2017 In Review: Lisa Marie’s 14 Favorite Songs of 2017


(Originally, I was going to list my picks for the best in SyFy today.  However, I need one more day to work on that so look for that tomorrow!   For now, here are my favorite songs of 2017!)

Every January, I list my favorite songs of the previous year and, every January, I include the same disclaimer.  My favorite songs are not necessarily the 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.  2017 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.  2017 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 songs, I should make something else very clear.  These are my favorite songs of 2017.  I’m not saying that they’re necessarily the best songs of 2017.  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.  These are songs that I liked.

You might like them.

Or you might not.

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

Here are my favorite songs of 2017:

14. Shutdown by Joywave

13. Love So Soft by Kelly Clarkson

12. Rainmaker by Sleigh Bells

11. I feel It Coming by The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk

(Technically, this is a 2016 song but I listened to it a lot in 2017 and this is my list so fuck it, I’m including it.)

10. Alone by Alan Walker

9. Byte by Martin Garrix & Brooks

8. You Could Be by R3HAB featuring Khrebto

7. Mirage by Lindey Stirling featuring Raja Kumari

6. Rich Boy by Galantis

5. What About Us by P!nk

4. First Time by Kygo & Ellie Goulding

3. Escape Reality Tonight by Paul van Dyk & Emanuele Braveri ft. Rebecca Louise Burch

2. Look What You Made Me Do by Taylor Swift

  1. It Ain’t Me by Kygo, featuring Selena Gomez

For tomorrow’s look back at 2017, I will (finally) share my picks for the best of the SyFy Network!

Previous entries in the TSL’s Look Back at 2017:

  1. 2017 in Review: Top Ten Single Issues by Ryan C
  2. 2017 in Review: Top Ten Series by Ryan C
  3. 2017 In Review: Top Ten Collected Edition (Contemporary) by Ryan C
  4. 2017 In Review: Top Ten Collected Editions (Vintage) by Ryan C
  5. 2017 in Review: Top Ten Graphic Novels By Ryan C
  6. 25 Best, Worst, and Gems I saw in 2017 by Valerie Troutman
  7. My Top 15 Albums of 2017 by Necromoonyeti
  8. 2017 In Review: Lisa Marie’s Picks For the 16 Worst Films of 2017
  9. 2017 In Review: Lisa Marie’s Final Post About Twin Peaks: The Return (for now)

Playing Catch-Up: Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (dir by Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone)


Have you heard of Conner4Real?

If you haven’t, you’re probably just old or else you don’t keep up with what’s happening in the world of popular music.  His real name is Conner Friel and he used to be a member of the Style Boyz.  Of course, the Style Boyz eventually broke up.  Kid Brain became a farmer.  Kid Contact became a DJ.  And Kid Conner — well, he became Conner4Real and he became a bigger star as a solo artist than he ever was as a Style Boy.  His debut album, Thriller, Also, broke records.

But the follow-up, Connquest … well, Connquest wasn’t quite as acclaimed.  In fact, it was hated by just about everyone.  This is despite featuring classic songs like:

Finest Girl (Bin Laden Song)

Mona Lisa

and Equal Rights (featuring P!nk).

Fortunately, when Conner4Real was facing his greatest existential crisis, a film crew was present to record his struggle.  For those of us who were fascinated by the career of Conner4Real, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is a chance to see how Conner dealt with everything from his terminally ill pet turtle to the elaborate marriage proposal ceremony that led to Seal being attacked by wild wolves.  We would have gotten to see Conner and his manager defeat a swarm of mutant bees but, unfortunately, that happened right after the only time that Conner’s manager asked the film crew to stop filming.

Oh well, these things happen.

So, as you should have guessed from all that, Popstar is not a serious film.  It’s a mockumentary, with the emphasis on mock.  It was also one of the funniest films of 2016, a spot-on parody of the silliness and pretensions of fame.  Conner is a combination of Justin Bieber and Macklemore at their shallowest, a well-meaning but thoroughly empty-headed singer.  In fact, if Conner was played by anyone other than Andy Samberg, he would be so annoying that the film would run the risk of being unwatchable.

But fortunately, Conner is played by Andy Samberg.  It’s hard to think of anyone who plays dumb with quite the same panache as Andy Samberg does.  There are plenty of lines in Popstar that shouldn’t work but they do, specifically because they’re being delivered by Samberg.  He brings just the right amount of sweetly sincere stupidity to the role.  Almost despite yourself, you find yourself hoping that things will work out for Conner and the other Style Boyz.  Conner may not deserve to be as big a star as he is but it was obviously going to happen to some idiot so why not a sincere one?

Samberg is not the only funny person in Popstar.  The movie is full of funny people, from Sarah Silverman to Bill Hader to the always underrated Tim Meadows.  It’s also full of celebrity cameos and I have to admit that I usually tend to cringe when I see too many people playing themselves.  But in Popstar, it works.  One need only rewatch something like Zoolander 2 to see how well Popstar pulls off its celebrity cameos.

Sadly, as funny as Popstar was, it was also one of the biggest bombs of 2016.  (The trailer, it must be said, did not do the film justice.)  However, I expect that it will soon develop a strong cult following.  In a few years, we’ll get a sequel.  It probably won’t be as as good.

Oh well.  These things happen.

10 Of Lisa Marie’s Favorite Songs of 2013


Continuing my series on the best of 2013, here are ten of my favorite songs from 2013. Now, I’m not necessarily saying that these were the best songs of 2013. Some of them aren’t. But these are ten songs that, in the future, will define 2013 for me personally. Again, these are my picks and my picks only. So, if you think my taste in music sucks (and, admittedly, quite a few people do), direct your scorn at me and not at anyone else who writes for the Shattered Lens.

I’ve occasionally been asked what my criteria for a good song us. Honestly, the main things I look for in a song is 1) can I dance to it, 2) can I write to it, and 3) can I get all into singing it while I’m stuck in traffic or in the shower?

Anyway, at the risk of revealing just how much of a dork I truly am, here are ten of my favorite songs of 2013.

10) A Low and Swelling Sound Gradually Swelling (composed by Shane Carruth)

This atmospheric instrumental piece comes from the soundtrack of the best film of 2013, Upstream Color.  This is great writing music.

9) Giorgio By Moroder (performed by Daft Punk and Giorgio Moroder)

From Random Access Memories.

8) Saturday (performed by Rebecca Black and Dave Days)

I make no apologies.  Much like Friday, this is a fun song to sing when you’re driving to and from work.  Plus, I think the video’s clever.

7) Brave (performed by Sara Bareilles)

I have to admit that I loved this song more before it started showing up in Nokia Lumia commercials.

6) Feel This Moment (performed by Pitbull, feat. Christina Aguilera)

5) Haunted (performed by ROB)

This is from the Maniac soundtrack.  Much like the Carruth song, this is great writing music.

4) Work Bitch (performed by Britney Spears)

Not a day goes by that I don’t find an excuse to say, “You gotta work, bitch.”

3) A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got) (performed by Fergie, feat. Q-Tip and Goon Rock)

From The Great Gatsby soundtrack.

2) Just Give Me A Reason (performed by Pink and Nate Ruess)

1) Lose Yourself to Dance (performed by Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams)

What else needs to be said?

Finally, here are two honorable mentions.  These are two songs that helped define 2013 for me but, for various reasons, could not be included in my top ten.

First off, Alison Gold’s Chinese Food is technically a terrible song but it’s so terrible that it becomes oddly fascinating.  Thanks to the presence of Patrice Wilson, the video is probably one of the most unintentionally creepy music videos ever made.

(I should admit that I happen to love Chinese food myself and therefore, this song is one that I’ve sung a lot over the past few years.)

The second honorable mention is a far better song than Chinese Food: Icona Pop’s I Love It.  I Love It was released in 2012 but it’s the song that I listened to nonstop last year..  So, even if it was released a year earlier, I Love It is still my favorite song of 2013.

Tomorrow, I will continue my look back at 2013 with 10 good things that I saw on television last year.

Other Entries In TSL’s Look Back At 2013:

  1. Lisa Marie’s 16 Worst Films of 2013
  2. Necromoonyeti’s Top 10 Metal Albums of 2013
  3. Things That Dork Geekus Dug In 2013
  4. Lisa Marie’s Best of 2o13 SyFy

Lisa Marie’s 10 Favorite Songs of 2011


Continuing my series on the best of 2011, here are ten of my favorite songs from 2011.  Now, I’m not necessarily saying that these were the best songs of 2011.  Some of them aren’t.  But these are ten songs that, in the future, will define 2011 for me personally.  Again, these are my picks and my picks only.  So, if you think my taste in music sucks (and, admittedly, quite a few people do), direct your scorn at me and not at anyone else who writes for the Shattered Lens.

By the way, I was recently asked what my criteria for a good song was.  Honestly, the main thing I look for in a song is 1) can I dance to it and 2) can I get all into singing it while I’m stuck in traffic or in the shower? 

Anyway, at the risk of revealing just how much of a dork I truly am, here are ten of my favorite songs of 2011.

1) What The Water Gave Me (performed by Florence + The Machine)

Musically, 2011 was a good year for me because it’s the year that I first discovered Florence + The Machine.

2) Only In My Double Mind (performed by Centro-Matic)

This is a great song from one of the best bands to come out of North Texas.

3) Man or Muppet (performed by Jason Segal and Walter)

Featuring lyrics from the brilliant Bret McKenzie.  This song makes me cry every time.

4) Immigrant Song (performed by Karen O, Trent Reznor, and Atticus Ross)

Say what you will about David Fincher’s rehash of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, it had a good soundtrack.  This cover of Immigrant Song made the film’s first trailer bearable.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t really featured in subsequent trailers, being replaced by Daniel Craig going, “I want YOU to HELP ME catch a KILLER of WOMEN.”

5) Friday (performed by Rebecca Black)

Yeah, yeah, I know.  It’s a terrible song and you know what?  That’s why I can’t help but love it.  Listen, there are thousands of terrible song released every year but there are none quite as a terrible as Friday.  The genius of Friday is that it took everything that we associate with terrible music — nonsensical lyrics, insane autotune, a socially irresponsible message, creepy rappers who show up out of nowhere and for no good reason — and then just smashed it all together into the YouTube video that refused to die.  Add to that, a few months ago, me and my BFF Evelyn got like totally drunk and then wandered around the streets of Dallas singing this song at the top of our lungs and I swear, every guy who passed by yelled words of encouragement at us. 

(And, by the way, if you’re going to hate someone, hate on Fred Phelps.  Leave Rebecca Black alone.  Life’s too short.)

6) Hold it Against Me (performed by Britney Spears)

Yeah, yeah, I know.  Everyone loves to hate on Britney blah blah blah.  This song is fun to sing in the shower and you can dance to it.  And, quite frankly, that’s all I need.

7) Beard (performed by Burning Hotels)

This is from another North Texas band.

8) Fucking Perfect (performed by Pink)

An anthem.  (Yes, I know this song came out in 2010 but it was important to me in 2011 so I’m listing it here now.  So there.)

9) Love Is The Drug (performed by Oscar Isaac and Carla Gugino)

From the Sucker Punch soundtrack comes this sneakily subversive cover.

10) No Light, No Light (performed by Florence + The Machine)

Finally, what better way to end this list than with some more of Florence + The Machine.

Finally, I want to close this list with a song that came out long before 2011 but it’s an important song to me and it was sung by someone who we lost far too early this year.

Coming tomorrow: ten of the best things I saw on television in 2011.