My Favorite Things 2018: Everything

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My lists are all short this year and I have a long holiday break to enjoy, so I’m going to combine this year’s My Favorite Things posts into one. I hope that’s cool.

Music

I gave fewer releases a lot more attention this year. These 18-count, plus the Beatles White Album reissue and the Sirius XM station make up my music listening habits for the year.

LPs

  1. Tamino - Amir

  2. Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour

  3. The 1975 - A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

  4. Dan + Shay - Dan + Shay

  5. Pinegrove - Skylight

  6. Super American - Tequila Sunrise

  7. The Beths - Future Me Hates Me

  8. Coheed and Cambria - The Unheavenly Creatures

  9. Brockhampton - Iridescence

  10. Runaway Brother - New Pocket

  11. Ariana Grande - Sweetener

  12. Panic! at the Disco - Pray For The Wicked

  13. Kids See Ghosts - Kids See Ghosts

  14. Troye Sivan - Bloom

  15. Jagwar Twin - Subject to Flooding

  16. Glorietta - Glorietta

  17. Facing New York - Dogtown

  18. Turnstile - Time & Space

EPs

  1. Bogues - Life, Slowly

  2. Bohnes - 206: Acts I & II

  3. The Weeknd - My Dear Melancholy,

  4. Third Eye Blind - Thanks For Everything

I also started building bi-monthly playlists in July. You can check them out here.

Podcasts

I joined the staff at Breaker in spring of this year. As a result, I was delivered a newsletter with my listening statistics for the year. Unfortunately, I marked every episode of every show I’d listened to up to that point as “listened,” so my results were pretty skewed.

My weekly stats tell me that I listen to ~40-55 episodes a week. That’s roughly 46 hours worth of audio streaming through my brain Monday-Friday, double speed of course, with silences skimmed off as well. Given the nature of this semester’s long and frequent commutes, I actually had to pick up some more shows to fill the time.

These are the shows I started in 2018.

Fiction:

  • The Adventure Zone (Maximum Fun) - Completed the Balance arc and experimental runs.

  • BomBARDed

  • Master Manual

  • Sandra (Gimlet)

Comedy:

  • My Brother, My Brother and Me (Maximum Fun) - Goodness these brothers are funny.

  • Bad Travel

  • Unattended Consequences

True Crime / Investigative:

  • Reveal (The Center for Investigative Reporting / PRX)

  • Uncover (CBC)

  • The Teacher’s Pet (The Australian)

  • Someone Knows Something (CBC)

  • Last Seen (WBUR / The Boston Chronicle)

  • Believed (NPR)

  • Happy Face (iHeartRadio)

  • Bundyville (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

  • Endless Thread (WBUR / Reddit)

History / Politics:

  • Order 9066 (APM Reports)

  • Remade In America with Bassem Youssef (Cafe)

  • The Wave (Podglomerate)

  • The Omnibus (iHeartRadio)

Society / Culture

  • On Being With Krista Tippett

  • Hidden Brain (NPR)

  • Without Fail (Gimlet)

Music:

  • Fader Explains (The Fader)

  • Dissect - Frank Ocean (Spotify)

  • The Undersiders (Engle)

  • Hear&See

  • Broken Record

  • Inside The Album (Atlantic Records)

Film / Books:

  • Friendly Fire (Maximum Fun)

Technology:

  • Build Your SaaS - The official Transitor.fm podcast. This is my host of choice.

I got really into the true crime narrative genre this year, as you can tell. This form of journalism caught fire in 2014, but is really starting to hit its stride. The Teacher’s Pet actually brought on a new trial for a man accused of killing his wife in the 1980’s. I burn through these shows in very short periods.

Despite the above list, I actually paired down my subscribed shows. I nixed all but one or two technology podcasts and muted interview shows that I only like to dip into occasionally. I’d like to make my subscriptions more fluid going forward.

There was one audiobook included in the mix, which took up about 2 weeks-worth of podcast listening time. That book was The Dead Zone by Stephen King which was homework for my guest appearance on the Chat Sematary Podcast.

Movies

Is it just me or did 2018 pale in comparison to 2017 as far as film is concerned? I still have some Oscar contenders to watch, but few of the 46 new films I watched have screamed “Best Picture” to me yet. I’ll gladly accept recommendations. For now, these are my personal favorites.

  1. Black Panther ✮✮✮✮

  2. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse ✮✮✮✮

  3. Isle of Dogs ✮✮✮✮

  4. A Quiet Place ✮✮✮✮

  5. Love, Simon ✮✮✮✮

  6. Sorry To Bother You ✮✮✮✮

  7. Eighth Grade ✮✮✮✮

  8. Ready Player One ✮✮✮✮

  9. Maniac ✮✮✮✮

  10. BlacKkKlansman ✮✮✮✮

  11. Deadpool ✮✮✮½

  12. Avengers: Infinity War ✮✮✮½

  13. Solo: A Star Wars Story ✮✮✮½

  14. Mid90s ✮✮✮½

  15. Annihilation ✮✮✮½

For more of my film stats for the year, you can check out this page on my Letterboxd profile.

Television

Netflix had a good number of limited series this year, some of which were counted in my Letterboxd stats, but are repeated here.

  • Patriot (Amazon Prime Video) ✮✮✮✮✮ - Damnit, this show is really good!

  • Barry (HBO)

  • Our Cartoon President (Showtime)

  • Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (Amazon Prime Video)

  • The Haunting Of Hill House (Netlfix)

  • Maniac (Netlfix)

  • The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netlfix)

  • Atypical (S2, Netlfix)

  • The Staircase (Netlfix)

  • Wild Wild Country (Netlfix)

  • Evil Genius (Netlfix)

My favorite episode of TV this year was Atlanta’s Teddy Perkins. I spent some time with the Monty Python boys via Flying Circus and Fawlty Towers. I now understand the love for Parks and Recreation.

Games

I didn’t purchase any new video games this year, but Mae and I also dropped back into Alien: Isolation, which I initially quit about 10 minutes into gameplay because I couldn’t find a silly hatch in the floor to continue. We found it this time and pushed through for another 2 hours.

Mike Comite and have started streaming some old LucasArts games on Twitch, starting with The Dig (1995).

I also played some D&D and board games with friends over Discord using Roll20 and Tabletop Simulator.

David Lowery Q&A on Letterboxd

Directory David Lowery is promoting his new film The Old Man & the Gun, which has been getting great reviews. In the process however, he is beginning to realize that maybe it’s his last one that he will be remembered for.

“I’m doing a lot of press for The Old Man & the Gun right now and going to a lot of screenings, and the common refrain is ‘The Old Man & the Gun’s great but, man, A Ghost Story is something else!” And I’ve become aware that that might be the movie that defines me more than any other and that’s fine because it’s the movie I’m the most proud of. I certainly know that it has struck a chord.”

A Ghost Story affected me more than any other film last year—including CoCo. I still think about it often. It’s a completely unique film experience that I’m actually scared to revisit. Equally frightening is this quote, which got me thinking about creatives who create their finest work and live to experience it.

David Lowery will hopefully continue to make great films (he’s adapting Peter Pan for Disney next), but how does knowing that his best work is potentially behind him affect his ambition?

Lowry also gave Letterboxd a short list of his favorite ghost films that I found interesting.

Will Ferrell Interviews Joaquin Phoenix for Interview Magazine

Interview Magazine either gave Will Ferrell the opportunity to interview Joaquin Phoenix or Joaquin Phoenix the opportunity to be interviewed by Will Ferrell.

FERRELL: I love everything. I was recently thinking about your role in Gladiator [2000], which is a big studio movie.

PHOENIX: Are you reading off prepared questions and trying to pretend that they’re just popping into your head?

FERRELL: Maybe wait to hear what I have to say: I was thinking about your role in that movie, and the reason why it works is because you’re such a little bitch.

A Complete Guide To The Cinematic References And Inspirations Of 'The Last Jedi'

Michelle Buchman for The Nerdist:

No film series has such a clear love for cinema of the past like Star Wars. From A New Hope‘s ode to Kurosawa’s The Hidden Fortress to The Force Awakens‘ western feel, the franchise lovingly celebrates film history. Director Rian Johnson packs so many film references into Star Wars: The Last Jedi that it demands multiple viewings to spot them all. Some sequences are direct homages while others are more subtle, resonating thematically or tonally. If you’re looking to turn kids or teenagers into full blown movie nerds, we can’t think of a better place to start than Episode VIII. Not only does a knowledge of cinema foster a deeper love and appreciation, it allows audiences to think more critically about the art of the world. We’ve compiled a cinematic cheat sheet of the films The Last Jedi draws from to highlight how this film brings something new to Star Wars while simultaneously honoring the past

Michelle has assembled an impressive collection of classic film references from The Last Jedi and shown them side-by-side with gifs from the film. This is a gif post you'll actually appreciate.