Stuff Ya Wanna Watch

Here are some shows you should watch!

  • The Looming Tower — (Hulu) One season! I don’t 100% understand why all the salacious details of John O’Neill’s life were such a focus (and no one else?), but I really enjoyed this. All the acting was pretty great. Also, gee, I guess if we need to blame anyone for the breakdowns that led to 9/11, it’s pretty clear from this series which agency was at fault! (HINT: It’s not the FBI!)
  • Giri / Haji — (Netflix) Only one season, but I have my fingers crossed for more! Two Japanese brothers–one becomes a cop, one becomes a gangster. The cop is charged with going to London to apprehend his brother. There’s a sweet English lady detective (HA that cracked me up to write, so I will ignore the sexism for the sake of the laugh) that gets involved. It was so good. I loved it.
  • Episodes — (Netflix) Five seasons, but they’re only 7-9 episodes each (so basically one weekend, AM I RIGHT). This series is hilarious for any number of reasons, including the main theme which is Americans take everything British and then mess it up. Also: Matt LeBlanc is SUCH a better actor than a Friends’ fan (or a Friends’ hater) would ever know and it’s a DAMN SHAME that he has not been in really anything else of notice. He’s fantastic here.
  • The Unicorn — (Season 1 on Netflix; season 2 on Paramount Plus) Is there anything Walt Goggins can’t do? It’s a little sappy, a little predictable, and maybe a little annoying if you don’t give a shit about little kids, marriages, couples that are friends, etc. BUT WALT GOGGINS IS SO GOOD. Also his fellow-Justified alum Natalie Zea shows up in the second season and she’s just as fabulous and electric here as she was there.

ENJOY!

Favorite Tunes of 2020

Finally! The post you’ve all been waiting for. Obvi.

My Favorite Albums:

  • Perfume Genius “Set My Heart on Fire Immediately” (May) Oh my, this album. Falsetto swoony dramatics can be hit or miss for me, but I absolutely loved this. Favorite songs: “Jason,” “Nothing at All,” and “Some Dream.”
  • William Prince “Reliever” (February) This deep voice of calmness was so soothing. I guess this is labeled as country. If you like Eddie Vedder’s solo stuff, you might like this. Favorite songs: “Always Have What We Had” (with the best line “I can miss you from anywhere” SWOON) and “That’s All I’ll Ever Become.”
  • Ethan Gruska “En Garde” (February) don’t know what made me pick this one up (maybe the collab with Phoebe Bridgers?), but it stuck in my head. It’s certainly got a bit of an Elliott Smith vibe which turns out to be the kind of sound I was seeking all year long. Perfect for a melancholy “OMG it’s the end of the world” year like 2020, am I right? Favorite songs: “On the Outside,” “Enough for Now” (w/ PB), “Teenage Drug” one of my favorite songs of the year for sure.
  • Phoebe Bridgers “Punisher” (July) Speaking of Elliott Smith vibes… I wrote ‘Yup, yup, yup” next to pretty much every song on this album. I know this was Taylor Swift’s year to many people (and I do like both those albums enough to have them on my top 10) but I will maintain that this album and the HAIM release (below) are JUST AS GOOD, if not… better? Heh. Don’t come at me, Swiftees, I’m allowed to have a different opinion than you! Favorite songs: “Moon Song”, “Graceland Too”, “Kyoto”… And all the rest of them. Ha.
  • HAIM “Women In Music Pt III” (July) Do I own or know anything about parts 1 and 2, if those indeed exist? Nope, I don’t, but this album just really dug its way in to my eardrums. There’s all kinds of musical nods happening in the backgrounds, it’s so upbeat and fun in a LOT of ways. There are several songs with just a great! beat! on this album. What fun. Favorite songs: “Los Angeles,” “The Steps”, “I Know Alone”, “Up from a Dream” “Don’t Wanna”, “All That Ever Mattered”, “Now I’m In It.”
  • The Weeknd “After Hours” (April) Cringe. Some of his lyrics are so misogynistic, I don’t think I’d love my teenage daughter getting obsessed with his music. Those are probably all the songs I like the best HAHAHAHA OMG life is frustrating. I just… always love every album he puts out and then one day I find myself analyzing the lyrics I’m singing along to and get annoyed. Oh well. Such is life. Sometimes great songs have shitty messages. Music is complicated like that. Favorite songs: “Hardest to Love”, “Heartless”, “In Your Eyes”.
  • Kesha “High Road” (February) I had never bought a Kesha / Ke$ha album before but this one was totally worth it. TOTALLY. A wild mix of upbeat rock and pop, melancholy country, it’s up, it’s down, it’s all over the place. Favorite songs: “Cowboy Blues” (“Did I fuck my whole life up?”), “High Road,” “Birthday Suit” (so ridic), and “Resentment” (w/ Brian Wilson and Sturgill Simpson, of all people).
  • Waxahatchee “Saint Cloud” (April) Pretty sure Busy Phillips’ instagram stories put this on my radar as I’ve never really been a Waxahatchee fan in the past. This album has what is definitely a contender for song of the year: “Fire”. I take it for granted / If I could love you unconditionally / I could iron out the edges of the darkest sky / For some of us it ain’t enough / It ain’t enough. Cannot stop listening to it, singing it, humming it, getting lost in its chorus. It’s 2020’s Maggie Roger’s “Alaska.” Other favorites: “Lilacs” (so Dylanesque) and “Hell.”
  • Taylor Swift “Folklore” (July) OK are the “Cardigan” commercials not cracking everyone else up at this point? I mean, it seems insane months (and another album) later to suddenly see them a million times every Hulu show I watch. Heh. Favorite songs: “Exile” (feat Bon Iver) duh, “Seven,” “This Is Me Trying,” “Invisible String”, and “Mad Woman.”
  • Taylor Swift “Evermore” (December) Seriously, if this album was just the song “Ivy” in every single position, I would love it just as much. SONG OF THE YEAR, people, song of the whole damn year. Oh, goddamn, my pain fits in the palm of your freezing hand. But, sure, there are others I liked. I guess. Favorite songs: “Willow,” “Champagne Problems,” “No Body, No Crime” (feat HAIM), “Dorothea,” and “Coney Island (feat The National).

Honorable Mentions:

  • Little Big Town “Nightfall” (February) In keeping the favorite list to 10, Waxahatchee knocked this one off. But there are a ton of songs on this album that really *really* stuck with me. Favorite songs: “Questions” and “The Daughters” might be the best back to back on an album all year.
  • BLACKSTARKIDS “Whatever, Man” (November) Oh wow, I dig this one. But.. I got it in November and then didn’t really start listening to it until 2021. Heh. I am always up for trying albums recommended by Hanif Abdurraqibb because his writing about music just sucks me in! But a lot of times it turns out I don’t hear what he heard in it. This one, however, is aces. Favorite song: “Camp Whatever” Haven’t felt alive in a while, but I’m not dead.

Best 1-2 Punch of the Year:

“WAP” Cardi B. & Megan Thee Stallion to be followed immediately by “Watermelon Sugar” Harry Styles. I know, what are we-teenagers? Just take my word for it.

Favorite Songs Not From Aforementioned Albums:

  • “Conversations in the Dark” John Legend – just all kinds of big swoony love for this tribute to CT.
  • “No Time for Love Like Now” Michael Stipe – definitely my favorite song of those early Pandemic days. Ah, those early Pandemic days.
  • “Hard to Forget” Sam Hunt – yes, I love his cheesy sappy fratboy albums. But never all the way through. This song though…
  • “Another Beginning” Joshua Radin – can he even write a bad song?
  • “Kings & Queens” Ava Max – just put this baby on repeat.
  • “One More Second” and “Take Me Out of Town” Matt Berninger – I was bummed to not really enjoy this album overall but loved these two.
  • “Ridiin’ Solo” Jason DeRulo – I think this may have come out some other year but 2020 is the year I could not stop singing it, like, basically, ever. It’s all about the beat, baby.
  • “Wasted Youth” Diana Gordon – oooooo love this draggy slow swirl.
  • “Almost Home” Moby (feat Damien Jurado – OMG so Bon Iver.
  • “I’m the One” DJ Khaled (feat. Justin Bieber et al) – Good grief, I like a song with Justin Beiber on it? Just bury me in shame.
  • “Spiral” Pinegrove – Another Busy Phillips insta earworm. “Drink water, good morning…”
  • “Video Games” and “Goodbye to All That” Sufjan Stevens – another album I found myself disappointedly uninterested in. Sigh. I love so much of Sufjan’s stuff, but somehow I never found a way in with this one.
  • “Cavalry” Mashrou’ Leila – an album recommended by YA author Abdi Nazemian, thoroughly enjoyed it and this song was the real standout for me.
  • “Beige” and “Goodpain” Yoke Lore – their Goodpain EP was a highlight.
  • “Gone Gone/Thank You” Tyler, the Creator – probably came out in 2019 but I bought the album in January, one of my “everyone had this on last year’s list” purchases, I think.
  • “Pictures” Asgeir – I buy a lot of singles when I hear them in a movie, on a TV show, or on a commercial. Presumably that’s how I found this one.
  • “Lost Here” Fauntella Crow – probably same.

Favorite Covers: (in that rare year where I bought very few!):

  • “Explain It to Me” Squirrel Flower – Liz Phair cover, that frankly sounds very close to the original. Heh.
  • “I’m on Fire” Staves – all slowed down and glorious.
  • “Put Your Records On” Ritt Momney – omg the name of this band. Smacks forehead.

What’d I miss? What song or album could YOU not stop listening to in 2020? I’d love to know…

(Almost) 10 Things from 2020

1 time I saw my parents in person.

2 small quilts finished.

3 ways I now cook salmon at home.

4 bike rides I went on this summer.

5 friends I now play D&D remotely with.

6 placemats I made for Natalie.

7 dresses and tunics I sewed this year.

8 pies I made from scratch this summer.

9….

10

I never managed to come up with anything for 9 & 10! HA!

√Ä la Super Eggplant, currently I am…

Watching: Every old episode of NCIS–ha! I started at season 1 at some point in December and now I’m up to season 11. I’ve got to say the post-Ziva episodes are…not great. But I had forgotten about Ellie Bishop and I really like her, so we’ll see.

Reading: I am in my usual “attempt to read every book that will be in the Tournament of Books in March” flurry of January reading. I had already read “Sharks in the Time of Saviors” by Kawaii Strong Washburn (LOVED IT! Mythic) and “Transcendent Kingdom” by Yaa Gyasi (didn’t love it, recommend her previous book “Homegoing”!). I have now also read “Deacon King Kong” by James McBride (so good! lots of slapstick while still going super deep) and “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett (fabulous). I started “We Ride Upon Sticks” by Quan Barry last night. It’s entertaining but a little uneven.

Listening to: I am re-listening to every single piece of music I bought in 2020 because I KNOW you are eagerly anticipating a report back on my favorite albums. I think I’m in March right now because I keep getting distracted. But it’s on my list to finish up this week!

Writing: Lesson plans. 2021 intentions poems. Not much really. ūüôā Heh.

Eating: I’m still cooking at TON from Chrissy Teigen’s cookbooks (Cravings and Cravings: Hungry for More). I like the second book better, partly because I got it first, and partly because of the font/layout (HA!, seriously). This weekend I made Jok Moo already and am whipping up some scalloped potatoes in a bit.

Drinking: Lots of bubbly water, which means…at least I am finally drinking water?* I still don’t love it but I probably drank 8x as much liquid in 2020 as in any year previously. Mostly I’m drinking mini-Cokes to help with my tummy which is in a bit of disarray. *For those who are unaware, I detest the taste of water. And yes, it has a taste.

Knitting: I just redove into a sweater that I started in January of 2018 (Lemongrass by Jojo Locatelli) using some Rowan Magpie yarn. Maybe 2021 will be the year I finish it! ūüôā The back and front are both done and it’s time to start the sleeves.

Quilting: I made a mini quilt for my mom’s bday, and I am finishing the binding on four mini-friendship log-cabin quilts for Secret Club. Feeling kinda productive quilt wise, frankly, since I also made six placemats (very mini quilts) for a friend in December!!

Sewing: I have the fabric ready to be cut out for three more Farrow dresses. But I want to finish up my quilts in progress first!

Focusing on: Trying not to freak out too much about how my job is planning to force us back to F2F teaching before we can get the virus… Trying not to focus on my impending death by coronavirus contraction via public transit as I have a 45-minute bus ride each way… TRYING.

There’s a lot going on around here, despite not leaving the house for 11 months at this point and being very miserably alone for 99.9% of the pandemic. What’s up with you????

Favorite Movies of the Decade

Sadly,¬†oh¬†so¬†sadly,my moviegoing has seriously declined in the past couple years. So exhausted from working at school all week AND then working Saturdays. Lost a couple of my main movie-going pals and yes, yes, I know, I DO and WILL go to the movies alone. But when you’re already doing EVERYTHING ELSE ALONE, sometimes also going to a movie alone is just too. much. OK?

2009:
2009 was the summer of Hurt Locker (here and here), a masterpiece, District 9 and Inglorious Bastards. I also really liked Whip It! and The Young Victoria, both have which I have rewatched a million times at this point. I also loved Up in the Air, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Crazy Heart.

2010:
Winter’s Bone = fabulous and heartbreaking. The Town = oh wow, I have watched this movie SO many times. Love it. Rare Exports = best xmas movie ever.

2011:
The Guard (!!), Tree of Life (surprisingly b/c usually I hate that kind of crap) and Red State. (Here is where I ranked all the stuff I saw that year.)

2012:
Dang, a lot of good movies that year! Scanning that list now, I’d say the ones I remember as the best were Silver Linings Playbook (and I detest Bradley Cooper!), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (masterfully cinematic), Anna Karenina (the staging was SO cool), and A Separation.

2013:
All the good movies this year were INtense: Zero Dark Thirty, Fruitvale Station, Dallas Buyers Club, but probably my very favorite was the Joss Whedon black & white Much Ado About Nothing. Utterly charming. Oh and of course I can’t forget to mention Fast & Furious 6. Duh.

2014:
Hands down, the best two movies of 2014 were Only Lovers Left Alive and Words & Pictures. There are images from those two still utterly imprinted on my mind. Stunning. (But here’s a long list of what I liked that year.) I’m still a sucker for Begin Again as well.

2015:
I saw The Danish Girl on the last night of the year and looooved it. I love both those actors so much. Spotlight was also fantastic movie making. Iris!! Clouds of Sil Maria was surprisingly lovely. And OF COURSE FURIOUS 7. RIP Paul Walker.

2016:
This is when my record keeping started to get really shady. The Arrival. Stunning.

2017:
OMG Atomic Blonde. FANTASTIC. The clothes, the sets, the FIGHTS. It was sooo good. Also Get Out. Wow.

2018:
BlacKKKlansman should have won the Oscar. Don’t even try to argue, no other movie from 2018, let alone many others years, can hold a candle to that masterpiece. I also loved Puzzle.

2019:
My favorite movie of 2019 was, hands down, Booksmart. Funniest, smartest movie possibly ever. I’ve got nothing but love for you, Booksmart. Also If Beale Street Could Talk was heartbreakingly fabulous.

Hoping to get my butt back into movie theaters in 2020 in a big way.

“The Lager Queen of Minnesota” by J. Ryan Stradal

First finish of 2020 for me! This book was pretty fantastic. The majority of the book is about two people obsessed with making beer—one because she loves (LOVES) it from her very first taste of it and the other because she loves chemistry and she’s got to prove herself to be interesting—and the person they’re both related to that a lot of the plot revolves around. I will say that it was a good thing it was written with alternating perspectives though, because if it had all been from Edith’s POV (as the first chapter was), I probably wouldn’t have finished it. There was just a *wee* bit too much “hey this about Minnesotans, are Minnesotans so charming” setup in that first section for me… but perhaps that’s the curse of actually having lived a large part of your life AS a Minnesotan. HA. I loved Helen, I loved Diana (and her evolution). And man, I would still probably love to work in a brewery. Maybe that’s my next career. My beers, I will warn you, will be high on sweetness and low on hops. Cheers, y’all.

Favorite Tunes of a Decade

(As recollected in 2019, by a shaky 51-year-old, who stopped consistently updating her blog…a decade ago! HA!) It turns out my last annual post of favorite tunes was in…2008. It’s almost like I planned this. HA!

2009:¬†(I posted monthly reviews of all the tunes I bought in 2009…finishing those posts in 2010 ha.)

Favorite albums: Looking over the albums I purchased in 2009, what stands out to me are Empty Orchestra “Here Lies Empty Orchestra” and the Avett Brothers “I and Love and You”. Also loved Pete Yorn “Back and Fourth” but less so in retrospect (I still listen to the other two). I was a big fan of Matt Hires “Take Us to the Start”, his voice is so unique, try “Honey, Let Me Sing You a Song” and “Perfect Day” and see what you think. I loved Great Lake Swimmers “Lost Channels” and Shwayze “Let It Beat” (I know, his songs are ridiculous but I love (LOVE) both the Shwayze albums I own). I listened to MGMT “Oracular Spectacular” all the time.

Favorite songs not on those albums: Frightened Rabbit “Swim Until You Can’t See Land”; I still constantly listen to two Greg Laswell songs from the EP he released that year (or that I bought that year, whichever) “This Woman’s Work” and “Ghost”. This was the winter I listened to “Jai-Ho!” incessantly (from the Slum-Dog Millionaire soundtrack).

2010:
Favorite albums: Band of Horses “Infinite Arms” had so many good songs on it, I just cannot turn off “Compliments” if it comes up on shuffle; I loved the soundtracks to Whip It! and Crazy Heart (both awesome movies!); and the self-titled Head and the Heart album was on heavy rotation.

Favorite songs¬†not¬†on¬†those¬†albums: I kept listening to an older song “Hurricane Glass” by Catherine Feeny; the clappy clap “I Hope This Gets to You” by the Daylights; I loved loved loved a LOT of the covers they did on Glee, particularly “One Of Us”, and “What It Feels Like for a Girl” (sung by the boys); “This Charming Life” by Joan Armatrading from the Sons of Anarchy soundtrack (I liked a lot of songs they featured on the show!); “Love the Way You Lie” Rihanna and Eminem, omg, swoontastic, love this song, love this video, have listened to it and/or watched it 9 bajillion times at least; “Airplanes” by B.o.B and Haley Williams; and it seems like I listened to a LOT of singles that year, so… I’ll leave it at that.

2011:
Favorite albums: Bon Iver! (self-titled) The first one, I think. Oh, wow. I was still really listening to a lot of French rap back then and I loved Disiz La Peste “Les Histoires Extraordinaire d’un Jeune de Banlieu” (technically a 2005 release but 2011 is when I got it); I loved Wiz Khalifa’s album “Rolling Papers (ridiculous) and Matt Kearny “Young Love” from which basically every song should be a single (“Sooner or Later” and “Down” are both 100% irresistible). My favorite band from junior high randomly released an album this year: The Cars “Move Like This” !!! How…cray.

Favorite songs¬†not¬†on¬†those¬†albums: “Pumped Up Kicks” Foster the People (!!! love this song still); “We Found Love” Rihanna and Calvin Harris; “I’m His Girl” Friends and “Hey Boy” Magic Kids are a fun combo¬†; the 2007 song “Weighty Ghost” by Wintersleep was in heavy, heavy rotation, also “Marcy’s Song” the 1964 original and then the cover by John Hawkes for that icky movie I can’t remember the name of.

2012:
Favorite albums: Oh yes, Chiddy-Bang “Breakfast” a great album!! I also was super into Kishi Bashi “151A”; Of Monsters and Men “My Head Is an Animal”; and Great Lake Swimmers “New Wild Everywhere”.

Favorite songs¬†not¬†on¬†those¬†albums: “For Your Glory” Hayden Panettiere from the Nashville soundtrack, from the episode where she sings in a church; “Same Love” (feat Mary Lambert) from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis was huge that year but I also loved “Thrift Shop”; I was really into Tyler Ramsey‘s 2010 song “A Long Dream”; a teenybopper single “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction, ha; “Steal Back” from Aunt Martha, a lovely jangly tune; and a country ballad “I’ve Got a Name” Jim Croce.

2013:
Favorite albums: When I look at the many albums I bought in 2013, there really isn’t one jumping out at me as OH I STILL LISTEN TO THIS ALL THE TIME the way there are in some years. I did like the self-titled Beyonce album; San Fermin put out a good (self-titled) album, featuring at the time I believe the voices of Lucius who then also put out their own album “Wildewoman”; I know I spent a lot of time listening to The Head and the Heart “Let’s Be Still” and Kasey Musgraves “Same Trailer Different Park”¬†(aw¬†man,¬†“Follow¬†Your¬†Arrow”¬†is¬†just¬†irresistible!!).

Favorite songs¬†not¬†on¬†those¬†albums: Phosphorescent “Song for Zula” was the soundtrack of 2013 for me; I also loved Ben Harper “Amen Omen” (forever and ever, not a song from 2013 but that’s when I was listening to it); “Wake Me Up” Avicci, which played at every single workout class Hannah Anderson and I went to that summer; this was also the summer of “Blurred Lines” (Robin Thicke yuck, NOT a fave, but definitely something that got stuck in your head b/c it was playing everystupidwhere), “Get Lucky” (Daft Punk) and “Lose Yourself to Dance” (also Daft Punk); “I’m a Girl” Hayden Panettiere from the Nashville soundtrack; “Never Let Me Go” an 2011 song from Florence and the Machine.

2014:
Favorite albums: My favorite 2014 album was the swoontastic Lo Fang “Blue Film”. Oh man, that album. Turn off the lights, turn up the volume, thank me later. I also loved Sturgill Simpson‘s (debut, I think?) “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music”; Sylvan Esso‘s self-titled debut; Taylor Swift “1989”, whatever you think of her, that is a solid collection of songs; and Bastille “Bad Blood” a moody beyatch of an album that’s just gorgeous. Similarly beautiful and moody was “Mirror” from Robots Don’t Sleep and those are about as close to techno as I’ll ever get! There was also something just smile-inducing about revisiting all the golden oldies on the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack, although it will never stop pissing me off that the album isn’t in the order they were played in the movie (I obviously had to rearrange them on my own playlist).

Favorite songs¬†not¬†on¬†those¬†albums: A good ole jingly jangle “The Heart” by NEEDTOBREATHE (why is that the… never mind); all the songs Keira Knightley has on the Begin Again soundtrack, particularly “Like a Fool”; Sam Hunt “Break Up in a Small Town” ouch, so so so so much truth in these lyrics; and “It Ain’t Yours to Throw Away” Sam Palladio from the Nashville soundtrack. (I really love(d) a lot of the music from that show.)

2015:
Favorite albums: Oh man this was the year of Troye Sivan “Blue Neighborhood” which I listened to nonstop for months on end, I also went to see him live (by myself, near my birthday) and was the oldest person in the audience by probably 30 years. This was also the year the Hamilton Soundtrack entered my life, my other favorite album, and soon after the life of everyone who knows me as I passed it on to friend after friend after friend after friend… (I’m still passing Hamilton on to everyone I know; last year one of my classes read a biography of Hamilton while I simultaneously introduced them to the soundtrack and, of course, singing along!). I also loved Bon Iver “For Emma, Forever Ago” and Kate Tempest “Everybody Down” and Ryan Adams full-album cover of Tyler Swift’s “1989” made me pretty happy.

Favorite songs¬†not¬†on¬†those¬†albums: Low “What Part of Me” remains one of my all-time favorite songs, I could put in on repeat and listen to nothing else for days; Aloe Blacc “The Man” so damn catchy; Rixton “Me and My Broken Heart”; a Furious 7 feature “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa (I can play this song on ukulele, I love it that much); “Beautiful Day” by Joshua Radio and Sheryl Crow.

2016:
Favorite albums: Obviously my favorite album of 2016 was Beyonce “Lemonade”, nothing else really held a candle to Queen Bey. I still haven’t stopped listening to A Tribe Called Quest “We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service”, which is also truly a masterpiece, maybe a little less fun but such a huge political statement. It’s also an album you have to be very careful about accidentally singing along with, isn’t it!?!?! (“We the People” is SO catchy and so…not a song you want to absentmindedly singing along to.) This is a much quieter selection but I also loved Passenger “Young as the Morning, Old as the Sea”.

Favorite songs¬†not¬†on¬†those¬†albums: Looking at my iTunes playlist, I feel like I listened to more singles in 2016 than albums. My very favorite single was “Starboy” from The Weeknd (swoontastic). Some other faves were “Me, Myself and I” by G-Eazy and Bebe Rexha; “Si Tu No Estas” by Nicky Jam (this seems to be the year my students started getting me into reggaeton, specifically, and Spanish language tunes, more generally); I listened to Maggie Rogers “Alaska” nonstop (which reappears in 2019 when her full album finally came out!); Margaret Glaspy “You and I”; Lizzo “Good as Hell” (another¬†artist¬†that¬†would¬†blow¬†up¬†2019); “Sugar (feat Francesco Yates)” by Robin Shultz (that driving beat, yo); “One Call Away” Charlie Puth (yup, I’m still susceptible to totally cheesy teenybopper songs); the Ashanti/Ja Rule cover of “Helpless” from The Hamilton Mixtape; and some goofy students totally had me playing “Price Tag” by Jessie J, which was released in 2011.

2017:
Favorite albums: My very top album of 2017 was Kendrick Lamar “Damn” without a doubt. I had bought the Butterfly album previously but “Damn” was when I really fell under Lamar’s spell. Other faves were The National “Sleep Well Beast”; and I really liked Rostam “Half Light” even though it’s not something I would likely say was “my style” so to speak.

Favorite songs¬†not¬†on¬†those¬†albums: “Good Life” by G-Eazy and Kahlini (from the Fates of the Furious soundtrack, doh!); Shawn Mendes “Mercy” (the acoustic version); “Si Tu La Ves” by Nicky Jam; “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran; “Body Like a Back Road” Sam Hunt; and the ubiquitous “I Can’t Keep Quiet” from The Faithful Choir (made famous by the Women’s March).

2018:
Favorite albums: My very favorite album was the boygenius EP, which I liked better than any of those artists’ solo albums; I also liked Kylie Minogue “Golden” and Meg Myers “Take Me to the Disco”; the sappy, sweet and yet irresistible Matt Nathanson “Sings His Sad Heart”; and Rosalia “El Mal Querer”, which I didn’t even get until December, go watch the videos, they’re just wowza.

Favorite songs¬†not¬†on¬†those¬†albums: “Black Beatles” by The Mayries, a song from 2017 that I listened to in 2019!; Kasey Musgraves “Slow Burn” (there are others I like on that album, but I wasn’t as wowed by the overall project as most people).

If that’s not enough for you, in 2018, I actually posted a month-by-month review of the music I bought, something I probably hadn’t done…in a decade!

2019:
Favorite albums: Maggie Rogers “Heard It in a Past Life” was my favorite album this year, without question. Runners up were J.S. Ondara “Tales of America”, G-Flip “About Us”, and Lizzo “Cuz I Love You”.

Favorite songs¬†not¬†from¬†those¬†albums: “Fingers” by Zayn (something about the very first moments in that song really, really reminds me of Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love”); “Happier” by Bastille & Marshmello; “Here Right Now” by Joshua Radin, has that man ever made a song I don’t love?; and “Crowded Table” by The Highwomen.