a year in review

christmas at holden beach

Happy New Year, you crazy kids.

This was a really hard year in many ways, for me. It was also one of the best years I’ve had, as well, as crazy as that sounds. Because it wasn’t a bad year. It was just a hard year. And since I think therapy is good for everyone, let’s do some self-reflection on my life and on this blog, yeah?

I only saw 46 shows this year, if you count Hopscotch and RiotFest as one each, which is sort of weird to do but that’s how I’ve always done it. That’s the lowest total I’ve had since I started photographing concerts, thanks in large part to a lengthy bout of crippling depression and an inability to leave the house that came with it — but on the other hand, I photographed Fall Out Boy in a small club, the National at an amphitheater, and I shot the everloving shit out of RiotFest, the biggest press pass I’ve landed to date. Every show I shot this year was quality, if not quantity. I’m looking forward to bringing that number back up in 2014, while still maintaining quality.

On the blog, I posted less than I have in previous years, largely because I was shooting less; I did a lot of self-reflection about I wanted to do here, and I’m happy with what I decided. I launched a guest post series, The First Album I Ever Bought, that I’m thrilled with. (And I’m still taking all submissions, so WRITE ONE.) And the most read post this year was my review of Turn Around, Bright Eyes, thanks to Rob Sheffield’s kind words and link to it on Twitter; thanks for all your kind words on my heart-baring there.

Of my top 15 search terms, 10 were related to minor league baseball in North Carolina, a project I let fall by the wayside but hope to complete with a vengeance and great access in 2014. Two were related to films that Gorman Bechard made or is making: Grant Hart and A Dog Named Gucci. Two could be searches for me, or could just be people looking for new things. And the last was for Sara Landeau, guitarist for the Julie Ruin and serious badass, who I interviewed in August.

You searchers were also super interested in Ryan Bingham’s false teeth and Kyle Seager’s butt, which just proves you’re super weird like me.

My non-online year was mostly marked by being really sad, sleeping through televised sporting events a lot, watching the entire run of The Closer on Amazon Prime, and reading a shit-ton of YA novels and kitschy mysteries. In 2013, I spent ten days at Holden Beach, my favorite place on Earth. I visited my parents in Baltimore three times, saw two Orioles games, took one road trip with my mama and watched one college baseball series with my dad, spent approximately 63 hours on the Damen bus trying to get to Humboldt Park for RiotFest, sunburnt myself so badly that I peeled three times, went to a shitload of therapy appointments, gained 30 pounds, paid off two credit cards, and bought a house.

I’m happier now than I was on January 1, 2013.

So that’s alright, then.

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