Thursday, February 11, 2016

Top 10 albums of 2015

Ween is back for 2016, fuckers!

Well shit. It's already February, huh? Seems like this annual top 10 list goes up later and later every year. At the rate I'm going, my top 10 albums of 2025 might not see the light of day until 2027. Honestly, I'm really just a music journalist in name only at this point. This is only the 12th post I've made on this blog since 2011, and four of those (including this one) are just my annual top 10 albums lists. Two of them didn't even have anything to do with music and one was just a rehash of all my old 3?aK posts, so yeah, suffice it to say that writing about music has kind of taken a backseat to damn near everything else in my life lately. That said, a bunch of labels still send me promos to check out, and Village Voice still sends me a Pazz + Jop ballot every year, so I feel obligated to at least post a top 10 list for all of you loyal Tempe Carnivore readers out there.

Like last year, I've included the points I awarded each album on my 2015 ballot. Each voter gets 100 points to distribute amongst their top 10, with no album receiving more than 30 points or less than five. Also like last year (and every single year I've published a top 10), this list is predominantly metal. Deal with it.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Top 10 albums of 2014

Spoiler alert: St. Vincent is not in my Top 10. Sorry hipsters. Maybe next year.

Well, here we are. Another year in the books and another Top 10 list of albums you've probably never heard of. There are only so many directions you can go in an introduction to one of these lists, and I feel like I've already exhausted them all, so I'll try to keep it brief. If you know me at all, then you know my list is usually dominated by heavy metal, and this list is no exception.

This year, I decided to included the points I allotted each album on my ballot for this year's Village Voice Pazz + Jop poll. Voters get 100 points to distribute amongst their top 10, with no album receiving more than 30 points or less than five. The Pazz + Jop poll is a stat geek's wet dream. You can peruse voters' individual ballots or sort albums, singles and voters by a wide array of criteria. Here are a few (debatably) interesting facts about my top 10 list:

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Forty-one and living it

Happy birthday to me. Whoop-dee-fuckin'-do.

Sorry for the self-indulgent blog post, but the older I get, my birthday becomes less a celebration of all things me and more a time to reflect on where I've been and where I'm heading. I guess that's probably what grown-ups would refer to as "maturity," although according to the experts, I've still got a couple years to go before I have to start worrying about any of that nonsense.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Moodie Black - Nausea (Album Review)

Moodie Black - Nausea
Release date: May 6, 2014 (Fake Four Inc.)

When I interviewed Moodie Black MC/producer/mastermind Chris Martinez more than five years ago for a Phoenix New Times music feature, he had just started referring to his noisy, distorted and occasionally chaotic brand of hip-hop as "post-rap." He soon backed away from the label, however, opting for the less grandiose but more descriptive term "noise rap." 

"It sounded like I was a pretentious prick mostly," Martinez expained when I asked him recently why he stopped using the term. "But also because the music is what it is. I'll let the masses label it."

After listening to his latest batch of songs, I'm starting to think he was right all along. Nausea is Moodie Black's first full-length release for indie hip-hop label Fake Four Inc., and the follow-up to last year's self-titled EP that initially caught the label's attention. While Nausea is still plenty noisy, it also features the kind of epic, post-rock soundscapes favored by bands like Jesu, Explosions in the Sky and Deafheaven.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Post No. 100: On freedom and equality, and what happens when they clash

This started off as a Facebook status. I usually try to refrain from getting too political on Facebook, and after typing a few paragraphs, I realized I had a lot more to say on this subject than I originally thought. So I figured why not post it over here on my music blog? Makes perfect sense, right?

Anyway, the whole brouhaha over the recently-vetoed SB 1062 has sparked somewhat of an internal conflict between my rational, libertarian side and my compassionate, egalitarian side. I suppose you could sum up my general philosophy -- both in politics and everyday life -- as "live and let live," so these two sides of me are rarely in conflict. But this bill is unique in the uncomfortable questions it forces us to confront. Most everyone agrees that, at the very least, SB 1062 was an unnecessary law. It was a solution in search of a problem. Even the bill's most ardent supporters grudgingly admitted that there were no cases here in Arizona of business owners being sued (or otherwise chastised or harassed) for turning away business on religious grounds. 

The case most frequently cited in support of SB 1062 was that of a New Mexico photographer being sued for refusing to shoot the commitment ceremony of a gay couple. Now this is where the libertarian side of me starts to get perturbed. As disappointing as it is that homophobia is still very much alive and well in New Mexico, Arizona and every other state in this wacky-ass country, I'm also not too keen on someone getting sued for a having a "sincerely held" religious belief and sticking to it, despite how backwards and behind-the-times said belief might seem to most of the civilized world.