My Top 20 Albums of 2018 + Supplemental Lists


Of the twenty-five components that comprise my annual top twenty album list (there are actually twenty-nine if you count ordering/re-ordering the individual lists as I write about them), this intro section is, counterintuitively, the one I tend to care about the least. It’s usually written very late in what, having traditionally started in early December and ending heaven only knows when, has by that point been a lengthy and fairly exhausting process. For this 2018 list, it came in dead last, which I admit might seem an odd way of putting your best foot forward as a writer. To be fair, and by way of context, I finished six other posts in the two months flat it took me to bring the following countdown through to fruition, comprising an approximate (and puny!) combined total of 11,000 (additional) words. I also supervised the fifth anniversary relaunch of my/this beloved little backwater, including its long-threatened change of address to the theoretically easier to say/type/remember URL, and the criminally overdue renovation of its former offensively junior varsity digs. Continue reading “My Top 20 Albums of 2018 + Supplemental Lists”

Concert review: Screaming Females


The Union, Athens, Ohio – September 29, 2017

As ever, Screaming Females have me at a distinct disadvantage. In the immediate wake of their whirlwind show at Athens, Ohio’s delightfully cozy college strip bar (not the kind you’re thinking) The Union, I was struck with two immediate feelings, both conflicting and complimentary: that I could well spend the rest of my lifetime and never quite fully figure this band out, and that the effort expended might somehow still be worth it. For a little less than a jam-packed hour, I was so engaged by the music I was experiencing, I was damn near mesmerized. When it was over, suddenly and with zero ceremony, it fell on me to collect myself for the walk back to my car and to take stock of what I’d seen – the high points, the disappointments, the might’ve-beens, the oh-my-gods. Technically, my list of complaints from a purely selfish perspective should’ve been robust, but the truth is that, both in that moment and this one, writing on four hours sleep on a picture perfect still Saturday morning, I honestly couldn’t care less. Continue reading “Concert review: Screaming Females”

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”