Well we’ve made it. 2013 is nearly over and we’re staring 2014 right in the eyes and saying “Bring it on.” I’m looking back on 2013 not with any regrets or how I would’ve done things differently. I’m looking back and wondering where in the hell did it go? It’s as if someone cranked the treadmill speed up to to “breakneck” in January and next thing I knew it was Thanksgiving. Well, Thanksgiving was nearly a month ago bubs, and baby New Year nearly needs its Huggies changed. Our feet are firmly planted on New Year’s Eve’s front lawn and in a few hours we’ll be inside sipping cocktails, eating snack foods and various dips, and playing cards. A celebration for a year’s worth of foibles and accomplishments, near misses and right place and right times, better luck next times and right on the nose bullseyes. This is a wake for 2013 and a baby shower for 2014.
So can you look back on 2013 with little to no regrets? How did it go for you? For me, 2013 was the first year in two years I didn’t have to go to a funeral, which is always something to be thankful for. My 9 to 5 job was a little sketchy this year, but I’m still employed. I’m still putting a roof over our head, food in the pantry, books and toys in the hands of those that matter, and of course records on my platter to spin. We took a couple nice vacations this year. Nothing extravagant to say the least, but time well spent with my family. New furniture for our living room, new furniture for the kids(and new bedrooms), and two record cabinets built(a third is imminent.) I’ve tried ample craft beers this year. Some fantastic(Founders Brewery and their Breakfast Stout is amazing), some not so much(North Coast Brewing’s Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout made me feel dirty), but all were good in some way or another. My wife and the rest of her PTO crew at our kids’ elementary school went above and beyond this past October and had one of the best school fundraiser yet, bringing in over $20,000. And all the kids had to do? Walk for an hour during school hours. Yeah, no door-to-door nonsense anymore. Great job, ladies! My kids have had a great 2013, school-wise, friend-wise, and just being great people-wise. I couldn’t ask for better children. Our budgeting really kicked in this year. We haven’t used a credit card since 2012. We’re saving money, we’re becoming more and more financially free of institutions, corporations, and CEO dividends. Feels good to be free.
Me? Well this has been quite an artistically diverse and creative year for me. Probably the most creative and diverse year ever for me. I’ve put out an album under my own name, plus a single, and in November I released the debut album by Cambodia Highball called Odd Geometry with my good friend Shane Darin Page. Probably the most intricate, yet simply created music I’ve ever had the honor to be a part of. We spent the better part of the summer in-between vacation, freelance work, and time to just chill crafting these afternoon improvisations into a musical journey. I’m extremely proud to put my name on this record.
Another amazing thing happened this year. I made a ton of new friends in the blogging world. You all know who you are. You’re all pretty incredible. Thanks for introducing yourselves and sticking around. I look forward to writing with you all in 2014.
We didn’t really go to many concerts this year, the wife and I. In fact, we only went to one. But hell, when your one concert is My Bloody Valentine you really can’t complain too much. It was a hell of a show.
It was quite a year for vinyl. I posted about the amazing records that invaded my brain this year, but there was plenty more I didn’t talk about because they weren’t actually released this year. The Boards of Canada reissues rotate between the three albums throughout the week. Many jazz records were added to my collection, including several Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Thelonious Monk records. Death Waltz Recording Company provided me with ample classic synth-driven classic horror film soundtracks to reminisce over and my kids to laugh at. Secretly Canadian, Fat Possum, Matador, and Southern Lord have provided ample tunes to spin as well. And this straight-as-an-arrow fellow has found the beauty and joy in that music they call stoner metal. I look forward to what 2014 brings.
So 2014, I think I’m ready for you. There’s new artistic endeavors on the horizon. More Cambodia Highball, more Sunnydaymassacre, and even a new lo-fi guitar and loop-based project called dreamdistrict that I think might be pretty amazing(look for something more on this in the next day or two.) Until then, the Old Style is cooling in the garage for tonight’s festivities(tacos, kids friends over, my parents coming over for some brew, grub, and cards), and I’m sure some music. Everyone have a safe and Happy New Year.
I’ll leave you with some pics of our Christmas break trip to Fort Wayne yesterday.