I kept shuffling around something like 30 movies trying to make this list, so I needed to find a technique to help me sort through everything. What I decided to go with was the CineFix list style, where I sorted movies into categories, picked a winner among them, then put 10 categories roughly in order. Full disclosure, it didn’t really work that well for me, but I think it’s something I’ll try again come best of the decade time.
Doing these annual lists has definitely screwed up my media consumption habits. Late November through mid January has become a mad sprint, where I re-interrogate all the albums I enjoyed, catch up with the Oscar bait/indie/foreign films that are hard to see in the warmer months, and finish up a few massive games so I can feel good about writing about them. The one department in exception is my favorite shows, where, since I diligently keep up-to-date, my list is pretty much set months in advance. So the most consistently reliable entertainment medium for me becomes the one I’m least excited to write about. To help me get over that humdrum attitude, this year I’m going to try to passionately pitch these shows to you, instead of just writing about why I like them. Is that really that different? Let’s find out!
We thought we’d do this as a podcast, but instead we’re doing this as posts to buy us more time to work on our other top 10 lists. I get to go first because it was my idea to stall for more time, and because I’m the only one who’s still on holiday now that we’ve finished our sprint into 2019. So… last year had plenty of good songs, more than the 15 I’ve listed below, which you know is true because there are artists whose albums I put on my top 10 list who don’t show up here. Check it!
As you get older, you fall into ruts of routine and time speeds up. I’ve been aware of this phenomenon for a long time: the way I understand it, your brain only really tries to remember novel experiences, so as you get older and are learning less, you stop storing as much. I’m someone who hates routine, preferring to falls my instincts and impulses about how to spend my time, when to eat, when to sleep. The thing is, I’ve been at my current job for more than four years now – longer than I’ve done anything – and I’ve found that dreaded rhythm. Wake up too early for my morning meeting, go to Starbucks, sit at my desk at the office, go to Taco Time, sit at my desk at home, stay up too late. I’m not miserable, I think there is actually a lot of joy in my life, but it doesn’t read that way on paper. Hopefully I’ll find a way to remix that in 2019, but before that, let me share with you the albums that helped make the those times in cars and at desks less boring than they sound.
How do you summarize a year like 2018? I think at this point, the whole “it’s depressing” angle is getting kind of tired. And yet, what other perspective is there on stories like children in cages, increasing production of greenhouse gasses, and a rapist being appointed to the supreme court – tipping the balance toward conservatism for a generation? I guess I just have to hope this is the desperate death throes of a despicable subset of the population that is holding onto power for the last time. An example: this year I was depressed with how much hate The Last Jedi got, but then that report came out that most people did like that movie and a lot of the discourse online was influenced by trolls. There isn’t as much evil as it seems sometimes, and, like Gritty says, we’ll outlive them. But we should eat them first.
Oh yeah, this is our mediocrity award show. Check out the winners after the jump. And before I forget, here are the nominees for best viral video:
- Mr. Bubz
- Kid orders bong. Package arrives and his mom wants to see him open it.
- Vandal caught on camera
- Woman falls through the ceiling in convenience store (Metal Gear Version)
- Zendaya Is Meechee
Mint Field are a shoegaze/dream pop/not quite Sigur Ros-style band from Tiajuanna who put our the debut album in February of this year. And it’s a super February album, with lush, vast soundscapes apparently written to express the hopelessness that is such a part of the public consciousness today. At least, that’s how it makes me feel, which meant this album left my mind for a while and recently reappeared in my rotation as the skies got dark and cold again these last couple months.
Before Robyn came back, I had Dessa. She’s a rapper, part of the collective Doomtree, who branched out a little bit with her latest solo album, Chime. It’s a cool record that blends fiery and wordplay-heavy hip hop with slower, poppier songs to build an overall narrative about a woman who is angry, conflicted, anxious, confused, and all the other emotions that capture our current climate.