Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Favorite Pop Culture of 2013!

Of the 32 movies I watched this year, only six were 2013 releases: Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me, Don Jon, Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa, This Is the End, Sound City and Star Trek Into Darkness. The Big Star documentary was great; the others ranged from pretty good to meh... I still wanna see Anchorman 2, Frances Ha, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska, The Punk Singer and some others... As for older movies, I rediscovered Blade Runner, and watched its myriad versions multiple times.

Bob's Burgers became a new favorite. I plowed through all five seasons of Parks and Recreation in a few weeks, and kept current with the latest seasons of Louie and Mad Men. I watched Breaking Bad all the way up through its finale, and while I saw some of the final-season episodes of Eastbound & Down, I haven't yet caught the end. I still watch Saturday Night Live fairly religiously, as I have for the last 25-odd years, mostly out of habit. It's still topical and unpredictable, if not consistently funny.

Rock 'n' Roll
The only 2013 album I regularly played start to finish was David Bowie's The Next Day (unless you count Best Coast's seven-song EP/mini-album thing Fade Away). This led me to revisit all of Bowie's back catalog, which I listened to pretty extensively for much of the year (I played "Station to Station" dozens of times in the car)... Disappointing were new releases by the Pixies, the Strokes, the Replacements and Iggy & the Stooges... However, the 'Mats and the Stooges kicked ass at the Toronto Riot Fest; the only other show I went to this year was a Mudhoney in-store on April Fool's Day... As for older stuff, I sprang for Bob Dylan's 47-disc Complete Album Collection: Vol. One ($197 on Amazon -- that's $4.19 per disc!)... The one album I listened to far more than any other was 1980's Pleasure by Girls at Our Best!. Since I couldn't find the lyrics anyplace, I took a shot at transcribing them here... Other 2013 albums/songs I like:
Camera Obscura -- "Do It Again"
Neko Case -- "Madonna of the Wasps"
Dead Ghosts -- "B.A.D."
Grant Hart -- "Morningstar"
Melvins -- Everybody Loves Sausages, Tres Cabrones
Mudhoney -- Vanishing Point
Thee Oh Sees -- Floating Coffin
Those Darlins -- "Optimist"
Wooden Shjips -- "Ruins"
Yeah Yeah Yeahs -- Mosquito

Jeez, did I only read two books this year? Yep. Those would be Bebe Day by Day by Pamela Druckerman and Jim Gaffigan's Dad is Fat. Both are related to parenting, which makes sense -- in January I became a first-time dad to twin girls (which also explains why I've been even further out of the pop-culture loop this year)... The Replacements: Waxed-Up Hair and Painted Shoes: The Photographic History looks terrific, though I haven't actually read the text yet. Same with Fan Interference, which is also gathering dust on my nightstand.

Didn't read many comics either, other than Peter Bagge's Reset, Allie Brosh's Hyperbole and a Half, and A Matter of Life by Jeffrey Brown. All good.

For those keeping score, here are my favorites from 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006 (movies and music).

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