I am a bit of a music snob.

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Meaning, I regularly turn my nose up at popular music, preferring instead to listen to the tunes that inspire rather than the blather played on the radio or on the charts. The thing is, in 2013, those lines were blurred, and not in a rape-y, Robin Thicke sort of way.

I not only gorged on my usual obscure, artsy music, but I happened to fall in love with some of the hottest albums released on 2013. Here are the 10 albums I listened to obsessively in 2013 and will continue to bump in 2014. If you haven’t heard of the band or the album, click the links, check out the videos and give ’em a listen.

I hope you will find something on this eclectic list that catches your fancy.

xoxo

The Collectiva Diva

The Music

1) Born to Die the Paradise Edition by Lana Del Rey

Released in November 2012, The Paradise Edition of Born to Die is a double album with 8 extra songs in addition to the original Born to Die discography. Lana’s voice is ethereal and her lyrics are hardcore. She is a perfect mixture of a Lolita seductress and a ride or die chick. The singer reminds me of that bad ass party girl I know from the streets of Hollywood; as comfortable piss drunk at a house party in burbs of West Covina as she is lounging by the roof top pool at The Standard. Interested in watching a 27 minute short film set to the tune of Paradise? Check out Tropico, starring Lana Del Rey as Eve, a stripper and other archetypal roles she’s bloody good at playing.

“Yayo”

The Time of the Doctor

Written by Steven Moffat

The Collective gals have been dreading this episode ever since the BBC’s announcement that Matt Smith was leaving Doctor Who back in June. For those of us who fell in love with Eleven fairly soon after he and his bumbling TARDIS crashed into Amelia Pond’s garden shed back in April 2010, the Timelord’s regeneration proved to be as emotional and as satisfying as we knew it would be. While I have enjoyed watching many different faces play the time traveling alien, Matt Smith was my Doctor. The Doctor with whom I began the journey through the time vortex and the one who sparked my interest in the wide Who-niverse of this brilliant television show. Matt Smith played Eleven as an ancient god; fierce and fun, sad and sweet, knowledgeable and knowingly forgetful all at the same time. He protected the innocent, never forgot a face and believed that everyone mattered. This is what led him to Trenzalore. (Spoilers ahead, sweetie!)

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S07xE15 (the 2013 Christmas special)

AKA Raggedy Man, Goodnight

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A few months ago, I asked my nephew what he wanted for Christmas. “I want the sonic screwdriver,” he said.

“Which one?” I replied. (At five years old, Jacob is one of the most prolific Whovians I know.)

“The Tenth Doctor’s. Cuz he’s the best.”

I ordered him a sonic screwdriver off Amazon the next day. Bam. Christmas shopping done. But then, I did a silly thing and left the screwdriver in a place where any five-year-old could find it: right next to the Wii. From my silly mistake spawned a wonderful idea that encompassed the gift giving for both Jacob and his mother: a Whovian Christmas.

Phase One: The Idea

The Collected Canadian had the idea, I must say. We were brainstorming gift ideas for Jacob’s mom, and the Collected Canadian said, “You know, I bet she’d love a Doctor Who-themed photoshoot. She’s always saying she needs pictures of all of us together.” Bam. There it was. We’d all dress up like Whovian characters and do a photoshoot. We all know how much I love my cosplay, right?

So, the casting:

  • Jacob as the Doctor
  • The Collected Canadian as the TARDIS
  • Moi (The Collectress) as Bad Wolf Girl (From “The Day of the Doctor”)
  • Jacob’s mom as Amelia Pond
  • Jacob’s mom’s boyfriend as Rory Williams

Phase Two: Putting the Pieces Together

Now came the hard part: putting it all together without my sister (and housemate!) knowing. We started small, by first implanting the idea of buying Jacob a Doctor outfit to go with his sonic screwdriver. We decided on the Eleventh Doctor, because Jacob really likes his fez. (Fezzes are cool, don’t ya know…)

All I Want For Christmas is the Supernatural Hellatus to End

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I’ve experienced a few series hiatuses (yes, I looked it up and that is the plural word) in my time. The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, friggen Sherlock! Still, none as acutely as this ridiculous holiday hellatus that is the Supernatural Christmas break. When did I become so attached to this show? It happened sometime this summer, me thinks, when I put in more hours on Tumblr and AO3 for this fandom than I ever have with any other. In fact, if I’m being honest, I never felt more part of a fandom than with the SPN Family. Sherlockians are scattered, Whovians are pretentious, Walking Dead fans are, well, strange…but the SPN Family is just that, a family. From the cast and crew, to shippers, to the fellow mommy from Texas that is my friend on Twitter (shoutout to Brenda!), these are salt-of-the-earth (and salt all the windows and doors, too) folks who value the SPN mythology as much as I do and are not afraid to show it.