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Let's Dive Into Volume 3 Of RA's Quarantine Mailbag

My question-

Any love for Monument Ave? I saw it a couple times in college (a decade ago) and  remember loving it, but it seems impossible to find anywhere now. This movie was criminally underseen and underrated, and was wondering if you have any inside knowledge of the production and where it ranks among all-time Boston crime flicks?

Take care and keep killing it!

-Corey from Cincinnati

I'm a huge fan of MONUMENT AVE. I saw it during its limited theater run back in September of '98 and really enjoyed it. The late Ted Demme, with help from former Charlestown resident Denis Leary, did a great job capturing an era and particular aspects specific to the neighborood. It's not currently streaming anywhere and a new DVD runs more than $33 on Amazon ( is the best site to check streaming info on).

I agree that it's both criminally underseen and underrated. It pairs well with THE TOWN for a great double-feature (watch MONUMENT AVE. first...if you can track it down). Unfortunately, I don't have any inside info or knowledge on the production other than that Demme was a good guy. It was the pre-internet days so most people in town didn't even know they were filming a movie in the neighborhood. Also, I think I was still at college when they filmed most if not all of it so I couldn't stalk the set or try to weasel my way into a part. You'll find out soon where it ranks when my Top Ten Boston Movies blog drops.

Do you think there will ever be another good generation of music? Would you prefer the current repetitive pop and mumble rap culture to improve, or does music need to back track and model the goodies from the 70s and 80s? or fuck it and just listen to the old stuff.
- Mcarroll 

Great questions. The answers will be pretty subjective but no, I don't think there will ever be another generation of music that will match or surpass what we've already heard; I feel that the best music has already been made. I stopped listening to new music years ago because, simply, none of it appealed to me but on rare occasions, something catches my ear. 

I think a good chunk of every generation thinks that their era of music is the best because, hey, that's what they grew up with and that's what their nostalgia is. Personally, I think music fandom plateaus for lots of folks. That is to say that they generally stop liking new music/artists. For me, that was in my 30s. You get old and new shit, for whatever reason, just doesn't appeal to you. Now, there are exceptions. The White Stripes, Amy Winehouse, and Sturgill Simpson all made me sit up in my chair and take notice. But I think modern pop and rap is the musical version of a popcorn movie: it scratches an itch then it's forgotten. When I put on music, it's usually "old shit". Can't beat Motown, British Invasion, disco, punk, early alternative, and '80s classics. 

Hello RA! My question is there’s tons of top 10 hockey players (and goalies) of all time lists, I want yours, without any bruins on it! 

Hope you and your family are staying safe down there in the USA! God bless my friend

Thanks for the nice words, Travis. I hope your family and friends are safe as well in Canada. 

Personally, I'd like to see a Top 10 List of the Top Top 10 Lists. But for today, I'll give you my Boston Bruins-less Top 10 Hockey Players Of All Time. You mentioned the Bruins so I assume you want an NHL list. To rep each position properly, I'll list five Fs, three D, and two Gs. Because of the mixture of positions, there's no proper way to list them 1-10 (how do you compare a sniper to a goalie?). In no particular order, here goes…

Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Gordie Howe, Mike Bossy, Alexander Ovechkin.

Nicklas Lidström, Dennis Potvin, Doug Harvey.

Dominik Hasek and Ken Dryden.

(This might be the funniest wordy question I've received so far)

RA:    Probably will not be used but I don’t think its fucking stupid!  HA.

So i was visiting Boston in the late spring of 2009.  Totally ripped several days.  One of my favorite trips ever.  The city (or maybe the state?) had recently legalized pot on some level, possession of less than an ounce or something probably.  Phish had just come back from of a hiatus since 2004 and had only played one other venue (Hampton VA) prior to playing at Fenway the week I was there.  I didn’t go.  I love Phish.  I am from near Pittsburgh and watched game 2 of the Cup Finals against Detroit on May 31, 2009 at a Boston bar the night Phish was at Fenway.  Pens lost to go down 2-0 in the series, but watching that game, I felt so good about the fight they showed and I know the Red Wings were surprised the Pens had that in them.  Malkin fought Zetterberg late in the 3rd and the Pens then won 4 of the next 5.  Phish went on to keep playing jams til this day including the famous Bakers Dozen in MSG summer 2017, 13 shows with not one repeated song. Oh and PENS won their 4th and 5th SC later.

Question:  Should I have gone to the Phish show?  Or watched the PENS Game 2 SC?

Sorry long rambled question.

You should've gone to the Phish show because a) it was a live concertn that you couldn't DVR it and watch it later and, b) it was only Game 2 and thus not a potential Cup clincher. You could definitely watch the Pens later but you definitely couldn't see Phish later. But such is life. We all have those SLIDING DOORS moments (and yes, I just referenced a Gwyneth Paltrow movie). But sounds like things worked out fine for you since. Did you ever get to one of those Phish Bakers Dozen shows at the Garden? Talk about leaving a brother hanging. Place must've smelled like petting zoo after that run, all due respect.

Hey RA, here's one for ya:
If you could be any character from a Tarantino movie for 24 hours, who would you be, and what would you do for that day?
Also, just wanted to say how big of a fan I am of you guys and the pod. Keep fighting the good fight, and stay safe.

Thanks for the love, brother. Stay safe as well.

I'd be Melanie Ralston from JACKIE BROWN. Before she goes on the errand for Ordell.