The Joup Friday Album – Christmas Edition

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A World Lit Only by Yule Time Fire

I’d imagine it was with a smiling sense of irony that Amy tagged me for this christmas edition of The Joup Friday Album. It certainly was with that same sense of gleeful irony that I accepted the challenge. You see, although I am a devilish manifestation of the evil one, well, I can’t say that I do not, in some way, fall in for the cheer and good times of the holiday season. The bells, garland, trees and lights; buttered rum, santa slippers and stockings hung by the chimney with care. We never had that where I’m from, and although I remained steadfastly against it for the first few decades I spent on this Earthly plane, well, it won me over.

5 Things that Made 2016 a Little Less Shitty

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Bettman/CORBIS

Let’s just go ahead and get this out of the way: 2016 really fucking sucked.  A bunch of really cool people died.  A surly, orange clown somehow managed to con his way into the most powerful position on Earth.  Rampant nationalism seems to be sweeping the globe.  And we may be looking down the barrel of so many loaded guns (climate change, Supreme Court nominations, the gutting of health care, diplomatic relations with China, Turkey, Russia, The Philippines, etc.), that it’s enough to induce an all encompassing panic attack…the kind that last’s a lifetime.

People are scared.  I’m scared.  And we should be.

Endless Loop 100: Estranged

guns-n-rosesHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Estranged” by Guns ‘N Roses

And so we’ve reached the 100th entry of this rambling, semi-coherent column. What better way to celebrate that milestone and close out the year than a nod to one of the most bloated, overwrought, and ostentatious songs of the 20th century that I also happen to have an unbridled and unwavering adoration for. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for the epic majesty that is “Estranged” by Guns ‘N Roses.

2016: A Solipsistic Musical Review

I dispensed with the terror that accompanied force-feeding myself popular music news and reviews shortly after I started writing about music in 2011 (in a brief, quasi-professional capacity anyway), both activities seemed from the-off to dissipate in enjoyment the more they were required of me, and the further I got from ‘my path’.  I felt in my twenties, as my tastes diversified that my discovery of new music was effortless; a self-sustaining passion driven not by trend-setting publications, but word of mouth and meticulous cross referencing of liner notes, or the research and natural curiosity that was born out of adoration. As I’ve gotten older and responsibilities have overtaken the free time I had to dedicate myself so absolutely in this pursuit, progress as been slow but sure; in this strolling I came to accept that I couldn’t keep abreast of everything new, and theorised – informed by the deluge of new music – that there was already in existence more great music than I likely have hours left in my body, and I should just drift with the current. My ‘path’ is now forged by the happenstance of hearing something on independent internet radio stations (chief among them the indefatigable Freeform Station of the Nation: WFMU), from past purchases that I never gave a fair crack back in the day, or my many expeditions round local charity shops where I fill holes in my collection or take chances on interesting looking discs. Here are ten choice selections from the discoveries I made this past year.

Endless Loop: This Is Hardcore

pulpHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“This Is Hardcore” by Pulp

The party is over.

The Joup Friday Album: Soundgarden – Superunknown

soundgardenTimes are…well…they’re strange right now to say the very least. Everything is uncertain. There seems to be an overhanging fear above us all, ominous horizons, and no end to the darkness gradually spreading out like spilled ink before us. Instinctually, many of us recoil at this impending doom, losing ourselves in comfortable things and memories, a coping mechanism of sorts to shield our hearts, minds, and souls from this bleak world. We wade in nostalgia and bask in the warm glow of old things. We try to remember happiness. And we forget ourselves. At least for a while.

Endless Loop: Prospectors Arrive

therewillbebloodHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“Prospectors Arrive” by Jonny Greenwood

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