29th July 2014
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Yesterday, Red Lobster officially became a privately owned company. Let’s hope that their facebook page keeps its long tradition of over-dedication, liveblogging meals, and the unending competition known as shrimpfest.
27th July 2014
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I felt that moving (halfway) into our first house was justification enough to open my bottle of Pliny the Elder, the #4 rated beer in the world on Beer Advocate. In my own personal bar.
Homeownership is great.
26th July 2014
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First things first in the new house. The bar is set up and in business.
25th July 2014
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Ladies, take note of this fiery #HotTake and start figuring out how to prevent yourself from getting assaulted by men.
25th July 2014
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Since I’m a little less than 24 hours away from officially kissing the bright lights of Dallas behind for our new wonderland of a home in the Suburbs barely North of the city, I thought it’d be a good time to finally publish this list I’ve been working on for the last couple of months, off and on. I like lists and this one was fun to make. Please note that this is a list of my favorite punk albums, not necessarily the best of all time. I also excluded Flogging Molly from this list, for sake of not listing every album they’ve come out with.
- Rancid - …And Out Come the Wolves - No matter how I end up ranking punk albums, this album always comes out on top for me. This is the best organized album I have ever heard. The climax for me on this 1995 beauty is track 15, ‘The War’s End.’ Seeing it performed live around 2000 was life changing for me.
- Leftover Crack - Mediocre Generica - Leftover Crack peaked early with this album. It is perfect parts punk, hardcore, dark themes, and the beauty of the scene, emphasized with piano tracks separating most songs. This version of ‘Crack City Rockers’ is my favorite song that the band has ever come out with, in their many forms and names.
- Stiff Little Fingers - Inflammable Material - If it wasn’t for my respect for the conflicts during The Troubles and my admitted limited understanding of Irish politics, I would have already gotten this cover art tattooed. It is a politically charged, angry album with equal parts optimism in the power of the people in the audience they play for.
- Suicide Machines - Destruction by Definition - This album was probably my gateway drug into political punk and skacore. It’s mostly a cheery album with very well chosen lyrics (save for a gay slur in one song.)
- Choking Victim - No Gods No Managers - This is the first album (ish) that the guys behind Leftover Crack put out. It’s a much darker and grittier version of the band that is good for an all night punk house show.
- The Ramones - Self Titled - I couldn’t in my right mind leave this album off of the list. This album set the pace for the whole scene. It is a thing of beauty and three chord anthems.
- Screeching Weasel - My Brain Hurts - This is the punk album that I can probably relate to the most. Screeching Weasel locked into the suburban angst of the punk scene early on and their sound mirrors it. I only wish Ben Weasel wasn’t such an asshole, or I would probably have the Weasel tattooed on me somewhere.
- 7 Seconds - The Crew - Now, this album I love so much that I did get a tattoo for it. I have “Young ‘Til I Die” tattooed on my right thigh. This is my favorite hardcore album of all time. It captures the energy of the hardcore scene, with none of the violence seen at a Germs or Circle Jerks show.
- Against Me! - Reinventing Axl Rose - The story of Against Me! from beginning to now would make a beautiful movie. I identify with this album because, like the band, I was a misguided teenage anarchist that was just angry at everything I saw around me. The movement of the band to where they currently are is a wonderful soundtrack to my life as a tatted up, political charged, somewhat productive member of society.
- The Queers - Love Songs for the Retarded - Despite the crass album title, this is a very pleasant, early pop punk album with the energy that only Joe Queer could bring after the band strayed from their hardcore roots. If you get a chance, check them out live. They haven’t lost a beat, even 21 years after this album’s release.
- A Global Threat - What the Fuck Will Change? - After much though, this album is my favorite release in the street punk genre that took over most cities’ scenes from the late 90’s through mid 00’s. The vocals are understandable, the chants are catchy, and they were balls to the wall hardcore live performing this album.
- The Bouncing Souls - How I Spent My Summer Vacation - Until my most recent Jeff Bridges concert, my favorite concert was the Flogging Molly/Bouncing Souls tour with the Bouncing Souls promoting this album. This East Coast slant on hardcore is melodic and enjoyable even as you approach your 30’s.
- Propagandhi - Less Talk, More Rock - Even now, I’m not sure if this album is punk or not. If anything, it is a political essay set to the tune of a pop punk album. It is well thought out, deeply personal, and an album that demands you listen to it in its entirety.
- Operation Ivy - Operation Ivy (Collection) - Similar to the Ramones, I couldn’t in right mind leave OP IV off of this list. Much of what the skacore and 90’s punk movement had in their sound is due in part to the 3 glorious years that Operation Ivy played their music together in the late 80’s. If you were to tell me that Jesse Michaels is the second coming of Christ, I would believe you. His music is caring, touching, and with a message of love and peace behind it.
- Catch 22 - Keasbey Nights - From start to end, this is the best ska album that I have ever heard. It has an energy and brashness that most of the third wave of ska lacked. The late 90’s were a magical time for the genre, and this is its high water mark.
24th July 2014
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This will be the only thing I post about the Israel/Palestine conflict, because honestly it’s none of my business as a Puerto Rican in Texas who can’t find Gaza on a map, but holy shit, you guys. Ho-ly. Shit.
23rd July 2014
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Everything I do this week is immediately being tagged with “last I ever do as a resident of Dallas.” That Chipotle I’m probably going to get on Friday? Last burrito as a resident of Dallas? The abortion protestors on Greenville I pass every morning? Last time I give them the finger as a resident of Dallas.
It’s like a much sadder version of Friends Forever by Vitamin C.
22nd July 2014
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We’re homeowners now. JD and I. Shannon is also invited.
21st July 2014
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For the first time in two centuries, the number of American breweries has finally reached pre-Civil War levels. There are 3,040 breweries currently churning out beer in the U.S. The last time we saw this many breweries, the transcontinental railroad had just been completed and there were only 37 stars on the U.S. flag.
Renaissance period, yo. Craft beer currently takes up 7% of the American beer market(+/- 1%,) and that number is going up. Drink local now, more than ever. That number may hit double digits, and then shit will really hit the fan.
21st July 2014
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Last night in San Diego
I’ll have my article on the San Diego beer scene written for Beer Drinkers Society this weekend after we’re finished moving in to our new house (!!!,) but I just wanted to drop a quick note on just how amazing the Stone taproom was in Little Italy. It’s one part bottle shop, one part brewery, and twenty parts the best backyard that you could ever imagine.
These fires are gas fed through the center of the gigantic stone tables on the patio. Surrounding the patio are chairs made out of used barrels from Stone. And above you are strings of LED lantern lights to give your night a very chill glow while sipping on a w00tstout 2.0 in a tulip glass.
Seriously, A+ work, San Diego.