‘Tis the season!
‘Tis the season!
Okay, so apparently, some people find the just-released trailer for Cats to be kinda creepy.
Speaking for myself, the trailer pretty much looks like what I would expect a film version of Cats to look like. I mean, the entire point of the stage production is that everyone dresses up like a cat and sings their heart out! The cat costumes and the makeup are a part of the production so I don’t know what everyone’s complaining about….
Well, okay, I will admit that I cringed when Rebel Wilson showed up but that’s just because it was so inevitable that Rebel Wilson would be in this movie. She’s like the female version of James Corden and …. oh wait, he’s in the film too?
Listen, I’m going to say it right now. Cats is going to be great. Well, maybe not great but it’s definitely going to be something that you’re going to want to be able to tell your children that you witnessed firsthand. A friend of mine hasn’t done shrooms in like ten years but he’s planning on indulging for one night only, the night that he sees this film. That’s type of cultural phenomena that Cats has the potential to be! (That said, he won’t be seeing the movie with me because I don’t want to be around if he has a bad trip. I’m never really sure what my exact obligation is in a situation like that.) Some people are going to hate this film but I like the whole idea of the film encouraging people to believe in something more than just pure cynicism, I just wish the film starred actual cats.
Anyway, here’s the trailer. Taylor Swift’s in it so you know the movie’s going to be a financial success no matter what the critics say.
This is a fun video and a fun song, which is why I picked it for today. I always think it’s a good idea to start the day after any election with something positive.
(Of course, not everyone agrees. I made the mistake of selecting Everything Is Awesome for my song of the day for November 9th, 2016 and there are people who still refuse to talk to me as a result. Even though I like picked and scheduled the song way back in October and I had absolutely no way of knowing that it was going to be the first thing those people would see the morning after Donald Trump was elected president. Anyway….)
(Seriously, I always tell people not to read too much into the songs and the music videos that I pick.)
The plot here is that Taylor is never ever getting back together with her ex, who is played by Noah Mills. Personally, I always thought that was wishful thinking on her part. You always get back together at least a handful of time before a breakup really becomes official.
(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
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:
Right now, as I write this, there are lot of people on twitter and in the media who are bitching and whining because Taylor Swift hasn’t written any #Resistance songs. She didn’t endorse anyone in the 2016 election. She never talks politics. She even had the gall to say that she had a good 2017!
Since when did being happy become a microaggression?
See, this is one of the things that I hate about social media. Just because you can’t stop talking about Trump or Hillary or whoever, that doesn’t mean that everyone else is obligated to do the same. When I see people whining about Taylor Swift not using their favorite hashtag, I’m reminded of Joss Whedon, at this time last year, whining about people saying, “Happy holidays,” because he was upset over how the election went. Just because someone isn’t constantly bragging about how pissed off they are, that doesn’t mean they don’t care or that they’re not doing their part. It just means they, like me, have a life outside of whatever’s on CNN or Fox News.
Anyway, I was so annoyed with all the Taylor Swift hate that I spent Saturday listening to Last Christmas on repeat. So, it seemed like a perfect pick for Music Video of the Day, right?
Sadly, there isn’t an official music video of Taylor’s version of Last Christmas.
So, I decided to feature her video for Back To December, instead. It’s not specifically a Christmas song. In fact, it’s generally agreed that it’s a song about Taylor’s breakup with Taylor Lautner. (Taylor Swift has never specifically confirmed who it’s about, beyond saying that the song was meant to be an apology to a former lover.) But hey, it’s December and there’s snow on the ground. As far as I’m concerned, that makes it a Christmas song.
The video was directed by Yoann Lemoine, who has several credits. (He’s also directed videos for Katy Perry, Lana del Ray, and Drake.) Taylor’s love interest is played by Guntars Asmanis.
Since I did Beck yesterday, I was obligated to do a Taylor Swift music video today since the two were brought together through the power of Kayne West.
This is the first music video from the current decade that I have done so far. I wish I was more familiar with recent music videos, but the first thing that came to mind was Limp Bizkit’s My Way except not stupid because it was directed by Mark Romanek rather than Fred Durst. My Way is that music video where they seemed to have no idea what they were going to do, so they had the band in a bunch of generic music videos that could have been done, and mixed it with a version that had the band in a simple fashion at the center of it all. In Shake It Off, that would be when she appears in a black top and bottoms.
Since it is off the 1989 album, I also thought that the different sections of the video tie-in to things that have struck Swift’s interest during her lifetime.
I also picked up that instead of it being Taylor Swift’s way or the highway, they were trying to bring the spirit of the song to a playful music video, and nothing more.
According to Wikipedia, a whole bunch of people reviewed the music video like it was the latest movie to premiere during the weekend. Romanek seems to largely agree with me by saying that “we simply chose styles of dance that we thought would be popular and amusing, and cast the best dancers that were presented to us without much regard or ethnicity” and that “if you look carefully, it’s a massively inclusive piece, it’s very, very innocently and positively intentioned. And–let’s remember–it’s a satirical piece. It’s playing with a whole range of music video tropes and cliches and stereotypes.” In other words, he made a better version of Limp Bizkit’s My Way.
Tyce Diorio was the choreographer. He has also worked as an actor, appearing in movies like Robin Hood: Men In Tights (1993) and Showgirls (1995).
Paul Martinez edited this music video.
John Emmons was the medic. There’s a credit first for me on a music video.
Samantha Abrams, Marisa Hood, and Katherine Way were backup dancers.
Whenever we have visitors here at Shattered Lens HQ, the first thing that they always seem to notice is the wide variety of music being played. Considering the number of contributors that we have working here on any given day, it makes sense. After all, we all have our own individual tastes in music and we’re not afraid to play it loud.
Of course, I’m sure it can be somewhat jarring who is, for the first time, discovering the aural experience of walking down a hallway here at the TSL Building. As you walk by Necromoonyeti’s office, you hear the sounds of metal thunder. Across the hallway, Arleigh might very well be listening to The Phantom of the Opera soundtrack. Even further down the hallway, you might hear the blogger known as Jedadiah Leland listening to anything from Nine Inch Nails to Ornette Coleman or maybe you’ll even hear my sister singing along with Beyonce. Eventually, you’ll reach my office and, nine times out of ten, I will be blasting EDM (or occasionally Britney Spears) and dancing, only turning the music down if Leonard Wilson stops by my office to continue our debate as to whether or not Aaron Sorkin is an overrated misogynist.
(Occasionally, if I’m lucky, I can convince Valerie Troutman to come to my office and sing the Degrassi theme song with me. Whatever it takes, I know I can make it through….)
Anyway, my point is that every writer at the Shattered Lens is an individual with her or his own taste in music, movies, and … well, everything. So, when you look at my list of my 10 favorite songs of 2015, you should keep in mind that these are my ten favorite songs and they do not necessarily reflect the musical opinions or tastes of anyone here at the Shattered Lens but me! And, in fact, if you want to see just how eclectic a group we here at the Shattered Lens, be sure to check out Necromoonyeti’s list of his favorite metal albums of 2015!
Anyway, here are my favorite songs of 2015. Notice that I didn’t say “best.” Instead, these are some of the songs that I spent the previous 12 months obsessively listening to. When I make my autobiographical movie about my life in 2015, these are the songs that will appear on the soundtrack!
Honorable Mention: Elle King — Ex’s and Oh’s
Ex’s and Oh’s has pretty much been my song all through 2015. However, the song itself was originally released in 2014 and this is a list of the best songs released in 2015. That said, hardly a day in 2015 went by without my listening to and singing along with this song and there’s no way I can’t include it.
Special Bonus Track Included Because Otherwise There Would Be 11 Songs Listed And Lisa Has A Phobia About Odd Numbers: Ellie Goulding — Love Me Like You Do
And now the list:
10) Adele — When We Were Young
9) Icona Pop — Emergency
8) Kelly Clarkson — Take You High
7) The Chemical Brothers — Sometimes I Feel So Deserted
6) Public Service Broadcasting — Go!
5) Taylor Swift (featuring Kendrick Lamar) — Bad Blood
4) Purity Ring — Bodyache
3) Big Data (featuring Jamie Liddell) — Clean
2) Public Service Broadcasting — Gagarin
1) The Chemical Brothers (featuring St. Vincent) — Under Neon Lights
Tomorrow, I will be posting some of my favorite things that I saw on television in 2015!
Previous Entries In The Best of 2015:
Continuing our look back at 2014, below you’ll find 14 of my favorite songs of the past year. Now, you should understand that I’m not necessarily saying that these are the best 14 songs of the year. Instead, they’re just some of my personal favorites. These are the songs that either made me want to dance or that I inevitably found myself singing off-key while I was in the shower. These are the songs that got stuck in my head and which I found myself singing whenever I was stuck in traffic.
These are 14 of my favorite songs of 2014.
14) Everything is Awesome — Tegan and Sara featuring The Lonely Island
13) Mess Is Mine — Vance Joy
12) Summer Nights — Kaskade featuring The Brocks
11) Chandelier — Sia
10) Take Ü There — Jack Ü (featuring Kiesza)
9) Blank Space — Taylor Swift
8) Runaway (U & I) — Galantis
7) Blue Sky Action — Above & Beyond featuring Alex Vargas
6) Fancy — Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX
5) Stolen Dance — Milky Chance
4) Get Low — Dillon Francis & DJ Snake
3) Don’t Leave — Seven Lions (featuring Ellie Goulding)
2) Shake It Off — Taylor Swift
1) Long Way Down — Robert DeLong
And finally, here’s my pick for the worst song and video of last year. In the past, I’ve defended some of the notoriously awful songs that have been produced and promoted by Patrice Wilson, just on the basis that they were, at the very least, memorably weird. Friday remains one of my favorite singing-in-the-shower songs and it’s fun to sing when you’re trying to annoy people on Monday. Chinese Food is — well, Chinese Food sucked but I do love Chinese food so I could at least relate to the song. But then, in 2014, came both the song Sush Up and the video featuring 11 year-old Alison Gold playing a sexualized criminal who gets electrocuted in the electric chair. And, of course, Patrice shows up to rap. And seriously — BLEH!
While I’m not going to share the video for Sush Up because it’s really creepy and icky, I will share another video that’ll make my point about Patrice Wilson.
Tomorrow, my look back at 2014 will continue with 20 good things that I saw on television in 2014!
Previous entries in TSL’s Look Back At 2014
We’re halfway through Oscar season and that means that it’s time for the Golden Globes to weigh in. To be honest, I think the Golden Globes are somewhat overrated as an Oscar precursor. For the most part, the Golden Globes usually honors the films that are on everyone’s radar and then they come up with one or two nominations that nobody was expecting. However, those surprise nominations rarely seem to translate into anything once it comes to time to announce the Oscar nominations.
So, while Salmon Fishing In The Yemen did receive a few surprise nominations (and those nominations were deserved, by the way), I doubt that we’ll see the movie mentioned on January 10th when the Oscar nominations are announced.
From the reaction that I’ve seen on the usual awards sites, a lot of the usual suspects are upset that Beasts of the Southern Wild was completely snubbed. Actually, they’re not just upset. They’re about as outraged about this as they were when The Social Network lost best picture to King’s Speech. The way they’re carrying on, you would think that someone had just informed them that David Fincher’s version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was a thoroughly unneccessary rehash of an already brilliant film. Seriously, the facade of Stone has fallen and tears are being shed.
Myself, I’m more annoyed that neither The Cabin In The Woods nor Anna Karenina are getting the love that they deserve.
Anyway, with all that in mind, here are the Golden Globe nominations!
“Life of Pi”
“Zero Dark Thirty”
BEST DRAMA ACTOR
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”
Richard Gere, “Arbitrage”
John Hawkes, “The Sessions”
Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master”
Denzel Washington, “Flight”
BEST DRAMA ACTRESS
Marion Cotillard, “Rust and Bone”
Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Helen Mirren, “Hitchcock”
Naomi Watts, “The Impossible”
Rachel Weisz, “The Deep Blue Sea”
BEST COMEDY/MUSICAL PICTURE
“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”
“Silver Linings Playbook”
“Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”
BEST COMEDY/MUSICAL ACTOR
Jack Black, “Bernie”
Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook,”
Hugh Jackman, “Les Miserables”
Ewan McGregor, “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”
Bill Murray, “Hyde Park on Hudson”
BEST COMEDY/MUSICAL ACTRESS
Emily Blunt, “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”
Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Judi Dench, “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”
Maggie Smith, “Quartet”
Meryl Streep, “Hope Springs”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Alan Arkin, “Argo”
Philip Seymour Hoffman, “The Master”
Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “Django Unchained”
Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables”
Helen Hunt, “The Sessions”
Amy Adams, “The Master”
Sally Field, “Lincoln”
Nicole Kidman, “The Paperboy”
Ben Affleck, “Argo”
Ang Lee, “Life of Pi”
Steven Spielberg, “Lincoln”
Quentin Tarantino, “Django Unchained”
Kathryn Bigelow, “Zero Dark Thirty”
“Silver Linings Playbook”
“Zero Dark Thirty”
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
“Life of Pi”
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“For You” from “Act of Valor”
Music by: Monty Powell, Keith Urban Lyrics by: Monty Powell, Keith Urban
“Not Running Anymore” from “Stand Up Guys”
Music by: Jon Bon Jovi Lyrics by: Jon Bon Jovi
“Safe and Sound” from “The Hunger Games”
Music by: Taylor Swift, John Paul White, Joy Williams, T Bone Burnett Lyrics by: Taylor Swift, John Paul White, Joy Williams, T Bone Burnett
“Skyfall” form “Skyfall”
Music by: Adele, Paul Epworth Lyrics by: Adele, Paul Epworth
“Suddenly” from “Les Miserables”
Music by: Claude-Michel Schonberg Lyrics by: Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schonberg
BEST ANIMATED FILM
“Rise of the Guardians”
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
“A Royal Affair”
“Rust and Bone”