Wednesday, January 30, 2013

BEST TV SHOWS OF 2012

Honorable Mention: Children's Hospital

Runner-up: Boardwalk Empire

10. The Good Wife

9. NTSF:SD:SUV::

8. Parks and Recreation

7. Veep

6. 30 Rock

5. Homeland

4. Justified

3. Game of Thrones

2. Mad Men

1. Community

This is actually very similar to my albums list, where 1 and 2 were just light-years ahead of the pack, but neck and neck with each other, at the pinnacle of the medium.  Mad Men will endure longer.  It will be parsed for decades to come.  But Community just makes me so goddamn happy.

ps (controversy!)

Girls- still not sure what I think, but I do know that it is more compelling and funnier than Louie, which is the critical golden calf.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Podcasts of 2012: 5 I Love and 5 I Hate

First with the stuff I can't stand.  The A.V. club raves about these five, and they were the first I ever downloaded and listened to.  Consequently, I thought I disliked podcasting as a medium.

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The Despised


5.: Best Show on WFMU-- If there was a condensed version that only included the characters of Newbridge and Todd Barry, I would be a huge fan. [EDIT: THIS NOW EXISTS!  BEST SHOW GEMS! Give it a try!} The callers bring the show to a screeching halt; it is like being in stop-and-go traffic.  I know this is a radio show first and foremost, and Tom Scharpling, who I respect, would dislike being lumped in, but this host-who-disdains-his-dumb-callers bit is soooo worn out and lazy.

4. WTF with Marc Maron -- He is a gifted interviewer when he focuses, but the narcissism and self-involvement is just mind-boggling.

3.  Never Not Funny -- Good golly does the Jimmy Pardo schtick get old.  He manages some humorous turns-of-phrase, but the best thing you can really say of the show's banter is that it moves quickly.  His sidekicks are also as dull as those in our penultimate exercise in self-aggrandizement....

2. I loathed The Nerdist for its schmoozy, boringly showbizzy, unimaginative lines of questioning and the host's proclivity for repeating his stories and injecting himself into every anecdote, but loathing turned into magma hate when Hardwick started calling Alison Brie.....Allie.  Allie Brie.  a lot.  Fuck you dude.  You are the Carson Daly of podcasting.

1. Doug Loves Movies -- I would rather listen to Dane Cook for two hours than Doug Benson for one.  Even his good guests can't mitigate his aggressively stupid sense of humor.  The Leonard Maltin game wasn't fun the first time you played it bro.

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The Beloved


5. The Bugle --Like the Daily Show let loose, without Stewart mugging for the camera and whipping out hackneyed impressions.  John and Andy bring a great deal of enthusiasm to each week's updates on the imploding of the human race.

4. Mike and Tom Eat Snacks -- Been a little more rare this year, a problem finally explained last month when it was revealed that the Hostess goons were after them because their rating of the Ding-Dong doomed the company to Chapter 11.  Now broadcasting as fugitives, Michael Ian Black and Tom Cavanuagh still got the goods.

3. Harmontown -- Dan Harmon {Creator of Community, personal hero} and comptroller Jeff Davis {Whose Line?} conduct this extremely free-form live podcast from the backroom of a comics shop.  This is the sort of thing that makes me wish I lived in LA.  Hilarious, thought-provoking, invigorating.  Also, they play Dungeons and Dragons with the greatest dungeon master of all time, Spencer.

2. Skylarbro Country/County -- Jason and Randy bring Usain Bolt speed to sports news and comedy, using twin-telepathy to play-by-play stories on the insanity of the modern athlete/criminal.  They get great real guests and bring out the best in them, and their impersonated guests are fantastic.  My favorites are Sam Elliott, Racist Vince Scully, and Jesse "The Body" Ventura.

1. Comedy Bang Bang --This is one of my new favorite things.  Paul F. Tompkins, Nick Kroll, James Adomian kill it with their alter egos, and Aukerman's absurdist ethos allows for an environment that seems like Abed's Imaginarium, a place where any scenario is possible and every story has a great punchline somewhere.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

TOP TEN FAVORITE ALBUMS OF 2012

{EDIT: don't miss Moonface With Sinai: Hearthbreaking Bravery}

Listened to far more podcasts than music this year, so I don't have nearly the scope I normally try for.  10+ through 3 are all superior pieces of work that I'll likely return to several times a year.  1 and 2 are all-timers for me, and have already integrated themselves nicely into my psyche, making themselves comfortably at home.

Honorable Mention- Big K.R.I.T.:  4 Eva N a Day

Runner-Up- .L.W.H.: CIA TV

10.  Dustin Wong: Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadows Lead

9. Grimes: Visions

8. Emeralds: Just to Feel Anything

7. Mount Eerie: Ocean Roar/Clear Moon

6.  Pallbearer: Sorrow and Extinction

5.  Frank Ocean- Channel Orange

4.  Spiritualized- Sweet Heart, Sweet Light

3.  Baroness- Yellow & Green


It was a bit of a toss-up for the top spot, both were so clutch for me.  But tie goes to the runner, which has to be the up-and-coming Bay Area MVP producers of FRIENDZONE

2.  Dinosaur Jr.- I Bet on Sky

I would listen to this at 6 A.M. at work, and it put me in this beautiful autumn-afternoon-with-your-dog kind of headspace, a sort of submission to life, like a leaf floating downstream.  Some days J. carries me.

1.  FRIENDZONE- Collections 1

When anger and weariness threatened to engulf me, I turned to this FRIENDZONE release of their cloud-rap instrumental tracks.  Cokemachineglow described it as sounding like angels playing soccer and they are dead right.