2016 will pretty widely be regarded as one of the worst years ever. Beloved celebrities dropped off at a rate that seemed like almost one a day, the election turned us all against each other, murder and death and sadness were in the news more than ever… But hey, over-all it was a pretty good year for me haha. Not the best by a long-shot, but there was plenty of good stuff that happened… So lets stop being so negative and take a look back at the good stuff.
Well here we are at the end of another great year of music. As I finish up 2015 and a lot of loose ends on projects and things I’ve been working on, I also wanted to take a minute to quickly look over this year and let you all know what I’ve been up to.
Lets start with the NOW…
If you haven’t been on my Facebook lately you may have missed my TWO new music videos. Well, the first one is actually a new version of an old one. “An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience” was one of the biggest things I’ve been a part of this year, and my amazing developer Elemental Spark, rebuilt it from the ground up with better graphics, smoother animation, and a new 360 degree version that lets you experience the impressiveness, even without a Virtual Reality headset. The new updated version is also coming to Oculus Rift soon, and is already compatible with Google Cardboard, but now you can also view it on Youtube and on Facebook. Or embedded right here on this blog post! Just use your mouse while the video is playing to click and drag to change your perspective within the video.
The future rules.
I usually post these lists on Facebook, but I figured… Why not make a blog post about it? Without any big build up, here are my favorite Movies & Music of 2014, with a little commentary on each.
- Birdman – One of the most original, beautiful movies I’ve seen in a long time. Even funnier than I expected, and weirder too. It’s been a while since Charlie Kaufman made a movie (2008 I believe), and this is the closest thing I’ve seen since then. It makes your brain work overtime. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since the day I saw it. Also, seeing Edward Norton really going for it for the first time in years was just awesome.
- Nightcrawler – An amazing movie filled with excellent performances. Jake Gyllenhaal deserves Best Actor for this. Such a dark, crazy movie and an uncompromising vision.
- Gone Girl – David Fincher’s best movie since Zodiac. One of his best ever really. Also happens to be the first time in years that I saw a movie in the theater twice!
- The Grand Budapest Hotel – I’m one of the only people (let alone Wes Anderson fan) who didn’t like Moonrise Kingdom, so I was so happy that this ended up being my favorite film of his since The Darjeeling Limited (which I know most people DIDN’T really like). This is definitely up there with his best films though. Ralph Fiennes’ performance is an absolute classic.
- Edge Of Tomorrow – Probably the best action / sci-fi movie I’ve seen in years, ruined by a bad title that apparently made people not see it. Everyone should see it though. It’s great.
- Whiplash – An excellent, dark, small film that centers around music and has one of the best performances of the year from JK Simmons.
- Obvious Child – A perfect little comedy. Jenny Slate rules. See it.
- The Badadook – The best horror movie I’ve seen in forever. I can’t stand most horror movies because it’s usually just a bunch of loud noises and jump scares with the same old recycled story. This one SOUNDS like it’s going to be that based on the synopsis, but it’s about much more, and the scares come from a much more real place. One of the rare times when hype didn’t kill a movie.
- Foxcatcher – I honestly walked out of the theater thinking I didn’t like much about it other than the performances (seriously great all around but Mark Ruffalo steals the show here). But the movie stayed with me and I didn’t stop thinking about it for days and the more I think about it, the more I love everything about it. It also may be my favorite score of the year.
- Guardians of the Galaxy & The Lego Movie (TIE) – I made these a tie because they’re both super mainstream blockbusters, and they both happened to be awesome. So many of the big blockbusters disappointed me this year (ESPECIALLY Godzilla), so to see some major movies really nail it was great.
Honorable Mentions: Wild, Chef, They Came Together, Exodus:Gods & Kings, The Equalizer, Fading Gigilo, Noah, Dawn of the Planet Of the Apes, Interstellar, The Interview
Didn’t See Yet But I’ll Probably Like: Inherent Vice, Boyhood, Big Eyes, American Sniper, A Most Violent Year… Plenty More.
- Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams – Most of you know how much I love Ryan Adams and this is one of his most consistent albums ever. Not his best, but a lot of really perfect, great songs. And I love the 80s light rock influence here.
- Damien Rice – My Favorite Faded Fantasy – I finally got to see Damien Rice this year which was an amazing experience, and some of these new songs (after an 8 year hiatus) stand as some of his best.
- The War On Drugs – Lost in The Dream – I love this freaking album. And I joked on Facebook that it sounds like what I’d sound like if I tried to form a band. Well what I’d want to sound like anyway haha.
- Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence – People hate her, but I look at it like a movie. I don’t judge a film based on the credibility of the filmmakers, same goes for her music. Plus “West Coast” is an absolutely killer song.
- Jack White – Lazeretto – Jack White rules. I don’t love this album… It’s a little too jammy, but some of the tracks are absolutely awesome and even at his worst, he’s still better than most other artists.
- Michael Jackson – XScape – Much better than I could have ever imagined. Some truly great songs on here, and getting to hear the demos on the bonus disc was really cool too.
- Bruce Springsteen – High Hopes – Another great Bruce Springsteen album.
- St Vincet – St Vincent – A really unique, awesome album. I don’t know if other people have said this before, but this reminds me of what Nine Inch Nails would sound like if it was made by a girl. Not a girl imitating Nine Inch Nails… Because this is much lighter and less angry… But a girl creating a very female album, that shares a lot in common with what a Nine Inch Nails album is. Maybe that doesn’t make sense, but I love it haha.
- The Raveonettes – Pe’Ahi – Some of The Raveonettes albums take time to grow on me. This is one of them. I don’t love it yet. but I just know that I will.
- Tom Petty – Hypnotic Eye – I haven’t even finished listening to the album yet, but it’s got some classic Tom Petty songs on it.
Honorable Mention: Jason Isbell – Southeastern was my REAL Number 1 favorite album of 2014, but it actually came out in 2013, I just never heard of him until now. Same goes for The Book of Mormon Soundtrack which came out a while ago, but I refused to listen to until I got to see the show live. Now that I’ve seen it, I’ve been listening to the album and love it.
I was going to also do lists for TV and Video Games, but I found myself really reaching to even remember what I had seen and played haha. So I think we might as well just leave it at this
Every year people say that there were no good movies and there’s no good music. I think that’s bullshit. There’s a lot of great stuff out there, you just gotta know where to look…
PS. I’m aware that the numbers in the lists are crossed out. It’s a weird bug I’ll have to look into haha.