Friday 30 December 2011

The Top 50 Albums Of 2011, Reinterpreted As Short Stories (Part 3)

Click here for Part 2

Top Albums Of 2011 - 30. EMA - Past Life Martyred Saints

EMA - Past Life Martyred Saints

16 April
Alternative Singer/Songwriter

Cutting his feet on jagged floors, Jimmy stumbled around the abandoned concrete building. A few hours earlier, this place had hosted an over-populated drug-fueled party, now the only evidence of which were the piles of broken glass, rancid puke, and a few other tired individuals sitting around with no where else to go. Jimmy had been trying to find the origins of some dramatic sound, which was like a wounded moan distracting him from finishing whatever it was he was trying to finish. Turning corner after corner, his hazy vision eventually lead him into a room not so far away, where a pretty yet dirty pale-girl sat on the floor uncomfortably. She was beyond gorgeous, but obviously very destroyed; a mess who no longer gave a fuck about anything. And Jimmy found this as shocking as it was adorable.

“Are you ok?” he asked, at loss for a better question to get her attention. She didn’t bother to look up at him, but her shaky voice growled nonsense in response, distorted with genuine attitude, and this action provoked all sorts of lo-fi thoughts in Jimmy’s basic mind. He couldn’t help but feel something deep and loving towards this raw character, and even though he had no idea why, he knew that he had to help the girl. He had to take her home. He had to take care of her.

Jimmy rubbed his forehead, not sure why he was thinking these illogical thoughts. Surely this would be impossible. Surely a girl like this would never let a guy like him close to her. But he felt he had to try, and approached her cautiously, as she slowly looked up at him with her big blue eyes.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 29. REKS - Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme

REKS - Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme

8 March
East Coast Hip Hop

And not long after that, Jimmy found himself looking at his wristwatch and then quickly slipping it back under his sleeve. It was getting late, and the East Coast ghetto was no place to bling. He was a little bit lost in these parts, he may have made a wrong turn somewhere, as foreign crack eyes from the world’s lost gangsters now trailed his every move. But Jimmy was smart in the most streetwise of ways, and his ambition alone carried him where he needed to go. He kept eye contact with each one of the dark expressions staring at him, producing his own darkest expression right back, bouncing his head with a straight face ... otherwise he knew he wouldn’t survive this path. Occasionally someone called out to him, and he spoke back fast without walking too fast, confident with a fluid sharpness, aware that this was no joke and he couldn’t afford any hiccups. This place was old school. It kept itself so underground that wikipedia couldn't even find it, and he knew the mission ahead would be long and the struggle would be hard. But he had to remember why he was doing this. He was doing this for Erika. They needed the money.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 28. Anna Calvi - Anna Calvi

Anna Calvi - Anna Calvi

17 Jan
Gothic Rock/Art Pop

Santa isn’t coming to town this year, sorry to be the first to tell you. A reliable source informed me that he was captured during the first full moon after The Portal had opened, and he was being held captive deep within a dark church, surrounded by slick religious architecture and Gothic hallways.

Word has it that he is being treated well enough, kept secure on smooth marble surfaces and warm within sinister layers of comfort. But his cold aching center was all he needed to remind himself that the love he was receiving was just another disguise for evil motives, despite all the swirling erotic vibes he was presented with. I’ve heard of this happening before. Rumours that lullabies echo through the walls are a common tale, consisting of superb operatic compositions and soft whispers, designed to trick you into falling asleep. But when you do, your slumber would be laced in reverb and eternally tortured in epic nightmare territory. Poor Santa. And even more disturbing is the organized chaos of the demons said to be living right there with him. Creatures of sin rolling towards him on stone floors, or soaring above his head with menacing mannerisms—yet never striking. They taunt him. They just leave him hanging in fear.

This is all in theory, of course, as none of this has been widely reported. But there is something stunning about this image, do you not agree? A part of me almost hopes it to be true. The part I enjoy the most. The part I am deeply ashamed of.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 27. Frank Ocean - Nostalgia, Ultra.

Frank Ocean - Nostalgia, Ultra.

16 Feb
Contemporary R&B

The door creaked open and Erika awoke to the sound. A shadow formed at the doorway and entered, keys rustled and then the door shut behind him. He walked to the foot of the bed, turned around and then fell backwards into it, sighing as the rusty springs squeaked their age.

“Hey you,” she whispered in perfect English (a skill she had only recently acquired), and she rubbed her sleepy eyes.
“Hey you, yourself,” Jimmy smiled, and leaned across to kiss her forehead.
“Where were you?” she asked as he clicked his cassette player on, The Eagles quietly filling the atmosphere.
He sighed again. “I was with the gang. You know that, baby. I was with The Family.”
She rolled over and lifted her head. “I don’t like your family.”
He paused. “Me neither, Erika. Me neither.”

They lay there for a few moments not speaking, allowing the mixtape to fill the silence. Then she put her arm around his chest and kissed his ear.
“Tell me the story again.”
He laughed. “Again? Baby, I’m tired...”
“Please?!” she begged. “Tell it to me again, I wanna hear it”
He turned onto his side and looked into her eyes. “Well... if this next deal goes through as planned, we will have some good money for our savings. And if we do this carefully, we could get outta this town in the next month or so. We could go live with my parents by their forest...”
“And then?” she urged the story on faster, causing him to laugh again.
“And then ... you could start selling your pottery, and get into dancing. And I could try get back into the music business. We would kick the junk for good over there, no more gangs. Just you and me, getting clean and forgetting all of this shit.”

As he spoke, his fingers tickled her leg and she smiled, allowing them to crawl further and further up her nightgown until reaching her panties, and promptly moving them aside. She groaned as he continued to whisper in her ear.
“And then we will be millionaires, baby. You and me. Anything you want, you can have it. Everybody in the world will treat me like a king, and you, my queen.”
She groaned louder, and then stopped. Worriedly, she turned and looked at him, changing the subject.
“Jimmy, did you get the stuff?”
“Yeah I got it,” he replied, and she relaxed with this information, allowing his fingers to dig deeper into her until she came. She could only cum when it was time for her next fix.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 26. Washed Out - Within and Without

Washed Out - Within and Without

12 July

Unbelievably so, the “next deal” went through without a hitch. And after shooting his boss in the head and claiming all the money for himself, Jimmy took Erika and they skipped town, escaping to live with his parents in a relatively unknown yet extremely scenic place in the countryside. He felt he had out-smarted the system, as if all the world’s clichés didn’t apply to him—and to a degree, he was right. His life of crime had been an empty existence, reverberating only what authority figures had told him to do, over-saturating his opinions with second-hand diluted visions of others. Now they lived the healthy lifestyle, no longer hooked on heroin, giving Jimmy a great excuse to stay in doors and play on his laptop all day. And Erika was finally able to live a life closer to her wilderness origins, often begging Jimmy to explore the surrounding forests with her.

And that’s how Jimmy found himself now, standing on top of a high rock cliff, looking down. Erika floated effortlessly in the water below him, quietly encouraging him to jump in after her. Heights freaked him out, and he was visibly nervous. His shakes looked like he was dancing in slow motion in front of the heavens, which made Erika laugh as she did backstroke, never breaking eye-contact. Jimmy took a deep breath and looked up to the dusk sky in all its perfection, and felt his mood shifting one way to the next. How he had come so far: from days as a care-free teen; to a mastermind of criminal activity; to this blissful existence out in nature without a single problem in the world ... was all because of Erika. He loved her so much, and was convinced that if he did whatever she wanted him to do, to the very best of his ability, their relationship would guide them the right way. And in this moment, she wanted him to jump into the water from this nauseating height. She wanted him to follow her. And he wanted to follow her anywhere.

A nostalgic type of bliss ran through him, followed by a calming serenity deep within. And without a further thought, he felt his feet leave the rocks and he sailed into the air, the space and wind rushing through him as time seemed to hold onto this moment forever. Silence was everywhere and he almost felt like he was falling asleep, until the rush of water smothered him, and for a second he assumed he must be drowning. He sank further into this state until arms that weren’t his wrapped around his waist and pulled him to the surface again, water in his ears muffling the sound of Erika’s joy. “You did it!” she exclaimed and they embraced, suspended in the still water around them and the safety of each other.

“No, Erika. We did it,” he responded, and they hugged even tighter in the deep cradle of love and sense of achievement, not letting go for as long as they needed. Which wasn’t long, as something shiny caught Erika’s eye on the river bank not so far away, interrupting the passion.
“Hey, what’s that?” she asked out loud, and began to swim towards it, followed once again by Jimmy, blown away by her profound maturity laced with an adorable childlike personality.

God, he loved her. And at this point of the story, he could never have imagined the dark fate that lay ahead of them.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 25. Astronautalis - This Is Our Science

Astronautalis - This Is Our Science

13 Sep
Abstract Hip-Hop

King Jay grabbed his candle and joined the various other people who sat in a circle on the dusty floor. Their faces spanned all races and ages, and he could tell by their weary expressions that had taken them a few days to climb up this mountain too. Who knew why they made up their minds to come to this cave, but for Jay it was because he had no choice. He had lost his kingdom and had heard of many others who’d carried out this journey in deep distraught, never to come back. To a degree this worried the King, but he hoped this was a sign that those before him had found what they were looking for here. And now more than ever, he needed advice from the man who was said to live in these elevated peaks. The man who knew everything.

Murmurs faded in and out as everyone waited in patience, candles flickering in unison, interesting sounds echoing from the depths of the cave, until finally a dark shrouded figure appeared from the furthest corner of the shelter. One by one, each person was silenced as the man approached the circle, eventually taking a seat in the middle of them, all eyes on him. Jay couldn’t see his face, but as soon as the speech began, he knew that this individual was what everyone said he would be.

At first Jay wasn’t sure what to make of all of this—the wise gruff voice preaching many things and not allowing for any interruptions or questions. But it didn’t take long before the King realised that there were some very unique and deliberate ideas coming from this elder’s mouth, the wise words delivered quickly with the freshest of parable-like structures to back them up, each one different from the one before. There were topics of love, topics of everyday troubles, and topics Jay had never even heard of but would definitely never forget. He spoke of The Prophecy, the fall of the kingdom at the hand of The Devil, and the cycle of time. He spoke of how there will always be a partnership of love destined to die unfulfilled, and how nothing could interfere with this eternal pattern. And in a short time, the King understood that this wise man was answering his questions without having to be asked, the philosopher’s mind working on a deeper level of intelligence than anyone else he had ever come into contact with.

Slowly, all the seated members were getting hypnotised by these tales, sometimes presented as tender and understanding, sometimes presented as aggressive and blunt, but all of which felt like the nature of life itself: unpredictable and always special. And yet even within all his quirkiness and wisdom, the old man's poetic teachings never escaped a hint of sadness beneath it all, as if he wasn’t pleased with the job he had to fulfil. Jay guessed this is why he was so easy to relate to. This is how he got such a loyal fan base to hang onto his every word like some cult leader. He had taken his superiority and superhuman traits, and adapted them into a more human form. And Jay (like everyone else) appreciated the warmth and honesty of these thoughts, deciding that while he was here, he may as well stay a little while.

And like so many before, the longer he stayed there, the faster he started to forget where he had been only days before. His men had been slaughtered. His kingdom had been reduced to rubble. And Kylie. He had even started to forget Kylie.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 24. When Saints Go Machine - Konkylie

When Saints Go Machine - Konkylie

06 June
Indie Electronic

In the castle garden, Kylie spun around, dancing in the unseasonal snow, taking in all the feelings from the green plants temporarily turning white, stunned with cold. She shuddered as the freeze sunk deep inside of her, reminding her of her mortality. She had never journeyed this distance into the garden before, as her father—The King—didn’t like her to adventure too far away from her home. Which wasn’t hard to enforce, as the castle walls were high and Kylie had never even seen the outside world. Which didn’t bother her much, as she didn’t know any better.

Her feet left tiny footprints behind her as she ventured further into the darker regions of her father's land. Here her gaze fell upon a small apple tree and she felt drawn to it. In her limited perception, she couldn’t understand why this particular tree seemed so special and bright, but for the rest of us it would have been fairly obvious that this was the only plant on all the grounds that no snow seemed to fall upon. She danced towards it, and felt its warmth as she approached the twisted branches. The apples shone ripe red, and as she touched one, her pale skin instantly turned from cold to hot as if hovering above the kitchen fire. This fascinated her, and she picked it off of the tree, surprised to find it retained the heat as she cradled it in her thin fingers. She placed it against her rosy cheeks and her whole face felt love from this fruit. Without any more hesitation, she bit into the apple and chewed vigorously as the hot juices swirled around in her mouth. It was delicious. She savoured the taste and then swallowed it, ready for the next bite, which never came.

As the blood rushed out of her head at the same time as the apple rushed down her throat, she felt her wind-pipe closing up like it had been cut out with scissors, and her tongue swelled up like a sponge. The world went dizzy and she fell back into the snow, slowly freezing in a position that she would stay in forever, unless this curse could be broken.

An eerie cackle rang from the tree as the witch who had been watching Kylie her whole life finally spoke.
“My master, it has been done. Only the true chosen one could break a spell this strong. The kingdom is now weak and ready for you, King West. Attack now and claim the throne which is rightfully yours.”

And with a sneaky pact with Satan, he did just that.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 23. Modeselektor - Monkeytown

Modeselektor - Monkeytown

30 Sep

The tails of the whip flew through the air and cracked on her pale skin. She yelped in pain which caused the monkeys to scream with laughter, the sound of their cheers building up in unison. And even though this was the hundredth time they had done this, the joke never seemed to get old.

It had been four days since the mission of these animals had invaded and taken over the village, creeping in while the tribe had been sleeping then slitting all of their throats one by one. Well, all of them except for this pale-skin girl of course, who for some reason fascinated the monkeys. It wasn’t just her white complexion either, even though admittedly, it did shine a delicious red from their hand-prints when faced with the abuse. No, it was something else. She just seemed ... on a different level of sorts, as if a child born from a different time. This encouraged them to dance around her in an almost admiration, howling in what appeared to be a musical way, but subtly manipulated to reflect their madness. “Again! Again!” they seemed to chant, and the leading monkey raised his whip to strike again.

“I wouldn’t do that if I was you,” an electronic voice pierced the monkey’s ears, and they all turned in surprise to see who had joined the party. There stood a robot in all its cubic goodness, unnecessary lights beeping in complete control and assurance of itself. The being was nothing like this jungle had ever seen before, and the monkeys stopped in complete intrigue. Even the pale-skin teenager forgot about her nudity and current painful position, now captivated by this strange character. They held their breath, their eyes almost begging for the synthetic voice to speak again. But it didn’t.

Instead, a mass load of light shone out of its eyes, blinding with so many various colours, filling the entire village in seconds. The sight was so peculiar and different that the monkeys were beyond confusion, unsure whether or not they enjoyed the spectacle. But within just a few short moments, it didn’t matter any more. The light began to die down, contracting back into the robot’s face, until only the disrupted noise of the forest remained. The pale-skin girl opened her eyes, and they refused to comprehend what they was seeing, blinking furiously just to make sure. All the monkeys had disappeared. Where they had gone, she had no idea, but the relief of the situation was too unbelievable to believe, her good fortune refusing to kick in.

“BRAVO! BRAVO!” a crazy voice came from behind her.
“Yes, good show, Robot,” another very different voice responded. "You are definitely one of us."
The pale-skin girl felt the ropes ease off her skin and then drop to the floor, her tired legs so weak that she tumbled onto the ground after them.
“You will come with us to New York, Robot. Together we will make decisions that change history,” the girl heard the second voice speak again, as arms wrapped around her and lifted her to her feet.
“And you too, my darling, will be coming with us.”

Top Albums Of 2011 - 22. Cults - Cults

Cults - Cults

07 June
Indie Pop

On their boat surrounded by late 60’s decor, Erika sat on her cheap couch, clutching her phone watching cute children’s anime on the television. It wasn’t helping. She needed to get hold of Jimmy to tell him the news, but the natural love-endorphins shooting through her heartbeats conflicted with a soft scent of nostalgia, confusing her shallow feelings even more. She longed for his kisses and slow dances more than ever, but she knew he was busy fighting evil in the Ocean War under his superhero disguise once again. The idea of this swamped her with as much adoration as it did with despise, the neglect of being a superhero’s girlfriend weighing heavy on her day to day existence. She couldn’t help but dial his number again.

It rang to voicemail, as it did before, and she decided to leave another message. “Hey. It’s me again. Just ... just wanting to let you know that I love you and ... and, well, I have something to tell you. It’s just, please get back to me as soon as you can, okay? And be careful out there, sweetheart.” The phone beeped its pretty chime as she hung up, and then she cursed her lack of courage. It would have been so much better to treat this like a band-aid, to get it out as quickly as possible, but she couldn’t bring her tiny voice to do so. How her life had got to this point she had no idea, but when the little baby punches vibrated against her ribcage, she filled with a nervous adrenaline and wasn’t sure just how Jimmy would react when he found out she was pregnant with his baby. And, of course, it didn’t take long for Erika to find out that this baby had superpowers of its own...

Top Albums Of 2011 - 21. Black Keys - El Camino

Black Keys - El Camino

06 Dec
Garage Rock

Fast forward a few years later, and things couldn’t be happier for the family. Erika watched from the kitchen window, casually sipping at a mojito, while Jimmy played in the yard with Gillian, their daughter. He was so good with her, Erika thought. A great father—as if the child was scratching an itch he never knew he had. And due to Jimmy’s recent success in the Ocean War, money was never going to be an issue for them ever again, allowing them to live out in the countryside, away from the press and nosey fans. But best of all (as far as Erika was concerned) was Jimmy’s ample focus on the family. He seemed to urgently spend as much time with them as he could, his days of super-heroism waning, this frictionless lifestyle of purity his only priority. Well, that and fixing up old cars, which was something Gillian helped him with greatly. For their daughter, like her father, had been blessed with a special ability, being that of superhuman smell. To some this may seem like a bland power—nothing in comparison to her dad’s reputation at least. But for Jimmy it was exceptionally useful, as she sniffed out any car-parts he needed, or discovered the leaking of fumes before they even happened. And while they worked, they spoke of grand road-trips into the sunset. And when they took breaks, they would play their signature games of hopscotch or frequently jump on the trampoline for hours. Which is what Gillian was doing right now, as her father watched her go higher and higher, the both of them occasionally waving to their mommy who would calmly wave back with a warm smile.

Just then the phone rang, and Erika walked away from this gorgeous sight to answer it, completely unaware that the conversation waiting on the other side would change her life forever.
“Hello, Erika speaking?” she offered her canned line, effortlessly and automatic.
“Erika," a sultry female voice on the other end responded. "You don’t know who I am, but in a few moments, you will never forget the words I am about to say to you.”
“Who is this?” Erika inquired.
“My name is Lucy. And a few years ago, I fucked your lover Jimmy in the bathroom of a frat party.”
Erika felt her grip tighten on the phone, her knuckles fading whiter than her usual pale skin tone, eventually settling on a shade of blue.
“You’re going to have to prove a claim as extraordinary as that, bitch,” Erika hissed, which was met with a calm and sexy laugh.
“Oh, I will prove this to you in the next 30 seconds,” and she proceeded to do just that. All the raw details of her seduction with specific words used in such a natural order that the authenticity of her story was impossible to doubt. And as it began to sink in, Erika dropped the phone and walked into the master bedroom, locking the door behind her.

And neither Jimmy nor Gillian knew that they would never see her alive again.

Click Here For Part 4

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Thursday 22 December 2011

The Top 50 Albums Of 2011, Reinterpreted As Short Stories (Part 2)

Click here for Part 1

Top Albums Of 2011 - 40. Snowman - ∆bsence

Snowman - ∆bsence

22 April
Experimental Rock

That night Gillian’s vivid dreams came to surface once again. Visions of her parents abandoning her in ways she would never understand gave her sleep the shudders, and she eventually awoke covered in cold sweat, warm urine and breaths of panic. She lay there for a few moments, and concluded she would not be getting anymore sleep that night, especially in her own wet stink. Instead, Gillian decided now would be a good time to take a walk around this unfamiliar building, inspecting it without any supervision for a change. She was still relatively new to this orphanage, and the threats of the Devil punishing this type of behaviour did not scare her—why would it? She was of a young mind and the concept of a heaven and a hell were far from important to her.

Hence why we see her now, creeping down the endless corridors of texture, exploring her new home excitedly as any young child would. Every step echoed in the darkness and brought as much fear as it did anticipation. Noises of the sleeping came from each room she passed, and she had fun guessing what each sound might be. Is that someone snoring, or a monster in the dark? Was that her footstep or someone else's? She loved it as much as she couldn’t stand it.

Her imagination immediately stopped running away with her once she found herself in front of a large door with a crucifix nailed to the front, the figure of Jesus looking deep into her eyes as if urging her not to go any further. Behind this door came a noise she couldn’t place anywhere in her memory, perhaps resembling the coughing of a sick baby or the growling of a wolf—neither of which seemed quite right to her. Curiosity was her greatest weakness, so she lightly pressed her ear against the thick wood in an attempt to hear better, almost screaming when the door creaked open at her touch. A yellow light poured out and a small warmth hit her face. It was so inviting despite the overbearing rotten smell and evil atmosphere which seemed to come with it. She couldn’t help herself, and her little eyes peered around the corner at their own will, finding themselves gazing at a man with his back turned, fiddling with something which she couldn’t quite see. The scene had a very mysterious and unsettling aura about it which made her want to scream again, but she cupped her hand over her mouth and continued to observe this man from a distance. “What is he doing?” her thoughts begged. She had to know.

Her bare feet arched onto their toes as she quietly stepped into the large room. She noticed right away that this was a small cathedral of sorts, as she had seen pictures of them in those Catholic books, the stunning decoration sticking to her mind. And whatever this man was doing, he was doing it at the altar, the so-called holiest part of the room. Slowly she approached him, desperate to know what he was so intently focused on, the intrigue too overwhelmingly strong to ignore despite her instincts to throw up right there. Closer and closer to the man her quiet feet lead her, the need to run taking great effort to hold back, but the yearning to view this hunchback’s activity without entering his peripheral vision overrode all of her intuition. She held her breath to keep silent, gradually approaching the movement, ignoring the smell which grew thicker with each step. This man’s frantic mumbling and the panting of some other creature drowned out her footsteps until she was only a few feet away, and there she paused. She could see it now. The man’s hands worked with pliers, painstakingly pulling apart at a cage which contained a little horned animal unlike anything she had seen before. It was the size of a large rat yet looked more like a varnished cow or a deer, with mouths within its mouth, and tongues flapping over rows of teeth fixed into a smile. Its eyes were deep green holes in the side of its head and it ran around in miniature circles within its cage, visibly excited and hyperactive over the prospect of being freed.

“What’s that!?” her voice coughed out of her control, and the man spun around to face her. His attire was that of a priest except his head was bloodied, covered in bandages, and his pliers were pointed straight at her throat.
“Gillian. You made it,” he spluttered. And then she screamed for real.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 39. Frank Turner - England Keep My Bones

Frank Turner - England Keep My Bones

06 June

“I took a bullet right here,” General Turner boasted whilst lifting his up shirt, revealing a circular scar, faded, but definitely the reminder of some deep wound. “Bastard shot me from a tree. Didn’t even see it coming.”
“So what happened?” one of the younger listeners asked curiously.
“I shot him in the face!” Turner laughed, and the lads responded with respectful cheers, raising their pints and smashing them together, quickly followed by man-sized gulps.

Frank Turner loved telling his war stories to these teenage boys. He felt like an advanced historian, offering them insights within the reality of battle which no book could accurately convey in quite the same realistic way. He had been there, and he was proud of it, the wars had made a man of him even in his retirement. Further more, the crew of boys who frequented his same local pub always concentrated on his wisdom with adoration. They too had a passion for their country, and General Turner’s older words were much like Shakespeare to them; as patriotic as they were poetic, and always captivating. There was a special intelligence and sincere charm about his way of talking, even the most gruesome of his stories executed in a manner of optimism and dedication to his heritage. Which is why they were all here on yet another weekday afternoon, listening.

“Ah, England. I love this country. I’d die for it with admiration,” he sighed nostalgically, looking into his glass.
“God bless England, sir!” another boy chirped up, and then coward back into his chair. He had felt Turner’s demeanour shift frigidly at his words, his mannerisms becoming uncharacteristically defensive.
“God? Let me tell you something about God, my boy!” sudden aggression tainted his usual smooth voice. “There is no fucking God on the war-plains, you hear me? There is no fucking God out there!” General Turner had begun to shout, and upon realising this, leaned back in his seat to recompose himself. He hardly ever swore, so when he did, it was with such furious impact that the boys knew not to speak again until spoke to. They sat there in silence, sipping their beers, the acoustic melodies from the jukebox the only audible sound.

“Mr Turner, sir?” a female voice called, and the General looked behind him to see the pretty bar lady calling his name. “There is a phone call for you.”
“For me?” he asked confused, and then stood up slowly as his old legs had seen far too many steps in their time. He made his way over to the phone placed precariously on the edge of the bar, and picked it up.
“Frank Turner here,” he answered.
“It’s time, General,” was the response.
“Time for what? Who is this?”
“It’s D. It’s time for the portal. We are going to open it now, The President has given the order. I figured you would like to be here, seeing as you were the first leading figure of the mission, General...”
“The Portal??” Turner’s voice rose, and bar lady glanced at him from the corner of her eye. “How is that possible? We never even managed to work out that damn code...”
“We got the code, General. Some Priest named Giles in New York gave it to us, and it seems to be legit. So what you say, Frank? You wanna finish this off once and for all?”
Turner took a deep breath. He looked down at his hands, trembling and frail. He looked over to the lads, and they raised their glasses back. He looked outside, the beauty of the place he lived filling him with an internal peace. Then he turned back to the phone.

“Don’t you ever call me again, you understand?” he whispered. Then he calmly hung up and turned back to the boys, ready to continue with more of his story-telling.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 38. Tennis - Cape Dory

Tennis - Cape Dory

18 Jan
Twee Pop

After a long afternoon of roller-skating in what felt like a mid-1970’s summer breeze, no amount of candyfloss or soda pop could shelter our young couple from the hot LA sun anymore. It had been a long day, and the two spoke and laughed as they walked home to their quaint boat-house. Here, they sipped on simple cocktails with all their deliciousness and admired the soft sunset in its Prozac innocence. With their arms around each other and over-joyed by their love, they blissfully smiled, enjoying the moment in full knowledge that the day would soon be over. There, she leaned into him and said “Honey, I think we are luckiest boy and girl in the world.”

Top Albums Of 2011 - 37. Oh Land - Oh Land

Oh Land - Oh Land

15 March

James woke up with a jump and glanced at his alarm clock. Three in the morning. He fell back into his pillow and covered his face with his hands. This was the third time this had happened to him in the last week, and while it was impossible to remember exactly what was going on or just how it made him feel, the resonance was one of either the sweetest nightmare or the darkest dream he’d ever had. His mind clawed at the reoccurring images, and as with each time this had happened, those images had become clearer and clearer, albeit still somewhat sugar coated.

Once asleep, it was almost as if everything had been carefully woven together by a mature and well traveled figure, seemingly wearing James’ heart on his sleeve, playing with the strings at his will. Perhaps this act was with love, perhaps it was with evil—but regardless, it was definitely unintentional. For this figure seemed to hardly take any notice of James’ presence in his own dreams, instead taking old memories and manipulating them, perfectly stitching them together, merging good and bad thoughts like colourful paint, now turning grey and messy in parts. Even now as James lay in his bed, he found it hard to recall which of his memories were real and which ones were not. Did he truly lose his family? Was he really once a hero to many? These ambiguous and surreal versions of his experiences confused him, but only on the surface. On a deeper wiser level, however, it seemed to make more sense than anything that may have actually happened. Which naturally confused him even further, if that makes any sense.

No, it doesn’t really. This was just his mind was going in circles, and he was unable to stop thinking about this madness—nor did he really want to. With tired eyes and a stupor smile, he got out of bed and turned his lights on, reaching for a drink. He wouldn’t be sleeping anymore tonight.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 36. The Roots - undun

The Roots - undun

06 Dec
East Coast Hip Hip

Jimmy had officially become a high-roller since the ups and down of High School. Money was finally flowing in more steadily and he could even afford to move Erika and himself into a larger apartment, eating more than just tinned food and water. Erika was getting much better as well, or at least that’s what Jimmy kept telling himself. Her native tongue had almost begun to clumsily form English words, and her previous timid movements had become a little more seamless and natural. Sure, she was still very emotional, spending most nights crying, missing her family, confused by the large city which ate souls and ran on crime ... but Jimmy could see an intelligence dying to get out from behind her beautiful blue eyes. He spent every second with her that he could—which wasn’t much while he was busy selling crack to the desperate streets just to reach ends meet. Yes, it wasn’t ideal, he was aware of that. But when he first met Erika as a stranger at that troubled party, he knew that the fun and safety of a normal life had to be forgotten. And when he carried her to his home that day, he had made a promise to protect and take care of this girl no matter what it took. And in these parts, sometimes all it took was a life of crime.

Fortunately, crime does pay, and he found it almost too easy to get involved with the gang he now called his family. He started from the bottom, riding a rusted car through the bleakest parts of his ghetto, looking for potential customers and ensuring orders were met. But he was focused. He worked hard and struggled through, which eventually paid off with a promotion from the boss, who (despite his cutthroat policies) was quite an inspirational character. And just like that, no longer was Jimmy the runner-boy, forcing the teenagers to pay their debt and dealing with the influx of counterfeit money. Now he had a team working under him—he was a middle man of sorts—with added power and less risk of getting caught. This extra responsibility meant longer hours, sure, but also meant more time to relax and reflect on the inner turmoil that was his home life, allowing himself to make elaborate plans so that one day he and Erika would get out of this godforsaken town once and for all.

Because in her own quiet way, she loved him. Jimmy knew this. Neither of them quite understood why—they could hardly even communicate and had absolutely nothing in common—but it just felt right. Almost as if their meet was written in the stars, vibrating to some ancient prophecy decided many centuries ago.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 35. Foster The People - Torches

Foster The People - Torches

24 May
Indie Pop

And then in a sudden flashback, Jimmy had been thrown into a High School musical again. It was the hottest of summers and the kids skateboarded past him, giving high fives and sneaking loose cigarettes behind the teachers’ backs. He remembered this time clearly now. He was one of the popular kids, dating a cheerleading chick, wearing the latest fashion, and more than anything, well aware that today was Friday, baby. His friends surround him, laughing and singing vocal melodies of such a high quality that it felt like they were directing all their words solely to him. This filled Jimmy with so much joy that he couldn’t help himself, and got up onto the cafeteria table, dancing to the sound of his peers’ claps and cheers. The gay kids were making out in the corner but nobody gave them any trouble. The teachers were begging everyone to go back to class, but nobody could hear them. This was their movie.

Certainly, as with any script in this genre, there were some holes in the plot and the whole performance sagged a bit in the middle—as it was to be expected. But when the end of day bell rang, the unmatchable care-free feeling of youth returned to these kids with a vengeance. Yup, it’s back to all smiles and beautiful faces, jumping into their cars with the tops down, full of vibe and completely aware that they were having more fun than they could ever have on purpose. They were now liberated, and for the rest of the weekend it was about short skirts and beer in plastic cups, making-out and prematurely falling in love. Sure it was superficial, but it’s all Jimmy had back then, and what’s wrong with superficial anyhow? This was the happiest he had been, or would be, for years.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 34. The Dø - Both Ways Open Jaws

The Dø - Both Ways Open Jaws

14 Nov
Indie Pop

Lead by his courageous heart alone, the Prince had effortlessly chopped through his enemies’ faces with nothing more than a smile and his golden sword. The attack on this kingdom had been easy and painless, because King Jay had let his guard down, preoccupied with other matters. This ensured a swift take over for King West, the Prince’s father, who had done so with the aid of an evil pact written by the Devil himself. But these politics were of little interest to the Prince, as his ventured up staircase after staircase, knocking over piles of scrap metal which clattered and echoed in the hallways.

“What are you doing here, mister?” a tiny voice sounded behind him, and he swung around, surprised to find that the tip of his sword was pointing directly at the face of a little deer.
“What in the gods’ names are you?” The Prince responded to the question with a question.
“I’m a deer!” the deer stated the obvious. “I am here to help you. Please accept my services?”
The Prince laughed at this strange creature, as if today hadn’t been weird enough already. “You wouldn’t understand, deer. I have a destiny to fulfill.”
“What is it?” The eager deer pried, and the Prince laughed, deciding there would be no harm in humouring this cute animal.
“Whispers on the wind have it that there is curse placed on the Princess who lives here," the Prince explained. "A curse that can only be lifted by a kiss from the authentic chosen one.”
“This is true,” the deer responded with confidence. “But what has this got to do with you?”
“Are you a fool, deer?” The Prince asked frustratedly. “I am the chosen one! I received a message in the form of a dream, a few moons ago. A man told me that I must seek out the Princess and kiss her, and by the hands of fate, that is why I am here. Do you understand?”
The deer barked in joy and excitedly jumped in a circle. “The chosen one! Well, why didn’t you say so? I will guide you to her!”
“You know where she is?” the Prince doubted his luck. “Are you sure?”
“Yes! Follow me!” the deer sang, and then skipped through a side-door, almost falling down a winding set of stairs with the Prince following close behind.

This continued for a while, the deer running in seemingly random directions and the Prince losing his breath only a few feet behind. And just when he began to lose confidence in this absurd chase, the deer stopped in front of a small wooden door. “She’s in here!” the creature exclaimed and then jumped in a quick circle again. “Go on! Go kiss her, chosen one!”

Suspiciously, the Prince gently pushed on the door, which opened quite easily and revealed a quaint white room, filled with assorted crafts and arty pottery. And sure enough, lying on a large bed in the middle of this quarter was the Princess, still stiff from the freeze-spell and as pale as the snow which had begun to fall outside. Yet she was still strikingly beautiful. The Prince cleared his throat and slid his sword back into its sheath. This was the moment he had been waiting for. He walked towards her, passing a mirror and quickly fixing his hair and licking his chapped lips into a presentable state. When the Princess awoke, he wanted to look his best, and then they could leave this wretched place together on his horse, never having to face the battle of their ancestors ever again. They would treasure each other and live happily ever after.

He sat down next to her and stroked her cold hair, excited that his destiny was finally upon his fingertips. He had wasted enough time. He bent down and his flustered red lips met her blue-tinged mouth, their temperatures so vastly different that they almost stuck together, giving the Prince such a fright that he quickly pulled away.

Curiously, he watched the Princess’ face, waiting for any movement or a sign that the action had worked. Had he kissed her for long enough? Did he need to kiss her again? Was he even the chosen one?? These thoughts of doubt flooded into his mind for a few moments, and then he got his answer. The Princess’ eyelids began to flutter which filled his stomach with such comfort and adoration, an egotistical peace in the knowledge that his dreams were right. He was the chosen one.

Unfortunately this relief was short lived. Only seconds later, the Prince felt all of his breath sucked abruptly out of his mouth as if punched in the abdomen. He tried to scream but no sound came, and he looked at his hands which had become an autumn brown. “What is happening?” he thought in panic, as his skin began to crawl and turn into dust, slowly falling from his muscles and evaporating into thin air. He was disappearing. And by the time the Princess was fully awake and her eyes had opened, the Prince was completely gone.

Just then a magical beaver jumped onto the stone windowsill, and addressed the room. “I guess The Prince didn’t hear about that part of the curse, hey?” he giggled, causing the deer to burst into a fit of laughter.
The Princess never got the joke, and was raped and murdered later that day.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 33. Adele - 21

Adele - 21

24 Jan
Pop Soul

It'd been some time since Erika had left Jimmy (or Buck Jacobs, as he liked to be known as by this point) and something was wrong. At first she felt so sure and strong about her decision, but not long afterwards she fell ill, and was now consumed by a deep sickness. As anybody could guess, the emotional weight of the break-up was a huge factor in her deteriorating health, but it went even deeper than that. Her actual body was rejecting the absence of this man—and she was dying. Her eyes had turned yellow for some reason, and since this morning her intestines had begun spawning armies of tumours, some of which rose slowly up her throat until she was coughing blood. She was tearing apart inside.

In that moment, she knew that she had to escape everything, forever. And she did so in the only way she had always known how. She opened her mouth and began to scream. She screamed and screamed until her spirit leaked out of her oesophagus and then her body began to disappear. Her raspy voice far beyond her years needed no outside trickery, instead holding her deep soul together by its power alone. Her physical self consistently evaporated into nothing but sweet hooks of sound, and eventually her entire existence had morphed into one solid melody, packaged and ready for mass consumption.

And boy, did she get mass consumed. Little pieces of her soul were sold around the world—12 million pieces, in fact. Her face was instantly embedded into the minds of the entire world, and yet no one knew who she was, let alone how such a hurt melody could exist. But everyone loved it, and as a result, her sound topped every chart and broke all records, quickly becoming the most popular product on the planet. They all begged to meet her. They all yearned to hear her opinions on everything. They all cried for another melody. They all just wanted to see her.

What they didn’t know is that they would never see Erika again. She was gone forever, transformed from human into the very items they kept in their living-rooms. And it was only a matter of time before they all found out.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 32. Chelsea Wolfe - Apokalypsis

Chelsea Wolfe - Apokalypsis

23 Aug
Etheral Wave

After what feels like days, you awake in a graveyard, tied up by your hands and confused as to how you got there. A dark and eerie atmosphere of weirdness fills your lungs, and in that moment you know you are in trouble. Mist surrounds everything and your vision begins to play tricks on itself. Cloaked figures with glowing white eyes appear to surround you, and the longer you stare at them, the more they start to take shape. “Who are these creatures?” you wonder out loud to yourself, but it doesn't matter. Because despite their creepy Gothic exterior, you know none of this is just for show. You are not here just for the sake of it. These things mean serious business, and as it should, it scares you.

You concentrate even harder, and slowly start to notice that they are chanting, a sort of low mumbling in unison, but escalating louder and louder the more you focus on it. And then without warning, one of them appears close behind you, and a nauseating tingle crawls all over your body. She introduces herself as Satan, and then runs her witchy nails down the center of your neck. You quiver at the touch, and then squeal in sharp pain as her fingers pierce through your skin, plunging deep into your back. She begins to rub a chalk like substance between the vertebra of your spine and you howl like a wolf. You beg her to stop until your throat cracks, the pain roaring into your mind as you struggle, attempting to escape in vain and in complete incomprehension of how something so unsettling is happening to you. More people should definitely know about this kind of practice.

And as the chalk sinks in, the sins of the world pour into you like the lava from hell itself. The overwhelming strangeness you felt only seconds ago, now replaced with some form of respect for these beings. You start to enjoy the moment, finding an almost catchy trait within their chants and attire, suddenly feeling proud to be part of this truly rare and unforgettable experience. As soon as this realisation hits you, everything stops, leaving you surprised and gasping for air in the silence. The girl pauses for a second, and then pulls her hand out of your back, leaning forward as she does so, whispering.

“You’re one of us now. You’re one of us now. You’re one of us now...”

Top Albums Of 2011 - 31. Dumbo Gets Mad - Elephants at the Door

Dumbo Gets Mad - Elephants at the Door

02 Feb
Psychedelic Pop

They said the sailing ship was unsinkable, they did. For starters, its solid structure was built out of the most indestructible wood on record, created out of dragon trees (or so they said). But it was the hard-wired state-of-the-art equipment that people found the most impressive, ensuring that this was not only a fast and safe ride, but also a strong enough vessel to carry an elephant. However, all the bleeping noises, psychedelic lights and other fancy trickery wasn’t really what sold the thing to Raymond, Plumy and all of their children. No, what they loved above all else was that they had never experienced such a smooth ride on a boat before. In fact, this was the first time in all of their sailing adventures that the kids had slept so soundly in their soft beds, giving Raymond and Plumy time to do the things they enjoyed the most. Things like watching trippy 70’s porno flicks, listening to percussion-heavy jazz music, or even practicing the theremin. This was the good life for them, out in the nature of the ocean, and far away from where anyone could reach them.

That was until the night they got hit by a giant whale-like creature, which not only knocked a gaping hole in the wood but also created a massive whirlpool beneath them. They spun around and around in a cartoonesque manner until they all felt dizzy and sick like they had eaten too much sugar. The boat got torn to pieces from underneath their feet and they fell into the swirling water. The suction got bigger and bigger, louder and louder, softly burying their vocals and beginning to drown them in the most original of ways.

They nearly died, and would have too if Buck Jacobs hadn’t heard the commotion from a few miles away, already busy saving lives from similar accidents. And before they knew it; Raymond, Plumy and all their kids had been swooped up by Buck’s powerful arms and were soaring through the air, headed towards the safety of land. They were one of the lucky ones who escaped that night, as the Ocean War swallowed many other less-fortunate individuals who were just too far out of reach. This beautiful tragedy most definitely happened, and yet hardly anyone ever hears about it, hence why I felt the need to tell you. Thanks for listening.

Click Here For Part 3

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Monday 19 December 2011

The Top 50 Albums Of 2011, Reinterpreted As Short Stories (Part 1)

Top Albums Of 2011 - 50. Nicolas Jaar - Space Is Only Noise

Nicolas Jaar - Space Is Only Noise

14 Feb

In the beginning, and in the end, it was (and is) as we can observe it right now. Boundless space surrounds all things, silent and vacant, yet pedantically organised by a presence who is difficult to accurately describe. No scripture can confirm the origins or even the existence of The Creator, but urban legions are many. Some say he missed his cosmic train back to where he came from, and was now cursed to float in the open plan of the Universe’s atmosphere, surrounded by nothing yet writhing in claustrophobia, and creating you and me out of boredom, waiting for the next train to arrive. Others say that he is here by choice, intrigued by all things which co-exist and conflict within himself, finding a distraction in creating situations and those who experience them, like many of whom we shall meet in this story.

But general agreement which runs effortlessly through those who believe, is that The Creator hears all things. All the voices of those who speak, and even the voices of those who do not. Much like an impatient radio fanatic, he gathers valuable information interrupted by overwhelming bouts of static, which seem to give The Creator a balance of the right noise—the noise that introduces a silence which drowns out the pollution and chaos of his mind. And the deeper The Creator listens (and the more his wise ear opens), the more his honest mumblings become educated and forgetful of themselves. This very act of relief allows matter to writhe and manifest at his command, physical ideas born within the sparseness of what was there before. I guess it could be argued that this story is a result of God fixing himself—space is only noise that we can see, after all, and things were definitely changing. The weather, for example. For you must understand, time was catching up on itself, the full circle it was designed to repeat fulfilling the same emptiness once again despite all restraints. The inevitability of the prophecy had come into age once again, as The Creator had witnessed an infinite amount of times before.

Our tale begins here, and if you find yourself confused, do not worry. The jumbled nature of things will make more sense to a chosen few as it goes on, and the rest of you should just play along anyway. But keep in mind that concentration will be rewarded, for these seemingly random stories mimic the pitter-patter of the stars, forging patterns to the trained eye and becoming apparent to those who have the attention span for it. And it starts with this: a war which was lost by those who should have won, and won by those who should have lost, just as it was in the beginning and as it will be in the end...

Top Albums Of 2011 - 49. Graveyard - Hisingen Blues

Graveyard - Hisingen Blues

24 March
Hard Rock

The crashing of swords and the collision of chainmail had been the only consistent sound for many moons now. Dust rose from the ground like smoke, the dryness of the horse’s hooves and the boots of man now threatened by the rolling thunder approaching the kingdom. The weather was changing, the castle was falling, and the attack on King Jay could not have come at a worse time. A recent curse on his only daughter had left him weak, and the news must have spread to his enemies who had torn onto his land only days later, lead by a horse with wings made of fire. The whole world seemed to be consumed by screams that roared at heights indistinguishable from man or woman or beast. The undeniable presence of Lucifer hung so thick in the air, that one could almost taste its foulness—the unmistakable scent of pure evil dancing on their pallets. The stones were cracking. The enemy had crossed the moat and some were even climbing the walls like insect-demons, reaching the windows that hid mothers hanging desperately onto their children, crying in deep prayer. All the while, The King watched in fear from his secluded peephole, his men’s organs ripped crudely out from their rough wounds in front of his eyes, blood spilling onto the trampled fields they once called home.

“The cries of war always seem worse at dusk,” King Jay’s advisor and last remaining companion observed quietly, and The King agreed.
“There are darker forces at work here, my friend,” The King responded. “The way they pummel us with such a precise formula is not of this world. My eyes are tired, but I swear to the gods I saw men rising from the dead. These ... things. They don’t even look human to me.” He paused and rubbed his aching head.
“My men, on the other hand, are true fighters,” he continued, still watching his once strong kingdom crumble beneath his feet. “So valiant. Fighting with such passion. It’s a peculiar feeling, is it not? Such high energy and patriotism mixed with the sour of a losing battle. I know that it’s only a matter of time before I die, I make no light of this fate. But when I die, I will die with pride and admiration for my men.”
Tears swelled over his cheeks and the air of defeat began to choke him, as his advisor placed a loving hand on the king's shoulder. “I think it’s time you leave, My Lord. You must save yourself.”
“And go where?”
“Up the mountain. Take the secret passage out the left wing, and run. You must go and speak to the Wise One, my King. He will know what to do.”
King Jay considered this, and then sighed. “I can’t. I can’t leave my people.”
“Then you will die, my Lord. You will die here, and you will die very soon.”
A clatter of metal echoed not far from where they stood, and The King knew his advisor was right.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 48. Septic Flesh - The Great Mass

Septic Flesh - The Great Mass

18 April
Symphonic Death Metal

The portal shot flares of purple from its core, pieces of fire as hot as Satan wrapping around many of the soldiers’ faces, tearing their features off, scorching out their brains. Giles had dived behind the closest desk the moment he'd heard the portal open, and there he sat shaking as glass shattered above his head and the shrieks of terror rang out like a harmony of pain. A few hours earlier he had regained control of his thoughts and begged for them not to do it, warning they had no idea where the portal would lead to or what would be there. But the government had grown impatient and decided to do exactly what the government does: Send the army in. Turn the machine on.

And here they were, literally seconds later, screams of panic and the roaring of unearthly creatures blaring into his ears, gunshots like war-drums fired in vain as the chorus of evil cut through the air like some sick symphony. Giles felt his stomach turn in on itself and then he puked through his bandaged head. Partially it was the stench of death around him, but more than anything it was all his years of devotion to his religion, now destroyed in the middle of some unholy battle which was all his fault. Blood splattered on the wall opposite him and he puked again. The lights exploded from the ceiling and darkness was filling the room. He sat in terror, knees to his chest, praying to the Savior that whatever was in the here didn’t find him.

It didn’t take long before the screams of dying soldiers and the cracking of gunfire became less and less frequent, until there seemed to be nothing left at all. Silence consumed the air and was as deafening as the noises that took place only moments ago. Giles could hear the hum of the portal, as well as the scuffling of something else. There was an occasional growl followed by another growl, all completely inhuman. In Giles’ logic, he concluded that whatever was there, it had the ability to communicate on some level, and there was definitely more than one of them. He contemplated taking a look, just a small peek over the desk, so that if he ever got out of here alive, all his sinning would amount to something valuable. Perhaps he could pass on to others the dangers and evil that had taken place on this day. And perhaps then he would be forgiven for his wrong-doing.

The unfortunate thing is, Giles never got out of there alive.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 47. Cage The Elephant - Thank You, Happy Birthday

Cage The Elephant - Thank You, Happy Birthday

11 Jan
Alternative Rock

“DAAAAAD!” the sound pierced through James’ groggy hangover and his bed rocked like a rickety boat on an unstable sea made from the alcohol of the night before. His eyes cracked open and the sharp sunlight tore into his jagged mind. There bounced Gillian, his five year old daughter above his head, full of raucous energy and far too much excitement. “WAKE UP DAAAAAD! DAAAADDDYYY!! I WANNA GO OUTSIIIIDE!!!” she wailed. He groaned and his throat cracked, the crusted cigarettes of recent hours now having their revenge.

“No, not now, Honey. Daddy isn’t feeling very well,” he slurred as he closed his eyes again. This was a mistake, and as a result was greeted by a high-pitched shrill miles above the levels before. “NO DADDYYYY!!! NOOOOW!!! I WANT TO GO OUTSIDE NOOWWW!!! I WANT TO HAVE FUN DAAADYYYY!!!!” she jumped up and down again, loosing her footing in the process and then tumbling directly onto his chest, causing him to let out an “ooomph” which tasted like puke. A streak of red violence splattered across his vision and he bit his tongue from letting every colourful word he knew from pouring out.

“Ok! Ok! Stop it Darling! I’m getting up, alright? See? I’m awake.” James rolled onto his side and then sat up. He didn’t want to loathe the childish brat, but he did.
“You stink Daddy,” was all the girl could say in response, and he bit his tongue again as he reached for the bottle of rum he had strategically placed beside his bed last night. He took a swig and thanked his past self for having enough smarts to leave this lifesaver drink for his current self. Even if he remembered none of it.

But he remembered many other things. The loss of his wife. What he once was. And looking into Gillian’s face just reminded him of all the pain his life had become.

He couldn’t do this any more. He had to get rid of her.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 46. The Psychic Paramount - II

The Psychic Paramount - II

22 Feb
Noise Rock

Something had gone wrong with the spaceship and it now spun in repetition, trapped within the earth’s orbit, static filling the monitors and a fuzzy frequency filling the alien’s ears. They screamed as the noise continued to grow like shots to their heads, completely aware that the longer they spun here suspended in space, the sooner they would be discovered by those on Earth.

The invasion had gone wrong. Something had intervened. One moment they were flying towards the planet, the next they hit this raucous turbulence which completely took control of their vehicle and exploded their engines, rendering them nothing more than puppets to this planet’s gravity field. Their vision blurred as they rotated around and around in their seat, their craft hurtling in this moment through space. And while the racket was deafening, they only had to look at each other to know what they were thinking.

Perhaps the prophecy was true. Perhaps they could not meddle with the gods.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 45. Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee, Pt 2

Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee, Pt 2

03 May
East Coast Hip Hop

Lyndal couldn’t take her eyes off them—nobody could. With her cider in hand, she gazed across the dance floor at the creatures unlike any creatures she had ever seen before. The first could only be described as a two-headed monster, this conjoined being with a body only slightly larger than your average man. But placed on the shoulders were two very different faces, and she couldn’t tell which one fascinated her the most. The one on the left, for example, had a cartoonesque look about him, with buck teeth and a huge smile, nodding to the Hip-Hop beats, wide eyes frantically trying to look at everyone. On the other hand, the one on the right was the king of cool, wearing a top hat with a large cigar protruding from his lips, seemingly uninterested in anything. And yet possibly the most out of place figure of the three was the mechanical being standing next to them, looking much like a 1980’s Sci-Fi interpretation of a robot: box like in shape, lots of little lights instead of features, omitting a weird frequency with beeps and blips which synced with the party’s music. Lyndal knew that if she didn’t speak to these characters she would surely regret it, so she gulped her drink down, sucked up her courage and walked towards them.

The smiley cartoon face was the first to notice her approaching, and he smiled even wider, as he let off a high pitched “HELLO DARLING!” and then out of overwhelmed excitement, turned his drink upside down onto the floor. This definitely caught her off-guard, but she felt it was far too late to turn around now. She had mentally committed to this and refused to let herself down, so she kept walking apprehensively into talking distance and then introduced herself. “Hello, my name is Lyndal,” she stuck out her right hand, and almost instantly the creature raised its left hand, awkwardly grabbing hers and then shaking it enthusiastically.

“WE’RE THE BEASTIE BOYS!!” the smiley face said eagerly, and began to laugh hysterically. In response, the robot flashed two bright torch like lights out of its eyes for a few seconds, hitting Lyndal right in her face which caused her to blink.
“WE ARE RATHER PLEASED TO MEET YOU!” the smiley face continued, shouting at her rather than to her, and then proceeded to lick the brick wall next to him.
“Ignore those two,” the cool face finally spoke up, bellowing cigar smoke out of his mouth. “You seem like a smart girl, Lyndal. Did you know that Lyndal means ‘from the valley of the Linden Tree?’”
She blushed. This head’s sexual charm flooded out of him just like the cigar smoke, and she tingled to his deep voice. “Um, yes I did know that actually!” she laughed.
“I like your bracelet too, is that a Tadlock?” he pointed at the thin jewelry around her wrist, which was the furthest thing from her thoughts right now. “My friend owns many shares in that company. Trust me that no matter what you are paying, you are paying too much.”
Lyndal felt her temperature rising, but she didn’t have time to respond, as the cool head seemed adamant on continuing his lighthearted banter. “Would you like to dance?”

Without waiting for an answer, the robot flared up and music blasted from its sides louder than the party's own tunes. Lights of all chaotic colours exploded out of its every hole which stopped everyone else in their tracks. The two-headed creature then proceeded to dance like it was made out of jelly, the two heads moving closer and further apart from each other as if they weren’t attached at all. Their legs worked like tentacles; wrapping around themselves, then the furniture, then the bar. Its entire body moved at great speeds and with a solid pace, almost going around the entire dance floor in seconds before ending up right in front of Lyndal again.

“Would you like to come back to my place and have sex?” the charming head asked her without missing a beat or having lost any breath. Lyndal felt the blood run out of her head and straight into her genitals, which buzzed at the thought. “Yes. Yes I would.” she answered without hesitation. And so they linked arms, and left the stunned party behind them.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 44. Giles Corey - Giles Corey

Giles Corey - Giles Corey

30 April

Gillian ran through the corridors, panicking as her hands scraped the brick walls which drew blood from underneath her nails. She hadn’t lived in this orphanage for very long, but the cold architecture (which was home to many of society’s rejects) would give any establishment that distinct aura of fear from time to time. But this was the first occasion since her arrival that Gillian felt trapped. She had got lost so quickly within a mess that wouldn’t make sense to anybody, least of all her, and that’s even if making sense mattered in a moment like this. No, what mattered was that she just kept on running. The endless space ahead of her grew further away, and the faster she ran, the slower she became. But she kept on running.

The noise behind her grew louder, echoing in the chamber-like infrastructure, limp feet scraping closer and closer to her which made her feel ill. She was losing her breath every step of the way and began to sob which only slowed her down further. Why was the bandaged priest after her? What was that creature he was holding? These thoughts created a deep depression in her mind, followed by a sharp shock as brittle hands gripped her on the shoulders, weighing her down. She screamed as her vision turned grey and she fell to the ground, smashing her face onto the freezing tiles, her whole body numbing as her cries became an uncomfortable silence. Only cold wind remained as the bandaged priest stood above her and heard The Hunter speak to him once again.

“We have the girl. We need to get the father. Then the Master will be very pleased.”
“What do you want me to do now?” Giles mumbled in question to the voice in his head.
“Now? Now we fetch my friends,” The Hunter smiled within Giles’ brain, and he understood, throwing Gilian’s body over his shoulder and then shuffling back to the altar.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 43. Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx - We’re New Here

Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx - We’re New Here

21 Feb
Future Garage

His last pill had begun to take effect and Jimmy felt warmth run into his fingers in direct correlation to his jaw tightening. His eyes kept closing by themselves and each breath caused beads of sweat to build up on his forehead, his veins swelling in reaction to the brightness of the lights. The dance floor seemed to slow down and he wasn’t sure sure of his rhythm any more; the music remixing his thoughts; ideas becoming reborn. It didn’t matter, the feelings overwhelmed him and in that moment, everything he was and everything he knew escaped importance. The minimal beats began to consume him once again and he swayed on his feet. Worried he might fall over, he stumbled off the dance-floor, searching for water but unable to find any, slurring his words so badly that he couldn’t even ask anyone for help—which didn’t worry him as much as it should have. Instead, he found a thin dirty mattress in the corner of a dark room and embraced it, resting his head on its bug infested material while the beats vibrated beneath him in beautiful suffering.

Moments later, within what might have been a dream or a drug induced hallucination, Jimmy found himself sitting in a warm cave as part of a circle made of people, surrounding an old bearded man. This man pulsated with an aura of wisdom, his deep mumbling voice tired after decades of speaking words of brilliance—unhappy about the society he had tried to run away from his whole life, and how he eventually escaped to this mountain top. There they all sat, while the sun shone through cracks in the rocks and birds made noises during flight just outside of their conversation. The old man spoke slowly, telling tales about The Devil which lived in New York city, the concrete itself falling victim to corruption and evil. He said the weather would be the first to go sour, eventually leading to a portal of Hell spewing itself onto Earth, causing a great war in which one of them would play a role. This confused Jimmy greatly.

“So what do we do?” he caught himself interrupting the wise man, immediately feeling foolish that he had spoken back to such an advanced soul.
“I do not know, Jimmy,” the man called him by name in a raspy voice. He reached over and touched the boy’s hand with his grey fingers, leaning all of his weight into that act of contact. “I am not on your side, nor am I on The Devil’s side. I am a messenger, sent to fulfill The Prophecy. But what I do know is you must help the girl, Jimmy. You must help the girl, and then you must die. As I am dead now, you must die very soon.”

That’s the last thing Jimmy heard before waking up, quite sometime later.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 42. The Joy Formidable - The Big Roar

The Joy Formidable - The Big Roar

24 Jan
Indie Rock/Shoegaze

An explosion resonated in our protagonist’s eardrums leaving a trail of ringing in his head. The carnivorous gunfire raged out into the night despite the down-pour, and he gasped for air, choking as he did so. His trench was filling up with rain and he lay with his back against the muddy bank, gun pointing up towards the stars. He had been here for days in this same spot, his platoon unable to move forward or retreat backwards, fighting a war that they didn’t understand.

He had seen things no man should see, and his sanity cracked at the thoughts. Demons of assorted sizes came at them from all sides, and despite being outnumbered by the human army, they were extremely resilient and difficult to kill, taking multiple bullets before even slowing down. None of this was in the briefing, and they had marched optimistically and confidently into a war which was not from this world. And worst of all was the friends he had watched die in the most horrific of ways, and yet they sat and spoke to him in this trench right now, like haunted souls that would never leave these muddy waters. Either that, or he was going mad.

Another explosion, and his invisible companions laughed and joked about the sound. Maybe some of them were even really there, he didn’t know. He reached into his top pocket and pulled out a photograph of his deceased girlfriend, drops of rain instantly decorating her face, distorting her features but not hiding her beauty. Erika. She was the reason why all of this happened. Why did she have to happen? What even happened to her? His inner-dialogue went in circles and he couldn’t take it anymore.

Aggression built up inside of him which quickly turned to rage, and our protagonist felt sick of it all. He loaded his machine gun and his lieutenant appeared out of nowhere, real or not real, and asked him just what the hell he thought he was doing. Our protagonist didn’t respond. Instead he jumped onto his feet and began to run towards the loudest sounds of the war he could hear, firing his gun directly at it, screaming as he did so, not caring who or what he hit. He was getting out of here one way or another.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 41. Raphael Saadiq - Stone Rollin’

Raphael Saadiq - Stone Rollin’

10 May
Rhythm & Blues

Being a superhero is not an easy job, let Buck Jacobs be the first to tell you. But after saving countless lives in the Ocean War (by using his clever signature escape routines and good old traditional super-human strength), ending up at this college after-party was definitely one of the perks. He sat in a red velvet chair surrounded by adoration, mostly in the form of fake tans and push-up bras—not that this was a problem for Buck by any means. And as he sipped classy whiskey from a paper cup and spoke about his adventures back in the day, his every word was absorbed by attentive ears, wide eyes and attractive smiles, captivated by a lifestyle they had only heard about from their parents a long time ago. This encouraged Buck to divulge more and more details about his private life, occasionally jumping up and busting a few fresh dance moves to illustrate his points. He slid around in a way only a superhero could to the funky tunes booming from the boom-box, to which, of course, the girls squealed with giddiness and couldn’t believe that they were in the presence of an individual so incredible. Needless to say, Buck loved it, his ego inflating in direct proportion to his good judgement deflating, feeling like this was finally the moment that all of his hard work had paid off. He was someone. He was alive. He felt timeless—as if a teenager again. And most of all, he felt sexy, because after becoming an overnight sensation, he most definitely was the coolest cat in the room. Well, that was, until she walked in.

Her entry and very presence changed the entire mood of the party. People moved out of her way, parting like the Red Sea - not because they knew what they were doing, but because her soul demanded it. Her dark skin, red lips and leopard print attire complimented each other in the most complicated of ways, her curves so well defined that they seemed to walk two steps behind her. Silence followed her passing until she stopped in the middle of the room, stuck her nose upwards and smelt the air like a wine connoisseur. A few sniffs and she caught drift of what she was looking for: The Alpha Male. The one she wanted. The one she was going to fuck tonight.

Without hesitation she turned directly towards Buck and walked up to him, already absorbing all of his attention. She then sat down softly on his lap and curled herself around him like a cat, her lips aligned so that she could breathe sweetness into his ear, and her tits aligned so that she could dangle her cleavage in front of his face. “Hey baby,” she whispered. “How would you like to get reckless tonight?”

She didn’t need an answer. Buck was already hypnotised by her seduction-spell and couldn’t respond even if he wanted to. She took him by the hand and lead him into the bathroom, ignoring the sounds of broken hearts behind them. Yes, Buck felt he could get very reckless tonight indeed—and he did—never once noticing his desperate cellphone ringing furiously in his back pocket.

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