• Swatty's Top 15 Albums Of 2016

    Posted 02/23/2017 by cal

    So here I am, four years after my last official list. I don’t really have a valid excuse as to why I don’t do these full write-ups on a year-to-year basis. However, I could certainly say 2013-15 was fraught with turmoil, existential crises and career roadblocks. But for the most part, those days are long gone, and now I can finally focus on the important things like these little wonderfully self-gratifying “best of” lists. Twenty-sixteen was certainly a strange year for metal in my humble opinion, as the new releases didn’t flood my ear holes nearly as much as older and more established gems in my music library. Maybe that’s a consequence of me getting older, or maybe it says something about the general quality of the modern metal environment as of late. Nevertheless, I was able to glean a few diamonds from the rough, and the list below details the reasons that made these little opuses so special. Here goes:

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  • 2015: Pop

    Posted 02/02/2016 by cal

    In the interest of making the end-of-year process less intimidating to you readers, I’m not doing the usual massive top-twenty piece. Instead, I’m dividing things up between genres. Maybe people will be more likely to read a handful of smaller pieces; what do I know? Maybe, if you're good, I'll put a list at the end, since I think there's at least one person who is curious as to what it might look like. If you're good. Anyway, let’s not get hung up on specific genre definitions, okay? The purpose here is to point out some albums from 2015 that I loved, and in some cases, albums other people liked that I didn’t like so much. Please read on if my opinions on such things interest you.

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  • Milwaukee Psych Fest 3

    Posted 05/19/2015 by cal

    I won't lie, it was an ordeal, navigating normal life in addition to this Milwaukee Psychology Festival (third annual), down at the ol' Cactus Club. I think we all learned a lot about ourselves.

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  • The Best Shows Of 2013

    Posted 12/15/2013 by cal

    Enough has probably been said already about that one thing my wife was in, right? Because that was my favorite live music event of the year/coolest thing that has happened in Milwaukee possibly ever, but even on my own blog, I probably won't write about that band much any more. After today, that is; there was a performance prior to my wife joining the band that I don't feel guilty mentioning, and from now on you can just assume that the Altos are still my favorite band in town and everything they do is awesome, until they break up or kick my wife out of the band. Mmmkay? So not counting the Film Fest, here are my favorite shows of 2013.

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  • The Best Shows I Saw In 2012

    Posted 02/03/2013 by cal

    When I started looking back on 2012, I definitely felt like it was amazing for records but not so amazing for live music.  If that’s true, it’s only because every year is great for live music, and 2011 will always be tough to beat.  And in terms of the Milwaukee scene, 2012 was easily the best year yet that I’ve been a part of, even if some of my favorite local bands (*cough cough ahem* CELEBRATED WORKINGMAN) virtually went into hiding.  Many highlights from unexpected bands, and of course some reliable greatness from perennial faves, make up this year’s list.  Read on for those highlights.

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  • The Best Music Of 2012

    Posted 01/21/2013 by cal

    I've finally finished, folks!  As the final strains of your next-door neighbor's crappy demo tape fade out, I can now say I've heard every single record produced in 2012.  Therefore, I can now present the definitive list of The Best Music Of 2012.  Yes, I know you are dying to see how your personal opinion matches up with the truth; you shall now have your answers.  I wish I could reveal how my own tastes line up with objective goodness, let you all in on what I'm a FAN of, an indulgence that is only permissible for music writers at this time of year; oh, to afford myself such a luxury!  But what a disservice it would be to you, my dear readers!  In the face of undeniable greatness, what is one man's opinion?  I do welcome any incorrect arguments you may have concerning omissions; please submit them in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

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  • Tame Impala: LONERISM

    Posted 11/28/2012 by cal

    My first car was a ’77 Camaro, and in the one year I drove it before its frame rusted to shreds I made a lot of memories.  But my most legendary car, the one that became part of my identity more than any other, was the ’77 Impala I bought after that.  It was indestructible, a beast of a vehicle, and it was my refuge and means of escape for several years.  If I had my druthers, it would be summer right now, and I’d be spending a lot of time in that car, wasting ungodly amounts of gasoline driving around on country roads with the windows down with Lonerism cranked.  There’s no telling if I could have appreciated it in 1994, what with all my Generation X angst/apathy or whatever we were supposed to be defined by, but in those days there was music expressing my mental state just as well as I ever could if not better, and since then that has rarely happened, but it did this year.  Driving around the city with the windows up in the winter in a 2003 Camry just isn’t the same, but it’ll have to do.

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  • The You-Phoria Guide To Festivals: 2012

    Posted 03/16/2012 by cal

    Festivals: they’re not for the jaded, infirm or impatient, and now that they’re everywhere all the time, it’s pretty hip to dismiss them as tiresome and unwieldy, and those criticisms are certainly true. You either have to be one of those folks who delights in the festival atmosphere and sense of community, or you have to be willing to sacrifice comfort for the sake of hours and hours of music, sweet music. If you’re one of these types or think you might be, you owe it to yourself to check out the phenomenon, ‘cause if you’re anything like me you could wind up making some of your favorite memories ever at these things. Read on for a rundown on the most notable parties of spring/summer 2012. (Note: We’re Milwaukeeans here at You-Phoria, so adjust travel considerations accordingly.)

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