Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Year In Review 2016

Although 2016 will be remembered by most as a pretty crappy year, there were some great things that were, at least to me, pretty awesome. 

2016 included: A full scale house remodel of our kitchen, dining, office and living room, which was a huge undertaking - My sister and her husband welcomed their first baby Stella Grace - The Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl - I had my first year as a coach for Jr. Jazz basketball - the only grandma Shara knew passed away at the age of 90 - My band Go Suburban released our self titled debut album that we put so much time and effort into - We celebrated Jane's 3rd birthday at Disneyland/California - Will learned how to ride a bike & land flips on the trampoline - We remodeled a separate bathroom and laundry room - Will had 2 sets of stitches this year - Jane dealt with night terrors about half of the year, which we are still trying to figure out - We remodeled Will's room - Shara and I traveled to Moab and hiked around for our 11th anniversary - Will started Kindergarten - Jane started preschool - We voted - Jane started attempting flips on the trampoline. 

During all of that, the events of this year were coupled with an amazing soundtrack. Which will help embed the memories of this year into my mind. A brief history of what I do to compile this list: My year in review mix is something I start doing on January 1st of each year. I'm constantly finding and listening to new music, debating throughout the year if it's worthy enough to end up on my list at the end of the year. This year I even contributed to this list as well, which I didn't just consider lightly. If you are new to how I compile this list, I rank what I consider to be the top 20 albums of the year, then I make a playlist featuring 1 song off of each album that I think best showcases the album, or is just my favorite song off of the album. In years past, I have always tried my hardest to find the "clean" version of songs knowing that some people might be somewhat offended by certain lyrics. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find clean versions of songs, and with the advent of streaming music coming to the forefront the past couple of years, it's going to be nearly impossible as we move forward. So on that note, some of the music I have included on this list does contain some swears, and I truly apologize.

This year included some interesting choices that I wouldn't have otherwise foreseen me listening to. Specifically a musical that would have such a huge impact on me. This album made an exception because I'm generally not into musicals, especially while making a generally alternative playlist. It also made an exception because technically it was released in 2015, but wasn't on my radar until earlier this year, and since it pretty well dominated much of what I listened to this year, I had to make a spot for it. I also featured my band Go Suburban's album, which I was so proud to be a part of, and love every single song so much. These albums are the definition of 2016 for me. An election year, a year of firsts for my family, a year of struggles and triumphs. 

Here is my Year In Review for 2016:

1. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool "Burn The Witch"
2. Go Suburban - WWDK "War Of Wars"
3. Various Artists - Hamilton Soundtrack "Non-Stop"
4. Bon Iver - 22, A Million "8 (Circle)"
5. Pinegrove - Cardinal "Aphasia" *
6. The Hotelier - Goodness "Goodness, Pt. 2"
7. The Strokes - Future Present Past EP "Oblivius"
8. Wilco - Schmilco "If I Ever Was A Child"
9. Car Seat Headrest - Teens Of Denial "Fill In The Blank"
10. Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam - I Had A Dream That You Were Mine "In A Black Out"
11. Young The Giant - Home Of The Strange "Amerika" **
12. The Lumineers - Cleopatra "Angela"
13. Red Hot Chili Peppers - The Getaway "Dark Necessities"
14. Weezer - The White Album "Jacked Up"
15. Jack Garratt - Phase "Weathered"
16. Angel Olsen - My Woman "Shut Up Kiss Me"
17. Glass Animals - How To Be A Human Being "Life Itself"
18. A Tribe Called Quest - We Got It From Here...Thank You 4 Your Service "Solid Wall Of Sound"
19. The 1975 - I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It "Somebody Else"
20. Frank Ocean - Blonde "Pink + White"

*: Best New Artist
**: Best Album Cover

Honorable mentions:
Into It. Over It. - Standards
Ra Ra Riot - Need Your Light
Band Of Horses - Why Are You OK

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Year In Review 2015

2015, the year I had been looking forward to experiencing since seeing Back To The Future Part II has come and gone. When that movie was released in 1989, I was 9 years old and I remember thinking so much about what 2015 would be like. Now that it has passed, it's probably so much different than my 9 year old self ever imagined, but it's also so much better than I could have ever thought of. 

2015 for me saw a lot of happiness, as well as sadness. Craziness and love. Challenges and blessings. We began 2015 with a Caribbean cruise to Cozumel, Honduras, Belize & Costa Maya - I left my job after 5 years with Summit Home Health & Hospice, leaving some of the greatest people I have ever worked with - I started a new job as a Marketing Director with Five Point Restoration working with some of the best friends I've ever had - My beautiful and amazing grandmother passed away at the age of 91 - We owned a dog for a week, and realized our schedules were not cut out to be dog owners at this point in our lives, but we were able to find him a great new home- Shara's oldest nephew returned home from serving his mission ins Arizona - We got a trampoline - My little sister married her best friend of 8 years, and found out she will be having a baby next February! - My youngest daughter Jane turned 2 years old - Shara's younger brother Shawn passed away at the age of 31 - I took Will on his first overnight camping trip with my dad and brother in law - Shara and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary with a trip to Denver to see the Broncos and a new ring - My band Go Suburban played a bunch of concerts, and started recording an album that will be released at the beginning of next year - We took a trip with my family to California to go to Disneyland, Universal Studios, and the Utah v. USC game - My oldest son William turned 5 years old - My children challenged me more than anything else I think I've ever had to deal with, but grew to love them so much more this year. 

As with other years in the past, this year was accompanied with music that became the soundtrack to my life. Through everything I did this year, there was always music with me. I was able to communicate with a lot of music lovers through social media, in person and through online publications which made finding great music even better. Music apps on smart phones became much more accessible and provided a seamless way for me to consume more music than I ever have before. As is custom with so many websites, TV shows and magazine articles at this time of year, I've created a my own list of top 20 albums this year. After ranking these albums, I create a playlist via iTunes & Spotify featuring one song from each album, which hopefully gives you a small sample of the music I listened to this year, but also creates a chapter in my music library for the year 2015. When I go back over the years and listen to these playlists, I'm instantly taken back to that year and I reminisce about all the events that happened during that time.

This is my birthday present to myself every year that I now share with you. I literally spend the entire calendar year researching, reading & debating what will make my list and what music I will put on it. I now present to you my 2015 Year In Review:

  1. Tame Impala - Currents
  2. Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell
  3. Wilco - Star Wars
  4. Jamie xx - In Colour
  5. Hop Along - Painted Shut
  6. Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color
  7. Foo Fighters - Saint Cecilia EP
  8. Grimes - Art Angels
  9. Kurt Vile - B'lieve I'm Goin Down...
  10. Ben Folds - So There
  11. Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear
  12. Lord Huron - Strange Trails
  13. Ryan Adams - 1989
  14. Baroness - Purple
  15. Deerhunter - Fading Frontier
  16. Foals - What Went Down
  17. Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment - Surf
  18. Muse - Drones
  19. Brandon Flowers - The Desired Effect
  20. Day Wave - Headcase EP
Honorable Mentions:
James Bay - Chaos And The Calm
Big Grams - Big Grams
twenty one pilots - Blurryface
Fall Out Boy - American Beauty/American Psycho
Chvrches - Every Eye Open

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Year In Review 2014

     2014 will go down personally for me as possibly the most stressful year I've had. There was so much that we did this calendar year, with selling our home, packing up, garage sales, moving into my parent's home while we searching for a new home, moving into that new (yet old) home, dealing with flooding issues right away, starting a new position at work, and all this with my beautiful wife and our 2 wild and rambunctious children. However, this year was also filled with so many great things as well, including the new home, a great vacation to Cancun, trips to Disneyland, Midway, Bear Lake, & St. George, a successful year for my band, and all with my beautiful wife and our 2 wild and rambunctious children.
     With that, this year also came with a pretty awesome soundtrack. There was a lot of music that surprised me this year, and a lot of music that made a huge impression on me as both a semi-invested musician and person as well. I love finding new artists and well as rediscovering old ones, and there was a lot of that this year. It's like meeting new friends and reconnecting with ones you haven't seen in years. 
     If you are new to this way of how I compile & rank this list, I rank my top 20 albums of the past year and then create a playlist (via iTunes, Spotify etc.) with my favorite song from that album. In some cases - Against Me! for example - I had to find a clean version of the song so that if you are interested in listening to the mix, you'll have a clean version of the song.  Unless you listen to my Spotify playlist or find the song yourself, I can't control that. Although I'm not in favor of censorship in music, movies and art, I know others don't share that same sentiment, so I do my best to make sure I'm giving you a clean playlist. 
     This is my birthday present to myself every year, because I literally spend an entire year debating what will make this list and what music I will put on it. So after all the work I put into this, studying and reviewing countless year end lists from multiple publications and websites, I now present to you my 2014 Year In Review:
  1. The War On  Drugs - Lost In The Dream
  2. St. Vincent - St. Vincent
  3. Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright In The End
  4. Foo Fighters - Sonic Highways
  5. Alt-j - This Is All Yours
  6. Royal Blood - Royal Blood
  7. Jack White - Lazaretto
  8. Against Me! - Transgender Dysphoria Blues
  9. Spoon -  They Want My Soul
  10. Beck -  Morning Phase
  11. Hozier - Take Me To Church
  12. Manchester Orchestra -  Cope
  13. Delta Spirit - Into The Wide
  14. The Black Keys - Turn Blue
  15. Coldplay - Ghost Stories
  16. Real Estate - Atlas
  17. Death From Above 1979 -  The Physical World
  18. First Aid Kit - Stay Gold
  19. Milky Chance - Sadnecessary
  20. Young The Giant - Mind Over Matter
Honorable Mentions:
Cold War Kids - Hold My Home
Broken Bells - After The Disco
Cloud Nothings - Here And Nowhere Else
Foster The People - Supermodel
Thom Yorke - Tomorrow's Modern Boxes

Dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7sxg3r6pis67fe1/AAAXXhWvu0CMGGx_x1yBwzgma?dl=0

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Year In Review 2013

     These past 12 months of music have been much better than in years past.  Some of the best albums I have heard from some artists - Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire - came out this year. So, compiling a list and narrowing it to just 20 albums was a difficult task this year.  I think my honorable mentions list will be a little more extensive.  This "Year In Review" list used to be titled the "Year In Rock" because most of what I used to listen to was categorized in that genre.  But as you can tell from this year list, you can probably see why I elected to change it from "rock" to "review".  There is just to much good music out there in a variety of different genres.  
     If you are new to this way of how I compile this list, I rank my top 20 albums of the past year and then create an iTunes playlist of what I consider the signature song from that album.  Or rather, the song that I related and loved the most.  In some cases - Kanye West for example - I've had to find a clean version of the song so that if you are interested in listening to the mix, you'll have a clean version of the song.  Although I'm not in favor of censorship in music, movies and art, I know others don't share that same sentiment, so I do my best to make sure I'm giving you a clean playlist.
     There was a lot that happened to me and my family this year, with the biggest thing being the birth of my daughter Jane.  If you've had children you know each one is life changing, and she was no different.  I find that when you have life changing events, regardless of what it is, the music you listen to during that time becomes part of the soundtrack to your life, and has a much bigger impact on your life than it would if you weren't going through a large event in your life.  I've found over the years, that even if those life changing events are good or bad, you'll never forget the time in your life when you first heard that song or album.  And even if you don't listen to again for many years, it can instantly take you back.  With that said, this is the music that defined the year 2013 for me, with all of it's ups and downs.  This was the best year of my life, just as I'm sure next year will be the best year of my life.
     Here are my picks for the top 20 albums of 2013:
  1. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of The City
  2. Arcade Fire - Reflektor 
  3. Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
  4. Arctic Monkeys - AM
  5. Grouplove -Spreading Rumours
  6. Disclosure -  Settle
  7. Queens Of The Stone Age - ...Like Clockwork
  8. *Kodaline - In A Perfect World
  9. Kanye West - Yeezus
  10. Volcano Choir - Repave
  11. Phoenix - Bankrupt!
  12. The National - Trouble Will Find Me
  13. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Mosquito
  14. Lorde - Pure Heroine
  15. The Neighbourhood - I Love You
  16. Atoms for Peace - AMOK
  17. The Strokes - Comedown Machine
  18. The Head And The Heart - Let's Be Still
  19. Biffy Clyro - Opposites
  20. Local Natives - Hummingbird
* - Best New Artist

Honorable Mentions
Pearl Jam - Lightning Bolt
!!! - Thriller
Alt-J - An Awesome Wave
Atlas Genius - When It Was Now
Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience (1&2)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Will's expressions of love

Our oldest child will be 3 years old this week.  He's at the age where he's coming up with his own thoughts, stories and just hilarious sayings.  He tells us stories about his day that include things that actually happened and then things that happened in his imagination.  It's pretty funny once you get him going.  He also has interesting ways of showing that he loves us.  Sometimes, his simple expressions of love will come while we are just sitting on the couch and he'll ask if we will hold his hand, or put our hand on his tummy.  

This morning, after I had been up with our 6 month old for 2 hours trying to get her back to sleep, I finally got back into bed.  I had only been there for just a minute when around 5:45am Will came upstairs from his room to our bed with me.  By then, my wife had been at work for a couple of hours, so I didn't mind him coming into bed with me.  We laid there, and I asked him if we could sleep a little longer.  He said yes, but asked if I would hold his hand.  I have to admit, it was very cute, and when I pulled my hand away for a second to scratch my face, he ordered my hand back. 

Eventually, he fell back asleep, changed positions and ended up with his bum in my face. 

Then he farted.

Yes, these are Will's expressions of love.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A new direction

Lately there seems to be a trend of blogs getting a lot of "viral" attention these days.  Mainly these blogs are written by women, listing reasons motherhood is hard yet rewarding, or how to be better in their marital relationships.  Trust me, I've read them all.  They have amazing advice, and there is very good insight into many different subjects of life.  I'm not entirely sure why I'm drawn to reading these blogs - perhaps it's the fact that I'm a sucker for lists of any kind - but I end up reading a lot of them.  And while I am reading all of these blogs, there is something that has really stuck out to me.

Women are writing the majority of these blogs on parenting and marriage but men aren't.

I'm sure there are good reasons for this.  I know there are men who write blogs on parenting and some on marriage.  They exist.  They just aren't getting much exposure. 

As I was reading another viral blog today on parenting, titled "15 Things Experienced Moms Really Want To Say To New Moms" I thought to myself, "Where is a dude's perspective on something like this?" (I really said that out loud to myself.) I immediately took to Twitter and said I was going to start a similar blog from a male's side of parenting.  

I'm not looking to be some big time blogger.  I'm not looking to go "viral".  I'm not professing to be the world's best father or husband by any means.  I'm even having an internal struggle even typing the thoughts in my head about parenting and marriage in a blog form.

I just think there are thoughts, ideas, and advice that could come in handy from a male perspective, and as I searched around the internet for advice on a sick 6 month old these past 2 weeks, I found the only places that I was reading information from was from moms.  Believe me, as a married husband who turns into a single father after 7:30pm every night (that story coming in a future post) I rely heavily on those blogs and advice from other moms out there.  Their advice is golden and it's helped me immensely.  That being said, I do know that I'm not the only guy out there looking for advice on parenting from another guy.  

So my purpose in this post today is to say, I'm going to give it a shot.  I'm going to write about being a "hands on" dad and a good husband. As I get more into this, I'm going to try to have better content and interesting stories on my attempt at parenting and trying my best to be a good and supportive husband to my wife.  

Here we go.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Year In Review 2012

Here are my top 20 albums this year. (Here is the Year In Review 2012 Mix, with my favorite song off of each album.)

1. Jack White/Blunderbuss
2. Alabama Shakes/Boys & Girls
3. Electric/Guest Mondo*
4. Grizzly/Bear Shields
5. Frank Ocean/channel ORANGE
6. Muse/The 2nd Law
7. Japandroids/Celebration Rock
8. Divine Fits/A Thing Called divine Fits
9. Delta Spirit/Delta Spirit
10. Cloud Nothings/Attack On Memory
11. The Lumineers/The Lumineers
12. Best Coast/The Only Place
13. Mumford & Sons/Babel
14. A Silent Film/Sand & Snow
15. Gotye/Making Mirrors
16. The Shins/Port Of Morrow
17. Alex Clare/The Lateness Of The Hour
18. Father John Misty/Fear Fun
19. Ben Folds Five/The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind
20. The xx/Coexist
*Best New Artist

Honorable Mentions:
Animal Kingdom The Looking Away
Band Of Horses Mirage Rock
Beach House Bloom
The Killers Battle Born
Sea Wolf Old World Romance
What are your top 20 albums of the year?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Year In Review 2011

Here are my top 20 albums this year. (Here is the Year In Review 2011 Mix, with the best song off of each album.)

1. Wilco The Whole Love
2. The Strokes Angles
3. Bon Iver Bon Iver
4. Fleet Foxes Helplessness Blues
5. Foster The People Torches
6. Young The Giant Young The Giant
7. Red Hot Chili Peppers I'm With You
8. Adele 21
9. The Black Keys El Camino
10. Radiohead The King Of Limbs
11. Incubus If Not Now, When?
12. Foo Fighters Wasting Light
13. Lykke Li Wounded Rhymes
14. Mister Heavenly Out Of Love
15. Coldplay Mylo Xyloto
16. Holy Ghost! Holy Ghost!
17. Washed Out Within and Without
18. Grouplove Never Trust A Happy Song
19. The Head And The Heart The Head And The Heart
20. Wavves Life Sux - EP

Honorable Mentions:
Beastie Boys Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 2
The Decemberists The King Is Dead
Death Cab For Cutie Codes & Keys
Jay-Z & Kanye West Watch The Throne

What are your top 20 albums of the year?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Will has been walking for about 2 weeks now, but in short spurts. That is until we let him loose in airports and the Kirtland, Ohio Visitor's Center.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


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