I haven’t posted my Horror capsules that I send to friends via email since 2016 or so, so I thought it’d be fun to do so this year every time enough pile up to make for a substantial post. Here’s the first nine, in order of how I watched them.
When I was asked years ago to rank television, I attempted my best to contain all the TV works I’d seen, finally putting it here for records sake. While 113 is a strange number to land on, it was just what I considered the ones I’ve seen that I’d say approach masterful, or at least highly entertaining status. So grab your TV dinners, turn off the hot plate, and enjoy!
Science-Fiction, another particularly favorite genre that I’d ranked years ago, finally put here for records sake. While 114 is a strange number to land on, it was just what I considered the ones I’ve seen that I’d say approach masterful, or at least oddly strange status. Hold on, we’re approaching warp speed. Continue reading
Westerns, long a favorite genre that I’d ranked years ago, finally put here for records sake. While 111 is a strange number to land on, it was just what I considered the ones I’ve seen that I’d say approach masterful status. Enjoy little doggies. Continue reading
I tweak how I present my top 50 every year, sometimes picking a top disc and then offering the next dozen or so unranked. Other years I merely put the 50 selections in three tiers, and then separate out a definitive, standout top 5. Sometimes, I’m straightforward, and do a full 50-1 ranking in the best order I can manage. In attempt to always mirror what I feel is most appropriate given the years output, this year, I’ve found a clear top favorite, but also a number of terrific EPs. Thus I’ve included many EPs this year in an otherwise strictly albums list. The additional twist this year is I’ve gone all the way to 90, since I listened to so much new stuff this year, and attempted to include most of what I thought was truly exemplary. Then, I tried to thanklessly rank it all, knowing full well that after about 10 or 20 it’s all pretty arbitrary, and I hope that the small right ups will provide enough information for listeners to potentially hone into stuff they might find particularly agreeable.
Happy listening. Protect your ear drums boys and girls, you only get one set.
My Favorite Album of the Year, 2018:
1. IDLES – Joy as an Act of Resistance
Merely attacking toxic masculinity is low-hanging fruit, but discussing its systemic roots in song is altogether more illuminating. But why IDLES second is so tremendous is that they also offer ways out, or refuge for the victims of such an environment. That it is often heartbreakingly touching and always at the cusp of noisy, brilliantly performed rock n’ roll music, it was places it at the top of my list. The best songs—the pro-immigration ‘Danny Nedelko’, the depression lifeline ‘Samaritans’, the tense ‘Colossus’, and the body image drenched ‘Television’—are some of the best of the year, and after their triumphant display on their Jools Holland introduction, you’re in for the next of the great English rock bands. They’re here. Continue reading
When I poison my system, I take thoughts and twist them into shapes
I’m reachin’ my nadir and I haven’t an idea of what to do
I’m painting by numbers but can’t find the colors that fill you in
I’m not even knowing if I’m coming or going, if to end or begin
This Halloween season, I’m happy to unveil a mix outlining a story about a man/wolf hybrid, otherwise loosely know in Horror as the Werewolf. I grafted in the idea that this man perhaps isn’t an actual Wolf, but merely symbolically one, not unlike the idea at the center of Herman Hesse’s great metaphysical novel Steppenwolf. The idea that inside a man is his darkest monster, and when this is the truth, it often renders that man an ultimate loner, not unlike the wolf of the Steppes, an arctic wolf that lives its entire life in virtual solitude, merely attempting to survive into the next day (the species can be seen in one of those recent Planet Earth videos on Netflix). From there, some of the ideas in Universal’s 1941 The Wolf Man added additional heft. While I love the foggy moors of Wales depicted in that film, I thought of a swamp here and the imagery conveyed offer a cool idea of a wolfen-man oarsman drifting into the marshes and swamps of ‘Southern Georgia’ and pushing bodies overboard, tied with rocks and engine manifolds to that they sink to the dark abyss. It adds to the delusion of his mental state too, sung so romantically you almost think he mourns the losing of loves, never realizing that they’re being lost by his own hands. For additional story flow help, an audiobook of Steppenwolf was employed. I hope you enjoy it this spooky season, and as always, with the stereo quality, I urge listeners to use headphones. Continue reading