year in review
Year in Review: News
Our Own Devils
The news from around here
Year in Review: Music
The Year 2014 in ABQ
On what we lost ... and gained
Odds & Ends
The Oddest Ends of 2014
Year in Review
A look (and listen) back at 2013
An A/V Album Listmas
You’ve already heard—and perhaps even joined in on—the anti-listmas chorus. But for some reason, people like lists. There are statistics to back that up. When I review albums and EPs, I tend to stick to ones I love. With that in mind, feel free to peruse A/V from my “best of” list below ... or not. Whatever you do, please seek out music that challenges and excites you in 2014.
On to the A/V listmas ...
Jewels of the Nile Ad Astra (Records Ad Nauseum)
Holly Herndon Movement (RVNG Intl.)
Tannhäuser Gate Tannhäuser Gate (Function Operate)
Thalia Zedek Band Via (Thrill Jockey)
Dani Shivers Jinx (Prima Crush)
The Haxan Cloak Excavation (Tri Angle Records)
Petra Haden Petra Goes to the Movies (Anti)
Pharmakon Abandon (Sacred Bones)
Dirty Beaches Drifters / Love is the Devil (Zoo Music)
TAHNZZ Xila (Sicksicksick Distro)
Dracula Lewis U$e Your Illu$ion$ (Hundebiss Records)
Julia Holter Loud City Song (Domino Records)
Anna von Hausswolff Ceremony (Fat Possum)
Soft Metals Lenses (Captured Tracks)
Factory Floor Factory Floor (DFA Records)
Blondes Swisher (RVNG Intl.)
Pop. 1280 Imps of Perversion (Sacred Bones)
Patrick Cowley School Daze (Dark Entries)
Monuments Age (Mannequin Records)
Oneohtrix Point Never R Plus Seven (Warp Records)
Frankie Rose Herein Wild (Fat Possum)
Crocodiles Crimes of Passion (Frenchkiss Records)
Melt-Banana Fetch (A-Zap)
Vice Device/Void Vision Vice Device/Void Vision (Accident Prone)
Christian Death Only Theatre of Pain (Burger Records/Frontier Records)
Goitia Deitz Dream Meridian (Cut Mistake Music)
L.I.E.S. Music for Shut-Ins (L.I.E.S.)
What the hell happened last year?
2011 zipped by in a blur of catastrophic weather, war, civil unrest and ideological battles. This week’s news section gives you some of the highlights.
What will this year bring?
This much we know: The 2012 elections will consume most national media as November nears. There will be talking head saturation—and reader/viewer fatigue—as America’s politicians try to hang onto their seats. It’s like the Super Bowl/World Cup/World Series/NBA Finals/UFC Ultimate Ultimate Ultimate Knuckle Basher all rolled into one.
Except the election actually matters. Zing!
Or maybe it doesn’t. Zing! Zing!
Either way, this thing in Iowa tonight is just the beginning.
The Daily Word in politics, human to animal contact and TALKING IN ALL CAPS
Again with the debt ceiling.
Kim Jong-il's two-day funeral begins.
Yes, Congress really is as bad as you think.
Rick Santorum promises to pack up and go home if he comes in last in Iowa.
Democrat Ben Nelson is retiring from the Senate.
No New Mexico float in the Rose Parade this year.
Surprise! Newt Girgrich's divorce papers contradict his claims about the split.
Questions are being asked about Jerry Sandusky's wife.
Mayor Berry reviews the first half of his term.
Vladimir Putin is too cool for vote rigging.
Two killed in a shootout at a Church's Chicken in Chicago.
Tweeting the phrase human to animal contact will attract the attention of the Department of Homeland Security.
A $25 computer about to begin production.
The great exploding churro lawsuit has been settled.
Toys R Us sued over loose wagon wheel.
ANIMALS TALKING IN ALL CAPS is exactly as awesome as the name implies.
The 50 most entered BitTorrent phrases of 2011 are…
Adorable anti-gender marketing rant from a 4-year-old.
2011s best animal videos.
When will the Co-op get a man aisle?
SETI to search the moon for alien footprints.
The Grand Canyon Burger sounds awesome!
Save cash and avoid airport impulse buys.
The true weight of the internet is somewhere between a grain of salt and a strawberry.
Former Saturday Night Live writer dead of apparent suicide.
Sweet old computer magazine covers from the 70s/80s.
The Daily Word 12.30.10: The year in everything
15 people (six APS employees) arrested and charged with massive electronics heist.
Albuquerque man delivers 50 cats the shelters. He has more at home.
Michael Musto sends up 2010 in a meat dress.
Best tech of 2010.
And the tech of 2011.
Most viral videos of 2010.
A better economy in 2011.
Pictures of 2010.
Photoshopped pictures of 2010.
Political stories of 2010.
Musicians who died in 2010.
Sports in 2010.
Recipes of 2010.
Horror films of 2010.
5 Worst Albums of 2010
Well, obviously these aren't the worst of the worst: the worst music of the year never got heard by anybody other than its makers. So let's just say that these are the most overhyped/
1. Congratulations -- MGMT
Honestly, it's just embarrassing when a band relentlessly hypes the album after their commercial breakthrough by saying "Oh, we just decided to get completely weird and experimental! We downloaded all these albums by these people no one's ever heard of like the Chrysanthemums and R. Stevie Moore and we were like, 'Yeah, that's the kind of stuff we're gonna do!' It's gonna be so freaky and bizarre, everyone's going to think we've lost our minds!" And then the album comes out and it's nothing but utterly ordinary mainstream alt-rock trying hard to seem hip and quirky by writing lyrics namechecking Brian Eno and Dan Treacy. The sad thing is, these guys are so clueless that they probably still think this is an amazingly weird and adventurous record.
2. Maya -- M.I.A.
Joan Didion once wrote "The have nots, it turns out, aspire mainly to having." That pretty much sums up M.I.A.'s third album. Having long since squandered whatever hip rebel-grrl cred she once had by becoming a part-time fashion designer and marrying a billionaire's son and basically becoming the new Gwen Stefani, the embarrassing thing about this album isn't how she pretends she still has political views, but how completely bored and lifeless she sounds, like she recorded all of her vocal tracks while idly paging through a back issue of Vogue.
3. Treats -- Sleigh Bells
Take a girl who was in a fourth-string Spice Girls knockoff at the start of the 2000s. Add a guy who was in one of those cookie-cutter Hot Topic emo bands a few years later. Move them from Florida to Brooklyn and make them pretend that's where they're from. Forcefeed them albums by the Ting-Tings, Matt and Kim and other bands that market research indicates might be What The Kids Are Listening To. Sign them to a major label imprint that's pretending to be an indie (for extra credit, name the pseudo-indie Mom & Pop Records). Record an album of the most irritatingly cliched, openly cynical indie-
4. Crush -- Abe Vigoda
This one just pisses me off. A couple years ago, I closed a review of Abe Vigoda's previous album by saying they were in a position where they could conceivably make one of the defining records of their generation. Instead, they decided they're rather become a bad imitation of early Interpol. Fuck you, Abe Vigoda.
5. Up From Below -- Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes
Okay, this album actually came out last year, but no one actually heard it before this year when its supremely irritating single "Home" started showing up in movie trailers and commercials. Pretentious faux-hippie bullshit from a bunch of useless neckbeards. It's like all the most irritating aspects of the Arcade Fire and the Polyphonic Spree overpowered those bands' good points and joined forces to create a vortex of suck.
Best and Worst of 2009
The year in New Mexico drugs, murders, scandals and achievements
Best: U.S. Attorney General Tells Feds to Lay Off State-Licensed Growers and Patients
Were the Aughts Really So Bad?
So, have you pulled your head out of your Oh, I am so glad that decade is over, everything was terrible, the world is coming to an end pity potty? Not yet? Then please spare the rest of us. If yes, or better yet, if you never went there in the first place, good on you. Be a shining light, will you?