Record Store Crawl: Austin

recordsVices.  You have one.  I have one.  That guy over there by that busy intersection asking for change has one.  Your mom has one too.  Everyone you know or will ever meet has one.  Some of us have more than one.  We all have our vice, our thing, our crippling addiction to that which controls us.  Booze.  Cigarettes.  Sex.  Narcotics.  Mine’s records.  I get my kicks trolling through record shops, crate digging, treasure hunting, discovering, and I just can’t help myself.  Don’t even get me started on the colossal enabler that is Ebay.  But while this vice of mine may not wreak havoc on my health or my body, it certainly takes its toll on my wallet…and at times my mental state.  The search for that Holy Grail of record collecting can become an obsession, an all-consuming expenditure of time, money and energy.  It is everything.

35 Albums in 35 Years: 1979

I love music.  With my heart, body, and soul, I love music.  Thoroughly.  Unconditionally.*  Forever and ever.  Aside from my wife and my son, my family and friends, music is the centerpiece of my world.  So why not pick an album from every year I’ve been on this earth and write about it?  Not necessarily the best album of that year.  Maybe not even my favorite.  But an album that is important to me.  An album I love.  So, it is with the utmost excitement, delight, and abject disquietude that I bring you the first of a 35 part series, 35 Albums in 35 Years.

Author & Punisher Live @ The Echoplex 01.05.14

image courtesy of heavyblogisheavy.com

Pardon the vulgarity of the following statement but it seems appropriate: If Godflesh and In Slaughter Natives fucked their offspring might be Tristan Shone, aka Author & Punisher.

I had the wonderful opportunity to see Mr. Shone perform in Los Angeles last Sunday night at intimate venue The Echoplex. His performance was transcendent – something more than a concert it was an audio/visual experience that interfaced with my nervous system and short-circuited my ideas of what music is and can do.

I had pretty much expected no less.

Holy Cow! It’s Tommy’s Favorite Albums and Movies of 2013

Well, if my clocks are correct and Ryan Seacrest and Carson Daly did not lie to me a couple of nights ago, 2014 has officially begun.  So allow me to get my jollys by bombarding you all with some last second year-end, best-of lists.  To be fair, I’m repeating myself here, having already spewed opinion and favoritism all over my blog page, so in the spirit of brevity, I’m limiting myself to my top 5 albums of 2013 and my top 5 films of 2013 (for the full lists, go here and here).  Without further ado, let’s get to the ranking and filing…

Grez’ Top 10 Albums of 2013: Remember…regardless of Release Date

So last year, I reviewed my Top 12 albums of 2012. If you’ll remember it was my preferential form to disregard the release dates and aim for what moved me during that year, regardless of origin. What I ended up with was a collection of albums to which I first listened within that calendar year, and which defined that year for me. I’d like to keep that idea for this year but bolster the list to 10 albums, because I think I have a killer ten. Most choices this year are recent, perhaps even within ’13, but one is a bit of an outside throwback and another three (yes 3!) belong to one band. Although they are listed this way, there is no particular order to the albums. However, I do note my Album of The Year, as well as my Group of The Year (and again, for the Group nomination they may not have released anything this year).
2013 has been great for me musically for many reason that will come to fruition soon. I’d like to think these artists had a hand in influencing me. So without adieu, my Top Albums of 2013.

The Phenomenom of The 1975 & Concert Review @ The Rave, Milwaukee, WI

Preshow portal of The 1975 (photo: joe grez/sesame)

Preshow portal of The 1975 (photo: joe grez/sesame)

Shawn’s Top 11 Albums of 2013

A quick note: This year I had a very tough decision – I changed my top ten to top eleven. I’m not going to lie, I did this under great personal tumult, as adding an extra number really goes against my own preferred aesthetic to these kinds of things. If you add one to make eleven, why not add another to make twelve if there’s a record you just really want to add? The idea of year end ‘best of’ lists has always – to me – been to whittle it down; to separate the wheat from the chaff so to speak. How is it doing that if you add number positions, eh? Well, then I got to thinking, how did ten become the number? And on top of that eleven is a very powerful number for me, so why am I not already doing eleven instead of ten? In the end it occurred to me that while there were a lot of records I loved this year there were a solid eleven that I felt I must absolutely must talk about, so the number change stuck.

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