Progressives: Save The Burning House

I’m a progressive because I value human rights and want our tax dollars to raise lives instead of battle flags (old and new). Like many other progressives I’m disappointed that Sanders and Warren didn’t make the cut. Unlike quite a few of my fellow progressives I also recognize a few things.

1. The United States is a moderate/centrist country. Us progressives are a vocal minority and so Biden beat Sanders. We can rail about how the DNC neutralized Sanders, but the reality is the overwhelming majority of Democrats (and Americans) are centrists and moderates and Biden won the nomination.

2. Progressives will NEVER get their candidate until we are no longer a minority. Until then we have to do what we’ve always done: push for change. We, as a movement, have made changes. Just look at how much has changed in the past couple of decades regarding LGBTQ rights, marijuana decriminalization & legalization, bringing trans issues to the forefront, fighting for immigration rights, the passing of the Affordable Care Act (as flawed as it was, it was a step toward the progressive healthcare), etc. Look at how many candidates have changed their minds or shifted left on issues because of our pushing. Even Obama and H. Clinton were iffy on gay marriage until progressives pushed and they changed their minds. Almost all progress attributed to liberals over the history of this country was because progressive members of the liberal side of America were pushing: not the centrists. So keep fighting. Keep pushing. Keep speaking out. Keep shouting for justice & equality and fair playing fields.

3. The United States is a house on fire (or a sinking ship, whatever metaphor you want to use). I realize that my progressive ideals are ways of home improvement and you can’t improve on a home when it’s on fire. You have to save the house first. Yes, medicaid for all will have to wait. College debt relief will have to wait. Other home improvement projects will have to wait. Right now we need to put out the fire. Then we can begin repairing the damage to the frame. When the fire is out and we are rebuilding the frame, we can push for improvements in the frame and in the rebuild, but we have to put the fire out first. Bush and Reagan and Nixon didn’t set the house on fire. They damaged it, for sure, but they recognized the intrinsic value of the frame itself. Trump does not and he will burn it to the ground if allowed to do so.

4. POC overwhelmingly voted for Biden because historically POC have voted pragmatically. POC as a voting block are majority centrist/moderate: not progressive. That may change in the future, but it’s the reality on the ground right now. If the people dealing with the systemic racism, police brutality, and unequal justice that I’m railing against are voting for Biden, then I need to listen to why.

I will vote for Biden/Harris because right now we need to save this house from burning to the ground. If Trump wins it could be the last free election held in this country. My progressive ideals also include saving Democracy, even if that means I have to put aside my wish list in order to make sure the basic needs of so many are met first.

I won’t have to hold my nose when I vote for Biden/Harris. I will pull that lever, punch that chad, or mark the tablet with my finger with empathy for those suffering in the burning house right now, knowing that putting out the fire is first priority. Getting rid of Trump so that we can put it out, begin repairing the damage, and once again go back to pushing for progressive ideals.

“How can you hate someone for their beliefs or politics?”

“How can you hate someone for their beliefs or politics?”

I was fiends with conservatives about a decade ago. We disagreed about policy: how to fund the Department of Education, what changes needed to be made to immigration laws, gun control laws, what the DOD budget should be, how much should we be isolationists versus how much we should protect others around the world, how do we fix the trade deficit, etc. Policy issues didn’t define our friendship, but highlighted how we viewed the world differently. Those differences were a non-issue.

Over the past 10 years (starting with their visceral reaction to Obama and the racism it generated), things have changed. We’re not talking policy anymore. We are talking about morality and ethics and basic human rights.

If you don’t think LGBTQ should have equal rights and think they should be actively discriminated against, why would I want to be your friend? Back in the day, most of us stood against the Westboro Baptist Church and their “God Hates Fags” signs. Now my old conservative friends are espousing the same nonsense Westboro Baptist Church has been doing for decades.

If you don’t think people of color are dealing with systemic racism or you support or espouse racist or white supremacy views, why should I be your friend? Back in the day most of us despised the men and women we saw in old photos shouting at black protesters who sat in Woolworth’s. Most of us despised the people who shouted at the young black girl going to an all white school in Alabama or Arkansas. Now my old conservative friends are behaving exactly like those white people from the 50’s and 60’s. The photos of them yelling at BLM protesters is the same look of the angry mob of white people yelling at Vivian Jones as she tried to enter the University of Alabama in 1963 or yelling at Elizabeth Eckford (Little Rock Nine) on the sidewalks of Little Rock Central High School in 1957.

Policy is nuanced and we can disagree in every friendly way about that nuance. The conservative downward spiral that led to those still backing Trump has led to a failing in morality and ethics: once again being on the wrong side of history. The current Trump-supporting Conservative mindset is the same one that led Conservatives to be on the wrong side of every moral and ethical issue this country has faced, from the end of slavery, women’s voting rights, desegregation, minority voting rights, labor laws, anti-discrimination laws, etc.

Nope. I will not be friends with them. I have no doubt in my mind that their downward spiral would have them yelling at the protesters in Woolworth’s, standing on the school steps yelling at Vivian Jones, screaming at civil rights protesters, and rooting for the police beating the marchers as they crossed Edmund Pettus Bridge.

I cannot be friends with someone who fails the moral and ethical judgments and rails against the human rights of others. This is no longer about policy. It is about human lives and my old conservative friends have failed the morality and ethics test big-time.

I am glad to see moderate Conservatives starting to rise up and speak out. Their voices are desperately needed in this fight against a morally bankrupt administration and its cult-like followers.

Synthentral 20200214 Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday is up!
GIVE IT A LISTEN HERE!

Synthentral Top 30 Albums of 2019

The amount of amazing music released in 2019 was overwhelming at times. I was able to get my hands on 612 full length albums in 2019. Throw in EP’s and singles and the year was incredibly prolific for the synth-based scenes. I had the daunting task of narrowing those 600+ albums down to just 30. I released a Top 100 first (you can find that HERE) and now it’s the Top 30!

LISTEN TO THE TOP 30 ALBUMS OF 2019 SHOW HERE!

I have several rules I use when narrowing down releases to my Top 30 Albums:

  1. In order for an album to qualify, I must own the album, either through purchasing it on my own or it being given to me by the band, label, promotional team, or DJ distribution service. There are 47 albums released in 2019 that I do not own. I’m sure there are more than 47 as no matter how hard I try to stay on top of new releases there’s no way to catch 100% of them. This is one of many reasons why it is so important to get the music to DJs!
  2. To qualify, the release must be an album and not an EP or single. There are plenty of lists out there for “top songs” that cover singles and EPs.
    1. To qualify as an album it must have at least seven original songs. Remixes, new versions of previous releases, and covers do not count toward the total. Intro and Outro songs as well as brief intermission style songs do not count toward the total of original songs. If an album has 12 songs, but only seven original songs, then the album qualifies, but only those seven songs are rated.
  3. All albums are rated using a weighted average so that an album with 7 songs has the same point system as an album with 12 songs. This prevents a seven song album from losing 14 points/song when a 12 song album would only lose 8 points/song.
  4. Every qualifying song on an album needs to be listenable. I want to listen to the entire album from start to finish. This rule accounts for most of the initial removals from the 600 plus releases.
  5. Any genres represented in my show can make the Top 30.
  6. I fully recognize that my list is subjective and that others will have different lists or disagree with my choices. I try my best to be objective using the weighted average rating system and when it comes time to delete albums with lower scores, I don’t look at the names of the bands I’m deleting so there’s no chance I’ll bump an album because I really like the band or I’m friends with the drummer, etc. I have no doubt given human psychology that no matter how hard I try or what rules I put in place, I do not eliminate all personal bias. But I guess that’s what makes these lists subjective.

I don’t rank them from 30 to 1. That’s too much work, honestly (given that I start from over 600), and almost impossible given the scope of genres I work with. This process takes weeks, working hours each day, and ten hours on weekends. After the first rating getting it to just 100 songs, I go through and re-rate the albums with a more brutal rating system, then have to do it again and again until I get down to just 30.

I hope you give each album and band a chance. If you find something you like then support the band: follow them on social media, buy their music and merch, and definitely go see them on tour!

So with all that said, here is my Synthentral Top 30 Albums of 2019 (in alphabetical order):

Conmutadores - Tridimensional

Conmutadores – Tridimensional (LISTEN HERE)

Culture Kultür - Humanity

Culture Kultür – Humanity (LISTEN HERE)

Dancing Plague - Too Still

Dancing Plague – Too Still (LISTEN HERE)

Dark-O-Matic - New Hope

Dark-O-Matic – New Hope (LISTEN HERE)

Empyres - Cruel Bastards

Empyres – Cruel Bastards (LISTEN HERE)

Faderhead - Asteria

Faderhead – Asteria (LISTEN HERE)

Fractal Age - Modern World

Fractal Age – Modern World (LISTEN HERE)

Glass Apple Bonzai - The All-Nite Starlite Electronic Café

Glass Apple Bonzai – The All-Nite Starlite Electronic Café (LISTEN HERE)

Harmjoy - Iron Curtain. Velvet Glove.

Harmjoy – Iron Curtain. Velvet Glove. (LISTEN HERE)

Insight - A New Day

Insight – A New Day (LISTEN HERE)

Intent:Outtake - Days Of Doom

Intent:Outtake – Days Of Doom (LISTEN HERE)

Iris - Six

Iris – Six (LISTEN HERE)

Machinista - Anthropocene

Machinista – Anthropocene (LISTEN HERE)

Mind Machine - Return To The Machine

Mind Machine – Return To The Machine (LISTEN HERE)

Mondträume - Lovers, Sinners & Liars

Mondträume – Lovers, Sinners & Liars (LISTEN HERE)

Mr.Kitty - Ephemeral

Mr.Kitty – Ephemeral (LISTEN HERE)

Neuropa - Close To Midnight

Neuropa – Close To Midnight (LISTEN HERE)

Orange Sector - Alarm

Orange Sector – Alarm (LISTEN HERE)

Prometheus Flame - Karma Reloaded

Prometheus Flame – Karma Reloaded (LISTEN HERE)

Romy - Celluloid Self

Romy – Celluloid Self (LISTEN HERE)

Ruined Conflict - Valediction

Ruined Conflict – Valediction (LISTEN HERE)

Signal Aout 42 - Insurrection

Signal Aout 42 – Insurrection (LISTEN HERE)

Silent EM - The Absence

Silent EM – The Absence (LISTEN HERE)

Soft Riot - When Push Comes To Shove

Soft Riot – When Push Comes To Shove (LISTEN HERE)

SoftWave - GAME ON

SoftWave – GAME ON (LISTEN HERE)

Spark! - Chaos

Spark! – Chaos (LISTEN HERE)

Third Realm - The Art Of Despair

Third Realm – The Art Of Despair (LISTEN HERE)

Torul - Hikikomori

Torul – Hikikomori (LISTEN HERE)

Uncreated - Eternal

Uncreated – Eternal (LISTEN HERE)

Vanguard - Manifest

Vanguard – Manifest (LISTEN HERE)

We Are Magonia - The Living Will Envy The Dead

We Are Magonia – The Living Will Envy The Dead (LISTEN HERE)

 

Synthentral Top 100 of 2019

There was tons of great music in 2019. I was able to get my hands on 612 albums in 2019, not including EP’s and singles. I had to narrow that down to just 100 and will have to narrow it down to 30 for my Top 30 show (will be posted HERE).

I have several rules I work with when narrowing down the albums to my top list:

  1. In order for an album to qualify, I must own the album, either through purchasing it on my own or it given to me by the band or label. There are 47 albums released in 2019 that I am aware of that I do not own. I’m sure there are more than 47 as no matter how hard I try to stay on top of new releases there’s no way to catch 100% of them.
  2. To qualify it must be an album and not an EP or single. There are plenty of lists out there for “top songs” that cover singles and EPs.
    1. To qualify as an album it must have at least seven original songs. Remixes, new versions, and covers do not count toward the total. Intro and Outro songs as well as brief intermission style songs do not count toward the total of original songs.
  3. All albums are weighted so that an album with 7 songs has the same point system as an album with 12 songs. This prevents a seven song album from losing 14 points/song when a 12 song album only loses 8 points/song. That would obviously be unfair, so I weight songs so every song contributes to a number rating of 1 through 10.
  4. Every qualifying song on an album needs to be listenable. I want to listen to the entire album from start to finish. This rule accounts for most of the initial removals from the 600 plus to 100.
  5. All genres represented in my show can be in both the Top 100 and Top 30 (when it’s released). I try to make sure that all genres are represented, but there are some years where a specific genre just didn’t have any good albums released or the one or two good ones just didn’t stand up to the awesomeness of other genre albums.
  6. I fully recognize that my list is subjective and that others will have different lists or disagree with my choices. Regardless, listen to the music and give it all a chance. I have “LISTEN HERE” links next to each album title, so give each band and album a chance and listen and support the bands you like!

Making this list is actually psychologically painful at times and there are times when removing an album causes psychosomatic physical pain. Getting from 100 to 30 is the worst of it as you know you’re deleting an amazing album from the list but the one above it got a 9.91 and it only got a 9.89. Hitting that delete button hurts. LOL

I don’t rank them from 100 to 1. That’s too much work, honestly, and almost impossible given the scope of genres I work with. This process takes weeks, working hours each day, and ten hours on weekends. After the first rating getting it to just 100 songs, I go through and re-rate the albums with a more brutal rating system, then have to do it again and again until I get down to just 30 for the Top 30 show.

So with all that said, here is my Synthentral Top 100 for 2019 (in alphabetical order):

A Spell Inside - Masterplan (LISTEN HERE)

A Spell Inside – Masterplan (LISTEN HERE)

Accumortis - Deathwave

Accumortis – Deathwave (LISTEN HERE)

Agent Side Grinder - A/X

Agent Side Grinder – A/X (LISTEN HERE)

Alienare - Neverland

Alienare – Neverland (LISTEN HERE)

Am Tierpark - Kings Of Failure

Am Tierpark – Kings Of Failure (LISTEN HERE)

Arctic Sunrise - Across The Ice

Arctic Sunrise – Across The Ice (LISTEN HERE)

Atomzero - Technophilia

Atomzero – Technophilia (LISTEN HERE)

Black Marble - Bigger Than Life

Black Marble – Bigger Than Life (LISTEN HERE)

Blinky Blinky Computerband - Inner Conflict

Blinky Blinky Computerband – Inner Conflict (LISTEN HERE)

Caisaron - Destiny Encounters

Caisaron – Destiny Encounters (LISTEN HERE)

Conmutadores - Tridimensional

Conmutadores – Tridimensional (LISTEN HERE)

Culture Kultür - Humanity

Culture Kultür – Humanity (LISTEN HERE)

Curse Mackey - Instant Exorcism

Curse Mackey – Instant Exorcism (LISTEN HERE)

CygnosiC - Epiphany

CygnosiC – Epiphany (LISTEN HERE)

Dancing Plague - Too Still

Dancing Plague – Too Still (LISTEN HERE)

Dark-O-Matic - New Hope

Dark-O-Matic – New Hope (LISTEN HERE)

Daybehavior - Based On A True Story

Daybehavior – Based On A True Story (LISTEN HERE)

Elz And The Cult - Psychodrama

Elz And The Cult – Psychodrama (LISTEN HERE)

Empyres - Cruel Bastards

Empyres – Cruel Bastards (LISTEN HERE)

Eric C. Powell - TRUE

Eric C. Powell – TRUE (LISTEN HERE)

Espermachine - Delicate Corruption

Espermachine – Delicate Corruption (LISTEN HERE)

Faderhead - Asteria

Faderhead – Asteria (LISTEN HERE)

Felix Marc - Substance

Felix Marc – Substance (LISTEN HERE)

First Aid 4 Souls - Keep This World Empty

First Aid 4 Souls – Keep This World Empty (LISTEN HERE)

Fractal Age - Modern World

Fractal Age – Modern World (LISTEN HERE)

Front Line Assembly - Wake Up The Coma

Front Line Assembly – Wake Up The Coma (LISTEN HERE)

Glass Apple Bonzai - The All-Nite Starlite Electronic Café

Glass Apple Bonzai – The All-Nite Starlite Electronic Café (LISTEN HERE)

Glitch Black - Age Of Machines

Glitch Black – Age Of Machines (LISTEN HERE)

God Module - The Unsound

God Module – The Unsound (LISTEN HERE)

Grendel - Ascending The Abyss

Grendel – Ascending The Abyss (LISTEN HERE)

Hante. - Fierce

Hante. – Fierce (LISTEN HERE)

Harmjoy - Iron Curtain. Velvet Glove.

Harmjoy – Iron Curtain. Velvet Glove. (LISTEN HERE)

Human Steel - Invaders

Human Steel – Invaders (LISTEN HERE)

Insight - A New Day

Insight – A New Day (LISTEN HERE)

Intent:Outtake - Days Of Doom

Intent:Outtake – Days Of Doom (LISTEN HERE)

Interface - Where All Roads Lead

Interface – Where All Roads Lead (LISTEN HERE)

Iris - Six

Iris – Six (LISTEN HERE)

Kounter Mezhure - Valkyrie

Kounter Mezhure – Valkyrie (LISTEN HERE)

Ladytron - Ladytron

Ladytron – Ladytron (LISTEN HERE)

Lazer Station - Weaponizer

Lazer Station – Weaponizer (LISTEN HERE)

Loewenhertz - Traumfaenger

Loewenhertz – Traumfaenger (LISTEN HERE)

M73 - Tainted

M73 – Tainted (LISTEN HERE)

Machinista - Anthropocene

Machinista – Anthropocene (LISTEN HERE)

Marta Raya - Reflection

Marta Raya – Reflection (LISTEN HERE)

Massive Ego - Church For The Malfunctioned

Massive Ego – Church For The Malfunctioned (LISTEN HERE)

Mavroskeleto - Biomachine

Mavroskeleto – Biomachine (LISTEN HERE)

Mental Exile - Ride The Madness

Mental Exile – Ride The Madness (LISTEN HERE)

Mind Machine - Return To The Machine

Mind Machine – Return To The Machine (LISTEN HERE)

Minuit Machine - Infrarouge

Minuit Machine – Infrarouge (LISTEN HERE)

Miss Ballistic - Blood And Glitter

Miss Ballistic – Blood And Glitter (LISTEN HERE)

Missing Words - Moment To Moment

Missing Words – Moment To Moment (LISTEN HERE)

Mondträume - Lovers, Sinners & Liars

Mondträume – Lovers, Sinners & Liars (LISTEN HERE)

Mr.Kitty - Ephemeral

Mr.Kitty – Ephemeral (LISTEN HERE)

Nature Of Wires - Modus

Nature Of Wires – Modus (LISTEN HERE)

Neuropa - Close To Midnight

Neuropa – Close To Midnight (LISTEN HERE)

NeuroWulf - Endurance

NeuroWulf – Endurance (LISTEN HERE)

Nórdika - Winterheart's

Nórdika – Winterheart’s (LISTEN HERE)

Occams Laser - Occult 89

Occams Laser – Occult 89 (LISTEN HERE)

Orange Sector - Alarm

Orange Sector – Alarm (LISTEN HERE)

Parralox - Genesis

Parralox – Genesis (LISTEN HERE)

Poizon Party IV - Hell Dial

Poizon Party IV – Hell Dial (LISTEN HERE)

Prometheus Flame - Karma Reloaded

Prometheus Flame – Karma Reloaded (LISTEN HERE)

Psy'Aviah - Soul Searching

Psy’Aviah – Soul Searching (LISTEN HERE)

The Purge - Honesty

The Purge – Honesty (LISTEN HERE)

Reality's Despair - Human Transitions

Reality’s Despair – Human Transitions (LISTEN HERE)

Red Flag - Endless

Red Flag – Endless (LISTEN HERE)

Reflection - Umbra

Reflection – Umbra (LISTEN HERE)

Reliant - Songs From The Heart Of Solitude

Reliant – Songs From The Heart Of Solitude (LISTEN HERE)

Romy - Celluloid Self

Romy – Celluloid Self (LISTEN HERE)

RROYCE - Patience

RROYCE – Patience (LISTEN HERE)

Ruined Conflict - Valediction

Ruined Conflict – Valediction (LISTEN HERE)

S Y Z Y G Y X - Is That All There Is

S Y Z Y G Y X – Is That All There Is (LISTEN HERE)

Saft - Allting Har Ett Slut

Saft – Allting Har Ett Slut (LISTEN HERE)

Sea Of Sin - Unbroken

Sea Of Sin – Unbroken (LISTEN HERE)

She Past Away - Disko Anksiyete

She Past Away – Disko Anksiyete (LISTEN HERE)

Signal Aout 42 - Insurrection

Signal Aout 42 – Insurrection (LISTEN HERE)

[:SITD:] - Stunde X

[:SITD:] – Stunde X (LISTEN HERE)

Silent EM - The Absence

Silent EM – The Absence (LISTEN HERE)

Soft Riot - When Push Comes To Shove

Soft Riot – When Push Comes To Shove (LISTEN HERE)

SoftWave - GAME ON

SoftWave – GAME ON (LISTEN HERE)

Spark! - Chaos

Spark! – Chaos (LISTEN HERE)

Spray - Failure Is Inevitable

Spray – Failure Is Inevitable (LISTEN HERE)

Stahlgeist - Escape Reality

Stahlgeist – Escape Reality (LISTEN HERE)

Synthax Xtructure - Don't Look Back

Synthax Xtructure – Don’t Look Back (LISTEN HERE)

Tamaryn - Dreaming The Dark

Tamaryn – Dreaming The Dark (LISTEN HERE)

Terminal Danger - Looking For Strange

Terminal Danger – Looking For Strange (LISTEN HERE)

Third Realm - The Art Of Despair

Third Realm – The Art Of Despair (LISTEN HERE)

Torul - Hikikomori

Torul – Hikikomori (LISTEN HERE)

TR/ST - The Destroyer – 1

TR/ST – The Destroyer – 1 (LISTEN HERE)

Tragic Impulse - Echoes Of The Unseen

Tragic Impulse – Echoes Of The Unseen (LISTEN HERE)

Uncreated - Eternal

Uncreated – Eternal (LISTEN HERE)

unitcode:machine - Tyranny

unitcode:machine – Tyranny (LISTEN HERE)

Vanguard - Manifest

Vanguard – Manifest (LISTEN HERE)

Vestron Vulture - Unscarred

Vestron Vulture – Unscarred (LISTEN HERE)

Watch Clark - Couch

Watch Clark – Couch (LISTEN HERE)

We Are Magonia - The Living Will Envy The Dead

We Are Magonia – The Living Will Envy The Dead (LISTEN HERE)

Wingtips - Exposure Therapy

Wingtips – Exposure Therapy (LISTEN HERE)

Wolf Club - Frontiers

Wolf Club – Frontiers (LISTEN HERE)

Xarah Dion - Plein Nord

Xarah Dion – Plein Nord (LISTEN HERE)