My Top 20 Albums of 2013 + supplemental lists



This is a work of pure self-indulgence (this list and, now, this blog). I enjoyed writing it; I hope you enjoy reading it. I’m under no illusions either way. Also, I can’t think of a better, more representative way to kick off my new blog, a 2013 New Year’s Resolution brought to fruition a mere 12 months late. As ever, procrastination is my worst trait. What follows are individual lists of my favorite metal, non-metal music and stand-up comedy albums of 2013, followed by a fairly full write-up of my top 20 albums, independent of genre. It is long and it is far. Bring a snack and schedule sensible bathroom breaks. Caveat reador. Continue reading “My Top 20 Albums of 2013 + supplemental lists”

“Knockout Kings II” produces probable FOTY and more…

figueroa vs arakawa

Judged solely on its ability to make yours truly mutter aloud in repeated, involuntary, expletive-filled disbelief, tonight’s meeting between Texan dive bomber Omar Figueroa, Jr. and the frankly indestructible Nihito Arakawa is clearly the fight of 2013, and one of a handful I’ve ever seen deliver such sustained action at such an exhausting, harrowing pace. I’ve watched a lot of boxing in the last five years. Perhaps too much. I’ve seen far higher skilled combatants achieve their slices of rare air for an immortal moment. I’ve seen displays of will and perseverance so incredible or improbable that they practically shame me. That’s the nature of boxing. Continue reading ““Knockout Kings II” produces probable FOTY and more…”

Musings on “Wrath of Khan” vs. “Into Darkness”


NOTE: This piece is not intended to be a full review of either 2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness (which I really liked) or 1982’s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (which I love beyond reason), merely a sort of brief, high level compare/contrast between the two and musing on how the requirements of modern blockbusters are adversely affecting the established properties they’re rebooting. There are no spoilers below for Into Darkness, which I cannot wait to see a second time. If the fact that Mr. Spock dies at the end of Star Trek II, selflessly sacrificing his life to allow the Enterprise to escape supervillain Khan’s final assassination attempt, qualifies to you as a spoiler, I have no sympathy. Continue reading “Musings on “Wrath of Khan” vs. “Into Darkness””

Movie Review: “Man of Steel” (2013)

“Can’t I just keep pretending I’m your son?”

“You are my son.”

When the existence of Man of Steel was first publicized over a year ago, the next words on every interested party’s lips were almost invariably “Christopher Nolan”. Flush from the success of Inception and, especially, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Nolan was Hollywood’s new master of the big budget blockbuster. If anyone could successfully reboot the long dormant “Superman” franchise for the Comic Book movie-obsessed 21st Century, the reasoning went, surely it would be him. Continue reading “Movie Review: “Man of Steel” (2013)”

Roger Ebert – An Appreciation


I cannot sum up Roger Ebert. The man truly contained multitudes, and will be remembered fondly in the coming days by so many people far better equipped to eulogize him than I. Still, I can attempt to express, incompletely and inadequately, the length, breadth and depth of what he meant to me. I grew up a latchkey kid whose parents were divorced by the time I turned 6 and remarried by the time I turned 8. I was shy and introverted, naturally introspective, and painfully awkward at times. So often I felt fundamentally out of step. Continue reading “Roger Ebert – An Appreciation”