Mike Leslie is one of my favorite artists, a fine skater and one of the better friends I have in this world. If you can ever get him to drive with you in a pickup truck for more than 20 minutes, he might give you some of the best advice you've had in a long time. He also has a big shark tattoo on his chest. Like E. Conner, Mike could not find a lot of joy in 2013, so he submitted all the great yellow things he liked this year...
It's rare I get so excited about a record before it comes out, and this was one of those moments. Radioactivity is the musical continuation of Jeff Burke of The Marked Men. It's very catchy, pop punk, but doesn't carry any of that genre's baggage somehow. Like The Marked Men, the artwork is an after thought, with no insert of lyrics or anything else for that matter. But if you are like me, you can just text funny versions of the lyrics to your friends when you are bored. The record cover is yellow, and I can't stop listening to it!
I lived in Worcester pretty much my entire 32 years up until June this year, when I migrated a whopping 39 miles south, to Providence, RI. One of the things I left behind, was George's Coney Island Hot Dogs founded in 1918. Good food, rumor has it you can get a "freaky" which is all the toppings on top of potato chips inside a hot dog bun. But I've always been too reserved to ask, and I also eat meat now. Anyways, there is a bar attached that I have never set foot in. It closes at 8, and since I don't drink, there has never been a reason to go there. Well, December 14th brought snow and new reasons. Sally, of Secret Lover had a birthday this night, and invited some folks to play Coney Island's first punk show. I approached the door separating the regular side, from the bar, and hesitated before stepping on uncharted tile. The adult side! So much has changed for me. Many Moxies were consumed, and I ate a hot dog, a hamburger, then another hot dog. A hamburger on hot dog bread in my stomach...
Styk: Jamie Buckmaster of Terribles fame, (and my default brother)'s glam band headlined. Flashy, catchy playing next to an ATM. The bartender at Coney plays bass, all the workers took photos of him in gold lame'.
Al Scorch: Tore through standards and originals and impressed everyone as usual. He took requests, and Matt didn't break any plates over his head this time.
Joe DeGeorge: Took a break from singing about clams, harry potter, and covering Bach to play saxophone over prerecorded soft rock. It was sexy, smooth, easy! Also: Sexy.
Lars Paulson: The bassist of Secret Lover, sang disco songs over a prerecorded track and I think may have rapped at some point. The night ended with the first big snow of the year, and the minivan crawled down 146 to my new home.
This is the skate park closest to my house! I've been skating since it opened maybe 7 years ago? It is well built, by Breaking Ground, and even though everything is under three feet tall, per order of the state they kept the design interesting and fun. Rumors went around that it was going to be torn down, but low and behold, just in time for Christmas, the city threw money at it to expand. If you were crashing into kids on scooters before, now you have more space to narrowly run into them.