Some Best-Of Albums from 2013 You May Not have Thought Of

Lists are popping up all over the internet, as they always do in December, a nonstop onslaught of opinions, items, films, music, and art ranked for your easy consumption and delight.  Being a music guy, i too succumb to the unwitting desire to tell the masses what i think of albums and songs that come out year after year after year.  But, i’m not necessarily doing that here (for those, head over to heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com).  Instead, here are some random albums (compilations, reissues, new soundtracks. and free online mixtapes) that i think deserve your attention…and maybe your dollars too.  And so…

Some Notes on Making a Mixtape

mixtapeTime is moving faster.  Or, at least I perceive that it’s moving faster.  It’s because I’m getting older, or because collectively our culture is nearing its inevitable end.  As postulated by deep thinkers and sci-fi writers alike, time is a fluid thing, and it’s moving in a circular fashion as if down a drain, going faster and faster as it gets closer to the center (the end).  Days, weeks, months, years pass in a blur.  Seconds, minutes, and hours fly even faster.  It wasn’t so long ago that I was unmarried, that I was single, that I was a college student, a high school student, in grade school, an infant.  The days were huge and expanding.  I had an eternity.  All activities were simple specks of time and space strewn out before me.

Underrated: Faith No More’s “King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime”

faithnomoreEveryone knows Faith No More for their absolutely massive hit “Epic” from 1989’s “The Real Thing.”  The band’s mix of metal, rap, and funk struck a nerve in both metal heads and pop scenesters alike.  It was everywhere.  Radio.  MTV.  There was even a mild controversy over the video’s use of a fish flopping and gasping out of water.  Then came 1992’s “Angel Dust.”  While eclectic and influential, the record did not perform near as well as its predecessor.  Hardcore FNM fans touted it as a masterpiece (which it is), but the fair weather fans and masses jumped ship along with lead guitarist Jim Martin.  With Mike Patton now becoming the more principal song writer, the band began to drop some of the rap-metal and glam rock that had propelled them to stardom in the first place.  Replacing it was more experimentation and forays into progressive rock.

Having Your Cake and Hating It: Nirvana ‘In Utero’ 20th Anniversary Super Deluxe Unit Shifter

nirvanaA shotgun hole is so absolute. The vacuum a suicide leaves behind so engulfing, it’s the epitome of ambivalence in its dichotomy of grief and resentment. A disavowal. A denial. The crepuscular introduction of ‘Heart Shaped Box’ heralded summer’s decay on August 30th 1993, through the pregnant fluff-bubble of a cassette tape piped down wires that ran through the cobwebs, pipes, atrophying plaster and laths of the cellar ceiling, up into the kitchen speakers after school as the clouds bruised with the impending deluge. ‘In Utero’ would accompany me on a walkman through the rigor mortis of autumn, to the decidedly funerary flavour of ‘Unplugged in New York’, the snowy satellite TV-taped VHS of which us siblings watched on the bright, crisp, February 1994 morning we interned my mother in the furnace after cancer had turned her black.

They Say it’s Your Birthday. It’s my Birthday too Yeah.

Picture courtesy of NASA

So I recently as some of you know celebrated a birthday. I’m the south side of the 30’s now, but thank you for the well wishes I’m sure. A few people told me to not worry because age is just a number. To which I say is true, but a number is a unit of measurement. So what does it measure?

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