Frontier Psychiatrist

Archive for November 2011

I do love me some fine dining.  I dote over jamón, I fantasize about reuniting with lobster sashimi, and I just drooled a little bit on my keyboard thinking about perfect calamari.  And yet, when I think about my true favorite foods, the foods I’d happily eat day after day, they’re not on that decadent, Kosher-defying list up above.  They’re good old simple comfort foods.  And, quite often, foods that were once considered peasant fare.  Not because they’re any less delicious, but because they’re easily accessible and usually cheap.  But especially with winter around the corner (or not—thanks, global warming!), I naturally start craving those hearty, nourishing, peasant-y type foods.  My favorites? Read the rest of this entry »


First off, I feel obligated to preface this “Best of” list by admitting that this posting will in no way bolster my metal cred. If I presented this list to any of my metal friends, I would probably be laughed out of the room. I would prefer to consider this list as more of a layperson’s guide to metal, a pair of floaties for those of you willing to get your toes wet in the vast, primordial ocean of metal.

That being said, it’s been a good year for metal. This year saw major releases from some of metal’s biggest acts, most notably Megadeth and Metallica (OK, maybe that one we would rather forget). The gigan-tour of the unholy quadrinity of Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth was a banner concert event, packing arenas nationwide. Outside of the mainstream, the underground scene remains alive and well. 2011 saw a glut of quality releases from death and stoner metal bands alike, both familiar and previously unknown. Compiled below are the year’s best.

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Promethea, by Alan Moore & J.H. Williams III

Alan Moore is widely considered to be the greatest writer in the history of comic books.  For people like me, graphic evangelists, it is Moore we most often turn to when attempting to sway the unconvinced of the medium’s potential.  He is a serious writer whose skill, innovation and effect on popular culture are on par with any author, in any medium, currently living.  From his early Orwellian fable, V for Vendetta to his nearly single handed creation of the Veritgo imprint through his groundbreaking Swamp Thing to the industry changing Watchmen to his stunning and disturbing exploration of the Jack the Ripper mythos in From Hell to his Victorian era meta-myth League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Moore is by turns brilliant, inscrutable and utterly singular.  He, is at times, maddeningly dense and, at others, refreshingly simple.  At his best, he is both.

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Chris Brown, Kanye, Drake

Of all the lists that this website produces over the course of the next few weeks, I expect to receive the most angry and confused comments about this one.  As I see it, 2011 is the year that mainstream hip-hop let us down.  High profile releases from the likes of Lil’ Wayne, Lupe Fiasco, The Game, and Pusha T (to name only a few) left me wishing I still bought CDs so I could use them as coasters.  Meanwhile, as month after month of flaccid rhymes and bombastic beats hit record store shelves, a new hip-hop underground began to emerge through a series of independent releases and free mixtapes.  These are the records that had me coming back over and over when I needed a jolt this year, and the list below (compiled with the help of super-staffer Peter Lillis) reflects this predilection.  As such, there are some notable and, I will admit, potentially egregious omissions.  Allow me to list the most glaring of these up front:

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  • In: Music
  • Comments Off on The Albums We Missed: 2011


The holiday season is upon us, and as such, you are probably pondering what to get for that special someone.  Might we suggest…a record?   Over the next several weeks Frontier Psychiatrist will be providing you with numerous gift-giving options as we countdown our favorites of 2011.   But, before we get there, allow us to go back in time and share with you our favorites from 2010 that, for some reason, we were unable to discuss a year ago.

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Jim Knable’s Sons of Dionysus: a lusty novel of myth, mirth, and music.


Something had happened to Arthur over the winter tour that had made him into a womanizer. Prior to that, our having bunkbeds was not an issue. He would pine over this or that girl from his classes, and occasionally fool around with the girls from the Owl, but then, maybe even the day after he returned from tour, the up-the-ladder parade began.

My presence for the first one was definitely unintentional. I was supposed to have been gone for the weekend visiting relatives. The relatives asked if I could visit another time and so I stayed. That night I read myself to sleep with some Chaucer, the stiff Middle English bending like wet bamboo strips in my brain as I processed it. I was far against the cold wall, under the covers, not really visible and unexpected, so unlooked for. She went up first, then him. I lay quietly, not really sure what to do. They did not have sex (she said she didn’t want to), but the sounds of touching and kissing and various other wet suctioning permeated the mattress above. When they had exhausted whatever possibilities they had agreed upon, they were quiet. Then she began talking, probably picking up from a discussion they had been having before their libidos took over.

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I have written extensively about music videos this year, likely spilling much more virtual ink than was necessary in the process.  So, for this year-end countdown, I will repress my instincts and allow the visuals to speak for themselves.  Please feel free to post your own favorites in the comments box below.  Let’s begin.

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Listening To:

Sons of Dionysus

A Transmedia Novel of Myth, Mirth, and the Magical Excess of Youth.