BEST OF 2010 (Music Edition)

Music! I listen to it constantly. I’m listening to it right now. I listened to around 250 albums released in 2010 and I’ve decided upon my twenty-one favorites. Feel free to listen to a sample track beneath each one and make fun of me in the comments.

Honorable Mention. Two Birds – SEAMONSTER

Honorable mention only because it’s an EP and not a full-length, but it’s still one of the best pieces of music released in 2010.

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BEST OF 2010

Happy New Year everyone! The photo below is what I looked like in the final few moments of 2010. Bemused, betrayed, bewildered?

The point of this blog and this list is that at the end of every year, I like to look back and recap my favorite events or happenings as a way of motivating myself and focusing on the positive. It would be easy to stand back and look at where I am in my career and get depressed, but that would be overlooking the great fun of the journey. I have plenty of time to become super successful and if I ever do, it will because of these great memories along the way. Feel free to check out previous lists- 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005.

All in all, 2010 will be defined by my girlfriend of four years breaking up with me in March. It was a shocker, but I immediately tried to embrace the forced transition and moved back to Echo Park in an effort to get out and make new friends. Which is exactly what I did. In a way, getting my heart destroyed was the best thing that could have happened because of all the people it brought me to. In big ways or small, I want to thank Adelaida Ortiz Chiqués, Daniella Mendoza, Adele Romanski, James Laxton, Cherie Saulter, Taylor Feltner, Becca Weber, Brandon Bales, Laura Taylor, Carolyn Gates, Chad Matheny, Dixie Perkinson, Hallie Parker, Kayt Fitzmorris, Jennifer Maas, Jon Hill, Mike Karnell, Lena Dunham, Megan Garber, Sean Stenz, Neil Schield, Sven Hörnich, Taya Kenny and Whitney Blank for brightening up my 2010.

And special thanks to Leah Ford and Stephanie Gonot for becoming my new family. Love those babes.
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BEST OF 2009

Happy new year everyone! I just finished a big list, but they keep on coming. This one is an annual tradition of mine dating back to 2005, where I list the top 10 events that I was able to take part in or that happened to me in 2009. The goal is to remind myself of the highlights of each year and encourage myself to keep trying to make positive memories and experiences for myself. Can you say “myself” three times in one sentence and not be a total prick? This summer, I’ll have been out of high school for ten years, college for six and even though my career isn’t where I’d like it to be, I’m not doing so bad and I’m enjoying the times I have along the way. That’s what it’s all about. You can revisit past years with these links- 2008. 2007. 2006. 2005.

So, here is my top 10 of 2009.

10. Michael Jackson

Okay, so I don’t mean Michael Jackson dying was a highlight to my year. The man was the very first person I idolized as a kid and I was super bummed to hear that he had passed. But rediscovering how much I enjoy all of his music and his talent in the period after that was a real joy. Going to bars and everyone losing their shit when “Billie Jean” came on (well, more than they usually do). Seeing This is It in the Dome on opening night with a rowdy crowd of fellow fans. His work really did bring people together and it did so again in 2009.
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End of the line! These movies are all the shit.

You can start at the beginning with part one here and part two here and part three here and part four here. Otherwise….


Cristian Mungiu

Head of the new Romanian cinema class and another film that showcases breathtaking economy with the shot selection (something I’m a sucker for). Perfectly scripted and performed and a great example of a film that knows exactly what it wants to be and can be without reaching for an inch too far. Anamaria Marinca got a lot of good ink for her performance in this but for my money, the movie belongs to Vlad Ivanov, who owns the screen every second he’s on it.
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Onwards and upwards with my list of the decade’s best films.

You can start at the beginning with part one here and part two here and part three here. Otherwise….


David Gordon Green

Poetic, deliberate and spiritual, the story is… not the point. Completely devoid of stereotypes, Green painted a picture of a very different South than Hollywood was doling out and he did it with brazen confidence, mostly non-professional child actors and gorgeous cinematography courtesy of Tim Orr.
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Onwards and upwards with my list of the decade’s best films.

You can start at the beginning with part one here and part two here. Otherwise….


Michael Winterbottom

Angelina Jolie gives a ferocious performance in what seems to me to be an unfairly maligned drama. Winterbottom keeps things taut and realistic, without resorting to cheap theatrics to amp the stakes. The overall effect is tense, heartbreaking and chilling.
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Hey. I’m counting down the best films of the decade. What are you doing?

You can start at the beginning with part one here. Otherwise….


Jehane Noujaim

Any political documentary from the mid-part of the decade is probably worthless. So much junk just infiltrated the market that anything with a thought-out perspective and focused narrative stood out like a sore thumb. Interestingly, the subjects of this film form a parallel, taking a look at the reporters of Al-Jazeera trying to present unbiased reports on the Iraq War.
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