our second event in New York was at the Chashama space in Brooklyn where Steve Keene was having an exhibition. As the editor of the Steve Keene Art Book, I was sad to miss a number of book launch events earlier in 2022, so I was happy to put on this event with the book’s producer and SK documenter Dan Efram. Many of the pieces on the wall were from his or other private collections, so they were not all for sale (sadly!) Christina Zafiris, who worked in the marketing department at Matador Records when the label did a series of “Pavement Trees” made by SK, wrote about the experience of doing those in the book, and asked me to edit her essay for the book, which led to me editing the whole book. Another contributor to the book, Sam Brumbaugh, interviewed Bridget St. John for chickfactor 12 back in the late ’90s. (Read his essay from the book here!) Our love for Bridget’s music led to us having her play at many of our big festivals over the years in both New York and London. We named one of our festivals at Bush Hall in London “Mon Gala Papillons” (it takes its name from a photograph by Jacques Lartigue), which inspired Bridget to write a song of the same title! We love Bridget. (Photos: Gail O’Hara)
our 2022 lists: round one
Christina Riley / Artsick
Chickfactor 30 NY and London
Oakland Weekender 2022
Breaks from social media
Rock and Roll Vegan Donut bar in Monterey
White Lotus season 2 on HBO
Simon Guild guitar pedals
Chickfactor 19 issue, and shirt designed by Jen Sbragia
Buzzcocks tribute compilation cassette for Oakland Weekender 2022
-Pop sockets for saving my phone from the swiper on a bike in London, haha!
Bridget St John
my list: a collection of some of the meaningful/impactful/grateful and awe inspiring experiences of 2022
Nicola Walker – magnetic irresistible UK actor
The Split –
I could make the whole list revolve around her and the other extraordinary actors she works with…
Colin Farrell & Jamie Lee Curtis Actors on Actors
Brady’s Irish Ground Coffee / Celtic Blend
Banshee’s of Inishereen
every Adirondack sunset
the caeser’s salad at Da Umberto in NYC
Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard
WNYC – especially The Brian Lehrer Show & Fresh Air
Hampstead – with Brendan Gleeson & Diane
the daily, weekly, monthly endless resilience strength tenacity and spirit of the Ukrainian people
Jennifer O’Connor / musician, owner of Kiam Records and Main Street Beat
Lizzo – Special (Atlantic)
Flock – Flock (Strut)
Mabe Fratti – Se Ve Desde Aqui (Tin Angel)
Beach House – Once Twice Melody (Sub Pop)
Megan Thee Stallion – Traumazine (300 Entertainment)
They Hate Change – Finally, New (Jagjaguwar)
Harry Styles – Harry’s House (Columbia)
Cass McCombs – Heartland (Anti)
Sudan Archives – Natural Brown Prom Queen (Stones Throw)
Madonna – Finally Enough Love (Rhino/Warner)
Daniel Handler’s favorite books this year:
Kathryn Davis, Aurelia Aurelia
Fadhil al-Azzawi, Fadhil al-Azzawi’s Beautiful Creatures
Jakuta Alikavazovic translated by Jeffrey Zuckerman, Night as it Falls
Chen Chen, Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced An Emergency
Fanny Howe, London-rose/beauty will save the world
Hiromi Ito, translated by Jeffrey Angles, Wild Grass On the Riverbank
Geoffrey Nutter, Giant Moth Perishes
Carl Phillips, Then The War
Keiler Roberts, The Joy of Quitting
Peter Rock, Passersthrough
Kathleen Scanlan, Kick The Latch
Jim Ruiz and Emily Ruiz from Jim Ruiz Set
9 T.V. series from the ’60s that got us through the pandemic and beyond.
1. Danger Man (a.k.a. Secret Agent Man)
3. The Saint
5. Hawaii 5-0
6. Mission Impossible
7. The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
8. The Girl from U.N.C.L.E
Lyle Hysen (Bank Robber Music and Royal Arctic Institute)
Mike Baggetta / Jim Keltner / Mike Watt (Big Ego)
Everywhen We Go Dezron Douglas – Atalaya (International Anthem)
Hermanos Gutiérrez – El Bueno Y El Malo (Easy Eye Sound)
Hammered Hulls – Careening (Dischord)
Horse Lords- Comradely Objects (Rvng Intl).
Julian Lage – View With A Room (Blue Note)
Beth Orton – Weather Alive (Partisan)
Jeff Parker – Mondays at The Enfield Tennis Academy (Eremite Records)
Romero –Turn It On – (Cool Death)
Stella – Up and away (Sub-Pop)
In no particular order – I ended up listening to quite a few things on cassette this year, one consequence of spending 10 days in bed with Covid in April with only my walkman to hand for audio entertainment, and probably als0 vinyl pressing plant backlogs but here’s some stuff that hit my ears this year. – baker’s top 10 at 11
Loop – Sonacy
Kemper Norton – Rife (cassette)
Opal X – Twister (cassette)
Telefis – a Dó (cassette)
Blue Spectre – Silver Screen
Cosey Fanni Tutti – Delia Derbyshire soundtrack album
Andrew Poppy – Jelly
Robyn Hitchcock – Shuttlemania (cassette and LP)
The Advisory Circle – Full Circle
Xopher Davidson – Lux Perpetua
Nkisi – NDOMBALA (A Journey to Avebury)
Ed Mazzucco (Shelflife Records / Tears Run Rings)
1. Billow Observatory – Stareside
2. RxGibbs – Eternal
3. Motifs – Remember A Stranger
4. Life On Venus – Homewards
5. Martin Courtney – Magic Sign
6. Marine Eyes – Chamomile
7. Humdrum – Superbloom
8. Foliage – Can’t Go Anywhere
9. Jeanines – Don’t Wait For A Sign
10. Korine – Mt. Airy
Julie Underwood (CF contributor!)
1. Beyoncé – Renaissance
2. Wet Leg – Wet Leg
3. Alvvays – Blue Rev
4. Alex G – God Save The Animals
5. Angel Olsen – Big Time
6. The Beths – Expert In A Dying Field
7. Plains – I Walked With You A Ways
8. Weyes Blood – And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow
9. Sasami – Squeeze
10. Yard Act – The Overload
Kendall Meade (Mascott, CF contributor)
Songs on repeat 2022
“San Francisco” Bonny Doon
“Problem With It” and “Abeline” Plains
“Mistakes” Sharon Van Etten
“It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody” Weyes Blood
“Anti Hero” Taylor Swift
“Daylight” Harry Styles
Beatrix Madell (Girl Scout Handbook)
My top ten songs of all time from the members of Boygenius:
1) “Night Shift,” Lucy Dacus
2) “Chelsea,” Phoebe Bridgers
3) “I Know the End,” Phoebe Bridgers
4) “Hot and Heavy,” Lucy Dacus
5) “Waiting Room,” Phoebe Bridgers
6) “Timefighter,” Lucy Dacus
7) “Graceland Too,” Phoebe Bridgers
8) “Me and My Dog,” Boygenius
9) “Song in E,” Julien Baker
10) “Punisher,” Phoebe Bridgers
Some Stars of 2022 Both Welcome and Unwelcome
Excellent books that are also mysteries:
The Book of the Most Precious Substance by Sara Gran
The Violin Conspiracy: a novel by Brendan Slocumb
Vera Kelly: Lost and Found by Rosalie Knecht
The Second Cut by Louise Welch
The Verifiers by Jane Pek
The Maid by Nita Prose
Homicide and Halo-Halo by Mia. P. Manansala
The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill
Confidence by Denise Mina
despair over Ukraine (et al)
Podsies: my ability to tolerate current news became I guess you’d say…refracted (?) i.e. bearable only by hearing it through other countries’ news like The Rest is Politics, or through the lens of a specific frame like the art world, The Week in Art or The Art Angle (scammers too). Gave esotericism a twirl with The Secret History of Western Esotericism, yikes, I do not have any idea what Earl Fountainelle was talking about much of the time, but interesting all the same. Also enjoyed for different moods and needs: Shedunnit, Art Law Podcast, The Witch Wave, The Read, Bad Gays, Don’t Ask Tig, The Bald and the Beautiful, My Favorite Murder.
I watched too much TV to remember any of it
found a perfect pop song not from 2022
painting a giant gift box
Scottish Rite Masonic Museum, Salem Witch Board Museum (Ouija boards)
what is the word where you don’t want to mention anything for fear of forgetting something, i.e. some standout 2022 shows: id m theft able outdoor show in Elfland, Paulownia at Waterworks.
tried to figure out what to do about mortality
reading play aloud – The Mousetrap on a writing retreat – very fun, recommend
Desus and Mero breakup. All right, sad, but I console myself: a) performers-writers-artists need to grow and sometimes that means change b) think of all they gave us
finally watched Lord of the Rings for details of that experience read here
Brittney Griner WTF and thank god
if nothing else may I please recommend @archaeologyart on the instagrammo
Rob Pursey (The Catenary Wires, Skep Wax Records, Swansea Sound, Heavenly, etc.)
After a long pandemic period of not going out I made a list of ten places I liked to visit and was very very happy to re-visit.
1. Rye Church Tower.
You have to pay, but not very much, to climb up to the top of this beautiful old building. Narrow stone corridors, creaking wooden staircases, and then you climb a rickety ladder right next to the huge church bells – try to not to do this at midday – and then you’re out onto the tower roof through a trapezium-shaped wooden door. You get to admire the aerial view of this perfect hill-town and of the marshes and Dungeness in the distance.
2. The Betsey Trotwood, London.
One of those venues that had to fight for survival during the pandemic. A warm, sanctuary of music. Always has friends in it.
3. Larkins Ale House, Cranbrook.
A tiny purveyor of local ale. Very hospitable. On the first Sunday we went in, they asked if we wanted a free snack and handed over a plateful of them, like a free meal really. The beer is perfect.
4. Fairfield Church. A peculiar, isolated survivor on the Kent Marsh and now a place where we are able to put on Skep Arts events. No water, no electricity, no light. Beautifully basic.
5. The Oast, Rainham.
Another lovely little venue where our friends at Careful Now Promotions somehow manage to book the best indie bands, every month.
6. The De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea.
An art gallery, a cafe, a great record shop (Music’s Not Dead), all housed in one of the most beautiful Twentieth Century public buildings, right by the sea.
7. Nutmeg Cafe, Tenterden.
Best local coffee, friendly staff, dangerous pastries.
8. The Ellen Terry Theatre, Smallhythe.
Another place that became a Skep Arts venue this year. A thatched barn, converted into a theatre by a Suffragette group in the early Twentieth Century. I don’t think there is anywhere else like this in the world.
9. London Bridge Station.
I am still awestruck by the roof and the pillars of this huge building. It’s worth going to London just to see it.
10. The Chinese Supermarket in Hastings.
Everything you need is here – all kinds of noodles, of rice, of spices. And home-made bao buns in the steamer by the check-out.
Joe Brooker (Pines / Foxgloves / CF contributor) 2022 Top 10
1 / Close-Up
I’d long known of Shoreditch’s Close-Up Film Centre, but only in 2022 did I actually pay for membership and start watching films here: Bergman’s Persona for the first time, Godard’s Le Mépris for at least the sixth, Spanish films of the 1970s, in the little cinema where film abruptly starts as a light in the darkness. I love the array of thousands of DVDs to browse any time. The place reminds me a little of the Poetry Café, which I once knew as another oasis of culture.
2 / Chloe
Under-the-radar BBC drama about identity and imposture, memory and teen friendship, social climbing and social media, all refreshingly based in the West Country.
3 / Ride
As a student in Norwich I missed seeing Ride though they played only a few hundred yards away from me. Now by contrast I travel a hundred miles back to Norwich to see them play their debut LP Nowhere. Some of the audience are younger than I was then. The music is marvellous and fresh, but above all I just love the idea of seeing Ride in Norwich.
4 / Bordando el manto terrestre
In the vast last room of Tate Modern’s Surrealism Beyond Borders exhibition I’m stunned to encounter Remedios Varo’s triptych of paintings Bordando el manto terrestre / Embroidering the Earth’s Crust (1961). I’ve read about this painting, looked at reproductions, so many times that I feel a rare awe before the original painting, with its size, texture and detail. In the same year, I might say something similar of Manet’s Un bar aux Folies Bergère (1882), which I’m taken aback to find in the Courtauld.
5 / Isokon Building
Hampstead is a storied place but not well known to this South Londoner. A friend shows me around it: mile after mile of avenues green with trees, well-preserved housing, modernist outliers. Down a side street, flowering suburbia like Tolkien’s Hobbiton, I see for the first time the art deco Lawn Road Flats, known as the Isokon Building. Cherished by the many lovers of modern architecture, it’s spectacular: pure white, curved, its stairwell magnificent; an ocean liner.
6 / Sandymount Strand
James Joyce’s Ulysses was published in 1922, and set in Dublin on 16th June. On 16th June 2022, a Joycean friend leads me out to Sandymount Strand, to retrace the steps of Stephen Dedalus in the novel’s third episode, as evening falls instead of the book’s morning. Almost alone amid the vast space we step across wet mud, puddles, treacherous ground, as a calm dusk slowly dims all around us. Finally we must take off our shoes and socks to paddle across streams, maybe similar ones to those that Dedalus feared would sweep him away with the tide.
7 / The Magnetic Fields
Touching down in West London they play Quickies and representatives from most of their other records; songs I think I’ve never heard live, like ‘Love Goes Home To Paris In The Spring’ and ‘It’s Only Time’. The encore yields ‘100,000 Fireflies’. I don’t recall them sounding better, and the set list offers what now feels like one standard after another, a great American songbook of its own.
8 / Ross Macdonald
Ross Macdonald is like Raymond Chandler twenty years on: still droll and tough, but private eye Lew Archer tours a changing California with meditative sympathy as well as pugilistic ability. I find that I can read one of his novels in a day, if I do nothing else. I could tell you the titles, but to a degree the novels are happily interchangeable, intricate permutations of recurring features: Archer’s police contacts and helpers, wealthy clients, runaway girls and boys, seedy trailer-park characters or desk clerks. I feel that I could read them forever; there are eighteen, but perhaps a sophisticated artificial intelligence could generate many more. Archer’s narrative voice is laconic, often very humorous, but also every couple of pages flashes into descriptive fire, a margin of writerly excess.
9 / Helen Saunders at the Courtauld
She was a modernist painter (1885-1963), associated with the Vorticist movement of the 1910s. Typically enough, the work of the era’s women artists often became obscured, and curators have lately sought to reclaim them from history: in Saunders’ case, culminating in this one-room gathering of her work at the Courtauld Gallery. The retrieval is worthwhile. Saunders’ lines and strokes are clear and bold. She seems to draw and paint with conviction and native talent. Some of her pictures are figurative, showing a mother and child, a house, a canal. Some are much more abstract, imagined patterns and designs, but often with some resemblance to a real-world object or experience. She would merit a larger exhibition, of whatever work has survived the decades of neglect.
10 / The Cure
I have loved The Cure for decades, from a distance; never seen them, and often had the impression that my last chance to see them had already passed. But when their lengthy European tour reaches Wembley Arena, at last I’m in the crowd: unusually early, standing as near the front as I can, waiting through a tedious support band. Before a bright picture of the turning Earth, Robert Smith tiptoes on to the stage like a child, peering shyly at the audience. They play numerous ‘new songs that will soon be old songs’, as Smith repeatedly says. They play relatively deep album cuts; few hits in the first two hours. The music is unblemished, the voice strong. Along the way, ‘Pictures of You’, ‘A Night Like This’, the extraordinary ‘Push’ which amazed me when I discovered it on vinyl aged 17. The final encore of rapid-fire bright hits Smith calls his ‘Sunday night disco’. I haven’t felt quite this way about a concert in a long time. Outside, snow is falling.
Read our lists from punk historian Theresa Kereakes and Angelina Capodanno here (both CF contributors and music obsessives!)
CF30 NY: Steve Keene Art Show Party
October 7 at 1 Brooklyn Bridge Park, 360 Furman St., 5pm to 7:30pm
Our third and final event in NYC will be at the Steve Keene Art Show, where Steve Keene will be painting (during the early bit) and signing copies of the book if you buy one! The STEVE KEENE ART BOOK came out earlier this year and CF’s Gail O edited the book. It was designed by Henry Owings from Chunklet and produced by Daniel Efram, who photographed and documented SK’s art for the book.
The British folk legend BRIDGET ST JOHN will play some songs
CF contributor and wonderful person SUKHDEV SANDHU will DJ
See you there!