Tag Archives: lists

The Strangulation’s Favorite TV Shows of 2010

I don’t watch TV. I only have a TV to play videogames, and I rarely turn it on to watch Discovery Channel or a movie or when I’m really, really bored I’ll flip through the channels and get even more bored. TV in my country is shit. I do, however watch shows “illegally” from my computer or my PS3. No commercials and no time slots. No good quality, either. And so, here are some of the shows that I’ve enjoyed the most this year. In no order whatsoever.

Community
Community is a recent discovery of mine. I started hearing a lot of great things about it and I decided to give it a try. It’s a great show, it has clever humor combined with a great heart. Season 2 picked it up a lot, and started being a lot more funny and touching. I devoured all of the available episodes in about a week. I love it, can’t wait for it to come back. I might call this the best comedy right now.

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
Back in September when I went to see Spoon I happened to catch an episode of this show with a friend and we both thought it was hilarious. When I came back, I started watching it and it truly is something else. It’s not a very smart kind of humor, but it gets the job done and they really pay a lot of attention to the details, which is great. The recent seasons haven’t been so good, but the new one is on par with the old ones.

Modern Family
I found it hard to get into this show, but once I did it became really enjoyable. It’s not great, but it’s something fun to watch and relax.

The Sopranos
My brother borrowed me the first seasons of this show and I finally got a chance to see it after all the hype I had heard. It’s good. In fact, it might be some of the best TV I’ve watched. HBO sure knows how to put on great shows. Throughout the whole series, I never felt like any season dropped off the quality or like it got boring. It was always a constant stream of great acting, brilliant writing and clever plots.

Mad Men
Another show that I heard a lot about before. I just started watching it and I have not fallen in love with it, but I can understand why people like it. Gonna have to spend more time with it, I guess.

Top Gear
This is a show that I watch occasionally. I’m not really into cars, but it’s always fun to catch an episode or two once in a while. The guys are always funny and the things they do are incredibly stupid.

The Office
I’ve watched this show since it began and I’ve always found it fun, but the recent seasons have felt like a drag. Just end it, please! It’s still fun to watch, but it’s not the same thing it used to.

Kenny vs. Spenny
A friend introduced me to this show about 2 years ago. I’ve been watching it when I get a chance, it’s a lot of fun. Kenny is an evil genius. Those canadians really are something else. I hear it ended a few days ago, but I haven’t watched the final episode yet.

Diggnation
Not really a TV Show, but I watch this religiously. Fun Fun Fun.

The Totally Rad Show
Another show from the Rev3 family, I have found myself watching these pretty much everyday since they switched to the daily format. I get a lot of recommendations through these guys.

Californication took a break this year, so that’s why it’s not included. Otherwise it’d just be number one, always. It is coming back in about a week, so, excitement!

The Strangulation’s Favorite Things of 2010

There are some things that just don’t fit in any categories for lists. Here are some of those things.

Kindle
I got my Kindle around September and it has become one of my favorite devices. My reading has increased greatly since I got it, because it makes it easier for me to get new books. I just regret not getting the 3G one.

Appstorm
Another thing that happened in September is that I started working as a freelance writer in a little website called Mac.Appstorm (it’s actually not little). My favorite thing about being a writer is that I can call myself a writer and be a douche about it. See, I can be as much of a Hank Moody or a Tucker Max as I want now. It’s like a free pass, you are expected to do those things and behave a certain way while being a payed writer, not just a shitty writer on an unsuccessful personal blog  (like this one).

Seriously though, I love my job. I want to do it forever. I’m thinking of expanding to other blogs next year. It’s been great. And I think I got the job because of my early writings on this blog, which is awesome. Throughout my young life, I have had numerous jobs, and I haven’t enjoyed any of them, until now. This is a “job” that I am excited about and that I truly like and look forward to do. Please don’t fire me, ever.

By the way, I got the domain for this site with my first paycheck, just like it should be done. Now I’ve invested money into my mediocrity.

Bukowski
I started reading Bukowski this year and I almost got through all of his novels. There was a time this year when I was very, very much into him.  But then he got repetitive and a little boring. He has become one of my favorite writers and I truly enjoy his character, but it’s easy to get tired of him and his old man ramblings. Women is now a monumental book in my life. It’s hard to explain, but I felt like it was very honest and like it spoke to me. So did Ham On Rye, but I got a bit bored through it.

Evernote
I had used this service before, but I never found a real functional use for it. This year I found myself in need of it and I started using it again. Now it is the centerpiece of my life (exaggerate much?). It is now the home of my resolutions, lists of various stuff, reminders, quotes, websites, notes, recipes, and just about everything else.  Part of why I love it so much is because I get to use it from the web, my computer and my iPod. Best app ever.

GTD Apps
Because of my job, I get to review and test a lot of new and interesting apps. One of them was an app called Wunderlist, and it is a Getting-Things-Done app. I had heard about these type of apps but I had never used one of them, until I reviewed this one. And since then I have been using it – a lot. It’s amazing how many things I forget to do. This app is a great help for remembering stuff to do.

Arcade Fire Live
Because of where I live (I use this excuse a lot), I don’t get to see many concerts. So, my experience with concerts is not exactly wide, and whenever I see one it is a pretty big experience for me. Well, this one was extra special. I got to see the closing tour date of one of my, if not my favorite band, and it was truly an unforgettable experience. The setlist was great, they gave us “Laïka” as a gift, Regine cried during “In The Backseat”, they played “In The Backseat” and I screamed like a 12 year old girl throughout the whole concert. Great times. I got very, very sick after the concert (medication + beer + 3 AM october cold is never good for the body while you are already sick), but it was worth that and another dozen near-death diseases.

Mexico City
Throughout the summer, I spent some time living in Mexico City, partly working and partly not working. I had a lot of free time to get to know the city and use its public transportation services. I went for a run in some of its popular parks. I got robbed and I returned pretty much empty handed to my hometown. I got lost on a rich neighborhood while listening to Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs on repeat (that was back when it came out). I was driven by a cab driver who literally cried his problems to me while I pretty much ignored him (I didn’t know what to do). It was a different experience. I didn’t spend much time there, but I learned to love the city. When I went back there later in September to see Spoon, I met interesting people and I got lost again. I love that city now. The weather is great, there is plenty to do and there’s a certain ambience to it that I’ve gotten used to. I couldn’t live there, but I love visiting it.

Pavement
Pavement is one of those bands that you hear about over and over again but you never get around to checking out. I’m glad I got to check them out, because I never expected to like them so much. Great stuff.

The Four-Hour Body
This is a book by Tim Ferriss that came out a couple weeks ago. I’ve been a fan of him for a while now, and even though his advice isn’t directed at people like me, I have learned a lot about him. I religiously read his blog and watch his Random podcast with another personality that I admire, Kevin Rose. I’ve been waiting for the release of this book since he first announced it and when it came out I devoured it. It’s interesting. It debunks a lot of long-time beliefs about health and a healthy lifestyle (I am into that sort of things, I am the kind of person that enjoyed Fast Food Nation). It will definitely change a lot about me, like the things I eat and the way I work out, if anything just to see if his theories are right. This guy is a great personality and everyone should learn from him.

The Concerts
This year I got to see more concerts than I’ve ever seen any other year. They weren’t a lot, but they were plenty for me. I got to see Arctic Monkeys, Spoon, Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem. To Arctic Monkeys, I went with a bunch of friends and it was a great, fun experience. Awesome night of debauchery. To Spoon, I went to Mexico City with a friend and it was fun, but the kind of classy fun, not the kind of drunk-insult-puke fun. That concert was great, though, and I got to meet Britt Daniel and Rob Pope before the concert and exchange a few awkward words with them. Then, Arcade happened and I got sick because it was so awesome. Ans to end the year I went alone (sidenote: sad face) to LCD Soundsystem after a couple of friends let me down. It turned out to be a great night, I danced myself clean and I met some cool people. Next year: Bonnaroo?

Switching to Mac
Yep, I made the move and became a douche. It was long overdue, really. I’ve been an Apple fanboy for a while now and I was just waiting to get a Macbook. Then it got stolen and I got another one. My next objective is getting an iPad and one of those new Macbook Airs (those things are sexy!).

Food Mob
Food Mob was a short-lived Rev3 show that got me into cooking. They decided to finish it because they didn’t get the response they expected from it, but hey, neither did I with this blog and I kept it going. I’ll miss you, Food Mob.

The Strangulation
This blog started as a personal project of stuff that I like; at first I thought of it as sort of an archive. I was inspired to start it by Gary Vaynerchuk and his Crush It! book, except that I never expected to make a dime off of it (that’s why I have my freelance projects). Not only did it help me to improve my writing skills and indirectly get a job, it also is an outlet for my lackluster hipster music knowledge, and a way for me to share my opinions with the world. It helps me realize things, but especially, it makes me feel good about myself. It makes me feel productive. Like, I’m contributing something to the world, even if the world doesn’t appreciate it. I hate not feeling productive.

Well, that’s it for a great year. In the next few days: The Strangulation’s Favorite Games and TV Shows!

The Strangulation’s Favorite 10 Movies of 2010

Because of where I live, I don’t get to see a lot of movies that I would like to see but never make it over here. 127 Hours is an example. True Grit is an example. The Social Network, another. However, I usually find a way to see these movies despite them not being available on my area. That is why my list won’t be extensive, and why there may be movies that came out in late ’09 but I didn’t get to see until this year. So, this list is just for funsies and should not be taken seriously by anyone.

10. Kick-Ass
I guess it was because of the hype, but I didn’t really enjoy this movie as much as I thought I would. I still liked it for its premise, but the humor in it was pretty much non-existent for me, and it ended up being just entertaining.

9. Hot Tub Time Machine
A really good comedy, but it doesn’t really do anything new and I found its humor to be lackluster through most of the movie. I think the idea of it was very good and I was entertained by it, but it had potential for much more.

8. Easy A
Emma Stone, in slutty clothes for an hour and a half. No matter how bad this movie was, it was bound to end on this list for that reason. And it actually was quite fun, I enjoyed it.

7. Get Him To The Greek
It didn’t really work that well as a spin off of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, but I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and I constantly laughed through it. That Aldous Snow dude is hilarious, especially for his accent and his eccentricity.  And Jonah Hill is always ok.

6. Paranormal Activity 2
Liked the first one. This one is pretty much the same, but with a few additions. I liked that they didn’t really swerve from their original premise, not even because they had more money than the world. Again, entertaining but not perfect.

5. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
I never read the comic, because I don’t read comics (except for web comics), but I heard all the hype it got and I had high expectations for this movie. For the most part, it kept up to them. This was a really, really fun movie, and I was laughing constantly at its own ridiculousness.

4. Toy Story 3
Pixar, bla, nostalgia, bla.  I didn’t cry in it like most of the people I know did, but I did find it touching.

3. The Social Network
Oh, I liked this. When I first heard about it I thought it was the stupidest idea for a movie ever, but it ended up being really, really good. The script was genius. The soundtrack went along with it perfectly. Jesse Eisenberg surpassed expectations that were pretty much non-existent for him. I guess the genius of this movie is more in the fact that everybody expected it to be boring but it ended up being pretty dramatic.

2. Fantastic Mr. Fox
2009, I know, but I didn’t get to see it until this year. Also, it’s sort of an “indie” release, so those never really have a definitive release date. I loved this movie and I’ve watched it about 3 or 4 times. It’s lovely!

1. Inception
Well, no surprises there. In my humble opinion, this movie was perfect. I just re-watched it a couple days ago and it’s even better, as there are many things you don’t notice there the first time around.

Movies I wish I could have seen:

True Grit

127 Hours

I’m Still Here

The Fighter

A Prophet

The Strangulation’s 25 Favorite Albums of 2010

Year-end lists are a difficult topic. The thing is, they are very personal and they very much depend on each person. Let’s make some stuff clear: I mostly listen to hipster music and I don’t exactly listen to as many music as other music writers do. I mean, I consider that I listen to a lot of “obscure” bands and I proud myself in my wide and ever-changing music library. But, I still read, let’s say, Pitchfork’s or NME’s yearly lists and I realize that I don’t know about half of the bands they mention. WHATEVER, DOUCHEBAGS. I listen to stuff that I like, not stuff that I’m fed. And this is the result of a year of constant, but apparently not enough music listening. It is not objective, it’s an entirely subjective list, because yes. That’s why it says “favorite albums” in the title, not “best albums”. I was gonna do a write up on each one of these, but I realized around number 8 that no one will read them and I don’t have that much time or stuff to say about this albums. I like them and that’s it. I don’t need no reasons.

Enter my list:

25. Heaven Is Whenever – The Hold Steady

24. Astrocoast – Surfer Blood

23. My Best Friend Is You – Kate Nash

22. Infinite Arms – Band of Horses

21. Contra – Vampire Weekend

20. The Wild Hunt – The Tallest Man On Earth

19. All Delighted People (EP) – Sufjan Stevens

18. Transference – Spoon

17. Beat The Devil’s Tattoo – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

16. Stuck On Nothing – Free Energy

15. The Drums – The Drums

14. Big Echo – the morning benders

13. Together – The New Pornographers

12. How I Got Over – The Roots

11.Broken Dreams Club (EP) – Girls

10. Total Life Forever – Foals

9. Teen Dream – Beach House

8. Brothers – The Black Keys
Brothers is a rock solid album, there’s no second spared in it. In this release, for the first time (I think), the boys brought on more instruments, but managed to make it without getting rid of their bluesy two-man band vibe. A great record, and I have not stopped coming back to it since it came out.

7. False Priest – of Montreal
Here’s a controversial choice. of Montreal is a thing of the past for most people, but honestly, I think False Priest is close to being their best release. I think it’s funny, catchy, lovable and charming. For once, the music isn’t the only cheery thing about Kevin Barnes’ music, as the lyrics also take place in the positive vibe of the album. I don’t care that they aren’t writing about drugs and addiction anymore, this new of Montreal is fun!

6. High Violet – The National
I highly anticipated this album, and it didn’t disappoint me. It might be The National’s saddest and darkest album, but it’s also a beautiful piece of art.

5. Age of Adz – Sufjan Stevens
Mr. Soofy returned with this album after (sort of) a 5 year hiatus, and it is very much hit or miss for most people. Personally, I love it, just like anything Sufjan does. In this album he took a more electronic vibe and his complicated arrangements got maximized and shot up to the sky. Despite its abstractness, it is very easy to get into it and it’s very relatable. It might be Sufjan’s most personal album. And “Impossible Soul” is probably the song of the year.

4. The Monitor – Titus Andronicus
One solid contender for the best of the year, and it was my favorite for the most part of the year. It was hard deciding its position, but the truth is their live performances are a buzz kill and the album does not age as well as I thought it would. Still, this album is very close to my heart. Teenage angst and mediocrity at its best.

3. This Is Happening – LCD Soundsystem
Here’s a band that definitely won’t be coming back, and this album was the perfect closer for their awesome carrer and trilogy of albums. Like them or not, they did create a new semi-genre and gave rise to dozens of new bands that would follow what they did. They took danceable music and mixed it with real lyrics, that talked about daily stuff with a clever air to it. I personally think they couldn’t have ended on a higher note, their live performances  are the shit and I totally agree with the whole “let’s kill it before it’s dead” train of thought. Maybe The Office should take a page out of James Murphy’s book of life (I would totally read that if it was a real book).

2. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – Kanye West
It’s been at the top of most year-end lists, and even though there’s a lot of controversy around whether it should or shouldn’t be the best album of the year (as always). It truly is a piece of art and everything the media has made it to be. Kanye is a douchebag. He’s quite an eccentric character, and I find that very ballsy and cool. This is his masterpiece. Technically, everything he does after this should be mediocre compared to this, but we’ll have to see that.

1. The Suburbs – Arcade Fire
The Monitor was my favorite record for a while, but it came out early in the year and boy, did awesome stuff come out after it. I heard The Suburbs heavily while I was temporarily living in another city, and it really stuck to that experience. Everything about this album was great. It was different from their previous album, but not that much of a surprising leap. The songs are structured differently but they achieve the same emotional tension that has become so characteristic in their work. It is the climax of a great band, and it was a beautiful evolution to presence. I saw them live back in October, in what could possibly be one of my best nights (even though everything around the concert was pretty boring, and I got really, really sick after the concert). I have never felt such a connection with a band as with Arcade, and I thank them for making awesome music.

Honorable Mentions:

The Social Network – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

Inception (Music From The Motion Picture) – Hans Zimmer

Volume Two – She & Him

Everything In Between – No Age

Congratulations -MGMT

Sea of Cowards – The Dead Weather

Sit Down, Man – Das Racist

Amador – Adanowsky

Treats – Sleigh Bells

Albums I wish I had heard:

Plastic Beach – Gorillaz

The Adventures of Bobby Ray – B.o.B.

The Orchard – Ra Ra Riot

Surfing The Void – The Klaxons

Wake Up! – John Legend & The Roots

New Amerykah, Pt 2: Return of the Anhk – Erykah Badu

The Lady Killer – Cee Lo Green

Update:
Throughout the holidays I have gotten a lot of listening time with a few albums that I hadn’t had time for before. Especially, The Archandroid by Janelle Monáe and Sigh No More by Mumford & Sons, but also including Lisbon by The Walkmen, Halcyon Digest by Deerhunter, In This Light And On This Evening by the Editors, Odd Blood by Yeasayer, Man On The Moon II by Kid Cudi and The Winter of Mixed Drinks by Frightened Rabbit. I’m sure some of those would have made the list if I had listened to them previously.