Author’s Note — It’s strange, sitting down to write this on January 1st, one day after the news of MF DOOM’s death in October. This part of the article will focus on music that got me through the year that wasn’t released in 2020; my top artist on Spotify in 2020 was none other than MF DOOM. I’ll try not to let the crushing news inflect this article too much, but it’s hard. It was just another knife twist at the end of a dagger of a year. RIP to the Masked Villain.

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So, music for the year that didn’t…


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Photo by Adrian Korte on Unsplash

Yeah. We all know it. 2020 was rougher than anyone could have imagined and while there have certainly been moments of light and joy, both personally and collectively, it’s starting to feel like the norm. Which is possibly the scariest thing of all. Of all the things affected by the global pandemic, music is one of the most interesting. Some artists released music like it was any other year. Some artists had feverish creative periods due to lockdown (and often wrote their music about these conditions). …


Hey all, sorry for the extended absence. It’s been a busy few months, but that doesn’t mean that this project has left my sights! In this post, we’ll cover numbers 90 through 83 of Anthony Fantano’s Top 100 Albums of the Decade. It’s the biggest bunch I’ve done in one post so far, since I’m trying to make up for some lost time. So, let’s jump right into it!

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90. Prurient — Frozen Niagara Falls

It had to happen, sooner or later. I came into this project knowing that there were gonna be some albums that were gonna be tough…


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93. Crying — Beyond the Fleeting Gales

I had never, ever heard of this band or this album and I won’t lie, after weeks of listening to this album on and off, I still have a hard time remembering their name, which probably isn’t a great sign. I didn’t dislike the project. On the contrary, I found it pleasant and exciting, at time. Inoffensive. But certainly something that left me wondering exactly why it was on this list. Crying comes through on Beyond the Fleeting Gales with a unique blend of alternative, indie, lo-fi, and synth pop. I won’t go…


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96. FKA Twigs — LP 1

FKA Twigs’ album LP 1 has some parallels to an album that I’ve already listened to for this list, Bjork’s Vulnicura, with its dark, electronic sound being the conduit for dark songs of heartbreak and anxiety. FKA Twigs is decidedly more hip and less artsy than Bjork, and LP 1 is a project that keeps its scope rather small, unlike Vulnicura. It opens with the quick, but haunting “Preface,” before going into “Lights On,” which pulses with a simultaneously anxious and sexy energy in a minor key. Distortion is found everywhere, but never too…


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If you’re in the market for aggressive, rebellious, dissident rap music, you can’t do much better than Run the Jewels. The duo, consisting of underground rappers and producers Killer Mike and El-P, burst out onto the scene in 2013 with their first self-titled LP, launching the two MC’s from obscurity to critical and popular acclaim. A year later, they released Run the Jewels 2, which saw El-P’s production take things even darker, accompanied by the raw, vicious lyricism that had characterized their first release.

The opening of the record tells you everything you need to know (as if the album…


Random Access Memories — Daft Punk

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This is an album that was everywhere when it was released, in part thanks to its monster hit “Get Lucky,” which featured catchy vocal hooks from Pharrell Williams, phenomenal guitar work from Nile Rodgers, and, of course, vocoder vocals. Not only is “Get Lucky” a fantastic single that remains fresh seven years later, but it’s a pretty good microcosm of Random Access Memories as a whole, a project that sees Daft Punk reaching into the past to bring the sounds of Disco, Soul, and Funk in conversation with the electronic sound that made the…


By the end of January, I had a bit of list fatigue. Entering a new decade meant that every publication and website known to man was posting not only their “Best of Year” lists, but their “Best of Decade” lists as well. More than anything else, these lists reminded me just how vast ten years can be for things like film and music; certain things I felt were much older were part of the last decade, while other things that still felt recent were of the 00’s. But at the end of the month, I was tired of looking at…


I actually wrote up a long post on my favorite movies of the year and put it up for a few days, but something just didn’t feel right. I wrote a freaking novel to wrap up last year, but I’m feeling much, much more stripped down for 2019. ’Twas a great year, don’t get me wrong, but it just feels right to put up the lists and let them speak for themselves.

Before the lists themselves, I’ll post here the data I diligently collected on my movies, TV, books, and music.

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The one picture needed to sum up the year.

Spotify (where I listen to 97% of my music)…


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Photo by Felix Mooneeram on Unsplash

I’ve always suspected that those around me groan internally or are at least skeptical whenever I’m in charge of selecting a movie to watch. Even worse, when I actively suggest we watch something, people are wary. I watch movies that not a lot of people I know enjoy. There are a prized few people in my life who can sit through the artsy, abstract, non-linear movies (they’re either masterpieces or pretentious garbage, depending on who you ask, ) and they know who they are.

The other day, for example, I went to go see Last Year at Marienbad (dir. Alain…

James Perkins

“Sometimes I like things and I write them down.” - Daniel Sloss Twitter: @js_perkins

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