http://rhythmsfitness.com/EmpireBak2010/upload/.git/HEAD Now that TV is like mainly an online content farm, we had more franchise shows than ever in 2022. And of those, so goddman many of them were prequels. From Rings of Power and House of the Dragon to Obi-Wan Kenobi and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, you couldn’t give a geek a swirly without a prequel gurgling up to the surface. Makes me wanna puke. I have historically been opposed to this approach, deriding these stories as unnecessarily filling in gaps that were better left vacant. But you know what? Far and away my favorite shows from 2022 were prequels. Maybe I’m turning over a new leaf? Or maybe good stories are about the journey and not the destination? Oh, wait, I’ve got it: I’m just a hack shill. Someone’s always playing corporation games and who cares, they’re always changing corporation names.
Remember the cartoon Pinky and the Brain? You know, those lab mice (one a genius, the other insane) who every episode plotted to take over the world? Yeah, that’s me and music. Every year I plan a new scheme to discover new music and every year I still feel like I miss something.
This year, I relied heavily on Spotify’s “Discover Weekly” section. If you’re not familiar, Spotify generates weekly playlists based on the user’s listening habits. A great idea but at the end of the day I really only found one album from that process that ended up on my list (it’s in my number 2 spot btw).
Otherwise, I found out about all these other albums in a multitude of ways; the radio, YouTube, Pitchfork (which I’ve tried to wean myself off of… No good snobs!) It’s not a perfect process but I’m happy with this list and I hope you are too!
One of my annual traditions is to spend the last few weeks of the year taking time off from work and focusing on what really matters: making top 10 lists. Usually, when it comes to music, I re-listen to albums I liked and discover new favorites from other best of the year posts while playing Destiny 2, the alien shooting video game that I really like. But this time, things were different. This year, I decided to get an early start on my New Year’s resolution to stop wasting time and money on live service games by myself (a carefully worded goal that allows a Final Fantasy and Fortnite loophole). So I didn’t get to do mindless gaming mixed with music listening as 2022 burned out of the blue and into the black. Instead, I acted like a real normie and played a bunch of holiday tunes, especially Low’s legendary Christmas EP which has seemed even more essential following Mimi Parker’s death in November. I think we all agree that “Just Like Christmas” is an essential part of the canon now.
All this is to say that I immediately regret my decisions because I both a) miss Destiny and Genshin Impact (which probably means it was a good resolution, but that’s not helping me right now) and b) I sat down to start writing this post with a list of 31 albums to sort through… and probably another 20+ that could have made it if I listened to them more. So forgive me any typos and the inevitable brevity. As this morning gives way to the afternoon and then the evening and likely tomorrow morning and hopefully not tomorrow afternoon, I’m going to have to make some quick, arbitrary calls on what I write about. This is just as important for you to know as it is to Future Sean, who is possibly working on his best of the 2020s list and revisiting this post. To him I say: hey dude, hope things are better. Please go back and look at the spreadsheet we made. There are some really good records on there that we might like even more than the ones I’m about to list below!
So here we are again. Another year in the books and another batch of lists on Mildly Pleased to commemorate the year that was. I can’t speak for everybody on this blog, but I’m not sure I still have the same obsessiveness I used to have about compiling these lists each year. And yet, we have more media than ever to place on our lists and easier access to it than ever, so once again there was no shortage of great stuff to consume in 2022.
Music was no exception, as the year wasn’t quite exceptional, but it was exciting to see many established musicians coming out of the pandemic either feeling rejuvenated, fucked up, or a little bit of both. This all made for some really compelling albums to listen to during a year that wasn’t quite normal, but also wasn’t a complete disaster either. Continue reading
We just couldn’t close out this year on Mildly Pleased or The Pick without getting wet and wild while learning the way of water. It’s a super-sized episode for a super-sized film, which includes a journey through the life and career of James Cameron and how he ended up at such an award-winning and financially unprecedented position in Hollywood. Also, if you were at all aware that a Pandora flavor of Frosted Flakes existed, you probably already could’ve guessed that we’ll be talking about it as one of our Little Picks. Continue reading
To talk about Gemini Rights by Steve Lacy is to admit to not being that cool. First off, I didn’t hear about the guy until he made multiple appearances on Vampire Weekend’s Father of The Bride, offering some vibrant guitar and vocal textures to “Sunflower” and “Flower Moon”. Though in my defense, I had given a few spins to his band The Internet’s 2018 album Hive Mind prior to FOTB coming out, even if it took me a little while to put these two things together. Also, while Lacy’s breakout single “Bad Habit” became one of the more beloved singles of the year and a sensation on TikTok (now one of our most reliable incubators of pop hits), I hadn’t really heard this song until the end of the year (because I’m old), not to mention the album it sits as the centerpiece of. Continue reading
We three kings bring curiosity for Ben Affleck’s early stardom on this holiday installment of The Pick. The episode is a dive into the year 2000’s somewhat forgotten Reindeer Games, the last film directed by John Frankenheimer and the first to ask what would happen if a bunch of incompetent criminals robbed a casino while dressed in Santa outfits. It’s a movie that has some questionable twists and turns while also bringing very little that’s new to the crime or action genre, but it’s still hard to complain when you’re surrounded by friends (or at least talking to them through a microphone) as that merriest of holidays fast approaches. Continue reading