The Listen! Watch! Eat! Year-End Wrapup 2012

Here at Listen! Watch! Eat! we’re so excited for the end of the year roundup that we can hardly type. Thanks to all our audience for being around for the roller coaster ride of 2012, and we know you love the list as much as we do, so let’s get right to it.

MUSIC

Real talk: Pig Leg owned this year. Topher T.’s rich, growling vocals never sounded tougher, and the twin-guitar assault of the Laughlin Twins dropped a Television-quality buzzsaw all over Leggsy and Bags’ rolling unguent beat. No one could have predicted than an offal joke band could go from food truck to headliner in such a short time, but the ‘Leg won our hearts long after they’d left the giblets behind. We’ve heard an advance copy of their upcoming “Uncured” album and you already love it. Trust us.

Anyone who spent as much time as we did at the Rusty Rooster knows how much Garry Turgenev ruled this year. If we said “it’s just slap bass and spoken word” there wouldn’t be many takers, but anyone who goes just once understands. Garry’s branching out, too. The few of us who caught him jamming with Uncle Aloha at the Sausage Festival know he’s got a few more tricks up his sleeve. Stay tuned closely to this station—and to Garry—for a kick-ass year.

This isn’t a big Krautrock town, but we have a treasure. You know who we mean. It’s Leverkühn, who ripped us all a new one this year when we least expected it. Thursday nights at Balder’s was a pop-up temple of the Teutonic. Hissing backbeats and unexpectedly laminated malignancy oiled the groove for some Faustian noodling and snapped-down wrenching worthy of Neu! Don’t be intimidated by Euro-styled hair and apparent ennui. Grab this schnitzel next year.

FILM

And by film we mean indie film, and by indie we mean local. You know what that means: Gazpacho. The single-named soup-named auteur made his usual 24 short films this year, each one a lapidary gem. “Thirty Minutes at the Drive Through” rocked our world the hardest, with an intense focus on commerce and boredom that hit us right here. Nobody didn’t like the Egg Cycle, either: four films d’oeuf in four locations in four days is a record even within the highly competitive Alimentary School. Not every town has a film scene, much less a powerhouse savant like the G-Man. Honor that shit!

The Elephant Leg Collective continues to hold it down with their film happenings at Sammy Peep’s. A late Tuesday night means two things: Irish Coffee and the Elephant’s Leg Collage on the wall outside. Despite the heavy hand of the law, the proud pachyderms screened four films at once eight times this year, to the delight of a well-warmed crowd. Our personal vote goes to the “Four Die Hards of Christmas.” Let’s hope for a less litigious year for the trunksters.

FOOD

When it comes to local and sustainable, there’s no tastier activists than the Food Bike Posse. Going where trucks cannot, these intense but charming young men have powered the Bunny Bacon BLT, Big Balut Burger, Boston Baked Bones, and everyone’s favorite Bat Balls dessert all over town. They won’t admit who the top chef is in their strictly egalitarian collective, but those in the know point to the guy they call Big Nacho. We hear with sympathy the controversy about their “No Dames” policy, but maybe the kerfuffle will give us a posse of Grrl Pastry Cyclists or even a Lunch Lady ride!

Boy, what a storm we had this year over Konys! Owner/chef Topher Ian is the first to admit his concept invites controversy. His international humanitarian focus has a laser-like intensity that shows in everything from the décor to the award-winning menu. You don’t know food in this town until you’ve had his small plates under photographic documentation of ethnic cleansing. The contrast makes a tremendous point, and the tofu/pretzel “hot wings” compete with the artisanal walnut-wrapped pork fat for piquant, energizing snap. Word has it that the atrocities video loop over the bar may give way to soul-searching documentaries, but the barberry Old Fashioned will keep flowing.

Gackers! We all say it at once after a long day or a long night. There’s no better restorative than Manny T.’s nouveau churrascaria, and since he went 24-hour it’s the only place in town past midnight. Our favorites include the toasted snout wrap, “deviled egg” of shaved kidney, and the Tuesdays-only Maw Pie Skewer. Word has it Manny is planning a Pan European Smoked Meat drive-through that might just get us over to the East Side after all.

Be sure and share your year-end favorites and opinions on ours! Hit up that comments section and join the conversation. Here’s to a great 2013 from Topher L. and the whole gang!

The new Bret Easton Ellis is here! The new Bret Easton Ellis is here!

“Connecting the intertwining strands are a group of beautiful, blonde young men and women who sleep all day and party all night, doing drugs — and one another –with abandon, never realizing that they are dancing on the edge of a volcano.”

One of the worst things about substance abuse is unsafe dancing. But who the hell put the dance floor next to the volcano in the first place? It’s not even near the bar, and people keep knocking over the safety cones.

And go get someone else to connect the intertwining strands. These people are incompetent.

You have to understand. It was a different time.

I just watched a documentary called HIDDEN FIRE: THE GREAT BUTTE EXPLOSION.

[insert beavis laugh]

It was horrible. Bullet points of the horrible:

  • Standard post-Ken Burns style with sad violins, period pictures, and voiceovers reading letters and newspaper articles. “Dear Mama…” Did everything in the 19th century happen with a bassoon or a scrapy fiddle playing?
  • Hack academics with slow careful mellow NPR English diction saying obvious things and things that made no sense. Firefighters were simultaneously described as indentured servants and as inhabitants of a bastion of male privilege. The local historian said that people forgot about the incident because people forget things.
  • The town archivist, who was exactly Dana Carvey’s Church Lady. She kept telling us that “that’s how things go in Butte” when describing unique and bizarre atrocities such as mining companies being beastly, or rich guys going unpunished. After each disapproving “Forget it, Jake” statement she stopped and pursed her lips like a high school assistant principal announcing detention.
  • Two ladies in the town had written a very 1895 poem and song about the explosion. The documentary people actually hired a couple of musicians to record an over-the-top version of this song with tremulous soprano singing (this was hideously painful) and then played almost the whole thing.
  • A terrible constipated straining at the toilet of ivory tower liberalism. This included the constant inclusion of “diversity” and pictures of Chinese immigrants, and the specious assertion that some of them must have died because there was a railway station next door and therefore they would have been just arriving. Everyone actually involved in the incident was a white male, except for the horses.
  • A bespectacled bearded academic who said, roughly ten times, that firefighters are brave and sometimes die, and that this is noticed more after an incident in which many of them do, and then not as much for a few years. I think he was Anne Elk.
  • Reenaction of incidents in 1895 using “silent movie” film effects and piano background, as if it was somehow a 1925 silent melodrama. Folks I guess it’s all “period.”
  • No actual analysis of the economic state of Butte, who the major players were, why exactly the miscreants behind the explosion weren’t punished, or even what the fuck they were mining in Butte at the time. It was just assumed that there were Powers That Be, and that businessmen weren’t punished even if they killed 57 people. More disapproving pursing of the lips and playing of sad bassoons. Come on, guys. Three minutes of exposition in a documentary is not hard.
  • Who greenlighted the title THE GREAT BUTTE EXPLOSION? This is a Montana PBS production. It’s going to be shown to school kids. Are you this dumb?
  • Ken Burns has ruined documentary filmmaking. It’s all The Old Negro Space Program now.

Okay I’m done and I can go back to bed now.