My Most Played: 2019

I don’t use Spotify that often, so I can’t get my stats from them. But I know who I obsessed over the most this year and I just felt like sharing.

(Note: This list is not strictly limited to bands that released new music in 2019, it is simply comprised of who I had on repeat over the last twelve months.)

1. Alter Bridge

I know, I know. Duh, right? When do I not have AB on repeat? They are my favorite band, after all.

Alter Bridge released Walk the Sky in October and made me fall in love all over again. I also saw them for the sixth time this year and met lead guitarist Mark Tremonti for the fifth time. There is nothing better than a talented band who are also humble and kind.

2. Rammstein

I promise, I’m not late to the party. I have been listening to Rammstein for years. However, for some reason, they skyrocketed to the top of my list in 2019. Perhaps it was due to my absolute adoration of “Puppe,” from their untitled May release. Whatever the cause, I now have a legit Rammstein collection and have spent too much time and money on them. Ha!

3. Sköld

I didn’t discover Tim Sköld as a solo artist until 2017, but he has been a major music crush ever since. When he released Never Is Now back in April, I preordered it without question. I love every track.

2019 brought me the opportunity to see — and meet! — Tim. It was a great experience, made even better by the fact that his touring keyboardist was Nero Bellum (of Psyclon Nine fame). I have been a fan of Nero’s even longer than Tim, so meeting him was truly the cherry on top of an amazing day.

4. Echo Black

It all started with Instagram. I did a tiny little blurb about this band back in…2017?…and added them to my playlists and a wishlist of those I’d love to see in concert. Coincidentally, they were opening for Sköld on his Never Is Now tour.

I wrote an entire post about them after the show. You can read it here. The short version is this: they were great live, their music kicks ass, and the band members are absolute dolls.

5. Emigrate

Okay. I’ll admit, I didn’t know Rammstein’s lead guitarist — Richard Kruspe — had another band until last year. My enjoyment of them reached full-blown obsession in 2019. They are just so unbelievably good! Honestly, I think I like them more than Rammstein…

6. Lindemann

Another Rammstein side project, this time from Till Lindemann. I once described Lindemann’s first album as “Till being Till, just in English,” and I stand by it. A friend of mine told me that their 2019 release, F & M, is basically Rammstein lite (as the album is entirely in German).

Whatever comparisons I or others have made, I still love Lindemann.

7. Skynd

One of my newer discoveries, Skynd has an interesting approach to writing songs: they focus entirely on stories of true crime. I was hooked from the instant I heard their first single, “Gary Heidnik,” and the tracks “Jim Jones” and “Katherine Knight” have put Skynd on my Favorites list. Even my mom enjoys them.

8. Optic Oppression

I discovered Optic Oppression thanks to the Sköld tour, and now I can’t go a day without listening to them. They just released a new record, Halfway to Hell, and it is fire!

For a more detailed reaction to Optic, read the Bands You Should Know I wrote about them.

9. Third Realm

I have been a fan of Third Realm for several years, starting back when I was in college. I simply stumbled across them on YouTube one day.

Recently, The Art of Despair came out and I bought it for myself for Christmas. There’s not a single song I need to skip while listening to it, though my favorites are the title track, “Garden of Lust,” and “Medusa.”

10. Asking Alexandria

I hated AA the first time I saw them in 2011. I thought they were just…terrible. Then I heard the self-titled album and saw them touring for it, and I am now a certified fan.

They seem to be trying a new direction (again), based on this year’s single “The Violence,” and I’m 100% behind that. I want band’s to explore their creativity rather than sticking to the same mundane sound, so I applaud Asking Alexandria for trying to grow.

And that’s it. These are the ten bands/artists who got me through 2019. I am looking forward to what they will do in the future, and I hope to discover new music to get excited about in 2020.

Happy New Year!

Too Busy For Blogging

I keep trying to get back into a regular posting schedule, but life has been determined to intervene. After my grandmother passed in October, my best friend’s mother-in-law died. I was there for her and her husband, and to be honest I was emotionally drained. My dad noticed and planned a spur-of-the-moment trip to the beach.

I can’t tell y’all how much I needed the three days of sun, sand, and sea. Despite the fact that it was November, the weather was gorgeous. I was able to wade in the water and bask in the sun (with a lightweight jacket on). I even got a touch of sunburn.

Since then, it’s just been…change. I’m searching for a new job and trying to get things ready for Christmas. Last week, I took a day trip to Cathedral Caverns with my parents, which was nice.

2019 has had its ups and downs. I won’t say the year has been bad, necessarily, but I am hoping 2020 is better. And it will certainly start that way — I’m going to see Alter Bridge again in February.

Anyway, for those who care, I wanted to give an update. I also wanted to let y’all know there will be some end-of-year posts, I’m just not sure I can keep up with the Playlist Challenge or a weekly featured band right now.

Here are more pictures from the beach and the expedition in Cathedral Caverns! I hope this blog finds you all well.

Gulf Shores

Cathedral Caverns

This is Goliath, one of the largest stalagmites in the world, 45 feet tall and 243 feet in circumference.

“The Improbable”: a 27-feet high stalagmite, growing on a 3-inch base and at a 45 degree angle to the stone below it.

Halloween 2019 [Photos]

I just wanted to share some pictures from our Halloween get-together ❤

I was Harley Quinn. Overdone, I know, but I already had the costume and I was lazy this year. Ha! My best friend did my makeup.

The bestie and her son/my nephew, Alex. He was Sub-Zero.

Tiff’s husband, aka my “husband-in-law”

Tiff’s daughter/my niece, Ivy. She was a dead kitty.

Top 5: Songs About Vampires

Happy Halloween!!!!

Have you ever stopped to think about how many artists have written about vampires over the years? I’m sure there’s a case to be made for other supernatural creatures, but vampires are my favorite, so I’m gonna feature them.

Note: This list is in no particular order and doesn’t even begin to skim the surface of its subject matter.

1. Die Krupps: “The Vampire Strikes Back”

Fun fact – This track was listed as a Rammstein song entitled “Vampire” years ago, and many people still believe it’s them.

2. Type O Negative: “Suspended In Dusk”

3. Atreyu: “The Crimson”

How could I not include Atreyu? They did an entire album centered around vampires!

4. David Draiman: “Forsaken”

This may be my favorite on the list. David Draiman’s voice is so ridiculously sexy, and he fits the whole eerie vampy vibe very well.

5. Blutengel: “Vampire”

Top 5: Wednesday 13 Videos

Wednesday 13 and horror go hand in hand. From his days with Maniac Spider Trash, all the way to 2019 and his current band, Wednesday’s subject matter — both lyrically and visually — is always an ode to the macabre.

For this list, I am going to stick to videos from his later days as front man of the band bearing his stage name. Choosing only five was difficult, but here are my picks.

1. “I Walked With a Zombie”

2. “Blood Sick”

3. “Condolences”

4. “What the Night Brings”

5. “Bad Things”

Though it is not a horror-themed video, I had to include this one. I love this song, and I love videos that show live footage and behind-the-scenes clips.

Top 5: Music Videos Based on Horror Films

It’s October, which means spooky season, my favorite time of the year! I would have done a lot of horror/Halloween-themed posts if everything hadn’t been so hectic. But alas, that’s life.

With that being said, there are still seven days left until the month’s end, so I have time to get some of my Spooktober ideas uploaded.

My first special post for October is a Top Five list featuring music videos based on horror movies! Over the years, several artists have paid homage to their favorite scary film. The trend is most prevalent in the rock and metal genres, which is appropriate, don’t you think?

And here we go! (These are in no particular order.)

1. “The Kill” – Thirty Seconds to Mars // Based on Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining

2. “Beim Ersten Mal Tut’s Immer Weh” – Oomph! // Based on the psychological thriller Hard Candy, directed by David Slade and starring Ellen Page

3. “Engel” – Rammstein // Based on the snake dance scene in From Dusk Till Dawn

4. “Living Dead Girl” – Rob Zombie // Based on the 1920 silent horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, with a nod to White Zombie as well

5. “Hell in the Hallways” – Ice Nine Kills // Based on the film adaptation of Stephen King’s Carrie