Bestest 2001 – Lit

I am not a book expert by any stretch of the imagination but I read a few
epic novels this year. I recommend them all to avid readers:

1) The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles – Haruki Murakami
2) The Ground Beneath Her Feet – Salman Rushdie
3) The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay – Michael Chabon
4) The Sleep Over Artist – Patrick Beller
5) Kitchen Confidential – Anthony Bourdain
6) Cruddy – Lynda Barry

Bestest 2001 – Tunage

The Music That I Just Kept Playing:

For the first half of the year, I thought I wouldn’t even end up with enough
stuff worthy of filling up a list. But by the end of my tenth year compiling
a list of records that most people will never end up hearing, but might
enjoy reading about, it occurred to me that although this might have been
one of the weakest year’s for music in a decade, there were certainly ten
recordings that I will hopefully be listening to a decade from now which is
my usual litmus test.

With electronic music finally reaching an inevitable commercial corruption,
indie rock suffering from an inability to find an resuscitate and bygone
era, and true rock music seeming in need of a real torch bearer, it is no
surprise that this [Read more…]

Bestest 2001 – Filmage

In a year where the events of the world often made the “life imitating art”
cliché seem as relevant as ever, the films that left the most impact on me
seemed a perfectly balanced mix of surreal fantasy (Hedwig, Lord of the
Rings, Mullholland Drive, The Princess and The Warrior, and Amelie), and
somber reality (Amores Perros, Anniversary Party, In The Bedroom, Tape and
With a Friend Like Harry). Maybe this has all to do with my own personal
taste, or maybe this has more to do with some greater need among filmmakers
to attempt to differentiate life from art as the world seemed so on the
verge of change as we entered the 21st century.

Sometimes it takes a movie to ground our sense of who we are, and other
times we need to leave the solid footing that is life on earth to see how
things could and often should be different. In my opinion the best films of
this year were some of the best films in many years, and most of the rest
were worse than usual. But in the end the best thing about movies is that
there will always be more, and some of them will always continue to be very
different than ones before. But if you keep lists of movies to see, these
will all leave you either thinking or smiling or maybe even crying – and in
the end that is all you can hope for from movies. [Read more…]