Ryan Adams — La Cienega Just Smiled

Year: 2001

I think this is the only song of his I’ve listened to. It has just the right amount of angst without the controlling misogyny of say, I don’t know, Bryan Adams songs. Apparently, “La Cienega” literally means “The Swamp.” It’s a street in Los Angeles, so I guess the girl lives there. Romantic!

He’s got a bunch of Grammys, so I guess he’s popular. If you like others by him, drop them in the comments.

Ace of Base — The Sign

Year: 1993

We’re getting all of our Swedish bands out of the way! This time instead of two couples it’s three siblings and a former Nazi (seriously).

In 1994 I lived and breathed this song for months. I still have my 7th grade journal and each week I tracked how this song was doing on the charts and every week it was number one I used a ton of exclamation points. The week it fell off number one I wrote a lot of frowny faces. It was the first CD I ever bought. I still do love this song. The octave Linn Berggren goes up in the final chorus gives me chills.

I find most of their songs to be overproduced and I don’t really care for most outside of “All That She Wants” and “Don’t Turn Around.”

ABBA — One Of Us

Year: 1981

ABBA (sorry I can’t figure out the backwards “B”) was on constant rotation on the record player when I was a kid. I completely dug the ultra poppy “Rock Me,” “Take A Chance On Me,” and “Money, Money, Money.” As I grew older, “One Of Us” became my favorite. An incredibly sad song given that Bjorn and Benny wrote this during their divorce proceedings with Agnetha and Anni-Frid. The music video, while a bit weak on the cinematography, does a good job presenting the sorrow within the group.

This was their last #1 hit in Europe before they disbanded. Cool to see they got back together after 40 years to release an album a couple months ago. I listened to “Don’t Shut Me Down,” and I don’t know why it just feels like a GlaDOS song.

50 Cent (feat. Nate Dogg) — 21 Questions

Year: 2003

Beyond just the music I will occasionally write about the artists themselves and how I reconcile any conflicts with their personal lives and or racist/sexist lyrics (especially when we get to country!). I don’t think I had ever read the Wiki pages for either 50 Cent or Nate Dogg. By all accounts it seems like Nate Dogg was not the best person, with a domestic assault conviction and several more accusations and charges before he died following two strokes at 41. 50 Cent has never had any similar accusations, though his relationship with his first son is sad, with regular public feuding, saying he didn’t love him and didn’t care if he died. Way to take the high road there. He came out as very pro-gay pretty early on which is pretty cool.

As for the song itself, it’s a sweet love song reflective of the experience of black men in thug life (Tupac Shakur’s concept of that). Mostly I love the instrumentation. The guitar work is repetitive, but I love the sound of the high E at the end of every line. This won’t be the last time Nate Dogg is featured this year; he had no part in writing this one, but the King of Hooks does a slick job with the chorus and the outro.

365 Songs, 365 Artists, 365 Days

For 2022 I will be posting a song with an accompanying music video for every day of the year. Each day will be a different artist as to avoid monotony. The only times an artist will appear more than once is if he or she is a featured artist for someone else, or if the person had a band and a solo career. This only will happen a few times as I wanted to make sure the sounds were also distinct. So for example, I decided not to have a song from both Ben Folds Five and Ben Folds as you can’t easily tell the difference between the two.

I don’t like ranking songs, as that would change constantly depending on the mood I’m in. So this list will be in alphabetical order by artist.

I hope you enjoy this list. There are songs from the 1950s all the way through 2021 and every major genre is represented. Please don’t hesitate to give me recommendations for new music!

Favorite Movies By Year

Inspired by a friend. And woah, a lot of white men here. The only female directors are the Wachowski sisters, and there’s only a handful of POC. I anticipate this will get better as I age.

Will keep this updated.

1938The Lady VanishesAlfred Hitchcock
1939The Wizard of OzVictor Fleming
1941Citizen KaneOrson Welles
1946It’s A Wonderful LifeFrank Capra
1948RopeAlfred Hitchcock
1949Kind Hearts and CoronetsRobert Hamer
1950RashomonAkira Kurosawa
1952Singin’ in the RainGene Kelly, Stanley Donen
1954The Seven SamuraiAkira Kurosawa
195712 Angry MenSidney Lumet
1961Judgment at NuremburgStanley Kramer
1962To Kill A MockingbirdRobert Mulligan
1963The BirdsAlfred Hitchcock
1964Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the BombStanley Kubrick
1965The Sound of MusicRobert Wise
1966How the Grinch Stole Christmas!Chuck Jones, Ben Washam
1967The GraduateMike Nichols
1968Oliver!Carol Reed
1969Midnight CowboyJohn Schlesinger
1971Brian’s SongBuzz Kulik
1972The GodfatherFrancis Ford Coppola
1973The StingGeorge Roy Hill
1974Young FrankensteinMel Brooks
1975One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s NestMilos Forman
1976The Bad News BearsMichael Ritchie
1977Star WarsGeorge Lucas
1979AlienRidley Scott
1980The Empire Strikes BackIrvin Kershner
1981Raiders of the Lost ArkSteven Spielberg
1982Blade RunnerRidley Scott
1983Return of the JediRichard Marquand
1984This is Spinal TapRob Reiner
1985Back to the FutureRobert Zemeckis
1986Star Trek IV: The Voyage HomeLeonard Nimoy
1987The Princess BrideRob Reiner
1988Rain ManBarry Levinson
1989Indiana Jones and the Last CrusadeSteven Spielberg
1990MiseryRob Reiner
1991The Silence of the LambsJonathan Demme
1992A Few Good MenRob Reiner
1993Groundhog DayHarold Ramis
1994Pulp FictionQuentin Tarantino
199512 MonkeysTerry Gilliam
1996Sling BladeBilly Bob Thornton
1997The EdgeLee Tamahori
1998RushmoreWes Anderson
1999The MatrixLana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
2000Cast AwayRobert Zemeckis
2001Mulholland DriveDavid Lynch
2002InsomniaChristopher Nolan
2003Kill Bill: Volume 1Quentin Tarantino
2004Shaun of the DeadEdgar Wright
2005Batman BeginsChristopher Nolan
2006The Lives of OthersFlorian Henckel von Donnersmarck
2007[Rec]Jaume Balagueró
2008WALL-EAndrew Stanton
2009(500) Days of SummerMarc Webb
2010Toy Story 3Lee Unkrich
2011The MuppetsJames Bobin
2012LooperRian Johnson
2013HerSpike Jonze
2014Edge of TomorrowDoug Liman
2015Inside OutPete Doctor, Ronaldo Del Carmen
2016LionGarth Davis
2017Get OutJordan Peele
2018Spider-Man: Into the Spider-VerseRodney Rothman, Peter Ramsey, Bob Perischetti
2019ParasiteBong Joon-ho
2020Palm SpringsMak Barbakow
2021The Mitchells vs. the MachinesMichael Rianda

Quest For Glory I: So You Want To Be A Hero

Publisher: Sierra
Developer: Sierra
Year: 1992
Platform: DOS, Mac

Rating: 5

Mostly a beat-by-beat remake of the original game Hero’s Quest (changed due to copyright infringement), Quest For Glory I updated the graphics and sound to match Sierra’s SCI engine at the time. While it’s easier to play, it also lost some of the charm in the conversion.

Continue reading Quest For Glory I: So You Want To Be A Hero

Conquests Of Camelot: The Search For The Grail

Publisher: Sierra
Developer: Sierra
Year: 1990
Platform: Windows, DOS, Amiga, Atari ST

Rating: 3

A well-researched labor of love by Christy Marx, Conquests of Camelot takes a fantasy world a lot more seriously than does King’s Quest. While in many ways a nice break from the usual Sierra adventure fare, it unfortunately bit off more than it could chew and is a mess on many levels.

Continue reading Conquests Of Camelot: The Search For The Grail