There are less than 12 hours left in the year and I have chosen my top 5 signed & unsigned albums, films, people & books. These things were what made 2013 for me and are all infinitely more interesting than any post I could make about this year could be. Off we go!
Top 5 albums:
- Motörhead- Aftershock
If you know me and didn’t expect this to be my top album then you don’t know me! The thing with Motörhead is that, in their 38 years of being a band, there is not one weak album. This album is no exception but I did think that they explored their blues roots especially in songs such as Lost Woman Blues. This is the best Motörhead album that’s been released in a while and definitely the most eclectic. Despite Lemmy’s bad health, he’s still been part of what was definitely, even my fangirling aside, the best album of the year. If you’ve never heard Motörhead before and want to start here, I say go for it! You won’t be disappointed.
- Queens of the Stone Age- … Like ClockworkI LOVE Queens of the Stone Age and again, I don’t think they have a weak album but this is by far their best ever. This is the album for those who say QOTSA have lost sight of their roots and for those who have doubted the credibility of those who say this band are nothing short of genius. This is an album for the wanderers, the lost souls and eh, fans of Elton John. That’s right, one of the guest musicians on this album is Elton John on Fairweather Friends. Other guests include Trent Reznor, Jake Shears, Alex Turner, Mark Lanegan and former member of QOTSA… Nick Oliveri. Queens of the Stone Age also brought out my favourite video of the year which also happened to be my favourite song from the album, The Vampyre of Time and Memory. Stunning.
- Alter Bridge- FortressAlter Bridge are one of my favourite bands of the past 5 years and seeing them live was an incredible experience. I was so excited for Fortress and I wasn’t for one second disappointed. What an album! Fortress was the album where Alter Bridge took the epic songs, the beautiful melodies and the balls out riffs of their past albums and turned it up to 11. It as the album that proved Alter Bridge are here to stay and to redefine modern rock. They’re the band, this is the album that builds bridges, that have universal respect (I’m still yet to talk to anybody who hates them!) and, best of all, have only just started.
- Black Sabbath- 13
2013 was the year that Black Sabbath got their first number one in 43 years with their release 13. Unlike the previous 3, I wouldn’t say this is the band’s best album to date but as a comeback album, perfect. They’ve still got it, they’re still the kings and after seeing them 2 weeks ago thanks to my boyfriend’s parents being incredibly generous and getting us tickets I can honestly say, live, they still have it. They’re still setting the bar high, still enchanting audiences and still beating all modern metal acts to the top… literally!
- Alice in Chains- The Devil Put the Dinosaurs Here
I feel like the past 2 months, FromDCtoZZ has been all about Alice in Chains so I’ll keep it short. Do you think Alice in Chains are nothing without Layne Staley? You’re wrong. Listen to this album, fall in love with it and accept that different is sometimes good and you’re not betraying anybody by appreciating the album. It’s incredible. Alice in Chains are incredible. Best song? For me, Low Ceiling. Enjoy.
Honourable mentions to these local acts (Facebook pages linked):
Lets Play God- Survival of the Twisted
Final Silence- More Human Than Human
Dog Tired- Digital Plague
Skeleton Verse- The Calm Before the Storm
Of One Blood- Out of the Shadows
Top 5 films:
- Now You See Me
- The Great Gatsby
- The Way Way Back
- The Wolverine
Top 5 people:
- Wendy Davis
This year, Texas state senator Wendy Davis did something incredible. She took part in the inhumane process that is a filibuster for 10 hours. The rules of filibusters are you must not have bathroom breaks, stop talking or go off-topic, lean on anything or take a break to eat. If she broke any of these rules, the filibuster would be ended and the law she was trying to oppose would go through.
If the bill she blocked had passed, it would mean that 80% of abortion clinics in the state would have been closed down which didn’t, as the Republicans seemed to think, mean that there would be less abortions. It would mean there would be less safe abortions. As a woman who had a child in her teen years and went on to graduate from Harvard, Wendy Davis fought for the rights of all women and literally refused to sit down when surrounded by men who were trying to shut her up. She used her experience and feelings to get her through the filibuster and became a household name. She is, without a doubt, the woman of the year for me.
- Amanda Palmer
Love her or hate her, Amanda Palmer is a force to be reckoned with. She’s faced controversy and came out the other side. She did an incredible TED talk that could revolutionise the future of music but best of all, she wrote a song for the Daily Mail after they posted an article about her nipple slipping out during her Glastonbury performance. She stripped on stage whilst belting out these incredible lyrics:
dear daily mail,
it’s so sad what you tabloids are doing
your focus on debasing women’s appearances ruins our species of humans
but a rag is a rag and far be it from me to go censoring anyone OH NO
it appears that my entire body is currently trying to escape this kimono….
dear daily mail,
you misogynist pile of twats
i’m tired of these baby bumps, vadge flashes, muffintops
where are the newsworthy COCKS?
if iggy or jagger or bowie go topless the news barely causes a ripple
blah blah blah feminist blah blah blah gender shit blah blah blah
OH MY GOD NIPPLE
.. Like I said, love her or hate her- Amanda Palmer is a force to be reckoned with and anybody who hits back at bullies (yes, the Daily Mail are absolutely bullies) has my unwavering respect and I still cry every time I watch the video.
- Randy Blythe
I’m keeping this short and sweet but Randy Blythe won me over this year with his dignity, sincerity and honesty surrounding his case. He didn’t once call to his fans to pledge his innocence and never acted as if he was the victim. He wrote about his experience with compassion in this blog.
I’m not one of the people who adores Beyoncé. I think she’s great and empowering but her music is very rarely up my street but dropping an album at midnight without any promotion or word that it was happening? Making a video to go with every song? After having a baby earlier this year?! She is Superwoman and blowing the internet up the way she did left me in awe. Bad ass.
- My boyfriend
I realise how cheesy this is and it’s really disgusting and I do apologise but I told my friend today that I’ve smiled every day this year and I think that’s incredible but, actually, for 4 years and 7 months, I’ve smiled every day. He’s the reason. We’ve been to hell and back together and we’ve got through it all with laughter. He’s gotten me through the best and worst of this year, by my side the whole time, supporting everything I do. He’s my best friend, my boyfriend and my own personal cheerleader all rolled into one. We’re a fantastic team and I’m insanely grateful that he is still part of my life. Sorry. You can puke now.
Top 5 books:
- The Perks of Being A Wallflower- Stephen Chbosky
- The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories-Tim Burton
- All My Friends Are Superheroes- Andrew Kaufman
- The Graveyard Book- Neil Gaiman
- One Hundred Names- Cecelia Ahern
What were your top 5’s of the year?