Alexia Dox [Interview]

Alexia Dox 2

So, I have absolutely fallen in love with the Hulu Original Series, Quick Draw.  It is hilarious, poignant, and tastefully grotesque at only the right moments.  But, the finest part of the program is without a doubt the brilliant cast.  Each character of this wonderful little program bring their own bit of genius to the full project.  And what I didn’t know until recent days, is that the show is entirely improv!  Which only blew my mind a bit more when I thought about how talented I thought this cast already was, even before learning that the whole crew makes up their lines as they go along.  Absolutely brilliant!

And this got me thinking even further into how great of a cast this truly is.  I instantly thought of one of the supporting characters, Pearl.  She is a young lady who produces some of the most delightfully awkward scenes in the show.  Then I began to think about the actress behind the character Pearl, the lovely Alexia Dox.  What a woman!  In one character alone, she can lead one to assume that she is beautiful, witty, and simply brilliant.  So, I wanted to know if this were the case behind this wonderful rising star in the acting world.  And, even through a few simple correspondences and a bit of Facebook/Twitter stalking, I have come to realize that it is absolutely true!  Ms. Dox is a blessing to us all if you truly think about it.  The young talent, especially females, seem to get a bad rap sheet due to the actions of few, and our newly developed part of our human nature that makes us feel compelled to dwell on silly shit and meme, post, tweet, etc. about it for a few days, until said young female does something else to ridicule.  We are all to blame I believe.  But nevertheless, I am here to clearly state that there is definitely hope!  Young brilliant people like Alexia Dox are making all of the difference!

And I thought it would be brilliant to ask Alexia Dox a few questions about Quick Draw, her career thus far, and what the future will hold for this amazingly funny and witty actress who I haven’t a doubt in the world will one day be taking the world by storm.  So here we go!  Enjoy!

 

When did you first realize you wanted to join the world of acting?  Has it always been something you have wanted to do?

I wouldn’t say I always knew I wanted to act, but I was definitely and notoriously a huge ham as a kid. If you watch our home videos, half of them are me forcing a parental figure to video tape me dancing to Backstreet Boys for way too long, or stuffing my sister in a Tupperware cabinet (done with some pretty strong comedic timing). But I think the moment I knew I wanted to act was after I signed up for the school musical, “Oliver!”, in 7th Grade. I say “after” because I definitely signed up just because all my friends were doing it. But I ended up really loving it. I had one line, but man, I was stoked. And I think in terms of deciding to do it as a career, that happened in college. I was going to UCSB for their Marine Biology program, since that seemed like the more practical, less risky career and passion to follow. But after getting cast in a couple shows my first year, I knew that the Cuttlefish and Moon Jellies would just have to cheer me on from the sidelines, because there was no way I could just make acting some small hobby and still be happy. UCSB actually has one of the better BFA acting programs as well as a great Marine Biology program, so I kinda lucked out…or subconsciously, I may have totally known that.

Quick Draw is an absolutely brilliant show that I am so excited to come back for a second season.  I understand much of the show is improv?  With that in mind, and the pure comedic genius of the entire cast, how is the set life on this show?  Is it as fun to shoot as it is to watch?

Well shoot, thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! From what I’ve seen and filmed so far, Season 2 is going to be AWESOME. I’m so stoked to see it all come together.

It’s ALL improvisation! Not everyone realizes that watching the show, but I love when I read comments like, “Who wrote this?! This is great!” And I think viewers enjoy the comedy that much more when they figure out we basically make all this stuff up on the fly.

This is how a day at Quick Draw goes: you arrive, you go into hair and make-up, put your costume on, show up to set, and then, and only then, does Nancy Hower (our fearless and talented leader and director) explain what is going on in the scene in the perspective of your character and what has happened before this scene to give it context, as well as the plot points you’ll need to hit for the scene to make the episode’s story make sense. And you just go. It’s awesome. Nancy will shout things out for us to say or riff on if we start to stray too far or forget one of those plot points, but for the most part, we’re on our own. She’ll also be on us if we say anything that’s not period enough. Common culprits are ‘sex’ and ‘awesome’. We all know  at least 3 period-appropriate synonyms for ‘sex’.

For me last year, as an actress working her first professional job, with no real improvisation schooling (but having a real love of it), surrounded by comedic geniuses who have been doing this for, at the very least, a handful of years…I’d be lying if I said the set-up didn’t make me pee my pants a little at first. But honestly, the set on this show is so supportive and kind, and led by such good people (John Lehr and Nancy Hower, the creators: so much talent in such humble and nice people), that you just fall into it. I love it. I’m never memorizing lines again. DONE. I’m improvising everything. Can’t wait for my next Shakespeare audition.

But yeah, set-wise, I’ve been spoiled. This show is so much fun, the crew is the best kind of people, and the cast I get a chance to work with, John Lehr, Bob Clendenin, Allison Dunbar, Nick Brown, Michael Anastasia, Kate Frisbee…that’s right, I’m name dropping EVERYWHERE. These people are hilarious, on camera and off. People need to watch the outtakes of the show to see what we had to cut out because we just didn’t have enough time to stuff it all in. The Whiskey Support Group outtakes are probably my favorite.

Alexia Dox 3So, without giving too much away, can you tell us a little bit about what we can expect to see on the new season of Quick Draw?  Especially in regards to Pearl!?

Oh man.What can I tell you?! I can tell you with utmost confidence that Season 2 is going to be even more ridiculous and entertaining than the first season. I don’t want to give away anything I’m not supposed to. But I guess you’ll find out it’s off limits if Pearl suddenly gets killed off this season.

I can say that we definitely get to see more of who Pearl was and is, and there’s a lot more character exploring in general this season, I think. Pearl and Eli’s relationship goes places this season, outside of exchanging money for Pearl’s services, and Pearl’s complicated past definitely catches up with her this season. Some characters come back, in more ways than one. And a bear. We have a bear this season. I think I’ve said too much.

I saw on Twitter that you finally got a week off from shooting Quick Draw, and had no idea what you were to do with yourself.  So what did you come up with?  What do you normally do when you are not working or developing your craft?

I totally had to double check that tweet: my first thought reading that question was, “I said ‘finally’?! What’s wrong with me? We’ve only been shooting for two and a half weeks!” I’m glad I didn’t, I’d have to call myself out on that.

Even on days off, I kinda feel like I have to do something productive in relation to acting or writing, or I go a little stir-crazy. But if I really commit to relaxing: I’ll sleep in until 9AM (I like to live dangerously), watch some morning TV with a good cup of coffee, read a good book (if you’ve seen The Room, you have to read The Disaster Artist, it’s gold), get a text from my boyfriend making sure I’m actually relaxing and not just pretending to, maybe go to the gym (or strongly consider going), and cook or bake something. Cooking to me is the perfect, relaxing creative outlet. I’m totally that girl who takes all those pictures of her food. And I’m a big LA King’s fan! I love going to hockey games: it’s a love I found when I moved to LA, weirdly enough. Beer and men on razor blades. Who would’ve thought. I’m still learning all the rules because I definitely didn’t grow up with hockey, at all but that doesn’t stop me from yelling my face off at games.

Can you tell us about your sketch group It’s Like Science?  How did this come to life?

I actually joined It’s Like Science after they already were up and going for a while. Justin Marshall Elias (one of the two guys who started the group) and I were in a short film together: a super dramatic film about a bipolar, semi-abusive painter, which isn’t funny at all. But between takes, we both would try to take that tense air out of the room by cracking jokes or improvising as different, weird characters together. We just clicked comedically. So after the super depressing shoot, he invited me to shoot a sketch with him and his co-member, George Parker Mann, who also has a fancy three-part name. After that, they brought me in as a permanent fixture in the group, which I was stoked about! I love writing, and it was a way to flex those muscles and actually get my work filmed and out there. I’ve learned so much about production, editing, directing and writing just by having to wear different hats in this group. It’s something I’d totally recommend to actors  who are “looking for work”. At some point, you gotta just start making the work and those parts yourself, or you’re just waiting by your phone or refreshing your e-mail.

Can you tell us a bit about the upcoming short XR91 BioRebellion 2.0 featuring James Franco?

I honestly have absolutely no clue how the James Franco part of that transpired. I did this short when I first got to LA, but it was added to my IMDB page recently. I clicked on it, and saw that James Franco apparently makes an appearance in it somewhere. The film’s a mockumentary-style, improvised comedy short about this guy who wants to make action films while everyone else in film school is doing depressing artsy films. I’m a pretty small role (it was improvised, I played one of the film school kids), and I have no idea what it looks like, but I guess it gives me a “I was in a film with James Franco” card, which I’ll totally take.

So what else can we expect to see from you in 2014 and beyond?  Anything exciting?

Definitely expect the new season Quick Draw to come out in the early-Fall! I think a lot of the shorts and web projects I’ve been working on in the last year are coming out in the next couple months, so I’ll look ridiculously productive when that happens. My friend and I are also working on a Downton Abbey musical parody, which hopefully will be going by the end of the year. But I’ll hopefully be doing a lot more comedy and maybe even a splash of something dark and dramatic. And a lot more writing and improvising on the horizon, hopefully. I try to keep people (my mom) updated by posting projects that come out on my Facebook page.

Alexia DoxWhat was the last thing that made you smile?

This probably wasn’t the last thing, because it was about a week ago, and hopefully I cracked a smile between then and now…but the first thing that comes to mind is we had one of the producers of the show and her son (who’s probably about 4 or 5?) come to set one day, and the kid is completely infatuated with superheroes, specifically Super Man. He dresses up like Super Man almost every day, and he’s basically the cutest kid I’ve ever seen in my life. So during lunch one day, we’re all outside at the tables eating, when we see these red boots and cape in the distance…and Super Man appears! One of our prop guys dressed head to toe as Super Man: the hair, the suit, everything. The whole cast and crew was cheering, and the kid was so shocked and surprised. He didn’t say a whole lot but you could tell he was beaming on the inside. You couldn’t not smile at that. Didn’t I say our set was awesome?!

Damned by Chuck Palahniuk [Book]

Damned by Chuck PalahniukMadison is the thirteen-year-old daughter of a narcissistic film star and a billionaire. Abandoned at her Swiss boarding school over Christmas, she dies over the holiday, presumably of a marijuana overdose. The last thing she remembers is getting into a town car and falling asleep. Then she’s waking up in Hell. Literally. Madison soon finds that she shares a cell with a motley crew of young sinners: a cheerleader, a jock, a nerd, and a punk rocker, united by their doomed fate, like an afterschool detention for the damned. Together they form an odd coalition and march across the unspeakable landscape of Hell–full of used diapers, dandruff, WiFi blackout spots, evil historical figures, and one horrific call center–to confront the Devil himself.

– AMAZON

My thoughts:

I must begin this piece by clearly stating this:  There is absolutely so much to love about this book.  It is clever, original, and absolutely brilliant.  And though it may rank at the bottom of my favorites from Mr. Palahniuk, that is still sort of like being the least kind deed done by Gandhi or Dr. Martin Luther King among a plethora of amazing things done, right?

I originally intended for this line to be at the end of this piece, but decided that it must be made clear that I, like critics, readers and Portlanders alike, absolutely adore what Palahniuk has done, and even if a book is not “my favorite from him”, in no way makes this a bad book at all.  I’ve read some pretty shitty books.  But this is definitely not one of them.  I find it sort of ironic that I managed to read a Hemingway and Palahniuk book, one after another, and found them both to be my least favorite of their works.  In the simplest terms, and most convenient definitions (get it?), reading the words of folks like Hemingway or Palahniuk is like the old saying about pizza or sex: even if it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.  So, there I said it.  I can now continue on bashing the work of a legend who I could never even dream of being compared to, what with my constant grammatical errors and studious love for ending sentences with prepositions.

That being said, as if it hasn’t already, Damned wasn’t one of my favorite Palahniuk books.  That being said, again, I must also admit that I have never read Fight Club.  I know, it seems as though it is a must, as every book cover of one of his works states “author of Fight Club”, and it spawned the brilliant film directed by David Fincher and stars Mr. Angelina Jolie, Edward Furlong’s brother from American History X, the super hot, moody dude with really cool hair from My So Called Life, and Mr. Paradise By the Dashboard Light himself.  But, I simply have not gotten around to it.  But I have read much of Palahniuk’s work, enough to discover that the proverbial dick sucking that the critics give him every time he moves or blinks is all highly deserved.  The man is a genius with them words, and is obviously one of the finest novelists of our time.

But, Damned just wasn’t what I was expecting to hear from Chuck.  Sure it is clever and littered with a wonderfully new concept of what hell must look like, involves a brilliant cohesion of John Hughes and Dante in one, and evokes the idea that all sugar laced treats belong in hell (a theory in which I a can jump on board with).  There are so many beautiful things about this book, and as you would expect, it is highly controversial.  But, my major complaint is that Mr. Palahniuk seemed to be more focused on the controversy he is known to provoke, rather than emphasizing on the brilliant writing he is also widely known for.  I mean, this is the guy who once wrote a book about a former porn star who is beset upon the idea of setting the record for having the most dicks inserted in to her in one concurrent setting, and managed to make it a beautiful tale that was also sorrowful and almost tear jerking.  Therefore, the concept of a thirteen year old girl being sent to hell and going on an adventure should have been easy, right?  I don’t put the blame on Chuck himself, entirely.  The concept of “what is hell like” is one that has been played out time and time again.  Even as I look back on one of my favorite depictions of Hell, from Woody Allen’s film Deconstructing Harry, I find the concept of Billy Crystal being the devil and using air conditioning to “fuck up the ozone layer”, is now pretty corny, but hey, it was the 90’s!

I believe my real issue here is just how non-specific Palahniuk’s topic was in this book.  Specificity is his fucking gold mine.  His works are so strangely bizarre and original that a reader may find themselves thinking aloud, “How does he come up with this shit.  This is the man who came up with the concept of groups of average joe’s getting together to beat the shit out of each other and the idea of a man pretending to choke on his food in restaurants only to be saved by a patron saint who feels obliged to send the poor fool money for the rest of his life.  In fact, the only “typical” concepts I can imagine coming from Palahniuk in days passed would probably be in Tell All and Survivor.  Bitchy old actresses and plane crashes being the norm in the literary world that is.  Yet, he manages to put a science ficitony type twist to the end of all of these tales that is absolutely mind blowing.

Foto von Chuck PalahniukMaybe that is the problem here.  The concept of living in hell is an open ended discussion that could go on for hours, which may have left our dear writer with far too much space to move around, when he is used to a more specific and cramp space to create.  And perhaps this is a reasonable explanation as to why there is actually a sequel to this book already on the shelves entitled Doomed.  I know that I will ultimately read this book as well despite my dissertation here about how I did not like this book.  I will read it not for the sake of redemption by Chuck that I’m certain he doesn’t feel he needs, but more for a continuation of his own unique and hilarious interpretation of the world of Hell.  As I previously stated, there just may have been too much space for Chuck to move around with using such an age old concept as Hell.  Therefore, a creative mind like Palahniuk could probably write more volumes about living in Hell than one person could enjoy in a lifetime.  Shit, when I consider the fact that Hell is as real as a place as Narnia or The Place of Dead Roads, the possibilities actually seem endless.  It is an empty canvas just waiting for Palahniuk to splash with paint made from the blood of the wicked.  And I will continue to respect his decisions to follow this path.  But, I might be waiting for him to move back to his old ways and means.

 

Note: 2014 is the first year for book reviews at Trainwreck’d Society.  We will be making a valiant effort to read and review at least 100 books.  This is review #3.  Be sure to stay in touch and be on the lookout for further reviews throughout 2014.  Be sure to let us know if we are falling behind.  For a complete list of book reviews, click HERE.  Enjoy!

Trainwreck’d Society’s Person of 2013: Alexander Hallett [Exclusive]

Alex3When it came to choosing this year’s Person of Year I have to admit, I think I chose them very early on in the year.  Yes, there were a few contenders to pour in later, but I think I always had my heart set on this guy.  Sir Alexander Hallett.

I first came to know Alex almost five years ago when I was writing primarily for Fensepost.com under the wing of the wise and talented Andrew Fenstermaker.  Fensepost wasn’t known for its inclusion of hip hop music in its then twice daily music posts.  But, Fense knew I was a fan of “alternative” hip hop, so he passed along a request from an artist named Alexipharmic.  The name alone intrigued me, as I could hardly figure out how to say it.  I remember listening to one of his many  Good Side of Bad volumes at a little breakfast nook in a temporary home when I first moved to Spokane, WA.  I was absolutely blown away.  At this point in my life, my resignation of listening to the hip hop world was almost in full effect, but I was always holding on.  In fact I am certain that Alex only found me because I had recently done my first ever hip hop album review for one of comrades, John Overlie a.k.a. Grynch.  And thus the story of how I have come to know and become in awe of Alexander Hallett began.

Years later, Alex would change his staged name to Bodi.  Which was a name that I would also butcher for a while before hearing it pronounced right (It’s Bo-Dee).  And he continued to make beautiful songs and perform across the country.  His strength in lyrics has always been a high selling point for his work for me, and he still manages to grow with every song he throws down.  The point where Alex truly became a dear friend of mine (although, we have never actually met, but one day!) was in the earliest part of 2011 when I was working on a charity based

Alex and Michael "Eyedea" Larsen

Alex and Michael “Eyedea” Larsen

collective works book entitled Children of Mercy: Tales and Teachings From The World of Independent Music.  It was a collection of essays by some of the fine folks I have managed to get to know in the independent music world.  And Alex wrote one of the dearest, most heart-felt essays that paid tribute to the near recent passing of one of his friends/idols, Michael “Eyedea” Larsen, a man whose rise to fame was obvious with a bustling career and large fan base, but was sadly cut short at a young age.  Alex’s brilliant words about Michael led me to decide that COM had to be dedicated in his honor.  I am eternally grateful that Alex was so willing, and practically eager, to help out with this project.

So, that is how I know him.  I know that is a long-winded explanation of two people meeting, without actually meeting, for an article that is supposed to be about the great things somebody did in a certain year, not about essays and music released 3-5 years ago.  So here we go:  Whenever I think of how to describe Alexander Hallet, there is always one simple word that comes to mind.  Selfless.

As some of you may know, Bodi topped the end of year lists this year here at TWS.  His single “Clotho” came in as our #2 favorite song of the year, and his album The Fall of Atlas came in as our #1 favorite album.  Yes, it was that damn good, I will recommend it to everyone out there who says hip hop is dead (but that is a whole other can of worms to open).  It was not only my favorite album of the year, it will certainly be a contender throughout the rest of my days as, “one of the greatest” I have ever heard.  But, it isn’t just Alex’s talents as Bodi that make him so special.  Let’s go on

The album was released last 1. Bodi - The Fall of AtlasFebruary, and two days later Alex hit the road.  Only Alex wasn’t going on tour to promote his latest and greatest efforts.  No, the artist known as Bodi was setting off on what he would call The Volunteer Adventure.  I don’t know about you, but heading to an orphanage outside of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is about the strangest way to promote an album release I have ever heard of.  Of course, this brings us back to the big word.  Selfless.  And Alex was not just headed to Vietnam for a week to help out, the man set out on an entire year of volunteering across the globe!  This cat also spent a month to two months in Cambodia, Nepal, Kenya, South Africa, Romania, Colombia, and Peru.  All the while, lending whatever services were needed from him.  Even as I type these words, I find it completely astonishing and breathtaking just how much of himself Alex gave up for almost an entire year to help those less fortunate than himself.  In fact, I am beginning to wonder if the world “Selfless” just isn’t enough.

IMG_2279What is most peculiar about Alex taking this adventure really is just how NOT surprised I, and certainly others, were to hear that Alex would do such a thing.  He has always been a charitable lad.  Since his inception as a hip hop artist, he has donated at least 50% of any proceeds he receives to one great cause or another.  He has already been to Kenya in the years prior to this volunteer adventure, which was probably what sparked his interest in moving about the earth once again.  Those who know and love Alex, surely understand all of these things, and have to be even more proud of him than I am.  I’m just a blogger with a little website I like to use to talk about my friends.  And when I know somebody like this, it is such a privilege to attempt to honor him in any way possible.

And like we always do, we felt it was necessary to invite some of Alex’s friends to join in on the fun and tell us why exactly Alex deserves this nomination, and probably even more recognition than he will ever deserve.  I may have already stolen the thunder from some of the contributors in the previous text, but let it be known that these are HIS friends he has, in some form or another worked with or knows personally.  And it truly solidifies the fact that Alex is just a great person, and a prime example of how more people should be.  Just about everyone who knows Alex, even those not featured below, will surely tell you that he is without a doubt one of the kindest souls you may ever have the great fortune of knowing, hearing about, or simply passing by on the street.

Thank you Alex for your contributions in music that we so adore, and especially for contributions to the world.  You are a beautiful man.

IMG_0123Megan Herdeman (Girlfriend)

Alex is, without question, the most incredible, selfless, compassionate and inspiring man I have ever met. He is always working to make himself, others, and the world better, and does it with more grace and unwavering positivity than I could have imagined. I have spent a lot of time with Alex, and have seen first hand the impact he has on everyone and every thing he touches, always leaving things in a better place than how he found them. What he’s doing now is maybe his greatest feat yet, and it’s incredible for me to know and witness him changing lives across the globe. I am incredibly fortunate to be able to have been a part of it with him. He has become the change he wants to see in the world, and I am so proud of that. He deserves for every dream to come true, and I think being recognized for the amazing and hard work he is doing is a great start.

ThinxxWesley de la Hunt (hip hop artist, Thinxx)

I know Alex through hiphop and music. About 6 years ago I left a message on Grieves’ Myspace page and got a message from Alex saying if I like what Grieves is doing it’s quite possible that I’d like his stuff. So I checked it out and I really liked what I heard. We’ve been friends ever since and I actually never met him in person till a few months ago but meeting him was as if we’d known each other for ages.

I think Alex deserves the award because he has an unsatisfying desire to help people, whether it’s through his music or his album sales(of which he has always given half to charity) or his volunteer work we’re he gives himself tirelessly. I don’t know of too many people, firstly with this type of commitment and then the actual desire and drive to actually get up and do something. What he’s done over the years and this year in specific deems him well-worthy of this award in my eyes. He is changing people’s lives for the better and I have nothing but the utmost respect for that. So, thanks Alex.

EricAlexMerchEric Murphy (hip hop artist, Errol Hem)

I met Alex in May 2011 through mutual music friend Nicholas “Ordeal” Oliver when I opened for the Neverending Gun Show Tour in Chicago. I ended up spending the next four days/nights around the guys on the tour in IL, IA and MN (the final day of which was Soundset) and on the third night, at the tour’s Twin Cities stop at Honey, I mentioned to Alex that I was interested in touring myself. Two months later, I was on the road doing shows throughout the US West with him, Engineers in Your Ear and Doctype for two incredible weeks. Since this time, Alex and I keep in regular contact, discussing matters of life, continuing to collaborate on shows and musical efforts, and seasonally duking it out in fantasy football & basketball. In such a short amount of time, he has quickly become one of my very good friends and someone who I consider as close as family.

Jason PitmanJason Pitman (artist, lifelong friend)

Alex is one the most genuine and selfless people I’ve known in my life. He is the type of person to look out for the well-being of others over his own pleasure or satisfaction. Just look at what he’s been up to in 2013; living in and sharing his time, efforts and knowledge with young children in orphanages throughout the world for a full year. That alone makes Alex worthy of this nomination. I feel more than honored and privileged to be able to call him my friend and am always hoping for the best for him.

Alex and i have been friends since the 1st grade and haven’t looked back since. Through all the ups and downs, we have been best friends for over 20 years. Although we went to college in different states and subsequently lived in different areas for much of post college life, whenever we get a chance to hang out again, we slide back into the old routine, without ever skipping a beat. The mark of true friendship.

In my mind, there isn’t a more genuine or humble human being on the planet. while his trek around the globe helping those less fortunate is being seen by many people, away from that light, he is just as compassionate and helpful, if not more so. He has helped me through my greatest adversities and has been nothing but supportive in my dreams and abilities. He puts others needs above his and doesn’t hesitate to drop his own plans if someone is in trouble, whether that person is a stranger or someone close to him. I could spend a long time writing all the things that make the man special and deserving of this honor. When it comes down to it, there aren’t many people in the world as selfless and genuine as him. People are lucky to hear his passion and drive through his music. I am beyond lucky to call him my friend.

Kyle RichardsonKyle Richardson (musician, Engineers In Your Ears)

Alex may be the most genuine and kind-hearted soul I have ever met.  This guy has inspired me in my life more than words can explain.  He carries thoughtful heart into any project he does and strives to make the world a better place by helping others.  He is an amazing humanitarian and a great friend.  The first day I met Alex in person, he drove from Colorado to Arizona to kick off a Tour we planned through long-distance social media communications.  We traveled to many cities as complete strangers and eventually grew to be great friends.  During the trip Alex made it a point to take us to some of the most amazing places and even took us into his home where we met his Father and Step-mother.  I can see where he gets his kindness from, as his parents are also wonderful people.  Alex is always traveling the world offering a helping hand in less-fortunate communities.  He has literally improved the quality of life for entire villages.  Alex is proof that there are still amazing people in this world and I feel blessed to call him my friend.

Krysta Rayford
Krysta Rayford (musician, K.Raydio)
I met Alex through another artist, my mentor M.anifest. M.anifest (yes, with a period) had told me about a very passionate, creative artist named Bodi and how he really works to connect art and social change. I work as an Artist Educator for Face Forward, a group in Minnesota, and was contacted by Alex via email a few months after learning about his work. He asked me to be a part of his project, The Fall of Atlas, and I was taken aback by his warmth and brilliance.  Alex is worthy of this nomination because he truly is a person that encapsulates a good, admirable human being. He is so genuine about doing work to help benefit other people. In the music industry, it is rare to find someone who cares more about others than they do about themselves. Alex is that person.

Bryan RodeckerBryan Rodecker (hip hop artist, Infidelix)

I know Alex throughout the hip hop community and tour scene. He stayed at my house while passing through Denton Tx on tour with Kristoff Krane and Sadistik and Ordeal. Since then we have kept in touch via facebook and he has been an inspiration to my upcoming journey that I will be going on.  He is worthy of the nomination because he does one thing that most people don’t do. He actually follows through with what he says. To much in life people say they are gonna do something, or dream about doing something and this dude actually did it. He changes peoples lives man in all his projects. There are not to many genuine people out there anymore and he is a great example of one that still shines.

AlexCasOneJacob Snider (hip hop artist, Cas One)

I know Alex through music but I better know Alex by becoming his friend through music. We have toward several times together and I couldn’t ask for a more trust worthy and responsible person to spend time out in the wild with. Alex is selfless. Without a doubt the most compassionate and caring individual I have ever met. His empathy is without bound. He is the type of person you immediately know you can trust. He volunteers most of his years for the needy and when he is not volunteering he is working and saving so that he can go back out to volunteer all over again. Selfless. He wouldn’t only give you the shirt off of his back he would also give you his last meal. Alex isn’t worthy of this nomination. Alex is the reason this kind of award can exist.

Eric WatsonEric Watson (hip hop artist, SimpleSteven)

I met Alex on the Never Ending Gun Show tour in 2011. He was performing as Bodi and I had the pleasure of getting an opening slot in my hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Alex and the crew stayed at my house for a couple of days before they had to leave for tier next show. I was impacted by how nice and approachable he is. Even now we keep in touch over the internet. Alex deserves this without a doubt. It’s hard enough maintaining a career in music without anything else; but then he takes 50% of the profit and donates it to charity?! That’s impressive. Most people keep all their money. And now he is sacrificing a year if his life to help others. Volunteering his time in orphanages all over the world. Honestly, Alex is one of the most compassionate and selfless people I know.

Anna-Lynne WilliamsAnna-Lynne Williams (musician, Lotte Kestner)

I met Alex through our mutual friend Cody Foster (Sadistik) a couple of years back. he asked me to sing on a song that was my favorite of his and i jumped at the chance. but it wasn’t until meeting him properly months later, and talking at length, sharing music back and forth, that i realized what a uniquely kind person he is, and then started to see how that had seeped into his rapping. i actually burst into tears once looking at the photos he had taken on some of his trips helping kids in third world countries. i hope that he has gained a lot from his recent travels and that many people have benefited from getting to meet him.

 

For those of you out there who just now discovering Alexander Hallett and his work, good for you.  And check out his website to learn even more!

With Friends Like These -or- Our Favorite Albums of 2013 [Exclusive]

friendslikethese copyIt has been a long, yet wonderful 2 1/2 years of existence for Trainwreck’d Society.  We have been showcasing some pretty amazing artists in the world of music, film, literature, art, etc.  In fact the entire intention of the formation of this site was to do just that.  We wanted to get together artists from many different backgrounds and forms to come together as one right here on these pages.  And I firmly believe that the lists below is a wonderful way to make this happen.

With Friends Like These – or- Our Favorite Albums of 2013 brings together folks who have been a part of the TWS family for a while, as well as invites new friends to join the team.  And by showcasing their choices for their favorite albums of the year, it really does prove that TWS has become a real melting point of creativity. Thankfully, we had help from the Craig Francis Music store, otherwise this task would of taken much longer. You will find so many different variations and genres of music showcased here by some very wonderful and talent people in their own right.  I stand firm when I say that the music industry, though seemingly bruised and battered to the common on looker, is NOT dead.  And one look at this list should prove to you that their are so many great artists out there, whether “mainstream” or “indie” that are being heard, and there is a plethora of great music to be heard if you are willing to hunt it down for yourself.

So, with that in mind, I present to you With Friends Like These -or- Our Favorite Albums of 2013.  Enjoy!

Note:  Albums with a * also appeared on Trainwreck’d Society’s Top 37 1/2 Albums of 2013.

Beat, Matt

Matt Beat (musician, Electric Needle Room)

The Dead Girls – Fade In/Fade Out

Camera Obscura – Desire Lines

Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City

Lindsay Katt – Picking Out Boxes

The ACBs – Little Leaves

Bernier, Luc

Luc Bernier (actor, Torment)

Arcade Fire – Reflektor

Sting – The Last Ship

Little Boots – Nocturnes

David Bowie – The Next Day

MS MR – Secondhand Rapture

Brown, Matthew

Matt Brown (musician, Trespassers William)

Daughter – If You Leave

The National – Trouble Will Find Me

Volcano Choir – Repave

Rhye – Woman

Overgrown – James Blake

Bukowski, John

John Bukowski (musician, Ebony Sorrow)

Vaura – The Missing

Beastmilk – Climax

Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats – Mind Control

Ghost – Infestissumam

Whirr – Around

Cacciola, Sophia

Sophia Cacciola (musician, Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling)

Sarah Rabdau & The Self Employed Assassins – Free As Thieves

Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys – Soft Time Traveler

Hallelujah the Hills – Portrait of an Artist as a Trash Can

Parlour Bells – Thank God For the Night

Faux On – Bhopal Hoax

Chaplin, Tim

Tim Chaplin (musician, Factory Kids)

Jackson Scott – Melbourne

Factory Floor – Factory Floor

RO Boo – Legacy

Babyshambles – Sequel to the Prequel

My Bloody Valentine – My Bloody Valentine

Cortese, Jared

Jared Cortese (musician, The Jesus Rehab)

Julia Massey – Songs From the Nook

Tangerine – Radical Blossom

Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt

The Flaming Lips – Peace Sword EP

Robb Benson and the Shelk – Cursive Fall From the Sky

Craigie, John

John Craigie (musician)

Gregory Alan Isakov – The Weatherman

Marshall McLean Band – Glossolalia*

Holly McGarry & Benjamin Burns – Feathers

Neil Young – Live at the Cellar Door

The Wood Brothers – The Muse

© 2012 Marcy May Photography, LLC

© 2012 Marcy May Photography, LLC

Sam Cregger (musician)

Jason Isbell – Southeastern

Amos Lee – Mountains of Sorrows, Rivers of Songs

Courtney Marie Andrews – On My Page

Christopher Paul Stelling – False Cities

Holly Williams – The Highway

Daughterey, Mike

Mike Daugherty (musician, Nanaki)

Alice In Chains – The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here

Low – The Invisible Way

Mudhoney – Vanishing Point

Sebadoh – Defend Yourself

Dead Wolf Club – RAR

Feigh, Ryan 

Ryan Feigh (journalist, The Portland Mercury)

Glenn Waco – NorthBound

Chance The Rapper – Acid Rap

Epp – Chrome Plated Chronicles

Tope – Trouble Man

Sapient – Slump

hfink1

Heather Fink (filmmaker/actress, Alleged)

Arcade Fire – Reflektor

Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation marks

Iggy Azalea – The New Classic

The National – Trouble Will Find Me

Deerhunter – Monomania

Hardy, Jon

Jon Hardy (musician, The Pristines) 

Gallon Drunk  – The Road Gets Darker From Here

Crystal Castles – III

Ariel Pink’s Haunted Grafitti – Mature Themes

Tindersticks – The Something Rain

5th – Metric – Synthetica

Hill, Dustin 2

Dustin Hill – (musician, Black Pussy)

Vista Chino – Peace

Monster Magnet – Last Patrol

Red Fang – Whales and Leeches

Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats – Mind Control

All Them Witches – Lightning At The Door

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hilary Holladay phD – (author, American Hipster: The Life of Herbert Huncke, The Times Square Hustler Who Inspired the Beat Movement)

Indigo Girls – The Essential Indigo Girls

Iron and Wine – Ghost on Ghost

Lorde – Pure Heroine

The Civil Wars – The Civil Wars

Emmylou Harris – Old Yellow Moon

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Jason Hull (filmmaker, Krampus: The Christmas Devil)

Dream Theater – Dream Theater

Testament – Dark Roots of Earth

Anders Osborne – Peace

Fates Warning – Darkness In A Different Light

Death Angel – This Dream Calls For Blood

Hutchinson, Bryce

Bryce Hutchinson – (musician, Dedere)

Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork

Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight

Grandhorse – Portraiturefolio*

Bubble Cats – Hiss/Mews/Purr

Hellyfyre Club – Dorner vs Tookie

Matthew Mishory

Matthew Mishory (filmmaker, Joshua Tree 1951)

Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City

John Grant – Pale Green Ghosts

My Bloody Valentine – My Bloody Valentine

Kanye West – Yeezus

Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

Kramer, Vince

Vince Kramer (author, Death Machines of Death)

Amorphis – Circle

Carcass – Surgical Steel

Broken Hope – Omen of Disease

Suffocation – Pinnacle of Bedlam

GWAR – Battle Maximus

Nordstrom, Sanna

Sanna Nordstrom (radio and magazine profile)

Ghost – Infestissumam

Carcass – Surgical Steel

Annihilator – Feast

Amon Amarth – Deceiver of the Gods

Alice In Chains – The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here

Nyberg, Ola

Ola Nyberg (musician, Before I Got Convenient)

Eve & the Last Waltz – The Shame and the Blame

Superchunk – I Hate Music

Ef – Ceremonies

Guided By Voices – English Little League

Yo La Tengo – Fade

Michael Ornstein1

Michael Ornstein (actor/artist, Sons of Anarchy)

Jagwar Ma – Howlin

Jake Bugg – Jake Bugg

Mike Carton Kids – The Ash and Clay

Elvis Costello and the Roots – Wise Up Ghost

Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork

 Phil The Tremolo King

Phil The Tremolo King (musician)

John Grant – Pale Green Ghosts

Mozura – Skinny Fingers

Jim O and the Swanky Psychos

Lonesome Leash – One Foot in Front of the Other

Orquestra Basura

Photo by Alicia J. Rose

Photo by Alicia J. Rose

Jon Ragel (musician, Boy Eats Drum Machine)

Flaming Lips – The Terror

Quasimoto – Am I Confused

Apparat – Krieg und Frieden

Thee Oh Sees – Floating Coffin

Ghostface Killah – Twelve Reasons To Die

Rat, Ira

Ira Rat (musician, Neon Lushell)

Teaadora – A Jamais Vierge/Virgin Forever

David Bowie – The Next Day*

Pixleated Deer – S/T EP

Devo – Hardcore Devo (Re-Issue)

Gloom Balloon – You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Disaster…

Bob Rice

Bob Rice (DJ/musician, KYRS Thin Air Community Radio, Spokane, WA)

Tedeschi Trucks Band – Made Up Mind

California Transit Authority – Sacred Ground

Stone Diamond – We Stole The Stars From The Black Night

Eric Taylor – Studio 10

Cody Beebe & The Crooks – Out Here

Rudick, Ezekiel J

Ezekiel J. Rudick (musician, Violent Psalms)

Overseas – Overseas

Low – The Invisible Way

John Vanderslice – Dagger Beach

Modern Kin – Modern Kin

Sebadoh – Defend Yourself

Sadistik

Sadistik (hip hop artist)

Cage – Kill The Architect

Chance The Rapper – Acid Rap

Freddie Gibbs – ESGN

Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels

ASAP Rocky – Long Live ASAP

Schrag, Ember

Ember Schrag (musician)

Josephine Foster – I’m A Dreamer

Various Artist – 75 Dollar Bill

Horse Lords – Mixtape Vol. 2

Steve Martin & Edie Brickell – Love Has Come For You*

Val Glenn – Trade

Shirley, Devon Christian

Devon Christian Shirley (musician, Grandhorse)

Phoenix – Bankrupt

Empty Palace – Empty Palace EP

Rubedo – Love is the Answer

Kurt Vile – Walking on a Pretty Day

Atoms For Peace – AMOK

Skolrud, Nathan

Nathan Skolrud (musician/producer, The Mix Position)

The National – Trouble WIll Find Me

Atoms For Peace – AMOK

The Knife – Shaking the Habitual

Arcade Fire – Reflektor

Tegan and Sara – Closer

Sleep
Sleep (hip hop artist, 2 Man Cypher)

Kue The Vandal – The Prelude to the Gun Smoke and Brain Matter

Chance The Rapper – Acid Rap

J Cole – Born Sinner

Cocaine Chris – Cain & Glory

Caskey – The Transient Classiks

Smith, Adam

Adam Smith (musician, Grandhorse)

Dedere – Little Ease in the Bell Jar*

Washed Out – Paracosm

The National – Trouble WIll Find Me

Kurt Vile – Walkin On A Pretty Daze

Phoenix – Bankrupt

Smith, Anthony

Anthony Smith (musician)

Gabrielle Aplin – English Rain

The Legendary Ten Seconds – Loyaulté Me Lie

National Pastime – All Our Yesterdays

Mozura – Skinny Fingers

Adam Ant – Adam Ant Is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter

Best wishes, Anthony

Spencer, Angelo

Angelo Spencer (musician, K Records)

Harafinso – Bollywood Inspired Film Music From Hausa Nigeria

M.I.A. – Matangi

Mammane Sani Et Son Orgue – La Musique Electronigue Du Niger

DJ Arafat – Ketebo

Choubi Choubi! Folk and Pop Sounds From Iraq (Volume 2)

Star Anna

Star Anna (musician)

Widower –  Fool Moon

Miley Cyrus – Bangerz

Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

Pearl Jam – Lightening Bolt

Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You

Curtis Sutton

Curtis Sutton (blogger/TWS contributor)

HAIM – Days Are Gone

Janelle Monae – The Electric Lady

The National – Trouble Will Find Me

Kanye West – Yeezus

CHVRCHES – THe Bones of What You Believe

Tackett, Chris

Chris Tackett (musician, Dream The Electric Sleep)

SubRosa – More Constant than the Gods

Chelsea Wolfe – Pain is Beauty

Cult of Luna – Vertikal

Corrections House – Last City Zero

Russian Circles – Memorial

Williams, Anna-Lynne

Anna-Lynne Williams (musician, Lotte Kestner)

The National – Trouble Will Find Me

Phosphorescent – Muchacho

Washed Out – Paracosm

Widower – Fool Moon

Sigur Ros – Kviekur

BILLYDWM

Billy D William (musician, Fake Flowers Real Dirt)

Omar – The Man

Thundercat – Apocalypse

Skribe – Less Is More

Snarky Puppy – Family Dinner

Gregory Porter – Liquid Spirit