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totally top three: may 2018

I laughed a lot this month, let’s talk about it!

I was really, really excited about John Mulaney’s new Netflix special Kid Gorgeous at Radio City and that’s usually a bad omen for me because being excited about something often leads me to having accidentally high expectations and I do not handle having expectations well at all. But Mulaney totally delivered and I laughed a lot a lot and was just generally delighted. It also has the most beautiful stage setup I have ever seen for a stand-up set and I’d kind of just like to stare at it a lot forever which is sort of weird, but great.



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Crystal and I caught up on Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Speechless this month and they’re just such good, funny, smart, charming shows that I kind of get overwhelmed by them both. It’s nice to watch sitcoms that are consistently funny and don’t waste their time or energy on jokes that punch down. I’m also super glad that both are coming back next year!



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Ali Wong’s new special Hard Knock Wife is so so so soooooo funny. Her jokes are great and really well-paced, but what really sets her apart is her delivery. She says things in ways that I never expect and she commits 1000% to everything she does and it all made me laugh so hard that my stomach hurt afterward. I also love that no matter how outlandish or “gross” her jokes might get, they never feel like she’s trying to be ~edgy or outrageous; it feels like she’s talking to you the way she’d joke around with her friends and that makes the show feel really special.


And three to look forward to…


      

totally top three: april 2018

All I did this month was listen to music! Let’s talk about some!

The universe conspired this month and “Spell It Out” from You Me At Six’s Night People ended up on one of Crystal’s Spotify Daily Mixes and I just happened to be with her in the car while she was listening to it and it was absolute instant obsession — I think I listened to it at least a half-dozen times immediately — and the rest of the album is also pretty good. This is another band that comes up in Rock Sound’s Guess the Band and I know they’ve been around forever and apparently I should have like, looked them up sooner. Tracks to Check: “Spell It Out” & “Night People” & “Make Your Move”

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I had heard about Waterparks kind of a lot earlier this year, but had never felt particularly compelled to check them out until the video for “Blonde” ended up crossing my YouTube recommendations and it was fun enough to be intriguing. I like this album because even though it’s pretty cohesive, you also kind of don’t know what’s coming next track-to-track and I always love bands who are willing to just write the songs they want to write and go with it. Tracks to Check: “Blonde” & “Tantrum” & “Crybaby”

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You know, I’ve spent a lot of time in my life yelling wildly yelling about ~The Algorithm~ but the more I use Spotify, the more I believe it’s the only technology that truly understands me because it keeps jamming incredible songs from bands I’ve never heard of into my Discover Weekly playlist and if it did not, I would have never heard of Bear Ghost and a portion of the Ludo-shaped hole in my heart would not be filled. Blasterpiece is sooooooooooo goooooooooooood and exactly the perfect mix of fun and weird that I needed in my life. Tracks to Check: “Necromancin Dancin” & “Funkle Phil” & “All at Once”


And three to look forward to…


      

totally top three: march 2018

Reggie & the Full Effect, 41 – James Dewees is a super talented, super nice dude who makes so much music sometimes it’s hard to keep up with him. Reggie & the Full Effect is my favorite of his efforts and the albums just keep getting better. If you’ve never listened to one, you’re in for kind of a trip: he moves through a variety of genres and styles and it’s just really fun and eclectic. Tracks to Check: “Broke Down” & “Heartbreak” & “You’ve Got Secrets”

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Hanes Ecosmart fleece hoodies – If you’re in the market for a good, non-heavyweight hoodie for this dreary spring most of the US is having, I can’t recommend this one enough. They’re just nice, well-made, affordable solid color pullover hoodies that come in a nice selection of colors, hold up to washing, and are just really way more comfortable than most hoodies I’ve ever owned. (Bonus: If you’re already on Amazon buying a hoodie, you should also buy one of these kind of weird hoodie tunics which are the softest damn things on earth and come in a HUGE size range. I bought all three colors and can’t stop wearing them.)

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Everything Sucks gave me an entire Saturday of nostalgia and music I love and friendship and smart, goofy teenagers being queer and dramatic and funny and creative and loyal and fun. Crystal is the same graduating class as the freshmen on the show and I was just three years behind so it was especially surreal watching, like, my contemporaries and knowing that I would shortly be in high school, being quietly queer and slowly making a group of friends I loved with the same kind of dweeby ferocity and it’s just really refreshing to watch a story about a fairly diverse group of teenagers where everyone mostly has an okay time!


And three to look forward to…


      

totally top three: february 2018

It is extremely hard to not love an album that starts with an homage to/sample of Baz Lurman’s Romeo + Juliet soundtrack and thankfully the rest of Dead!’s The Golden Age of Not Even Trying doesn’t disappoint. This is a hell of an album with some great guitar work and really… unexpected? vocals. Also! A great album for people who are missing My Chemical Romance. Tracks to Check: “Enough Enough Enough” & “Off White Paint” & “Any Port”

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Crystal and I sat on the couch on the first Saturday of February and watched all 10 episodes of Big Mouth and laughed hysterically and also kept going, “Hmmm kids maybe shouldn’t watch this, but man, kids should really watch this.” It’s funny and gross and really, aggressively true to some of the idiotically stupid feelings you have to experience at that age. Super fun and funny.

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Not to be dramatic, but I’m pretty sure Don Broco is my new favorite band? Technology is GOOD. Really, really end-to-end excellent. There is a sort of sonic magic happening that I don’t have the musical knowledge to articulate, but it’s… incredibly special and somehow reminiscent of a lot of things I’ve loved before (They remind me a lot of CKY: my favorite band from late 2003-2007) and also not exactly like anything I’ve ever heard before. It fucking rules. Also, I wouldn’t have found them without Rock Sound’s very delightful Guess the Band YouTube series. Tracks to Check: “T-Shirt Song” & “Come Out to LA” & “Blood in the Water”


And one three to look forward to…


      

totally top three: january 2018

It’s a new year and I am making a point of talking about the things I like, loudly, as much as possible, because macroscopically things are kind of terrible and will probably continue to be for like, a long while, so I’m embracing that good microscopic shit until someone pries it from my cold dead hands.

We finally finished the second season of Stranger Things in January and despite my foot-dragging re: actually watching it, I really did end up loving it. I stand by my assertion that it’s OKAY FOR THINGS TO END and also that it probably should have been an anthology series, BUT I was really happy the entire time we were watching it and I also cried a whole bunch, so whatever, I will follow these children into the DEPTHS OF HELL probably.

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On my first day back from work after the holidays, I spent my afternoon constructing a YouTube playlist of the 1996 KROQ New Music Revolution CD because a beautiful, kind person added the tracklist to the internet. This was like, one of the most formative music collections of my youth and it was SO FREAKING FUN to listen to it again and remember what it was like to be 10-11 and just absolutely LOSING it over new music. If you’ve got any nostalgia for mid-90s altrock, give it a look/listen. The best of the best is this Menswear video I hadn’t actually seen before where there is truly too much going on with too good of a song for me to have survived as a youth.

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Fall Out Boy, Mania – I’m not going to talk about this that much since I know it’s going to be on my list at the end of the year, but this album is so good and such a complete, satisfying whole (If you’re listening to it digitally, the songs are out of order!! Here’s a Spotify playlist in the correct order.) and I haven’t loved a Fall Out Boy album this much since Folie a Deux came out (It’s their best album. I will fight you.) and I love it so much that we bought tickets to see them in Boise, Idaho (THE WORST STATE!!) and Salt Lake City even though tickets were like $600 and we’ll have to drive 32 hours/2200 miles to do it. Love will do that to you. Or something.


And one to look forward to…