Guts and Grog Tooned Up

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Top 20 Albums Of 2013: From The Journal Of Tromeric

Music has been as much a part of my life as movies for as long as I can remember.  In fourth grade I bought a bunch of sweet tapes from a Walden Books. I know I got Scorpions "Virgin Killer" and Alice Cooper's "Raise your Fist and Yell." My mom got an angry phone call due to me playing Virgin Killer in class.  Squares. Anyways, I have always sought out as much music as I can devour, never specific to one genre, just as long as it sounded good in my ear holes. This year was full of awesome all over the board. Enough ramblings, I bring top twenty albums of 2013.

20. Gorguts- Colored Sands

A great return for one of Death Metal's best. Technical, brutal, and amazing. Just check this track and let your ears be pounded like that girl you knew in high school. 

19. Jungle Rot-  Terror Regime 

More Death Metal makes the list. Jungle Rot brings on the terror. I saw these guys with Decide last year. So heavy and awesome. Definitely made its rounds at the house of grog. 

18. Queens of the Stone Age- Like Clockwork

I have a love it or hate it relationship with these dudes. A couple of their albums have blown me away, the rest have bored me. Luckily, and surprisingly to be honest, I absolutely loved this one. A bit slower than some of their previous work, but it just hits right. 

17. Nails- Abandon All Life

So fast and in your face. The album caps out at seventeen minutes, but you will feel like you just had the most brutal, longest sexual experience of your life. Like an all day fuck fest, probably without your consent. Was hoping to see these guys with Godflesh back in October, but the tour was postponed. You need this in your life. 

16. Bloody Hammers- Spiritual Relics

The second album is fun from start to finish. I was a bit slow to get into these guys. I had heard a bit, and wasn't sure how I felt. I liked the music, but the vocals didn't sit right with me. Then this year I saw they were touring with Church of Misery, so I decided to pick up their sophomore record. To my surprise, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Definitely curious where they go on their next record. 

15. Nine Inch Nails- Hesitation Marks

By all accounts I am not sure why I am such a fan of Nine Inch Nails. Some of his earlier stuff isn't the stuff of love for me, but in his later career he has sold me. During his hiatus he did a couple of scores that were mind blowing. I mean he made a movie about Facebook exciting with his haunting score. That's talent.  This is his first album since 2008 as Nine Inch Nails, and overall it is a pretty solid record. A couple misses, but generally bad ass. Oh, and David Lynch directed a video for the first single. That alone sells me. 

14. Gwar- Battle Maximus 

Gwar is back at it. An obvious tribute to their fallen guitar player, as well as just a bad ass album. So many great singalongs and anthems. This record definitely fits nicely next to all the other Gwar albums. 

13. RVIVR- The Beauty Between

The first and only pop punk record to make the list. Not typically a genre of music I am a fan of, but as per most things, there are exceptions. I have been a fan of these guys since their first EP. Nice to finally have a full length to jam on. 

12. Cage- Kill the Architect

The first hip-hop record to make the list. I have been a fan of Cage for years now. This album is great, and dark, even for Cage.

11. ASG- Blood Drive

This is another band that I had heard a lot about, then when I listened to them was very underwhelmed. Then I was headed to see Weedeater and saw they were touring with them. At the show, my mind was changed. They straight killed it live. A lot heavier than I assumed based off what I had heard. Since the show, like Scarface, this has definitely been on repeat.

10. Rob-Maniac(OST)

When I first heard about this remake I was more than worried. Maniac is one of my all time favorite movies. How could Frodo encompass such brutality and badassary? I mean Spinell is a God. I sat down and popped this bitch in, expecting to be angry the whole time. Well, I was wrong. I will definitely admit it. This is by far one of the best remakes ever. They don't try and copy Spinell, this is definitely its own beast. Not only is the movie stellar, but the score and soundtrack are by far at the top of my favorites in recent years.

9. Autopsy- The Headless Ritual

Autopsy are gods. Their first full length in sixteen years proves that. I can't turn this beast off.

8. Church of Misery- Thy Kingdom Scum

Japanese doom all about serial killers. That is all I needed to hear back in the day to know that I must check out this band. Since then I have continued to love all of their shit. I saw them last year and they blew my fucking brains out. Scum is another hit for sure. 


7.  Secret Chiefs 3: Book Of Souls: Folio A

I was lucky enough to see these guys with Goblin earlier this year. Outside of Alan Howarth, John Carpenter,  or Fabio Frizzi, there are only two other bands I can think of(Zombi, Umberto) that could pull that off. This is the second part of the "Book of Truth" trilogy. Like all of their stuff, each song is its own entity, hell, even parts of each song. One of the highlights is a cover of Carpenter's Halloween. Planned chaos that gives me a huge ear boner. 

6. Coffins- The Fleshland

Coffins never cease to amaze me. This album is no exception. Se heavy, sludgy, and addicting. Japan's doom gods are back. 

5. Shadow of the Torturer- Dronestone

Sludgy, doomy, drony, awesome, and it's all about Jonestown. With members of Bell Witch, Aldebaran, Weregoat, and Splatterhouse you know this is going to punch you right in the dick, and you are going to ask for more. How often do you ask for more dick punches? Yeah, it's that awesome. 

4. David Lynch- The Big Dream

I have been obsessed with Lynch as a filmmaker as long as I can remember. I was curious when I heard about his foray into music. I was a huge fan of his first record, so I of course shot up to the record store on release day and bought that shit up. To my happiness I was just as in love with this as the first. 

 3. Umberto- Confrentations  

I was late to the game with these guys. Luckily I rectified that this year.  I picked up all their stuff and fell in love. This is definitely a must listen. 

2. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds- Push the Sky Away

Oh, it is nice to be excited about a new Nick Cave record. It has been a Christ age since I felt more than mediocrity from the bad seeds. Luckily for me, this tears it up. Reminded me how much I love Nick Cave. Makes me even more excited for the show in July, especially as I haven't seen him since 94. 

When it came down to number one, I couldn't decide between two records. Two records that have been out the longest, and that I have been unable to last more than three days without listening. Two records that are worlds apart in style, but similar in feeling of dread and happiness, and the juxtaposition between the two.  Now lets get to it. The two number one records of the year are....

1. Sadistik- Flowers for my Father 

His first full length since "The Balancing Act" is one of the records of the decade. The smartest, most original, darkest, most beautiful hip-hop out there, and there is a Trash Humpers sample, and plenty of horror references on top of that. I could write an essay on this, but instead, I just urge you to pick yourself up a copy, spark up, and put the headphones on. 

1. Light Bearer- Silver Tongue  

Holy fucking shit. This album slays me every time. I can't start it, without finishing it. 

There you go. Sound off with your picks, tell me why I am wrong. It's all in good fun. Thanks for reading, and be on the lookout for the year end film round up hitting soon. 


Sunday, December 22, 2013

4 Must See Documentaries From 2013

Documentaries are a hard thing for me to judge. It is rare that I put one on that I am not interested in. Even with subjects that seem less than exciting, like say sushi, or Helvetica. Obviously some outshine others, but basically I am just a sucker for docs. I spend lots of my free time watching what South Park refers to as "Murder Porn." ID channel is a part of my everyday life. Instead of making a long list with all the documentaries I watched this year. I am just going to showcase four that fit in on the grog a bit more. All four of these I have watched numerous times, three of them I was lucky enough to see in the theater with directors in attendance. These are in no order. Just four that I feel any genre fan should check out.

Adjust Your Tracking

I felt like I was waiting for this forever. I saw the first teaser and then waited and waited. Finally it was out, I just had to wait for it to hit West Coast. It finally showed at Crypticon Seattle. I was a vendor there, so I knew I had to check it. Luckily I had some friends with me that offered to watched my table while it played. In fact, it was the only screening I was able to make it to this year. I loved it. It was able to show some history, while still showcasing the passion and excitement of the people involved in collecting.

A couple months later it came here to Portland. There was a VHS swap meet, and the directors were in attendance. Gabe Nye and I walked up to the Hollywood, stopping at the liquor store for some Bushmills first, of course. We hung out with some fellow VHS lovers, bought a metric fuck ton of tapes, met some new friends, saw some old ones, and watched the movie. Even though I had already seen it, it was nice to see it in a less busy feeling environment. Needless to say, I love this movie. It captures that feel you have digging though some random ass dudes basement, sifting through shit just to find that one holy grail. Check my full review here.

Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th

A couple of years ago a documentary came out called "Never Sleep Again." It was all about Freddy, and the Elm Street legacy. It was four hours long, and incredibly in depth. Needless to say it made my shit rock hard. I have watched it numerous times. Interviews with so many of the people involved in all eight films. Since the birth of that, I have been dying for one on Jason. I love Freddy, but have always fancied myself a Jason fan more. Lucky for me the same team that brought the Elm Street beast to life, took on Friday. Being that there are twelve Friday films including the remake, and Freddy vs Jason, I knew this bitch was going to be long. I waited and waited, and finally got a screener. I popped it in and sat there for seven plus hours, granted I didn't realize it was that long until after it was over and I saw what time it was. Engaging from beginning to end is an understatement. The next day I watched it with the commentary, and was just as engulfed. I have now watched it a few times, and it never gets old. As stated previously, I am a sucker for docs, this is the reason why. If you can make a seven hour film about one franchise and not only make me enjoy it, but also watch it repeatedly, you have won at life. To read my full review click here.

Rewind This!

It has definitely been the year of the VHS. This was the second documentary on the subject I saw this year. Where AYT is more about the collecting of VHS, this is more a history lesson in the roots of VHS, as well as the VCR, and some other formats that didn't make it. Great interviews, clips and more. I was able to attend a screening of this as well, with the director in attendance. Definitely a well crafted doc that any fan of film or home video needs to see.

I Am Divine

Anyone that knows me, knows that outside of David Lynch there is no filmmaker that I respect, and love more than John Waters. I have watched everything he has ever been involved with, read everything he has ever written, and listened to or read any interview or commentary I can get my hands on. I have always been an admirer of Divine. The dirty, fuck you attitude he embraced. His performances got better and better, until he was taken a little to early.  I had been dying to see this when I finally saw that it was playing at the Q-doc film festival here in Portland. The deal got sweeter when I saw that the director as well as Mink Stole were going to be making appearances. I got my ticket, my copy of Female Trouble(for Mink to sign), and the day off, and then just waited. It finally came, and so did I. Such a great tribute to one of my favorite entertainers ever. It is so well crafted, and full of amazing interviews, that I see this being a monthly watch for me once it hits home video.

Well there you go. Four documentaries that I promise you should seek out. There were plenty of other great ones, but I figured I would stick to film docs for this particular list. If you haven't yet, make sure you check the 20 Greatest Moments from 2013, and keep your eye out for the remaining year in review lists headed your way.

- Tromeric

Friday, December 20, 2013

20 Great Moments From 2013

As this year comes to a close, it is time to look back at all the happenings. I love reading everyone's lists about top films, music, video games, toys, whatever it may be. They are fun to make, and fun to read. This year I am starting off a little different. I will of course have best films and music as usual, as well as some lists from some of my favorite grog contributors, but for now, I bring you. 20 great moments. This is in no order at all. Just 20 things that happened in my life this last year that were special or exciting. I could have made the list a lot longer, but figured 20 was a good cut off. I will not be making a list of horrible moments. There are some, but that list is no fun to write. So instead I bring you the awesome.

Goblin Live

Add this to the list of things I never thought would happen in my life. I heard that they were playing at Housecore Horror fest in Texas, but assumed I wouldn't be able to make it there. As I was attempting to figure out how in the hell I could make it to Texas, I saw that they were playing in Philly now. That gave me hope. I kept checking, and finally I woke up one day to the news that they would be here in Portland. I shit my pants, then called everyone I knew. Some of the responses were amazing. Most people didn't believe it right away. Well a few days later tickets went on sale, and I of course instantly bought one of the VIP tickets. I knew this was a once in a lifetime thing, so I went all out. Jump ahead seven months later and it finally happened. I went early. Watched the sound check, bought a bunch of swag, met them, got said swag signed, then had some drinks before the actual show. Secret Chiefs 3 started it off, which was excellent as expected, then Goblin hit the stage and made my shit rock hard for the next three weeks. Here is a quote taken from my facebook directly after the show. I think it sums up how amazing of a night that was. "Goblin was so fucking good. I can't even put into words how amazing of a day this was. I am in shock. After many invites to post show shenanigans, I opted to walk home, eat some medicated taffy, and relax. I just need to let today sink in. I will post pix tomorrow."

Crypticon Seattle

I have attended Crypticon most of the years that it has been in Seattle. This however was the first year that I was a vendor. I shared a booth with VonKlingele Kustoms and Critters and Gods. This was a totally different experience, and one I loved. I still got to meet some amazing people, buy some amazing things, and drink all of the grog, only I was also able to share the gospel of the grog, as well as help out two of my favorite people. 

Danzig With Doyle

I have seen Danzig five times. He is definitely one of my favorite musicians. I love all three of the bands he fronted, and have listed to his entire discography an unhealthy amount. I almost skipped this, but ended up picking up a ticket. Glad I did. This was easily the best I have seen Danzig. He basically played only things off the first three records, well except when Doyle came out and they banged out some amazing Misfits songs. It was a pretty drunk night, and I was walking back from downtown and ate shit on the sidewalk. Gave my friend Nick a good laugh. 

Jtro Beat Beat Challenge

This one just happened last week. The FP was one of my favorite films of last year, so when I heard Jason Trost was going to be here in Portland hosting and competing in a DDR competition, I knew I had to make it. Mortician Matt and I set out for Ground Control. Evey kid of the eighties fantasy. Arcade games and booze all in the same place. We met Jason Trost, played a lot of games(mostly Splatterhouse), and watched the completion. It ended up being quite the memorable night. 

HP Lovecraft Fest

I have lived in Portland for a while now. Somehow, I had never attended this. I always meant to, just never worked out. Well this year I heard that The Cabal Cut was playing, so I knew I had to go no matter what. The list just got better as it got closer. Prince of Darkness with a video intro from Carpenter, Yuzna was going to be there showing Beyond Reanimator, Richard Stanley was there showing the directors cut of his piece from Theatre Bizzare, and all kinds of other awesome Lovecraftian goodness. I ran into old friends, made new ones, and saw some bad ass flicks. Gabe Nye was even able to make it. 

The Return to VHS Hunting

I have always collected movies. When I was in grade school I would record shit off TV. In middle school I started collecting VHS. In the early 00's I sold off my collection trying to keep mine and VonKlingele's video store open and switched to DVD collecting. Last year I left my job and ended up selling my 2000 plus DVD collection. Well, this year I went back to my roots. I always enjoyed VHS, and have continued to watched them since the beginning, but this year I went back to full blown collector. It has been fun to say the least. 

Mom of the Grog Visits

I don't get to see my mom that often. We haven't lived in the same state in a christ age. It is always  blast when we get a few days to catch up and nerd out. Last time she was here I took her to see Cannibal Holocaust on the big screen. Nothing that exciting happened this time, but we did have some fun shopping, drinking, and eating some bad ass food. Steph Infection of course was along for the ride. We are a pretty badass family. 

The Dickies Live in Portland

One of the greatest theme songs of all time is Killer Klowns From Outer Space. I have listened to that soundtrack a buttload of times. Due to that, I have become quite the fan of the madmen behind it, The Dickies. Just fun, snotty, pop punk. Well, when I saw that they were playing here right after Thanksgiving I knew I had to go. I ended up having so much fun on Thanksgiving that I was quite hungover and exhausted by the time the show hit, but I knew I still had to go. Great show for sure. They didn't play killer klowns, but I kind of expected that. For as tired and beat as I was, ended up being a pretty memorable night.


                               Godspeed You Black Emperor

Godspeed was a huge part of my 20's I picked up one of their albums in 2001 and listened to it nonstop. In fact that album is so linked to Tony Hawk 3 for me. Gabe Nye and I would play Tony Hawk for hours with Godspeed on repeat, like Scarface. Well, I never got to see them back in the day, and last time they were here tickets sold out so fast I wasn't able to make it. As soon as I heard they were coming back for Music Fest NW I knew it was a must do. Great show. I sat in the balcony and just watched. I had eaten a special brownie that enhanced the experience that much more.

Devil's Night

Halloween is always an important time around the house of grog. It last the whole year, but is in full gear for all of September and October. This year on Devil's Night, AKA October 30th my good friend Cory came over and we had some drinks, watched Spaced Invaders, and tried to build  a Goosebumps house. The outcome was questionable, but the process was amazing. We ended up giving up and just playing around with horror props from my room. 

Extreme Week

The Grog's second attempt at a theme week. The first was kids horror, so I figured lets 180 this bitch. Some amazing contributors helped make it a memorable week.

Graves at Sea, Ash Borer, Aldebaran, Ephemeros

A show of epic proportions. Graves hadn't played in like eight years or some shit. I was beyond excited. I worked a ton right before, and was tired as shit, but I know how to prepare so I was ready and infuxicated. 

Willow Creek with Bobcat Goldthwait In Attendance

I have loved all of Bobcat's films. I was a little hesitant on this as I am pretty burnt out on found footage, but I had faith being that it was Bobcat. When I saw it was playing here with a Q and A I gathered the troops and headed up. It was a blast. The movie was funny and terrifying and he was hilarious. Definitely be on the lookout if it hits your town. 

Adjust Your Tracking Tour

I had a chance to see this doc at Crypticon, but was excited to see it on the tour as I was working and preoccupied at the con. I was also excited to do some VHS shopping at the swap meet, and meet Dan, one of the filmmakers I had been in contact with via the internet. Gabe Nye and I headed up to the Hollywood and had a blast. The film was great, we had some amazing scores, and met up with some other friends. It was also the last event Gabe Nye and I attended before he moved to Washington. 

The 49 Days of Horror Part 2: The Pajama Jam

In 2002 back in Washington many of us took part in a 49 day horror marathon. It was a blast and insane. Well, this year we decided to try it again. We are all in different spots now. Geographically and mentally, so this definitely played into it. It still ended up being a blast. 

Tromeric Turns 33

My birthdays usually end up being pretty bad ass. This year was even more bad ass than usual. Sushi, horror films, music, drugs, alcohol, amazing people. I could go on forever. Just an amazing day. 

I Am Divine

I have been obsessed with John Waters as long as I can remember. I have watched and read everything possible. I always loved Divine. So good in everything. I was more than excited to see this, then I found out it was coming here with Mink Stole in attendance. I shit. I hadn't shaved in a couple days and my hair was frizzing out, basically what I am saying is that I looked like I should hang out with Victor Salva.

The Guts and Grog Cartoon

My friend Nick put together a minute long cartoon for Guts and Grog. We used it to promote Crypticon, but it is just generally bad ass.Click the pic to see said cartoon.

Wizard World Portland

I love comicons. They can be tiring, but the reward is always worth it. So much shit to buy, amazing people to hang out with, and plenty of chances for my inner fanboy to explode out without going to jail. 

Seeing Guts and Grog Swag Printed

The grog has been an amazing ride. I have met so many amazing people, made connections, and most importantly, had a ton of fun doing it. Never in a million years when I drunkenly decided to post my ramblings online for my friends to read, did I think I would be where I am today. With that said, it is amazing seeing the grog logo printed onto things. As mentioned earlier a cartoon was done. This year I also had shirts printed, posters printed,  books printed, and much more. Kind of surreal seeing it around. Definitely bad ass though.

There you have it. 20 amazing moments for the grog in 2013.  Excited to see what next year brings. Stay tuned for your normal top list that will resume in the near future. Look out for top documentaries, albums, and of course movies.

- Tromeric