My Top “Stuff” for 2012


Don’t deny it, you were waiting for a post of this design. The thrill of knowing just what Jack… okay, I can’t continue the thread of that thought with a serious face. ;-) But what I can do is share with you my top “stuff” for 2012. This can cover music, movies, books, moments… whatever I consider “stuff”.

And so, without further fanfare, let’s to the stuff!

Albums

Some of these are new to 2012 and some are just new to me.

1. Rush “Clockwork Angels”

Without a doubt, the best new album of the year for me. This one had everything for both Rush fans and fans of music in general. In fact, this recording had some of Rush’s finest music in decades.

2. In this Moment “Blood”

Good God can Maria Brink sing or what? This was, simply put, their best album yet. There is so much wonderful in this recording, I wouldn’t know where to begin.

3. Coheed and Cambria “Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV”

I’m just now discovering what might well now be one of my favorite bands. This recording is simply amazing. From the insanely anthemic (sorry, I like making up words) “Welcome Home”, to the tragically beautiful “Always & Never”, this recording is simply stunning.

Movies

As you might expect, this one is tough for me. But I’ll try.

1. Sinister

I know, I know — not everyone felt as strongly about this one as I; but there was something about this movie that really struck me. Maybe it was that it centered around a writer diving deep into a dark subject? Who knows what lie in the heart… regardless — loved it.

2. The Perfect Host

This was one of those Netflix gems my wife had me watch — and boy am I glad she did. David Hyde Pierce was amazing. A must see.

3. The Cabin In The Woods

This simply was one of the best films I’d seen in a long, long time. Regardless of genre! For a horror fan, this film had everything — in a seven layer pain dip of fun!

TV

What ‘Top” list wouldn’t be complete without a bit of mind-numbing television? Here’s my take on the best TV for 2012.

1. Elementary

I know everyone is obsessed with the BBC take on this tried and true character (Sherlock), but for my money, Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu have the better show. Why I like Elementary better than Sherlock is that, with Miller, we can see the clockwork ticking within — the cogs of though spin fast and furious. It’s a fascinating ride to watch play out.

2. New Girl

Zooey Decshanel and Co. continued to lay down some serious laughter in a way most other shows can’t touch. Quirky and smart in the same breath? Yes, I’ll take two.

3. American Horror Story

I didn’t think it possible to top last seasons creep fest, but the good people of AHS have certainly done just that — and then some. To top off the horror goodness, they added a dash of Nazi Germany (which makes everything and anything all the creepier!)

Books

It’s so hard to write about my top books. Why? Because I have so many friends who are authors and I don’t want any one thinking “Oh man! Jack must hate me. Why does Jack hate me so much?” Okay, seriously… my top books for 2012 look like:

1. Year of the Black Rainbow (by Claudio Sanchez and Peter David)

This book is a collaboration between Coheed & Cambria frontman Sanchez and long-time Star Trek writer Peter David. If you’re a sci-fi fan, it’s a must read.

2. This Brilliant Darkness (by Red Tash)

If you’re looking for a quirky genre-bending mashup of sci-fi and horror — this is your cuppa.

3. Mr. B. Gone (by Clive Barker)

I came into this one a bit late. Although it’s not your typical horror book, it is your typical Clive Barker — which means it’s a must read. ;-)

Moments

I had so many wonderful moments in 2012. I’ll try to narrow them down to my top three.

1. Every moment I’ve had with my wife.

No, not every moment was perfect, but even that bad moments were made wonderful because they were spent with her. I know, it’s a wheel full of cheese, but that’s how I roll.

2. Finishing Hell’s Muse

Of all the books I’ve¬†written, I believe I am most proud of this one. As I drew near to completion, I realized that the book could fit in perfectly with another planning novel — The Nails of Calvary. ¬†Hence a series was born!

3. Winning the 12 Hours of Capital View race

Partnered up with my wife, we managed to pull off not only winning one of the most grueling race I’ve ever competed in, but had the added joy of finishing it with my soul mate!

4. Connecting with super fans and bands

I’m adding a fourth here…why? Because I can. It was a huge moment of pride to connect with fans like Jaki Marler, Yeidy Cacho, Jeremy Hunt, and many others. I also must include the connections made to bands like Unsun, Trendemic, The Die Nasties, The Art of Dying, and more. Some of these connections are deeper than others, but the end result was an expanded horizon and some well-made friendships.

2012 was one of the best years I’ve had in a long time… for so many reasons. And I am certain 2013 will be even better. What do you think? What were your “tops of 2012″? Care and dare to share?

And for those of you who want to see what Coheed & Cambria are all about, here they are performing their amazing anthem, Welcome Home, along with the USC Marching band.