Thanksgiving is a holiday of gross overindulgence.

I mean... being grateful for what you have. Yes. That.

It's not that I'm not thankful for all of the wonderful things I have -- mainly the people I love -- but here's my big confession. I don't like Thanksgiving. I don't like overeating and the site of everyone's plates with food all mashed together into one gravy-topped mountain makes my stomach churn. My Thanksgiving meal usually involves small helpings of stuffing and mashed potatoes, followed by unholy amounts of pie. Seriously, I should just have my own pie. Pecan, please.

Anyway, back to being thankful. It's wonderful to have family and friends and food. There's also so much music to be thankful for, along with all the merch and madness that comes with it.

Ashley Dean
Ashley Dean

I'm thankful for egotistical, outlandish, polarizing and brilliant artists.


I've never been one to tip-toe around the fact I tend to love the musicians many people hate. This year, I got to heap some praise on M.I.A. and Kanye. Matangi and Yeezus were excellent and every time these two speak, I'm amused and intrigued.

Also, I love me some Miley Cyrus. She can twerk badly half-naked, and wag that tongue around, and I'll still be wanting to shout, "keep doin' you, girl."

And, sure, you might not be able to hear the name Earl Sweatshirt without the word "problematic" ringing in your ears, but I still have Doris on frequent rotation.


I'm thankful for the less contentious, but equally great, artists.


In 2013, we were treated to the stunning comeback for My Bloody Valentine. The Strokes' new record, Comedown Machine, was a welcome improvement on Angles and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs made a wild return with Mosquito. Let's not forget Phoenix's Bankrupt!, Wavves' Afraid of Heights, Disclosure's Settle, or the utterly wonderful Modern Vampires of the City from Vampire Weekend and Reflektor from Arcade Fire.

That's just a starters list for the best of this year. If you need to catch up, get on it. Not to be cool, but to do your soul a favor.

I'm thankful for feminist musician playing cards.


Really. Go to and check out the killer artwork on these things. They've awesomely capture the likes of Kim Gordon, Kathleen Hanna, Carrie Brownstein, Joanna Newsom and many more, in ways that perfectly suit each artist. I want to blow them up and hang them on my walls. Plus, you know, girl power.

I'm thankful that I haven't yet lost my hearing.


Seriously, this is some kind of miracle.

I'm thankful I get to cover Colorado music.


Sure, I have my complaints, but this job and the life it lets me live is pretty damn rad. Thanks for the fun, local bands. You rock.

Contact Ashley Dean at 303-473-1109 or On Twitter: