- If Beale Street Could Talk (2/24)
- Can You Ever Forgive Me? (1/27)
- The Favourite (1/13)
- Mary Poppins Returns (1/6)
So my $$$ spent on music has greatly decreased both due to lack of time (either to listen OR to even have heard about new tunes) AND lack of $$. But here is a quick review of the albums I bought in 2018 and whether they were worth it or not!
January: no tunes purchased.
February: no tunes purchased.
- Black Panther (soundtrack) – I adore Kendrick Lamar. His last two albums (ESPECIALLY “Damn”) have just rocked my socks off. But I bought this, forgot to listen, started, forgot, started, forgot. I’m not sure I ever even listened to this all-the-way through. March tends to be a NUTS month at school though so I probably just kept not finding any time to listen. Bygones.
- Tinashe “Joyride” – OK. didn’t love it.
- Kylie Minogue “Golden” – LOVE love love love. One of my favorites of the year.
- Cardi B “Invasion of Privacy” – It’s OK. Most of the songs sound exactly the same to me! /ducks/
May: No tunes purchased.
June: No tunes purchased.
- Maluma “FAME” – Yes, I started buying Spanish-language rap and R&B a few years ago due to my primarily Hispanic students and some of their recommendations. No, I don’t speak it even close to well enough–I either look up translations of the lyrics OR I just enjoy it for the sounds and don’t worry about its most likely inappropriate lyrics (it is AMAZING what students will recommend to you sometimes without considering their audience). This is, to my very-inexperienced-with-it ears, definitely in the “reggaeton” tradition, like Nikki Jam, another student-inspired purchase of mine.
- Meg Myers “Take Me to the Disco” – Love love love love. Definitely one of my favorite purchases of the year.
August: No tunes purchased.
- Troye Sivan “Bloom” – It’s OK. But I had too much built-up anticipation because I looooove his first album so much. This falls short for me.
- ARM & TEPR “Psaumes” – this is an older release that I just got turned on to. I have in the past bought a lot of French rap/R&B but I’ve fallen off recently. It’s OK–I think a certain song or two convinced me to buy it but then I didn’t love the album as a whole.
- Also bought two singles from Odessa “I will be there” (love) and “Hummed low” (OK), and “Black Beatles” from Mayrie, which I like.
- Cat Power “Wanderer” – I like it. It’s very mellow. The Rihanna cover is what grabbed me. But I’ve been more into previous albums of hers.
- Matt Nathanson “Sings His Sad Heart” – SO good! Best album of his, in my view. He’s awesome in concert, has such SUCH good stage banter, and his albums before this have never lived up to his live performances for me–they’ve always been a little cheesy. A little white frat boy “college-ing it out” (a term I use a lot and frankly think it’s self explanatory so maybe you understand it and maybe you don’t). Anyway, I love this album.
November: No tunes purchased.
December: I spend the most $$ on tunes in December every year, where I start rabidly buying things I see on best of lists!
- Boygenius EP – It’s SO good, I can’t stop listening to it.
- Kacey Musgraves “Golden Hour” – I like it but it’s a little light. There’s one song I just can’t stand to listen to. There’s two I love. But I don’t really think it earned the hype for me.
- Janelle Monae “Dirty Computer” – this is basically a Prince album to me. So I like it. But it doesn’t necessarily make me feel like seeking out all her stuff.
- Mitski “Be the Cowboy” – definitely like a few songs from it. Haven’t listened to it enough yet though. My bad.
- Rosalia “El Mal Querer” – I love this. So operatic and drama mama. Her videos are all Queen of Wands sass, vim and vigor. LOVE. Even though I don’t understand the lyrics. 😉
- NoName “Room 25” – bought based on best of lists. Hasn’t really pulled me in. But need to give it a few more tries.
- Lucy Dacus “Historian” – it’s good but I like the Boygenius (which she’s part of) a LOT more.
- and I bought a single of Brandi Carlile’s song “Mother” which is stunning. She’s an artist I really only buy singles by though, her full albums never grab me.
As of this morning, I have officially read EIGHT of the TOB’s sixteen books–halfway there! Actually I thought I read nine books, but I guess I was too overeager on my aforementioned bus trip all the way across town, and while at that new-to-me library I checked out the wrong book by one author! Oops!
I loved The Golden State, by Lydia Kiesling–the story of a melancholy, lonely woman who just removes herself from her normal life and takes off for the hinterlands, so to speak. It was a short but frenetically paced book, and there were many moments where I thought it was going to go incredibly bad… (which was sometimes the case, but sometimes not). There was a well-drawn out sense of foreboding.
I also really liked America Is Not the Heart, by Elaine Castillo, in many ways a completely opposite style of novel. While both books told stories about family, this book was long (400 pages), slowly paced, with the secrets and twists and turns that connected these people revealed across many chapters. A story of immigrants, and revolutionaries, of different kinds of belief, of the power of food to bring people together. There was romance and deep friendship. The author threw in two chapters written in second person POV, so rare in narrative fiction, and although the book stuck with single perspectives for long periods of time, I really felt like I was let deep inside so many of the characters. In this book, no one’s lonely unless they want to be.
This morning I started The Mars Room, by Rachel Kushner. We’ll see… I put down one of her books unfinished a few years ago so she might not be my thing.
I’ve got two more books checked out, four pending (on hold), and one sent to me by a friend. And as I may have mentioned, there’s one book I’m definitely not even going to pretend to read. Also I might let go the book where I checked out (and then spent valuable reading time on!) the wrong one. I mean, I got a good look at that author’s style so if I don’t get around to reading that one, I’ll feel OK judging based on style, ha. So can I finish five more books before March? We’ll see.
So….I forgot to ever make this list. Trying to recreate it from memories, texting people I know I went to the movies with, we’ll see what I can come up with… I know I saw very, very few movies last year.
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri (2/9) — very powerful whilst watching. But one of those movies you can find a lot of holes and things in afterward. Great performances though.
- A Wrinkle in Time (3/25) — didn’t really like. 🙁 Thought it was v. weak compared to the book.
- Sorry to Bother You — good, traumatizing, shock and awe in the best way.
- Blindspotting — good, upsetting, the truth of white privilege.
- Puzzle — I really enjoyed this. A quirky somewhat insular story, it was fascinating thinking about the different way people’s minds work. Also: I want his apartment!! (8/8)
- BlacKKKlansman — OMG SO GOOD SO GOOD SO GOOD. Best film of 2018, no doubt. (8/10)
- Crazy Rich Asians — fun enough. silly.
- Colette (10/7) — really amazing performance by Keira Knightley, I want ALL the clothes in this film.
That might be it, but I’ll update this if any of my feelers pay off.
ETA: Puzzle! I forgot Puzzle, but I randomly saw it while scrolling back through my Instagram feed. That is definitely a movie worth seeing!
ETA: Found my stub from Three Billboards this weekend! I wonder if there are other stubs hanging out somewhere that I’ll find again later in the year, ha.