End of the Year Review

December 31, 2017

I haven’t posted in awhile, so I thought I’d share a few of my 2017 music favorites.  I’ve also listed every movie I remember seeing for the first time in 2017.  Here goes…

Favorite Music:

David Benjamin Blower, “The Book of Jonah”

Joan Shelley, “Joan Shelley”

The National, “Sleep Well Beast”

Tift Merritt, “Stitch of the World”

Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, “The Nashville Sound”

Sam Amidon, “The Following Mountain”

Blitzen Trapper, “Wild and Reckless”

Coby and the Prisoners, “Candy Queen”

The Welcome Wagon, “Light Up the Stairs”

Fleet Foxes, “Crack-Up”

Sufjan Stevens, “The Greatest Gift”


Movies watched in 2017:

Manchester by the Sea (2016)

Margaret (2012)

Paterson (2016)

IP Man (2008)

I Am Not a Serial Killer (2016)

Hidden Figures (2017)

The Founder (2017)

Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

The Red Turtle (2017)

Moana (2017)

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)

The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

David Brent: Life on the Road (2016)

Logan (2017)

A Ghost Story (2017)

Ain’t Them Body Saints (2013)

St. Nick (2009)

Eraserhead (1978)

The Lost City of Z (2017)

Fatal Attraction (1987)

Black Orpheus (1959)

The BFG (2006)

Get Out (2017)

Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 (2017)

Super (2011)

The Driver (1978)

Baby Driver (2017)

Z (1969)

Marie Antoinette (2006)

Footlight Parade (1933)

9 to 5 (1980)

Carnival of Souls (1962)

Colossal (2017)

The Stepford Wives (1975)

Okja (2017)

Babe (1995)

Seconds (1966)

The Thing (1982)

War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

Planet of the Apes (1968)

Strange Days (1995)

Zero Dark Thirty (2013)

Lost in America (1985)

Battle of Algiers (1967)

The Tingler (1959)

Life (2017)

The War Room (1993)

Weiner (2016)

Stop Making Sense (1984)

Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids (2006)

Paths of Glory (1957)

Blade Runner: Final Cut (1982/1997)

The Big Sick (2017)

Wonder Woman (2017)

King Kong (1933)

Alien (1979)

Spiderman: Homecoming (2017)

Dunkirk (2017)

Burden of Dreams (1982)

Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Free Fire (2017)

Logan Lucky (2017)

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Stand By Me (1986)

The Myerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017)

While We’re Young (2015)

Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Silence (2017)

Justice League (2017)

The Beguiled (2017)

His Girl Friday (1940)

State and Main (2001)

Fast, Cheap & Out of Control (1997)

Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2007)

Carnal Knowledge (1971)

Brooklyn (2015)


They are Angelia Taylor, Della Daniels and Ester Mae Smith, two sisters and a childhood friend from Como, Mississippi.  It was in that small Southern town that these Como Mamas learned the old songs, their voices harmonizing and shouting through the warm air drifting through Mount Moriah Baptist Church. From Como to Brooklyn, they were discovered by Daptone Records, and after a powerful a cappella debut, they’re now backed by Daptone’s Glorifiers band for their second full length, Move Upstairs.  “Oh yeah!”, their voices call and respond. They are voices heavy like the blues, but triumphant and holy.  “Get ready! Get ready!” The Mamas are counting their blessings, one rocking, grooving gospel song at a time. They’re singing along to a bluesy organ, a righteous drum beat, a fiery electric guitar.  They’re shouting. They’re celebrating. They’re giving it their all. 99 and a half just won’t do.

Move Upstairs will be released on May 19 by Daptone Records. You can purchase the record here.


Strip mined hills, full of snow, stand tall in the distance like the Andes. “You are born alone”, Caitlin Pasko sings through my car stereo. The river drifts by, choppy, chunks of snagged driftwood pulled up and under the surface. Plastic trash is caught in the roadside fence. “Then you’ll die alone”. The cold is brutal. The county, the highway, the flocks of skittering birds—they are all carried along on the grief-stricken poetry and piano melodies of her new EP, Glass Period. It’s a hard journey, this highway of life that we travel. We suffer and laugh and love and hate, and some are able to put words to such abstract things. Some are able to allow their grief to be resurrected into something that heals. “But what about the time in between?” sings Pasko, and it’s a question for us all.

You can listen to and purchase the EP here.