Tyler Hodg: Best Netflix Originals Of 2016

Published on December 30th, 2016 in: Best Of Lists, Documentaries, Movies, Netflix Reviews, TV |

By Tyler Hodg

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It’s been an inarguably great year to be a Netflix subscriber; the catalogue of lush original content has grown to its highest peak to date and while the service still provides a large amount of stinkers–we shall never talk about Fuller House, Marco Polo, or any of those new Adam Sandler films again—its substantial programs far outweigh its competitors. Below is a list of some standout content that Netflix has delivered over the past year. Continue reading ‘Tyler Hodg: Best Netflix Originals Of 2016’

Tim Murr: Best Of 2016

Published on December 29th, 2016 in: Best Of Lists, Books, Comics, Movies, Music |

By Tim Murr

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Lucio Fulci’s Zombie comic from Eibon Press
Stephen Romano and company have made a huge splash with their first series, an adaptation/on-going series based on the Lucio Fulci classic Zombie, the infamously gory 1979 Italian flick that served as an unofficial sequel to George Romero’s Dawn Of The Dead. The comic features fantastic art in glorious color and comes packed in sturdy slipcases. Only available through the Eibon Press website, this series is a great way to create niche collectible comics. With adaptations of Gates Of Hell and Maniac and the original series Bottomfeeders coming soon, it looks like Eibon Press will be the publisher to beat in 2017. (Read more.)

Dark Palms, Hoxbar Ghost Town
The debut album from the Pacific Northwest band took goth and post-punk and created a highly entertaining, propulsive slab of rock and roll. (Read my full review.)

Phantasm RaVager directed by Don Coscarelli
The fifth and final film in the Phantasm franchise arrived in October and was a worthy farewell to a group of characters who phans have loyally followed since 1979. There has been some knee-jerk negativity directed at the film, but I found that on repeated viewings the movie gets better (but I liked it right away!).

High-Rise directed by Ben Wheatley
Starring Tom Hiddleston, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, Jeremy Irons, and Elisabeth Moss, High-Rise is a dizzyingly moving adaptation of the JG Ballard novel from 1975. Set in a fictional mixed-use high-rise building, it’s a microcosm of class struggle in an alternate historical 1970s Britain. Brilliantly cast, beautifully shot, and fairly fucked up, High-Rise is one of the few book-to-film adaptations that lives up to its source.

Sherlock Holmes And The Servants Of Hell by Paul Kane
Paul Kane is the world’s leading expert on Hellraiser and powerhouse of a writer. In this book, Kane does a pitch-perfect Conan Doyle as he mixes the world of Sherlock Holmes with the world of Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, pitting the world’s greatest detective (not named Batman) against The Order Of The Gash. It is a very cool book and it’s a lot of fun to see Holmes and Watson going up against Cenobites and… an “old friend.”

Melissa Bratcher: Things That Made Me Happy In 2016

Published on December 29th, 2016 in: Best Of Lists, Feminism, Music, Podcasts, Soundtracks and Scores, TV |

By Melissa Bratcher

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As ever, my Best Of list is a list of… things. Stuff that made me happy. When looking back at 2016, it’s hard not to feel a crushing ennui for all of those we lost and a general clusterfuckiness, but there were some gorgeous, delightful bright spots. Mine are, in no order whatsoever:
Continue reading ‘Melissa Bratcher: Things That Made Me Happy In 2016’

Laury Scarbro: Top Five Movies Of 2016

Published on December 29th, 2016 in: Action Movies, Best Of Lists, Comedy, Comics, Feminism, Movies, Science Fiction |

By Laury Scarbro

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Star Trek Beyond

First and foremost, it has to be said that there are many movies that were released this year that I have not yet had the privilege to see. Several of those have yet to be released in theaters, or haven’t made it to DVD yet, so I’ll save that for another post. That being said, let’s get on with the list. This is also not the easiest list to put in any kind of order, so I’m not going to number them.
Continue reading ‘Laury Scarbro: Top Five Movies Of 2016’

Best Of 2016: Jeff DeLia of 72 Music Management

Published on December 29th, 2016 in: Best Of Lists, Music |

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I listen to as many new releases each year as possible in most genres. My complete list each year ends up with around 3,200 to 4,000 songs depending on the year. Out of it all, I create a list like this. Thanks for taking a look at my favorites of 2016. Happy New Year!

My favorite albums out of all the artists I manage this year were Bobby Rush’s Porcupine Meat and Janiva Magness’s Love Wins Again.

More Favorite Albums of 2016

1. David Bowie, Blackstar
2. Sturgill Simpson, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
3. Margo Price, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter
4. Charlie Faye and the Fayettes, Charlie Faye and the Fayettes
5. Bon Iver, 22, A Million
6. A Tribe Called Quest, We Got it From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service
7. Michael Kiwanuka, Love & Hate
8. James Blake, The Colour in Anything
9. Dylan Leblanc, Cautionary Tale
10. Wilco, Schmilco
11. Bonnie Raitt, Dig in Deep
12. Tedeschi Trucks Band, Let Me Get By
13. Emitt Rhodes, Rainbow Ends
14. Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool
15. The Record Company, Give it Back to You
16. Steve Poltz, Folksinger
17. Amanda Shires, My Piece of Land
18. Aaron Lee Tasjan, Aaron Lee Tasjan
19. Chance the Rapper, Coloring Book
20. Kendrick Lamar, untitled unmastered

Best Of 2016: Charlie Faye of Charlie Faye & The Fayettes

Published on December 28th, 2016 in: Best Of Lists, Feminism, Music, Reissues, Retrovirus |

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I’m that girl who’s always just a little bit sad I missed out on the 1960s… mainly, of course, because of the music. But ’60s soul music is alive and well today in 2016. This year we’ve been lucky to get a couple of outstanding releases from some of the original ’60s soul artists, and there is a whole lot of new retro-soul coming onto the scene as well.

Best Retro Soul Music of 2016

Charles Bradley, Changes
One of the best new old soul singers to come out of the past few years, and this record is his best yet. Let’s hope his health is improving and he’ll be back to making great music in 2017.

St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Sea Of Noise
This is a record I discovered late in the year, when it hit Americana radio. It’s wonderfully crafted Americana-Retro-Soul (one of my favorite musical mish-mosh terms) with creative production that brings all that old school soul into the modern era.

James Hunter Six, Hold On!
I saw the James Hunter Six live at the Continental Club in Austin and just had to buy the album on vinyl. James and the guys will get you moving, whether you’re at a nightclub watching them play, or at home listening through your stereo. We’ve known for a while that this guy is the real deal. He just keeps on putting out winners.

William Bell, This Is Where I Live
I can’t say enough about Mr. William Bell. I’ve always been a huge fan of his songs from the old Stax catalog—“You Don’t Miss Your Water,” “Everyday Will Be Like A Holiday,” and so many more. I was excited to hear that he had a new record coming out on Concord/Stax this year, titled This Is Where I Live. In 50 years the man has not lost his edge; William Bell has just as much charm as he had back in the day—in some ways, even more.

Otis Redding, Live At The Whisky A Go Go: The Complete Recordings
For Otis fans, this is the holy grail. The brand new release gives us three nights of Otis and his band live on stage in the spring of 1966. The energy of these shows is beyond impressive. With Otis’s singing raw and unedited, his band lays back into the groove one moment and is right on top in the next, building the energy to a frenzied pinnacle of excitement. It’s almost as if you were really there.

Sidenote: I would have loved to include an album by Daptone’s late great Sharon Jones in this list, but her last record was released in 2015. However, a deeply inspiring documentary about Sharon, her musical journey, and her battle with cancer, screened at SXSW 2016. Miss Sharon Jones!, directed by Barbara Kopple, is at once funny and heart-wrenching, and hits even harder now that Miss Jones is no longer with us. I highly recommend seeing it.

We reviewed Charlie Faye & The Fayettes’ self-titled debut on June 10.

Best Of 2016: Ronnie Barnett of The Muffs

Published on December 28th, 2016 in: Best Of Lists, Music, Reissues, Retrovirus |

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Top Ten Reissues of 2016

1. Milk ‘N’ Cookies, Milk ‘N’ Cookies (Captured Tracks): They shoulda been contenders but their initial good luck turned bad quickly. This long-in-the-works compilation of their lone album, singles, demos, and rehearsal tapes finally does this overlooked band’s legacy right. The two-CD set is accompanied by an exhaustive booklet jammed with photos, ads, flyers, and liner notes. Sigh!!

2. Ramones, Ramones: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Rhino): Obviously no introduction necessary for this band/album but the most special thing about this edition is the earthshaking news that the groundbreaking masterwork has finally been given an additional mono mix. The only thing wrong is that none of the boys are around anymore to hear it…

3. Crowded House, Deluxe Editions (Universal): Digitally remastered & expanded two-disc versions of all seven releases with tons of b-sides, outtakes & demos. Any morsel of Neil Finn is a true godsend.

4. Big Star, Complete Third (Omnivore): As the world borders on “Big Star overload,” Omnivore has he final word with this lavish three-disc set devoted to the tortured, beautiful Big Star’s Third. Exhilarating.

5. Scientists, A Place Called Bad (Numero Group): Wouldn’t be a year-end release without a Numero Group title, this time a four-disc set compiling the complete works of Australia’s hugely influential Scientists. Essential!

6. The Shaggs, Philosophy Of The World (Light In The Attic): No introduction necessary, Pat Thomas and LITA finally get this classic back in print & done right. I can’t believe I missed the in-store at Newberry Comics!

7. Game Theory, The Big Shot Chronicles and Lolita Nation (Omnivore): The GT reissue campaign continued this year with arguably their two most important works. I always thought the genius of Scott Miller would be appreciated by future generations, thanks to Omnivore my dream has come true.

8. Jack Lee, Bigger Than Life (Alive!): I hate to complain at all when discussing the long overdue reissue of both Jack Lee albums on one disc but… come on Alive! at an expensive list price should at least include some much needed liner notes about one of the most under-appreciated power pop icons of all time!

9. Public Image Limited, Metal Box: Super Deluxe Edition (Universal UK): If the newish trend of four-disc box sets devoted to one album made sense for one title only, this would be it.

10. Long Ryders, Final Wild Songs (Cherry Red): Compiling their complete works, B-sides, live tracks & demos… though I should say “complete minus one” as there is one key track mysteriously missing. Note to record companies: in this situation go ahead and put the song on and deal with the fallout and hurt feelings afterwards; they will get soon get over it and thank you later.

Another Ten:

Lush, Chorus (4AD)
MnMs, Melts In Your Ears (Burger)
King Crimson, On (And Off) The Road 1981-1984 (Panagyric)
David Bowie, Who Can I Be Now? (Parlophone)
Redd Kross, Teen Babes From Monsanto (Redd Kross Fashion)
Nymphs, S/T (Rock Candy)
Cluster, 1971-1981 (bureau b)
Ryan Adams, Heartbreaker (Pax-Am)
Plasticland, Wonder Wonderful Wonderland and Salon (Wounded Bird)

We reviewed the reissue of The Muffs’ Blonder and Blonder on July 22.

Tyler Talks Horror: Krampus

Published on December 23rd, 2016 in: Holidays, Horror, Movie Reviews, Movies, Reviews, Tyler Talks Horror |

By Tyler Hodg

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Hi, my name is Tyler Hodgkinson and I am a total horror n00b. In this series, I’ll be taking a look at classic, cult classic, and modern horror films with ignorant eyes. Its concept is scary simple. Continue reading ‘Tyler Talks Horror: Krampus’

The Walking Dead, “Swear”

Published on December 23rd, 2016 in: Horror, Reviews, TV, TV Reviews |

By Laury Scarbro

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Another week of separate story arcs, this episode takes us to a new location altogether: Oceanside. It’s not the most intriguing plot ever created for television, but the unknown will keep you interested. I rather thought that this episode’s beginning felt more like they’d borrowed writers from Fear The Walking Dead. It starts out with two girls on a beach. They’re obviously from another encampment, and they find another girl washed up on the beach. The older one doesn’t want the younger one to kill the girl.
Continue reading ‘The Walking Dead, “Swear”’

Best Of 2016: Jarod G. of Odonis Odonis

Published on December 23rd, 2016 in: Best Of Lists, Music, Music Reviews |

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Every music journalist struggles to find a voice. Years of struggle writing endless music reviews and a writer still may not find it. However, when I read quality music reviews written by a seasoned professional, that voice can project right off the screen and as clear as if they were sitting in front of me, I can hear that voice.

Couple that achievement with actual writing skill and the act of reading a truly well crafted, eloquent review becomes a kind of… salvation.

I have scoured the internet for the clearest, most unique voices of them all and come up with my TOP TEN Most Eloquent Lines from Music Blog Album Reviews 2016.

Enjoy.

We reviewed Odonis Odonis’s Post Plague on June 20 as well as their record release show on June 28.