All posts in Current Events

Seeing My Dead Friends on Facebook

I sliced my middle finger open on the ceramic tile lining our kitchen wall. It was one of those silly, absent-minded accidents. I was leaning against the wall, reading the first novel in The Expanse series when it happened. I was trying to stretch my shoulder, so I put my hand on the wall for torque and a jagged, arrowhead-shaped tile caught my skin and ripped it open.

It was a deep tear.

It was bleeding profusely.

It wasn’t stopping.

Read more…

Creating Saturday Night Live: Control Room

An interesting behind-the-scenes look at how an episode of SNL goes from script to stage.

DUNKIRK: The Test of Time

If you thought Baby Driver was the must-see movie event of the summer then hold onto your butt! With heart-stopping special effects, lavish cinematography, and intimate, matter-of-fact storytelling, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is a soon-to-be-classic.

With recent films Inception and Interstellar, Nolan leaned heavily on ham-fisted theatrics, exceedingly complicated plot structures, and booming soundtracks. In Dunkirk, Nolan strips much of the histrionics away to tell a lean and mean, true-to-life story of survival. Far and away, it’s his best work since The Dark Knight. Read more…

Retroactive Continuity: The Secret to Star Wars Success

Yep. You read that title correctly. Here’s another goddamn article about Star Wars!

Star Wars celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and the ubiquity of George Lucas’s groundbreaking creation is enough to choke a rancor. Every time you get online, there’s a slew of clickbait promising spoilers, beat-by-beat breakdowns of the latest trailer, and advertisements for the newest doodad with Star Wars stamped on the box.

It takes a near-herculean effort to slog through the crap and remember what it is that makes Star Wars SO FUCKING GOOD. Read more…

Baby Driver (2017)

The lights dim; a less-than-witty set of M&Ms remind us to quiet our cell phones; and then something strange happens. Writer/director Edgar Wright thanks us for “getting off the couch” to see Baby Driver as it was intended: in a movie theater.

With the rise of Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, and Amazon Prime Video, being a part-time couch potato is all the rage. From Game of Thrones to Transparent, binge watching long-form media is part of our cultural currency. Not only are these stories marvelously performed, written, and directed, but they’re an easy way for us to quickly relate to one another. Discussing the entertainment we consume is a shorthand approach for creating meaningful connection. Read more…

41 Seattle Bands We’re Watching in 2017

The Expanse: A Journey To Humanity’s Limit

On the surface, James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse may seem like science fiction escapism, but there’s so much more. It’s the very best of modern juggernauts like Game Of Thrones and Star Wars with a dash of The Walking Dead and All The President’s Men. It’s fun, action-packed, full of political intrigue, hard science, and sometimes it’s really freaking scary.

Pure and simple, The Expanse is epic space opera done right.

Read more…

A Horror Renaissance: Six New Movies for the Halloween Season

Move over Michael Meyers, there’s some new kids in town.

If you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years you may have missed that we’re in the midst of a horror movie renaissance, and there are some soon-to-be-classics just waiting to be watched. Butter up some popcorn, turn the lights down low, and get ready to make this Halloween a frightening treat that you won’t soon forget.

Here’s a look at five newish horror movies that are guaranteed to set your spine atingle. Read more…

Plus One Festival

Up next, The West is traveling to Missoula, MT to for the Plus One Festival. We’re playing the main stage on Sat. Sept. 10th. 

Tickets are on sale now! Get yours here:

ECCC 2015

Adrienne and I attended the Emerald City Comic-con again this year. We sat in on a few fascinating horror and science fiction panels, bought some nerdy t-shirts and posters, and we got to see the great Stan Lee and John Barrowman.


BIRDMAN or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance is a black comedy that tells the story of an actor (Michael Keaton) — famous for portraying an iconic superhero — as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself.”

The West’s new album is out today!

I’m happy to announce that Never The Place is out today! The best place to purchase and stream The West’s new album is on Bandcamp. Download it in MP3 320, FLAC, and more! Also available on  iTunes, and Amazon!

Never The Place Music Video

Out of Sync REMIX by Sliide

Download it for FREE on Soundcloud.


This is The West’s new t-shirt. You can buy it on Bandcamp.

Star Wars

They announced the cast for the new Star Wars movie today. Not gonna lie, I love a lot of these actors and now I’m pretty excited. I still have my fingers crossed; it would be extremely easy to mess everything up again. #prequels #yikes

“Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson and Max von Sydow will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker in the new film.”


The West made it back to Seattle from tour on Sunday night. Thanks for spreading the word and coming out to see the shows!

In other news, I lost 5 pounds on tour on a diet of bar food, beer, lack of sleep, and way too much partying. #tourlife #thenewatkins

We’re playing this Sat. Apr. 26th at the High Dive w/ Jupe Jupe and The Jesus Rehab. 9PM.

(Above: The West at the Marquis Theater in Denver, CO.)

Arrex Skulls

A photo I took of Adrienne sporting an Arrex Skulls Teefs Bandana.

2014 Tour

Poster by Jon Swihart.

“Confirming inflation would mean that the universe we see, extending 14 billion light-years in space with its hundreds of billions of galaxies, is only an infinitesimal patch in a larger cosmos whose extent, architecture and fate are unknowable.”

The Martian

I picked up Andy Weir’s The Martian on a whim. I had read an excerpt from the novel on io9 and it had peaked my curiosity. To tell the truth, and this is a bit embarrassing, it was the cover image that drew me in; there’s something about seeing an astronaut slowly enveloped by a dust storm that gets me excited. I know, I know, I know…nerd.

The story is pretty simple: an astronaut is stranded on Mars and he battles to survive. (For a full summary, head over to Goodreads.)

Many people have described The Martian as Gravity meets Castaway. I think that’s an apt description. It’s a bit slower paced than those two, but in a way that is more deliberate and, in the end, more satisfying. Read more…

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