Thursday, January 30, 2014

best albums of 2013

It's nearly Super Bowl time and here I am finally getting out my best albums of 2013 list. Explanation: the first 4 and a half months of 2013 were spent in a near constant state of schooling to get out of law school. The summer wasn't much better as I contracted a month long lung and ear infection. Since then (and on into 2014), the crippling weight of unemployment continues to stagger.

So here it is at last, in no particular order...

1. Savages - Silence Yourself

When I heard the first single, She Will, back in March, I immediately preordered the album. After spinning the album once, I knew it would be one of my favorite albums of the year. I saw them at ACL and the stage was just too big for Jenny Beth. She kicked and punches to fill up the empty space but also spent a lot of time walking to the back. I said to myself then I need to see them in a more intimate venue. One week later they played The Parish in Austin and it was everything I'd hoped it would be. A confrontationally sexual album. Don't be surprised to hear Jenny Beth describe BDSM and kinky sex in her intros. A very sex positive album and a just plain fantastic collection of songs.

2. The Knife - Shaking the Habitual

Weird. Experimental. Beautiful. Haunting. Brilliant. Challenging.

3. Simple Circuit - S/T

I always include a local Austin band in my top albums of the year. Thanks to local radio station KVRX for introducing me to this garage punk band. Permanent Records in Chicago describes this self-released debut as

The Austin Texas onslaught continues with Simple Circuit's art damaged self-titled self-released debut!!!!! Fighting for notoriety in a city already overflowing with killer bands, Simple Circuit's brand of catchy fuzzed out, angular garage punk definitely puts them at the top of our lists of bands to watch out for. Fans of fellow Texans rock n rollers Video, Spray Paint, OBN IIIs and Gospel Truth as well as junkies for shop faves like Intelligence, Thee Oh Sees and Tyvek might've just found your new go-to record. Forget the second tier garage punker bands kicking around and grab this killer debut album now. "Simple Circuit" is SUPER RECOMMENDED!!!!!!!!

I concur. Highly recommended.

4. My Bloody Valentine - m.b.v.

Somehow I missed this release during the year and had a mini-breakdown in December when I finally learned about it. It was, what, more than 20 years since their last album release? I like shoegaze. So what? You want to fight about it.

5. Jagwar Ma - Howlin

6. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - II

7. Neko Case - The Worse Things Get...

8. The Oh Sees - Floating Coffin

9. Mikal Cronin - MCII

10. Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

lego my 1x8 brick

Ahead of the 7 February 2014 release of The Lego Movie, porn actress Christy Mack has dipped into the same murky publicity well as Bobbi Eden and the rest of the Vette Nation with a salacious offer via twitter. She will provide a "blow job" [sic] to the person that builds her the "best Lego creation to put in [her] house". For those who don't remember, during the 2010 World Cup, Bobbi Eden offered each of her 50 thousand plus twitter followers a blowjob if her native Netherlands beat Spain in the world cup, thus overturning the predictions of the psychic octopus.

Christy Mack denies this is self-promotion, instead claiming via twitter to be "just a whore that likes Legos." But given the recent obsession with Lego set releases (Simpsons) and some Batman levels of willpower to painstakingly recreate Hogwarts and the Battle of Helm's Deep from Lord of the Rings, perhaps this is just a moment of seizing the geek-chic zeitgeist?

But what does it say about the current state of men, masculine, sexuality, and so called "geek culture" that such an offer could be made, and, it seems, so many men are lining up the bricks for a chance to have a porn actress perform oral sex on them?