2016 In Review: Lisa Marie’s 14 Favorite Songs of 2016


Every January, I list my fourteen favorite songs of the previous year and, every January, I include the same disclaimer.  My fourteen favorite songs are not necessarily the fourteen favorite songs of any of the other writers here at the Shattered Lens.  We are a large and diverse group of people and, as such, we all have our own individual tastes.

If you ever visited the TSL Bunker, you would be shocked by the different music coming out of each office.  You would hear everything from opera to death metal to the best of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.  And then, of course, you would reach my office and you would discover that my taste in music pretty much runs the gamut from EDM to More EDM.

Now, usually, I do try to listen to a variety of music.  You can go to my Song of the Day site — Lisa Marie’s Song of the Day — and see that I do occasionally listen to other types of music.  But, I have to be honest.  2016 was not a year that inspired me to really leave me comfort zone.  If anything, music provided me with some much needed consistency in an otherwise chaotic year.  2016 was a year that made me want to dance until it was all over and, for the most part, my favorite songs of the year reflect that fact.

Before I list my 14 songs, I should make something else very clear.  These are my 14 favorite songs of 2016.  I’m not saying that they’re necessarily the best songs of 2016.  I’ll leave that debate for others.  Instead, there are the songs that I found myself listening to over and over again.  These are the songs made me dance.  These are the songs that made me sing.  A few of these songs relaxed me when I needed to be relaxed.  One of the songs made me cry but I’m not going to say which one.

It might make you cry too.

Or it might not.

That’s the beautiful thing about art.  Everyone experiences it in their own individual way.

Here are my 14 favorite songs of 2016:

14) David Bowie — Lazarus

13) Afrojack & Hardwell — Hollywood

12) Cedric Gervais (ft. Juanes) — Este Amor

11) Matoma (ft. Becky Hall) — False Alarm

10) Radiohead — Burn the Witch

9) Gorgon City (feat Vaults) — All Four Walls

8) Penthox — Give It Away

7) Britney Spears — Clumsy

6) Martin Garrix (feat Mesto) — WIEE

5) Tiesto, Oliver Heldens (feat Natalie LaRose) — The Right Song

4) The Weekend (feat Daft Punk) — Starboy

3) Radiohead — Daydreaming

2) Coldplay — Up&Up

1) The Chemical Brothers — C-h-e-m-i-c-a-l

For my previous picks, check out 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015!

Tomorrow, I will be posting some of my favorite things that I saw on television in 2016!

Previous Entries In The Best of 2016:

  1. TFG’s 2016 Comics Year In Review : Top Tens, Worsts, And Everything In Between
  2. Anime of the Year: 2016
  3. 25 Best, Worst, and Gems I Saw In 2016
  4. 2016 in Review: The Best of SyFy
  5. 2016 in Review: The Best of Lifetime
  6. 2016 in Review: Lisa Picks the 16 Worst Films of 2016!
  7. Necromoonyeti’s Top Ten Albums of 2016

Holiday Scenes That I Love: David Bowie and Bing Crosby Sing A Duet in Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas (CBS, 1977)


In this scene from Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas, David Bowie stops by the home of his old friend, Sir Percival Crosby, and meets Sir Percy’s long-lost American relative, Bing Crosby!  A discussion of modern music and parenting techniques leads to them performing a duet of Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy.

This was Bing’s final Christmas special and he died just five weeks after filming completed.  This scene is a holiday classic and has been described. by the Washington Post, as “one of the most successful duets in Christmas music history.”

When asked about David Bowie, Bing said he was “clean-cut kid and a real fine asset to the show. He sings well, has a great voice and reads lines well.”

Enjoy!

We Can Be Heroes If Just For One Day… (David Bowie, RIP)


I have never seen the online community as united about anything as they are today in both grieving and paying honor to David Bowie.

You can read Arleigh’s thoughts on Bowie the film actor here.

Click here to read Jeff’s tribute to David Bowie the musician.

And be sure to check out Gary’s overview of Bowie’s career.

As for me, I’m just going to share two videos.  One is the trailer for the German film, Christiane F.  This trailer — which I consider one of the best trailers ever made — is scored to David Bowie’s Heroes. (Both Bowie and the song also play a large and important in the film itself.) Secondly, I want to share a scene that I love, this one from Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds and featuring Bowie’s Theme From Cat People reimagined as an anthem of the French Resistance.

First off, the trailer:

Secondly, the scene:

David Bowie, RIP

In Memory of David Bowie


20140109-bowie-x306-1389299416

Last night, when I heard that David Bowie had died, I immediately flashed back to the summer of 2003.  I spent that summer hanging out with my friend Jay.  I was an aspiring writer and he was the musician who got all the girls.  Jay was also a David Bowie fanatic whose cover of The Man Who Sold The World was at least as good as Nirvana’s.  When I think about that summer, I remember the all-night bull sessions, smoking in Jay’s backyard, watching reruns of Hawaii 5-0 and agreeing that McGarrett was one cool dude, and the weekly poker games where I always seemed to lose.  But mostly, I remember David Bowie providing the greatest soundtrack anyone could want.

Over his 50 year career, David Bowie reinvented himself many times.  When he released his first single in 1964, he did so under his real name.  He was 17 years old when Davie Jones and the Queen Bees released Liza Jane.

By the time he released Space Oddity in 1969, Davie Jones had become David Bowie.  Space Oddity would introduce the world to Major Tom, a character to whom Bowie would return in the future.

1970’s The Man Who Sold The World is often erroneously believed to be a retelling of Robert Heinlein’s novella, The Man Who Sold The Moon.  In 1997, Bowie himself said that the song was about being young and feeling incomplete.

Life on Mars? was once described by BBC Radio 2 as being “a cross between a Broadway musical and a Salvador Dali painting.”

1975’s Golden Years, with its chorus of “run for the shadows,” is one of my personal favorites.

In 1977, David Bowie appeared on the final Bing Crosby Christmas Special.  He and Bing performed Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy.  At the time, Bing was quoted as saying about Bowie: “clean-cut kid and a real fine asset to the show. He sings well, has a great voice and reads lines well.”

In 1980, Major Tom returned in Ashes to Ashes.

Rather than grow stagnant as an artist, David Bowie was always reinventing himself.  In 1997, he proved he was still a force to be reckoned with when he released I’m Afraid of Americans.

In November, David Bowie released Blackstar.  In the song’s video, Major Tom made his final appearance.

Lazarus was the last single that David Bowie released during his lifetime.  The video was released three days before he died and feels like it was his way of saying goodbye.

Rest in peace, good sir.  And thank you for the music and the memories.

Scenes I Love: The Prestige


The Prestige - David Bowie

David Bowie has passed away and the world is much less brighter with his passing.

While I’ve been a fan of most of David Bowie’s music, I consider myself more of a fan of his rare appearances playing other characters in other people’s films. Whether it was as the alien Thomas Jerome Newton in The Man Who Fell to Earth, to John in The Hunger and right up to his role as Jareth, King of the Goblins in the fantasy film Labyrinth, Bowie has always made himself such a presence whenever he was on the screen.

One of my favorite roles he played recently was in the 2006 film The Prestige by Christopher Nolan. In it he played the role of the eccentric genius Nikola Tesla who gains as a patron Hugh Jackman’s magician, Robert Angier. Not as showy a role as some of the others mentioned above, but Bowie easily conveys not just tired and beaten down Tesla who by this point has been hounded by Edison for years, but also understanding that his own genius has led him to obsessing over what his intellect has come up with.

Even as he battled cancer these past 18 months before losing his fight, David Bowie continued to do what he loved. Releasing a new album this month and now he lives on in his music and up on the silver screen.

“Commencing countdown, engines on…Check ignition and may God’s love be with you.”

RIP, DAVID BOWIE

Embracing the Melodrama Part II #65: Christiane F. — We Children Of The Banhof Zoo (dir by Uli Edel)


Christiane_F_Poster Dedicated to: Andreas W. “Atze” (1960 – 77), Axel W. (1960 – 77), Babette D. “Babsi” (1963 – 77) and all others who didn’t have the luck and strength to survive.

— End credits dedication of Christiane F. (1981)

After watching Out of the Blue, be sure to watch the 1981 German film Christiane F.  Like Out of the Blue, Christiane F. tells the story of what happens with adolescent aimlessness turns into self-destruction.  Like Out of The Blue, Christiane F. centers on one alienated girl and, like Out of the Blue, it features a dark ending.  Unlike Out of the Blue, Christiane F. is actually based on a true story and that makes it all the more disturbing.

Another difference between Out of the Blue and Christiane F. is that, while Out of the Blue‘s Ceebe was motivated by anger, 13 year-old Christiane (Natja Brunckhorst) is mostly just bored.  She lives in a drab apartment in Berlin, with her mother and her younger sister.  Whenever we see Christiane walking among the concrete buildings that make up her neighborhood, we can see why she’s so frustrated with her life.  She lives in a world that literally has no personality or hope for the future.

With nothing else to look forward to, Christiane becomes obsessed with going to Sound, a club that is advertised as the “most modern discotheque in Europe.”  Wearing makeup and high heels and lying about her age, Christiane manages to get into Sound and discovers an entire new world.  She meets the charismatic Detlef (Thomas Haustein) and a whole new group of friends.  All of her new friends use drugs and, eager to fit in and hoping to impress Detlef, Christiane is soon taking part.  She quickly goes from smoking pot to shooting heroin to working as a prostitute to finance her habit…

And you know what?  Just from the description, Christiane F. sounds like a typical histrionic anti-drug film, a German version of Reefer Madness.  Anti-drug films are always based on the idea that the worst possible thing that could happen will always happen and that’s certainly what happens in Christiane F.  However, Christiane F. never sinks to the level of propaganda.  There’s an authenticity to the film’s portrait of what it’s like to feel lost and alienated.  It captures the gnawing despair of feeling as if the rest of the world knows something about happiness that you’ll never be able to understand.

Which is not to say that the film doesn’t work as an anti-drug film.  I would never do heroin anyway but if I was so inclined, Christiane F. would change my mind.  As Christiane and her friends become addicts, the film takes on an element of Cronenbergian body terror.  When Christiane’s friends overdose, the camera lingers over their thin, scarred, and blue bodies.  In perhaps the film’s most shocking scene, Christiane is attacked in a public restroom by a junkie who steals her heroin and then proceeds to shoot up in front of her, plunging the syringe into his neck.

Christiane F. is a powerful film, featuring an excellent lead performance from Natja Brunckhorst and a great soundtrack from David Bowie.  Watch it with Out Of The Blue but make sure you’ve got a comedy ready to go afterward.

 

 

Song of the Day: Under Pressure (performed by David Bowie and Queen)


So, last night, me and Jeff were at the AMC Valley View to see The Adjustment Bureau (which I’ll be reviewing here either later tonight or tomorrow).  We ended up arriving for the movie a little bit late because, while in route to the theater, we got stuck behind the dumbfug toadsucker who was driving one of those goddamn box-like Smart Cars and, of course, he was so smart that apparently, he couldn’t bring himself to risk going over 30 mph. on a three-lane street.  So, we were stuck behind him like forever and then Jeff and I ended up getting into an argument about whether the driver was a woman (as Jeff claimed) or just some old hippie with long hair (as I claimed).  The driver also had decorated his car with a lot of political bumper stickers — “Obama in ’08,” “Impeach Bush,” “White For Governor,” “Jesus Was A Community Organizer,” “Jesus Was Not A Republican,” “Socialist And Proud,” “Trees Make the Air We Breathe,” and those are just a few of them.

(Personally, I would never put any bumper stickers on my car because, quite frankly, they’re a little bit too permanent for my taste.  I guess I’m too commitment-phobic to turn my car into a propaganda machine.  However, I was once tempted to at least order an “I’m Another Person Not Reading Your Crazy, Left-Wing Blog” bumper sticker and to place it on a life-sized poster of me extending my middle finger which I would have then sent to an ex-boyfriend.)

Anyway, we were stuck behind this guy for-freaking-ever and by the time we finally got around him, since both me and Jeff understand that  it’s actually more dangerous to go under the speed limit than to go over it, neither one of us had any sympathy for any of the political causes that the driver was trying to sell us on.  In fact, that driver came close to turning us into Sarah and Todd Palin.  (Don’t worry, we’re over it now.)  The lesson here, I think, is that if you’re going to turn your car into a moving advertisement for your political beliefs, make sure you can actually know how to drive.

Anyway, by the time we got in the theater, we were still kinda all like “RAWR!” about getting stuck behind that Smart Car but then we saw a trailer that soothed our nerves and calmed us down.  That trailer was for the upcoming Russell Brand film, Arthur

Now, don’t get me wrong.  The trailer looks awful and, having seen it, I now understand why so many people apparently can not stand Russell Brand.  (I liked him in Get Him To The Greek.)  Seriously, if not for one redeeming feature, the trailer for Arthur would hace to be the worst trailer since the trailer for Sanctum.

Playing in the background throughout the entire trailer was an old song from David Bowie and Queen, Under Pressure.  As long as we simply ignored Russell Brand and Geraldine James and just listened to the music, the Arthur trailer was not only bearable but actually enjoyable.  If nothing else, this song soothes our souls and brought both Jeff and me back onto the path of relative sanity.

Anyway, with all that in mind, how could I not devote a post to David Bowie and Queen’s Under Pressure?