Monday, January 13, 2014

Best of the Year 2013: Music album

The idea of the album is still a force in 2013. Whether it be Beyonce's surprise visual album or the simplicity of the artless Yeezus, record packages dictate the music industry.

The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here

Alice in Chains
A bounty of sludge-metal for the 2010s and the ages. This is probably one of the last records that will have this Seattle Sound (and be profitable). Maybe. I wasn't sold on the Chains reunion in 2009, but looking back, that album is good, too.

Kanye West
Lou Reed's review pretty much describes this album perfectly.

Hesitation Marks
Nine Inch Nails
Another solid record. Some throw-away tracks, but 80% better than most records out in 2013.

The Next Day
David Bowie
A solid album by the Glam Duke in his autumn career. Some of the best music videos of his career were spawned from these tracks. But, the "safe" singles aren't the highlights. Instead, "Boss of Me" and "If You Can See Me" are the most progressive and inspiring.

Afraid of Heights
Surfer rock has had many iterations since the Beach Boys and "Wipe Out". In 2013, the genre is still lives on--through punk. Songs like "That's On Me" and "Demon to Lean On" are just... satisfying and crowd pleasing. The guitar riff and pedal overdrive of "Gimme a Knife" is addictive. Sadly, I missed Wavves SXSW showcase narrowly. Next time they're in town, I'm taking an extra effort to see them.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Best of the Year 2013: Song

Lots of music to pick from, even though I went into a retro state this year with music.

"Here Comes the Night Time"
Arcade Fire
The band promoted the album by splicing it over Black Orpheus on YouTube for 24 hours. The juxtaposition blew me away. The entire album is a tad soporific, but there's a few songs on Reflektor that are just amazing. This one is the favorite.

"My God is the Sun"
Queens of the Stone Age
The best track of the record, and the "rock centerpiece" of Clockwork. I just love the bass guitar part of this song.

Alice in Chains
Another hard pick. This album is a total surprise (a good one).

"Afraid of Heights"
Hard to select a favorite from Afraid of Heights, but here's the best try. They're all equally good!

"New Slaves"
Kanye West
When I kept thinking about "what's the best song", one such stood out, over and over. It's raw, unexpected, and somehow original.

Movies watched in 2020

Here's my annual list. I beat 2019 by about 60 . I stopped tracking TV series, too. The only films I saw in theaters were: Star Wars IX,...