December’s Music, Film, And Book Reviews
Come Hell Or High Water
Woodshed Films/Keith Malloy
Even if you're the guy who drops in on bodysurfers (you're a dickhead by the way) you're gonna love Keith Malloy's introspective yet comical look at bodysurfing. Filmed in locations across the globe, my favorite part was when the crew went to Point Panic on the South Shore of Oahu—the locals there are hilarious and can do amazing things on their big bellies. Another highlight was watching Mike Stewart and friends bodysurf Teahupo'o—no easy feat. According to the film, the best part about bodysurfing is that it'll never be cool, popular, or marketed to the masses the way "normal" surfing has. I have a feeling that's just fine with the bodysurf crowd.—J.C.
Be Cool Man
This flick features the odd and awesome talents of Alex Knost, Scotty Stopnik, Tyler Warren, Dane Reynolds, Andrew Doheny, and many more fun freaks. Meshing collage-style strangeness with road tripping, wave shredding, super sliding, log jamming, and old-school radness, Be Cool Man will no doubt be loathed by some and loved by others. If you like beat-up Vans Classic shoes, vintage dirt bikes, or slippery cheater-fives, you'll love Be Cool Man.—C.C.
Ashes & Fire
Pax Am Records
On his latest CD, Ryan Adams transcends his usual gritty persona and reveals the cavalier gentleman love creates. His alt-country/rock sound allies him with greats Neil Young and Wilco. In tracks three and five, Adams skillfully weaves the hook, keeping the tune in your head all day. This is not the CD to pump you up before a surf session; rather, it's best served after an evening sesh, sitting on your porch, sipping a whiskey press, and enjoying the end of a good day.—B&M
Lunar Maps Music
If I were to create the soundtrack to a modern film about a late night in a sleazy '40s era Chicago brothel full of vampires and post-human androids, the debut disc by Lunar Maps would be what I would use. Blending gothic choruses with Three Mile Pilot meets Bauhaus with a touch of No Knife (Lunar Maps is fronted by Mitch Wilson, ex-No Knife). This is very deep and brooding stuff, but you don't have to wear black clothing and eyeliner to enjoy it.—C.C.
Chasing Dean: Surfing America’s Hurricane States
By Tom Anderson
Books based on surfing are usually hokey but due to fine writing skills and unusual storyline, I liked this book about surf discovery in a foreign land. "Foreign" as in the author is from Wales and he and a buddy did a trip chasing hurricane swell up and down the East Coast of America. You can tell the author actually surfs. The best parts aren't so much about the surf itself but the Americana they encountered while traveling—sometimes it takes a foreign lens to catch that kind of stuff. While it's not going to change you as a person (have you read Shantaram?) Chasing Dean is worth the space it takes up on your carry on or toilet.—J.C.