2015: A Year In Review

2015 New Year celebration with the date outlined by colourful fiery sparklers on a dark New Year's Eve night

I used to sit down every December with a cup of coffee and a cigarette and reflect upon the year as I blog about the events that shaped the year that has gone past. It’s been a few years since I have done that, so my apologies if I’m a little rusty at this.

2015 came in quietly for me, as I sat there finishing off a pitcher of beer at a bar in the quiet college town of Wooster, Ohio. It all seemed like it was going to be just another year for me. Despite the fact that my show had just gotten picked up on iheartradio and I was working on lining up bigger named guests for the show, it seemed like just another year. I usually get excited for the upcoming year, but for some reason it just didn’t seem too celebratory for me. But as time progressed and 2015 pressed on I came to realize just how wrong I was. 2015, like a lot of years, and I know that in the past I have used this word to describe just about every year, but it was a whirlwind. I’ve noticed this, and especially as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that you can sit there and spend all December long planning out exactly how the following year will be, but it never ends up being what you expected.

For myself, and for the world around me, we saw a lot of changes, and a lot of adversities to overcome. We saw a lot of increased media coverage of police involved deaths, we saw the nationwide legalization of gay marriage, we saw a well respected Olympian and reality TV star undergo a sex change, Donald Trump began his presidential campaign, we’ve seen the widespread popularity of social media turn everyone into experts on every subject and then cause the end of many friendships, we’ve seen an increase in mass shootings in America, and we’ve seen our president fail to address the growing issues between America and the Middle East.

For me personally, I got to interview and hang out with bands that I’ve admired and have been a fan of since I was in high school. Bands such as Sponge, Tantric, The Verve Pipe, Orgy, and Flaw. I got enjoyed drinks on tour buses, hang out, talk to these guys on a personal level, and have been able to befriend some of the coolest bands I’ve ever met. I got to emcee a benefit for a friend of mine who underwent heart surgery, where I met some other cool bands. I got to launch another short lived show on No Static Radio with some friends from broadcasting school. And more importantly, I became better acquainted with the city of Cleveland.

Amid a world of controversy the New England Patriots were able to snag another Super Bowl win following a scandal that rocked the sports world and has been dubbed “deflategate.” Its alleged that the Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady had his game balls deflated below regulation weight to make the balls easier for his receivers to catch. After it was found that Brady was responsible for the scandal he was suspended for the first 4 games of the 2015 season, a decision that was later overturned by a federal judge, which caused even more controversy as it was later rumored that the judge only overturned the decision because Brady was on his fantasy team, even though that rumor was never confirmed nor denied. So for Patriots haters the only highlight of Super Bowl 49 was the Katy Perry halftime show.

2015 also saw my team and I putting together our first Wayofest music festival. After a lot of setbacks and disasters, it looked like the show was going to happen, but the show did happen and was a success and a failure all at the same time. With several bands unable to play because of time constraints due to us losing one of our stages, I saw the scene come together as a few of the veterans of the scene decided to gracefully bow out of playing the day of the show to allow for some of the newer acts to get their chance at the spotlight. It was the first time in a very long time that I saw the local music scene come together for the betterment of our local scene. In the months following the festival I had an internal battle over whether or not to return next year and after a lot of thinking I decided that it would be for the best to have this festival return again next year.










As it seems to go, every time that we are nearing the presidential election year, the campaigning season begins earlier and earlier, with many of the candidates announcing their bid for the white house as early as May of 2015, with a year and a half until the general election. With 14 Republican and 3 Democratic candidates still in the running as of right now, no 2 candidates have found themselves wrapped up in as much controversy as billonaire business mogul Donald Trump for the republicans, who has been attracted attention due to his comments that have been perceived to be bigoted and racist in nature; and Senator Bernie Sanders for the democrats, who’s ideas have been perceived as radical, unrealistic, and too socialist for America. However Trump is currently leading the republican polls, and Sanders is trailing former first lady Hillary Clinton in the democratic polls. It may still be too early to tell which direction this election may go in, but I think that the general election will be Marco Rubio and John Kasich against Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley, with Rubio and Kasich pulling off the win. But that’s just my own personal prediction.

Both Faith No More and Coal Chamber put out new albums this year, which begs the question “is rock making a comeback?” Rock may not be dead, it may have been in a coma or on life support in recent years with the rise of popularity of electronic music. But with the return of 2 of hard rock’s heaviest hitters of the last 2 decades, as well as increasing popularity of bands like Korn and Slipknot, it really makes you wonder if 2016 will be the year of rock.

In the past, I have always ended my year in review with a brief reflection of events from the year both from the world around me and my personal lives, things really haven’t shaken the world too much but definitely deserved an honorable mention, then I would close by saying “and still no new Guns ‘N’ Roses album.” However in 2008 Guns ‘N’ Roses quietly released their long awaited “Chinese Democracy” album. Now its 2015 and as of 2013 there have been rumors that GNR was once again working on a new album, and we’re not holding our breath on that one, but this year Axl Rose and Slash both announced that they have ended their 20 year long rivalry and were looking to put together a reunion tour of the classic GNR lineup…again…not holding our breath.

In breaking with tradition, the music world lost a very important icon, former Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver frontman Scott Weiland. Let’s not glorify his tragic death, but instead reflect upon the great music he left behind and hope that others with the same or similar problems as he’s had can learn from this tragedy and get the help that they need.




About a month ago I lost my mother after a lengthy on again/off again battle with cancer. Being that I am the public speaker of the family, I chose to write and give the eulogy at her memorial service. I didn’t realize the tough task that had put ahead of me. It was the hardest speech I ever had to write, and it became even harder to speak. Up until the moment that I got to the podium in front of 200 people, I was still unsure of how I was going to pull this off, or if I even wanted to do it. But by that time I had already committed myself to doing it. And now I’d like to share my eulogy with the world.

It was Hunter S. Thompson who said, “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”

That’s exactly how my mom lived her life. She was all about making the biggest impact that she possibly could, to influence as many people as possible, and to touch the lives of everyone she came into contact with. She had a heart that was big enough for a thousand people and she was not ashamed of that, nor did she brag about it. She was with out a doubt the most selfless person I have ever met in my life, and I’m proud of that fact, she’s so selfless that when we brok the news to her that she didn’t have much time left with her, the first thing she said to me was “London is gonna be devastated.” While most others would take that news and be upset that their life would soon be ending, my mother thought about how her passing would impact the people she loves.

But as we all know, death is not the end, death is simply a new beginning. While I may no longer be able to physically see, hear, or touch my mother; I can still feel her in my heart and that’s where she’ll always be.

Whenever someone passes away people make attempts to comfort you by saying “they’re in a better place now.” That better place is in the hearts of all of us who are present today, as well as those who could not make it to be here today. And its ok that they couldn’t be here today because I’m sure that those of us who are here, the next time we see her will get an earful from my mother for mourning her today.

That’s how I’ll remember my mother the most, for not wanting us to be sad about her passing, but to instead celebrate and cherish that special happy memories that we have of her. I always knew that my mother was proud of her children and all that we’ve accomplished, but I didn’t realize the extent of that until recently. I was given the opportunity of putting together this short film dedicted to my mother to present to all of you today and in doing so I went through pictures and videos that spanned over 60 years of the life of a very special woman, and in doing so I was going through her iPad and I found all of the press from Wayofest, the music and art festival that I worked so hard on which took place this past summer. I was not gonna do the festival again, but seeing how proud my mother was of what I had accomplished with it, it inspired me to do it again. And the plan now is to raise money for a cancer charity in my mother’s name. In life, she never would’ve wanted that kind of recognition, but she deserves it. She deserves recognition for being the strongest woman I have ever known.

I’ve come across people who have told me that my mother is a hero. People who have never met her, who only know her story. That touches me deeper than you could ever imagine, because my mother has always been a hero to me, my brother, my sister, and her beautiful grandchildren.

To elaborate more on the extent of how much my mother cared for others; in 1979 she was a 26 year old beauty, who could have had any guy she chose, yet she took a chance on a 30 year old, goofball divorcee with 3 kids, then married him while being 3 months pregnant…I still don’t thnk my grandmother has forgiven either of them.

But I thank her for doing that, because if it weren’t for her taking that chance then I wouldn’t be here, but other than that I wouldn’t have learned the important lesson that she taught me there; not to judge people based on their pasts. A very important life lesson that I learned even before I was born.

The night that we lost her is a night that I’ll never forget but for that one sad day, I have 12,458 beautiful days to remember and I’ll cherish each one of those becuase she’d want me to remember that there were more beautiful days than ugly days. And right now I can feel her eyes burning into the back of my head, steaming mad becuase I did the math to figure out exactly how many days I had with her, I can hear her saying “oh now you excel in math! Why couldn’t you do that in high school?”

The old saying is “laughter is the best medicine,” and my mom truly believed that. She had a silly and goofy side to her that she didn’t let everyone see. I think some of my dad’s goofiness rubbed off on her. Even though she often yelled at her for his immaturity. She always told him he was 60 going on 12. She also told me I was 30 going on 12 so I guess the apple didn’t fall far from the tree there.

But laughter may not cure everything, sometimes time is the best cure. In Flowers in the Attic, VC Andrews wrote, “Grief, no matter how you try to cater to its wail, has a way of fading away.”

Mom, I just want you to know that your kids, your grandkids, your husband, your mother, your sisters, your brother, your neices, your nephews, your cousins, your aunts, your friends, and everyone else that you loved so much…we’ll be ok, we’ll be alright becuase we knew you, because we knew what a beautiful loving and caring person you were and still are.

In my mother’s memory I encourage all of you to do one kind act for another person as often as you can; whether it be daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly. As often as you can, help out someone who may need your help, not because you want recognition for it, but because its the right thing to do.

I’d like to close with a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson called A Farewell:

Flow down, cold rivulet, to the sea,
Thy tribute wave deliver:
No more by thee my steps shall be,
For ever and for ever.

Flow, softly flow, by lawn and lea,
A rivulet then a river;
No where by thee my steps shall be,
For ever and for ever.

But here will sigh thine alder tree,
And here thine aspen shiver;
And here by thee will hum the bee,
For ever and for ever.

A thousand suns will stream on thee,
A thousand moons will quiver;
But not by thee my steps shall be,
For ever and for ever.


35 Years of Number One Songs

I decided to check out what song has been the number one song in America ever year on my birthday since the day I was born. Let’s see how this progresses.

October 4th, 1981


October 4th, 1982


October 4th, 1983


October 4th, 1984


October 4th, 1985


October 4th, 1986


October 4th, 1987


October 4th, 1988


October 4th, 1989


October 4th, 1990


October 4th, 1991


October 4th, 1992


October 4th, 1993


October 4th, 1994


October 4th, 1995


October 4th, 1996


October 4th, 1997


October 4th, 1998


October 4th, 1999


October 4th, 2000


October 4th, 2001


October 4th, 2002


October 4th, 2003


October 4th, 2004


October 4th, 2005


October 4th, 2006


October 4th, 2007


October 4th, 2008


October 4th, 2009


October 4th, 2010


October 4th, 2011


October 4th, 2012


October 4th, 2013


October 4th, 2014


October 4th, 2015



Top 25 Albums of 2015

25. Meghan Trainor “Title”


24. Brian Wilson “No Pier Pressure”


23. Hopsin “Pound Syndrome”


22. Adele “25”


21. New Order “Music Complete”


20. Muse “Drones”


19. Faith No More “Sol Invictus”


18. Reba McIntyre “Love Somebody”


17. Torche “Restarter”


16. Marilyn Manson “The Pale Emperor”


15. Orgy “Talk Sick”


14. Diana Krall “Wallflower”


13. Purity Ring “Another Eternity”


12. Kendrick Lamar “To Pimp A Butterfly”


11. Luke Bryan “Spring Break…Checkin’ Out”


10. Steve Aoki “Neon Future II”


09. Selena Gomez “Revival”


08. W.A.S.P. “Golgotha”


07. Metrics “Pagans In Vegas”


06. Chris Cornell “Higher Truth”


05. Lana Del Rey “Honeymoon”


04. Clutch “Psychic Warfare”


03. Puscifer “Money Shot”


02. Rod Stewart “Another Country”


01. Dr. Dre “Compton”



Albums of The 2000’s That Will Someday Be Considered Timeless


In the music industry there is an elite club in which you could become a member. Its not a club like the Grammy Winners or even the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, its an unspoken club and to be a member of that club you must release an album that becomes timeless. Albums that have made history include but are not limited to “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band” by The Beatles, “Beggars Banquet” by The Rolling Stones, “Led Zeppelin IV” by Led Zeppelin, “Rattle and Hum” by U2, “The Doors” by The Doors, “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, “Nevermind” by Nirvana, “Straight Outta Compton” by NWA, “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath, etc.

And as people often complain about the state of the music industry nowadays, it begs the question, “20-25 years from now, what records of the new millennium will be remembered and still praised?” You can’t really truly predict what record will be held in high regards in the future, I mean none of us really thought that Nirvana and Sublime would stand the test of time and each have respective records that are held in high records more than 20 years after their release. But what you can do is look back at the records that have already been considered timeless, and try to figure out what has helped to maintain the popularity of those albums. Then you can make an educated guess.

Generally speaking, most timeless albums were extremely popular in their time of release, usually a multiplatinum success that generated numerous hit singles. But that isn’t always the case. Sometimes a timeless album is a bit of a sleeper; maybe it wasn’t popular initially but something happened to trigger a revitalization, a new-found success of a record that maybe didn’t do so well when it was initially released. These are often referred to as having a sort of cult status, a fine example of that would be Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of The Moon,” one of the best selling records of all time, which spawned zero hits at the time of its release. But then you have Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album which until recently held the record for the most number 1 hit singles off of a single album. Another thing you must look at is the success of the album’s singles. A lot of times, with these timeless albums, the singles have a lot of staying power, years after the initial release of the album the songs are still staples on the radio, and in this day and age getting a lot of play with streaming services. Although, it is possible that the songs did fairly well initially, but disappeared for a while, but later receive a renewed popularity.

After reviewing all of the criteria that makes an album timeless and eliminating some of the momentary trendsetters and novelty bubblegum acts, the first two albums that really jump to the front of the line are “The Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance and “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry.

People can argue that My Chemical Romance were nothing more than the front runners or poster boys of the emo culture that faded into obscurity around 2010. But the band’s 3rd release is really what really began the massacre of emo culture. While most bands in the mainstream during that time wanted to distance themselves as much as possible from the “emo” label. So, like My Chemical Romance and their more radio friendly counterparts Fall Out Boy, some bands who wanted to shake the label released more experimental records. Records that were inspired by artists other than The Misfits, Weezer, and The Smiths, all three of which were major influences on the bands of that era. My Chemical Romance decided with their third record to dig deep and find influence with bands like Queen and Pink Floyd. The end result is an epic rock opera much like “Ziggy Stardust” or “Tommy.”

However, just a little more than three years after the release of the band’s groundbreaking album, emo quietly disappeared, leaving nothing more than just a bit of nostalgia for those who are now in their late 20’s through their mid-30’s, who once found solace in the romantic lyrics of the bands of that sensation. Following its release “The Black Parade” spawned 4 hit singles, many of which slowly went away in time. But the album is slowly making a comeback.

Around 2004-2005, a lot of the nu metal kids were becoming adults are no longer had the same anger for their parents as they did as teenagers and were looking to music that possessed more romanticism. Becoming tired of the repetition of angst in the music of their teen years, emo seemed to be the perfect transition. But around 2009-2010, as they matured they found that emo was not maturing, but nu metal had matured substantially and now held all of the qualities to unlock the emotions that they were now feeling as they were approaching their 30’s. So a lot of the emo kids of the 2000’s abandoned emo to run back to nu metal. But with the 2012 return of Fall Out Boy and the increasing nostalgia of the music from that era, a lot of people have found themselves turning back to that music, and the biggest record of that time being “The Black Parade.”

The other album that quickly comes to mind as someday being timeless is Katy Perry’s 3rd album “Teenage Dream.” While it may be a much newer album, “Teenage Dream,” has become one of the most successful records in history, tying the record with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” for the most number 1 singles of an album, the first for a female to have five number 1 singles, the third album in history to have eight top 5 hits, and in the digital era it set the record for the most multiplatinum singles off of a record, breaking the previous record set by Fergie’s “The Dutchess” album. But this wasn’t some sort of fluke as we saw Katy’s follow up album “Prism” finding an incredible amount of success as well.

Other than the success following the initial release of the album, the album seems to still have a lot of staying power. As the popularity of “Prism” has seemed to dwindle down a bit, at least 5 of the 9 singles from “Teenage Dream” seem to still be staples at clubs and on top 40 radio, and the album and its singles still find success through streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora, and iHeartradio.

Other than those two albums, some of the albums from the past 15 years that I think will someday be considered timeless are as follows; Linkin Park “Hybrid Theory,” R.E.M. “Around The Sun,” Britney Spears “Circus,” Norah Jones “Come Away With Me,” Afi “Decemberunderground,” System of A Down “Toxicity,” Eminem “The Eminem Show,” Bruce Springsteen “The Rising,” Green Day “American Idiot,” Amy Winehouse “Back To Black,” Kendrick Lamar “To Pimp A Butterfly,” and Orgy “Vapor Transmission.”