The Year in Review: Metal Edition


I’ve been drowning my sorrows in metal.  For the last three weeks, I’ve been listening to the entire back catalog of Motorhead’s studio albums, all 22 of them, from their eponymous debut in 1977 to their last, Bad Magic, released a year before band founder – and heavy music legend – Lemmy Kilmister died.  That was one year ago today, and his passing made for a crappy end to 2015 and ominous start to 2016. In Lemmy’s honor, and to distract myself from the rough beast slouching towards Washington (to paraphrase Yeats), I have been wallowing in Motorhead’s beautiful noise.

I worried this marathon would be grueling, filled with albums of marginal material – they made records for 40 years, for crying out loud – but it’s been a pleasure.  The early records were seminal, influencing every metal band since, but my personal favorites are the albums from the middle years with Wurzel as the second guitar player: Orgasmatron, Rock ’n’ Roll, 1916, March or Die, Bastards, and Sacrifice.  I hadn’t heard the subsequent albums until I started this listening session, but they are all solid: no frills, no surprises, just Motorhead.  It’s been a nice way to round out my own personal Year of Metal.

I set out to see at least one metal show per month in 2016, and I almost made it, too.  I missed July –although Kristin Key’s comedy set was a nice alternative – and November and December didn’t work out for me, but I still managed to bang my head and mosh at more metal shows in one year than I ever had before: twelve gigs in twelve months.  I wrote about many of the performances (I’ve embedded links to those posts, if you’re inclined to reflect with me), including:

As a lifelong metal head, it’s a joy to reflect on a year filled with so much sound and fury.  I feel fortunate to have seen so many shows, and, more importantly, to have spent time with fellow headbangers moshing it up and shouting along with every word and riff.   And 2017 promises to be another great metal year.  DevilDriver, Death Angel, Overkill, Cavalera Conspiracy, Testament, Kreator, Obituary, and more are going to be assaulting the area this Spring. So many bands, so little time, and such a small budget allotment for concert tickets. Decisions, decisions.  It’s a nice problem to have, and, if you could see me, you’d see a big smile on my face.

Now, instead of drowning sorrows, I’m going to raise a glass – filled with Lemmy’s favorite cocktail: Jack Daniel’s and Coke – and raise a toast to the metal year that was, to the year that is ahead of us, and to the memory of Lemmy, may he rest in peace with Ziggy Stardust, Snape, Princess Leia, and all the others we lost. You gotta have faith (yup, I even like George Michael).

May you all have a wonderful New Year pursuing your passions and enjoying your friends and family.  Cheers!


3 thoughts on “The Year in Review: Metal Edition

  1. *For some reason my comment shot off to another one of your posts..Computers! Aw well, here it is again for what its worth.

    A lovely tribute to your metal passion. And George Michael. An amazing bandwidth of musical interest you have! And good job on nearly the perfect year in concert going. An admirable task, good sir! Isn’t it fun purposely setting aside more time for the things we love to do. As you know, I did the same thing this year with baseball games. Man, that was a good time. And there were a few times, where I looked to the sky as the storm clouds marched towards the stadium, and thought maybe I should have stayed home. And the rains came in sheets, and games were delayed and canceled even. But I still had a good time there at the ball park, with a polish sausage in my hand. It’s the journey you might say. And often times that was more than enough. And in retrospect, I’m quite glad I made myself do it. Hope you get your fill of live metal next year. I do enjoy your reports, even if I don’t get the genre. I respect your enthusiasm!

    • Assuming you are a Twins fan, I admire your efforts to go to a lot of games. It must have been a frustrating season, but there is something magic about going to the ballpark. I love watching the Mariners play at Safeco Field, one of the gems of MLB stadiums. Thanks for the kind words. Good luck next season. Cheers.

      • It was the worst season ever. My one year I immerse myself in baseball, and it’s the worst team in franchise history. What can you do, Todd.. I’ve had occasion to see Safeco Field on TV. Looks like a mighty sweet venue for watching baseball. Seattle has it all out there.

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