Hello all, and welcome to 2013! I hope you all had a great end of 2012 and rang in the New Year in fountains of whiskey and the joyous, amorous embraces of your loved ones. If you were spending too much time with one or the other, and missed all of our staff’s year end Best Of lists, check ‘em out here, here, here, here, here, here and here. There’s some great writing in there, and definitely more than a few albums that may not have caught your attention when they came out. So take a few minutes, and reflect upon the passing of another year, the continual journey of the earth through the ether, and the slow, ever-closer approach of death. I’ll wait. Now that you’re acutely aware of your own mortality with fond memories of last year, I’d like to take you on a journey of why you should look forward to repeating this exercise a year from now. Obviously there are a lot of really cool things happening this year, many of which you can hear about on The Monolith, and that’s great. But I’m not concerned with the definite; the list I present to you today is more of the “Things I Want to Happen This Year Because Dammit, It Would Be Fucking Righteous if They Did!” variety. Without further fanfare, here are 40 things I want to happen this year, in no particular orders:
1. Ne Obliviscaris to tour behind Portal of I, specifically coming to Chicago, Illinois, because it won’t do me any good if they don’t, and I’m selfish. If you haven’t listened to Portal of I yet, go do it now.
2. The Simpsons to end on a high note, bowing out graciously after a season of fantastic material.
3. New Altar of Plagues material to be just as vicious as Mammal and White Tomb. If it is, then Altar of Plagues will legitimately belong in the conversation of the best black metal band on the planet.
4. Taylor Swift performs a live cover of Nine Inch Nails’ biggest hit “Closer.” I don’t care what you think; hearing Swift croon “I want to fuck you like an animal” would either be the sexiest or the most unintentionally hilarious moment of the year. It’s win-win.
5. Star Trek: Into Darkness and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. I don’t need them to do anything but come out. Preferably sooner than July and December.
6. Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem to be just as fucking terrifying and evil as the trailer appears. That chick sitting on the goat stroking its horns? Three women chanting “Satan, come to us, we are ready!?” I’m going to start going back to church right now, just in case.
7. Some new tv show to come out that makes people forget about Homeland, which of course made everyone forget about Game of Thrones, which made everyone forget about Lost, which made everyone forget about The Sopranos, which made everyone forget about Boy Meets World, which made everyone forget about Star Trek. It should be noted that I don’t watch much television, and have only seen two of the five shows mentioned.
8. Opeth to embark on a world tour where they play songs showcasing their entire vast discography. If they’re tired of playing “Ghost of Perdition”, then don’t play it. But there have to be some heavier songs they don’t hate playing, right? Shifting back and forth between styles would make for a hell of a set list.
9. Mike Trout to become the first person ever to hit 50 home runs, steal 50 bases, and have 50 sports anchors cream their pants while talking about him on live television. Also for the Angels to miss the playoffs again.
10. Mastodon’s new album to be some sort of filthy, sludge-covered prog beast the likes of which has never been seen, hopefully a filthy, sludge-covered prog beast the likes of which has never been seen that shockingly is already finished and comes out next week instead of “TBA.” TBA ISN’T EVEN A REAL DATE!!!!
11. Tom Cruise’s impending sci-fi flick Oblivion to be more Minority Report and less War of the Worlds.
12. Varg Vikernes to go away. For good. To the point where he doesn’t even pop up in amusing lists like this or as the punch line to a bad joke.
13. Roger Waters and David Gilmour to tour together, playing four hour shows covering everything any Pink Floyd fan could want to hear. While it would be splendid if this hit Chicago, I would travel to see it.
14. A big American music festival like Bonnaroo, Coachella, or Lollapalooza to have a metal presence larger than three bands. These festivals have done a great job of mixing genres in their line-ups, but more metal would seal the deal for me personally.
15. Maynard James Keenan to not actually say anything about a new Tool album until there is an actual new Tool album finished and recorded. Either make it or don’t, but stop playing with our feelings, dammit.
16. One of the ten most famous people in the world comes out as gay/a lesbian and stay famous and successful. Half the population says “Wow, that’s not a big deal at all;” the other half says “We’ve been saying that for years, asshats!”
17. Lars Ulrich admits he hated St. Anger, and that Metallica tried to make as terrible an album as possible, just to prove that they could and it would sell anyway.
18. Nergal (Adam Darski) from Behemoth wins his blasphemy court case, Behemoth launches their most successful world tour ever, and his leukemia stays in remission.
19. Brandon Small and Damon Albarn collaborate on a Dethklok/Gorillaz crossover album/tv show. I literally just came up with this right now, and I’m already sad if it doesn’t happen.
20. Nightwish goes a whole calendar year without losing/firing a singer.
Last year Nightwish changed singers more times than I changed underwear
21. The YouTube sensation of the year (a la “Gangnam Style” last year) is a song or video that’s actually great, and records billions of views because of being amazing, as opposed to ridiculous. Also the person who makes it doesn’t come under fire for things he said years ago.
22. Europe solves their economic crises.
23. The United States does too
24. Jesse Leach’s return to Killswitch Engage to make their forthcoming album (titled Disarm The Descent) make me feel like I’m seventeen and just discovering the band again.
25 Justin Bieber releases the greatest pop album since Michael Jackson’s Thriller, justifying all of his fame and hype.
26. Dave Grohl makes repeated guest appearances on the new show he’s developing for FX, and proves that he’s just as awesome in front of the camera as he is behind a microphone or a drum set.
27. Speaking of which, Queens of the Stone Age finally stop making me wait and release their follow up to Era Vulgaris. If you can’t tell by now, I’m rather impatient.
28. If Adele releases any music, it’s more “Skyfall” than “Someone Like You”. Friends can attest that I rarely have anything good to say about the British songbird, but damn it all if her Skyfall theme wasn’t great.
29. Bill Murray wins an Oscar, preferably for Groundhog Day if the Academy will bend the rules; if not anything will do.
30. The Monolith becomes the most successful music/film/entertainment blog in the history of the internet (look guys, I’m a company man!)
31. I don’t die of alcohol poisoning when I make a drinking game to coincide with Nicolas Cage’s upcoming Rapture-themed drama Left Behind. I can’t overstate how worried I am this could happen.
32. Somehow, either through stem cell research or black magic, the hair on my head begins to grow back, fuller and richer than ever before.
33. Apple releases the iPhone 6, which is exactly the same as an iPhone 5, just to fuck with people. Apple fanboys proclaim it as “the best phone ever,” and say “it wipes the floor with the iPhone 5!”
34. M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth ends with Jaden Smith telling Will Smith that he’s dead, and has been dead for the whole movie. As with the last item on this list, this is done solely to fuck with people.
35. Meshuggah, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Portal tour together in a trek that even some of the hardest of metalheads dismiss as “just noise.”
36. Ghost return in all their Satanic pomp and glory on their second album Infestissuman, delivering unto the earth a proper follow up to their debut Opus Eponymous, and once again tricking everyone to grooving along to songs about ritual human sacrifice and witches bathing in blood.
37. An Agalloch/Wolves in the Throne Room tour, preferably behind new full-length albums for each. Whether you agree with the term “Cascadian black metal” or not, this would be a fun show filled with lots of pagan imagery, atmospheric soundscapes, and shrieking guitars. Plus it would probably keep the fog machine industry going for the next ten years.
38. Someone to predict the end of the world and be right about it, just for a change of pace.
39. More “vinyl only” releases from bands, or at the very least bonus tracks not found anywhere else. Records were the largest growing portion of music sales last year, so it would be cool for bands to look at that fact and the dwindling CD sales and start throwing extra goodies on to records.
40. Everyone who read all the way through this list has a great year, filled with copious amounts of metal, booze, sex, good times, great conversations, and everything else that makes life worth living.