Every year I write some sort of review about the things I discovered that I loved the most. From live shows to hiking and recipes, we’ve covered a lot of ground in recent years. This year, let’s focus on music, movies, television, podcasts and books. Here’s my media list for 2017–enjoy!
New albums from artists that I already love:
The War on Drugs, A Deeper Understanding: Very melodic and chill. Sounds similar to their older albums, which is totally fine by me!!
Real Estate, In Mind: Same goes for these guys. Real Estate delivered an album in line with their sound in recent years, leaving me pleasantly surprised. They didn’t pull a “Coldplay” going from beautifully acoustic to unexpected electronica music. Real Estate and the War on Drugs have stuck to their roots; as a long-time fan of both, the consistency is utterly refreshing and relieving.
Late Night Tales, The Mixes: The score of the year! Click here for the full explanation.
Thundercat, Drunk: Funky, down to earth and cool.
Broken Social Scene, Hug of Thunder: This much-anticipated release did not disappoint. And for the record, if we ever have a child in the next few years, I will deliver that baby to this song.
A Tribe Called Quest, We Got it From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service: Tribe was among my most played artists this year on Spotify, and it’s no wonder. This album was so addicting. My favorite track was Enough!!
Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett, Lotta Sea Lice: These two make such a lovely pair. I have to preface this with “I know I sound like a hipster buuuut” I was listening to Court and Kurt back in 2014. Boom! I said it. This collab made me smile, because I always loved the two separately, and now here we are, listening to the magic they made together. I love it.
Radiohead, OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997-2017: Perfection.
Grizzly Bear, Painted Ruins: Shout out to Regina for reminding me of these guys–they reinvented their sound in a good way this year.
Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.: Probably my favorite album of the year. It’s basically gold.
Newly Discovered Artists:
Broadcast: Another one of my most listened to artists this year. Trish’s Keenan’s haunting vocals lured me in from the moment I heard them on 88.3.
Dirty Beaches: I think I heard about this guy on the radio, too. I discovered Broadcast and Dirty Beaches after both acts threw in the towel. Broadcast fell apart once Keenan passed away unexpectedly from pneumonia and the swine flu. Alex Zhang Hungtai of Dirty Beaches changed his tune with Last Lizard, which I still need to listen to.
Cardi B (sad but true): I can’t help it. She’s basically the new Gangsta Boo and I’m digging her vibe.
TR/ST: Didn’t realize I listened to this guy several years ago on repeat until after we caught his set Halloween Weekend at Milk in Denver. Very glad to rediscover this guy.
Fatima: Kinda like the new M.I.A.; very tropical and island-y which is interesting considering she’s from London.
Men I Trust: Big thanks to Spotify for the Ones That Got Away suggestions. I am all about this shit rn.
Foxygen: Omg, I got these guys mixed up with Fleet Foxes! Love me some Foxygen, Fleet Foxes, not so much.
Badbadnotgood: What is up with all these Canadians on my list this year? Normally I gravitate towards Australians musicians, but Canada’s showing out this year. Y’all just keep doing that, okay? I appreciate it!!
Timber Timbre: What’s that? More Canadians? Yes.
The Orwells: My favorite punk find of the year.
Lion: Cried my eyes out! Such a good, true story.
Manchester by the Sea: Deep and depressing, this is perfect for a cold, winter day.
Baby Driver: I liked this movie more than I thought I would. I loved the lessons towards the end and how the driver does nice things for people along the way.
Okja: This movie, along with other reasons, led me to scaling back on red meat. I had some pork and beef in Nashville and pork that made me sick yesterday, which was basically a reminder to stay clear from that stuff.
The Big Sick: This movie made me smile. Reminds me of my family and Keegan’s family. If you know us “in real life”, you should have no problems guessing who reminds me of who.
It: This movie was terrifying! Scariest movie I’ve seen in years.
Logan Lucky: Adam Driver and Channing Tatum, need a girl say more?
Honorable Mention for the Worst Movie of 2017: A Ghost Story
Big Little Lies: We binged this in two days a few weeks ago and loved it.
Insecure: This show is hilarious and relatable.
Stranger Things: Binged the first season in a week just in time to be caught up for season two. I absolutely love this show–probably my favorite of the year besides Big Little Lies.
Love: Quirky and adorable, you will fall in love with these characters.
This is Us: (Discovered in 2016, but still one of my favorite shows, ever)
Silicon Valley: I didn’t expect to like a tech show, but here I am, talking about how funny it is…
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: I read half the book and watched the entire movie on HBO. Oprah was awesome, and I’m glad she played a role in sharing this historical story.
Girls: I’m pretty much over Lena Dunham, but I finally finished the series this year.
High Maintenance: Justin and Brittany recommended this one. Funny as hell.
S-Town: Seriously, one of the things I’ve loved most this whole year was this podcast. I meant to dedicate an entire post to this series, but time got away from me. S-Town made me laugh, cry and gasp in my car. This is single-handedly the best podcast I’ve ever listened to, and I absolutely love The Splendid Table. The story-telling, the secrets, the lies, everything about S-Town sucks you in from the moment you begin to listen. I binged this investigative series in a week in my car, because I drive so much for my job. The story reminded me of Smyrna, growing up in the South and just how crazy things can get in rural parts of the country, although I’m not naive enough to believe incidents such as these are isolated to the south. It was a reeling, nostalgic podcast that made me miss home with the thick southern accents. This series is exhilarating, astounding and riveting. I would highly recommend S-Town to just about anyone I know. I can’t say enough good things about Brian Reed and his successful efforts in bringing investigative journalism to the podcast world. He basically created a whole new genre of podcasts for listeners thanks to this series. If you happened listened to S-Town yet, stop what you’re doing, and listen to it now!!!
Good Life Project: Pretty damn good, but not at all like S-Town lol.
Super Soul Conversations: I’ll pretty much back whatever Oprah puts her hands in.
Lore: This was a great find during Halloween! Loved the spooky stories that weren’t quite as graphic and creepy as the ones on Cults.
Hidden Brain: An NPR gem
Stuff You Should Know: I learned a lot this year thanks to this podcast! A few of my favorite episodes included How Satanism Works, A Dry Look at Toilet Paper, Sunburns, Suntans and Sunscreens, Why Can’t We Find Amelia Earhart?, How HeLa Cells Work (back to Henrietta Lacks), The Stories Behind a Few Food Fads and How the Beagle Brigade Works.
This American Life (which I’ve listened to in the past but fell in love with this year): Like SYSK, I listened to so many episodes this year, it’s hard to narrow down my favorites.
Happiness Podcast: This guy has the most soothing, calming voice. These episodes are quick, direct and straight-to-the-point. Dr. Robert Puff’s themes are reoccurring, but I don’t mind rehashing these moral reminders from time to time.
When Breath Becomes Air: I read 3/4 of this book in a day on a plane. The title caught me earlier this year, and it took me awhile to get around to this book. By the time I was done with this book, I regretted putting it off. There’s so many existential quotes peppered throughout the pages. I recommend this read to anyone even remotely involved in the health care industry, to anyone that’s a caregiver or a provider of sorts. This book was a solid reminder to take good care of my clients and to enter my job everyday as if it’s my first day in the Social Work realm. I have a newly founded, deep respect for Paul Kalanithi and everything he managed to do for his patients before he became fatally ill.
Notice how there’s only one book on my list this year? I really need to read more books! I rented several audio books this year, and I honestly can’t remember what any of them were besides Notes on a Banana and 10% Happier and something by David Sedaris.
Otherwise, it’s been a great year for media. Hopefully 2018 will introduce me to more books and awesome bands!!