Top 37 1/2 Albums of 2012 [Exclusive]

2012.  Oh sweet/disgusting 2012.  This year proved to be one of the most confusing yet enlightening years on a personal level.  Filled with anguish turned to love, misery turned to triumph.  But, that’s not what we are here to discuss, so let’s get to the music!  This year was a very musical year for sure!  I personally attended more live performances than any year prior.  I also listened to hundreds of great albums.  This would have been a great year to maybe push towards an even 50 for the list, but for continuity sake, we will stick with the classic.

Although Trainwreck’d Society sort of turned into a modern day MTV for the blogosphere since we began doing so many interviews, mostly in the film world, music is always a priority.  Independent music is still at the heart of everything I do or write.  I  have been doing the music blogging thing for going on 5 years now.  I’ve covered hundreds of albums, as well as hundreds of artists.  So, before you judge, just let me continue to try something new, but know that my heart is always here.  And this is my favorite time of the year!  When I lay out the list for the criticism and enlightenment of whoever may care enough to check it out.  So with all of that nonsense behind, I am pleased to announce, these are Trainwreck’d Society’s Top 37 1/2 Albums of 2012!!

37.5 The Jesus Rehab - Drunken Hillbilly Fight Bar






37.5.  The Jesus Rehab – Drunken Hillbilly Fight Club EP

37. Age:Sex:Occupation - This Side of the Fence






37.  Age/Sex/Occupation  – This Side of The Fence



36. Louden Swain - Eskimo





36. Louden Swain – Eskimo

35. Ember Schrag - The Sewing Room






35. Ember Schrag – The Sewing Room

34. Ronnie Fauss - I Am The Man You Know I'm Not






34. Ronnie Fauss – I Am The Man You Know I Am Not

33. Banana & Louie - Alphabet Soup






33. Banana & Louie – Alphabet Soup

32. Cold Specks - I Predict A Graceful Explosion






32. Cold Specks – I Predict A Graceful Expulsion



31. Electric Needle Room - Presidents Of The United States of America Vol. 2






31. Electric Needle Room – Presidents of The United States of America Vol. 2

30. Of Monsters and Men - My Head Is An Animal






30. Of Monsters & Men – My Head Is An Animal

29. Typhoon - Hunger and Thirst






29. Typhoon – Hunger and Thirst

28. Aesop Rock - Skelethon






28. Aesop Rock – Skelethon

27. Mumford & Songs - Babel






27. Mumford & Sons – Babel







26. Sharon Van Etten – Tramp

25. Kendrick Lamar - Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City






25. Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City

24. The Memorials - Delerium






24. The Memorials – Delerium







23. Damien Jurado – Maraqopa

22. Grynch - Perspective






22. Grynch – Perspective

21. The Lumineers - The Lumineers






21. The Lumineers – The Lumineers

20. Trespassers William - Cast






20. Trespassers William – Cast

19. Robert Davi - Davi Sings Sinatra






19. Davi Sings Sinatra – On The Road To Romance

18. Ramona Falls - Prophet






18. Ramona Falls – Prophet

17. Robert Gomez - Severance Songs






17. Robert Gomez – Severance Songs

16. The Falling Trees - The Memories That Hold Us Together






16. The Falling Trees – The Memories That Hold Us Together

15. Y La Bamba - Court The Storm






15. Y La Bamba – Court The Storm

14. Thom Carter - All That You Love Is All That You Are






14. Thom Carter – All That You Love Is All That You Are

13. Good Old War - Come Back As Rain






13. Good Old War – Come Back As Rain

12. Lotte Kestner - All That You Start






12. Lotte Kestner – All That You Start (B Sides Album)

11. Mark Geary - Songs About Love, Songs About Leaving






11. Mark Geary – Songs About Love, Songs About Leaving

10. Her Ghost - Her Ghost






10. Her Ghost – Her Ghost

09. Anja McCloskey - An Estimation






9. Anja McCloskey – An Estimation

08. Bradley Wik & The Charlatans - Burn What You Can, Bury The Rest






8. Bradley Wik and the Charlatans – Burn What You Can, Bury The Rest

07. Bobby Joe Ebola & The Children Macnuggits - Trainwreck To Narnia






7. Bobby Joe Ebola & The Children Macnuggits – Trainwreck To Narnia

06. Fun. - Some Nights






6. Fun. – Some Nights

05. Phil The Tremolo King - The Tremolo Train Tour





5. Phil The Tremolo King – Tremolo Train Tour Songs

04. Darling Pet Munkee - You Better Believe It






4. Darling Pet Munkee – You Better Believe It

03. The Rest - Seesaw






3. The Rest – Seesaw

02. Neil Nathan - Sweep The Nation






2. Neil Nathan Inc. – Sweep The Nation

01. Ormonde - Machine






1.  Ormonde – Machine

12 For ’12: Favorite Shows of the Year [Exclusive]

So 2012 was a pretty music heavy, show filled year for me, as well as my wife.  As a tag team, we managed to check out more shows in 2012 than either of us had ever seen, combined.  Most of them occurred because we had the fortune to attend Pickathon, an outdoor music festival just outside of Portland, Oregon that I recommend to everyone!  Performers and listeners alike, you have to see this, it’s incredible.  Check out their website. And do it quick, because this thing is blowing up in a big way.

Most of the shows we did see were either at Pickathon or somewhere in the city we once called our residence, Spokane Washington.  And only one of these shows did I not see with my wife Melissa, because it was hear in shaky old Songtan, South Korea where I currently reside.  We also actually saw our favorite band, Blitzen Trapper, three times.  All the times were fantastic, but I didn’t want to be greedy and give them 3 of the 12 spots.  So I went with two of them.  Screw you, it’s my blog.  The only let down of the year came from Neko Case, who headlined Pickathon, but really didn’t impress me a whole lot.  Also some rapper named Chiddy Bang opened for Fun., and really didn’t impress me much as well, but what the hell, I’m sure somebody out there enjoyed them, so more power to them.

Other honorable mentions would have to go to The Woods Brothers, Laura Gibson, and Bowerbirds at Pickathon.  Emily Wells and Velella Velella at Elkfest in Spokane (which was a fun time, but sadly, a pretty weak line up compared to 2011’s event where Strength headlined).  The Verve Pipe rocked it as they always have for twenty years at Spokane’s Pig Out In The Park.  And Duck Duck Suckerpunch were some fun folks to see when the opened for Tacocat at Mootsy’s in Spokane.

With that being said, let’s take a look at what I believed to be my favorite performances from 2012.  Let’s begin!


12. The Horse Thieves & Jacob Butcher @ Scout (Spokane, Washington)

Photo by Mark Cluney

Photo by Mark Cluney

We had no real intention of catching some great yet subtle live music when my wife and I hit the town on a Tuesday night in the quaint city of Spokane.  But, we sure the hell did.  Just as they always do in Spokane, a bar closed down, and it re-opened a few months later. Scout had only been around a few weeks when we stumbled in to see what seemed like the only good thing to see on a Tuesday night.  Marshall McClean and Jacob Butcher performed their brilliant country based folk songs, with some guest spots from other Horse Thieves, who made up half the audience, that were sitting around clapping their friends on with joy.  It may have been a small show, but all eyes were definitely on the small corner where the man in the tight pants strumming tracks like “Throw The Dice” and “Dakota Wind” with such amazing grace and talent.

11. Two Man Gentlemen Band @ Pickathon Main Stage (Happy Valley, Oregon)

Two Man Gentleman Band

For a guy with “Gentleman” tattooed on his arm, this was a must see show.  And for a fan of old school ragtime and the upright bass in general, this was mind blowing.  I also adore pork chops.  So when I heard this duo break out with “My Girl Smells Like Pork Chops”, I almost lost my mind.  This is a band that is beyond their time, but a perfect representation of the old days mixed converged with the new.  I am certain that many people around were unaware of these two before arriving at Pickathon.  But, I am even more certain that several people fell in love with them after their appearances.

10. Atmosphere @ The Knitting Factory (Spokane, Washington)


I didn’t know what to expect in going to see Atmosphere.  I had been a fan of them for so many years, just like everyone else at the show.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to hear their old school shit, or something from the new.  But, I was not disappointed in any kind of way.  Their second to last album, When Life Gives You Lemons, Paint That Shit Gold, is still my favorite album of all time.  And they did not fail to play several tracks from that.  If I remember correctly, the played more from that album that their 2011 release.  It was pretty amazing to see Slug and Ant live in person, personally.  I’ve always, and always will, considered Slug to be the Bob Dylan of hip hop music, so it was great to see one of my heroes perform live.  And the night couldn’t have been as great without the help of my new found friends David and Sara Smyer (Hey guys!!).  It was a great show shared with great friends.  What more can you ask for?

9. Y La Bamba @ Pickathon Galaxy Barn (Happy Valley, Oregon)

Y La Bamba

Y La Bamba.  Yes, sweet Y La Bamba.  I have been listening to this amazing band pretty much since their inception.  In fact, their bassist Ben Meyercord could very well be considered the man who introduced me to the music blogging world.  He was close friends and collated with one of my favorite (now extinct) bands known as Westfold.  He also wrote for a little blog known as Fensepost.  I made the connection, and the rest is history (that is if you even know who the hell I am, which is absolutely reasonable if you don’t).  That being said, I saw a man who led me to become who I am play along with lead singer Luz in the sweaty but exciting Galaxy Barn.  Even as Luz rambles off unknown lyrics in Spanish (America’s second language, really), you know that these are some beautiful songs you are listening to.  After several years of appreciating these fine folks, it was absolutely amazing to see the energy right in front of my weary eyes.  My most memorable moment of this show actually came the following day and featured my dear wife.  The day after the Galaxy Barn show, we say Y La Bamba playing the secondary main stage at Pickathon, and my wonderful wife stated, “Oh, this was the song I heard yesterday, I LOVE this song!”.  That song was “Fasting in San Francisco”, which is still one of my favorite tracks of all damn time.  I had never mentioned this, not even during the first appearance.  This is how I knew I found something beautiful.  This track always reminded me of a modern age “Girl From Ipanema”, but I never knew it could be that far loved.  Although every track these tasteful gathering of angels perform to the unworthy, this is what really stuck out in my mind.

8. Blitzen Trapper @ Pickathon Main Stage (Happy Valley, Oregon)


BlitzenTrapper8This was actually the second time seeing my favorite band perform.  I really dug this show, but you should probably scan down to the #1 spot.  I also saw them in Spokane opening for The Head and The Heart a few weeks later (keep scrolling).  But, this show was unique for one great reason….the crowd was huge!!  Eric Earley and company were the last act on the main stage before (the pretty unimpressive, but) legendary Neko Case took stage.  Therefore, a crowd had drawn even more so than usual.  Thousands of people were there staring at a band that had become more than a household name to me, but legends in their own right.  It was amazing to see them on a huge lighted stage with the sun going down, as well as a surprise introduction from a couple of members from Kitty, Davis, & Lewis.  This would be the last full show we would see at Pickathon, and a perfect way to go out indeed.

7. Tusi @ Blue Jazz (Songtan, South Korea)


There is something about this cat Tusi.  When I arrived in Songtan, I honestly did not believe I would run across a working musician of any kind.  Although he mostly makes his tips from playing obvious classic rock covers, he still manages to reinvent some great tunes, leaving several drunk foreigners none the wiser when he submits them to some beautiful revamping.  And, of course, he works them over greatly when he creates his own lyrics to classic songs and makes them about things that only those who have been here could ever understand.  I watched him three times in a matter of three weeks, but the night at Blue Jazz has topped it all off thus far.  A young Korean girl was celebrating her birthday with her medium sized family on this night.  And besides myself and my dear friend Whitey, they were basically the whole crowd.  And damn did the enjoy it!  It is already one of my finest memories of my time in Songtan.

6. Good Old War @ The Knitting Factory (Spokane, Washington)

Good Old War

I’m sure I am not the only one to do this, so I will understand if you are neither impressed, nor concerned.  But, this was one of those shows that my wife and I only went to in order to see the opening act.  Need To Breathe were the headliners, and honestly, I really didn’t care for them from the beginning.  But dammit if I don’t love me so Good Old War.  My wife discovered a few of their tracks on Pandora many months before, and their latest album had become a regular played record in my kitchen while preparing the night’s meal.  In that time I managed to catch them on Conan, interviewed their drummer Tim Arnold, and then we finally got to watch them perform live.  And what an amazing threesome.  The have so much energy to throw around at a crowd.  And as much as we didn’t want to disrespect the opening act and the thousand people who probably came to see the opening, when this light hearted threesome left the stage, so did we.  This would also be the last show I saw, and probably will ever see, in Spokane in my three and a half years in the area.  A perfect way to go out if you ask me.

5. The Head and The Heart @ The Knitting Factory (Spokane, Washington)

The Head and The Heart

Again, I admittedly only came to this show to see Blitzen Trapper (previously mentioned).  But, I did appreciate The Head and The Heart.  My former editor Fense always had a love for them, and were a regular mention on his site I contributed to, Fensepost.  But, they held nothing against their Sub Pop label mates in my eyes.  But, dammit if we didn’t stick around, and really love this show.  Part of it could have very well been the ingestion of an ample amount of rum with my wife and previously mentioned homegirl Sara Smyer, and a sort strange dice throwing dance that turned into invisible masturbation.  Either way, between the antics we managed to actually watch them from the balcony level, and really dig them.  In the months post (including to this very day) The Head and The Heart have become an amazing and very important band in my life.  I knew I was a fan boy when I completely lost it when I heard the song at the end of an episode of How I Met Your Mother, and completely lost a caring thought that Ted had just proposed to Robin.  Oh yeah, that’s right, I dig them that much!

4. Bobby Joe Ebola & The Children Macnuggits @ Backspace (Portland, Oregon)

Bobby Joe Ebola

I could write a damn book about the leading up to this show, the brilliant show itself, and even the wonderful night around the City of Roses that followed.  But, for subject matter’s sake (and because I have already written a full fledged live review for Fensepost), I will just recap the event a bit.  Corbett, Dan, and company killed it at Geekfest!  That pretty much sums it up!  The thrill of seeing a band I have loved about as long as I have truly been able to appreciate great music was amazing.  And the drunk fool who spilt beer all over my friend Jill Keller makes for a pretty memorable night as well.  One thing that made this show pretty special was the appreciation from the audience.  I was very excited to see so many folks in the audience singing along to several different tracks.  When you love a band for over this long, it is always great to watch others appreciate their beauty.

3. Tacocat @ Mootsy’s (Spokane, Washington)


Oh, Tacocat.  You vixens!  This was a show that was admittedly going to be a great time whether I cared for the actual performance.  My wife was going to meet up with her beloved cousin, drummer Lelah Maupin, in what felt like a very long time.  I personally I had only seen Lelah since high school one other time….at a funeral.  So it was a much nicer reunion.  But even beyond that, what a fucking show.  The energy!  The magnetism, the electrifying fast paced absurdity of time passage was simply incredible.  Lelah is an incredible impressive drummer with a quickness that is almost unmatched by any one I can think of.  And dammit if Emily Nokes doesn’t have that sort of sweet Northern Belle sort of voice that intrigues you to no end.  The way these band of punk(?) Go-Go like outlaws truly moved the crowd is almost indescribable.  Overall, it was absolutely amazing to watch a group of people that I either knew pretty well, or vaguely remember passing through the halls of high school (Hi Eric!) perform so enthusiastically for a group of strangers.  I left that show feeling that had I not known a single person in the band nor in the audience, I would have been directly fucking impressed.  Therefore, the impression I did have was beyond belief.

2. Fun. @ The Knitting Factory (Spokane, Washington)


Without giving a damn as to so many of the Instagram loving fools out there might say, I absolutely adore Fun.  So much so, that I still enjoy “We Are Young”.  So much so, that I actually bought tickets to see this show many months before they came to Spokane in late August.  And it was a damn good thing I did, because this would be the first, and only, sold out show I would see at The Knitting Factory.  And, as you can tell from this list, the greatest.  Watching these pop music masterminds was absolutely mesmerizing.  I had begun to notice from listening to their first two albums that they knew exactly what it meant to make an absolutely perfect pop song.  But, it never struck me as much as when I watch them perform their songs to such a sold out crowd in a medium sized city.  Their second single, “Some Nights”, had only yet become an extremely popular song (shortly before it appeared on Glee), yet everyone in the damn audience grew extremely excited when the threw it out to them.  In all of my show going experiences, I have never witnessed so excitement in an audience.  It does not behoove me to state honestly that Nate Heuss is without a doubt the brand new charismatic version of Freddy Mercury that the pop music world as been longing for.  This is an amazing band that has made a couple of amazing records.  But even while listening to these records, it should become obvious that this is a band that creates a show in your mind, and should definitely be seen live.  I am thankful that my wife and I were able to see these geniuses in a medium sized venue, up close and personal, before we are only allotted the opportunity to see a modern day “Bohemian Rhapisody” live in person.  When it comes to stage presence and choreographed presentation, this is probably the greatest show I have ever witnessed.

1. Blitzen Trapper @ Pickathon The Woods Stage (Happy Valley, Oregon)


It was Day One at Pickathon when my wife and I saw our heroes grace a small stage made of lumber and electrical wires.  We are right up front, showing up half way through the preceding band, Bowerbirds (also impressive, if we weren’t distracted by the thoughts of seeing Eric & Co.), sitting in the dirt like a couple of mongrels waiting for the fresh gathering of substance.  And when they went on stage, we were not just there, but fucking THERE.  We both stood less than ten feet from the son that Bob Dylan wished he would have had, Eric Earley.  And as he swapped form harmonica, to electric, to acoustic, to keyboard, we were there to examine his every god damned move.  Every genius maneuver the entire band, we were there to notice.  And as strange as it seemed, they played almost every track we were begging to hear them perform.  When then induced hand clapping for “Big Black Bird”, it was incredible.  When they threw around the crowd pleasing tracks like “Black River Killer” or “Furr”, we laughed and danced around.  When they slowed it down with the country-esque tracks like “Girl In A Coat” and “Stranger In A Strange Land”, I embraced my beautiful wife as hard as I could while she cried (for reasons I care not to explain).  It was an emotional roller coaster to watch this band of incredible wordsmiths throw their hearts to the wind, only to entertain the simple minds who cared to watch.  A magical thing happened during this performance as well.  At the risk of sounding like a 70’s teenager at a Shaun Cassidy….it honestly felt that Eric had looked directly at my wife and I as we embraced during his slower acoustic tracks, and was singing directly to us, and feeling our love, pain, and longing.  I know this is a cliché for show going experiences, therefore I had always discarded it as hokey and ridiculous.  Therefore, when I actually let myself feel such corniness, I know I had felt something incredible.  That is why see Blitzen Trapper was not only my favorite performance of 2012, but probably of my life thus far.  Blitzen Trapper had changed my life already.  Their words are imprinted on my soul and in places I dare not mention.  But seeing this show with the woman I love, sharing this experience, had more of an impact on me than I could have ever imagined.

David S. Chackler [Interview]

dc and lingtonv2nolington

David Chackler may not exactly be a household name in all households, but trust me, he has brought you the world in back in the both the music business as well as the music supervision world in some of your favorite horror, gangster, and even comedy films.  With Chackler you may have never known a thing about a little group called Fleetwood Mac.  Freddy Mercury might have just been a stand in for Tim Curry during Rocky Horror Picture Show gigs in New York City.  And we may have never felt the power and glory of Luke and the controversial dirty boys known as 2 Live Crew.  And that doesn’t even begin to dive into his world in the film industry.  He’s brought visions to life with his music in classic films like Child’s Play, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 (featuring what I believe to be is greatest work when he got Dokken on board!), Kickboxer, Fatal Beauty, Fright Night, and on and on and on.  He is a rarely fully appreciated mastermind who brings depth and life to films that may have lacked the intensity without his presence.  The man is a legend, and we are honored that he took the time to chat with us about his illustrious career, numerous accomplishments, and more.  Enjoy!

You have had an illustrious career in bringing oh so important music to several amazing films.  But, what about in the regular recording arena?  What kind of non film related projects have you been a part of?

Wow! that’s an answer that could be a book by itself 🙂 i started in the music business in the late 60’s, and worked for several years at labels, both major and independent,first promoting records to radio, and later in a&r, signing acts. Labels ranging from the legendary Chess Records, to Mercury, Polygram, and others…
in the early 70’s, while at Polydor, i was brought a duo named Buckingham\Nicks, by Producer Keith Olsen..i signed that duo to Polydor, and immediately left to form my own Publishing and Production company, with them as my first act..
along with Keith Olsen, we introduced them to Mick Fleetwood, the magic was done, and their first album together “Rumours”, became the largest selling album of all time, up to that moment…
Having experienced the British Invasion  first hand through my tenure at Polydor Records in London., i knew that music, more than ever, was a global industry, so i became involved  in a new European venture designed to scout and cultivate British talent. This venture, with Trident Studios in London, achieved unprecedented success. The discovery and launch of Freddie Mercury and Queen (the group that first challenged then changed the sound of FM radio) was the first among the many successes. Ever remaining at the forefront of new music, i watched the onset of Rap take over the airwaves, so i next joined forces with Luther Campbell to start the groundbreaking rap label, Luke Skyywalker, Luke/Atlantic Records, achieving  multi platinum album status with the group, 2 Live Crew.


so, that is kind of a brief overview of my early years in the music industry…..

What is the most challenging aspect of being a Music Supervisor?  What is the most rewarding?
i think the most challenging aspect of Music Supervision, is the balancing act you have to perform, between the director’s vision, and the studio or the producers budget :-)…..its your job to make that vision come alive with the music, as you interpret it, yet, you always have to be aware of costs….its extremely challenging..
the most rewarding , i think, would be the moment you see the film on the big screen , in a theatre with the audience…and, they react to the overall experience, much as you had hoped…that’s very rewarding ! 
How did you manage to team up with Tom Thurman spanning an almost 30 year working relationship and the creation of Dead Rabbit Films?  Did you meet during the making of Fright Night?
i assume you meant Tom Holland ?…because i don’t know who Tom Thurman is (lol)….and, yes, we met during Fright Night, my friend Gary Lemel, who was head of the music dept at Columbia Pictures brought me in to help create the soundtrack and underscore…this was at a time, when soundtracks where very important, and added to the marketing of the film…i then had a label distributed thru CBS, and i could help create the music, as well as release and market it….it was a combination, everybody felt really worked !  Tom and I really hit it off during this period, and became friends, he asked me to run his production company TH Productions,  and do the music for his future films, as well….and that’s what we did, and we are still going !
The finished products you and Tom have created are obviously a collection of brilliant material.  What do you believe it is that makes the two of you such an impeccable duo?
i think what makes it work for us, is the personal chemistry..Tom took great pains in the early stages of our relationship, to make sure i understood film, and story structure, even had me take a class in screen writing… we became a team in the true sense…i understood what he wrote, and i totally understood his directing prowess, and i knew what he wanted musically ….even today, when this extends to not just music, but the business side of our company, we are totally in sync !
You’re inclusion of Dokken’s original track “Dream Warriors” in the third installment of the Nightmare on Elm Street series is now a cult classic move.  Did you forsee that such a thing could happen?  What made you choose Dokken?
in discussing the film with the studio (New Line Cinema), and the director Chuck Russell, we were looking for something “edgy”….something that would resonate with the genre audience…..we felt Heavy Metal, Hard Rock would really be perfect, it just so happened i had a friend at Elektra Records, who mentioned Dokken was preparing a new album, and it would be a cross platform marketing bonanza…and, so, it was born :-)..the group created the single “Dream Warrior”, we even had Freddie appear in a video with them, to cross promote…..i have to say, at the time, i did, really feel this genre of music would be perfect for the horror audience, and i have used it in other films as well :-), so maybe i was a bit of a “seer” !
You’ve worked in a varied amount of Music Supervision, from horror themes to hip hop base melodies.  What would you say has been your favorite area to perform your duties in?
to be honest, all forms of film appeal to me…i thoroughly enjoyed doing the horror films, but i also think, musically, doing the rap oriented films was even more fun :-)…
With such varied amounts of work, how do you choose the projects you want to be a part of?
at this point in my career, i am pretty much working with Tom Holland, exclusively, on our own projects …so, that makes the decisions easy :-))
If you could have live scored any significant event in American history, what would it have been?  Why?
wow, what an interesting question :-), i think i would have loved to do the music for the Civil War….the breadth and scope of emotions,action, power and pathos, would have been an incredible challenge musically !
 What was the last thing that made you smile?
ha !! i think i would have to say, it was watching De Niro’s performance in the new film Silver Linings Playbook…..i couldn’t help smiling at the character….i guess, of course, that being a Philadelphia Eagles fan myself, might have influenced my choice (lol)..

Tom Holland [Interview]


Who doesn’t love a great horror film, am I right?  There is something deeply enthralling about watching some of your deepest fears played out on screen.  Everything you fear most is on display, but safely nestled in a fantasy world you are nowhere near physically.  And thankfully, we have some twisted masterminds out there who have made it their life’s work to scare the shit out you.  Even more so, there is an elite group of folks who have time and time again proven that they indeed on top of the game.  One of these cats specifically, Tom Holland, is a legend with a catalog of films that stand firm next to the likes of Craven and Romero alike.  His extremely impressive list of credits include Fright Night (original 1985 version, as well as the 2011 remake), Child’s Play, Psycho II, adaptation of Stephen King’s Thinner, the forthcoming King adaptation The Ten O’Clock People, and many more.  Hell, he’s even moved into the comedy world to direct Whoopi Goldberg in her 80’s classic Fatal Beauty.  He is the man who arguably brought vampires to the mainstream youth, created the legendary Chucky, and brought the master of horror novels dreams to the silver screen.  His career spans longer than most of fine TWS followers have even been living.  We were fortunate enough to be able to steal some of Tom’s time between frightening moviegoers everywhere to talk with us.  Enjoy.

Horror seems to be your genre of choice.  I’ve always wanted to ask, what draws a person into the world of horror?  What is the genre’s greatest appeal to you personally?

Horror presents opportunity. They were the entry level jobs when I started out. I would argue that what I do also combines suspense, science fictions, and humor. But then that’s me. The appeal of the genre is that people still want me to do it, for which I am grateful. Horror is metaphor. It can carry the weight of almost any story you want to tell.

So, I’m just going to throw it out there….You are a freaking lawyer??!!  How does one shift from law school into acting, and what made you continue pursuing acting and filmmaking after you passed the bar?

I was an actor first, and in a moment of madness went to law school. I was trying to go straight, join the bourgeois, and have some financial security in life. Well, that didn’t work out very well, did it? I got my first screenplay optioned while I was waiting for word from the Calif. State Bar on the exam. I passed, which was great, but not as great as making $ from writing. I decided to go for it, off that encouragement. I’d been poor so long as a student at UCLA, I figured I was used to it, and could take the shot. I remember my first 5 year law school reunion. Everybody was buying their first house and I was having trouble keeping my car in repair. I don’t know why, but somehow I knew that I had to keep writing. I also knew I had a choice, which was comforting.

childs_play_3_poster_02Does the law school experience help you out a bit when you are producing a film?  

It helps when I read my contracts. I can actually make notes. I may have been less screwed over time than other “creative,” but I wouldn’t count on it. When you get to legal papers, it’s all in the “definitions,” how things are define.  Not in the artist’s favor. (cough-cough)

In your work as a screenwriter, what is your process?  Do such original ideas just pop into your head?  

It’s a mystery to me. Right now I am compelled to write. I have too many ideas. However, I have spent years where everything I wrote seemed like shit. The terrible/wonderful thing about writing is the more you learn, the harder it gets, because you want to be better.

Your 1988 film Child’s Play is hands down one of the finest horror films ever made, and has stood the test of time, holding onto its popularity as an original, as well as spawning several subsequent films that continue to make it one of the most popular franchises.  What do you think it is about the world of Chucky that is so fascinating to viewers?

One’s playthings coming alive and trying to kill you. That thought has occurred to every kid growing up. It’s universal. You understand the terror in your gut.

How do you develop an idea as bizarre as a mass murdering doll made for children?

I was working off an original screenplay by another writer. The story didn’t have a killer inhabiting the doll. It was an episode of Twilight Zone. When I created Charles Lee Ray, I had a serial killer to possess the doll and was off and running.

Another way of saying it is that it’s “character,” even when you’re dealing with a killer doll.  So I combined a creepy icon from childhood’s passes with the modern serial killer, and inadvertently created a marketing icon.

You are the legend, and arguable the creator, of the now vastly popular vampire sub genre, with a film like Fright Night….In your obvious expert opinion, what do you think it is that attracts people to the vampire world?  And what is your opinion of the new revamping (all pun intended!) of the vampire world (i.e. Twilight, True Blood)?

fright-night1-4e83989cb7bf2Vampires are living metaphor and infinitely malleable to whatever the current sensibilities are. When I did Fright Night, the sub-genre was exhausted. Love at first Bite was the last vampire film before FN, and it was a farce. Farce is the sign of exhaustion in a genre.  Culture changes every two to three years, so it constantly reinvents itself. It’s what makes horror fiction/movies, etc. so interesting. they are constantly evolving and changing. Killer Dolls and Chucky are tired right now. Wait a year or two. Someone will come along with another vision, and reinvigorate it.  It’s what makes it so much fun.

Was it intimidating to be put in charge of the re-creating, or creating the continuation of, the works of people like Stephen King and Alfred Hitchcock?  

Yes, esp. Hitchcock. Psycho changed how I looked at film. Hitchcock was also older. Stephen King is a contemporary. He’s the Charles Dickens of my generation. It was intimidating writing Psycho 2, because the original was so transforming, and had grown to legendary status when I tackled. Hitch had been deified. Stephen less so, although I am learning if you stick around a while and have done some good work, your reputation grows.

How about the other side?  You’re truly original classics like Fright Night, Child’s Play, & more have had sequels and remakes done….Have been happy with the extensions or remaking of the cult classic films you originally created?

As to the question, I am ambivalent about the remakes and sequels. Appreciate the nod, but not the results so much.

And we always have to ask….where do you keep your Saturn Award?  Any significance?

In the family room on shelves next to the fireplace. No significance, but it looks nice there.

Rumor has it you are actually adapting another Stephen King novel.  Can you tell us a bit about it?

I’m gearing up to do “Ten O’clock People,” from a short story by Stephen. I adapted and directed his miniseries, The Langoliers, which I like a lot. Like everything about Thinner, but the last two minutes. But that’s another story. Every director seems to have them.

What was the last thing that made you smile?

Your questions. Thank you.

With Friends Like These -or- Our Favorite Albums of 2012 [Exclusive]

We all know what time is.  The year ended, and another started anew.  Now is the time in which we all sit around the theoretical camp fire and discuss what we listened to in 2012.  Artists scour the interwebs to find what lists they made, listeners learn what they missed out on or feel satisfied knowing that they listen to the same music as somebody they admire.  It is also a blogger’s feast to feed the minions!  This is our time to shine!

So with that in mind, I thought I would reach out to a few members of the Trainwreck’d family, and to some new members as well, to see what they were listening to this year.  The results are varied, just like the folks we cover here.  We have musicians, rappers, actors, construction workers, an extremely sexy housewife with a very familiar last name, and more!  And looking at many of the results, I feel safe in saying that this could be a great preview to our Top 37 1/2 Albums of 2012.  So, enjoy!


Brandon Armstrong (producer/DJ, Gasoline Monk)

Brandon Armstrong





1. Flying Lotus – Until The Quiet Comes

2.  Shatter Hands – Land Fly

3. Nas – Life Is Good

4. Robert Glasper Experiment – Black Radio

5. Karriem Riggins – Alone Together

Matt Beat (musician, Electric Needle Room)

Matt Beat





1. Passion Pit – Gossamer

2. Jessie Ware – Devotion

3. Animal Collective – Centipede Hz

4. The Shins – Port of Morrow

5. Tanlines- Mixed Emotions

Jared Brannan (musician)

Jared Brannan






1. Shearwater – Animal Joy

2. P.O.S. – We Don’t Even Live Here

3. Why? – Mumps etc.

4. Forgetters – S/T

5. TW Walsh – Songs of Pain and Leisure

Joseba Britt (musician)

Joseba Brit






1. Sigor Ros – Valtai

2. Toe – The Future Is Now

3. Mono – For My Parents

4. The Samuel Jackson Five – The Samuel Jackson Five

5. Fanfarlo – Rooms Filled With Light

Alan Cohen (musician, The Alan Cohen Experience)

Alan Cohen






1. Grizzy Bear – Shields

2. Tame Impala – Lonerism

3. The Shins – Port of Morrow

4. Can – The Lost Tapes

5. The Beach Boys – That’s Why God Made The Radio

Jared Cortese (musician, The Jesus Rehab)

Jared Cortese





1. The Glass Notes – As The Building Crumbles

2. The Hoot Hoots – Feel The Cosmos

3. Roaming Herds of Buffalo – Roaming Herds of Buffalo

4. The Great Um – What The People Want

5. Campfire OK – When You Have Arrived

Zach Cregger (actor, Guys With Kids, Whites Kids U Know)

Zach Cregger





1. Matthew Dear – Beams

2. Tame Impala – Lonerism

3. Animal Collective – Centipede Hz

4. Dirty Projectors – Swing Lo Magelian

5. Eraas – Eraas

Tiffany Daniels (editor/founder, Drunken Werewolf Magazine)

Tiffany Daniels






1. Hysterical Injury – Dead Wolf Situation

2. Jesca Hoop – The House That Jack Built

3. Me and My Drummer – The Hawks the Beak the Prey

4. Mary Epworth – Dream Life

5. Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man

Lucien Eisenach (actor, Tormet, Sinister)

Lucien Eisenach






1. Diamond Rings – Free Dimensional

2. The Cruxshadows – As the Dark Against My Halo

3. Grimes – Visions

4. Blaqk Audio – Bright Black Heaven

5. Grendel – Timewave Zero

Cody Foster (hip hop artist, Sadistik)

Cody Foster






1. Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City

2. El-P – Cancer 4 Cure

3. The Weekend – Trilogy

4. Dark Time Sunshine – ANX

5. Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man


Robin Grey (musician)

Robin Grey






1. Sam Lee – Ground Of Its Own

2. The Moulettes – The Bear’s Revenge

3. Brooke Sharkey – One Dress

4. The Staves – Dead, Born and Grown

5. Meursault – Something For The Weakened

Alexander Hallett (hip hop artist, Bodi)

Alexander Hallet






1. Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid in a M.A.A.D City

2. Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas

3. Trespassers William – Cast

4. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – The Heist

5. Sigur Ros – Valtari

Jon Hardy (musician, The Pristines)

Jon Hardy





1. Gallon Drunk “The Road Gets Darker From Here

2. Crystal Castles – III

3. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Grafitti – Mature Themes

4. Tindersticks – “The Something Rain

5. Metric – Synthetica

Andre Leo (musician, The Very Wicked)

Andre Leo






1. Brian Jonestown Massacre – Aufheben

2. Christian Bland & The Revelators – Pig Boat Blues

3. The Future Primitives – This Here’s The Future Primitives

4. The UFO Club – The UFO Club

5. Wild Easter Arches – Mountain

Adam Mattson (heavy metal expert, TWS contributor)

Adam Mattson




1. Neurosis – Honor Found in Decay

2. Swallow the Sun – Emerald Forest and the Blackbird

3. Woods Ypres – Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light

4. Nachtmystiym – Silencing Machine

5. Kralic – Years Past Matter

Anja McCloskey (musician)

Anja McCloskey





1. Sharon Van Etten – Tramp

2. Yann Tiersen – Skyline

3. Ottersgear – The Quest For Rest

4. Rufus Wainwright – Out of the Game

5. Andrew Bird – Break It Yourself.

David Minne (musician, TWS Contributor)

David Minne






1. Dirty Projectors – Swing Lo Megellan

2. AC Newman – Shut Down The Streets

3. Beach House – Bloom

4. Lord Huron – Lonesome Dreams

5. Bahamas – Barchords

Rob Nova (hip hop artist)

Rob Nova





1. Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City

2. Flying Lotus – Until The Quiet Comes

3. The Weekend – Trilogy

4. Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music

5. JJ Doom – Key To The Kuffs

Nate Prudhon (DJ, KEXP in Seattle, Wa)

Nate Prudon






1. Bear In Heaven – I Love You, It’s Cool

2. Lozen – Para Vida

3. High On Fire – De Vermis Mysteriis

4. Wax Tailor – Dusty Rainbow From the Dark

5. Rush – Clockwork Angels

Jon Ragel (musician, Boy Eats Drum Machine)

Jon Ragel






1. Kid Koala – 12 Bit Blues

2. Dark Time Sunshine – ANX

3. Mpala Guroo – Ou Du Monde

4. Trust – TRST

5. Xiu Xiu – Always

 Ira Rat (musician, Workerbee Records)

Ira Rat






1. Die Antwoord – Ten$ion

2. Hollow Press – Between Us

3. Eraserhead Soundtrack (Sacred Bones Re-Issue)

4. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!

5. Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas


Corbett Redford (musician, Bobby Joe Ebola & The Children Macnuggits)

Corbett Redford






1. The Coup – Sorry To Bother You

2.) Bryan McPherson – American Boy / American Girl

3.) The Neptune Power Federation – Mano A Satano

4.) Thin Lizzy – S/T Reissue on Light In The Attic Records

5.) Mumford & Sons – Babel


David Redmalm (musician)






1. Animal Collective – Centipede Hz

2. Happy Jawbone Family Band – The Silk Pistol

3. Dirty Projectors – Swing Lo Magellan

4. Neneh Cherry & The Thing – The Cherry Thing

5. Skeletons – The Bus

Bob Rice (DJ, KYRS Thin Air Community Radio in Spokane, Wa)

Bob Rice






1.  The True Spokes – The True Spokes

2. Terry Radigan – The Break Down of A Break Up

3. Eric Taylor – Live From The Red Shack

4. Michael McDermott – Hit Me Back

5. Craig Elkins – I Love You

Anthony Smith (musician) 

Anthony Smith





1. Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man

2. Hurrican Horses – Reflections

3. Alessandro Brustenghi – Voice From Assisi

4. Beach Boys – That’s Why God Made The Radio

5. Madness – Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da

Curtis Sutton (blogger, music aficionado)

Curtis Sutton





1. Japandroids – Celebration Rock

2. Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man

3. Frank Ocean – Channel Orange

4. Passion Pit – Gossamer

5. Purity Ring – Shrines

Danny Tamberelli (musician/actor, The Adventures of Pete & Pete)

Danny Tamberelli






1. Japandroids – Celebration Rock

2. Deftones – Koi No Yokan

3. Lord Huron – Lonesome Dreams

4. Nas – Life Is Good

5. Spiritualized – Sweet Home, Sweet Light

Melissa Trembath (TWS Contributor, Smoking Hot Wife)

Melissa Trembath






1. Of Monsters & Men – My Head Is An Animal

2. Mumford & Sons – Babel

3. Good Old War – Come Back As Rain

4. Fun. – Some Nights

5. The Lumineers

Phil The Tremolo King (musician/artist)

Phil The Tremolo King






1. Jim O and the Swanky Psychos- Jim O and the Swanky Psychos

2. Stealing sheep -Into the Diamond Sun

3. Crash and the Coots -Jon Coles EP

4. The June Brides -Between the Moon and the Clouds

5. The Finest Hour -These Are The Good Old Days

Anna Lynne Williams (musician, Lotte Kestner)

Anna Lynne Williams






1. Beach House – Bloom

2. Damien Jurado – Maraqopa

3. Sharon Van Etten – Tramp

4. Mike Dumovich – Acres

5. Robert Gomez – Severance Songs

Zane Lamprey [Interview]


Beer is great.  There really isn’t a better way to put it.  Given the right circumstances, and the right attitutdes, nothing really brings people together quite like a nice cold beer in any variation you may prefer.  And few people understand this like the one and only Zane Lamprey.  Lamprey has become a household name in the world of booze and travel.  Even food.  Zane has brought his comedy to the world whilst hosting shows like Have Fork Will Travel and Three Sheets, as well as his own books, comedy tours, and even a recently released drinking game that seems absolutely exhilirating and a whole lot of fun depending on how competative you really are!
We were fortunate enough to steal a few words from Zane when he had a break from globe trotting and globe drinking.  So crack open a can of cheap swill or maybe a tall bottle of your hipster friendly IPA, and enjoy a few words from a modern day messiah of the drunken empire.  Enjoy!

What led you into the world of comedy?  Did you know you wanted to be a comedian at a young age?  Dysfunctional childhood?

I think comedians make a choice when they’re younger– fight your way through problems (at home and at school), or joke your way through them.  I wasn’t much of a badass growing up, so I chose the funny route.  I started out as a “wise ass”, but slowly, and painfully, honed my craft.  I’m still a wise ass, but I also know when to shut up.

When was the last time you walked into a bar and actually had to pay for a drink?


How have you adjusted to celebrityhood and being the bitter envy of almost every male on the planet? (Explain)

I don’t think of myself any differently than I did a decade ago.  So, when someone comes up and tells me that they like what I do, or tells me about an episode that they like, it means a lot to me.  I think because I’m genuine about what I do, and truly grateful for the opportunities that I’ve been given, people see that.  I would say I’m very “approachable”, because I get approached all the time– especially when I’m out drinking.

Zane Lamprey's Holiday Dice Game!  Available now!

Zane Lamprey’s Holiday Dice Game! Available now!

Can you tell us a bit about one of your little known gems entitled Wee Sing with Wee Friends.  How did this come to light.  Will we ever seen a return of Mouse, Turtle, and Porcupine?

Oh, jeez… At one point I ran an animation company called Santa Monica Animation.  We had some amazing technology, like motion capture and great studios.  I hired some actors to put on the motion capture suits and to do the voice over, but in the end, people weren’t happy with the job they did, so I put on the suit, learned the songs and did the voices (and singing).  Did I mention that it was for pre-school aged children?  So, in a word– No.  My days of Mouse, Turtle and Porcupine are behind me.

What do you consider your greatest personal achievement in your career thus far?  Why?

For me, it’s my success in translating the small successes I’ve had on TV into other ventures, like my comedy tours, Pleepleus brand clothing and drinking games, and Monkey Rum, which launches in 2013.  My dad was an entrepreneur.  He owned and operated an elevator business, but he was always coming up with other ventures.  He even had several patents.  I’ve got that in my DNA.  I’m always looking ahead and trying to figure out how to best capitalize on my successes.

You have been across the globe, scouring the earth for great original drinks and foods.  Is there any place you haven’t been yet but feel you must go?  Where and why?

Oddly enough, the shows never brought me to Paris or Rome.  So, I went on vacation there last spring.  I definitely ate and drank my share.  Either that, or my pants shrank because of the time zones…

If you could share a drink with any famous television dad in history, who would it be and why?  What do you think they would drink?

Peter Griffin.  That fool’s crazy.  Beer.

 You’re actually a pretty tough guy to think up questions for.  Your career is so specifically oriented, and the same constant questions are destined to arise… with that, when you’re not drinking creatively, what could a person find you doing during your down time?

You definitely made me think.  Usually the questions are: Favorite drink? Favorite country?  Favorite hangover cure?  So kudos for making me work at it.  My answer to that question would be working and spending time with my family.  There’s the persona and the person.  As a person, I once tweeted something about being at my office.  People who know me just as the persona from TV didn’t understand why I even had an office.  They thought I was always at the bar having fun.  That’s fine by me!

zanelampreydmeWhat was the last thing that made you smile?

My wife.  She just said “When you’re done with that interview, can you take out the garbage?”.  Back to reality!


Be sure to head to to keep up with Zane and his antics!  And go ahead a pick up his latest dice drinking game!

Penelope Spheeris [Interview]


Whether it’s from her amazing rock documentaries, or her quintessentially 90’s and stoner friendly comedies like Black Sheep or Wayne’s World, or possibly even her family friendly films sitcom adaptations like Little Rascals or The Beverly Hillbillies, it is almost certain that Penelope Spheeris has brought a grave amount of entertainment to several generations.  Her versatile ways and means of filmmaking have made her a sought after and acclaimed mastermind behind the camera.  This is a woman who has made Hollywood her bitch, and shows no apologies for it whatsoever.  She doesn’t what she wants.  And even if she isn’t, you can damn well guarantee she will fund her way with projects towards getting exactly what she wants.  And yet, she still remains so humble.  Hence the reason she agreed to talk with the likes of us and you, the lovely, yet mildly insane Trainwreck’d readers.  So take heed folks, we have (another) legend in the house, and we are so very pleased to have her join the TWS family.  Enjoy!


You worked on the show Roseanne in its early years.  What was the dynamic like during that time?  

To give you an idea of the dynamic at that time ~ my first day, when the producer was showing me to my office (I had the job title of ‘story editor’) ~ there was a pile of broken things in the hallway.  A chair, a computer, parts of a desk.  I asked what happened and the producer said one of the writers was unhappy about my coming on board and he tore up his office and threw it in the hallway.  What a warm welcome, right?

Did it feel revolutionary in some way with such a common place plot, but with such non-common placed characters?  

The first time I saw Roseanne was on her 1986 HBO special.  I immediately called my agent and said ‘I must work with her!  she’s brilliant!’  keep in mind I had previously worked very closely with richard Pryor and Albert brooks.  my agent didn’t know who she was, but quickly signed her up as his client.  Doncha love Hollywood?  It was not my agent, but instead a wonderful woman named Arlene Rothberg that put me together with Roseanne.  Did I think she and the show were revolutionary?  not really.  mostly because there were plenty of other sit-coms based in the ‘common place’ that were around at that time and even earlier than that. it was however, the one that hit that special nerve and made America laugh at itself.

Spheeris with Eyeball

Spheeris with Eyeball

You have a sort of a Jekyll and Hyde sort of thing going on in your career when it comes to directing mainstream comedies and rock documentaries, which has been widely noted.  There are obvious differences, but are there similarities as well?  

People, journalists, etc always ask why I have such a diverse body of work.  I wish I could flower it up and give you some romantic answer, but the fact is~~ I always took whatever gig I could get.  Women have to do that in this business.  We can’t pick and choose like men do.  Serial killers in The Boys Next Door, squatter punks in Suburbia, cheesy Hollywood Vice Squad.  I remember refusing to direct that one and my agent said, ‘where else are you going to make $50k?’.  So I did it.  Cool though because it gave robin Wright her first feature role and it got Carrie fisher back into the good graces of the bonding companies after re-hab.  Oh, also – I learned how to roll a car and as research the producer made me ride around with the real Hollywood vice squad as the arrested people for prostitution.  Grim.  As time has gone by though, I  have purposely chosen not to take those kinds of gigs because I am very much against any type of gratuitous violence in films.  ‘real life’ violence has become too pervasive.  I believe that we as filmmakers have a responsibility to society to not contribute to create more violence.

Is it difficult to switch gears from anarchist supporting noise making films, to family friendly Tim Arnold movies?

I don’t remember ever claiming to be an anarchist.  Maybe people assume that because I made films about punk rock which has its roots in anarchy.  I do, however get your point.  How can someone direct ‘the little rascals’ and the decline of western civilization’?  The moment I saw the punk movement emerging, I felt compelled to film it.  I knew it was important, and the moment needed to be preserved for history’s sake.  However, I did not know that it would become so pervasive in the culture.  Fantastic that it did, I must say!  Once I did ‘Decline II’, I inadvertently positioned myself to get the gig to do ‘Wayne’s World’.  I had become the ‘expert’ on head banging.  After that movie, comedies were the only films I was offered.  I had written many scripts – more serious scripts like Suburbia – but I couldn’t get them made because the perception was that I could only do comedy.  So, I did comedy.  The salaries were awesome, so I used the money to make Decline III.  I couldn’t get distribution for it or for the Ozzfest documentary I did, We Sold Our Souls for Rock N’ Roll, so I did a Tom Arnold comedy.  Filmmaking is like an addiction.  You take whatever you can to satisfy the desire.

"Suburbia" (1983)

“Suburbia” (1983)

Your 1983 film Suburbia is without a doubt an extremely underrated film that was either ahead of its time, or just in the right time.  What was the inspiration behind writing this film?  Anything personal?

Suburbia was very personal.  Making it was quite therapeutic in that it helped me let go of a terribly tumultuous and chaotic childhood.  Many of the situations came from my own upbringing.  When I tried to release the first ‘Decline’, I could not get distribution for it.  Although it got awesome reviews and inspired hundreds of journalists to write feature stories in an effort to understand the new youth movement, theater owners were afraid of it and would not book it.  Also, at that time distribution for a documentary was virtually unheard of. So, in an effort to express my youthful rebellious nature, I wrote ‘Suburbia’, a narrative film – hoping that it would get better distribution.  No such luck.  However, it has survived beautifully over the years and has become a source of inspiration for a lot of young kids to this day.

Can you tell us a bit about your upcoming projects?

My entire focus right now is making The Decline series available on DVD and the other outlets.  My daughter, Anna Fox, and I have compiled all the extras, including splicing together the parts of the interviews that were not used in the original versions.  Hopefully mid-2013, they will finally be available.  I would like to thank the fans for their patience and loyalty.

What was the last thing that made you smile?  

My dog.

A Fond Farewell To A Friend [Travelogue]

018The last decade of my life has involved one grave act….the act of leaving.  I have ventured off myself several times.  And this is indeed a harsh act in itself.  I’ve left my family for months at a time, and in this case, an entire year.  It sucks.  It sucks a whole damn lot.  But, another side of it is leaving and losing some of the friends I have made in my tenor.  I’ve met some fine folks since enlisting, some of which we have shared some great times together, and who of which I have not seen in many years passing.  People move on to bigger and better things, for the most part.  Sometimes we run into one another again, sometimes we don’t.  Case in point – my dear friend Whitey.
As I mentioned previously, an old friend from my days in South Dakota has been here in Songtan, and has been my guide over the last two months.  But alas, the guide must go, and I have been forced to go on my own.  Yes, Whitey’s time has come, and he has made his way back to the states.  But, not before we had a really fun weekend.  The story of the end was a great one.  And I can not think of any better way to kick off the story without stating the major highlight…..
I ate dog.
Yep, I hate Gaegogi.  A well known Korean dish that is indeed, dog meat.  Here is where I should probably pretend to feel bad for all of you fine people who value the lives of your “babies” or “my kids” by name of which you oh so affectionately name your pet dogs.  But my only apologies will lie in the fact that I do not care if I hurt your precious little feelings.  So with that disclaimer in mind, let’s continue on…
dog, the other red meat.

dog, the other red meat.

A new friend of mine around here affectionately named Volvo Tony, a foreigner to Korea who has worked in the local Volvo car dealership for many years, invited myself, Whitey, and many other friends and acquaintances to enjoy a fun filled meal of Gaegogi and more Soju than one should really be able to ingest, yet somehow we all managed to make it work.  While the experience of eating Gaegogi was quite pleasurable, I need to be honest here – I really wasn’t too impressed.  The nearest resemblence to another type of meat would have to be roast beef, but with much more fat (which led us to believe that we were eating a very lazy dog) which made it more similar to the Moroccan Tajine (camel) I ate in Doha back in 2010.  The texture of the actual meat was quite nice when it was not entirely glazed with fat and topped with a bit of sea salt and mixed into a strange seasoning and sauce combination, I really don’t know what it was made of.  But, alas, I still think I prefer cow.  Not for moral reasons, as I actually would find it entirely unmoral to NOT partake in a dinner of Gaegogi if so offered.  To respect one’s culture is far more important than hurting your feelings.
020And the night moved on.  The soju flowed like wine through the streets of Songtan as we laughed, burped up dog meat, bar hopped, and genuinely had a great time in my dear friend’s final hours before he left this place he had become even more than accustomed to.  He had grown to love it here.  It was truly a sad time for all of us, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell on this night.  This night was all about going out with a bang.  And a bang we did.  We roamed around all of Whitey’s places, as well as some anew.  It was a good time shared by all to say the least.  And a time in which I do not rightfully or clearly remember the end of precisely.  But, alas the following day was interesting in itself.  But, that my dear friends is another story in itself.
(to be continued)