Mark Robinson (Teen-Beat Records, Cotton Candy)
1. Rochester, New York’s abandoned subway tunnels
2. Versus / Jawbox live performance at Le Poisson Rouge, July 21 — New York, NY
3. Katherine Small Gallery book shop — Somerville, Massachusetts
4. Death Records
5. Mickie’s Dairy Bar — Madison, Wisconsin
6. Garbage Plate at Schaller’s Drive-In — Rochester, New York
7. Gerard Unger — Life in Letters (book)
8. Folke Rabe — What?? (LP)
9. Theodore Shapiro — Severance (soundtrack album)
10. Severance (television program)
Ten Delightful Books of 2022 (or late 2021):
Re-Sisters, Cosey Fanny Tutti
Shy, Mary Rodgers
This Time Tomorrow, Emma Straub
Lookin’ for Lawrence, Lawrence
The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity, David Graeber and David Wengrow
Instant: The Story of Polaroid, Christopher Bonanos
A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, George Saunders
Essays Two, Lydia Davis
Henry ‘Chips’ Channon: The Diaries 1918–1938 and 1938–1943
Top 17 live shows I saw in ’22
Cate Le Bon Bowery Ballroom 2/9
Kim Gordon Webster Hall 3/18/22
L’Rain BAM 3/30/22
Waxahatchee George’s Majestic Lounge 4/19/22
Linda Lindas Mercury Lounge 5/1/22
Sharon Van Etten Union Pool 5/7/22
Circuit Des Yeux Greenwood Cemetery 6/7/22
Phoebe Bridgers Prospect Park 6/15
Bikini Kill Pier 17 7/9/22
Soul Glo Knockdown Center 7/10/22
Wild Hearts tour Berkeley GreekTheatre 7/31/22
Porridge Radio Bowery Ballroom 9/24/22
Broken Social Scene (esp w Tracey Ullman and Meryl Streep) Webster Hall 10/17/22
Girl Scout Handbook/Dump/Jim Ruiz/Aluminum Group Chickfactor 30 Frying Pan 10/6/22
Nnamdi Baby’s Alright 10/30/22
Wet Leg Music Hall Of Williamsburg 12/17/22
Horsegirl/Yo La Tengo Bowery Ballroom 12/22/22
Top Ten Reasons I Adored My Trip To Finland (Sept. 16-Oct. 2, 2022)
1. Seeing Richard Dawson & Circle perform (most of) their collaborative LP, Henki, live at a Psych Fest in Tampere.
2. Seeing Lau Nau perform live at an intimate venue in Helsinki. Also finally working up the courage to chat with her after the show.
3. Charity Shops & Flea Markets in Helsinki, Tampere, Rovaniemi & various small towns in Northern Finland. Holy crap, they’re great!
4. The Moomin Museum in Tampere.
5. My day trip to Tallinn, especially shopping for gorgeous/weird Soviet-era books and other treasures. And the Puppet Museum!
6. The beautiful, colorful autumn leaves.
7. Long drink! (Usually grapefruit soda & gin, sold in supermarkets & at bars. Helsinki Long Drink by the Helsinki Distilling Company was my clear favorite.)
8. Seeing reindeer along the road in Northern Finland. Also NOT seeing any reindeer roadkill.
9. Vintage shops in Helsinki. Special shouts out to Mekkomania (for vintage dresses by Marimekko, Vuokko, Pia & Paula, etc.), Lanterna Magica (for vintage photographs, ephemera & books), and Caratia (for vintage Finnish jewelry, especially mid-century silver and bronze design pieces).
10. Being able to watch Moomin cartoons on TV every night. Also seeing Moomin merch for sale literally everywhere.
Nancy is a musician, a karaoke queen, a DJ who does a show called Turtles Have Short Legs on XRAY FM, Portland, OR, and a CF contributor.
Paul Kelly (Heavenly Films, Birdie, East Village)
Nothing to do with 2022 I’m afraid…
Top Ten Beatles Songs
1. Yes It Is
2. We Can Work It Out
3. Paperback Writer
4. Every Little Thing
5. Strawberry Fields Forever
6. Ticket To Ride
7. If I Needed Someone
8. There’s A Place
9. Fool On The Hill
10. Can’t Buy Me Love
Gail O’Hara (chickfactor / Enchanté Records)
Phone Voice, Cradle Tape
Reds, Pinks & Purples, Summer at Land’s End & They Only Wanted Your Soul
Horsegirl, Versions of Modern Performance
Marisa Anderson, Still, Here
Alvvays, Blue Rev
Flinch, Enough Is Enough
Aoife Nessa Frances, Protector
Say Sue Me, The Last Thing Left
Nina Nastasia, Riderless Horse
Sinaïve, Super 45 t.
Lande Hekt, House Without a View
Jeanines, Don’t Wait for a Sign
Artsick, Fingers Crossed
Bill Callahan, YTI⅃AƎЯ
Dot Dash, Madman in the Rain
The Jazz Butcher (RIP), The Highest in the Land
The Umbrellas, “Write it in the Sky”
Old and fresh:
Mimi Roman, First of the Brooklyn Cowgirls
Joyce with Mauricio Maestro, Natureza
Tia Blake & Her Folk Group, Folk Songs & Ballads
Dotti Holmberg, Sometimes Happy Times
Norma Tanega, I’m the Sky: Studio and Demo Recordings, 1964–1971
Sukhdev Sandhu (writer, professor, CF contributor!)
House of Edgertor. Every week a lifetime ago, when she was writing reviews for the Other Music newsletter, Robin Edgerton introduced me to treasure after treasure (Pauline Oliveros, Pascal Comelade, Tricatel and Millle Plateaux labels). Still a brilliant researcher and writer, these days she discovers glorious, distinctive apparel, sleuths its backstories, sometimes fixes minor blemishes. Then she offers it to the world. Really she’s a philanthropist.
Monorail Music. It’s 20 years old! Starting things – a club, a shop. a magazine – is easy. Plunging in, all hands together, the thrill of the news, our gang forever. Keeping things going is a lot harder. Holding on, moving forward, unchanging and changing at the same time. Glasgow’s Monorail does it – and how. As Stephen Pastel writes in a lovely ‘2022 Staff Favourites’ Risograph booklet, “Twenty down, twenty to come.”
Norwegian Seamen’s Church. It’s been there, on East 52nd Street in Manhattan, for years. Still, it feels like a secret. Spare, light-suffused, a place that feels like a retreat from the world. It offers free waffles with lingonberry jam. Free coffee too. The basement has an art gallery. Everyone who works there has an open face, the gift of easy friendship.
Kommuna Lux. My favourite music venue – KuBa (short for Kulturbahnhof) in Donaueschingen – is a cafe/ bar located on a railway platform in Germany’s Black Forest. Performances are often punctuated by the sound of incoming trains. This July, Kommuna Lux came to town to play what they called Klezmer, Odessa and Gangsta Folk. Think The Men They Couldn’t Hang. The all-age crowd, many of whom hadn’t been to a show in the last couple of years, didn’t – couldn’t – forget the terrible news headlines in the Ukraine. But they also whooped, jigged, knocked back Fürstenberg beer. That felt like its own kind of connection.
CARA. Its full name is the Center for Art, Research and Alliances; it’s on West 13th Street in Manhattan; it opened this summer. It has ceilings high enough to let you dream, light enough to think you may be floating, and Emmy Catedral who curates its public programs and is responsible for its dizzying bookshop, is a genius.
The Economist Christmas double issue. Page for page, it’s probably the best value magazine in the world. This year’s had articles on the myth of the holy cow, cricket’s increasing ascendancy over baseball, the future for the Baduy peoples in Kanekes (they’re a bit like the Amish of Indonesia), how the nitrogen cycle has shaped the world, a brilliant article on whether Tang poetry can survive translation. All that and a beautiful obituary of Daniel Brush, the private, almost hermet-like goldsmith in New York.
Sue Nixon, Homophone Dictionary. What a delightful book. Before she died at the age of 96 about three years ago, Sue Nixon, a former schoolteacher, decided to compile a book of homophones. She’d loved them all her life and had used them in class to teach her young pupils. They read like poems, lullabies, Molly Drake songs. According to her granddaughter Sarah, “Luckily the book was printed before she died: she was lying in bed, with her eyes closed but was able to hold a physical copy and commented on how thick and heavy it was.”
Air-India’s Maharaja: Advertising Gone Rogue. Air India had a mascot called ‘The Rogue’. He had a babu belly, a twangy moustache, and was endearing on the eye. He featured on any number of posters from 1946 through to the early 1970s – swapping turban for a beret and selling ‘naughty’ pictures of himself in Paris, dressed down as a Playgirl bunny in New York, donning monks’ garb in Rome. Poster House’s show devoted to Umesh Rao’s none-more charming creation was my favourite show of the year.
Paddington Railway Club. London’s black cab drivers deny it exists. But it does – and how.
Dovas, Cafe Giffi, Ronnells Antikvariat, Folkets Kebab, Herr Judit, Runstenen Wooden Horse Museum, Teater Tribunalen, Vintage Violence, Bacchus Antik, Cafe Tranan, Kurt Svensson Konsthandel, Kvarnen, Konstnarsbaren: Stockholm is such a lovely lovely city.
As always: Constantin Veis, ‘Memory-La’; Musette, ‘Datum’; Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, ‘Dr. Buzzard’s Original “Savannah” Band’; Swing Out Sister, ‘Breakout’. But also: Wechsel Garland & World Service, ‘The Isle’; F.S. Blumm, ‘Summer Kling’; Plantar, ‘Forest, Sea, Harmony’; Penguins & Martingales, ‘What Might Have Been’.
Thomas Andrew – a certain smile/My Vinyl Underground
Top 10 things I wish were (still) in Philly now that I’m back:
1. the Snow Fairies (Neal come home)
2. Lil baby’s ice cream (vegan strawberry pink peppercorn was my whole damn heart, they are very sorely missed)
3. Red Square Records (i mean they left pretty much months after I first arrived in 2001, but still)
4. Spaceboy records (I owe John and Chris from that shop so much for the person I am today)
5. All my new friends from Portland! (This is why visits exist)
6. Brian from Pizza Brain, the shop still exists but Brian was the heart. (He does make Washington state that much cooler now though.)
7. A Popfest (who knows what may come though)
8. The Hollywood Theater/Movie Madness (one of the hardest things to leave behind in Portland, I’m hopeful to find something similar out here)
9. More damn pinball (I was spoiled for Pinball in Portland. Nowhere can compare)
10. Lilys (I mean there are enough former members in town to fill a small neighborhood, but to have Kurt here playing music on the reg would make my damn heart/brain explode with joy)
Evelyn Hurley (Cotton Candy)
This past year, I watched and rewatched some movies from the ’80s, here are my highlights!
Room With a View
This movie came out when I was a freshman in high school, but I don’t think I actually saw it until it came out on video a few years later. I have to say, I really loved it then, and I really loved it again on this revisit! As a 14 year old, I think I imagined myself in the Helena Bonham Carter character role, but on this recent viewing I found myself absolutely smitten with the Judi Dench and Maggie Smith characters, who are absolute delights to watch! The movie is romance in action, and the scenery, plot, costumes, and acting are pure magic.
Another blockbuster from 1985, Witness was a movie I might have actually seen in the theater, and since Harrison Ford was such a huge movie star, I’m sure the theater must have been absolutely packed. On my rewatch, I was amazed at how really good the film is; the plot is thrilling, and the acting is top notch, especially the beautiful Kelly McGillis. The city elements of the story are scary, dark, and thrilling, which is in stark contrast with the Amish elements in this film, which are bright and clean. The noir twist in the film is riveting, but my favorite surprise are the quick scenes with Patti LuPone who plays Harrison Ford’s sister, she’s so great.
I never saw this movie when it came out in 1987, but I remember everyone loving it. The tv commercials for it were constantly showing, and I liked the scene where Joan Cusack nearly runs into the pulled out file drawer but ducks under just in time. Unfortunately, the movie is nothing like this clip, and in my opinion and in the opinion everyone who was watching it with me, it’s a terrible, terrible, movie. Holly Hunter and Albert Brooks epitomize the annoying characteristics of yuppies from the ’80s; self indulgent, self absorbed, and conceited. William Hurt is supposed to be a dummy who gets ahead in the broadcast world solely based on his looks, but in all honestly, he’s the only likable person in the movie, and seems pretty good at his job. I can’t tell you how it ended because we turned it off and absolutely wished we had never seen any of it.
This 1981 film also stars William Hurt, but I actually finished this movie. It’s also another neo-noir film, staring Hurt and the amazing Kathleen Turner, and while it was very good it wasn’t as good as Witness.
Here’s to 2023, and all the movies that we watch!
Rachel Blumberg (Arch Cape)
Top Ten Favorite Shows I Played in 2022 in no particular order:
1. Agnes Varda Forever live film score collaboration with Kathy Foster – Holocene, PDX
2. Field Drums with Lunchbox – The Golden Bull, Oakland, CA
3. Arch Cape at the Arts Week Residency, Sou’Wester, Seaview, WA
4. Califone with BCMC, Judson and Moore Distillery, Chicago, IL
5. Encouragement Friendship Band w/Anis Mogiani & Laura Gibson – Mississippi Studios, PDX
6. Tara Jane O’Neil at Family Reunion Summer Fest – Kelley Point Park, PDX
6. Califone with Little Mazarn – Mississippi Studios
7. Old Unconscious with Fronjentress – The Fixin’ To, PDX
8. Linsday Clark with Michael Hurley and Luke Wyland – The Old Church, PDX
9. Field Drums with Party Witch and Desir – Mississippi Studio, PDX
10. Califone – Vickers Theater, Three Oaks, Michigan
Top Ten Favorite Native Plants in 2022
2. Douglas Spirea
3. Douglas Aster
5. Sword Fern
6. Piggyback Plant
7. Wild Ginger
9. Vine Maple
Top Ten Dogs I Petted in 2022
1. Stella Bean, my sweetest heart, rest in peace.
2. Bella, my sister’s dog
3. Sal, Sam Farrel’s dog
4. Caramel and Ace, Rob and Melissa Jones’s dogs
5. Rankin, Vanessa Renwick’s dog
6. Dylan, Sheri Hood’s dog
7. Gladys, Scotty McCaughey and Mary Winzig’s dog
8. Sparky and Zoey, my dad and Phillipa’s (his lady friend) dog
9. Dizzy, Janet Weiss’s dog, and Rooster, the dog she is fostering
10. Sugar, our neighbor’s dog
Top Ten Shows I saw in 2022, in no particular order, and I doubt I am remembering them all…
1. Belle and Sebastian, Roseland
2. Slumberland Showcase, The Doug Fir
3. Cate Le Bon, The Wonder Ballroom
4. Yo La Tengo, The Wonder Ballroom
5. Quasi, Pdx Pop Now Fest
6. Ural Thomas and The Pain, The Good Foot
7. Lonnie Holley, Hollywood Theater
8. Magnetic Fields, Aladdin Theater
9. Horsegirl, Polaris Hall
10. Pavement, Edgefield