Stuff I Liked in 2014

Best of Lists

There was a time when end of the year lists on blogs meant something. No, really! People actually wanted to see how their favorite self-crowned tastemakers accounted for the debts and revenues of the year’s culture ledger. God, the internet once seemed so small, when its potential seemed so limitless. Hashtag. Or something.

I liked a lot of stuff this year. Here it is. In rough (but not definitive) ranking order. Your mileage will vary.

Favorite Albums in 2014

  • Turbo Lighting – Faster Than Light – My favorite record of the year, by a hair. Probably. It’s like a cosmic dream. Most original music I’ve heard in years. (writeup) (Buy here)
  • LA Font – Teen Bazooka / Motor Rally 7″ – Guys are on a roll. I played these two songs on repeat for entire one-hour commutes this past summer. So infectious. Yay for indie rawk. (Buy here)
  • The Pretty Flowers – My Alchemist 7″ – Currently my favorite local band. Kind of a cheat to include this “friends and family release” of their forthcoming 7″ because my actual favorite Pretty Flowers this year was the collection of rough mixes I got my hands on, of which these three songs were taken from. My favorite Pretty Flowers song, “Sitting Duck, CA,” is not on the 7″. But this is what you, the reader, can and should buy — when the formal pressing is released. (I guess add them on Facebook in the meantime?)
  • Weezer – Everything Will Be Alright In The End – Gets better with every listen. I like it as much as I like Maladroit, which makes it the third or fourth best Weezer album out of nine. (Out of ten, if you count Death to False Metal, which Rivers does. But I don’t.) (Buy here)
  • Girlpool – S/T EP – My white cis male ass is really just outside looking in on this one. Catchy as hell. Goes against my normal aversion to twosomes. The phrase “eat me out to American Beauty” was brainwormed for a week at one point this year. Thanks, Girlpool. (Buy here)
  • The Hold Steady – Teeth Dreams – Like The =W=’s Pinkerton, you’re never getting another Separation Sunday, chum. Embrace the latter day Finn. Good mediation on slowing down. (Buy here)

Favorite Live Shows in 2014

I saw, like, six or so shows outside of Coachella. The new normal.

  1. Mogwai @ Coachella 04-12-14 – My favorite show of the year, and wouldn’t you know it, the only one I didn’t really write about on the site. S’alright, the memory is burned into my brain until I die.
  2. Motörhead @ Coachella 04-13-14 (review)
  3. Pixies @ Coachella 04-12-14 (review)
  4. The Dismemberment Plan @ Coachella 04-12-14 (review)
  5. The Replacements @ Coachella 04-11-14 (review)
  6. Neutral Milk Hotel @ Coachella 04-13-14 (review)
  7. Guided by Voices @ The Fonda 06-13-14 (writeup)
  8. The Toy Dolls @ Coachella 04-13-14 (review)
  9. The Pretty Flowers and The World Record @ Harvard & Stone 02-10-14 (writeup)
  10. The Henry Clay People @ The Satellite (Replacements Tribute Night) 07-19-14 (writeup)
  11. The Pretty Flowers and Kissing Cousins @ R Bar  01-31-14 (writeup)

Favorite Movies in 2014

2014 was a great year for sci-fi. I didn’t see much this year, but saw lots of good stuff all the same. I haven’t seen any indies, Oscar-calibre movies, or The Interview yet… so my favorite movies this year probably aren’t yours.

  • Guardians of the Galaxy – Obviously my favorite movie of the year. Saw it twice in the theatres, once on demand, and I still love it. Pretty much everything I love about movies.
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – I’m all-in on this franchise. Great science fiction.
  • Lego Movie – Proof there’s nothing unoriginal about movies based on toys or games, there’s only original movies and unoriginal movies. What a great flick about imagination.
  • Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier – There’s not another superhero movie quite like it. Marvel had swagger with this one.
  • Gone Girl – Fincher’s gonna Fincher. You could nitpick it, but why would you?
  • Big Hero 6 – Really cute!
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past – The exact kind of X-Men movie Fox was terrified to make in 2000 when they made the first X-Men. Loved Singer back in the directing chair, even if it mostly served to remind me how excellent the cast of the first two movies was.

What else?

  • Really enjoyed Arrow and Flash on CW.
  • Picked-up playing Magic: The Gathering again this year. I am so sorry.
  • Haven’t finished The Last of Us on PS3 yet (maybe 10 hours left) but really enjoyed what I played.
  • Litter-Robot, you da real MVP.

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