2018 Music

OK – so 2018, weird year in music so far. I’ve got to try and document what I’m listening – as years later, I’m always curious as to what I may have been listening to at any given time, and even more curious as to how bad some of it may have aged.

In any event, here’s the best albums I’m on this year, regardless of release year. This maybe stays a running list, or I keep posting a couple albums here and there… or I once again abandon this whole mess all together and never post again. Who knows.

Deafheaven – Ordinary Corrupt Human Love

I’m a really, really huge fan of this band after discovering them a couple of years back and listening to their last release, New Bermuda, about a thousand times now. I have been listening to black metal since its original arrival on US shores some time in the late 90’s so am always intrigued when there’s a new black metal band getting some hype … in particular an American one.

Which takes us to another question… is Deafheaven “black metal”? I suppose not, I read they are what you call “shoegazing”, but I don’t know, blast beats, some orchestra, high-pitch screeching where deciphering lyrics is an impossibility… feels black metal to me.

Whatever we want to call them, the new album which I have waited so long for is overall, quite good. I don’t want to say it is a letdown, because it is not, it is a very good album and it feels like the band is expanding their sound more and more which I appreciate. Still, I can’t help but feel like after New Bermuda, I only want greatness from this band. There are throwaway songs here, particularly Near and Night People, which I cannot say for their previous two releases.

Still, this is a must listen from a brilliant and exciting band that is expanding whatever genre you want to classify them as. It is something new, something I have not heard before, and to me that is the most exciting thing any artist can ever bring to the table. Everything is derivative, and Deafheaven has elements of many bands (Emperor often comes to mind), but their overall sound is different. The hooks may not be as burned into my head as New Bermuda, but a complex band like this takes time to truly appreciate so time will definitely tell the story here. Immediate thoughts are I am quite happy to have a new Deafheaven album to listen to.

Highlights: Honeycomb, Canary Yellow, Glint

Pusha T – Daytona

OK – THIS is a hip hop album. I get it, Kanye is hated by all, ‘Ye’ is a disappointment, he rushed production of multiple albums this summer… all being weirdly short. Still, Push is one of the best rappers out right now, and frankly he has been for a number of years. The production here is top notch, even if Ye did throw this mess together in 12 minutes, there are no tracks I find myself skipping through multiple listens. This is the best hip hop album released so far this year.

It is short, that’s my knock against it, but I suppose that is not overly fair. There are great appearances here by Rick Ross (yeah yeah, I know) and Kanye, and Push is harder than ever.

I prefer a longer album, but if every track is great then why nit pick? Hopefully King Push has some more in him sooner than later to make up for the shortness here. Overall, this is a great album.

Highlights: If You Know You Know, Hard Piano, What Would Meek Do?

 

First Post New Site

This is an aimless post on yet another aimless WordPress site. I kept this domain up for a couple of years some time back and, unsurprisingly, allowing the domain registration to lapse for a number of years did not result in losing it.

Unfortunately I am setting up here using WordPress hosting, so god knows who actually controls the domain. I have yet to do a whois on it, but I’m guessing I just sold my soul to GoDaddy or some other trash hosting company.

Writing anything personal once again is odd… I once felt I had a voice and was excited to share that voice with the world, being so easily done in this day and age. I enjoyed it, and even got compliments and, more importantly, insults. This was mainly in the immediate years after college, where for a time one’s mind remains in a state well suited for intellectual output. Years pass, career, fatherhood and marital responsibilities take the place of what was once a need to do more, be more, say more, etc.

This is not to say unhappiness has crept its ugly voice into my life’s narrative, as it has not, nor is it any indication that there has been a ceasing of all intellectual pursuits, which would be false. I continue to chase writers that inspire me, continue to study subjects that fascinate me, continue to find music that takes me elsewhere. In short, this is not to say anything – just rambling on a shitty blog site that barely exists.

So, given I am writing to myself here, this very well could be that I am bored at my job for the past 2 weeks due to a disastrous upgrade (Sitefinity – a Telerik product that frankly has not gotten any more stable in way of upgrades over the years) and I simply need some kind of output. People these days seem to turn to social media, for my age group (39) it is mainly Facebook, for my teenage kids it is a variety of apps and an obsession with mobile everything and oversharing. For me, these simply are not a good platform – I’m in general a social anxious person, as are many IT workers I would guess, so sharing anything of value in permanent Internet form with a group of people I know does not suit my personality. I enjoy anonymity, if such a concept exists anymore (barely).

So, here’s hoping I look back on this in 2 years, fall into self-hate after re-reading my own idiocy from the past and wonder what the hell I wasted $48 on to host a go-nowhere blog that I inevitably won’t keep up.

Current Tech Projects: Sitefinity is quite awful. ETL tools galore. Round and round we go, always ending up where we were 10 years ago.

Current Music: Lots and lots of Jazz. And the Stones. And blackgaze bands like Deafheaven. Oh, U2 as well… yes, it’s cheesy arena/ballad rock, but piss off, it’s good.

Current Movies: Black Panther was quite good. This Is Spinal Tap has aged amazingly well.

Current Books: Thomas Pynchon’s ‘The Crying of Lot 49’. It’s weird. I really liked it. I’ve started Gravity’s Rainbow but god only knows if I’ll have the patience to make it through 700+ pages of Pynchon weirdness.

My daughter is currently into Faulkner, so I’ve succeeded at least mildly as a father.