2021 Top Tens

Lucy Dacus at PHOME, Portland, ME

End Times Fun from the B&B gang. Stay safe. Keep rockin’.

Dylan Metrano (Tiger Saw)

  1. Jon Batiste “We Are” Largely because seeing him perform live at the Green River Fest this summer was transcendent. Absolutely one of the greatest living performers.
  2. Ada Lea “Hurt” from “one hand on the steering wheel the other sewing a garden” Best song of the year. Literally on repeat all the time on my iPod.
  3. Low “Hey What” It took me a few listens to even like it, but it keeps growing on me. Low is simply one of the greatest bands ever.
  4. Charlie Marie “Ramble On” For my money, the best country singer out there.
  5. Lucy Dacus “Home Video” Something we can all agree on. My wife’s number one. Terrific show in Portland this summer.
  6. Faye Webster “I Know I’m Funny haha” A modern classic. Like if you could listen to a mint julip. Also great at PHOME in Portland.
  7. Judy Blank & Dylan Earl “Never Said a Word” / “Throwing Lines” Killer double A-side single from the best in the biz.
  8. Leon Bridges “Gold-Diggers Sound” My favorite soul singer today.
  9. Idles “Crawler” Some excellent rock music.
  10. Mess Esque “Mess Esque” The latest from Mick Turner.
  11. Lorde “Solar Power” I’m all in.
  12. James Blake “Say What You Will” from “Friends That Break Your Heart” Another song on repeat for me. So gorgeous.
  13. The Black Keys “Delta Kream” Fun! Also the “El Camino” box set reissue with the live in Portland, Maine discs.
  14. Valarie June “The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers” She’s a good witch.
  15. Sia “Music (Songs From and Inspired by the Motion Picture)” I like the movie and the music.

Also, Khrunagbin at the Greek in L.A. The film Together, Together making such a splash. The return of Curb Your Enthusiasm. My A+ / five-star album “Wet & Unlucky” by Tiger Saw & the Reasons Why. All the Nick Cave. Keep ’em coming. Warren Ellis‘ book “Nina Simone’s Gum”. Have you heard Ranky Tanky? The continuing brilliance of David Pajo. Jonathan Richman in the VU movie. The Cocaine & Rhinestones podcast for the sheer weight of it all. Mike Birbiglia‘s pizza parties. The White Lotus. Seth Myers and the Sea Captain. Bath, Maine, city of ships. Did Superwolves play your town? Lulu and Sophie / my heart. And finally, my secret project with GSM, to be unveiled in 2022!

Eric Ott

  1. Wet Leg “Chaise Lounge” & “Wet Dream” singles. These ladies could be the next Nirvana. (Yes, I said that)
  2. Copper Cow Coffee – Woman-owned Vietnamese all-natural coffee. Smoothest coffee on the planet.
  3. The Killers “Pressure Machine” – One part Arcade Fire’s Suburbs, two parts Bruce Springsteen’s The River. An amazing LP
  4. Curb Your Enthusiasm TV show, Season 11 – HBO – The older I get the more I can relate.
  5. Snail Mail “Valentine” – Just great tunes and production.
  6. Yellowstone – TV show on The Peacock. We have been binging this for a few weeks now. Melisa calls it the Sopranos’ Cowboys, which is a good analogy.
  7. Old Fashioneds – Chapel & Maine, Sonny’s (Dover, NH) or Black Birch (Kittery, ME) can serve a great Old Fashioned. Remember to tip your bartender well.
  8. New Music. I got a free subscription to Sirius XM and I have been enjoying new music on WXMU. I feel like I have been buying more records lately.
  9. Big Thief – band – Just digging them a lot lately.

Guy Capecelatro III

Top Albums:

A lot of albums. Sure. Felt like a good year for music. For me. Home Video by Lucy Dacus was the one I listened to the most. There’s proof. Something of a singing of teen diaries but so artfully crafted and affecting. The Weather Station’s Ignorance was another big blast, which seemed like a real leap in artistry. Late to the show was Margo Cilker’s Pohorylle, produced by another favorite, Sera Cahoone; very original and traditional at the same time.

Andy Shauf – Wilds

Hovvdy – True Love

Ada Lea – One hand on the Steering Wheel…

Typhoon – Sympathetic Magic

Manchester Orchestra – The Million Masks of God

Josienne Clarke – A Small Unknowable Thing

Madi Diaz – History of a Feeling

Charlotte Cornfield – Highs in the Minuses

Keaton Henson – Fragments ep

Lou Barlow – Reason to Live

Julien Baker – Little Oblivions

Lucy Dacus – Home Video

Squirrel Flower – Planet X

Remember Sports – Like a Stone

Jade Bird – Different Kinds of Light

The Weather Station – Ignorance

Valley Maker – When the Day Leaves

Belaver – Lain Prone

Trace Mountains – House of Confusion

Margo Cilker – Pohorylle

Top TV Shows:

It feels as though TV continues to explode, in terms of writing, acting and production. Movies have definitely taken a backseat as television can set up a real well realized story arc over the course of 6-12 episodes. Condor, based on the 1975 movie Six Days of the Condor with Robert Redford, was the one I kept wishing I could binge as it was so compelling and nuanced. Mike White’s The White Lotus felt like a greatest hits of what he’s always shooting for with mildly despicable but utterly engrossing characters. And Feel Good was a weird mix of slapstick humor and thick emotional depth that had me thinking about the human experience in a different way.

Condor

Sex Education

Back to Life

The White Lotus

Insecure

UFO

Mr. Inbetween

Killing Eve

Painting With John

Lupin

Feel Good

Top Movies:

Didn’t see a single movie in the theater which means I’ve yet to see The French Dispatch and Licorice Pizza which would surely have been on this list. I can’t imagine a time in which a Jane Campion film wouldn’t be in my top picks and Power of the Dog certainly didn’t disappoint. Together Together felt very modern and small in a way that, in the hands of a good director, can really work. Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time made me cry more than I’d anticipated. Amazing to get a thorough look into such an amazing human’s life.

Power of the Dog

Nomadland

Limbo

Together Together

The Velvet Underground

Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

The Card Counter

Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time

Audrey Ryan

Top 10 podcasts:

1. S-Town

2. Goodbye to All This

3. Suspect

4. Chameleon

5. Where Should We Begin?

6. The Daily

7. Disgraceland

8. Borderlands

9. Beartown

10. Dear Sugars