100 things that made my year
Plus my favorite books, movies, albums, podcasts, newsletters, and more...
I hope “dead week” is treating you well. This, somehow, is the last newsletter of 2022.
Here are 10 year-end things I thought were worth sharing:
My annual list of 100 things that made my year.
My listening year: I finally “got” Big Thief — their song “Time Escaping” was my favorite track of the year. I liked Steve Lacy’s Gemini Rights the minute I heard the title. I’d somehow never heard Lou Reed’s American Poet. I listened to a lot of Leonard Cohen in the fall. (This 1989 Austin City Limits set is so good.) Old favorites Cate Le Bon, Cass McCombs, and Walter Martin put out good records. I loved Sturgill Simpson’s “I Don’t Mind” and The Smile’s “The Smoke” and Alex G’s “Runner” and Mitski’s “The Only Heartbreaker” and LCD’s “New Body Rhumba.” I got really into the Everly Brothers and Albert King. Blasted Ibibio Sound Machine a lot in the studio. When I was my sickest, some wonderful instrumental records kept me company: Patricia Wolf’s See-Through (COVID) and Oren Ambarchi’s Shebang (kidney stone). I listened to Tom Petty’s Greatest Hits a lot? Life is weird, man. The best way to get a feel for what I listened to this year is to put my 2022 playlist on shuffle.
TV: It is a golden age for totally watching television. White Lotus. South Side. Slow Horses. Bad Sisters. Winning Time. Reservation Dogs. Barry. How To With John Wilson. Hacks. Atlanta. Mo. Severance. Tokyo Vice. The Righteous Gemstones. Somebody Somewhere. The Offer. What We Do in the Shadows. The Beavis and Butt-Head reboot. The Bear. The Old Man. All Creatures Great and Small. Better Call Saul. Better Things. Light and Magic. Derry Girls. Grand Designs.
Pizza night with the kids: Oh man, we watched so much good stuff! Godzilla! King Kong! Toy Story 2. Pixar’s “Your Friend The Rat.” Paul Rudish’s Mickey Mouse shorts. The goofy Angry Birds movies. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. One Hundred and One Dalmations. The Little Mermaid. Tron. Creature from the Black Lagoon. Monsters, Inc. Turning Red. Luca. Coco. Moana. Destroy all Monsters! Ponyo. Beauty and the Beast. Aladdin. The Wizard of Oz. Gravity Falls! SpongeBob! Bluey!
Movies we watched after the kids went to bed: My new-to-me favorites were all pretty old: Repo Man, Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday, and Cocteau’s La Belle et le Bete. I rewatched a bunch of old favorites, like Rebecca, Nacho Libre, and Heat. As for new stuff, I thought Prey and Top Gun 2 were great. Jackass Forever, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, and Beavis and Butt-head Do The Universe were all stupid fun.
Podcasts: I barely listen to podcasts — most of my work is really word-heavy, and I can’t listen to people talk while I do it — but the guests on Song Exploder and Ezra Klein are usually interesting to me. (Marc Maron, of course, still gets great guests, like Michael Mann.) My favorite thing to do when I need something to listen to is to just type an artist or writer’s name into the podcasts app and see what comes up.
Video games: I finished exactly one game by myself: Return to Monkey Island. I played a lot of Minecraft and Mario Kart on the Switch with the kids and had to listen to them playing Among Us and Roblox. (I’m counting down the months until the Breath of the Wild sequel.)
Newsletters: my favorites haven’t changed all that much. I still likefor publishing history and industry nitty gritty , on music, Rob Walker’s , and Alan Jacob’s Snakes and Ladders. I’m sure I’m forgetting some people, and I’m sorry! (A lot of great writers have started newsletters that aren’t great newsletters quite yet, if you know what I mean. It’s its own form.)
Thanks so much for reading. My resolution last year was to make this newsletter more community-based, and y’all have made it happen with your support, your creativity, and your kindness. I’m very grateful to you. Let’s resolve to keep having fun in 2023!
If you have favorites from the year you think I‘d like, tell me what I missed in the comments:
I hope you have a safe and very Happy New Year. I’ll see you in 2023.