Friday, December 4, 2015

The Best Albums of 2015

So, this morning, the new Coldplay album dropped. I can never hear every album in a given year and there's always something everyone else agrees is amazing and puts on their lists that I discover too late and, yeah... but the Coldplay album was one I had pre-ordered and we're talking about, possibly, the biggest revenue band in the world right now. I've only listened a couple times and I don't have nearly enough time to let it settle in and see where it might fit in with the picks below. That said... when you say "featuring Tove Lo" in the song title and you really mean "she does the backing vocals," you aren't playing your strongest hand by definition.

Anyhow... 2015 was just plain lousy with good music and I kind of don't want the year to end if there's some sort of magic in the air this calendar year that makes amazing happen.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Sounds of the Season 2015

This is the ninth year I've managed to put this together and, I'd like all six of you readers to know, every year has gotten harder and harder. To that end, I start with a bit of an announcement: this will be the last "new" list for a while. I think next year, the 10th anniversary of my list of songs you can stand to keep listening to, will be something of a "best of" compilation. Then... I dunno. I kinda feel like we need to let five years of new stuff get recorded before revisiting. Honestly? The well isn't dry, but it's to a level where rationing is advised.

That said, if you don't think I couldn't find 10 songs this year, think again!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Unboxing my thoughts on Paris

Like, well, pretty much everyone else, my Friday afternoon and evening was derailed by the terrorist massacre in Paris. For me, what was most scary was that, living in NYC after 9/11, this was the sort of attack I feared the most.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Coming to terms with guns everywhere

On July 20, 2012, I posted this. That day, someone walked into an Aurora, CO movie theater and, instead of buying a popcorn and watching a movie, that someone killed 12 people and injured 70 others. He fired 76 shots in, roughly, 90 seconds.

In that blog post, after pointing out we have more firearms than cars in this country, I asked a simple question: "If people want their guns, what are they willing to accept as a result?"

Less than six months later, it took another shooter less than five minutes to kill 20 children and six adults at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School. Since then, the answer to my question is painfully, awfully clear.

Our American culture, when the votes are tallied, will accept absolutely anything to preserve not only gun ownership, but also some intangible aspect of "freedom" that exists almost nowhere else in our culture.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Hiking (and Camping) the Waucoma Lakes Loop

I got out of the car and took a deep breath. It was a breath of relief, but also one of trepidation. We -- my brother-in-law and our friend -- had just arrived at the Black Lake Campground in the Mt. Hood National Forest, though getting to this point had been... dicey? I wondered what we might have gotten ourselves into, and if we could get ourselves out of it without incident.

Fortunately, we did. And it was a nearly perfect weekend getaway.

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Tale of Two Flags

Last fall, I had the pleasure of traveling in Bavaria. I could tell story after story about the things I saw and heard. Instead, I want to tell a very short story about something I did not see. From Oktoberfest tents to Marienplatz. From the hills of Fussen to the Munich airport itself.