I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

December 06, 2012 - 12:18 p.m.

Best Albums of 2012

This is coming on the heels of the last edition of Wise Madness. That's fine as I didn't think it was inspired.

I did some work in my office yesterday and it was dark by the time I got out. I was debating what to do for dinner and ended up in the holiday market in Columbus Circle. I couldn't resist the thought of Bratwurst. The fries ended up being the interesting part. They were made with garlic, parmesan cheese, and truffle oil! The truffle is what sets it apart.

I am at the crossroads and have to discuss which way to go. The options are politics, religion, eschatology, and my top albums of 2012. I know what you want, eschatology. People always want eschatology. Well OK if by eschatology I mean my top albums of 2012. There are two problems with discussing my list. I hardly buy any albums and when I do they are at shows so the list tends to be deficient in mainstream performers. That could be a strength as almost all other lists are biased towards the mainstream. At least if you know my bias. The other is that I have to leave albums by people I care a lot about off the list. These people will read the list and feel hurt even if they don't say anything. But it's the leaving albums out that gives the list value. If I listed everyone it wouldn't be a best of list, it would be a list of albums that people I know put out. Why would anyone want to read that?

One more fiat. I don't have access now to my desktop computer. You can be pretty sure that there are albums there that I have haven't thought of and that I might not realize were released this year. So if an album isn't listed it might be because of an oversight.

I am not going to put this list in order but I will it pick an album of the year. Since I have not heard every album it's silly to think that these are a definitive list of objective best albums. They the best that I heard. What I know for sure is that they are each worth a serious listen to by you. That's the idea. of publishing it. If I introduce you to something new let me know.


OK enough excuses. Here's the list.

  1. Anais Mitchell ~ Young Man in America
  2. Anna Dagmar ~ Satellite
  3. Anthony da Costa ~ Secret Handshake
  4. Barnaby Bright ~ Longest Day
  5. Chicks with Dip ~ Joni Mitchell's Blue: A 40th Anniversary Celebration
  6. Emily Elbert ~ Alive in Love
  7. Honor Finnegan ~ The Tiny Life
  8. Nels Andrews ~ Scrimshaw
  9. Pesky J. Nixon ~ Red Ducks
  10. Rebecca Loebe ~ Circus Heart
  11. The Kennedys ~ Closer Than You Know
  12. Various ~ Trouble in the Fields an Artists Tribute to Nanci Griffith

There are two tribute albums, one covers album, three bands, five solo women and two solo men.

Album of the year:

Red Ducks by Pesky J. Nixon: When they told me that they were recording an album of covers in their living rooms I didn't say anything but thought, "What the hell?" I wished that they would do anything but that. Fast forward to the album coming out (I actually have a beta version of it first). I gave it one listen and fell in love. It is the best cover album by anybody since Nanci Griffith's Other Voices Other Rooms. They gave exposure to songs that you never heard. They reinvented familiar songs like Wagon Wheel. It is the album that I had the strongest connection to. I listened to it over and over. It has helped me through hard times. I have to add one disclaimer. I am thanked on the album. You know how you know that didn't prejudice me? I didn't know it till I had already knew it would be my album of the year. I had a digital copy at first and didn't look closely once I got the hard copy so I didn't see the acknowledgement.

As we get closer to the end of the year I might give a list of the books I read this year or as many as I can remember.





Annoying People - September 03, 2016
This Play Was The Pits - September 02, 2016
Banking on Getting Better or Avoiding Katastrophe. - September 01, 2016
Unlike Gilligan I Got Off the Island - August 31, 2016
Call of the Wilder - August 30, 2016




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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. Horvendile December 06, 2012
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