2017 draws to a close. In many ways, thank fucking Christ, because this year kinda sucked. In other ways, this was one of the best years. But I guess the same can be said for just about any year. In many ways I’m hyped about what is yet to come, but it’s never good to look too far to the future without acknowledging the past. 2017 has had many beautiful pieces of art and happenings and it was incredibly difficult to pare it all down to 6. 6 is the Drunk in a Graveyard rating system on our podcast, and 6 is after the Satan number, so here goes, my top 6:
1. Starting a podcast for Drunk in a Graveyard.
This is obviously going to be the first up on our list because it’s the most important. We decided to start a podcast, and we released our first episode in January of 2017, and it featured The Bye Bye Man and a frozen local theatre. Scotty and I have wanted to start a podcast for a long time before we actually did, and it took a gift of a shitty USB microphone to get us started, and once we decided we liked it, we invested into our set up and here we are. Like with metal reviewing and music photography before it, it just took a push and everything happened at once. I still don’t know if we are good at it, or even if we are funny, but doing the podcast has brought Scotty, Rigby, and I closer than ever. Drunk in a Graveyard has never ever been about views, or getting ‘famous’ (seriously it’s super lulzy when people think they’re gonna ~*BE SOMEBODY*~ when doing any form of genre journalism), or doing anything other than having fun. That’s what this always has been for us – having fun. When I started the graveyard in 2012, I never once thought anyone beyond my Facebook friends would ever look at my stupid articles. If someone had said that bands I adored and looked up to would be sharing my pieces and photographs, I would have laughed in your face. The graveyard has taken me and all of us to so many places, and we really a family here. We might not always be together, but we are all family, and we are all very close. I love this website, I love my staff, and I look forward to all the fuckery that is to come.
2. The Void
The Void is a part of my soul and is obviously the second on this list, because holy fucking Christ, this movie is everything I needed it to be. It’s also made by a group of people I deeply respect – Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski, Aaron Poole, Matt Kennedy, etc.. you know, the old gang. It helps too that we crowd funded this film, and also that my voice was used as a sound loop in the film. It helps that this film is Canadian. It helps that this film fucking ruled. Straight up this was hands down the best film I saw in 2017 – it gave nods to the greats while boldly forging it’s own path. It was real and hip without being kitsch. Loved every minute of it.
3. The Eyes of My Mother
This film is a black and white breath taking wonder. I was given the oppurtunity to see it this spring at the local film festival for their offering of the “fright night”, and it simply took my breath away. It was unflinching, brutal, and quiet. Color would have cheapened this film. I have spoken before about quiet brutality and how it is the closest mirror to the real brutality of life, and I felt and still feel that this film perfectly conveys this. It was truly a beautiful offering, and oddly forward thinking for the local film festival. I took great schadenfreude in watching the local artsy swarms of Baby Boomers be completely emotionally unprepared for this film as well, and any time a boomer gets their panties in a bunch, I’m a happy camper.
4. Blackhearts (documentary)
Blackhearts is another film that was important for me this year, and it marked a turning point I think in black metal, at least for me. Previous documentary efforts to cover black metal like “Until The Light Takes Us”, and even aspects of the “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey” series have glorified the genre, and beyond a few poking remarks, haven’t really examined it in huge depth or from differing lenses. From The Vastland’s Sina Winter, an Iranian black metal musician was easily the most compelling member of the film. His devotion to a genre of music that transcended culture, law, and race was breathtaking, and above all else, his immense talent with that genre, something foreign, something where he would be considered outsider by those in the black guard, the inner sanctum. An Iranian man taking up the mantle of black metal would be enough to send the Varg Vikernes’s of the world into a racist tailspin. And I loved it. This film made no bones about examining some of the questionable aspects of the genre, while highlighting how variable the genre is. I really appreciated this piece and the ability to take long hard looks landed it in my top 6.
5. The Girl With All The Gifts
The Girl With All The Gifts was the second horror film that was shown at the local film festival this year and I went into it wanting to hate it. I hate zombies. I’m so immensely over zombies that I just can’t get excited anymore. Oh your film is about the living dead? I don’t care. It’s just so played out and exhausting and I’m super done with it. Fuck it. Anywho. This film was a zombie film, to be fair, but it did that dangerous thing of trying out something new. And the ending was far from a happy one, wrapped up into a nice little package. I beat a dead horse about requiring innovation in film, and this is one of those moments where innovation even beat out my own personal hatred of zombie films, and is proof positive that you can take a concept that’s played out and breathe life right into its decaying lungs and make it live again.
6. Seeing our name and my writing quoted on the cover of J. Daniel Stone’s “Lovebites and Razorlines”.
This is important for several reasons – one, it’s pretty cool to be used as a blurb. And two, J. Daniel Stone is legitimately one of our longest running supporters, and someone I consider to be more than just a friend. I love J. The first time I read his fiction, I felt like someone finally got me, and it was a very pivotal moment. J supports this site, and felt strongly enough about my own fuckery that he used quote from my review of his book BloodKiss. This is another aspect of Drunk in a Graveyard that I wouldn’t ever be able to trade for anything – meeting people. Without DIAG, I wouldn’t have met some of my best friends, some of the most amazing and talented artists, and I would be a very different person.
So thank you, my readers. Thank you for stopping by to read our fuckery, thank you for liking us on facebook, thank you for sharing our articles, our photos, and thank you for your support. Thank you for giving me something that isn’t tangible, something that has changed and continues to change me. Thank you for giving me something to come to home to, something to look forward to, something to lean on, eve when things are difficult. Thank you for giving me your art, thank you for giving me the darkest pieces of yourself. To all of our readers, all of the creators, thank you for making 2017 the best drunken year in the graveyard.
I love you.