Top 30 Synth Albums of 2017

TOP 30 Synth-Based Albums/EPs from 2017!

This list was very hard to do. There were so many amazing albums, EP’s, and singles released in 2017. In order for an album to qualify, it had to be in my library. I get music a lot of ways. A lot of times promoters, record labels, and artists send me their music so I can play the music. A lot of times I have to buy the albums. Sometimes the artists offer the albums up for free on their web page, Bandcamp, or other sources.

All those sources resulted in having 4,396 unique album/EP/single entries from 2017 that I had to go through. That’s a daunting number and it should be noted that there’s no way I have all the new music released in 2017! There is no doubt in my mind that I missed some new music that may have ended up on this list if I had it in my library.

Narrowing the list down:

In order for an album to qualify it had to be new material from the musician/band. So the first thing I did was remove any remix albums. The second thing I did was remove any compilation/best of/greatest hits albums. The third thing I did was remove any singles where the song was part of a later or earlier album. Doing those three things dwindled the number of unique entries to 3,477. Still a daunting task.

Next step was to go through each of those almost 3,500 entries and rate them from 1 to 10. Then I deleted everything that I rated 8 or below. Entries required a 9 or 10 to make it to next round. This processes narrowed the unique entries to 76.

I then re-rated the remaining 76 entries with a much stricter ear. After the re-rating I removed anything below a 9. That left me with 47 unique entries. Then I had to do it again until I got down to 40 entries. At this point, removing anyone from the list physically hurt my heart. The amount of awesome goodness on that list of 47 and 40 was painful as I removed one after another.

Now that I had it down to 40, I had to remove 10 more, who are the honorable mentions. As hard as it was getting down to 40, removing those 10 more was even more difficult!

The Caveats:

  1. Music is subjective. There is a really good chance that your list would be completely different from mine. I did not use any criteria like record sales, listening stats, or anything that would require me to hire someone with a Master’s Degree in musicology.
  2. My criteria for the initial rating and re-rating was asking two simple questions:
    1. Do I want to listen to this album on repeat or just once and listen to a different album?
    2. Are the majority of the songs on the album listenable? The more I wanted to listen to an album on repeat and the more songs on it that were listenable, the higher the rating it got (weighted for singles and EP’s of course). Narrowing those down to just 40/30 was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be for sure.
  3. I am sure that I will get a lot of “But what about Band A and album B? How could you not list those?” See #1. Music is subjective to the listener.

There was a lot of amazing new music put out in 2017. Let’s hope 2018 is just as awesome!

2017 TOP 30 SYNTH-BASED ALBUMS (alphabetical order):

3FORCE — Resistance
3Teeth — _shutdown.exe_
AM Tierpark — Trashy Luxury
Angelspit — Black Dog Bite
Arian 1 — Signals
Blakk Glass — Trial EP
Christopher Anton — Connected
CRYSEHD — EP III
deZeption — Mature
Drab Majesty – The Demonstration
Elektrostaub — Birthday And Death
Funker Vogt — Code Of Conduct
Gary Numan — Savage: Songs From A Broken World
Grendel — Age Of The Disposable Body
Hexheart — Midnight On A Moonless Night
Lorelei Dreaming — Banshee
ManMindMachine — Point Of Departure EP
Missing in STARS — Echo Point
Night Drive — Night Drive
Priest — New Flesh
Reflection — Lumen EP
Schwarzschild — Radius
Stilz — Starcrash
T.O.Y — Pain Is Love
Telekon — Hope for Believers
Torul — Monday EP
Wiccid — By Design
William Control — Revelations: The White EP
Xenturion Prime — Humanity Plus
Zynic — Neon Oblivion

2017 SYNTH-BASED HONORABLE MENTIONS:

C-Lekktor — Out Of My Way
Crüxshadows, The — Astromythology
Dav Dralleon — Depths EP
Forces Of Light — Darklights
New Division, The — No Pride In Paradise EP
Orange Sector — Endzeit (Deluxe Edition)
Slave Republic — Songs For Sinners
Sonic Reunion — Turning Point
Vainerz — Patient
Watch Clark — First Week of Winter

Advertisements

Gun Negligence Laws Are Needed #NotTooSoon

NRA nutters telling us it’s too soon to talk about gun laws in 3… 2…

This is gonna be long and ranty and pissy… but I don’t care.

I’m a gun owner and I fully support laws that will actually help.

See here’s the thing. If you’re an NRA nutter and you use that bullshit line of, “Gosh another shooting, I guess those gun laws are helping,” then you’re 1) a fucking idiot who doesn’t understand how laws actually fucking work, and 2) you’re a brainwashed nutter and your opinion is no longer viable while the adults discuss what can actually be done. Go sit at the kid’s table.

No one in their right fucking mind thought that making laws against drunk driving would stop drunk drivers any more than they thought making laws against murder would stop murder.

So no one thinks making laws for guns will stop gun violence. No one. And if you think we do, see above about being a brainwashed gun nutter.

What drunk driving laws and murder laws and any other law do is put the power in the hands of society to provide consequences for people’s actions and to educate the public about the issue. In addition to drunk driving laws there was (and continues to be) a massive public education campaign to change the public’s views about drunk driving. Those who drove drunk and were arrested had their licenses taken away and their cars taken away. Sometimes they went to jail and if they managed to kill someone, society had the means now to lock them up for a long time with a special law that was now in place for their specific crime.

All we’re asking is for the same with guns. Leave your gun out and your kid found it and accidentally shot your neighbor’s kid? Well guess what pumpkin, you get to go to jail for felony gun neglect. We, as a society, have a law to hold you accountable for not being a “responsible gun owner.”

Cleaning your gun and shoot your wife? Well it’s no longer an “unfortunate accident,” now it’s a “felony gun negligence charge leading to manslaughter” and you’re going to prison. Oh, and you NEVER get to own a gun again for the rest of your life.

Get arrested for domestic violence? Well, now you’re a known violent dickhead, which means you NEVER get to own a gun again for the rest of your life. Oh, you had a gun after being told you can never have one again, well now you get to go to prison for a Class A Felony, just like someone who gets caught with a ton of heroine in their house.

Just like cars, you have to have gun insurance to pay for the damage your gun may do. And we start a public campaign, just like for drunk driving.

And you know what? That shit fucking worked. Drunk driving rates dropped after the laws and campaigns started. Did it stop it completely? Nope… because NO ONE ever thought it fucking would. Just like NO ONE thinks gun laws that hold people accountable will ever stop all gun violence. It’s about changing the culture surrounding guns over time: just like we did with drunk driving: just like we did with cigarettes: and just like we’re doing with domestic violence awareness.

It’s not an overnight solution, but it’s a proven method of changing minds and the culture that has led to so many “unfortunate accidents.”

Leave your gun out or let someone borrow it and they went on a killing spree? Well now you’re equally culpable and you’re going to jail as well. Maybe next time you’ll follow the Gun Negligence Laws that should be enacted right alongside laws around cars, insurance, drunk driving, murder, etc.

“But only bad guys will have guns blah blah blah blah you’re a fucking idiot.” I’m not talking about banning guns (reading comprehension folks). I’m talking about holding people accountable. We already have laws that say if you use a gun you get a worse charge: not just assault, but assault with a deadly weapon. Now we need to hold everyone accountable. And what do you have to worry about if you’re one of those “responsible gun owners?”

I’m just glad there was a “responsible gun owner” in the open carry state of Texas to stop that mass shooting earlier today. Oh wait… there wasn’t one. Because that shit is pure fucking myth. Because people with a gun in their purse or on their hip will run or get shot before they can pull their weapon. Because when someone does actually start returning fire as a “good guy with a gun,” the police won’t know the difference and will kill him.

This shit has to stop. We have to take steps and if you think now is not the time to talk about, but you think an hour after a terrorist attack is time to talk about that shit, then you’re just a hypocritical asshole and you should go sit at the kid’s table while the adults figure this shit out.

“Skyrim belongs to the Nords!” – Trump’s America

“I can’t believe we let Provincials like you wander around Skyrim.” – Trump Supporters

I’ve been playing Skyrim again lately. This time on the PS4. As I’ve been playing through again, it has struck me how many social issues are addressed in the game and how there are quite a few similarities between Skyrim and where the United States is right now.

The Empire is the United States government, full of rules, laws, regulations, accords, and treaties that not everyone agrees with. It has its flaws and it can’t please everyone all the time. Sometimes the rules, even if they came from a well-intended idea, just don’t work well, or violate the rights of citizens (can you say Patriot Act?).

skyrimlogonegativeThe Stormcloaks are Trump supporters. They have some valid grievances. They make a few decent points about how the Empire has left them behind, how the smaller cities face economic challenges that larger cities like Solitude don’t face: where “elites” have forgotten the farmers and miners, who have been hit the hardest by bad economic times.

While the inability to practice one’s Talos worship freely has been actually banned by the Empire thanks to the White-Gold Concordant (the Skyrim equivalent of the boogeyman UN for the New World Order conspiracy theorists), many Trump supporters feel like their religious beliefs are under attack by “liberal elites.” Of course here in America, that’s simply not true.

People think that the fact they cannot force their religious beliefs on others or use their religion to discriminate in the business world, that somehow their religious beliefs are under attack. The fact that you can’t force others to adhere to your beliefs, especially through law, doesn’t mean your religion is illegal or under attack: it means your religion is YOURS. YOU have a constitutional right to believe what you want, not make others adhere to your beliefs.

Opposed to abortion for religious reasons, then don’t get an abortion. Opposed to birth control for religious reasons, then don’t use birth control. Opposed to homosexuality because of religious reasons, then don’t put your lips around a penis. Your religious opposition is yours and yours alone, that’s your constitutional rights, but others have a constitutional right as well to not agree with your religious beliefs and to live their lives to their own accord. But I digress…

The valid concerns and points that the Stormcloaks have are diminished because of the other elements behind and intermingled within their movement.

First and foremost is the willingness to use violence to overthrow the tyranny of government. Never mind the fact that the government is not tyrannical (although now that Trump’s in office it might actually go that way – the irony of creating a tyranny while thinking you were getting rid of one). How many of your Trump supporting friends and family were ranting about overthrowing the government if “Killary” won? How many of them were buying more guns and ammo waiting for the revolution to start? How many are looking forward to the day they can exercise their Second Amendment rights to overthrow the government (without concern for the innocent lives that would be lost in such a battle), regardless of the fact that they clearly have no idea what “tyrannical” actually means.

The second is the underlying racism. When the Empire says “true sons and daughters” they mean anyone who lives in the Empire and supports it, regardless of their species or race or ethnicity. When the Stormcloaks say “true sons and daughters” they mean Nords: white people. They hate Provincials and outsiders. Do all Stormcloak supporters hate outsiders? Do all Stormcloaks despise every Argonian, Kajit, or Elf they meet? Of course not. However, they’re openly supporting a cause led by Ulfric, a man who does nothing to assist anyone who is not Nord. Ulfirc, who willingly allows Dark Elves to be treated badly and live in The Grey Quarter, a special part of his city (aka forced segregation). The Grey Quarter is pretty much synonymous with ghetto. This racism can even be heard by the guards. Empire guards will say, “Stay out of trouble Argonian,” while Stormcloak guards say, “Stay out of trouble lizard.” Empire guards refer to Kajit correctly and Stormcloak guards refer to Kajit as cats.

I feel for the Stormcloaks. I really do. They have some legitimate gripes and grievances. However, I cannot support their cause because of the blatant racism and racist undertones. I cannot support their cause because of their inability to understand the consequences of their actions and how it will affect their fellow countrymen and women. They want to burn the system down and replace it with what? In our modern real-life comparison, they elected someone who promised to “drain the swamp” and then immediately filled his surrounding space with insiders and lobbyists and his fellow billionaires. He made it swampier. He then selected white nationalists, concreting what those of us not in denial already knew: he is a racist.

Now the Stormcloaks are in charge in America. The racist element is running around engaging in hate crimes across the country: going after the easy to identify targets first: Argonian, Kajit, Dark Elf, etc. How long before they start going after the Provincials, who aren’t as easily identified by their skin color (or scales)?

Independence Day: Resurgence (Quick Review, No Spoilers)

id4-gallery2Independence Day: Resurgence
Quick Review (No Spoilers)

So we finally got to see ID4R. Before I start a non-spoiler quick review, let me say that regardless of the review, it was well worth seeing in the theater.

That being said…

The attempt at the campy style of the first movie was mildly successful. I laughed a few times, giggled a few times, and grimaced at the awful attempt a few times as well.

Bringing so many of the original characters back reminded me of Bruce Willis in Die Hard 2 (one too many) saying, “How can the same shit happen to the same guy twice?” Throw in the mediocre acting in some scenes and the good acting in others, and it was hard to make the connection to the characters that we had with them in the first movie.

There’s also a very strange appearance by someone who was killed in ID4. All that I’ll say in order to not give anything away is that his miraculous recovery is never explained. But I’m also being an overly critical nitpicker with this one if I’m being fair. After all, it is FICTION.

The movie is CGI heavy. Sometimes that could be a bad thing, but the CGI makes this movie and honestly saves it: this is why it is worth seeing on the big screen, even with all its faults (and good stuff too).

id4-gallery4Suzie made a comment just a few minutes in, “So this is going to be Top Gun in space?”

She wasn’t that far off the mark. As President Whitmore puts on his flight suit again, I kept waiting for his daughter (Patricia, remember her from ID4?) to say, “Negative Ghostrider, the pattern is full.”

David Levinson in ID4 used a line from Jurassic Park, and it could have been his “I’ll be back” moment in ID4R, but I guess they thought it was too campy? Which is weird since they went “too campy” a few times. I hope in the BluRay they add, “Must go faster. Must go faster! Must go faster! Go, go, go, go!” while David’s driving the bus.

At the end of the movie I wanted to shout, “I could’ve been at a barbecue! But I ain’t mad.

All that said, seriously, go see it on the big screen. Your TV won’t do it justice (yes, even your 66” TV, you technologically spoiled brat).

Grammar Nazis Are Annoying

Grammar Nazis our knot just annoyin’, they fail too understand the evolution of language & that understanding a idea is Moore important then how u espress it. Grammer Notsees postin’ how their rite inn 5… 4… 3… 2…

Grammar Nazis really only have a point when it comes to professional writing. Most of us understand that you have to write professionally on your resume, English paper, and your college thesis. WE FUCKING GET IT! But you’re Grammar-Naziing the fuck out of people on social media and you look like a pretentious horse’s ass.

GrammarNaziSee, you can’t translate written text the same way you would translate verbal text. Sure, in written form, that lack of comma looks funny and I’m eating a dog instead of the dog and I eating together. But when I say that sentence to you and you don’t see the written text: guess what. IT MOTHERFUCKING WORKS JUST MOTHERFUCKING FINE! Why? Because it’s the idea – not the presentation – that matters in communications.

The important point of language is not grammar, but communicating ideas, and if those ideas are communicated properly and understanding is there, then that’s all that matters. Language evolves and Grammar Nazis just don’t seem to get that. They want the rules that were in place yesterday to be in place today, tomorrow, and beyond. It’s a failure to understand language evolution. If language didn’t evolve and Grammar Nazis always had their way, we’d all still be speaking Neanderthal or even worse, Shakespearean English!

What really makes me giggle is that Grammar Nazis don’t seem to understand context. They’re either too ignorant to understand it or they’re too literal to understand it. Either one is a bad place to be: be that in text or spoken language. How do they deal with dyslexia or learning disorders? I’ve seen Grammar Nazis hound someone with a learning disorder because to them the proper grammar and spelling were more important than the fact that someone with a learning disorder was effectively communicating in written form. And what’s the fucking point? So you can prove your intellectual superiority over someone? So you can make yourself feel like you have balls online? So you can make others feel little because Johnny Football picked on you in high school?

Or is it just that you have nothing to contribute to the conversation at all, so you’ll point out the lack of a comma or give someone shit for “their” instead of “they’re?”

I appreciate grammar and spelling and go out of my way to make sure I’m doing it right. I’m just not an asshole who corrects people when they don’t need correcting.

Stephen Fry nails it: