Andrew’s Top Books of 2013

As the end of the year dictates, I have compiled my top reads of 2013. Before we dive into the list, I feel it’s necessary to remind readers about the process as denoted last year. 1. Yes, evaluating the best in a given year is subjective so if you disagree, great! 2. I rate fiction and nonfiction differently. To me, fiction requires an element of creativity and entertainment; I want to read art. Nonfiction, on the other hand, is evaluated on its educational qualities. Did I learn and apply the principles found in the book? Therefore, I have split lists between fiction and nonfiction. 3. Reading a book is a linear process. It takes time. Thus, I read old and… Read More →

Andrew’s Top 20 Albums of 2013

I have a theory, even if it is slightly unfounded, that when Arcade Fire took the Grammy win for Album of the Year a while back, the entire music industry changed. Suddenly loner acts and those without a record label signing them became viable artists doing more than just breaking even. I tried to limit my choices to a mere ten, but couldn’t do it. There’s a lot of good music out there. So, here are my top twenty for the year. Every day the order changes, but this is where I’m at now. 20. Lady Gaga — Artpop I have always loved Lady Gaga. Her performances border on depraved artistry, wearing meat coats and the like. Nevertheless, her music is a constant… Read More →

Donovan’s Top 10 Albums of 2013

The day of reckoning fast approaches for the music industry. Without the subsidy of a massive release from Adele (granted acts like Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, and Lady Gaga sure tried to replicate her superhuman feats this year), 2013 feels like a transitional year. Many have written on the shifting music scene, the death of genre, and the inability to cash in on massive marketing campaigns. In fact, the most successful album of the year might have been successful because it wasn’t marketed. I’m speaking, of course, about Beyoncé’s middle-of-the-night release. In short, music is rapidly changing—from the method of listening to the financial model necessary to support the artists. Amongst this turmoil, artists continue to make great music. My… Read More →