My Top 20 Albums of 2015 + supplemental lists



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: The Smashing Pumpkins/Marilyn Manson


Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheater, Tampa, FL – July 24, 2015

The historic first joint live venture between The Smashing Pumpkins and Marilyn Manson has been dubbed, with characteristic humility and understatement, “The End Times Tour”. It does make a weird sort of sense that the leaders of perhaps the two most prominent cults of personality to survive the free-for-all that was ‘90s alternative rock would one day tour together. It also makes sense that the two would exhaust most every option that allowed them to maintain top billing and/or autonomy before grudgingly doing so. The infamous “Mr. Manson” and persnickety Pumpkin King Billy Corgan achieved their respective heights through mixtures of talent, ambition, artistic vision, and sheer guile (the exact percentages may be tweaked or spiked in the favor of one category or other). Continue reading “Concert review: The Smashing Pumpkins/Marilyn Manson”