Tag Archives: Herbie Hancock

Emilie’s 2010 Best List

I’ve been thinking about this post in the back of my head for the last few weeks. And now it’s come time to look back at my favorites of the year…

Books are pretty easy because I read fewer books this year than…ever. At least, any year since I’ve been keeping track and that’s a decade’s worth of reading. The last time I read fewer than 100 books in a year was my second year of grad school and I read considerably fewer than 100 books this year. So my quantity was down, but not the quality – a read quite a few books this year that I’d had on my to-read list a while.

1. Kai Meyer‘s The Dark Reflections Trilogy and most of The Wave Walkers Trilogy
2. Rebecca Cantrell‘s A Trace of Smoke
3. Audrey Niffennegger‘s The Time Traveler’s Wife
4. John Kennedy Toole‘s A Confederacy of Dunces
5. Alice Sebold‘s The Lovely Bones
6. David Madden‘s Abducted by Circumstance
7. Mary McMyne‘s Wait. (manuscript)
8. Suzanne Collins‘s last Hunger Games book Mockingjay
9. M.O. Walsh‘s The Prospect of Magic
10. Stieg Larsson‘s Millennium Trilogy (still working on the last, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest)

In the interests of full disclosure, I have some reservations about labeling some of these “best,” as I had some issues with a few of these books – notably Stieg Larsson’s books and The Lovely Bones – but they are unconditionally the ones that I invested the most time in, spent time thinking about. And there are some absolutely stellar BEST books on this list. And, of course, I read dozens of short stories through my work with Narrative, several of which I’d love to put on a best list, but can’t disclose. Interestingly, there’s no non-fiction on my list this year.

I actually saw quite a few movies in the theater this year, or maybe they stand out because I quite liked so many that I saw there. Rentals were often disappointing – slightly better than I’d expected or boring or not as good as I’d heard. So this is tough, but the movies I enjoyed the most this year:

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (I have to do it, it was so good…)
2. Inception (I saw it 3.5 times in the theater)
3. Toy Story 3 (Pixar has always been really smart with these sequels)
4. Easy A (it was as funny and good as my favorite 80s comedies)
5. Red (it was like Sneakers jacked up, so of course I loved it)
6. Exit Through the Gift Shop (of course, it’s about Banksy)
7. Going the Distance, Get Him to the Greek (a tie)
8. Twilight: Eclipse and How to Train Your Dragon (a tie)
9. Nine (I love musicals)
10. The Kids are Alright

Honorable mentions: Last Station, Hereafter, Black Swan, True Grit, Despicable Me, The Ramen Girl, St. Trinian’s, Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, The Young Victoria and Coco Before Chanel.

TV had to take a serious back burner this year because I never knew when I’d get home from work and had so much going on. This list is basically comprised of the shows that I kept up with in the chaos. Also, it should be said that I watched every episode of Law & Order SVU through Season 10 this year.

1. So You Think You Can Dance
2. Survivor
3. Castle
4. Glee
5. Raising Hope
6. Dancing with the Stars
7. United States of Tara
8. How I Met Your Mother
9. Bones
10. Fringe

My super notables:  The Tudors, In Plain Sight and 30 Rock.

I might go so far as to say that music was one of my biggest influences this year. I probably went to more concerts this year than I have every other year combined. Because my favorite songs are generally still my favorite songs from last year and the year before (with a few new exceptions), I’d much rather outline the best concerts of the year and the cds that I’ve been listening to obsessively.

CDs:

1. Lissie‘s Catching a Tiger, as well as her EP Why You Runnin’
2. Roisin Murphy‘s Ruby Blue
3. Mark Growden‘s Saint Judas
4. The Dresden Dolls‘s Yes, Virginia…
5. Black Gold‘s Rush

Shows:

1. Dresden Dolls at Tipitina’s in New Orleans
2. Black Gold at Howlin’ Wolf in New Orleans
3. Citizen Cope at Howlin’ Wolf in New Orleans
4. Simon Lott at Hi Ho Lounge in New Orleans
5. Mark Growden at Circle Bar in New Orleans

I think that just about covers the highlights of 2010, so all that’s left to say is Happy 2011!

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Filed under books, movies, music, New Orleans, pop culture, t.v., what I'm reading

Nick Fox and Slam NOLA

Slam NOLA FlyerFor all of you who have considered that my delightfully low-tech guest blogger, Nick Fox, is an alter ego I’ve invented, you can meet him tomorrow night at Dragon’s Den at Slam NOLA, the series he started up again.

And since I’ve given you the opening of one of his email newsletters, let me give you the end of the latest:

NEW ORLEANS:

That’s where I am now. The trip is a flash and I’m sitting here, preparing to go to work, scared I won’t be able to pick up where I left off when I began my trip. I’m not writing every day right now, which I think is the key to my anxiety. So I’ll hope this is the start of getting back to writing. It’s nice I had a break after finishing the book, but the break is over. Back to work.

For now, life continues as it did before I took off. I work with mules. I work outside. I play the guitar and I’m still trying to trim the excesses off my life and make it as lean and aerodynamic as I can. Before I left, and even while I was traveling, I was able to think of writing as my full-time job and anything else I did was simply what I did to make money in the meantime. That’s a place I need to get back to.

One last thing…

On Sunday night I had a great moment. I was in Jimbeaux’s on Frenchman, which was formerly The Spotted Cat, listening to Pat Casey and the New Sound. I moved into a corner by the bar just as they launched into Herbie Hancock’s “And What If I Don’t.” The piece started strong and kept lifting. Up-tempo and full on swing. And then Julian, the drummer, who might be my favorite drummer in town, went into his solo, banging the cymbals and letting the screws he’d tied to them rattle for added effect, sliding his elbows across the drums, pounding in rapid fire and pulling back and shifting tempo so deftly, getting the crowd so worked up that soon several people were shouting “Go!” and “Come on!” By the time the group crashed through the end of the piece, people looked like they’d just had a religious experience. Which they had.

I live in a place where these things happen. I cannot forget this.

I hope all of you are well. I’ll give you more updates further down the road.

And congratulations to all my friends who recently graduated from Warren Wilson. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there. I’ll say something a little more personal in the soontime.

Right? Right.

All the good songs,

Nick

[UPDATE FROM NICK RE: SLAM NOLA –

Friends! Comrades! Explosive news!

We have just received confirmation that the feature at tomorrow night’s New Orleans Poetry Slam will be Debauche, the Russian Mafia Band!

Come hear Yegor Romantsov, Count Eli, and Scott Potts’ beard perform extremely sad songs about Russian orphans, Ukranian weddings, pretzel sellers and vodka. This is a show you don’t want to miss, because if you miss it, the band will kill you.

Russian hooligans! Enormous poets! Vodka!

We’ll see you tomorrow night at the Dragon’s Den!]

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Filed under Friends, New Orleans, poetry