Featuring Phil Ranelin, d’Eon, Peak Eloquence, Rose Bolton, and The Touch Heads

I want everyone to know that September is a busy month. As some of you know, beyond holding down a day job and having two kids (like so many), I also write board game reviews for various outlets and edit a board gaming magazine. Stupidly, but also carefully (and not to put other writers into harm’s way), I will be attending North America’s biggest board gaming convention in the middle of September for said magazine. It’s likely this here newsletter, already a bi-weekly affair, may experience an interruption…


Featuring Dean Blunt, Noveller, Higher Lows, and Jordan Munson

You’ll have to forgive the abbreviated volume of Cerberus this go-around. As some of you may know, on top of a day job I also edit and write for a board gaming magazine (I happen to write for a few board gaming outlets because I’m a nerd who also likes journalism). I may have also enjoyed a bit of a break recently to do some record shopping because I’m also that kind of nerd.

I’ve also been enjoying Annalee Newitz’s Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age. Their…


Featuring Arian Shafiee, Claire Rousay + More Eaze, Devin Shaffer, Matt Christensen, kinoue64

Music is healing. And we need those bandages and ice packs of hope right now, however small, and temporary. In the past couple of weeks, these are some of the albums I’ve turned to that have made me happier, more contemplative, and empathetic to my surroundings.

It likely hasn’t helped my psyche that I’ve been reading Somebody’s Daughter by Ashley C. Ford (a fellow Ball State alum) and wrapping my head around her circumstances, tragedies, and triumphs. It’s a great, but heavy read. …


Featuring Dolphin Midwives, Arushi Jain, The Reds, Pinks, and Purples, Shuta Hiraki, and Répéter

I’ve continued to fall down the jazz rabbit hole in these past few weeks. It’s a life of crate digging and perusing the Acoustic Sounds website to carefully curate what I might add to my collection on those days when our household budget allows. Welcome to modern life for what’s left of the music-loving middle class. Thankfully, there are other records and styles of music that bring me utter joy, needed respite, and required meditation. …


Featuring 6OOA, Damiana, Tikkun Olam, Helvetia, and Grant Evans

A couple of months ago, I began the cull of my “collections”. I hesitate to say I’m a collector, because in my heart of hearts, I’m a minimalist. I like things to be clean, organized, and as uncluttered by trinkets, objects, and physical presences as possible. But I have a modest vinyl/tapes/CDs and board games collection that goes with the territory of being someone who covers these releases on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, I’ve recently fallen down the jazz hole — both modern as well as “the classics”. So now I…


Featuring Sam Gendel, Elkka, Body Meπa, Skua Atlantic, and Hyunhye Seo

Last week in records caused an unusual stir. People are bugging out at a $1,000 collector edition of George Harrison classic All Things Must Pass that comes with its own crate. And while I could sit here and shake my fist toward the heavens, there are plenty of budget-friendly (and not so-budget friendly but well shy of four figures) for Harrison and Beatles fans. Even in the vinyl market, where new and used prices are going crazy, there will always be a premium on these sorts of releases and…


Featuring Kajsa Lindgren, Peter Kris, 81355, Dahveed Behroozi, and Seth Kasselman

First off, it looks like Cerberus newsletter drops will happen on Tuesdays now. It just makes much more sense with my current schedule, and frankly, we need some music-related things on Tuesdays since albums come out on Fridays. I really miss Tuesday album drops but those are a relic of a bygone idyll.

Second, everyone should read When Women Invented Television: The Untold Story of the Female Powerhouses Who Pioneered the Way We Watch Today by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong. Sure, one of the four women highlighted is Betty White…


Featuring … Gendel & Steinbrick/McLaughlin & Weathers/Ned Milligan/MOS-Man

Sorry for the slight delay in this week’s newsletter. You know the drill: work, kids, chores, repairs, delays, excuses, laziness. Though I’m wondering if Tuesday morning drops are better anyway…

But let’s just move onto the good stuff. I’ve been reading two books that are opposites in presentation but equals in terms of introducing Native American artists and work in unique manners. The first is Redbone: The True Story of a Native American Rock Band by Christian Staebler. A graphic novel, Redbone does have its faults (some of the art direction, it’s…


Featuring review of Susan Alcorn (Janel Leppin), Green-House, Matt Robertson, Balmorhea, and Tape Deck Mountain

I have so much I want to say but am at a loss for the words to say them. I’ll just try to say it in this way:

I’m trying to do my part to be a light in the lives of those around me. I hope, despite your own travails, you are as well. And it shouldn’t be dismissed how positive of a force art is. I’m sure it’s why I keep returning to it in my times of need, which explains that I’m…


Featuring Jusell, Prymek, Sage, Shiroishi/Carlos Niño/Loren Connors/Hari Maia/Phantom Handshake/Wes Tirey

Preamble

Last week was a good one: put to bed the upcoming quarterly issue of Casual Game Insider, got that second Pfizer jab (holding vigil for those in India and elsewhere; vaccines alone won’t “solve” anything), and enjoyed those drops of mana in the form of Bandcamp Friday releases. I wish other areas had that sort of mystical, magical power.

Bandcamp Friday reminds me of yesteryear when albums dropped on Tuesdays. I know, albums now (usually) drop on Fridays but there was something cool about an early to midweek flood…

Justin Spicer

Music, Lit, & Board Game Journalist | Instructional Designer Editor @TMTCerberus Bylines @Bandcamp @CasualGameRev @TheCampaignerMG @KEXP etc.

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