My Top 20 Albums of 2015 + supplemental lists

2015

Introduction

I have always had a procrastination problem. To hear my mother tell, it’s more like a birthright. My parents are both procrastinators and so I was hit with both barrels. I “never had a chance,” she’s told me more than once. At the conclusion of what I thought was a fairly banner second year, I closed up shop for DAE on December 18, 2015, leaving myself time off for all my various holiday travels and, in theory at least, building in enough room to comfortably finish my traditional year-end album countdown within the roughly three-week window. Or so I thought. Unlike last year, this vacation time did not especially cry out to be shared, plus I received a slew of unexpected bumps and priority adjustments that I did not experience in 2014. I still occasionally get annoyed that essentially taking the month of August 2014 off in order to write my “Iron Maiden Saved My Life” essay precluded me from reviewing Guardians of the Galaxy or paying my proper, bottomless respects to the late Robin Williams. Unless I have something at least under construction at all times, I can’t maintain the schedule I want for this blog, which is, roughly, to produce one reasonably thorough/polished piece per week. Continue reading “My Top 20 Albums of 2015 + supplemental lists”

Concert review: Chvrches

Chvrches-live-in-Pamona-by-Russ-Ramos-lead

Lifestyle Communities Pavilion, Columbus, OH – October 7, 2015

So what do roadies actually do, pre-set, at a Chvrches concert? I mean, can you physically tune a keyboard or a drum machine? Is there really anything one can do to prime a sampler for its big moment on stage, besides, I suppose, making sure it’s plugged in? I understand the legitimate need to test the three microphones, one for each band member, but that single loose end was inexplicably left dangling. Otherwise, it’s just a procession of reed-thin dudes wandering around, pausing occasionally mid-amble to disinterestedly look at something obscure in one equipment bank or other, or on the floor, or at the back of the pavilion, before resuming their strolls. In fact, what I initially mistook for a trio of stagehands, I soon became convinced was actually just the same guy, crossing the stage again and again in rapid, desperate, succession, apparently competing against himself to stand out from a crowd of one. Was he just there for show, I wondered, to convince the audience that, somehow, important preparatory stuff was going on up there and we weren’t simply playing a waiting game? Continue reading “Concert review: Chvrches”

My Top 20 Albums of 2013 + supplemental lists

2013

Intro/Disclaimer

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”