2013, the year that never happened. Or so my subconscious seems to have convinced myself. Usually in the three or four days leading up to New Year's Eve, like most folks, I can't help but reminisce. The year end blog posts are a plenty, recapping the best and worst of the year gone by. As I began to think about some of my favorite things of 2013, as it turns out, most of them were actually from 2012.
The most important late-December musings this time of year, going by the assumption that there is no better time-stamp than music, is often the obligatory "what was my favorite album that came out this past year?" Yet for some reason this time around, it took me to about my sixth choice on the list before I actually found a single record that came out in the calendar year. Langhorne Slim The Way We Move, 2012. Joe Pug The Great Despiser, 2012. Lord Huron Lonesome Dreams, Murder by Death Bitter Drink Bitter Moon, Justin Townes Earle Nothing's Gonna Change... — all fantastic records, but all from 2012.
Finally, after digging deep to my 6th choice, came the sound of the future. The sound of 2013.
Daft Punk Random Access Memories! A fantastic album to top my list, even if essentially by default. Rounding out my top 10 was 3 more albums from 2012, and finally, Jason Isbell's 2013 effort, Southeastern. I should mention that Wreck Loose Well had the potential to be the best album of the year, but alas, it was but a lowly EP. And in my book, anything less than say, 9 songs, cannot be counted as actual music.
Unconvinced that 2 great records is enough proof the last twelve months actually happened, I ask "where did 2013 go?".
Perhaps I lost the year traveling around the Rust Belt with Noah Purdy. Maybe we're still circling a roundabout in southeastern Michigan, stuck in perpetual limbo. Perhaps I'm sitting in the belly of a shark, eaten shortly after I asked Daniella, the love of my life, to marry me as we took a late night stroll along the gorgeous Carolina coast. Or perhaps I went broke and starved to death after I quit my full time job to take a stab at self-employment... and now I'm just laying here, a pile of bones not too dis-similar to my former self.
All I know for sure, is that somehow between the last day of 2012, and today, the first day of 2014, an entire year has apparently come and gone in a split-second.
Joking aside, regardless of how fast the year seems to have passed by, what is more important is what transpired during that year. I did quit my full-time job in 2013. A few years of attending the ever-inspirational Weapons of Mass Creation Festival did me in, and I could no longer spend day in and day out performing tasks that meant nothing to me. I co-founded a publishing company instead, and we put out our first magazine — meeting countless incredible people in the process. And then we made a second. And soon, there will even be a third. And I did get engaged to a fantastic gal this year. A fantastic gal who shockingly hasn't punched me in the nose — even as my financial situation has grown increasingly grim as I try to figure out exactly how one makes publishing profitable in the modern age. And apparently, it seems I bought a really good Daft Punk album.
I suppose I'll accept that 2013 did in fact happen, and another 365 days has come and gone. I'll even go as far as to say that it was the best 365 days I've ever had, regardless of the general lack of new records in my collection. But as good a year it may have been, looking forward I can't help but think 2014 is going to be where the real magic happens. Let's all make it a great one.
PS: I'll just leave this pile of satisfied clients here. A selection of work I did this year that I quite enjoyed doing. If you make music in 2014, you'll need a designer and you'll remember this silly blog post and you'll give me all your money. I also make logos and draw pictures and have plenty of bills to pay.