2018 had plenty of great highlights for me personally and professionally. I travelled, I bought my dream guitar, and had plenty of wonderful memories with family and friends. Now, I look back on some of my favorite trends and experiences in the 2nd annual Patrick’s Favorite Things list!
Favorite Viral Video : Adam Neely on the “Thinking Out Loud” vs. “Let’s Get It On” lawsuit
Neely is a weekly must watch for music nerds everywhere but this video is his magnum opus. He perfectly shuts down the absurdity of Marvin Gaye’s estate.
Favorite Video Game: Super Smash Bros Ultimate
By including every character and stage from all editions of the series, Nintendo put all their chips in on Ultimate (seriously, where do they go from here?!). With so much to choose from it’s an almost limitless number of permutations from which to play, exceeding not only other titles from the Super Smash series but most general limitations of basic fighter games. I’m not blown away by the World of Light mode but I’ll leave the option open to have my mind changed.
Favorite Movie: Eighth Grade
I expected more of a “laugh-so-you-don’t-cry” kind of story from Bo Burnham but this film instead opts to be genuine and sweet, lacking the kind of ironic knife twisting that’s so common in Burnham’s comedic style. Without much in the way of dramatic arc the conflicts are kept simple.. and yet SO complicated.
Favorite Music Documentary: If I Leave Here Tomorrow – A Film About Lynyrd Skynyrd
I had developed an uninformed and stubborn opinion of Lynyrd Skynyrd based on Free Bird cliches and years of exposure to obnoxious fans. This Showtime documentary changed my impression completely. Not only did it make me respect the band as musicians, it made me sympathize with them as people. This documentary is honest, compelling, and told with balanced perspective – particularly the more controversial aspects of the band.
I thought there was no way that the re-mixed Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, in all its psychedelic glory, could ever be topped in terms of Beatles sonic experiences. But Giles Martin outdid himself with his new take on “The White Album,” full of new crevices for even the most diehard of Beatlemaniacs. Though the cupboard of Beatle studio outtakes is largely bare, there was a nice gem inside the deluxe edition – an acoustic rehearsal take of “Good Night.”
I sought this book out when I knew I was making a trek to Motown’s original headquarters in Detroit. Quite simply, it was everything I wanted it to be. Every aspect of Motown’s incredible and often absurd history has light shed on it here. Steady, entertaining, and well-researched, Posner succeeded in writing the definitive book on the subject.
Favorite Concert: Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool Tour
It was an exceptionally great year for concerts as I got to check off legacy bucket list shows like The Eagles, ELO, and Elton John as well as more recent top acts like Justin Timberlake, Beck, Taylor Swift, and Fall Out Boy. But none left me feeling impacted quite like the Radiohead show I saw in July. The band played a mesmerizing two hour set completely live – an incredible feat given their often ridiculously hard soundscapes. Some of it was amazing, some of it was weird, all of it was interesting. There was a palpable feeling of gratitude and awe that made this night special immediately. After all, Radiohead tours are increasingly rare and with the ever diverging interests of the band members who knows when it will happen again.
Favorite Song: “Fred Astaire” by Jukebox The Ghost
A sort of sister song to Walk The Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance,” “Fred Astaire” has everything I look for in a great pop song. Evocative lyrics, a catchy melody, and enough musical hooks to make me want to run to the nearest piano to try them on for size. The piano riffs that answers the chorus are especially killer.
Favorite Album: Good Thing by Leon Bridges
After the success of his last album Comin’ Home Bridges could’ve comfortably settled inside of an adult contemporary world with an audience who were more than happy to hear the next coming of Sam Cooke. But Bridges stepped out and made a noticeably more modern and expansive sounding record (the exuberant “Bet Ain’t Worth The Hand” and Pharrell Williams-esque “If It Feels Good” are among the album’s best moments). It was nice to see Bridges take a risk and it looks to have paid off both critically and commercially.
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