100 things I liked in 2018
Adopting a cute little tabby cat named Ruby.
Doubling down on being away from Twitter and starting my very own Mastodon instance,
laserdisc.party. Starting a brand new long-term movie podcast with my friend
Michelle where we put the IMDb Top 250 in a bracket and work out which one is best, single-elimination style. It's called and it's great fun to do. Middlebrow Madness The podcast actually gave me an excuse to rewatch a handful of masterpieces:
Paper Moon, Unforgiven, Sherlock, Jr., Modern Times, Spirited Away, The Passion of Joan of Arc, Paths of Glory, Howl's Moving Castle. David Fincher's
. I made the key mistake of watching this on Valentine's Day. Gone Girl Listening to
“Plastic Love” by Mariya Takeuchi pretty much first thing at work every day. Turning 30. Had a smoked meat dinner with friends and loved ones. It was sweet.
. My most anticipated film of the year, my favourite film of the year, and one of my favourite films of all time. Also the late, great Jóhann Jóhannsson's Mandy score for this movie is the stuff of drone-metal nightmares, it rules so hard. Attending the
Fantasia International Film Festival as a badged member of the press for the first time. I swear I'm gonna frame that pass and lanyard and put it on my wall. Also everyone at Dim the House Lights put in incredible work: Michelle on , The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot Chris on , Cam Ross on , and yours truly on Cold Skin . Relaxer The aforementioned
Dim the House Lights, the brainchild of me and my pal Juan, still going strong and nearly old enough to go to kindergraten. Live music! Seeing They Might Be Giants, one of my favourite bands of all time, at a tiny-ass venue with about 200 people there. Seeing The War on Drugs close out the Jazz Festival with a sea of fans.
It was a good year for phone gaming.
knocked me on my ass. I sunk many hours into Florence . Pocket-Run Pool was incredibly fun. Donut County Becoming a patron of the
Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Quebec. The Jon Bois/Felix Bierderman team-up
, an Adam Curtis-esque five-part documentary about the history of mixed martial arts. While I'm here I should also mention Bois' Fighting in the Age of Loneliness and his output on Chart Party video about March Madness . Dorktown Now that I think about it, SB Nation has been consistently putting out some of the best stuff on YouTube. Shout out to their shows
and Beef History . Rewinder Going to an orchard and eating apples fresh off the tree.
. I can't believe something this off-the-wall and incendiary made it to multiplexes. Sorry to Bother You Using what little handiness I have to turn a ribbit cage into a rat mansion. Thank you, extra-large roll of chicken wire from Canadian Tire!
Doc Destructo (a.k.a. one half of the awesome WCW podcast ) going long on the failed 90s fighting game The Greatest Podcast in the History of Our Sport . Also his follow-up video on ill-advised FMV erotic thriller nightmare Tattoo Assassins was the first Great Thing I saw in 2019. Tender Loving Care Ignatiy Vishnevetsky on
the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. Spencer Hall on
Anthony Bourdain (RIP). Two podcasts from the Ringer network of products: one is
(Chris and Andy are some of the most thoughtful people out there regarding pop culture) and The Watch (fun civilian film-crit, curating what is basically a canon of “cable movies”). The Rewatchables Finally buying
derekgodin.com and making my own little Web 1.0 homepage. The Daily Beast's Jeff Maysh on
the criminals that rigged the McDonald's Monopoly game for over a decade. The Strategist's list of the
100 greatest pens. Tarot apps: the
Golden Thread Tarot, the Mystic Mondays tarot, and the Kawaii Tarot. Gizmodo's Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan on
the legend of the Doves type Watching so much
Night Court while between jobs that I ended up using its theme song as my ringtone. Also it turns out I only really watch TV when I'm unemployed. Losing my job but getting a better job in the same field.
Ty Segall's fantastic cover of Hot Chocolate's
“Every 1's a Winner.” Here he is with his band playing it on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Actually, all of Freedom's Goblin was great. A nice spring jaunt to the city of Rimouski.
Continuing the lineage of
the American Band Championship Belt. Finding a pair of leather Chuck Taylors at a thrift store that fit my clown feet.
The legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada.
Flying Lotus and Claire Denis in the Criterion closet.
. Just about as perfect as a Hollywood drama can get. And A Star Is Born “Shallow” fuckin' bangs too. The ongoing excellence of the
podcast. I wrote about it a little bit All Fantasy Everything here. I got paid actual-ass American money to write about
. Shout out to Juan for getting me the gig. Basic Instinct Eating at Denny's for the first time. They sure do know their way around a milkshake.
Brian Phillips on Facebook. The
Marvin Visions typeface. Windows96's excellent vaporsynth concoction
. One Hundred Mornings JANK CITY. My friends and I get together and play Magic: The Gathering, except instead of playing good cards, we draft those 100-card repacks you get from the dollar store. It's the best thing.
New Yorker's Neima Jahromi on Magic: The Gathering's 25th birthday. Also semi-related: some of my pals opened up a game store! Shout out to the crew at the
Silver Goblin. Still semi-related:
MtG Arena going intop open beta. Joining a union.
The ass-whipping delivery device known as
. These Indonesian stunt teams are something else. I gushed about this movie The Night Comes for Us here. My conversion to the church of
Bulk Barn. I got an owl
kigurumi for Halloween and I'd be lying if I said it wasn't one of the more comfortable garments I currently own. The always wonderful
Austin Kleon on third spaces. My friend Anastasia's borscht recipe.
. A startling piece of direction and performance. You Were Never Really Here The
podcast. This is where bad books go to get dressed by by two smart, thoughtful dudes. I Don't Even Own a Television The vegetarian poutine from Copper Branch.
, which is a continuation of my love of City Pop and... I guess “beat tape-core?” For my money, Nobody Has to Know “Love Triangle” is the standout track.
Desert Bus for Hope. Great community, great stream, great cause. I tried streaming video games a couple of times. It was fun!
. House music to wake up in the desert to. Singularity Leaning heavily into the side shave as my default haircut.
Good show notes for podcasts.
The infinite vaporwave radio station known as
Plex has been a gamechanger in the way I watch stuff at home.
. Between this, Support the Girls Results, and Computer Chess, Andrew Bujalski has made three of my favourite movies of the past five years. Taking longs walks.
Dan Olson had a hell of a year, the crowning achievement of which was his three-part, 160-minute “lukewarm defence” of the film adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey. (You can start with part one here.) His video on the use of metaphor in is also quite good. Annihilation
Gritty, the freaky-looking mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers, becoming a weird leftist icon. Cooking with new cookware.
The Cannes cut of Sergio Leone's swan song
. Once Upon a Time in America The
New Yorker's Hua Hsu on Environments
Budget Bytes, the web site that has basically fed me and my family for the last few years. GQ's Zach Baron on
Brendan Fraser. Jenny Odell's mind-melting article in the
New York Times about sketchy Amazon storefronts. Captioning mistakes.
, a podcast that emulates numbers stations. The Secret Broadcast Beefing up my copy editing shelf.
. I love silly spy shit and wackadoo stunts. Mission: Impossible – Fallout That fight in the bathroom is a thing of beauty. Related: Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie
lay the smackdown on motion smoothing. My ninth anniversary with Steph.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine on
“Weird Al” Yankovic. Going back and jamming a bunch of episodes of
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Evan Puschak, aka
Nerdwriter, put out the video that made me go back and watch all those Late Late Show episodes, which was released in 2015. But he put out a lot of videos this year that I liked, including ones about Rowan Atkinson and physical comedy, the armchair puzzle book , and Masquerade the use of film grain in . Mandy
. Exactly as fiery and polemical and excellently directed as I had hoped. Also features one of the most surprising needle drops of 2018. See if you can find it! BlacKkKlansman The
podcast. Kanye X bracketology. One Song Only Discovering this fantastic
mini-set by the Moog Cookbook from 1996. Getting reacquainted with the
Merlin Mann Podcast Universe, specifically the superlative trifecta of , Back to Work , and Do By Friday . Roderick on the Line Joining a fantasy hockey pool for the first time.
What's in Your Bag? feature. Becky Lynch cementing her legacy by
brawling her way through a busted nose. John Carpenter's
. I can't believe it took me this long to get to a movie by one of my favourite directors, starring two of my favourite actors, all of them in their prime. Starman A great holiday meal with my coworkers at
La Khaïma in Le Plateau-Mount Royal.
. It is one Paul Schrader-ass Paul Schrader movie, with a career-best performance by Ethan Hawke. First Reformed John Mulaney's hilarious comedy special
. Kid Gorgeous at Radio City Paste's Graham Techler on
the . Blank Check podcast and the intersection of comedy and criticism Long, empty days at work where all I really had to do was listen to Tatsuro Yamashita's double live album
over and over again. Joy Making
this list of my 200 favourite albums.
. Strudy, violent B movie fun. More of these, please. Upgarde Collider's Matt Goldberg on
the importance of movies on physical media. Gizmodo's
100 Websites That Shaped the Internet as We Know It. The RetroWeatherChannel Twitch channel, which pairs vintage Weather Channel bumpers with everything from period-accurate cuts to vaporwave to smooth jazz to ambient to Chet Atkins.