steve Gunn

  21. Skinned Alive At The Last Exit by Shawn Skinner

  22. Benji by Sun Kil Moon

  23. Metamodern Sounds in Country Music by Sturgill Simpson

  24. Lateness of Dancers by Hiss Golden Messenger

  25. Lost In The Dream by the War on Drugs

My Favorite Song Of 2014 Was Not Released In 2014, Sorry
OK, OK, OK, I will go ahead and point it out but my favorite song of this year wasn’t actually released in 2014. This song first appeared on a live release from October 2013. There are unreleased demos of the upcoming Shawn Skinner and the Men of Reason album but those cannot be shared yet (but trust me, they are excellent).

But this song has meant more to me this year than any song actually released in 2014. This year has been one of some major transitions  (read here and here) and the themes in this song have meant quite a bit to me. Lines like: “letting go and holding on, not so young and not so strong. With no need to get ahead, just thankful for our daily bread. And even when the sunset seems so far away, you’ve got to hold out hope for a better day.”

There is something about this seeming contradiction about letting go of what you can’t control while holding on in faith that has really been my theme for 2014. The fact that this song was written by one of my favorite people on the planet who is not my wife makes it all the more powerful. There is hope, even when the daybreak seems so far away.

Stream “Letting Go and Holding On” by Shawn Skinner.



  • Read some thoughts on my list here.
  • Stream a mix of my favorite songs of the year right here:



The Weekly Town Crier

YeOldeTownCrierIsn’t that always the way? Instead of being thankful that I’m back with another installment of the Weekly Town Crier, all you can think about is that I missed last week and instead posted a video of Don Edwards yip yipping on the Facebook page instead.

Well why don’t you think of someone else for once in your life, alright?! I am a very busy person and, as much as I exist to serve you, I don’t always have enough time to do everything well. And, gosh dangit, if I can’t do it well, I’m not going to do it. That’s something I learned from my Dear Old Dad.

Well, I guess that implies that today’s Town Crier is excellent. That may or may not be the case. That’s up for you to decide.

You can buy my original pieces at my new Etsy shop and you can orderprints (framed or un) and shower curtains and duvet covers and such sundry items at my Society6 page.

It’s time again once again for the year-end list round-up.Year-End Lists, Year-End Lists, Everybody Loves Year-End Lists!:

  • Browse All Songs Considered‘s “Year In Music” roundup.
  • Browse American Songwriter‘s picks for the  “Top 50 Songs Of 2014″.
  • Browse Aquarium Drunkard‘s picks for 2014.
  • Browse AV Club‘s picks for the “Least Essential” albums of 2014.
  • Browse Christianity Today’s picks for books of the year.
  • Browse Consequence of Sound’s picks for the best live acts of the year.
  • Browse Consequence of Sound‘s picks for the best music videos of 2014.
  • Browse as the Drowned In Sound staff picks their top three of 2014.
  • Browse Drowned In Sound‘s picks for the best live sets of the year.
  • Browse Gorilla vs. Bear‘s list.
  • Browse Mojo‘s top 50 albums of 2014.
  • Browse Paste‘s top 50 albums of 2014.
  • Browse Paste’s top songs of 2014.
  • Browse Pitchfork‘s songs of the year.
  • Browse PopMatters’ picks for the best “Indie Rock” of 2014.
  • Browse PopMatters’ picks for the year’s best “Americana”.
  • Browse Rolling Stone‘s picks.
  • Browse Sterogum‘s picks.
  • Browse Time‘s favorite albums of the year.
  • Browse Time’s picks for the worst songs of the year.

Watch Bob Dylan perform a private concert for a single fan.

Watch Michael Stipe Reminisce About R.E.M. On CBS This Morning“. I don’t know about you, but there’s something disheartening seeing one of my favorite artists from my youth on CBS This Morning. I guess we all have to grow up sometime.

Pope Francis says dogs can go to heaven“.

Read “The Case for Drinking as Much Coffee as You Like”.

Read “Relevant”‘s report that Invisible Children is shutting down.

Read this report that “Industrial band Skinny Puppy sent a $666,000 invoice to US Department of Defense for allegedly using its music to torture prisoners in Guantanamo Bay.”

Apparently, Doctor Who and Sherlock are both becoming theme park attractions.

Ever wonder “What Colour Is It” right now?

See 30 celebrity mugshots. Because celebrities are cool, right?!

Read Fact‘s report that one million plays on Spotify will get you $60.00. I’ve often wondered who is trying to make their living off of Spotify. I get the artist issues, but this is also one million plays you might not otherwise have gotten. Musician friends, help me out here.

Register to win a Big Star Box Set!

Read AV Club‘s report that Netflix is going to regularly announce which titles are coming and going.

Read as American Songwriter picks Crowded House‘s “Don’t Dream It’s Over” as its “Lyric Of The Week”.

Get your own A Tribe Called Quest sweater just in time for Christmas!

Read Stereogum‘s report that iTunes recently agreed to stop distributing some “white power” music while Amazon has declined to do so.

Watch a “mini documentary” on Future Islands.

Read about the Walking Dead spin-off that will take place in Los Angeles.

The Weekly Town Crier

YeOldeTownCrierDon’t call it a comeback . . . well, I guess you could call it a comeback, seeing as how I haven’t done any version of the Weekly Town Crier for a very long time.

So welcome to the Weekly Town Crier’s comeback! This is where I gather mildly interesting articles and such to suck away time from your real life and the things you should actually be doing. It’s all part of a vast conspiracy to keep the population from rising up and paying attention for a change. Who knows what might happen if the sleeping giant was akoken.

Some weeks there will probably be more weeks. Other weeks there may be less. Deal with it.

Welcome one, welcome all.

Buy my art (please).

See pictures of the “Black Seadevil.”

Browse Paste‘s list of “The 30 Best Sitcoms on Netflix Streaming”.

Browse AV Club‘s list of “13 shows that reference their own cancellation”.

Listen to Bob Dylan’s first audio interview in 10 years.

Watch the only color concert footage of The Velvet Underground.

Read Slate‘s report: “Americans Now Drink More Craft Beer Than Budweiser.”

Read All About Jazz‘s interview with Daniel Lanois.

Well golly gee dan wilickers I love year-end list time. And guess what?! It’s time for the year-end lists to list themselves:

  • Browse All Songs Considered‘s “Year In Music” roundup.
  • Browse American Songwriter‘s picks for the  “Top 50 Songs Of 2014”.
  • Browse AV Club‘s picks for the “Least Essential” albums of 2014.
  • Browse Consequence of Sound’s picks for the best live acts of the year.
  • Browse Consequence of Sound‘s picks for the best music videos of 2014.
  • Browse as the Drowned In Sound staff picks their top three of 2014.
  • Browse Drowned In Sound‘s picks for the best live sets of the year.
  • Browse Gorilla vs. Bear‘s list.
  • Browse Mojo‘s top 50 albums of 2014.
  • Browse Paste‘s top 50 albums of 2014.
  • Browse Paste’s top songs of 2014.
  • Browse PopMatters’ picks for the best “Indie Rock” of 2014.
  • Browse PopMatters’ picks for the year’s best “Americana”.
  • Browse Rolling Stone‘s picks.
  • Browse Sterogum‘s picks.
  • Browse Time‘s favorite albums of the year.
  • Browse Time’s picks for the worst songs of the year.

Browse Flavorwire‘s “Official Formula for Boring End-of-Year Album Lists”.

See Africa’s first underwater hotel.

 Listen as NPR’s Here and Now profiles St. Paul and the Broken Bones.

You can now order Girl Scout cookies online.

Stream a new Sleater-Kinney song.

Read this report that Ridley Scott is considering directing a Blade Runner sequel.

Stream a new Purity Ring song.

Browse as Yahoo ranks Pandora’s holiday stations.

Read about Kathleen Edwards quitting music to open a cafe.

Read an interview with composer Terry Riley.

Watch Larry King interview “Progressive Christian” Jay Bakker.

Apparently, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is adapting Neil Gaiman‘s Sandman into a movie.

Watch Prince make a surprise appearance with a jazz band to cover the Beatles.

Read as Justin Taylor highlights Martin Luther King Jr.’s response to the idea that you can’t change heart’s through legislation.

Browse the first round of Grammy nominees.

Read Habañero Collective‘s report that AZ rabble rousers Some Dark Hollow have finally released their EP.