I hope you have a moment to spare in your busy day to allow me to take you back...
back to relax and rub elbows with our old friend Father Time. Grab my crystal balls and rub vigorously...
we are about to descend, you and I...
We are all a little older and a little less wiser. The gulf is as oil-logged as a port-a-potty after a Nazareth concert, David Wojnarowicz's art still scares the shit out of Christians, queer kids getting bullied finally made it into the news, volcanoes erupted, Chilean miners emerged, children sighed, butterflies flew, mists misted, leaves fell and idols toppled... and yet sugar still manages to taste as sweet.
First off, a lot of amazing and talented people passed away this year. I am sure there are some people I am forgetting, it felt as though every other day somebody's death was being announced and making me sad:
Peter Orlovsky, Dino De Laurentiis (who produced your favorite movie), Susso Cecchi D'Amico (who wrote my favorite movie), Dennis Hopper, Black Lizard director Umetsugu Inoue, Leslie Nielson, Dick Giordano, Mike Esposito, Fernando Fernandez, pioneering artist Violet Barclay, Bill DuBay, George Hickenlooper, Chris Kanyon, Rammellzee, When Rabbit Howls author Truddi Chase, Alexander McQueen, the amazing composer Henryck Gorecki, Ari Up, Albertina Walker of The Caravans, Lena Horne, Mike Edwards (cellist for ELO), musical pioneer Peter "Sleazy" Christophson, Gang Starr's Guru, Pete Quaife, producer Sonia Pottinger, Debbie Abono (manager of Possessed, Exodus, Cynic, Obituary, Skinlab etc.) Tuli Kupferberg of The Fugs, Teddy Pendergrass, FEAR's Derf Scratch, Armando Acosta, the beautiful Shirley Verrett, J. D. Salinger, Howard Zinn, Rue Mcclanahan, Captain Beefheart and last but not least Ronnie James fucking Dio, Frank fucking Frazetta and the incredible artist Louise Bourgeois.
R.I.P. and thanks for the long, strange trip.
Now to the part you've all been waiting for: THE LIST
Before I dive in, I want to show you the sheer panic and insanity that can occur when writing said list.
Shelby Cobras brought the pimpled wrath of a thousand bleeting Metal Sucks readers who promptly drunkle finntrolled and fromped all over Illogical Contraception.
Witness the horror, if you dare:
Metal Sucks bloated itself with Korn-fueled fury in the aftermath:
There was so much music that came out this year, I haven't had a chance to wade through it all. I still haven't found the new Deathspell Omega or the new/old Abruptum EP. Come on, NY record stores, get with it!
And this isn't in order. Music isn't about hierarchies.
AVSKY - Scorn
COSMIC CHURCH - Absoluutin Lävistämä
LYRTHAS - In Shadows Imbued
BETTYE LAVETTE - Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook (OK, to be honest this isn't that great, but if you see her doing it live it is incredible. The bland studio musicians kind of ruin the recording, but she's a legend)
SWANS - My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky
1349 - Demonoir
THE FALL - Your Future Our Clutter
FREITOD - Nebel der Erinnerungen
WINTERWOLF - Cycle of the Werewolf
CRETACEOUS - Saurian Jihad EP (R.I.P.)
SALOME - Terminal
THE MELVINS - The Bride Screamed Murder
BURZUM - Belus (People shit all over this but I thought it was great)
ENSLAVED - Axioma Ethica Odini
ABIGOR - Time is the Sulphur in the Veins of the Saint (they regained their footing after the previous, iffy release)
DRUDKH - Handful of Stars
KORPBLOD - Norrön Megri
ERYKAH BADU - New Amerykah part 2: Return of the Ankh
M. LAMAR - Negrogothic (cass)
M. LAMAR - The Black Death
SKYFORGER - Kurbads
RAMESSES - Take the Cure
ANU - Opus Funaerum
XASTHUR - Portal of Sorrow (the final album, and I couldn't think of a better obituary for this incredible project. R.I.P.)
DEATH IN JÜNE - Peaceful Snow / Lounge Corps (at first I had trepidations about this album but it is fucking beautiful, campy and terrific)
DARKTHRONE - Circle the Wagons (the best of their new crusty sound, with riffs for days!)
THE MEADS OF ASPHODEL - The Murder of Jesus the Jew (metal's weirdest weirdos with what might be their best album)
SHARON JONES AND THE DAP KINGS - I Learned the Hard Way
BONE AWL - Bowing Heads demo
GRAVELAND - Cold Winter Blades (a.k.a. music to LARP to... this was a grower)
DIAMANDA GALÁS - The Cleopatra Set? Monthly releases (Not a proper album, but some of the greatest fucking music to come out this year, released monthly on her website)
LUDICRA - The Tennant (if you hate metal, this will show you why you are a tool)
MOIRA SCAR - Slink to Intensity (musical genius)
DISEMBALLERINA - Demo CDR
THE CHASM - Farseeing the Paranormal Abysm (even though this technically came out in the end of 2009, it is probably the best album on here and everybody slept on it on their end of year list)
BEST VIDEO OF THE YEAR:
GRINDERMAN - Heathen Child
How can you argue with that?
BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR:
William Burroughs: A Man Within
I didn't really see that many movies this year. What I did see was pretty awful (I tried to watch Tron, which was like a 2 hour deodorant commercial), but this Burroughs documentary was fantastic. Inspiring, honest and pulled no punches. I almost started crying every time Patti Smith started talking.
That Banksy movie, Exit Through the Gift Shop was pretty phenomenal as well. It was utterly depressing and damning, but if you're an artist, it's a frightening wake up call. I also perversely enjoyed the Joan Rivers documentary Piece of Work.
Hmmm... as usual I didn't read that much. Grant Morrison's Batman and Robin was spectacular, I must admit. The Judge Dredd reprint vol. 1 is vital, and Dan Clowes came out with Wilson, which I loved, although a lot of people weren't feeling it. Liz Baillie's Release the Bats was a collection of odds and ends and has a David Wojnarowicz piece that I absolutely love but really the whole collection is great. I also discovered Detroit Metal City, which I went on and on about in a previous post. It is weirdly amazing. Also I picked up Fred Chao's Johnny Hiro, which is extremely good but I haven't finished.
Hey, I guess I did read a lot of comics! Lucky me!
SONG THAT GOT STUCK IN MY HEAD A LOT THIS YEAR:
I have a love/hate relationship with this song, and I guess with Lil' Wayne in general.
Lil' Wayne - Drop the World featuring Eminem:
Personally it was a great year. I debuted Gorgeous Clothed Flies in New York and six of the original pages were featured in Keith Mayerson's NeoIntegrity: Comics Edition at the Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art. I also got a grant to publish it for reals. I started and stopped a webcomic about the civil war... it is on serious hiatus! I started writing a novel. I made two minicomics, another installment of Demon of the Fall and my first personal minicomic called Comfort's Fist, both of which I was pretty happy with.
I got to table at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, which was a blast. My work got a shout-out in Time Out New York. I started work on Teufelskralle, a sequel to Gorgeous Clothed Flies using only ball-point pen. I designed my first logo, for Infra-Iridian and started work on a commission to redesign the logo for Everyman Espresso. I also am putting the finishing touches on an essay about Gerhard, "background" artist for Dave Sim's Cerebus.
I got to see Sunn and Boris at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple where they blew the power with a single riff. I got to see R. Crumb's Genesis in its entirety in person, I got to see Dan Clowes at The Strand, I did yoga for the first time and got to see the opera The Nose with animation by William Kentridge... and I got to see one of my favorite SF bands Ludicra play in New York.
And last but not even remotely least I put together a website (no small feat!), and began work which will become a full-fledged webcomic called
SYMPTOM OF THE UNIVERSE
and that will debut next year.
If you're a savvy savverson, you can google that title with either "Sabin" or "comics" and get a sneaky peek.
Or something else entirely...
I learned that there is a time to laugh, a time to cry, a time to gather stones... etc. etc. WHERE IS 2011?
Thanks for everyone's support, love, photos and fun.