It's a thrill, as always, to be a part of Nashville Scene's annual Country Music Critics' Poll, especially in such a terrific year for the genre. Check out the full coverage below, including my own reflection.
Six months in Doha? Impossible. I've spent the time:
Exploring Dubai (where my first Ski Dubai experience ended in an hour of me going around the ski lift):
Catching up with this talented rising musician who's performing at The St. Regis' Vintage Lounge:
... which wasn't nearly as trippy as witnessing Carnival in Venice ...
Celebrating my first Easter without family at a local church, where the kindest strangers helped me and a friend out of a sitcom-like parking mishap.
Crashing the British Embassy's birthday party for The Queen:
Surviving my first sandstorm (and subsequent trip to the ER for a swollen eye).
Quadrupling my knowledge of sports with my first handball game, equestrian competition, tennis tournament (at which David Beckham made an inexplicable appearance) and club "football" match. I'm as surprised as you are:
Being enamored with this guy's insanely good solo album:
Applauding this parody that smartly tackles rape culture:
Digging this (unbelievably, May 25 marks 10 years since this creative force won "American Idol"):
Standing by my best friend of 15 years on her wedding day, and getting ready to join the festivities for another in a few days ...
... and feeling humbled by new perspective, new challenges and new friends, one of whom anonymously gave me this oddly endearing housewarming gift (identify yourself!):
A handful of things that brightened my August:
This spawn of Mumford & Sons and techno music (neither of which I enjoy):
Entertainment Weekly’s excellent Season 9 coverage of “How I Met Your Mother”:
(Discovered: TheSlapbetCountdown.com –indicating the next slap will be doled out on Nov. 18–, the return of Ellen D. “Nobody asked you, Patrice!” Williams, and the growing awesomeness of Cristin Miloti as the mother.)
My aforementioned favorite country single of the year that I reviewed over at Country Universe:
And this Texas road trip classic:
…re-discovered during my second consecutive trip to my college town this summer, which never (ever, ever) gets old:
I think I may have found my favorite country single of 2013: