2020 Music* Review

Music

This is probably the only real element of popular contemporary culture that I stay really up-to-date on, primarily because of how much I love discovering new sounds. It, therefore, follows that the bulk of this post will be devoted to music.

My Top Albums of 2020

You’ll hear this a lot from me, but all 5 of these albums feel like they’re defining a contemporary genre for me, and I can’t say how many times I have and will listen to each of these albums the full way through. I’ll try to summarize these in a sentence or so, to keep it short and sweet.

5. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit — Reunions

4. Rina Sawayama — SAWAYAMA

3. Fiona Apple — Fetch the Boltcutters

2. Beach Bunny — Honeymoon

1. Bad Bunny — YHLQMDLG

Favorite Music Videos of 2020

Only a few of us maybe even care about music videos anymore. Here are some of my favorites from this year. Not ranking them, just wanted to share a few that stood out. No summaries here, and most of these are pretty mainstream (sorry!) and likely you already know them.

Bad Bunny — Yo Perreo Sola

BENEE — KOOL

REI AMI — DICTATOR

The Strokes — The Adults Are Talking

Doja Cat — Say So

Artist of the Year: Arlo Parks

Favorite Comic Books of 2020

This year was a weird year for comics for me, since my comic book experience is highly connected to my local comic book shops, which have been pretty much closed all year. I opted out of Marvel Unlimited this year because I was kind of tired of the content I was getting (and also budget cuts due to COVID-19+unemployment demanded it). However, I did spend some cash on some good comic books regardless. Here are three comics from 2020 that I read this year that I really enjoyed:

Sophie Yanow — The Contradictions

Okay so technically fully collected and published in 2020 so I’m counting it. I was really excited to finally get this book in my hands after reading Sophie’s online postings preceding it. It’s a wonderfully beautiful exploration of love, strangeness, and loneliness and I cannot recommend it enough.

James Tynion IV + Werther Dell’Edera+Miquel Muerto — Something is Killing the Children

This one is technically on-going so the story isn’t yet complete but so far it’s a really interesting, visually stunning, and quite disturbing action horror comic.

Simon Spurrier+Aaron Campbell+Matias Bergara+Marcio Takara — John Constantine: Hellblazer

I’ve always been a fan of the troubled character of John Constantine, and this segment of the 2020 run was a great mix of heavy conscience, magic, and the occult that I have thoroughly enjoyed so far.

My Writing

Last year I included a small conclusory segment on some of the writing I did myself, and I’m going to lightly repeat that here.

MilitiaWatch (MW)

Most of my Medium followers follow me because they read the Medium publication for MilitiaWatch, either out of interest or hate (err, “intel”, I guess). Writing this year was kept to a minimum as I maintained a focus on research and data over writing, but I wanted to highlight one article:

Academic Writing

Last year I was still in graduate school and had a whole slew of interesting paper topics I was working on, but now I’ve got at least one ongoing project right now, which is on the international and intersecting use of memes among far-right organizations, a project for which I am part of a small team. Earlier this year, we put out an article at the Global Network on Extremism & Technology (GNET):

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