Tag Archives: top stuff

My Top Stuff of 2015

WELL. i’m making no pretense that anybody in the world could care about my thoughts about 2015 at this point, but i’ve been working on them anyway, just for myself, for posterity, to refer back to later, to remember and look back on the year in a digestible way. i do end up using these at unpredictable future points, like showing an artist years later that their last record was among my favorites of that year, or pointing out to some dude i met that i liked the movie he’s trying to tell me about long before he “introduced” me to it, or in giving an overview of my taste to future entertainment-biz employers, so i’m gonna keep doing that on the faith that something like that might happen again. so here this is!! i genuinely am just doing it for myself, because i like to have the record gathered together in one place, but if for some reason you see this and want to argue about 2015, well, i’m up for that too.

2015 was a really good one for me! i started to get pretty dug in to my main work/life activities in Seattle (in a really good way): aside from having pretty uniquivocally the best year yet in Band Mom history, i continued working as a show manager at the Vera Project, and also began working the door at my cool neighborhood venue, Columbia City Theater. (i can WALK to work for my first time ever!!!) i worked for my second year in the box office for the Seattle International Film Festival, which i really really loved. (i also did a day’s work as a PA on a corporate commercial shoot in Bellevue which was really fun.) in March i traveled yet again to Austin (and San Antonio) for my 9th SXSW in a row, then in October hustled back to NYC for my 10th straight CMJ: my first one ever where i got to host an official Band Mom CMJ showcase!! i also had the honor of acting as a guest speaker (as part of the “Music Industry One-On-Ones”) at an inaugural CMJ “College Day on Tour” event at Holocene in Portland. on top of all that, i got to participate (thanks to the Vera Project) in the Seattle festivals Bumbershoot (Sept) and Capitol Hill Block Party (July), and Sasquatch at the Gorge in May. AND i made trips to Anacortes for my 30th birthday, to Vashon Island and Kent/Bonney Lake to visit WA friends and family, and Ohio and Los Angeles in December for the holidays. i hosted or hung with friends visiting from all over the world, including from NYC, LA, British Columbia, Australia and New Zealand. PRETTY COOL YEAR ALL AROUND!

you’ll see my festival and venue work again reflected pretty heavily when we get down to my Top Shows lists, much as they were in my Top Stuff of 20142013, 2012 and 2011 (i didn’t have such jobs in 2010 and 2009, but the venues i’d later work at were reflected pretty heavily in those lists as well). i’m maintaining the rule that Band Mom Bands are ineligible for the Top Albums list because i couldn’t possibly rank them against each other, but that i can’t rule out shows where i worked the door or box office or show managed or was otherwise professionally involved in for my Top Shows lists, because then there would be almost no shows to consider.

as always, i never claim stuff on this list is the ‘best’ of the year. art is impossible to grade on an objective scale, and it’s insulting and ugly to posture as though one could do so. these are just my favorites:

my top 60 albums of 2015:

  1. sufjan stevens – carrie and lowell                                                                                                    suf-candl
  2. father john misty – i love you, honeybear
  3. hop along – painted shut
  4. low – ones and sixes
  5. courtney barnett – sometimes i sit and think, and sometimes i just sit
  6. sleater-kinney – no cities to love
  7. eskimeaux – o.k.
  8. little wings – explains
  9. dilly dally – sore
  10. the mountain goats – beat the champ
  11. mal blum – you look a lot like me
  12. ezra furman – perpetual motion people
  13. colleen green – i want to grow up
  14. mitski – bury me at makeout creek
  15. mount eerie – sauna
  16. beach slang – the things we do to find people who feel like us
  17. craig finn – faith in the future
  18. mac mccaughan – non-believers
  19. levoneh [aka osito] – what on earth
  20. heems – eat pray thug
  21. chastity belt – time to go home
  22. waxhatchee – ivy tripp
  23. pomegranates – healing power
  24. mates of state – you’re going to make it
  25. rocky votolato – hospital handshakes
  26. your heart breaks – america
  27. say hi – bleeders digest
  28. unlikely friends – solid gold cowboys
  29. joanna gruesome – peanut butter
  30. bully – feels like
  31. bad bad hats – psychic reader
  32. ought – sun coming down
  33. anna gordon – tuck your bones in
  34. el vy – return to the moon
  35. aqueduct – wild knights
  36. ibeyi – ibeyi
  37. jose gonzalez – vestiges & claws
  38. julien baker – sprained ankle
  39. oscar – beautiful words ep
  40. hot chip – why make sense?
  41. dick diver-melbourne florida
  42. elvis depressedly – new alhambra
  43. rhett miller – the traveler
  44. natalie prass – natalie prass
  45. the wonder years – no closer to heaven
  46. girlpool – girlpool
  47. car seat headrest – teens of style
  48. death cab for cutie – kintsugi
  49. titus andronicus – the most lamentable tragedy
  50. frog eyes – pickpocket’s locket
  51. jr jr – jr jr
  52. the decemberists – what a terrible world, what a beautiful world
  53. stelth ulvang – and, as always; the infinite cosmos
  54. son lux – bones
  55. third eye blind – dopamine
  56. belle and sebastian – girls in peacetime want to dance
  57. joanna newsom – divers
  58. unknown mortal orchestra – multi-love
  59. mew – + – [plus minus]
  60. beirut – no no no

the top 20 especially this year are albums i care a LOT about, like they’re particularly important to me. you’ll notice that this is a significantly longer list (and i’m expressing stronger feelings about it) than in 2014. this is a very nice thing. the amount of music i’m open to taking in at any given time is pretty directly tied to my emotional state, like you could make a pretty clear direct-relationship graph out of it, maybe one of the most obvious external barometers i give off of how i’ve been feeling. much longer music list than the recent past = much better year for me, emotionally. now you know. another factor is that i bought a car late in the year, my first for about a decade, and i was thus listening to full albums via my car’s cd player much more often than i have for quite a long time.

while i see my films list below as pretty definitive (with the couple of named possible exceptions and MAYBE like one or two wildcards that came out in 2015 but didn’t cross my radar), i see this music list as much less so. even so far past the end of the year, i still know there’s so much more music that was released in 2015 that never crossed my ears but that may end up being my favorite stuff in the future. so like, in ten years i bet i’ll probably largely stand by my top films list here, but my top music released in 2015 may look completely different (i’m talking additions, not deletions – the fact that this list of albums had a real impact on me can’t and won’t change retroactively). in fact i’ve got a list of about 40 more albums i just haven’t spent enough time with to include but i bet would be very likely to in a hypothetical distant-future accounting of this year. some of them are embarrassing, like bjork and beach house and panda bear and deerhoof – i love those bands, how could i have slept on those releases? WHO KNOWS

as mentioned and as always, Band Mom artists are ineligible for this list because I wouldn’t even begin to know how to rank them: this means you, kingsborough, san juan, ex’s with benefits, pocket panda, fred thomas, led to sea, anthonie tonnon, sara curtin, advance base, girls in trouble, eliza rickman, lonesome leash, matt bauer, jonas carping, and the effort award. that’s artists from California, Seattle, Michigan, DC, Chicago, Portland OR, New Zealand, and Sweden and beyond (and releases by Orindal, Misra, Polyvinyl and more – some of my very favorite, bucket-list-level record labels!! can’t believe I got to work with those!!!). you all put out FANTASTIC albums that are tied for number one in my heart, and I love you the most.

top 20 shows (concerts):

  1. sufjan stevens w/helado negro @ the paramount (seattle, june)                                       https://scontent.fsnc1-2.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/11391132_10100353596890863_1172392312876570138_n.jpg?oh=0f4a64cb167100b1a4256fbba6ba3072&oe=58640F34
  2. sasquatch highlights: ryan adams, father john misty, sleater-kinney, courtney barnett, hot chip, st. vincent, new pornographers, jenny lewis, ex hex, gogol bordello, angel olsen, smokey brights, modest mouse, decemberists, spoon, dan mangan + blacksmith, sharon van etten, run the jewels (the gorge, may)
  3. low w/andy shauf @ the crocodile (seattle, november)
  4. polaris w/scarves @ the crocodile (seattle, april)
  5. stars w/leisure cruise @ the neptune (seattle, march)
  6. mxpx w/five iron frenzy & success @ the showbox (seattle, march)
  7. the both (feat. john roderick on “voices carry”) @ the crocodile (seattle, july)
  8. third eye blind w/dashboard confessional & ex-cops @ marymoor park (near seattle, july)
  9. the long winters/john roderick for city council campaign event @ the triple door (seattle, july)
  10. father john misty for a kexp intimate solo acousting show/interview @ columbia city theater (seattle, july)
  11. sxsw highlights: the zombies, fred thomas, mal blum, courtesy tier, alvvays, dott, dreamend, night school, the church, twilight sad, mew, fort lean, angel olsen, downtown boys, mitski, elijah wood dj set (with zach cowie, as ‘wooden wisdom’) (austin, march)
  12. cmj highlights: dilly dally, shannon and the clams, frankie cosmos, oscar, the album leaf, S, nai harvest, baeb rxxth (not to mention my aforementioned first-ever official Band Mom showcase!) (new york, october)
  13. creed bratton @ the sunset (seattle, october)
  14. luna @ bowery ballroom (new york, october)
  15. wilco for a kexp intimate solo acousting show/interview @ columbia city theater (seattle, august)
  16. dilly dally @ the sunset (seattle, october)
  17. bumbershoot highlights: neko case (w eric bachmann on guitar/keys), brand new, social distortion, lisa prank (seattle, september)
  18. capitol hill block party highlights: the julie ruin, father john misty, tv on the radio, ratatat, deep creep (seattle, july)
  19. okkervil river (will sheff solo playing black sheep boy & appendix) @ columbia city theater (seattle, december)
  20. oh! pears in twin peaks costumes @ the rendezvous (seattle, halloween)

this was a big nostalgia year, catching so many bands i loved ten years ago (some for the very first time)…i guess that’s what aging’s like, maybe no coincidence that this is the year I turned 30. many of them made this list, but it was so packed a few didn’t: like the ataris at el corazon, kevin devine at the vera project, death cab for cutie at deck the hall ball…this list was initially 35 shows long so i also cut out a lot of experiences i look back on very fondly, with friends’ bands, new fav bands, shows i worked, etc but just needed to get on with things so this doesn’t keep going for a million years (more). don’t be offended if your show that I was at didn’t make this list, it was still great!

it was also a big year for me and the New Pornographers: in addition to seeing the full band at Sasquatch, I was lucky enough to catch Kathryn Calder, Destroyer, and Neko Case each separately as well! ALL for the first time I think, like before 2015 I don’t think I’d seen any New Pornos (maybe Carl at a mostly-comedy show in Brooklyn once?) and now i’ve seen almost all of them, separately and together! (whoa)

my 10 favorite comedy/podcast/spoken word shows I saw (in chronological order):

-aparna nancherla and ron funches @ sasquatch 5.24

-jen kirkman @ vera project 6.25

-sharpling & wurster (with ben gibbard) @ neumos 8.27

-neil hamburger and hari kondabolu @ bumbershoot 9.5&6

-risk! (hosted by kevin allison) @ vera project 9.24&5

-alicia jo rabins poetry reading @ hugo house 9.29

-sparks nevada live @ littlefield 10.9, and then thrilling adventure hour @ bell house 10.10

-judge john hodgman with mark gagliardi and hal lublin @ le poisson rouge 10.11

-ask me another (hosted by ophira eisenberg and jonathan coulton) with bruce campbell & lucy lawless @ bell house 10.12; then also (hosted by ophira eisenberg and cecil baldwin) with peter sarsgaard @ bell house 10.19

-whiplash with james adomian and anthony atamanuik doing trump vs bernie @ ucb chelsea 10.12

top 50 movies:

  1. inside out                                                                                                                                                  inside-out-emotions
  2. what we do in the shadows
  3. love & mercy
  4. room
  5. clouds of sils maria
  6. people places things
  7. anomalisa
  8. me him her
  9. white god
  10. about elly
  11. tig
  12. magic mike xxl
  13. it follows
  14. he named me malala
  15. embrace of the serpent
  16. the look of silence
  17. dope
  18. the revenant
  19. spotlight
  20. the end of the tour
  21. merchants of doubt
  22. call me lucky
  23. cartel land
  24. racing extinction
  25. welcome to me
  26. me and earl and the dying girl
  27. do i sound gay?
  28. mistress america
  29. the hunting ground
  30. mustang
  31. winter on fire: ukraine’s fight for freedom
  32. coming home
  33. queen of earth
  34. ex machina
  35. nasty baby
  36. where to invade next
  37. deathgasm
  38. isabella rossellini’s green porno live!
  39. the danish girl
  40. 45 years
  41. night owls
  42. son of saul
  43. joy
  44. manson family vacation
  45. american ultra
  46. youth
  47. mad max: fury road
  48. theeb
  49. the hateful eight
  50. digging for fire

honorable mentions (roughly in order; this whole list was initially a numbered top 160 until I considered how ridiculous that is. but FYI I feel EXTRA strongly this time about the top 10 of the above list, but strongly enough about all of these to mention ‘em. I did see 85 other 2015 movies that didn’t make any list at all!):

goodnight mommy; the stanford prison experiment; entertainment; 4th man out, the overnight; the martian; the wolfpack; amy; phoenix; the big short; carol; going clear: scientology and the prison of belief; 7 chinese brothers; the invisible boy; don’t think i’ve forgotten: cambodia’s lost rock and roll; shaun the sheep; trumbo; tangerine; southpaw; jurassic world; crimson peak; experimenter; cub; turbo kid; the russian woodperker; hurricane of fun: the making of wet hot; brooklyn; bridge of spies; spring; steve jobs; cooties; ant-man; sleeping with other people; creed; manglehorn; love, theft, and other entanglements; jimmy’s hall; adult beginners; victoria; spy; project almanac; chappie; while we’re young; partisan; kurt cobain: montage of heck; boy & the world; shrew’s nest; romeo is bleeding; bloodsucking bastards; partners in crime; kingsman: the secret service; hits; tab hunter confidential; next time i’ll aim for the heart; results; when marnie was there; the man from u.n.c.l.e.; avengers: age of ultron; mommy; the good dinosaur; sisters; accused/lucia de b.; the young and prodigious ts spivet; all things must pass; slow learners; chuck norris vs communism; love [gaspar noe]; danny collins; mardan; woman in gold; i’ll see you in my dreams; iris; cop car; jenny’s wedding; 99 homes; star wars: the force awakens; straight outta compton; sicario; the diary of a teenage girl; slow west; home; the gift; guidance; dior and i; a second chance; a war [krigen]; miss you already; goosebumps; paper towns; best of enemies; strangerland; beasts of no nation; what happened, miss simone?; get hard; true story; jupiter ascending; macbeth; lost river; the nightmare; trainwreck; mission: impossible: rogue nation; unfinished business; the assassin; the intern; the lazarus effect; tomorrowland; ned rifle; truth; vacation; pan.

top NEW actors of the year (as in i’d never heard their names before/hadn’t noticed them in anything as actors and now they seem like a big deal to me, were each in several things i loved or at least were really impressive in one thing): jacob tremblay (room), john cena and lebron james (trainwreck)

standout actors of the year (who were not new to me, but were in a bunch of stuff i loved and seemed to have a really big year): jemaine clement (what we do in the shadows, people places things), jason schwartzman (7 chinese brothers, the overnight), donald glover (kept popping up unexpectedly in surprise small roles: magic mike xxl, lazarus effect, the martian, contributed to some songs in creed), tye sheridan (dark places, the stanford prison experiment, scouts guide to the zombie apocalypse, entertainment)

i usually only do those for actors, but this year i wanna make a special note about a particularly impressive filmmaker: max landis wrote american ultra AND wrote & directed me him her – both of which i loved, how’d ya do it all max!! (i also got to meet him at SIFF and he was so fun and nice!)

also as an aside, a few years ago I made up a ‘best sound design‘ category because I felt so strongly about black swan’s and then we need to talk about kevin’s and then upstream color’s and then the babadook’s, and was mad that they were slighted in oscar nominations, and this year I feel the same way about the sound in THE REVENANT (a lot was made of its natural-light cinematography but there were some really masterful touches in the sound as well!)

oh and I created a bunch more superlatives/notes of interest which tend to vary by the year, like this time i wanna talk about best cover song on a soundtrack: i was really impressed by lili rose mckay’s cover of the mountain goats’ “love love love” in welcome to me, as well as the polyphonic spree playing nirvana (on camera, not just extradiegetic soundtrack) in the big short.

how about, best score: i had strong feelings about disaster peace’s work in it follows, atticus ross’s work in love & mercy, and daniel lopatin’s work in partisan.

and the oddest coincidence i’d like to note: the young and prodigious ts spivet has a shot where the sister has 8 of herself sitting around a conference table in her mind – just like inside out. (they came out so close to the same time it’s really not possible one copied the other. just parallel thinking i guess!)

some stats notes on movies: in 2015 i saw 307 different movies. (148 of them were 2015-released movies.) exactly 98 of them were in theaters, and to date i’ve seen 245 movies that came out in 2015 (that’s by far the most i’ve ever taken in for one year! but i’m also publishing this like hilariously, unreasonably, late. i’ll never have this complete of an accounting of a year again, i’m sure, because i’ll never take THIS much extra time to think about that year. this includes several that i watched after the year ended, so they’ll be among the total i report having watched in 2016, but they’re also part of the group of 2015 movies i’m counting as eligible for this best-of list because i watched them before publishing this list, today).

as for movies with questionable release dates, the rule i made up is basically that if i saw it in like a festival or limited-engagement special event in 2015, even if it didn’t get even limited national release otherwise, it counts for my list, but if i did not see it in a festival before 2015 and its first limited release (a usa release that’s not a specific festival, even if it showed in fests pre-2015) was this year, then it counts. in other words it’s pretty subjective to my perspective, but it had to have its (limited or wide) release begin in 2015 OR be seen by me in a festival or special event (i saw movies at SXSW, SIFF and a few assorted micro fests and special screenings, and in theaters and homes in New York, Seattle, Ohio, and Austin) in 2015.

also of note, i saw 11 2015 movies in 3d, as well as 4 in IMAX (3 of those overlapped, IMAX 3d), and one in 70mm (the hateful eight). i continue to think 3d is a stupid cash grab that almost never adds to the film, but I suffer from pretty severe fear of missing out so i keep allowing myself to get suckered in. this year the only ones i’d really make a case for 3d being worth it were mad max: fury road, jurassic world, jupiter ascending, and the marvel movies (if nothing else, it enhances how fun it is to see ’em fly all around).

i saw only one movie twice in theaters this year: no coincidence that that was my number one, inside out. (one of the two screenings was in 3d.)

this is my longest movie list ever…there are just so many that I truly feel strongly about! also I keep seeing more and more movies every year in theaters, because of this service called Moviepass where I pay a monthly fee for nearly-unlimited movies so that it actually made financial sense to see MORE movies than less, and I was happy to oblige. i also included netflix/other VOD-only releases that debuted in 2015, even if they never showed in theaters. i think this is my first year doing that but it’s relevant these days.

here’s what 1.88 trips to the movie theater a week (plus a few extraneous otherwise tix) looks like, btw:

20161106_141904-1

although i obviously saw a ton of movies this year, you’ll always miss a few; there are a few that i still intend to see. i feel very good about the above list, really got pretty much all of the serious contenders in for once (like for the first time ever since beginning to put these lists together, i caught every single feature-length film nominated for an oscar in any category before publishing!). even so, these stragglers might have had a chance at making the above lists had i been able to catch them: girlhood, gueros, uncle kent 2, stone barn castle, the secret in their eyes, labyrinth of lies, the glamour and the squalor, she’s funny that way, accidental love, grandma, gravy, samba, eden, mojave, tumbledown, life, staten island summer, amour fou, a hard day, jauja, meet the patels, everest, appropriate behavor, and freeheld. pretty much everything else, if it had a theatrical release in 2015 and it’s not listed here, it’s on purpose. SO THERE.

saw filmmakers/actors in person promoting:

-pod (director mickey keating and cast & crew q&a via live feed from the other room, SXSW @ alamo drafthouse at the ritz, march 17)
-night owls (director/co-writer charles hood, and co-writer/producer seth goldsmith, plus a producer, production designer, costumer, SXSW @ ‘rollins theater at the long center’, march 17)
-spy (paul feig q&a, SIFF opening night @ mccaw hall, may 14)
-love & mercy (composer atticus ross, SIFF @ egyptian, may 15)
-guidance (writer/director pat mills, SIFF @ harvard exit, may 15)
-shrew’s nest (co-director esteban roel, SIFF @ egyptian, may 19)
-do i sound gay? (filmmaker david thorpe w interview subject dan savage, SIFF @ harvard exit, may 27)
-it’s so easy and other lies (director christopher duddy with camera operator john jeffcoat, SIFF @ egyptian, may 28)
-the russian woodpecker (director chad gracia, SIFF @ uptown, may 31)
-saved from the flames (presentation of archival prints by Serge Bromberg, SIFF @ uptown, june 2)
-love, theft and other entanglements (co-writers and director rami and muayad alayan, SIFF @ pac place, june 3)
-experimenter (director michael almereyda, SIFF @ uptown, june 4)
-me him her (director max landis with producer peter saraf and cast members emily meade, dustin milligan, luke bracey [they also led an ‘i want it that way’ singalong pre-film, so fun], SIFF @ pac place, june 6)
-7 chinese brothers (director bob byington, star jason schwartzman, moderated by lynn shelton, SIFF @ egyptian, june 7)
-wayne’s world (intro by director penelope spheeris, SIFF uptown, september 18)

favorite new tv shows:

master of none
master-none-poster-629x360
unbreakable kimmy schmidt
togetherness
izombie
wet hot american summer: first day of camp
crazy ex-girlfriend
unREAL
grace and frankie
marvel’s jessica jones
fresh off the boat
the jinx
w/ bob & david
documentary now!
bloodline
wayward pines
better call saul
casual
making a murderer
the last man on earth
superstore
man seeking woman
marvel’s daredevil
other space
quantico
scream queens
scream
marvel’s agent carter

plus favorite returning (not new in 2015 but had 2015 seasons) tv shows:

detectorists
ldmyo60qugg-market_maxres
louie
parks and recreation
bob’s burgers
last week tonight with john oliver
adventure time
brooklyn nine-nine
bojack horseman
fargo
broad city
transparent
nathan for you
rick and morty
portlandia
looking
jane the virgin
new girl
community
comedy bang bang
drunk history
lucas bros moving co
the mindy project
house of cards
review
married
scandal
orange is the new black
girls
marvel’s agents of s.h.i.e.l.d.

(fell behind on current seasons of american horror story, downton abbey, childrens hospital, hannibal, luther, scandal, silicon valley, and mozart in the jungle that might’ve otherwise made the list; also planning on someday getting around to happy valley, residue, sense8, the spoils before dying, narcos, american odyssey, ash vs evil dead, broadchurch, halt and catch fire, true detective, the knick, justified, parenthood, boardwalk empire, veep, shameless, enlightened, kroll show, key & peele, the affair…need more hours in the day)

also, never did a line like this in this post before, but a celebrity (or maybe “celebrity”, famous-to-me anyway…public figure?) death of 2015 affected me more than any other stranger’s death in my life has, i don’t think i ever even met this guy but always felt like he was one of my tribe, and he’s a tv-related person so i’ll put this here: eternal heavy-hearted RIP to harris wittels.

image52-768x1024
2.19.15.

i’ve capped off these posts the last few years with “celebrity encounters”, where i humblebrag (RIP again harris) about meeting famous people then post my favorite photo, but all my “celebrity encounters” are really already detailed above…this year i’m just gonna go with an exciting thing i did, which was celebrate turning 30 by buying a Mount Eerie record in Anacortes (from The Business, a record store associated with Phil Elverum) and bringing it up to Mt. Erie. my kind of pilgrimage.

mt erie

THE END! I love you.

My Top Stuff of 2014

HA, ha ha ha. 2014!! I’ve been working on this post since before the end of the year. Three months ago!! I was really trying to get this up by the time of the Oscars, since that broadcast seems like the definitive line of Last Chance To Care About Last Year, but with no real deadline actually threatening me I ended up just letting this go on…and on…forever. But hey! I finally finished this! Wanna talk about 2014 one more time?!

I’ve said this before, because I do always tend to do this much later than seems reasonable even if it’s not usually THIS late: I realize doing it this late means almost nobody could possibly care, but I do like to be able to fit in viewings of as many movies as possible before making my big judgments…and anyway I’m mostly just doing this for myself anyway, to make me feel like I’ve been doing something worthwhile and memorable with my time and sort it into a digestible time capsule, and to have something to show for myself around here. If I’m going to see every movie that ever comes out I might as well be able to prove it, right?

2014 was a pretty great year for me. I got myself situated into my new hometown of Seattle, and things just got progressively better and better. In March I traveled to Austin (and San Antonio) for my 8th SXSW in a row. May-June I worked in the box office for the Seattle International Film Festival, which was a super fun time in itself and opened up a few more doors for even more cool stuff to come. In July I started volunteering, and then in November got hired as a show manager, at an all-ages venue called the Vera Project, where I’m feeling super at home. I moved in November from my initial North Seattle neighborhood of Wallingford to an even better situation in my new South Seattle neighborhood of Columbia City. I also traveled back to NYC in October for CMJ, and Ohio in December for the holidays. I hosted or hung with friends visiting Seattle from all over the world, including NYC, LA, Philadelphia, Ohio, Australia and New Zealand. And through it all the Band Mom hummed along, doing better than ever before just like a six-year-old business should: the last couple weeks of the year even kicked off a CHARTING HOT STREAK that lasted into the new year where in all I went NINE STRAIGHT WEEKS where every single record I was working showed up on CMJ’s charts!!!

You’ll see my festival and venue work again reflected pretty heavily when we get down to my Top Shows lists, much as they were in my Top Stuff of 2013, 2012 and 2011 (I didn’t have such jobs in 2010 and 2009, but the venues I’d later work at were reflected pretty heavily in those lists as well). I’m maintaining the rule that Band Mom Bands are ineligible for the Top Albums list because I couldn’t possibly rank them against each other, but that I can’t rule out shows where I worked the door or box office or show managed or had a Band Mom Band play for my Top Shows lists, because then there would be almost no shows to consider.

As always, I never claim stuff on this list is the ‘best’ of the year. Art is impossible to grade on an objective scale, and it’s insulting and ugly to posture as though one could do so. These are just my favorites:

top 15 albums of 2014:

  1. angel olsen – burn your fire for no witness

  2. the casket girls – true love kills the fairy tale

  3. andrew jackson jihad – christmas island

  4. beck – morning phase
  5. sisyphus – sisyphus
  6. ryan adams – ryan adams
  7. stars – no one is lost
  8. mirah – changing light
  9. alvvays – alvvays
  10. tacocat – nvm
  11. divorcee – divorcee
  12. pattern is movement – pattern is movement
  13. kithkin – rituals, trances & ecstasies for humans in face of the collapse
  14. white sea – in cold blood
  15. yellow ostrich – cosmos

I kept my Top Albums list to a reasonable number this year because I listened to my 9 Band Mom albums (+2 singles) plus the ones that made the cut above a TON, then there were like 100 more that I listened to just a little bit, so the list was gonna be either 100 or 15 (although runner-up status to new pornographers – brill bruisers, Top 16 just felt like an awkwardly uneven number that would NOT BE OKAY). This time, like in 2013, I went with 15, but I can’t promise next year won’t be another 2010. As mentioned and as always, Band Mom artists are ineligible for this list because I wouldn’t even begin to know how to rank them: this means you, robby hecht, melaena cadiz, you me & apollo, scarves, static people, brenda xu, animal hours, tie these hands (plus their second single), sama dams, and tomo nakayama. That’s artists from Nashville, Brooklyn, Colorado, Seattle, San Francisco, Lincoln NE, and Portland OR. You all released FANTASTIC albums that are tied for number one in my heart, and I love you the most.

top 15 shows (concerts):

  1. neutral milk hotel w/elf power @ the neptune (april)

  2. the pizza underground w/toby goodshank, dj derek erdman @ chop suey (april)
  3. the hot ‘n’ readies three times: @ still liquor (feb and october) and @ bainbridge island grange hall (october)
  4. rose windows @ mcmenamins hotel in centralia (february)
  5. sxsw ’15 highlights: jason anderson, good field, tereu tereu, casket girls, courtesy tier (march)
  6. sean nelson 25th anniversary show w/anthonie tonnon @ columbia city theater (may)
  7. advance base, headphones, gordon ashworth (concern), scarves @ rendezvous (august)
  8. “margaret” show feat. eliza rickman, shenandoah davis, mts & tunnels, led to sea, lonesome leash, jherek bischoff, zac pennington, jason webley, chicken john @ historic everett theatre (april)
  9. la luz, craft spells, unknown mortal orchestra @ hilliard’s brewery (june)
  10. oh! pears, secretary, eidelons, sama dams @ heartland (january)
  11. “loves me not” show curated by marco collins feat. mike herrera (mxpx), matt batey (ruler), jenn ghetto (s), naomi wachira, jason dodson (the maldives) @ volterra drawing room (february)
  12. pattern is movement w/ yellow ostrich @ barboza (march) TIED WITH pattern is movement w/wye oak @ neumos (july)
  13. mountain goats @ showbox (june)
  14. tennis pro, aqueduct, the catch @ the crocodile (june)
  15. angel olsen @ capitol hill block party (july)

These were almost entirely in WA, except for the one obvious exception, and I know I cheated by tying a few together. Didn’t want to make the list any longer but couldn’t decide either! Also cut some really great ones out though, including great shows I worked. Don’t be offended if your show that I was at didn’t make this list, it was still great!

top 50 movies:

  1. i origins

  2. boyhood

  3. grand budapest hotel

  4. the skeleton twins

  5. the guest

  6. interstellar
  7. birdman
  8. dear white people
  9. nightcrawler
  10. veronica mars
  11. only lovers left alive
  12. obvious child
  13. inherent vice
  14. rosewater
  15. happy christmas
  16. the sacrament
  17. they came together
  18. calvary
  19. life partners
  20. amira & sam (previously titled sam & amira)
  21. whiplash
  22. the babadook
  23. particle fever
  24. under the skin
  25. guardians of the galaxy
  26. lucky them
  27. jodorowsky’s dune
  28. creep
  29. harmontown
  30. force majeure
  31. the lunchbox (dabba)
  32. locke
  33. laggies
  34. big in japan
  35. like father, like son
  36. the one I love
  37. citizenfour
  38. foxcatcher
  39. attila marcel
  40. unbroken
  41. snowpiercer
  42. the double
  43. blue ruin
  44. night moves
  45. fish & cat
  46. willow creek
  47. le week-end
  48. maleficent
  49. alan partridge
  50. the disappearance of eleanor rigby

honorable mentions (roughly in order; this whole list was initially a numbered top 150+ until I considered how completely insane that would be. but FYI I feel EXTRA strongly this time about the top 20 of the above list, and any of the top 5 really could have been interchangeable, but strongly enough about all of these to mention ’em. I did see 62 other 2014 movies that didn’t make any list at all!):

frank, joe, filth, mood indigo, finding vivian maier, the signal, virunga, selma, still alice, boys, the tale of the princess kaguya, if i stay, b.f.e., life after beth, big hero 6, the rover, ida, about alex, starred up, the imitation game, pride, the judge, a long way down, the normal heart, the zero theorem, wild, coherence, the foxy merkins, point b, the congress, the boxtrolls, hateship loveship, gone girl, cesar chavez, the missing picture, to be takei, dinosaur 13, x-men: days of future past, the homesman, housebound, the liberator, we are the best!, the theory of everything, edge of tomorrow, nymphomaniac (pt 1 & 2), tim’s vermeer, borgman, 20,000 days on earth, love is strange, young ones, a birder’s guide to everything, words and pictures, land ho!, the grand seduction, cake, the gambler, abuse of weakness, fight church, neighbors, the interview, razing the bar, two raging grannies, knights of badassdom, this is where i leave you, 22 jump street, kill the messenger, belle, a fantastic fear of everything, divergent, half of a yellow sun, how to train your dragon 2, venus in fur, regarding susan sontag, enemy, rob the mob, the fault in our stars, top five, breathe in, decoding annie parker, palo alto, cuban fury, alex of venice, american sniper, patema inverted, for no good reason, the hobbit: battle of the five armies, the drop, the hundred foot journey, the dance of reality, horrible bosses 2, big eyes, you must be joking, st vincent, hunger games: mockingjay pt 1, captain america: the winter soldier, transcendence, that awkward moment, lucy, tammy, begin again, dom hemingway, gloria, awful nice, lego movie, stranger by the lake, the heart machine, burt’s buzz, hellion, a walk among the tombstones, the book of life, ride along, a letter to momo, 13 sins, no good deed, sin city: a dame to kill for, proxy, muppets most wanted, the face of love, the monuments men, kelly & cal, listen up philip, into the woods, a most violent year, magic in the moonlight, healing, white bird in a blizzard, hector and the search for happiness, night at the museum: secret of the tomb, catch hell, sex tape, intramural, wetlands.

top NEW actors of the year (as in i’d never heard their names before/hadn’t noticed them in anything and now they seem like a big deal to me, were each in several things i loved): david oyelowo (selma, interstellar, a most violent year), dan stevens (the guest, a walk among the tombstones, high maintenance, night at the museum: secret of the tomb)

standout actors of the year (who were not new to me, but were in a bunch of stuff i loved and seemed to have a really big year): gaby hoffman (obvious child, veronica mars, wild, transparent, girls), randall park (the interview, neighbors, sex tape, they came together, the mindy project), jake lacy (obvious child, intramural), tessa thompson (dear white people, selma although she was sadly absent from the veronica mars movie), and scarlett johansson (under the skin, lucy, captain america: the winter soldier, chef, plus she was still riding that buzz from Her with its super-late 2013 release)

also as an aside, a few years ago I made up a ‘best sound design‘ category because I felt so strongly about black swan’s and then we need to talk about kevin’s and then upstream color’s, and was mad that they were slighted in oscar nominations, and this year I feel the same way about the sound in THE BABADOOK.

oh and I created a bunch more superlatives this year, like: best unexpected rocker cameo in a movie. j. mascis (dinosaur jr) in the double wins it, although art alexakis (eve 6) in wild is a close runner up.

also: most overused clips. baraka and samsara are all over the place!! noticed them specifically in both lucy and the giver this year, and I bet there were more. they’ve become the go-to library of “world images”. oook.

on a similar note, song most covered in films: radiohead’s “creep” (I noticed it in book of life, the gambler, and the zero theorem. give it a rest, guys)

how about, best score: absolutely goes to antonio sanchez for birdman, although james newton howard is a not-so-distant runner up for nightcrawler, that one was really remarkable and nobody’s talking about it. son lux takes bronze for the disappearance of eleanor rigby, that was a lovely and affecting piece of work as well.

I also really want to talk about this year’s best comedy special, because nick offerman’s american ham is the best comedy special I have seen in YEARS. I haven’t traditionally included rankings of those on these lists but I do watch a lot of comedy specials.

some stats notes on movies: in 2014 i saw 380 different movies (whoa, that’s over 140 more than last year, and the lateness of this post has nothing to do with that, those were movies i watched within that year!). 104 of them were in theaters, and to date i’ve seen 244 movies that came out in 2014 (that’s 50 more than last year! although I’m also publishing this like 2 weeks later than last year. this includes several that i watched after the year ended, so they’ll be among the total i report having watched in 2015, but they’re also part of the group of 2014 movies i’m counting as eligible for this best-of list).

as for movies with questionable release dates, the rule i made up is basically that if i saw it in like a festival or limited-engagement special event in 2014, even if it didn’t get even limited national release otherwise, it counts for my list, but if i did not see it in a festival before 2014 and its first limited release (a usa release that’s not a specific festival, even if it showed in fests pre-2014) was this year, then it counts. in other words it’s pretty subjective to my perspective, but it had to have its (limited or wide) release begin in 2014 OR be seen by me in a festival or special event (i saw movies at SXSW, SIFF and a few assorted micro fests and special screenings, and in theaters and homes in New York, Seattle, Ohio, and Austin) in 2014.

also of note, i saw 7 2014 movies in 3d (and only one in IMAX: interstellar, which was very worth it; i saw the hobbit in the HFR 3d at the cinerama, seattle’s best [and recently renovated to be even better] screen, and i’m still not sure that was worth it). i continue to think 3d is a stupid cash grab that almost never adds to the film, but I suffer from pretty severe fear of missing out so i keep getting suckered in. all the 3d movies i saw this year were either animated or action/adventure, which all did an ok job at throwing in fun moments (falls down cliffs, flying) to make use of the 3d, but i wouldn’t exactly go out of my way to recommend splurging on 3d for any of them. IMAX for interstellar though. yes.

I saw two movies more than once in theaters: big in japan got me 3x, and the guest got me 2x. not a coincidence that those were the two movies I caught during this year’s sxsw.

this is my longest movie list ever…there are just so many that I truly feel strongly about! also I keep seeing more and more movies every year in theaters, because of this service called Moviepass where I pay a monthly fee for nearly-unlimited movies so that it actually made financial sense to see MORE movies than less, and I was happy to oblige. I also continued to get paid for writing about movies last year for this obscure VOD website called cinecliq, but that gig’s finished now, because cinecliq has since “rethought their editorial strategy” and dismantled their critical portion of their blog, so I’m hoping to pick up a new film criticism gig in its wake this year.

here’s what an average of exactly 2 trips to the movie theater a week (plus a few extraneous otherwise tix) looks like, btw:

although i obviously saw a ton of movies this year, you’ll always miss a few; there are a few that i still intend to see. i do feel pretty good about the above list, but a few potentially serious contenders just didn’t have a wide enough seattle release for me to get to them (yet?), so, these might have had a chance at making the above lists had i been able to catch them: two days, one night; leviathan; tangerines; timbuktu; wild tales; last days in vietnam; the salt of the earth; song of the sea; beyond the lights; glen campbell…i’ll be me; mr turner; annie; goodbye to language; a girl walks home alone at night; hide your smiling faces; the dog; comet; rocks in my pockets; rudderless; v/h/s: viral; tracks; let’s be cops; god help the girl; mistaken for strangers; annabelle; two night stand; one chance; je t’aime, je t’aime; burkholder; jellyfish eyes; coming home; ardor; chinese puzzle; before i go to sleep; and life itself. pretty much everything else, if it had a theatrical release in 2014 and it’s not listed here, it’s on purpose. SO THERE.

saw filmmakers/actors in person promoting:

-big in japan (cast, crew, everyone ever associated with the film, all over the place throughout the year, but once particularly memorably at SXSW, march 14)

-obvious child (jenny slate & director gillian robespierre, SIFF fest @ the egyptian, may 20)

-the foxy merkins (director madeleine olnek, SIFF fest @ the harvard exit, may 25)

-amira & sam (then titled sam & amira – martin starr, dina shihabi, director sean mullin, other cast and crew, SIFF fest @ the harvard exit, may 28)

-bfe (director shawn telford and most of the cast, SIFF fest @ the harvard exit, june 2)

-alex of venice (director/star chris messina and other cast and crew, SIFF fest @ the harvard exit, june 6)

-creep (mark duplass & director/co-star patrick brice, SIFF fest @ the egyptian, june 6)

-lucky them (director megan griffiths & producer lacey leavitt hosted by lynn shelton, northwest film forum june 15)

-snowpiercer (director bong joon-ho with an interpreter, SIFF uptown, june 16)

-willow creek (stars bryce johnson and alexie gilmore, director bobcat goldthwait, a few others associated, SIFF uptown, june 26)

my 10 favorite comedy shows I saw (in chronological order):

-sxsw: the creek & the cave showcase hosted by james adomian ft andy haynes, kate berlant, jerrod carmichael (and big jay oakerson) @ esther’s follies 3/10

-hari kondabolu album release show ft. kimya dawson, elicia sanchez, ahamefule oluo @ the neptune 3/10

-greg barris, harry moroz, alex hooper, dan st germain @ the comedy underground 4/18

-josh gondelman, brian moote, derek sheen @ the comedy underground 8/20

-bumbershoot: paul f tompkins’ dead authors podcast 8/31

-wyatt cenac w elicia sanchez @ barboza 9/24

-mike birbiglia w kevin barnett and josh rabinowitz @ union hall (brooklyn ny) 10/20

-whiplash: hosted by aparna nancherla ft nick thune, josie long, jermaine fowler, julian mccullough and a weird walkout by chris rock @ ucb chelsea (manhattan ny) 10/20

-cmj: heart of darkness hosted by greg barris ft larry murphy, corn mo, jason saenz, shonali bhowmik and the i love you chair @ union hall (brooklyn ny) 10/24

-RISK! hosted by kevin allison, ft dan savage (and others) @ the vera project 12/12

2013’s comedy list was a top 25, but I feel pretty good about moving away from nyc and still having a top 10 that wasn’t just a list of EVERY single comedy show I saw. miss u tho, ny comedy.

favorite new tv shows:

transparent

broad city

bojack horseman

looking

short poppies

the birthday boys

silicon valley

last week tonight with john oliver

a to z

review

jane the virgin

cosmos with neil degrasse tyson

mozart in the jungle

an honourable woman

peaky blinders

marry me

favorite non-new tv shows:

derek

house of cards

adventure time

bob’s burgers

brooklyn nine-nine

high maintenance

scandal

sherlock

portlandia

new girl

parks and recreation

marvel’s agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

an idiot abroad

drunk history

girls

the mindy project

(fell behind on current seasons of american horror story, downtown abbey, and louie that might’ve otherwise made the list, also planning on checking out halt and catch fire, garfunkel and oates, true detective, the knick, justified, parenthood, boardwalk empire, house of lies, veep, shameless, comedy bang bang, enlightened, episodes, masters of sex, the comeback, kroll show, key & peele, inside amy schumer, nathan for you…need more hours in the day)

and lastly, some stray cool stuff i did in 2014 that didn’t fit into any of the above categories:

-jerry springer: the opera featuring sean nelson as the devil @ the moore theater in january

-watched the hometown team win the superbowl with friends on vashon island in february (also spent a truly fantastic 4th of july on vashon)

-attended a minor league hockey game in san antonio (with my brother’s dog) in march, and two mariners baseball games in seattle in may and july

-ate dinner in the space needle with my parents in july

-saw john darnielle do a reading from his excellent new book wolf in white van @ barboza in september

-watched a panel of friends (including kelly mcclure, rachel brodsky, caroline shadood and others) speak about feminism in the music industry at cmj in october

-worked as a production assistant on a web series in july

-worked for gamer convention PAX at an event where we gave away free pancakes among people dressed up as SIMS characters

-saw my wonderful friend kayla get married in fort townsend state park; drank mead

I’ve capped off these posts the last few years with “celebrity encounters”, where I humblebrag (RIP harris) about meeting famous people then post my favorite photo, but all my “celebrity encounters” are really already detailed above…oh wait! I did go to Aberdeen to meet Kurt Cobain.

THE END! I love you.

My Top Stuff of 2013

Ha ha ha. Remember 2013?? I know it basically feels like a distant ancient memory at this point, but I just finished my reckoning with it! I spent the end-of-the-year time, which is normally a lull where I do this sort of accounting, in a move across the country and then the last couple months setting up shop in my new home in Seattle, so I was too distracted til now to really get this done, but still, it’s become a tradition for me to get this out there and I’ll be durned if I’m not gonna finish it this time! I realize doing it this late means almost nobody could possibly care, but I do like to be able to fit in viewings of as many movies as possible before making my big judgments, and maybe putting it up right after the Oscars will get some people interested in some worthwhile alternatives the Academy didn’t consider…and anyway I’m mostly just doing this for myself anyway, to make me feel like I’ve been doing something worthwhile and memorable with my time and sort it into a digestible time capsule, and to have something to show for myself around here.

2013 was a hard year, maybe the worst of my life in a lot of ways, but neither I nor even anyone I’m really close to died, and a lot of people I love were really there for me all year long, so honestly it wouldn’t be fair to complain. And things are already looking way up in 2014!

I still managed to have quite a bit of fun in the year, as you’re about to see below. I took trips to Ohio, Pittsburgh, the Hudson Valley, and Austin/SXSW/San Antonio, and then the one really major road trip with a Penske truck and my friend Jenny, where we made some really memorable stops in Ohio, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Colorado, Idaho and Oregon before finally settling in Seattle.

For most of 2013, the two fun part-time jobs I’d been working continued, as well as adding in a new nearby venue gig near the end of the year (in addition to my Band Mom radio promo), which you’ll again see reflected pretty heavily when we get down to my Top Shows lists, much as they were in my Top Stuff of 2012 and 2011 and actually also 2010 and 2009, before I even worked at those venues. I’m maintaining the rule that Band Mom Bands are ineligible for the Top Albums list because I couldn’t possibly rank them against each other, but that I can’t rule out shows where I worked the door or stage managed for my Top Shows lists, because then there would be almost no shows to consider.

As always, I never claim stuff on this list is the ‘best’ of the year. Art is impossible to grade on an objective scale, and it’s insulting and ugly to posture as though one could do so. These are just my favorites:

top 15 albums (or EPs) of 2013:

  1. phosphorescent – muchacho

  2. the national – trouble will find me

  3. tegan and sara – heartthrob

  4. grand hallway – horses

  5. mansions – doom loop

  6. thao & the get down stay down – we the common
  7. casiotone for the painfully alone – in cambridge
  8. mutual benefit – love’s crushing diamond
  9. the blow – the blow
  10. colleen green – sock it to me
  11. youth lagoon – wondrous bughouse
  12. yo la tengo – fade
  13. mikal cronin – MCII
  14. kurt vile – walkin on a pretty daze
  15. the ruby suns – christopher

I kept my Top Albums list to a reasonable number this year because I listened to my 9 Band Mom albums plus the ones that made the cut above a TON, then there were like 100 more that I listened to just a little bit, so the list was gonna be either 100 or 15. This time I went with 15, but I can’t promise next year won’t be another 2010. As mentioned and as always, Band Mom artists are ineligible for this list because I wouldn’t even begin to know how to rank them: this means you, dc pierson (songs for crap kingdom comp), the hairs, eternal fair, mal blum, tie these hands, tereu tereu, spirits of the red city, cumulus and the fold. That’s artists (and their curators) from Brooklyn, Seattle, Lincoln NE, DC, Chicago, LA, Denver and a few other decentralized exotic locations. You all released FANTASTIC albums that are tied for number one in my heart, and I love you the most.

top 15 shows (concerts):

  1. the postal service w/mates of state @ barclays center (brooklyn ny, june)

  2. phosphorescent w/strand of oaks @ bowery ballroom (manhattan ny, bowery)
  3. the mountain goats w/baptist generals @ maxwells (hoboken nj, june)
  4. cumulus w/the lonely forest @ mercury lounge (manhattan ny, october)
  5. dean wareham @ bell house (brooklyn ny, november)
  6. shout out louds, telekinesis, mount moriah, mikal cronin [merge records sxsw showcase] @ the parish (austin tx, march)
  7. califone w/richard buckner @ littlefield (brooklyn ny, may)
  8. advance base @ silent barn (brooklyn ny, august)
  9. dana falconberry w/paperbird @ mercury lounge (manhattan ny, may)
  10. chuck ragan, jenny owen youngs, rocky votolato @ bell house (brooklyn ny, march)
  11. hi ho silver oh [sxsw] @ dogwood (austin tx, march)
  12. grand hallway @ pete’s candy store (brooklyn ny, october)
  13. jonathan richman w/tommy larkins @ bell house (brooklyn ny, february)
  14. youth lagoon w/magical cloudz @ bell house (brooklyn ny, may)
  15. the breeders @ bell house (brooklyn ny, march)

aw, I miss working at venues (looking for one in Seattle to call home if you know anybody!). I’d also like to mention my one Band Mom Presents show at Union Hall of the year, which I’m not allowing to count but which was a real highlight of my year nonetheless: that was 3/1 with Good Field, Ramesh (formerly of Voxtrot) and Matt Bauer, and also the tour I helped promote that included a totally excellent Pete’s Candy Store stop with Anthonie Tonnon.

top 50 movies:

  1. upstream color

  2. fruitvale station
  3. her
  4. the east
  5. 12 years a slave
  6. kill your darlings
  7. the place beyond the pines
  8. the great gatsby
  9. inside llewyn davis
  10. in a world…
  11. stoker
  12. short term 12
  13. frances ha
  14. stories we tell
  15. the world’s end
  16. nebraska
  17. crystal fairy
  18. much ado about nothing
  19. before midnight
  20. this is the end
  21. monsters university
  22. spring breakers
  23. the act of killing
  24. wadjda
  25. the square
  26. touchy feely
  27. drinking buddies
  28. the kings of summer
  29. the grandmaster
  30. all is lost
  31. dirty wars
  32. as I lay dying
  33. the wind rises
  34. the hunt
  35. dallas buyers club
  36. the reluctant fundamentalist
  37. cutie and the boxer
  38. the spectacular now
  39. it’s a disaster
  40. magic magic
  41. blue is the warmest color
  42. blackfish
  43. oldboy
  44. side effects
  45. the way, way back
  46. girl most likely
  47. ain’t them bodies saints
  48. gravity
  49. the heat
  50. philomena

honorable mentions (roughly in order; this whole list was initially a numbered top 100+ until I considered how ridiculous that is. but FYI I feel EXTRA strongly this time about the top 35 of the above list, but strongly enough about all of these to mention ’em. I did see 52 other 2013 movies that didn’t make any list at all!):

v/h/s/2, the hobbit: the desolation of smaug, good ol’ freda, prince avalanche, warm bodies, prisoners, 20 feet from stardom, the broken circle breakdown, elysium, black rock, the hunger games: catching fire, august: osage county, we steal secrets: the story of wikileaks, the secret life of walter mitty, trance, blue jasmine, lone survivor, enough said, closed circuit, a band called death, the wolf of wall street, the great beauty, mandela: long walk to freedom, don jon, the family, mother of george, thanks for sharing, anchorman 2: the legend continues, about time, all is bright, the punk singer, frozen, the armstrong lie, rush, europa report, hell baby, mud, no, to the wonder, how i live now, best man down, austenland, only god forgives, identity thief, berberian sound studio, bling ring, the to do list, evil dead, you’re next, room 237, una noche, escape from tomorrow, computer chess, mr. nobody, passion, rapture-palooza, the wall (die wand), A.C.O.D., this is martin bonner, behind the candelabra, the inevitable defeat of mister and pete, thor: the dark world, a single shot, coffee town, family weekend, john dies at the end, man of steel, now you see me, carrie, wrong cops, pussy riot: a punk prayer, i’m so excited!, i give it a year, byzantium, the iceman, world war z, big sur, admission, the sapphires, the fifth estate, winnie mandela, despicable me 2, the conjuring, diana, the internship, ass backwards, museum hours, captain phillips, syrup, the lifeguard, upside down, somebody up there likes me, something in the air.

top NEW actors of the year (as in i’d never heard their names before/hadn’t noticed them in anything and now they seem like a big deal to me, were each in several things i loved): riz ahmed (the reluctant fundamentalist, closed circuit), brie larson (short term 12, the spectacular now, don jon, and a couple episodes of community) & moises arias (kings of summer, plus a particularly memorable performance in the otherwise-bad ender’s game)

standout actors of the year (who were not new to me, but were in a bunch of stuff i loved and seemed to have a really big year): lake bell, clark gregg, daniel brühl, olivia wilde, & rob corddry.

also as an aside, a few years ago I made up a ‘best sound design‘ category because I felt so strongly about black swan’s and then we need to talk about kevin’s, and was mad that they were slighted in oscar nominations, and this year I feel the same way about the sound in UPSTREAM COLOR.

oh and here’s a new category i got excited about creating this year: best use of a pop song in a movie. i was really knocked over by the use of moby’s “the day” in danny boyle’s trance, and also grand hallway’s “horses” in lynn shelton’s touchy feely, and i wanted to tell you about it.

some stats notes on movies: in 2013 i saw 263 different movies. exactly 100 of them were in theaters, and to date i’ve seen 197 movies that came out in 2013 (that’s 80 more than last year! although I’m also publishing this almost 2 weeks later than last year. this includes several that i watched after the year ended, so they’ll be among the total i will report having watched in 2014, but they’re also part of the group of 2013 movies i’m counting as eligible for this best-of list).

as for movies with questionable release dates, the rule i made up is basically that if i saw it in like a festival or limited-engagement special event in 2013, even if it didn’t get even limited national release otherwise, it counts for my list, but if i did not see it in a festival before 2013 and its first limited release (a usa release that’s not a specific festival, even if it showed in fests pre-2013) was this year, then it counts. in other words it’s pretty subjective to my perspective, but it had to have its (limited or wide) release begin in 2013 OR be seen by me in a festival or special event (i saw movies at NYFF and a few assorted micro fests, and in theaters and homes in New York, Seattle, and San Antonio…somehow missed out on movies at my mainstays SXSW, tribeca, and BAM cinema fest this year, boo) in 2013. (I did, however, participate in the New York Comedy Festival, Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, Del Close Marathon, and comedy shows at SXSW, so I guess comedy beat movies fests-wise for me this year, much like 2012).

also of note, i saw 12 2013 movies in 3d (and only one in IMAX: pacific rim; i saw gravity in 3d but not IMAX, and the hobbit in 3d but not the HFR this time, regrettably). i continue to think 3d is a stupid cash grab that almost never adds to the film, but I suffer from pretty severe fear of missing out so i keep getting suckered in. the only one that was really worth it this year was gravity, although monster’s university and thor had their merits as well.

this is my longest movie list ever…there are just so many that I truly feel strongly about! also I saw more last year than any other year in my life, because of this service called Moviepass where I pay a monthly fee for nearly-unlimited movies so that it actually made financial sense to see MORE movies than less, and I was happy to oblige (mostly post-midnight screenings after work). Since I’m no longer in the movie theater mecca of NYC, I expect 2013 to be a lifetime peak, my high-water mark. (particularly sad to be leaving behind the greatest movie theater of all time, which I only just discovered this last year: the AMC Loews at 84th St.) But I also got paid for writing about movies last year for the first time ever, and intend to keep that up, so I do hope to continue to stay as engaged as possible here in the also-very-hip Seattle.

here’s what 1.92 trips to the movie theater a week (plus a few extraneous otherwise tix) looks like, btw:

although i obviously saw a ton of movies this year, you’ll always miss a few; there are a few that i still intend to see. Although i feel pretty good about the above list, really got pretty much all of the serious contenders in for once, these might have had a chance at making the above lists had i been able to catch them: ernest & celestine, the missing picture, omar (those are the only 3 of the 43 oscar-nominated features that haven’t been available to watch yet, so i haven’t!), the past, dear mr watterson, casting by, great expectations, grace of monaco, harry dean stanton: partly fiction, 47 ronin, out of the furnace, homefront, he’s way more famous than you, the last days on mars, the selfish giant, first cousin once removed, life according to sam, losing you, metro manila, sun don’t shine, the missing picture, let the fire burn, a river changes course, go for sisters, after tiller, gideon’s army, a touch of sin, gloria, afternoon delight, pit stop, my sister’s quinceañera, and the foxy merkins. pretty much everything else, if it had a theatrical release in 2013 and it’s not listed here, it’s on purpose. SO THERE.

saw filmmakers/actors in person promoting:

-crystal fairy (michael cera & director sebastián silva, IFC center, july 12)

-dazed and confused (20th anniversary screening at the NYFF, oct 10, with richard linklater, jason london, parker posey, and anthony rapp!!!!!)

-also went to my first-ever screening with a live cast of rocky horror picture show (chelsea bowtie cinema, formerly chelsea clearview, nov 27), and also a “shouting at the screen” showing of blaxploitation film Abby with wyatt cenac, donwill and matt braunger (indiescreen, on halloween) – those weren’t filmmaker screenings, obviously, but they were “event” film screenings.

my 25 favorite comedy or spoken-word shows I saw (top 2, by far):

-john hodgman’s secret society, at union hall throughout the year, and also the “secret secret society” in a catacombs 6/17

-mike birbiglia’s final performance of my girlfriend’s boyfriend, in addition to his union hall shows all year, @ carnegie hall 6/2

(the rest in chronological order, with some photographic evidence):

-the jukebox, one featuring victor varnado, james adomian, garth johnston, christian finnegan, and lizz winstead; the other featuring john hodgman singing ‘no children’ by the mountain goats @ union hall 2/19 and 3/19

-night job, hosted by katharine heller and dean haspiel, featuring angry bob, rev jen, and brooke van poppelen @ union hall 3/21

-marc maron @ union hall 4/14

-jen kirkman @ bell house 4/27

-the thrilling adventure hour, my favorite bell house show: Paul f Tompkins, John Hodgman, Paget Brewster, Mara Wilson, Marc Evan Jackson, Mark Gagliardi, Maria Thayer, Craig Cackowski, Jonathan Coulton, Scott Aukerman, Ira Glass, Scott Adsit, Rich Sommer & more @ bell house 5/11 and 10/11

-the interview show, podcast taping hosted by mark bazer, featuring chris mills, emily nussbaum, sam lipsyte, kathleen hanna @ union hall 5/16

-greg proops, podcast taping of ‘the smartest man in the world’ @ bell house 5/25

-going off track, podcast taping hosted by jonah bayer, steven smith and 2 others, featuring lyle preslar (minor threat), jenny owen youngs, chris gethard, frank iero (my chemical romance) @ union hall 6/8

-ask me another, npr show taping hosted by ophira eisenberg with jonathan coulton as the house band, featuring paul feig @ bell house 6/24

-nick thune, special ‘folk hero’ taping @ bell house 6/26

-heart of darkness ‘jaguar paw’, hosted by greg barris with house band the forgiveness, featuring dave hill and mind warrior heather berlin @ bell house 6/28

-mike birbiglia, eugene mirman, reggie watts and daniel kitson @ bell house 7/10

-low times, podcast taping hosted by tom scharpling, maggie serota and daniel ralston, featuring alan vega of suicide, the wrens, and craig finn @ union hall 10/5

-cheap date, hosted by sharron paul and calvin cole, featuring hari kondabolu, barry rothbart, skinny bitch jesus meeting, andrew short, kat burdick, eli sairs, and matt wayne @ union hall 10/8

-literary death match, featuring raj sivaraman, maris kreizman (of slaughterhouse 90210), iris smyles, and jason koo @ union hall 10/9

-simon amstell @ union hall 10/11-12

-running late, podcast tapings hosted by scott rogowsky, one featuring eugene mirman, demitri martin and grizz chapman, and the other featuring amber tamblyn and josh pais @ littlefield 10/23 and 12/18

-the grawlix, new york comedy fest show, featuring jonah ray, kate berlant, and sean patton @ union hall 11/8

-oh, hi, mark, a nycf show, featuring greg sestero (mark from the room!!!) @ union hall 11/9

-jenny slate’s new york comedy festival show featuring max silvestri, greg johnson and nick kroll @ littlefield 11/10

-night train’s 1-year anniversary show, hosted by wyatt cenac, featuring david cross, nikki glaser, ted leo, eugene mirman, seth herzog, kurt braunohler, michael che, andy wood, michelle buteau, and free daly pies @ littlefield 11/25

-geeking out, hosted by kerri doherty and leslie goshko, featuring steve heisler, the vigilante, and jason zimbler (ferguson from clarissa explains it all!!) @ union hall 12/3

-tom shillue’s funny story, my last comedy show as a new yorker, with joy behar and gavin mcinnes @ brooklyn brewery 12/19

Last year I included a separate category to list the podcasts/tapings I participated in or worked the door for, but it was just too much this year, so I rolled the highlights in above. My involvement with the New York comedy community is one of the biggest things I miss now that I’m gone, try not to forget me!

favorite new tv shows:

derek

house of cards

orange is the new black

brooklyn nine-nine

favorite non-new tv shows:

arrested development

parks and recreation

breaking bad

new girl

an idiot abroad

happy endings

bob’s burgers

misfits

community

adventure time with finn and jake

american horror story

downton abbey

mad men

girls

misfits

30 rock

archer

portlandia

luther

childrens hospital

eagleheart

the killing

the mindy project

it’s always sunny in philadelphia

(netflix really owned it in 2013! looking forward to justified, parenthood, boardwalk empire, house of lies, veep, shameless, bunk, comedy bang bang, enlightened, episodes, a young doctor’s notebook, hello ladies, masters of sex, peaky blinders, and true detective eventually joining this list…need more hours in the day)

and lastly, some stray cool stuff i did in 2013 that didn’t fit into any of the above categories:

-daniel kitson’s one-man theatrical production ‘analog.ue’ @ st ann’s warehouse

-‘once’ on broadway

-‘the unavoidable disappearance of tom durnin’, a play at the roundabout theatre company, followed by a q&a with stars rich sommer, david morse, and david denham

-michael shannon ‘in conversation’ during the new yorker festival, followed by a short performance also by his band, corporal

-an uncategorizable event put on by philip seymour hoffman’s theatre company, featuring performances by kevin corrigan and my composer roommate kenny jaworski plus a group-bonding exercise

-spent the 4th of july in gardiner ny, the hudson valley, on my first MetroNorth trip visiting my former roommate emily

-spent a fun summer day with some long-lost australian friends, including visiting the superhero supply store

-danced on the ucb’s stage with friends to springsteen during the del close marathon

-worked as a “location assistant” on several film & tv sets

-had a music video shot in my apartment

-i did also read at least 8 books, for the record, which is an improvement because i spent the last 3 previous years combined crawling my way through gravity’s rainbow

-i also had surgery 3 times, which super sucked, but my mom came to mommy me in brooklyn each time for several days, which was really wonderful. nothing in life is all just one thing.

And the bonus: i’ve used these posts in my last few years to brag about my favorite “celebrity encounters”, and this one was a tough call so i included a the photos with couple runners-up above. But this time, I’m going to bypass bragging about rubbing elbows with people like dan harmon, missi pyle, rich sommer, kathleen hanna, jd samson, travis morrison, al madrigal, gilbert gottfried, buzz aldrin, suzanne vega, jay pharaoh, thao nguyen, jonathan ames, judah friedlander, rhys darby, michael ian black, david wain, janeane garofalo, jason mantzoukas, zach woods, pat kiernan, amber tamblyn, grizz chapman, chris mcculloch/jackson publick, and everyone else listed above (see how I skipped it?), because a Life Highlight happened just before I moved away this year. At the end of the last Secret Society show I worked, john hodgman called me up onstage, to join him along with jonathan coulton, jean grae and john roderick. They kind of interviewed me about my move, and then sat me down in a hi-backed chair while they gathered around & got the whole audience (many of whom have genuinely become friends through this show) to join in singing Auld Lang Syne. It’s difficult (and in violation of a solemn oath I swore) to even express how special the Secret Society was to me throughout the year, and to get that kind of send-off to tell me I’ve been special to them as well is really something to be treasured. Also I cried onstage at my workplace.

THE END! I love you.

My Top Stuff of 2012

Oh no!! It’s that time again. I have a history of waiting until a month after the end of the year (mostly so I can fit in as many movies as possible, and to speak from a tiny position of perspective – at the cost of some relevance, I know, but I’m really only writing this for myself anyway), and then coming up with the most hilariously long lists that nobody could possibly ever want to read. WELCOME TO THIS!

2012 was a tough year for me personally in some ways, mostly due to some medical issues that are still ongoing but should be resolved pretty soon. But I have good friends who really showed up and a family who cares about me a great deal, and while I’m not so emo as to actually wish to be in a tough spot so I can “see who my true friends are”, that kinda happened anyway and it really made me appreciate what I’ve got. So if you were there for me in any way this past year, even if it was just a kind word in passing, it helped stupendously and was truly appreciated, and I hope to be able to return the favor someday. Thank you!

But I still managed to get a lot of good stuff into the year. I took super fun trips to Philadelphia, Boston, Austin/SXSW/San Antonio, Seattle/Vancouver, and Cleveland/Pittsburgh; hugged people I love, conducted a little bit of biz and did new fun things in all of those places, and hosted visitors in my Brooklyn pad from New Zealand, Australia, Texas, Ohio and more.

And my two fun part-time jobs continued, in addition to my Band Mom radio promo, which you’ll again see reflected pretty heavily when we get down to my Top Shows lists, much as they were in my Top Stuff of 2011 and actually also 2010 and 2009, before I even worked at those venues. I’m maintaining the rule that Band Mom Bands are ineligible for the Top Albums list because I couldn’t possibly rank them against each other, but that I can’t rule out shows where I worked the door or stage managed for my Top Shows lists, because then there would be almost no shows to consider.

As always, I never claim stuff on this list is the ‘best’ of the year. Art is impossible to grade on an objective scale, and it’s insulting and ugly to posture as though one could do so. These are just my favorites:

 

top 15 albums of 2012:

  1. kishi bashi – 151a

  2. the mountain goats – transcendental youth

  3. WHY? – mumps, etc

  4. pomegranates – heaven

  5. father john misty – fear fun

  6. jens lekman – i know what love isn’t
  7. stars – the north
  8. the pharmacy – stoned and alone
  9. tilly & the wall – heavy mood
  10. david byrne & st vincent – love this giant
  11. black moth super rainbow – cobra juicy
  12. mewithoutyou – ten stories
  13. bright moments – natives
  14. aimee mann – charmer
  15. sufjan stevens – silver & gold

you know what, that’s just 5 albums tied for #1 with me up top. I couldn’t choose so they all got pictures this year. there’s like 100 more albums that I liked, but given the choice between listing 15 albums that I LOVED and 100 albums that I liked, I decided to go with the former, this time. as mentioned and as always, Band Mom artists are ineligible for this list because i wouldn’t even begin to know how to rank them: this means you, good field, eliza rickman, advance base, little, big, audiafauna, woodpecker, harlan, and tono and the finance company. I feel so proud of my 2012 lineup: bands from Texas, California, Chicago, NYC, Louisiana/Arkansas, and New Zealand! you all released FANTASTIC albums that are tied for number one in my heart, and i love you the most.

top 25 shows (concerts):

  1. “Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant on Ice” @ bowery ballroom (manhattan ny, december)

  2. jeff mangum w/the music tapes @ bam (brooklyn ny, january)
  3. the mountain goats w/anonymous 4 @ merkin concert hall [wordless music series] (manhattan ny, march)
  4. saturday looks good to me w/wild moccasins, cola jet set, orca team, catnaps @ knitting factory [nyc popfest] (brooklyn ny, may)
  5. kishi bashi @ uncorked tasting room & wine bar [wild honey pie showcase, sxsw] (austin tx, march)
  6. andrew wk playing i get wet straight through for its 10-yr anniversary @ webster hall (manhattan ny, april)
  7. father john misty w/har mar superstar, jenny o @ knitting factory (brooklyn ny, may)
  8. advance base w/mark kozelek @ music hall of williamsburg (brooklyn ny, september)
  9. dandy warhols w/1776, psychic ills @ bell house (brooklyn ny, june)
  10. john vanderslice w/crooked fingers @ bell house (brooklyn ny, november)
  11. advance base w/ben gibbard @ town hall (manhattan ny, november)
  12. jonathan richman w/tommy larkins @ tractor tavern (seattle wa, november)
  13. langhorne slim @ bell house (brooklyn ny, july)
  14. the jealous sound @ milkboy (philadelphia pa, february)
  15. mountain goats w/matthew e white @ bowery ballroom (manhattan ny, october)
  16. black moth super rainbow w/casket girls @ bowery ballroom (manhattan ny, december)
  17. pomegranates @ mercury lounge (manhattan ny, july)
  18. nada surf [including doug gillard] @ bowery ballroom (manhattan ny, december)
  19. stevie jackson [of belle & sebastian] w/the softies, franklin bruno, ladybug transistor, the pines @ bell house [chickfactor] (brooklyn ny, april)
  20. ramesh @ mercury lounge (manhattan ny, march)
  21. lambchop w/chilly gonzales @ bell house (brooklyn ny, april)
  22. ketamines w/quiet loudly, x-ray eyeballs @ death by audio (brooklyn ny, may)
  23. owen @ union hall (brooklyn ny, december)
  24. goes cube @ webster hall (manhattan ny, june)
  25. tim fite w/the woes @ union hall (brooklyn ny, march)

working at venues is awesome – it was tough to cut this down to just 25. I’d also like to mention my 3 Band Mom Presents shows at Union Hall of the year, which I’m not allowing to count but which were real highlights of my year nonetheless: 6/8 with Little, Big(‘s record release show), Weird Children, and WAZU; and 7/25 with Bright Moments, Valley Lodge, and Good Field (DAVID BYRNE showed up to that one!!!); and 9/28 with Advance Base, Jennifer O’Connor, and the Pendulum Swings; and also the SXSW day party I co-sponsored with Pretty Ambitious Records that featured Good Field, the Coathangers and the Barrerracudas, and the tour I helped promote that included a totally excellent Mercury Lounge stop for Zoe Boekbinder and Mal Blum.

top 50 movies:

  1. cloud atlas

  2. safety not guaranteed
  3. moonrise kingdom
  4. django unchained
  5. looper
  6. the perks of being a wallflower
  7. holy motors
  8. the master
  9. amour
  10. i wish
  11. your sister’s sister
  12. the cabin in the woods
  13. the hobbit: an unexpected journey
  14. sleepwalk with me
  15. zero dark thirty
  16. damsels in distress
  17. seven psychopaths
  18. the imposter
  19. life of pi
  20. this is 40
  21. dark horse
  22. chronicle
  23. silver linings playbook
  24. sound of my voice
  25. the do-deca-pentathlon
  26. ai weiwei: never sorry
  27. save the date
  28. cosmopolis
  29. argo
  30. michael
  31. wanderlust
  32. the dark knight rises
  33. beasts of the southern wild
  34. celeste and jesse forever
  35. rust and bone
  36. compliance
  37. bully
  38. abel
  39. 21 jump street
  40. shut up and play the hits
  41. jiro dreams of sushi
  42. premium rush
  43. being flynn
  44. lola versus
  45. jeff, who lives at home
  46. john carter
  47. frankenweenie
  48. paranorman
  49. lincoln
  50. how to survive a plague

honorable mentions (roughly in order; this whole list was initially a numbered top 100 until I considered how ridiculous that is. but FYI I feel particularly strongly this time about the top 20 of the above list, but strongly ENOUGH about all of these to mention ’em. I did see 17 other 2012 movies that didn’t make any list at all!):

the queen of versailles; seeking a friend for the end of the world; to rome with love; haywire; the lorax; brave; the loneliest planet; les miserables; footnote; something from nothing: the art of rap; friends with kids; hitchcock; goon; grassroots; the pirates! band of misfits; bernie; take this waltz; the five year engagement; lawless; the watch; secret world of arrietty; red lights; ruby sparks; hara-kiri: death of a samurai; red hook summer; the grey; prometheus; high road; not fade away; man with the iron fists; magic mike; hysteria; dark shadows; the amazing spider-man; salmon fishing in the yemen; return; the hunger games; the dish and the spoon; roadie; god bless america; tim & eric’s billion dollar movie; snow white and the huntsman; mirror, mirror; the avengers; skyfall; pitch perfect; battleship; casa de mi padre; klown; the dictator.

top NEW actors of the year (as in i’d never heard their names before/never saw them in anything and now they seem like a big deal to me, were each in several things i loved): dane dehaan (chronicle, lincoln, lawless) & adam driver (lincoln & the show Girls)

standout actors of the year (who were not new to me, but were in a bunch of stuff i loved and seemed to have a really big year): mark duplass, emily blunt, mike birbiglia, chris messina.

some stats notes on movies: in 2012 i saw 200 different movies. 65 of them were in theaters (i paid to see the dark knight rises twice, and doubled up on a ton of others on dvd), and to date i’ve seen 117 movies that came out in 2012 (that’s three more than last year, although I’m also publishing this 2.5 weeks later than last year. this includes several that i watched after the year ended, so they’ll be among the total i report having watched in 2013, but they’re also part of the group of 2012 movies i’m counting as eligible for this best-of list).

as for movies with questionable release dates, the rule i made up is basically that if i saw it in like a festival or limited-engagement special event in 2012, even if it didn’t get even limited national release otherwise, it counts for my list, but if i did not see it in a festival before 2012 and its first limited release (a usa release that’s not a specific festival, even if it showed in fests pre-2012) was this year, then it counts. in other words it’s pretty subjective to my perspective, but it had to have its (limited or wide) release begin in 2012 OR be seen by me in a festival or special event (i saw movies at NYFF and a few assorted micro fests, and in theaters and homes in New York, Boston, Seattle, Austin, San Antonio, and Ohio…somehow missed out on movies at my mainstays SXSW, tribeca, and BAM cinema fest this year, boo) in 2012. (I did, however, participate in the New York Comedy Festival, Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival, Del Close Marathon, and comedy shows at SXSW, so I guess comedy beat movies fests-wise for me this year).

also of note, i saw 11 movies in 2012 in 3d (and only one in IMAX: the dark knight rises; and I did see the hobbit in the HFR and didn’t hate it nearly as much as everybody else seemed to). i continue to think 3d is a stupid cash grab that almost never adds to the film, but I suffer from pretty severe fear of missing out so i keep getting suckered in. the only one that was really worth it this year was the hobbit, although there was a nice dive down a cliff in dark shadows and some fun flying around in avengers, prometheus and the amazing spider-man.

here’s what 1.23 trips to the movie theater a week (plus a few extraneous otherwise tix) looks like, btw:

here’s to beating it in 2013.

although i obviously saw a ton of movies this year, you’ll always miss a few; these are the ones that i suspect might have had a chance at making the above lists had i been able to catch them: wreck-it ralph, promised land, anna karenina, the sessions, smashed, bachelorette, the deep blue sea, once upon a time in anatolia, teddy bear, the turin horse, samsara, it’s such a beautiful day, killing them softly, a late quartet, this must be the place, on the road, hyde park on hudson, the impossible, chasing ice, the odd life of timothy green, hit & run, general education, the details, the central park five, for a good time call, kumare, liberal arts, flight, only the young. plus a few of the foreign & doc oscar nominees which despite all that you see here (this is not a list light on foreigns or docs!) i had somehow never previously heard of. pretty much everything else, if it came out in 2012 and it’s not listed here, it’s on purpose. SO THERE.

saw filmmakers/actors/film-related musicians in person promoting:

-we need to talk about kevin (ezra miller, angelika, jan 14)

-sleepwalk with me (mike birbiglia, ira glass, & jessi klein, IFC center, aug 26)

-head (the monkees movie, sept 20: no one from the movie was actually there but a panel was at the bell house screening to discuss it including julie klausner, kurt loder, rolling stone writer rob sheffield, and monkees historian eric lefcowitz)

-the princess bride (25th anniversary screening at the NYFF, oct 2, with rob reiner, william goldman, billy crystal, cary elwes, carol kane, mandy patinkin, chris sarandon, wallace shawn and robin wright!!!!!)

-the perks of being a wallflower (logan lerman, sunshine, oct 7)

-also went to a NYFF ‘director’s dialogue’ talk between brian de palma and noah baumbach, not after a specific film screening but more of a comprehensive career retrospective talk)

my 25 favorite comedy shows I saw (in chronological order):

-heart of darkness, hosted by greg barris with the forgiveness, featuring roger hailes, gabe liedman, pete drungle, wyatt cenac, and reggie watts @ union hall 1/7

-mr coconuts, hosted by gabe delahaye, featuring dave hill, ted travelstead, mike albo, and john roberts @ union hall 1/17

-totally j/k, hosted by joe mande and noah garfinkel, featuring dc pierson, gabe delahaye, annie lederman, and demitri martin @ ucbeast 1/19

-hot tub, hosted by kurt braunohler, featuring gabe delahaye, it gets betterish (brent sullivan/eliot glazer), joe mande, lisa delarios, demitri martin, and judah friedlander @ littlefield 2/13

-bob’s burgers show featuring eugene mirman, larry murphy, kurt braunohler, kristen schaal, jon benjamin @ bell house 3/9

-night of the living, hosted by kurt braunohler with house band adira amram & the experience, featuring wyatt cenac, ted leo, and pete & pete (danny tamberelli and michael maronna) 3/9

-dc pierson’s one man show “dc pierson is bad at girls” @ sxsw 3/15

-whiplash, hosted by leo allen, featuring ron lynch, jessi klein, tom shillue, joe derosa, gabe liedman, nick kroll, and todd barry @ ucb chelsea 4/9

-cheap date, hosted by sharron paul and calvin cole, featuring sherri shepherd, jermaine fowler, brent sullivan, travis irvine @ union hall 5/8

-dave hill’s tasteful nudes book release show featuring john hodgman, jon benjamin, doug gillard, tab the band, little michael jackson, and janeane garofalo @ bell house 5/24

-the jukebox, hosted by steve heisler, steve jacobs, and margaret lyons, featuring mara wilson, eric muller, kevin allison, and dave hill @ union hall 6/11

-kristen schaal long-form show with kurt braunohler @ union hall 6/17

-mr coconuts, hosted by gabe delahaye, featuring ted leo, taylor negron, michael che, and emily heller @ union hall 6/19

-brent sullivan’s one-man show “profiles in cowardice” @ ucb chelsea 7/5

-geeking out, hosted by kerri doherty and nate fernald, featuring ted travelstead, brent sullivan, steve heisler, robin gelfenbien, and ranmaru the cosplayer @ union hall 8/7

-auction to raise money for the eugene mirman comedy festival, featuring eugene, brendon small, james adomian, wyatt cenac, ac newman, and reggie watts @ bell house 8/24

-louis ck @ bell house 8/27

-final hot tub, hosted by kurt braunohler, featuring eugene mirman, james adomian, marcus monroe (a juggler), nick turner, pat shepherd, and chris hauselt @ littlefield 10/1

-double-header of one-man shows “dc pierson is good at stand-up” and brent sullivan’s “profiles in cowardice” @ ucb chelsea 10/3

-eddie pepitone @ union hall 10/24

-nick kroll @ bell house 11/30

-hurricane sandy benefit, hosted by ted leo and tom scharpling, featuring john hodgman as an auctioneer, gary the squirrel interviewing julie klausner, chris gethard, titus andronicus, jon benjamin, brooke shields, kristen schaal, chris elliott and adam resnick, and andrew wk @ bell house 12/7

-final pretty good friends, hosted by eugene mirman, featuring mike birbiglia, claudia cogan, mike drucker, and bobcat goldthwait @ union hall 12/9

-party machine holiday benefit, hosted by arden myrin and lisa delarios with house band adira amram & the experience, featuring nick turner, chris gethard, sheng wang, james adomian, janeane garofalo, jon glaser as “beer joe”, and tim harrington @ bell house 12/13

-the jukebox, hosted by steve heisler, steve jacobs, and margaret lyons, featuring david rees, mamrie hart, sam reiff-pasarew, and pete & pete (mike maronna and danny tamberelli) @ union hall 12/18

here’s a new category: podcasts/tapings I was a part of (in chronological order):

how was your week, hosted by julie klausner and house band ted leo and the pharmacists. featuring sandra bernhard, tom scharpling, ira glass in the “snack nest”, and joe mande (2/2); jim gaffigan, martha plimpton, mike daisey, and katie notopoulos (6/27); tom scharpling & jon wurster, kristen johnson, and gabe liedman (10/17) @ bell house

star talk, hosted by neil degrasse tyson and eugene mirman, featuring heather berlin, cara santa maria, and wyatt cenac (2/17); bill nye the science guy, scott adsit, sarah vowell, and cern scientist kyle cranmer (7/11); jim gaffigan, sarah silverman, and mars rover scientist david grinspoon (9/14) @ bell house

the tobolowsky files, by stephen tobolowsky with david chen (2/28) @ bell house

the interview show, hosted by mark bazer, featuring chuck klosterman, jon glaser, em & lo, and nova social (5/3) @ union hall

-jesse popp album taping (5/4) @ union hall

-greg barris album taping (5/10) @ ucb chelsea

-james adomian “low hangin fruit” album taping with rojo perez (6/13) @ union hall

going off track, hosted by jonah bayer and steven smith [he of the untitled rock show], featuring julie klausner, geoffrey rickly [thursday], norman brannon [texas is the reason], and sarah lewitinn (9/22) @ union hall

the thrilling adventure hour, with padgett brewster, busy phillips, samm levine, paul f tompkins, james urbaniak, dave (gruber) allen, colin hanks, john hodgman, scott adsit, and more (9/30) @ bell house

the chris gethard show, featuring dc pierson, dave hill, and rl stine (10/3) @ manhattan neighborhood network [public access tv station]

the smartest man in the world, greg proops’ podcast [proopcast] (10/6) @ bell house

how did this get made, hosted by jason mantzoukas, paul scheer, and june diane raphael, and featuring michael ian black then julie klausner (12/6) @ bell house

-john hodgman “that is all” taping [for netflix I think?] 12/21 @ bell house

favorite new tv show:

girls

I think that’s the only show that had its debut episode in 2012 that I liked enough to even talk about at all. had all the strong feelings all the other nyc girls my age/social bracket had in response to it, but they were in sum def more good than bad. congrats girls

favorite non- new tv shows:

parks & recreation (number 1 two years in a row!! i guess this is officially my Favorite Show)

happy endings

louie

bob’s burgers

breaking bad

community

adventure time with finn and jake

american horror story

sherlock (bbc)

downton abbey

mad men

misfits

30 rock

archer

portlandia

the increasingly poor decisions of todd margaret

childrens hospital

eagleheart

delocated

the league

up all night

it’s always sunny in philadelphia

(looking forward to justified, parenthood, boardwalk empire, house of lies, veep, shameless, bunk, comedy bang bang, and enlightened eventually joining this list…need more hours in the day)

and lastly, some stray cool stuff i did in 2012 that didn’t fit into any of the above categories:

-daniel kitson’s one-man theatrical production ‘it’s always right now, until it’s later’ @ st ann’s warehouse

-alicia jo rabins’ years-in-the-making musical/theatrical production ‘a kaddish for bernie madoff’ @ joe’s pub

-voted for obama then rejoiced with 1000 of my closest friends (and liam mceneany and mike doughty) at the bell house when he won

-sold merch for tony sly (with joey cape when they played bell house) a week before his untimely death

-ate a grilled cheese sandwich in my Ohio hometown that had pierogis inside of it

-spent the 4th of july with some austrialian friends and got to see the city as a tourist: took the staten island ferry, watched street performers in washington square park, ate pizza, watched the fireworks over the hudson

-took several great trips, including a few firsts like wine tasting at a vineyard near seattle, walking a suspension bridge in a rainforest near vancouver, jazz brunch in boston, serious bbq in san antonio, and a speakeasy in seattle

-watched the comedy central roast of roseanne with Lecy, the original Becky

-worked as a “location assistant” on my first two real (paying) film sets, one for a tv show and one for a web video

-stood in line as an extra in aimee mann’s music video for “charmer”, directed by tom scharpling and produced by rob hatch-miller & puloma basu (production company productions): check me out at around 2:30:

 

Bonus: my favorite “celebrity encounter” of the year (take that, brooke shields, jake gyllenhaal, michelle williams, sandra bernhard, david byrne, rl stine, kristen johnson, martha plimpton, taylor negron, laura linney, chris elliott, andrew wk, bill nye the science guy, zach galifianakis, dino stamatopoulos, colin hanks, michael azerrad, jonathan ames, marky ramone, doug benson, adam pally, matt walsh, sherri shepherd, neil degrasse tyson, norah jones, steve buscemi, janeane garofalo, bobcat goldthwait, mara wilson, ?uestlove, brendon small, ira glass, sarah silverman, kurt loder, jonathan coulton, john roderick, malcolm gladwell, chuck klosterman, many cast members of 30 rock, freaks and geeks, archer, bob’s burgers, and home movies, and everyone else listed above):

THE END! I love you.

 

 

My Top Stuff of 2011

Oh no!! It’s that time again. I have a history of waiting until a month after the end of the year (mostly so I can fit in as many movies as possible, and to speak from a tiny position of perspective – at the cost of some relevance, I know, but I’m really only writing this for myself anyway), and then coming up with the most hilariously long lists that nobody could possibly ever want to read. YOU’RE WELCOME!

I got a new part-time job this year in addition to my Band Mom radio promo (actually, two new part-time jobs), and you’ll see that reflected pretty heavily when we get down to my Top Shows lists. Actually, looking back at my last couple years many of my top stuff of 2009 and 2010 took place at my future places of employment anyway, so it’s not really weird that this kept up once they started paying me to be there. I decided, though I’m keeping the rule that Band Mom Bands are ineligible for the Top Albums list because I couldn’t possibly rank them against each other, that I can’t rule out shows where I worked the door or stage managed for my Top Shows lists, because then there would be almost no shows to consider. You’re still reading??

As always, I never claim stuff on this list is the ‘best’ of the year. Art is impossible to grade on an objective scale, and it’s insulting and ugly to posture as though one could do so. These are just my favorites:

 

top 15 albums (or eps) of 2010:

  1. the mountain goats – all eternals deck

  2. mister heavenly – out of love
  3. childish gambino – camp
  4. pikachunes – pikachunes
  5. princess chelsea – lil golden book
  6. dolfish – your love is bummin’ me out
  7. david bazan – strange negotiations
  8. man man – life fantastic
  9. m83 – hurry up, we’re dreaming
  10. john vanderslice – white wilderness
  11. st vincent – strange mercy
  12. generationals – actor-caster
  13. destroyer – kauptt
  14. mansions – dig up the dead
  15. bon iver – bon iver

honorable mentions / albums that might have made the list had i spent more time with them (could easily become future favorites):

nick diamonds – i am an attic; cut copy – zonoscope; chain & the gang – music’s not for everyone; tyler, the creator – goblin; toro y moi – underneath the pine; danielson-best of goucester county; lake – you are alone/higher than merry; deerhoof – deerhoof vs evil; ravens & chimes – holiday life; 13 & god – own your ghost; carol bui – red ship; we became actors – something major; jason anderson – summer style; lil wayne-tha carter iv; atlas sound – parallax; usf – the spray; bill callahan – apocalypse; jay z/kanye – watch the throne; eleanor friedberger – last summer; gang gang dance – eye contact; panda bear – tomboy; moonface – organ music not vibraphone like i’d hoped; wild flag – wild flag; nurses – dracula; blackout beach – fuck death; chad vangaalen – diaper island; handsome furs – sound kapital; the new release of brian wilson’s smile.

as mentioned and as always, band mom artists are ineligible for this list because i wouldn’t even begin to know how to rank them; this year that includes a few artists who technically released their albums this year even though i didn’t promote them, YET, but i still at least as of this writing consider them band mom artists and potential future band mom projects: this means you, bright brown, girls in trouble, the loom, and matt bauer. and you, zoe boekbinder, shenandoah davis, tennis pro, terrordactyls, tereu tereu, dc pierson, and joseph keckler. you all released FANTASTIC albums that are tied for number one in my heart, and i love you the most.

top 25 shows (concerts):

  1. lcd soundsystem’s final show @ madison square garden (manhattan ny, april)

  2. mister heavenly w/fort lean, mr dream @ mercury lounge (manhattan ny, november)
  3. WHY? w/serengeti @ florence gould hall, wordless music show (manhattan ny, december)
  4. kid cudi, childish gambino, aloe blacc @ terminal 5 (manhattan ny, june)
  5. john vanderslice, damien jurado @ mercury lounge (manhattan ny, may)
  6. mountain goats w/megafaun @ bowery ballroom (manhattan ny, march)
  7. old 97s @ bell house (brooklyn ny, 2 nights, july)
  8. girls in trouble, calvin johnson, chain & the gang ft fred thomas @ dead herring (brooklyn ny, february)
  9. yo la tengo @ bell house (brooklyn ny, may)
  10. chuck ragan w/ sean o’neill, SHARKS @ bell house (brooklyn ny, may)
  11. crooked fingers @ bell house (brooklyn ny, may)
  12. matt bauer record release show, the loom, melaena cadiz @ union pool (brooklyn ny, june)
  13. robyn hitchcock, john wesley harding also ft ted leo, scott mccaughey (minus 5), sean nelson (harvey danger), peter buck, various decemberists @ bell house (brooklyn ny, november)
  14. wild flag, lee renaldo @ bell house (brooklyn ny, october)
  15. valley lodge w/hrny wrms, walt mink @ bell house (brooklyn ny, july)
  16. peter wolf w/roy sludge @ bell house (brooklyn ny, october)
  17. the thermals w/big troubles, eula @ bell house (brooklyn ny, july)
  18. calvin johnson, damned dogs, generifus @ helsing junction followed by grass widow w/broken water, dogjaw (olympia wa, same day in august)
  19. black moth super rainbow w/marshmallow ghosts, lichens, serengeti @ bell house (brooklyn ny, september)
  20. roadside graves, dinosaur feathers, dolfish, melaena cadiz @ union hall (brooklyn ny, december)
  21. shellac w/helen money @ bell house (brooklyn ny, 2 nights, october)
  22. typefighter w/chris mills, brett harris @ kings (raleigh nc, june)
  23. robbers on high street, poison control center, kleenex girl wonder, north english @ union hall (brooklyn ny, july)
  24. bob mould @ bell house (brooklyn ny, november)
  25. 5.6.7.8.’s, black lips @ bell house, norton records anniversary show (brooklyn ny, november)

working at venues is awesome – it was tough to cut this down to just 25. also i should mention my two first-ever Band Mom Presents shows, which I’m not allowing to count but which were real highlights of my year: 9/17 with mighty moon, lips, pikachunes, and princess chelsea; and 10/22 my very first CMJ showcase with soft punch, mighty moon, bright brown, prairie empire, melaena cadiz, and girls in trouble.

top 50 movies:

  1. the muppets

  2. beginners
  3. we need to talk about kevin
  4. submarine
  5. drive
  6. melancholia
  7. higher ground
  8. hesher
  9. super
  10. take shelter
  11. the tree of life
  12. another earth
  13. like crazy
  14. beyond this place
  15. the catechism cataclysm
  16. bridesmaids
  17. pariah
  18. restless
  19. martha marcy may marlene
  20. the artist
  21. incendies
  22. of gods and men
  23. terri
  24. cave of forgotten dreams
  25. another happy day
  26. attack the block
  27. a good old-fashioned orgy
  28. super 8
  29. uncle boonmee who can recall his past lives
  30. my week with marilyn
  31. j. edgar
  32. the lie
  33. source code
  34. the future
  35. heartbeats
  36. crazy, stupid, love
  37. green hornet
  38. midnight in paris
  39. shame
  40. the skin i live in
  41. our idiot brother
  42. 50/50
  43. the descendants
  44. page one: inside the new york times
  45. hugo
  46. sherlock holmes: a game of shadows
  47. cedar rapids
  48. the girl with the dragon tattoo
  49. exporting raymond
  50. tell them anything you want: a portrait of maurice sendak

honorable mentions (roughly in order; this whole list was initially a numbered top 90 until I realized how ridiculous that is):

the trip; even the rain; moneyball; tinker tailor soldier spy; jane eyre; red state; magic trip; everything must go; conan o’brien can’t stop; ides of march; margin call; the adventures of tintin; take me home tonight; hanna; win win; into the abyss; the debt; pina (3d); detective dee and the mystery of the phantom flame; immortals; paul; horrible bosses; war horse; the adjustment bureau; margaret; potiche; beautiful boy; fubar: balls to the wall; last night; peep world; warrior; the tempest; shut up little man! an audio misadventure; extremely loud and incredibly close; 30 minutes or less; lemmy; the rum diary; rise of the planet of the apes; contagion; in time; pearl jam twenty; arthur; scream 4; the best and brightest.

top NEW actors of the year (as in i’d never heard their names before/never saw them in anything and now they seem like a big deal to me, were each in several things i loved): jessica chastain & benedict cumberbatch

standout actors of the year (who were not new to me, but were in a bunch of stuff i loved and seemed to have a really big year): michael fassbender, emma stone, ezra miller (is he the next paul dano?), tom hardy, john hawkes, and, of course, the gosling.

some notes on movies: in 2011 i saw 279 different movies. 60 of them were in theaters (i paid to see the muppets twice, and doubled up on a ton of others on dvd), and to date i’ve seen 114 movies that came out in 2011 (this includes a few that i watched after the year ended, so they’ll be among the total i report having watched in 2012, but they’re also part of the group of 2011 movies i’m counting as eligible for this best-of list).

as for movies with questionable release dates, i guess the rule i made up is basically that if i saw it in like a festival or limited-engagement special event (like how I saw Spike Jonze’s Maurice Sendak movie in a one-time screening at the Ace Hotel, or Beyond This Place with a live soundtrack by Sufjan and Ray Raposa at BAM) in 2011, even if it didn’t get even limited national release otherwise, it counts for my list, but if i did not see it in a festival before 2011 and its first limited release (any usa release that’s not a specific festival, even if it showed in fests pre-2011) was this year, then it counts. in other words it’s pretty subjective to my perspective, but it had to have its (limited or wide) release begin in 2011 OR be seen by me in a festival or special event (i saw movies at SXSW, tribeca, BAM cinema fest, NYFF and a few assorted micro fests) in 2011.

also of note, i saw 8 movies in 2011 in 3d (immortals, hugo, rio, green hornet, cave of forgotten dreams, adventures of tintin, pina, the dawn treader which came out in 2010 but which i saw in a theater in january). i continue to think it’s a stupid cash grab that almost never adds to the film, but cave of forgotten dreams was by FAR the best use of it i’ve ever seen (hugo takes second place this year; pina also makes a very strong case).

here’s what 1.15 trips to the movie theater a week (plus a few extraneous otherwise tix) looks like, btw:

here’s to beating it in 2012.

although i obviously saw a ton of movies this year, you’ll always miss a few; these are the ones that i suspect might have had a chance at making the above lists had i been able to catch them: a separation, carnage, young adult, the iron lady, miss bala, a better life, anonymous, retreat, circumstance, dirty girl, the devil’s double, tabloid, 13 assassins, certified copy, point blank, the black power mixtape 1967-1975, film socialisme, trust, we bought a zoo, beautiful darling, salvation boulevard, treatment, coriolanus, tyrannosaur, footnote. plus a few of the foreign & doc & those foreign animated oscar nominees which despite all that you see here (this is not a list light on foreigns or docs!) i had somehow never previously heard of. pretty much everything else, if it came out in 2011 and it’s not listed here, it’s on purpose. SO THERE.

saw filmmakers/actors/film-related musicians in person promoting:

-tell them anything you want (spike jonze, catherine keener, lance bangs)

-royal tenenbaums (10th anniversary screening!! w/noah baumbach co-leading a q&a with wes anderson, bill murray, gwyneth paltrow, and anjelica huston)

-beyond this place (q&a with director kaleo la belle, live soundtrack by sufjan stevens & raymond raposa)

-metropolis (alloy orchestra performed live score)

-the catechism cataclysm (i’m not pretending this actually counts but as i was walking in, star steve little was walking out having just completed a q&a for the prior showtime. oh I also did almost exactly this same thing passing by josh radnor doing a q&a for happythankyoumoreplease. damn it)

also as an aside, last year I made up a ‘best sound design‘ category because I felt so strongly about black swan’s and was mad that it was slighted in oscar nominations, and this year I feel the same way about the sound in WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN.

my 25 favorite comedy shows I saw (in chronological order):

-diddygethard @ ucb 1/14

-the rejection show @ bell house 2/14

-the chris gethard show’s ‘night of zero laughs’ @ ucb 2/19

-‘john and scott’ (lutz & adsit doing improv) @ ucb 2/23

-mr funny pants book release show for michael showalter with eugene mirman, kumail nanjiani, reggie watts, and the a cappella group ‘nonsequitur’ @ bell house 2/27

-marc maron live wtf tapings featuring, among others: sarah vowell, chuck klosterman, fred armisen, bill hader, jonathan katz, jon benjamin, will arnett, tom scharpling, wyatt cenac, horatio sanz, amy sedaris, gabe liedman, elna baker, julie klausner, scott adsit, julian mccullough, seth meyers, morgan spurlock, nick dipaolo, artie lange, ira glass @ bell house: 3/10, 6/1, 7/25, 9/19

-whiplash featuring brent sullivan, robert kelly, nick kroll, eugene mirman, colin quinn and leo allen @ ucb 5/9

-party machine featuring jason sudeikis, jon glaser, nikki glaser, sara schaefer, nick turner, lisa delarios and adira amaram @ union hall 6/25

-mr coconuts, hosted by gabe delahaye, with ted leo and jon friedman, with heather lawless and nick diamonds, and with gabe liedman, max silvestri and jenny slate @ union hall 7/19, 10/18, and 12/20

-literary death match with dave hill, michael showalter and daniel nayeri judging jenny slate, barbara browning, hilary hamann, and mira ptacin @ le poisson rouge 5/25

-‘cool as nice’ with jon friedman and adam wade @ union hall 7/26

-pretty good friends with they might be giants, neil degrasse tyson, patton oswalt, jonathan coulton, eugene mirman @ williamsburg waterfront 7/29

-del close marathon: ny mets monoscene, match game ’76, doug loves movies, the benson interruption, director’s commentary live, raiders in 15 minutes, derrick @ ucb & FIT 8/12-14

-startalk live, hosted by neil degrasse tyson, featuring guests kristen schaal, scott adsit, eugene mirman, john hodgman, alan alda, and astronaut mike massimo @ bell house during eugene mirman comedy fest 9/15 and again 12/18

archer panel with aisha tyler, jessica walter, john benjamin, chris parnell, amber nash, lucky yates, and I think adam reed during eugene mirman comedy festival (which also included an awkward party bus, a petting zoo, and a disastrous drinking game masquerading as the talent show) @ bell house 9/17

-louis ck @ the bell house 9/30

-asssscat with monologist chris kelley and chris gethard, anthony ataman, fran gillespie, neil casey, john gemberling, shannon o’neil, sue galloway, zach woods, jason mantzoukas 10/2

-whiplash with eddie brill, hannibal buress, langhorne slim and reggie watts @ ucb 10/10

-cheap date, hosted by tyler fischer and sharron paul, with sherri shepherd, godfrey, joe mande, and hari kondabolu @ union hall 10/11

-paul f tompkins @ bell house 10/22 and 23

-john hodgman ‘that is all’ book release show with paul rudd, wyatt cenac, jonathan coulton, david rees @ bell house 11/1

-the jukebox with kurt braunohler, julie klausner, ted leo and joe randazzo dueting the pogues, mike doughty rapping ll cool j @ union hall 11/29

-party machine holiday show, hosted by arden myrin and lisa delarios, with seth herzog, michael showalter, eleanor friedberger, bobby tisdale, colin quinn, adira amram and more @ bell house 12/8

-aziz ansari @ bell house 12/10

-wfmu’s seven second delay live with suzanne vega, sandra bernhard covering lou reed’s ‘walk on the wild side’, tao lin @ ucb 12/14

favorite new tv shows:

happy endings

bob’s burgers

jon benjamin has a van

up all night

wilfred

eagleheart

ntsf:sd:suv::

american horror story (i know. shut up. i loved it. TATE!)

favorite non- new tv shows:

parks & recreation

louie

sherlock (bbc)

community

adventure time with finn and jake

downton abbey (bbc)

mad men

bored to death

30 rock

archer

childrens hospital

delocated

the league

it’s always sunny in philadelphia

(looking forward to breaking bad, luther, justified, and maybe episodes, men of a certain age, and enlightened eventually joining this list…need more hours in the day)

and lastly, some stray cool stuff i did in 2010 that didn’t fit into any of the above categories:

-daniel kitson’s one-man theatrical production ‘the interminable suicide of gregory church’ @ st ann’s warehouse

-michael shannon’s mostly one-man play ‘mistakes were made’ @ barrow street theatre

-cillian murphy’s one-man theatrical production ‘misterman’ @ st ann’s warehouse

-worked on (obviously without much success thus far) how to nonchalantly mention that i’ve met michael stipe, steve buscemi, britt daniel (spoon), andrew bird, norah jones, david johansen (new york dolls), mick jones (the wrestler ‘mankind’), tom kenny (spongebob/heifer/the ice king!), peter salett (musician/actor who co-wrote the forgetting sarah marshall dracula musical), jonathan demme, and about a million other people plus most of those mentioned above working the door of my favorite performance venues in brooklyn

-attended the first taping of ‘pointless’ (name since changed i think?), a pilot for a new game show for IFC hosted by kurt braunohler and with contestants kristen schaal, kumail nanjiani and ethan t. berlin.

-also I did jury duty. or rather i was called in but dismissed without even speaking to anybody. like a real patriot.

-balanced out a grandfather’s funeral in pittsburgh in march with two friend island weddings: congrats ryan & georgia (pawleys island sc in june) and tyrel & sophia (vashon island wa in august)!

the seriously relatively unimportant thing everyone wanted to talk to me about when i went home for christmas:

THE END!

My Top Stuff of 2010

now that we’ve all gotten used to writing 2011 on our checks and everything, i’ve finally compiled my list of top stuff from 2010. i’m really good at making these so ludicrously long that no one ever has the time or the interest to read through them. but maybe your thing’s on it! i like taking til the end of january to make these lists, since it affords me some time to look back on the year from some distance, and also to catch up on a few things i might have missed out on. i realize it costs me some relevance, but since this list isn’t really for anyone else, it doesn’t matter much. as always, i never claim stuff on this list is the ‘best’ of the year. art is impossible to grade on an objective scale, and it’s insulting and ugly to posture as though one could do so (btw, did i tell you i started writing for PopMatters this year?). anyway, these are just my favorites.

top 20 albums of 2010:

  1. pomegranates – one of us

  2. the extra lens – undercard
  3. xiu xiu – dear god i hate myself
  4. childish gambino – culdesac
  5. matthew dear – black city
  6. the brunettes – paper dolls
  7. tunng – …and then we saw land
  8. electric president – the violent blue
  9. fred thomas – night times
  10. hot chip – one life stand
  11. sufjan stevens – the age of adz
  12. shrag – life! death! prizes!
  13. the wailing wall – the low hanging fruit
  14. ted leo and the pharmacists – the brutalist bricks
  15. lcd soundsystem – this is happening
  16. eux autres – broken bow
  17. wolf parade – expo 86
  18. the pharmacy – weekend
  19. tobacco – maniac meat
  20. the national – high violet

honorable mentions (in alphabetical order):

    beach house – teen dream; best coast – crazy for you; brian eno – small craft on a milk sea; belle and sebastian – write about love; candy claws – hidden laws; .colour revolt – the cradle; drake – thank me later; dungen – skit i allt; frightened rabbit – the winter of mixed drinks; his name is alive – the eclipse; jonsi – go; the knife – tomorrow, in a year; les savy fav – root for ruin; the light footwork – national historic landmarks; lightspeed champion – life is sweet! nice to meet you; los campesinos! – romance is boring; matt & kim – sidewalks; mc chris – mc chris goes to hell; mt st helens vietnam band – where the messengers meet; ok go – of the blue colour of the sky; owen pallett – heartland; peter peter hughes – fangia; the ruby suns – fight softly; sacred spirits – some stay; the seven fields of aphelion – periphery; shapes and sizes – candle to your eye; shout out louds – work; sleigh bells – treats; someone still loves you boris yeltsin – let it sway; stars – the five ghosts; title tracks – it was easy; vampire weekend – contra; warpaint – the fool; wild moccasins – skin collision past

top eps/comps (non-album releases):

    michael cadiz – i saw u
    oh! pears – e.p.
    childish gambino – i am just a rapper 1 & 2
    good luck – demonstration 2010
    grouper/roy montgomery – split
    parenthetical girls – privilege pts 1 & 2
    peter peter hughes – fangio 7″
    white sea – this frontier
    electricity & lust cover songs

as always, band mom/LIFT releases were ineligible for these lists. but hey, dc pierson, night driving in small towns, melaena cadiz, and mermaids: i love you.

top 15 shows (concerts):

  1. jason anderson @ silent barn (brooklyn ny, may)

  2. andrew wk @ sxsw purevolume tent (austin tx, march)
  3. the extra lens @ cmj mercury lounge (manhattan ny, october)
  4. pavement @ central park (manhattan ny, september)
  5. pomegranates, oh no! oh my!, eux autres @ sunset tavern (seattle wa, november)
  6. childish gambino @ the creek and the cave (queens ny, june)
  7. fatty dearest @ redwood bar (los angeles ca, november)
  8. melaena cadiz, matt bauer @ pete’s candy store (brooklyn ny, august)
  9. the mural and the mint @ ‘here’ (manhattan ny, december)
  10. (the) tony castles, dale earnhardt jr jr, bear hands @ bowery ballroom (manhattan ny, december)
  11. sonic youth @ prospect park (brooklyn ny, july)
  12. mermaids, christmas, darlings @ union pool (brooklyn ny, september)
  13. girls in trouble @ pete’s candy store (brooklyn ny, december)
  14. oh! pears @ littlefield (brooklyn ny, december)
  15. malaikat dan singa @ the northern (olympia wa, november)

top 50 movies:

  1. inception

  2. four lions
  3. cyrus
  4. blue valentine
  5. scott pilgrim vs the world
  6. black swan
  7. the fighter
  8. toy story 3
  9. animal kingdom
  10. it’s kind of a funny story
  11. the social network
  12. the illusionist
  13. dogtooth
  14. mother
  15. meek’s cutoff
  16. winter’s bone
  17. greenberg
  18. the extra man
  19. life during wartime
  20. best worst movie
  21. the kids are all right
  22. another year
  23. rosencrantz and guildenstern are undead
  24. wild grass
  25. the living wake
  26. 127 hours
  27. cherry
  28. holy rollers
  29. the secret of kells
  30. i am love
  31. tiny furniture
  32. please give
  33. youth in revolt
  34. never let me go
  35. fish tank
  36. the thorn in the heart
  37. jean-michel basquiat: the radiant child
  38. barry munday
  39. revolucion
  40. the girl with the dragon tattoo
  41. true grit
  42. shutter island
  43. exit through the gift shop
  44. micmacs
  45. enter the void
  46. biutiful
  47. a film with me in it
  48. the secret in their eyes
  49. red riding trilogy: part 1: 1974
  50. my son, my son, what have ye done

honorable mentions (roughly in order):

    a prophet; until the light takes us; all my friends are funeral singers; a mother’s courage: talking back to autism; let me in; strange powers; mesrine (parts 1 & 2); temple grandin; the man next door/el hombre del lado; the king’s speech; how to train yr dragon; despicable me; stone; howl; the life of the world to come; restrepo; going the distance; jack goes boating; get him to the greek; alamar; solo quiero caminar; the town; leaves of grass; joan rivers: a piece of work; the trotsky; chronicles of narnia: voyage of the dawn treader; how do you know; hereafter; the sorcerer’s apprentice; somewhere; all good things; easy a; the other guys; i’m still here; spork

some notes on movies: i saw 117 movies that came out in 2010 (62 in a theater; i paid to see both inception and black swan twice) (saw 315 movies total over the year, counting older releases but trying not to count second viewings). not every movie i saw made this list…i know it is a long list. as for movies with questionable release dates, i guess the rule i made up is basically that if i saw it in a festival in 2010, even if it didn’t get even limited release otherwise, it counts for my list, but if i did not see it in a festival before 2010 and its first limited release (any usa release that’s not a specific festival, even if it showed in fests pre-2010) was this year, then it counts. in other words it’s pretty subjective to my perspective, but it had to have its (limited or wide) release begin in 2010 OR be seen by me in a festival (i saw movies at SXSW, tribeca, BAM cinema fest, NYFF and a few assorted micro fests) in 2010.

here’s what 1.23 trips to the movie theater a week (plus a few extraneous otherwise tix) looks like, btw:

i’m gonna beat it in 2011.

there are very few movies that i intended to see and didn’t catch last year, and even fewer that would realistically have had the potential to break my top 50 anyway (i really loved a lot of movies last year!), but i am looking forward to catching up on monsters, louis ck’s hilarious, blue beard, waiting for superman, carlos, mars, uncle boonmee who can recall his past lives, the taqwacores, the tempest, undertow, catfish, today’s special, megamind, you will meet a tall dark stranger, and last train home sometime soon.

shorts:

    ‘night and day’ by pixar
    ‘your lucky day’ with rider strong, sean nelson and lynne shelton
    ‘marcel the shell with shoes on’ by jenny slate & dean fleischer-camp
    david lynch’s ‘lady blue shanghai’ dior thing
    spike jonze’s ‘i’m here’ absolut thing

saw filmmakers/actors in person promoting:

    the thorn in the heart (michel gondry)
    spork (director jb ghuman jr, producer chris racster)
    the trotsky (director jacob tierney, emily hampshire)
    all my friends are funeral singers (tim rutili, angela bettis, kevin ford; califone played live soundtrack)
    strange powers (claudia gonson, gail o’hara, kerthy fix)
    the living wake (mike o’connell, director sol tryon, producer peter kline)
    it is fine. everything is fine! and what is it? (crispin glover)
    cyrus (jay and mark duplass, john c. reilly, marisa tomei)
    the social network (david fincher, aaron sorkin)
    meek’s cutoff (kelly reichardt, paul dano, tommy nelson, neal huff)
    revolucion (gael garcia bernal, diego luna, exec producer pablo cruz, mariana chenillo, fernando eimbcke, patricia riggen)
    it’s kind of a funny story (anna boden, ryan fleck)
    cherry (jeffrey and matthew fine, elk city, music supervisor lauren ross)

coolest soundtracks/scores (not in order; music docs don’t count):

    greenberg – james murphy
    scott pilgrim vs the world – beck, anamanaguchi
    blue valentine – grizzly bear
    all my friends are funeral singers – califone
    cherry – curated by lauren ross
    the trotsky – malajube
    the social network – trent reznor and atticus ross
    somewhere – phoenix

also as an aside, best sound design: BLACK SWAN DUH, come on, oscars.

movies/tv shows I saw for the first time in 2010 that came out earlier, but have since become some of my favorites (some were 2009 films that just missed the cutoff last year; others are just Important Classics i’d somehow thus far missed out on):

    imaginarium of doctor parnassus; assassination of a high school president; crazy heart; the hurt locker; the craft; jennifer’s body; the white ribbon; the vicious kind; dazed and confused; the carter; the guatemalan handshake; old joy; ponyo; breakfast club; hard eight/sydney; gummo; chinatown; new york i love you; the informant!; chop shop; police, adjective; jcvd; the education of charlie banks; disgrace; criminal; let the right one in; blue velvet; primer; glengarry glen ross; after hours; ten canoes; crispin glover’s ‘what is it?’ and ‘it is fine. everything is fine’; the apartment; sunset blvd; kinsey; the foot fist way; american graffiti; the panic in needle park; kill bill 1 & 2; willow; mary and max; butch cassidy and the sundance kid; the holy mountain; la jetee; sneakers; princess mononoke; flight of the red balloon; la haine; network; the beach; an american werewolf in london; sleepers; mr. mom; in the realms of the unreal; inland empire; and the shows 21 jump street, wonderfalls, look around you, and spaced.

favorite new tv shows:

    louie

    adventure time with finn & jake
    archer
    the increasingly poor decisions of todd margaret
    running wilde
    (i bet boardwalk empire and treme too, but i’m late to the party on those)

my 20 favorite comedy shows I saw (in chronological order):

-dave hill’s big in japan @ ucb 1/6

-benefit for haiti @ sweet (the slipper room) featuring abby elliot, donald glover, colin quinn, zach galifianakis 1/19

-valentine’s day double-header: the rejection show featuring gabes liedman and delahaye, max silvestri, edith zimmerman, sara schaefer, adam wade, katina carrao @ the bell house AND donald glover and dc pierson @ the creek and the cave

-jenny slate’s dead millionaire @ ucb 4/5

-tearing the veil of maya featuring john mulaney (his best set I’ve ever seen), murderfist (they got naked), hannibal buress, eugene mirman @ union hall 4/4 (easter)

-radio happy hour featuring jesse eisenberg, max silvestri, david bazan @ le poisson rouge 5/8

-look at this f’ing hipster book release show featuring joe mande and noah garfinkel, wyatt cenac, leo allen (and beans) @ ucb 3/31

-whiplash featuring donald glover, mike o’connell, wyatt cenac, greg barris @ ucb 5/10

-tell your friends: the concert movie taping featuring liam mceneany, rob paravonian, a brief view of the hudson, christian finnegan, kurt braunohler and kristen schaal @ the bell house 6/22

-charlyne yi’s one-woman show @ ucb 7/14

-‘ny mets monoscene spectacular’ DCM @ ucb 7/31

-doug benson’s i love movies featuring matt besser, matt walsh, amy schumer, and seth morris DCM @ ucb 7/31

-tearing the veil of maya’s 4 year anniversary show featuring eugene mirman, ad miles, leo allen, wyatt cenac, gibby haynes from the butthole surfers, kristen schaal, todd barry @ the bell house 8/1

-whiplash featuring leo allen, marina franklin, tom shillue, hannibal buress, tj miller, sean patton @ ucb 8/23

-videogum’s back to school show featuring gabes delahaye and liedman, max silvestri, jon glaser, jenny slate, joe mande, judah friedlander @ the bell house 9/9

-whiplash featuring donald glover, hannibal buress, louis katz, seth herzog, jessi klein, louis ck @ ucb 10/4

-joe mande’s overton window @ ucb 11/1

-shitty jobs @ ucb la 11/21

-comedy death-ray featuring baron vaughn, moshe kasher, chelsea peretti, randy and jason sklar, patton oswalt @ ucb la 11/23

-big terrific featuring gabe liedman, andy haynes, max silvestri, pete holmes, todd barry @ cameo gallery 12/29

and lastly, a couple stray cool things i did in 2010 that didn’t fit into any of the above categories:

david byrne lecture at the bell house (a warm-up for his ted talk)

watched the oscars w/commentary by gabe liedman & jenny slate at the bell house

videogum 2 year anniversary party at brooklyn bowl with ?uestlove djing

‘acted’ as an extra in ted leo’s music video for ‘bottled in cork’

 

 

 

My Top Stuff of 2009

Now that it is so late that no one could possibly care, I thought maybe I’d get around to posting this.

Every year I make ludicrously long lists that nobody has the time or patience to get through; this year is no different. With more lists! Keep in mind that I’m never claiming that these are the “best” of any year. They were just my favorites…stuff I loved. There is no objective scale for grading art; my reactions are all I have to go on. So there!

2009 was the first year of my life that was actually a cohesive Year – I had the same jobs the whole year, lived in the same apartment the whole year – switched roommates a zillion times but not on the midyear schedule that would have been normal up to this point thanks to the school system making a Year typically end in May or June rather than December. I’m an adult! So maybe these lists have more cohesion than my last few have. Then again, maybe not.

top 10 albums of 2009:

1. why?-eskimo snow

2. the mountain goats-the life of the world to come

3. casiotone for the painfully alone-vs. children

4. childish gambino-poindexter

5. harlem shakes-technicolor health

6. pomegranates-everybody, come outside!

7. john vanderslice-romanian names

8. david bazan-curse your branches

9. discovery-lp

10. phoenix-wolfgang amadaeus phoenix


15 more (not in order):

dead man’s bones-s/t

phosphorescent-to willie

mono-hymn to the immortal wind

matt and kim-grand

edward sharpe & the magnetic zeroes-up from below

kid cudi-man on the moon: the end of the day

antony and the johnsons-crying light

julie doiron-i can wonder what you did with your day

dirty projectors-bitte orca

grizzly bear-veckatimest

patients-patients

city center-s/t

fishboy-nom

girls-girls

woods-songs of shame



This list is missing a lot. Some of my FAVORITE FAVORITE artists released albums this year that I’m sure I’ll eventually LOVE, but for some reason just haven’t gotten to give them the time they deserve yet. I’m looking at you, Mew, Health, Megafaun, Bill Callahan, Firs, Flaming Lips, Liars, The Thermals, Beach House, Themselves, (Wooden) Wand, St. Vincent, Barzin, YACHT, Throw Me The Statue, Jeremy Enigk, Jeffrey Lewis, Deer Tick, Atlas Sound, Mount Eerie, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Sigur Ros, Royksopp, The Boy Least Likely To, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Asobi Seksu, Malajube, Junior Boys, The Whitest Boy Alive, MSTRKRFT, The Juan Maclean, Yo La Tengo, and Mum. WHOA GEEZ what was my problem in 2009!!!!



top eps/singles:

starfucker-jupiter

brunettes-red rollerskates ep

mountain goats+john vanderslice-moon colony bloodbath

social studies-the hourglass

burial & four tet-moth/wolf cub

we became actors-this is where we started



top compliations:

dark was the night

score! 20 years of merge recs: the covers!

casiotone for the painfully alone-advance base battery life

odd nosdam-t.i.m.e. sdtrk



top comedy albums:

john mulaney-the top part

paul f thompkins-freak wharf

eugene mirman-god is a 12 year old boy with asperger’s

the lonely island-incredibad



top 11 songs:

the national & st vincent – sleep all summer (crooked fingers cover)

childish gambino ft. dc pierson – starlight

matt & kim – daylight

kid cudi – pursuit of happiness (nightmare) ft. mgmt & ratatat

casiotone for the painfully alone – white jetta

why? – this blackest purse

edward sharpe & the magnetic zeroes – home

the mountain goats – genesis 3:23

phosphorescent – reasons to quit (willie nelson cover)

dead man’s bones – in the room where you sleep

harlem shakes – strictly game



top shows (concerts):

1. david byrne @prospect park 6.8

2. why? @le poisson rouge 9.26

3. mono @bell house 9.29

4. calvin johnson, ian svenonius (&city center but i missed their set) @92ytribeca 4.17

5. pomegranates, french kicks @bell house 2.21

6. wild moccasins, the loom, cotton jones @union hall 6.20

7. extraordinaires, tavo carbone @union pool 8.17

8. john vanderslice, john darnielle @wordless show, society for ethical culture 2.27

9. suburban kids with biblical names, afternoon naps, icicles @nyc popfest, cake shop 5.17

10. they might be giants @prospect park 7.11



14 more (not in order):

casiotone for the painfully alone, cryptacize @market hotel 7.3

starfucker, mancino @union hall 4.22

pelle carlberg, the drums @union hall 5.30

polka dot dot dot @sidewalk cafe 1.7

the wrens @bell house 4.10

brunettes, throw me the statue @mercury lounge 9.2

black moth super rainbow @seaport 7.24

we became actors @cross-pollination, pianos 7.28

midtown dickens @sidewalk cafe 9.6

brazos, white denim @music hall of williamsburg 11.12

seth kallen, wheat, tally hall @union hall 2.12

ladybug transistor @union hall 8.27

owen @union hall 10.10

woodpecker!, menage a twang @union hall 8.23



top 10 movies:

1. adventureland

2. where the wild things are

3. fantastic mr fox

4. brothers bloom

5. mystery team

6. away we go

7. a serious man

8. big fan

9. a single man

10. inglourious basterds



27 more I loved (roughly in order now, but I change the order every day in my head, so they’re not numbered):

beautiful losers

paper heart

adam

uncertainty

zombieland

antichrist

the road

coraline

still walking

moon

humpday

medicine for melancholy

extract

broken embraces

taking woodstock

the limits of control

pirate radio

up

anvil! the story of anvil

rudo y cursi

white material

tokyo

i love you man

don’t let me drown

an education

thirst

district 9



saw these filmmakers/actors in person promoting their stuff:

mystery team (derrick comedy minus donald glover: dc pierson, dominic dierkes, meggie mcfadden, dan eckman)

white material (director claire denis and a few of the actors did a q&a , then the next day saw her ‘in conversation’ with noah baumbach…also jim jarmusch was there)

dazzle (director cyrus frisch did a q&a)

cold souls (director sophie barthes did a q&a)

rudo y cursi (gael garcia bernal, diego luna, carlos cuaron ‘in conversation’ at the apple store)

teeth (director mitchell lichtenstein did a q&a at a sunshine midnight screening)

deadgirl (co-director gadi harel did a q&a)

don’t let me drown (director cruz angeles and the teen actors introduced the movie. also my good friend timothy thomas cleary contributed music and was there…as was robert redford)



Coolest soundtracks/scores (not in order):

Where The Wild Things Are – Karen O and the Kids

Mystery Team – MCDJ/Childish Gambino/Donald Glover

Don’t Let Me Drown – Timothy Thomas Cleary

The Limits of Control – Boris

Pirate Radio – 60s britpop

Adventureland – 80s indie rock/synthpop

Medicine for Melancholy – melancholic indie pop



There are still a few 2009 movies that I need to catch up on, but I’m making this the cutoff: if I didn’t see them by now, it’ll be too late to make the list retroactively. So sorry, The White Ribbon, Police, Adjective, Crazy Heart, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnarssus, Little Ashes, Disgrace, The Hurt Locker, In the Loop, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, Women In Trouble, New York I Love You, Dare, Precious, The Vicious Kind, and My Son My Son What Have Ye Done. (and Mother, Trash Humpers, and Life During Wartime which I missed at the NYFF but I don’t think they’ve even had a limited release yet). BUT they’ll have a chance of showing up on this one next year:



Movies/TV shows I saw for the first time in 2009 that came out earlier, but have since become some of my Favorites:

the wrestler

milk

forgetting sarah marshall

the tv set

they shoot horses, don’t they?

fitzcarraldo

slackers

synechdoche, ny

breakin’ 2: electric boogaloo

young frankenstein, blazing saddles

brazil

boogie nights

the price of milk

soldier’s girl

waltz with bashir

the counterfeiters

barton fink

saw my first mumblecore movies (puffy chair, baghead, humpday) and liked ’em

hitchhikers guide to the galaxy (the tv show)

veronica mars

the state (finally released on dvd)

twin peaks

friday night lights

the life & times of tim



Also my favorite comedy shows I saw (not in order):

live taping of conan o’brien with judah friedlander 2.9

eugene mirman ‘the will to whatevs’ book release show @bell house -with eugene, david cross, john hodgman, kristen schaal, paul f. thompkins, and mr. brownstone 2.10

yacht rock viewing party with the cast @bell house 2.27

michael showalter radio happy hour @le poisson rouge 7.11

michael & michael have issues premiere party @bell house 7.15

the state show @bell house 10.1 – it was really just michaels showalter and ian black and david wain, and they showed clips from the CBS special, played clips from the (soon to be released??) CD and did a little bit of goofing around.

tearing the veil of maya 3rd anniversary show @bell house with john mulaney, eugene, larry murphy, jon glaser as ‘the man in the green mask’ and a kid michael jackson cover band 7.19

the rejection show – book release show for jon friedman’s book ‘rejected’ which became a regular show after this one (pretty sure this was the first). david wain, dave hill, sara schaefer and a bunch of other people read stories @bell house 1.27

whiplash – always lovely but I think my favorite was with baron vaughn and wyatt cenac, @UCB 12.15

big terrific – my first one with gabe liedman ‘n’ jenny slate, max silvestri, matt mccarthy, eugene mirman, pete holmes, kumail nanjiani @cameo gallery 10.21

RISK! hosted by kevin allison @arlene’s grocery – all 4 i went to were fantastic but i particularly loved the one 9.24 with samm levine. joe mande, adam wade, rachel dratch, dave hill, tim ellis and the guy with the kangaroo hunting story all also gave particularly memorable performances on their dates.

eugene mirman comedy festival @bell house 9.17-20 – all the shows i saw but particularly ‘the comedians of law and order’ feat. ad miles, michael showalter, baron vaughn, tom shillue, zak orth, eddie peppitone, jim gaffigan AND also ’10 drink minimum’ that was just a nakedly honest storytelling hour, most memorably by michael showalter and sillily by tony v, hosted by marc maron. Also highlights: daniel kitson, john oliver, reggie watts, kumail nanjiani, hannibal buress, leo allen, todd barry, a cardboard vip booth, and a free ride in a hummer limo to atlantic center and back with complimentary cream soda.

OH ALSO jon benjamin and larry murphy did a pretty amazing anti-comedy aftershow thing (at EMCF) called ‘the perfect storm’ at midnight one night in front of like 15 people in pitch blackness…they made morgan murphy do a set while she lay on her back onstage. matt braunger and hannibal also made some weird attempts at midnight drunk standup. the most weirdly memorable comedy show i’ve ever seen. oh yeah and they invited me onstage (i genuinely forgot that until i typed it) then backstage where i was handed a beer and shown the lobster available on the table. they also provided ‘commentary’ for about the first 10 minutes of the movie ‘the perfect storm’ in boston accents, and danced to a techno song with glow sticks. that one actually wins. best show of the year.



And favorite new tv shows:

1. party down

2. bored to death

3. community

4. delocated

5. parks & recreation (especially season 2 – but season 1 started in ’09 too)

6. eastbound & down

7. the league



Man, congratulations to donald glover for the freakin’ Hat Trick of hitting my Top 5 albums (Childish Gambino), Top 5 movies (Mystery Team), AND Top 5 new TV shows (Community). Way to make the rest of us look bad, dude.





a few other odds and ends:

tv show that almost totally blew my goodwill toward it and ruined my deep love for its earlier episodes by recycling almost EVERY good joke it’s ever made: scrubs : (

best old album i got super into: lou reed-transformer



Okay. Sorry for my haphazard capitalization (and everything else). I guess I listened to less music and watched more movies this year than I have in years past. I’ve kept up with the personal rule that artists I’ve worked with can’t make it onto the top albums/shows list, because how could I possibly rank them against each other, but Hidden People, Tereu Tereu, Sean Walsh, Big Bang TV, and Girls In Trouble: you all have 100% of my heart. What a good first year for The Band Mom!