Too exhausted for pithy intros.
For most of the year I was still wrapped up in a pop wonderland, so I'm sure there are some gems that've been missed. But as someone who habitually shuffles through 24,000+ songs on an iPod Classic (what of it? they're worth money now), it's seldom that I become obsessed with hearing a record in its entirety. Over and over again.
That's pretty much the only criteria I used in choosing my Top 10 Albums of 2014. Enjoy.
UPDATE: How did I ever miss Eyehategod? Also, the Tokio Hotel record is garbage. What did they do to you, Bill?
Best of 2014 (in order, based on how many times I spun the record straight through):
1. Cold World - How the Gods Chill
2. The Afghan Whigs - Do To the Beast
3. Rancid - Honor Is All We Know
4. Mastodon - Once More 'Round the Sun
5. Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2
6. Godflesh - A World Lit Only by Fire
7. Behemoth - The Satanist
8. Ghostface Killah - Twelve Reasons to Die
9. Eyehategod - s/t
10. Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden
Pretty Damn Good:
Against Me! - Transgender Dysphoria Blues
At the Gates - At War With Reality
Exodus - Blood In, Blood Out
Youth Code - A Place to Stand EP
Finch - Back to Oblivion
Lana Del Rey - Ultraviolence
Vance Joy - Dream Your Life Away
Have yet to listen to these artists' latest records: Swans,
Postscript: I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever get into Taylor Swift. Basic pop music has never suited me.
Best Shows of 2014:
Motley Crue @ Madison Square Garden - Though the set list was better when I caught Crue's Las Vegas residency, there was nothing like sending off the geezers at the most befitting NYC venue of them all.
Godflesh @ Irving Plaza - This was an experience for all senses, including the vibrations it swept through my body. Loudest show of the year that left me physically spent.
King Diamond @ Best Buy Theater - The double-decker stage, replete with gates! The actors! The light-up upside down crosses and pentagram! King's live show was like everything all concerned parents assume metal shows are like. READ this take on it.
Infest @ the Well - Seeing the underground icons plow through their discography was eye-opening; and a good hang (thanks for the ticket, Richard!).
Gorilla Biscuits @ House of Vans - Every summer there's one magical show where you get to see all of your friends, meet some new ones and enjoy some old-school hardcore. This was it.
Bonus: Pussy Riot @ Vice 20, Brooklyn Navy Yard - It was an honor to be in the presence of these blunt, independent Russian women (who are willing to risk their lives for their expression) as they covered riot grrl darlings, Le Tigre.