Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Some Sprinklings of Good Ideas

There was a Vox article that was making the rounds on the Conservative blogosphere the other day that was getting the usual amounts of derision for being hysterical about President Trump, so I got curious and went to the source. And while the derision was somewhat well deserved, because yes, there is the usual sackcloth and ashes routine evident in the early 'graphs, but by the middle of the article, things start to get interesting.

I don't really accept the initial premise of the article, namely that President Trump is the chief symptom of a system that's badly broken. The system has been broken long before that and the rot keeps spreading because no one really wants to have a national conversation and sit down and talk about it. The ideas that made me sit up and pay attention:

1. Eliminate midterm elections by having the House, Senate and president serve concurrent four year terms. Meh. I love the idea of extending the House term to four years though... I feel like two is just not long enough to really get anything done before you're worrying about re-election again. I wouldn't put all the elections in one year though. Leave them more or less where they are- which means 1/3 of the Senate would be up with the House some years and with the President other years, which I'd be okay with. Bonus Idea: Ditch term limits and impose a mandatory retirement age on Congress instead.

2. An explicit right to vote in the Constitution. Endorsed! I see the nugget of common sense in voter identification laws... if you need an ID to get into a bar or drive a car, then why not to vote? Do I think that voter fraud is as nearly widespread as some on the Right claim it is? No. Do I think voter ID requirements are being used as a political tool to repress the vote of the political opposition? Absolutely. If you're going to do it, then it needs to be free, universal and readily available to all citizens. (Don't tell me it can't be done: everyone manages to get their social security cards and the Selective Service finds your behind just fine when you turn 18.) If it can't meet that standard, then away with it! Bonus Idea: Election Day should be a National Holiday.

3. The Fair Representation Act: Here's the lowdown on this... in general, I'm less thrilled at the idea of pure proportional representation than a lot of people because it does make you lose that representative link to your specific district- or at the very least, it dilutes it a bit, which makes the concept a hard sell to people in single member district systems like ours. A mixed system would preserve those district links while allowing a some proportional representation to reflect voter preferences more accurately than they do now. Constitutionally, there's nothing standing in the way of this, but there is a law passed in 1967 that does mandate single member districts. The mandate was imposed for some very legitimate reasons at the time, but the decades that followed have seen a decline in the competitiveness of Congressional elections and more safe seats than contested ones. I think given the historical context of the mandate, undoing it would have to be done in a carefully proscribed manner, but for sure, more room for states to experiment is something I'm down with.

4. Allocating Electoral votes proportionally: This wouldn't have helped Mrs. Clinton win last November, but it's a twist on the Electoral College that I think is more likely to happen that outright abolition. For right now, it's bad for Democrats. It takes more votes from states they traditionally 'need' to win (California, Illinois, New York) and doesn't really take that many from the more traditional 'Red States' though it would make Texas worth a visit. It'll be a cold day in hell before either party puts 'building a better democracy' ahead of their own interests, but this would make a more representative, better system. Suddenly, every Congressional district in every state matters. Which would, at least, bring the Electoral College back into line (at least to me) with the Founder's original vision for it, which was to keep the small states from being drowned out by the big ones.  Democrats in Texas suddenly have a reason to vote in this system, so would Republicans in California. (Here's FiveThirtyEight's take on it, here's 270toWin's.)

The ideas that made me blanch a little bit:

1. Public financing for elections: ugh... I know this is a popular notion that gets floated, but I'm not for it. I don't think it's a panacea to the whole 'money in politics' problem we have and it's got the potential to be easily turned into a poll tax in the wrong hands. What I am in favor of? Transparency, transparency, transparency! Every donation, every ad, every PAC, every 501(c), we should all be able to know who is donating to which candidate or candidates and who is funding, founding, bankrolling every single dollar. If I'm forced to accept the odious notion that 'money is speech' then it occurs to me that speech should be open, public and everyone should get to hear it.

Peeps, ideas like these are what I look for in both parties and candidates I support. I don't know if I'll ever make a serious run for elected office, but if I do, expect ideas like these to show up somewhere in my platform. We need, need, need to be talking more about political reform in this country. We need Constitutional amendments. Real ones, that have a hope in hell of getting out to the states. We need a national conversation on how to make our democracy better, because if there's one thing that unites us in the exasperating times we live in, it's the notion that our system can be and should be better than it is.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Albums2010 Musings: On Pulitzers

So. Kendrick Lamar's album DAMN. won the Pulitzer Prize last week and there was the predictable out pouring of the usual mixture of 'yassssss' and 'why?' I was surprised because well, I didn't know there was a Pulitzer Prize for Music and because honestly, I hadn't realized that it had taken this long for a hip-hop album to win it.

Looking back at the Albums2010 archives, I was kind of surprised to see some hip-hop pop up here and there. In general, it's not really a genre I connect with, but in many ways, I treat it the same way as I do country. When I hear something I like, I like it. That's lead me to discover groups like Atmosphere, Eyedea, Talib Kweli and Hieroglyphics along the way, but I still wouldn't consider myself an expert enough to talk about hip-hop in any sensible way. I had looked at DAMN. before, toying with the idea of reviewing it, but it's an important album and I'm a white dude who's not that good at writing about music anyway, so I didn't want to attempt it and end up showing the world my ass in the process.

In the frothy wake of the hot takes following Mr. Lamar's win, this Slate article landed in front of me: 'Classical Music Needs Kendrick Lamar More Than It Needs The Pulitzer.' Now this perked me up a bit and having read the article, I spent the afternoon listening first to DAMN. and then to the Black Panther soundtrack, trying to figure out if there was anything to this assertion. And you know what? I think the article might have a point. DAMN. surprised me. It surprised me because of how intricate and detailed the craftsmanship was throughout the album. There's subtlety in the composition of the music and versatility in Lamar's lyrics that honestly made me stand up and pay attention at points. 

I liked listening to it as well...  that sort of kind of took me aback a little bit, because if I go into an album blind, having never even heard any of it before, normally it takes me a listen or two to really get into an album, you know? But as I was listening to it, I realized that it wasn't too loud or obnoxious, it had waves, you know- like the tide ebbing and flowing and managed to give off a really chill vibe without undermining the gravity of some of the topics that Lamar delves into on the album. 

When I followed that up with the Black Panther Soundtrack (I still haven't seen the movie yet... something I really need to fix at some point soonish) I got more of the same. The choices, the music, the craftsmanship...  I can see why the original article drew the line between Classical Music and hip-hop, because if Kendrick Lamar composed a symphony or a concierto, I would listen to it.

Here's the thing, though: if he does (and it'd be pretty cool if he did) we shouldn't be that surprised about it. After all, if hip-hop can take a doorstop of a biography about Alexander Hamilton and turn it into a musical that manages to entertain, inform and breathe new life into a figure of the American Revolution we tend to forget about, there's really not a lot it can't do it. 

Seriously though: Chernow's biography of Hamilton is 832 pages and just listening to the Hamilton Soundtrack (no, I haven't scored tickets to go and see the damn thing yet- another item amongst many that I'm planning on getting too) it's amazing how the medium can translate what to many would be dry and dusty history into something that's vibrant and alive. It's a stroke of absolute genius to imagine Cabinet Battles between the founding fathers as rap battles, but that's what Lin Manuel Miranda did and while that seems like an idea you'd see in a Schoolhouse Rock somewhere, in Hamilton, it actually works on a level you don't expect. (I loved every second of the Hamilton soundtrack and I can't wait to figure out when we can go and see it in person.)

The underlying point to all the hot takes is this: there's not a lot that hip-hop can't do, it seems. We shouldn't be surprised when an album like DAMN. wins the Pulitzer any more than we should be surprised that someone can take dry and dusty history and turn it into a hip-hop musical that's a smash success. A lot of the classical musical giants will endure for a very long time indeed, but the question we must confront today is this: what music from our century will endure for a very long time indeed? I don't think it matters what the genre is, people notice quality. They notice artistry. They notice craftsmanship. DAMN. has all of that and more- will Kendrick Lamar be in the same orbit as Mozart or Bizet two centuries from now? I don't know. But I wouldn't bet against it.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Netflix & Chill #42: Thor Ragnarok

Watched On: DVD
Released: 2017
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Hopkins
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Pick: Mine

Thor: Ragnarok opens roughly two years after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron with Thor still searching for the Infinity Stones and trying to figure out what, if anything, is coming- because he's still convinced that something is. Haunted by visions of the climactic final battle of Ragnarok destroying Asgard, he is imprisoned by the fire demon Surtur in Muspelheim. Surtur reveals that Odin is no longer on Asgard and that Ragnarok is coming once Surtur unites his crown with the Eternal Flame that burns in the vault of Asgard. Thor, for his part, defeats Surtur and takes his crown, believing that he has prevented Ragnarok.

Thor returns to Asgard to find his brother Loki posing as Odin. Thor quickly unmasks Loki and forces him to help find Odin, whom Loki left on Earth. Returning to Earth, they find Odin (with an assist from Dr. Strange), but Odin has some bad news: he's dying and his death will allow Thor and Loki's sister, Hela (Cate Blanchett) to escape from the prison she has been sealed in. The fact that they have a sister is sort of news to Thor and Loki, but Odin explains that he had imprisoned her and written her out of history after he feared she had become too ambitious, too eager to conquer all the nine realms.

Odin dies and Hela is released. In short order, she's destroyed Mjolnir, thrown both Loki and Thor off of the Bifrost Bridge, returned to Asgard, killed the Warrior Three and was planning to rule Asgard and conquer the other Nine Realms via the Bifrost, but Heimdall had the good sense to steal the sword that controls the bridge and hides away with the rest of Asgard and it's citizens. Hela, while displeased by this, appoints Skurge (Karl Urban) as her executioner and starts searching for the sword.

Having been thrown out of the Bifrost, Thor crash lands on Sakaar, where is captured, subdued and taken to the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) by 142 (Tessa Thompson) who Thor recognizes as one of the Valkyrior who were killed defending Asgard from Hela long ago. Forced to compete in the Grandmaster's gladiator tournament, Thor is surprised to find himself facing none other than Hulk. Eventually, he convinces Hulk and 142 to go and save Asgard with him and in the process of escaping, they free the other gladiators and start a revolution against the Grandmaster in the process.

They return to Asgard and face down Hela and her forces. Hulk takes on the giant wolf, Fenris, while Thor and 142 fight Hela's army of the dead. The gladiators from Sakaar show up to help evacuate Asgard's civilians, but Thor loses an eye and then receives a vision of Odin which tells him what he has to do. Realizing that Asgard's strength is in it's people, he has Loki unite Surtur's crown with the eternal flame, releasing the demon and unleashing Ragnarok which destroys Asgard and (seemingly) Hela along with it.

His people now homeless, Thor is crowned King and decides to head to Earth.

Overall: Thor is one of the best things about the Marvel Cinematic Universe and this movie was just plain fun from start to finish. It's an absolute delight and draws on the best source material from the original comics. (No kidding: Jason Aronson's run on Thor is one I'm seriously considering collecting along with Walter Simonson's original one. Excellent, excellent comics.) I always love actors that just have fun with the role they're playing and Cate Blanchett looks like she is enjoying herself in every scene she's in. Jeff Goldblum is perfect as The Grandmaster. Tessa Thompson was awesome on Veronica Mars and continues being awesome here. It all works. I have no idea what the plan is for the MCU going forward, but if they want to do another trilogy of Thor movies, I'm down. My Grade: **** out of ****

Saturday, April 21, 2018

This Week In Vexillology #257

You know what I'm starting to realize? Canada has some really good flags. No, seriously. British Columbia is somewhere in my personal top ten list of all time favorite flags and a couple of provinces over, the more I look at the flag of Saskatchewan, the more I like it. Check this sucker out:
Adopted on September 22nd, 1969 after a province wide competition that brought in over four thousand entries, Mr. Anthony Drake of Hodgeville, Saskatchewan created the winning design. And to be honest, there's a lot to like about it. There's a minimal amount of colors (I know professional vexillologists out there get all up in arms about 'too many colors! there's too many colors!' but it doesn't necessarily bother me all that much.) and the design is minimal as well. A horizontal bicolor with two symbols on it makes this flag look pretty sharp.

Let's break it down.  The coat of arms was granted first as just a shield by King Edward VII in 1906, the rest was requested by the province for their Heritage Year in 1985 and granted by Queen Elizabeth II the following year in 1986. In a wise design move, they just put the shield on the actual flag, which dovetails nicely with the colors without the added business of the beaver, the lion, the deer and the motto mucking it up. The shield itself is a lion passant- usually, the default colors are gold with red tongues and claws, but interestingly enough, on a gold field, they're red with blue tongues and claws, which is far more noticeably on the actual coat of arms than the flag. (I think it's there, but you have to squint. A lot.) Below the lion, you've got three gold sheaves of wheat that represent the agriculture of the province and the heraldic sheaf of wheat has pretty much become a symbol of the province itself.

In the fly of the flag, you've got the western red lily, the floral emblem of the province. The upper green half of the flag represents the forests of the north, while the lower golden half represents the prairie wheat fields of the south of the province.

In general, I think this is a pretty cool flag, but it could have been cooler. In 1964, for the 60th Anniversary of the Province, another competition was held to design a flag for the occasion and Sister Imelda Burgart of St. Angela's Convent at Prelate was selected out of 241 entries and she came up with this:                                                                                                                                               
This flag was flown through the Centennial celebrations of 1967 and supporters were actually hoping it would become the actual flag of the province and it's easy to see why. The use of the shield and the horizontal bicolor remain, but the cool part to me is the stylized sheaf of wheat. I've got nothing against the western lily as it looks pretty cool as well, but the stylized wheat? Man, that's on another level. 

The symbolism is also pretty similar to the current flag. The red stands the fires that once ravaged the prairies, the green stands for agricultural cultivation and life, the gold stands for the wheat fields. 

Both of these flags are, in my book, pretty damn cool. Good job, Saskatchewan!

Remember, until next time, keep your flags flying, FREAK or otherwise!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Sportsyball: Wenger Finally Out

I woke up about two hours ago, sat up, rode that feeling of gathering consciousness as the blood in your body starts to rush downward with the forces of gravity, like a rain stick. Fighting through clouds of sleep, I grabbed the stack of clothes I had set aside the night before and staggered into the bathroom to take a shower. As is my usual, lamentable, habit, I glanced through Twitter quickly to make sure World War 3 hadn't started overnight while I slept. (You laugh, but when the Japanese Earthquake/Tsunami hit, I was asleep. That was a bit of jarring and sobering thing to wake up too.) But there it was: #MerciArsene, trending everywhere on the soccer Twitter.

The rumors that had been flying for weeks were apparently true. Arsene Wenger, who had been manager at Arsenal for 22 years, was retiring at the end of the season.

It's been two hours and I'm still honestly not sure how I feel about all of this. The narrative in the Arsenal commentariat seems to have shifted from, 'man, he's gotta go' to one of relief, gratitude, melancholy and sadness that a legend is heading for the exits. And I feel that's right, really. This is a manager who has given literally decades of his life to the club and however frustrated the fans might have been with him at times, myself included, 22 years at a club combined with all the titles and phenomenal achievements that come with it means that you deserve a send off worthy of the time you've put in there and I think he'll get that. (I just hope the results on the field can give it an added sweetness- seriously, people: we've gotten Peter Cech his 200th clean sheet- can we get some points away from the Emirates to end the season? I'm loathe to even mention the Europa League- really crossing all the digits for good results now though!)

I was 13 when Wenger's tenure with the club started and the more I think about that, the more this feels like one of those 'moments' that you get to cross of a list somewhere. The Cubs had never won the World Series. The Red Sox had never won the World Series. No one had won the Triple Crown since I had been alive. (Also: I had never seen the election of a Pope until I was 22 and there's always been a Queen of England.) Arsenal's only ever had one manager, to me.

My interest in Arsenal has waxed and waned over the years. I feel like I don't have the deep connection with the club that some people have and that's largely because for years, there really wasn't Premier League matches on regular television anywhere in the states. Sure, you could get them on channels like Fox Soccer Plus (I seem to remember watching what I feel like was an Aston Villa v Middlesborough match that might have featured Paul Gascoigne sometime in high school on really grainy, terrible, late 80s quality footage.) But Arsenal sort of became my teams largely because of Dennis Bergkamp doing things like this in the World Cup and the fact that when I was in high school, everybody loved Manchester United because of David Beckham and then when he moved to Real Madrid a good two-thirds of them became Real Madrid fans because of David Beckham and that irked me a little bit.

Arsenal were good at the time. Any Scousers in the extended family wouldn't disown me for liking them. (Unlike, say, a Manchester team... though I've never asked them about liking Everton. I wonder what response that would get.) So, they became my team. And for most of the rest of my high school career, my fandom consisted of checking the league tables on the BBC Sport website to see how they were doing. The arrival of the Premier League on American television was a game changer. My fandom was no longer an abstract thing. I could watch actual games. Live. In my living room. It was incredible and utterly inconceivable to think about when I was in high school.

Since then, it's sort of dawned on me that being an Arsenal fan is, in many ways, like following Iowa football. When they're good, they can be very good indeed. And when they're not they're...  not. And usually they have enough alleged talent on the field to make you absolutely incandescent with frustration when it's the latter and not the former at play in front of you.

A change has been needed for awhile now, in my opinion and while it's perhaps not leaving on the highest of high notes as Mr. Wenger might deserve, there's still an opportunity to send him on his way on a high note both on and off the pitch. Hopefully, that happens.

In the meantime, I suppose I should add my voice to the chorus: Merci, Arsene.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Most Chaotic Timeline

I had a terrifying thought the other day. What if everyone's a little bit right?

No, seriously, think about it. We are, if the media is to be believed, in 'the end stages of the Trump Presidency' (also media: no, we're not.) The right wing internet has been waiting patiently with baited breath for the Inspector General's report on what exactly went down with the FBI, DOJ and the 2016 election. Each side is convinced that there's 'something' there, where ever 'there' is, but what if both sides find what they're looking for?

Seriously: what if everyone's a little bit right?

I'm no longer buying the Trump/Russia thing. It's entirely possible that I'm wrong about this, but I feel like unless Mueller is playing three dimensional space checkers, that ship has kind of sailed. While the administration does inexplicable things like stepping back from fresh sanctions, it's also been risking World War 3 with Russia by pitching missiles into Syria. Been expelling Russian diplomats after the nerve agent scandal over in the UK. If, as has been suggested the Kremlin has 'something' on Trump, I have to believe that they would have used it by now, because this is not the relationship you'd expect with a guy who allegedly have by the short and curlies.

I think that's why we've seen a shift toward the lawyer and the Stormy Daniels mess. I think a few more people will go down for the Russia thing, maybe the lawyer will go down for this mess or some alleged misdeeds, but I don't think they'll get that smoking gun and even if they do, I'm not convinced it's going to matter. Until the President's popularity ratings start to crater with Republicans, I don't think he'll be in any danger- why? There's a risk that this investigation starts to look like a fishing expedition and if a narrative emerges that the Establishment is trying to take down the President by any means necessary then the 'douse it all in gasoline and light it on fire' voters that put the President where is aren't going to throw him overboard. If anything, they'll just cling to him harder.

I buy the whole 'election shenanigans/improprieties' thing a little more, but not by much. I think fever dreams of a deep state conspiracy will remain just that, fever dreams. But what I do think, is that there will be enough wrongdoing and impropriety found to justify the shrieks of 'perfidious Deep Statism' emanating from the right. Something weird went down with the whole Clinton Investigation- especially given the fact that then FBI Director James Comey took a mulligan on the whole damn thing not ten days before the election last November.

In short: I expect a whole bunch of people go to jail and a lot of shouting to ensue and unless there's something else. Which there might well be, I don't know. Everything I've just written and you just read could well be 100 percent wrong. I think if there's one thing about this current Presidency that I know for sure- other than mental exhaustion and constant exasperation with the state of the world in general, it's that it defies prediction.

Why do I keep writing about the unfolding trainwreck going on all around me? I don't really know. Partially because it's everywhere and you can't escape it and if it's everywhere and you can't escape it you may as well take the time to check in with your thinking from time to time and see how you really feel about it. The idea of everyone being right about everything- at least a little bit- amuses me somewhat. If people's heads are going to explode over every goddamn thing these days, we might as well have some fun with it and go full on Scanners right? Let's make everyone's head explode!

The idea might amuse me, but it also worries me a little as well. Assuming the #BlueWave isn't just a Twitter hashtag and it actually happens, the last thing I want is the Democratic Party launching an impeachment drive that will undoubtedly be seen as nakedly partisan. (And oh the sweet irony if they end up doing it over the Stormy Daniels matter... because lying about a beej under oath was none of our fucking business, but having an adult entertainer sign a non-disclosure agreement so you can get bent over and spanked with a copy of Forbes that has your face on the cover- that's a moral bridge too far. If that is what this impeachment ends up being about, then I give the fuck up- there's only so much hypocrisy I can take, after all. Keep Calm and Win Some Fucking Elections Already, Democrats. In the immortal words of Admiral Akbar, Impeachment: "It's a trap!")

Whatever happens, truly this is the most chaotic of timelines.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Albums2010: The Archives

This project began eight long years and two blogs ago with this post. I'm going to finish it out next month on May 19th, exactly eight years to the day after it began with the very last album on my list. Some were lost to the Unfortunate Wordpress Experiment (that I really shouldn't have done to begin with and should have worked harder to archive all the stuff I wrote that year) but all in all, it's been one hell of a journey, I think.

Looking back at my blogging history, I've begun feature after feature and just sort of forgotten about it after awhile- this has been one of the few that have stood the test of time and gone the distance with me. There were many times when it's felt like a chore- there were many times when I've wondered why I'm even bothering to do this at all, since music just isn't my thing and I can't really get beyond, 'this album is good/great/excellent or bad/meh/terrible' when I review them. But, I persevered... so without further ado, here are the archives of the Albums2010 Project:

#1: U2- The Joshua Tree
#2: Aerosmith- Big Ones
#3: Fleetwood Mac- Rumors
#4: Bob Marley and The Wailers: Legend
#5: The Clash- London Calling
#6: Jethro Tull- Minstrel In the Gallery
#7-#9: The Genesis Trifecta
#10: Wishbone Ash- Argus
#11: Green Day- Dookie
#12: Hootie & The Blowfish- Cracked Rear View
#13: Dave Matthews Band- Before These Crowded Streets
#14: Counting Crows- August and Everything After
#15: Garden State
#16: Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols
#17: The Cure- Disintegration
#18: Derek and The Dominos- The Layla Sessions
#19: Kings of Leon- Aha Shake Heartbreak
#20: Led Zeppelin- II
#21: Cream-Disraeli Gears
#22: Pink Floyd- Meddle
#23: Dire Straits- Brothers In Arms
#24: Coldplay- A Rush Of Blood To The Head
#25-#26: Abraxas and Supernatural
#27: Led Zeppelin- Zoso
#28: Days of The New
#29: Rancid- ...and out come the wolves
#30: Motorhead- Ace of Spades
#31: Bruce Springsteen- Darkness On The Edge of Town
#32: Rolling Stones- Exile On Main Street
#33: Tantric
#34: Gary Jules-Trading Snakeoil for Wolftickets
#35: Snow Patrol- Final Straw
#36: N.W.A- Straight Outta Compton
#37: Arcade Fire- The Suburbs
#38: Mumford & Sons- Sigh No More
#39: Lady Gaga- Born This Way
#40-#41: She and Him Vols 1&2
#42: Amy Winehouse- Back To Black
#43: Dusty Springfield- Dusty In Memphis
#44:  Peter Tosh- Legalize It
#45: Hieroglyphics- 3rd Eye Vision
#46: Girl Talk- Feed The Animals
#47: Carole King- Tapestry
#48: Eyedea- By The Throat
#49: U2- Achtung Baby
#50-#56: The Quiet Man's Techno Extravaganza
#57: Foster The People- Torches
#58: fun.-Some Nights
#59: Florence + The Machine- Ceremonials
#60: Atmosphere- Seven's Travels
#61: Imagine Dragons- Night Visions
#62: Daft Punk- Random Access Memories
#63: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis- The Heist
#64: Gogol Bordello- Trans-Continental Hustle
#65: Tig Notaro- Live
#66: Cake- Comfort Eagle
#67: Abums2010 Revisited: Dookie Turns 20

#68-#80 were, alas, lost forever to the mists of time in the Unfortunate Wordpress Experiment.

#81: Soundtrack to 'Brokedown Palace'
#82: Patti Smith- Horses
#83: Talking Heads- Remain In Light
#84: Jamiroquai- High Times
#85: R.E.M.- Out of Time
#86: Aesop Rock- None Shall Pass
#87: Stevie Nicks- Trouble In Shangri-La
#88: Phish- A Picture of Nectar
#89: Guardians of the Galaxy- Awesome Mix Vol. 2
#90: The Joshua Tree, Revisited
#91: The Beatles- Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
#92: Phoenix- Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
#93: LCD Soundsystem- american dream
#94: Future Islands- Singles
#95: Portugal The Man- In The Mountain In The Cloud
#96: U2- Songs of Experience
#97: Lorde- Melodrama
#98: Ed Sheeran- Divide
#99: The New Pornographers- Twin Cinema

That's all of 'em. Looking at this list, I'm actually impressed at some of my choices. I totally forgot that I listened to #46, #48, and #65. I have no ideas on how to end this project... (I just listened to the entire Hamilton Soundtrack for the first time, which is now on repeat in my brain and I noticed in my review of #96, I said I'd back track to listen to U2's Song of Innocence, which I haven't done either.) So I have options- you're just going to have to wait to find out how this is going to come to an end.