I’m waiting for the Pitriff guys to come up with their annual Top 10 Metal/Hard Rock Albums of the Year list for 2009. I’ve a feeling Alice in Chains’ Black Gives Way to Blue will occupy a decent place in it. (They kind of hinted it in past articles.) So far all they have is a readers’ poll — What New Album Lived Up To The Hype This Year? — which, as of Sunday night, has AinC on third spot after Megadeth’s Endgame and Kiss’ Sonic Boom.

But why wait for the bastards to get their acts together to see if their list matches mine? I’ll bare my own album list now, and then some – best book and movie of 2009. A weird yearly habit of mine, but not entirely pointless. I’ll expound some other time.

Anyway, even in my own list, AinC had to slug it out with the other great albums I had the pleasure of listening to this year. But after careful assessment, which means drinking beer while listening to the album at piss-your-neighbor volume, I’ve to give it to these Seattle hard rock nuts. Black Gives Way to Blue, though bleak at best, provided the necessary diversion in this year of insane personal issues and grisly national events.

For my best read I’ve just elevated William Kennedy’s Ironweed to the level of Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood (2008), TC Boyle’s The Inner Circle (2007), Kerouac’s Desolation Angels (2006), Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities and James Lee Burke’s The Lost Get-Back Boogie (2005), and Hunter S. Thompson’s The Rum Diary (2004). Seth Morgan’s Homeboy was a close contender.

For best movie, which I started considering only last year, the 2005 French flick Angel-A took home the cake and the cake-maker’s wife. More about it here.

I also have my fantasy fuck-mate of the year, but that’s too controversial and she may not like the recognition.

Meanwhile, my article on the Top 10 Sex Scandals of 2009 has been posted here. It is a watered down — not to mention verbose — version of what I had originally written, wine-drunk, on the wee hours of Christmas 2009. For what it’s worth, here is the original shit.



According to this site, the next Natalie Portman movie will be called Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

None of the recent movies had made me miss the theaters that much, but this one I gotta see. The title alone begs for it. I wonder if they’re selling advance tickets . . .

angel down


A down and out dude who meets an angel on the day he is about to croak himself. I remember writing this story way back in high school, but I never got to finish it. So imagine my surprise when I saw a movie with a similar storyline on HBO last Friday. Apparently, some well connected hotshot beat me into it.

The movie is called Angel-A (2005). I can say that in many ways, the Luc Besson-directed French flick is “faithful” to what I had in mind when I sat in front of the typewriter sometime in the early Nineties, only instead of starring a rock n’ roll chick like Fairuza Balk, Angel-A has fashion model Rie Rasmussen as the winged temptress from God’s very own escort service.

This part of the movie speaks volumes of my frame of mind when I was hammering that ill-fated story, and perhaps up to now, depending on who’s observing.

Even the main soundtrack, “Almost Lover” by a group called A Fine Frenzy, left me cold with its talk about hopeless dreams and luckless romance.

Sniff. Suddenly, I’m that hopeless high school loner again sitting in front of the typewriter, typing madly, hoping for my own chain-smoking femme fatale from Heaven.



Saw How to Lose Friends and Alienate People over the weekend and concluded that Megan Fox is the ultimate babe. Clothe her in rags like in Transformers, she’s a forest fire. Dress her in evening gown, she becomes royalty.

Dress her in evening gown and make her jump into a pool, I collapse from sheer lust.

Also saw Courage Under Fire and Almost Famous, which I think is one of the best rock n’ roll movies ever made, probably up there with School of Rock. (Who could forget Jack Black’s incendiary speech about how rock n’ roll is all about “sticking it to The Man”?)

Indeed: movies. And guitar practice and The Datsuns and Kerouac’s Lonesome Traveler. That’s how I spent the Lenten Break. Now it’s back to the salt mines and routines and whole groggy midnights of spacing out.

Stick it to The Man, why not? Or better yet, stick it to Megan Fox. She left me gasping for more.


smile-300x3001So who watches the Watchmen?

Well, Charmaine and I did. And we enjoyed it immensely. That hairy headcase Alan Moore is a visionary for turning the hackneyed super-hero genre “inside out” (although he was unhappy with the movie adaptation and refused credit on it, as in the case with From Hell and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen).

I’m racking my brains out to come up with a decent review of the movie, but not even Extra Joss could set my head into writing mode today, so I’ll just steal item #8 in Jessica Zafra’s review.

“8. The movie is true to its uncredited creator’s vision. It turns the superhero genre inside out (often literally). There is no triumphalism, no saving the day, just bitterness, regret, self-loathing, corrosion and dark irony. It’s a downer, and it’s just what we wanted.”

My thoughts, exactly.