Thursday, December 22, 2016

My Top 40 Music Albums of 2016

Here is a list of my top 40 favorite albums of 2016, along with my top 10 favorite albums from the 7 years prior. 

40. Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Denial
39. The Last Shadow Puppets - Everything You’ve Come To Expect
38. Chairlift - Moth
37. Yeasayer - Amen & Goodbye
36. Local Natives - Sunlit Youth
35. Animal Collective - Painting With
34. Bloc Party - Hymns
33. Little Green Cars - Ephemera=
32. Bastille - An Act Of Kindness
31. Islands - Should I Remain Here at Sea?
30. Wilco - Schmilco
29. Plants and Animals - Waltzed In From the Rumbling
28. Okkervil River - Away
27 Crystal Castles - Amnesty (I)
26. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
25. Rogue Wave - Delusions of Grand Fur
24. Band of Horses - Why Are You OK
23. The Naked and Famous - Simple Forms
22. Grouplove - Big Mess
21. Weezer - Weezer
20. The 1975 - I Like It When You Sleep, for You are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It
19. The Temper Trap - Thick As Thieves
18. Two Door Cinema Club - Gameshow
17. Ra Ra Riot - Need Your Light
16. Passenger - Young As The Morning, Old As The Sea
15. Blind Pilot - And Then Like Lions
14. Miike Snow - iii
13. Dr. Dog - The Psychedelic Swamp
12. Andrew Bird - Are You Serious
11. Sia - This Is Acting

10. Empire Of The Sun - Two Vines

9. Frightened Rabbit - Painting Of A Panic Attack

8. The Lumineers - Cleopatra 

7. The Avett Brothers - True Sadness

6. The Head And The Heart - Signs Of Light

5. Tegan And Sara - Love You To Death

4. The Strumbellas - Hope

3. Islands - Taste

2. Cloud Cult - The Seeker 

1. Radical Face - The Leaves

1. Mowgli's - Kids In Love
2. Twenty One Pilots - Blurry Face
3. Matt And Kim - New Glow
4. Metric - Pagans In Vegas
5. Death Cab For Cutie - Kintsugi 
6. Belle And Sabastian - Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance
7. Walk Off The Earth - Sing It All Away
8. Mew - + - 
9. Decemberists - What A Terrible World, What A Wonderful World
10. Chvurches - Every Open Eye

1. Future Islands - Singles
2. Passenger - Whispers
3. Bishop Allen - Lights Out
4. Tokyo Police Club - Forcefield
5. The Rural Alberta Advantage - Mended With Gold
6. Bombay Bicycle Club - So Long, See You Tomorrow
7. Spoon - The Want My Soul
8. Foster the People - Supermodel
9. Broken Bells - After the Disco
10. Manchester Orchestra - Cope

1. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City
2. Radical Face - Family Tree: The Branches
3. Twenty One Pilots - Vessel
4. The National - Trouble Will Find Me
5. Arcade Fire - Reflektor
6. Shout Out Louds - Optica
7. Crystal Fighters - Cave Rave
8. The Sounds - Weekend
9. Tegan & Sara - Heartthrob
10. Little Green Cars - Absolute Zero

1. Radical Face – The Family Tree: The Roots
2. Passion Pit - Gossamer
3. Mumford And Son – Babel
4. Miike Snow – Happy To You
5. Imagine Dragons – Night Visions
6. Two Door Cinema Club – Beacon
7. Metric – Sythetica
8. Dr. Dog – Be The Void
9. Of Monsters And Men – My Head Is An Animal
10. The Avett Brothers – The Carpenter

1. Death Cab For Cutie – Codes And Keys
2. The Sounds – Something To Die For
3. Architecture In Helsinki – Moment Bends
4. Decemberists – The King Is Dead
5. The Strokes – Angles
6. The Head And The Heart – The Head And The Heart
7. Brett Dennen – Loverboy
8. Manchester Orchestra – Simple Math
9. I’m From Barcelona – Forever Today
10. The Rural Alberta Advantage – Departing

1. The National – High Violet
2. Vampire Weekend – Contra
3. Shout Out Louds – Work
4. Mumford And Sons – Sigh No More
5. Mates Of State – Crushes
6. Dr. Dog – Shame Shame
7. Rogue Wave – Permalight
8. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
9. Matt & Kim – Sidewalks
10. Tokyo Police Club – Champ

1. The Sounds – Crossing The Rubicon
2. Passion Pit – Manners
3. Metric – Fantasies
4. Animal Collective – Merryweather Post Pavilion
5. Empire Of The Sun – Walking On A Dream
6. The Rural Alberta Advantage – Hometowns
7. Silversun Pickups – Swoon
8. We Were Promised Jetpacks – These Four Walls
9. Islands – Vapours
10. Mew – No More Stories Are Told…

Sunday, December 18, 2016

My Top 20 Favorite TV Shows I Watched In 2016

Hi everyone,

Here is the list of my top 20 favorite TV shows I watched during the year 2016, along with a small quip about each show. I wrote the quips. The quips are provided by me. I'm the quip guy. Here goes nothing.

Honorable Mentions -
These shows were good, just quite not good enough to make my top 20.
- Haters Back Off! - Netflix (Season 1)
- The Goldbergs – (Season 3-4)
- Schitt’s Creek – Amazon (Season 1)
- Downton Abbey - Amazon (Season 6)
- The Grinder - Netflix (Season 1)
- Outlander – DVD (Season 1 - 2)

- The New Girl – Netflix (Season 4-5)

20. Happy Valley - Netflix - Season 1-2
For fans of modern mysteries that take place in England and have a funny female lead. The story seemed familiar, yet intense, but it was the female lead's performance that stole the show. I'll definitely catch season 3 when it comes out.

19. House of Cards - Netflix - Season 4
This show is still fantastic, but it lost a little steam for me this season. Every character in this entire show is evil and I think it drained on me a bit. Still very well written and acted and given this year's election, it may not be too far off reality now.

18. Vikings - Amazon Prime - Season 4
The show rebounded a bit this season with new story lines and characters. If you are a fan of violent Vikings that plunder and pillage and the drama that ensues, you'd like this show.

17. One Mississippi - Amazon Prime - Season 1
Can a show be considered a comedy, of you only laugh like 10 times the entire season? While this show is about a comedian, and only six short episodes, it is filled with love, life and heart. The story revolves around a female comedian that survived breast cancer, but loses her mom. It is packed with such powerful moments. I really liked this show.

16. Game Of Thrones - DVD - Season 5-6
I am not a huge GOT guy, but I would be doing it a huge disservice not to say it is a well crafted and fantastic show. There are far too many characters for me to follow and I don't have a clue what's going on half the time, but it still sucks me in and I still binge an entire season in just a few days. Plus, dragons!

15. Narcos - Netflix - Season 1-2
I'm a bit surprised I love this show so much, given that 3/4 of the dialog is in Spanish and I have to actually READ WORDS! Still, the entire story of Pablo Escobar and the cartel was fascinating. I look forward to seeing where the story goes now that he is [spoiler] dead.

14. The Missing - Amazon Prime - Season 1
This show reminded me a lot of Happy Valley (see #20), but it brought even more intensity and more drama to the table. The twists and turns throughout kept me dialed in the entire time. I couldn't wait to watch the next one.

13. Daredevil - Netflix - Season 2
While many of the characters in this show actually annoy me, including Daredevil himself, this is still the best superhero show on TV.

12. Family Tree - Amazon Prime - Season 1
So many laughs throughout this Christopher Guest project. There is not much to the plot, but the characters come alive and their various oddities had me cracking up. I wish there would be a season 2. Unfortunately, there won't be.

11. Crazy Ex Girlfriend - Netflix - Season 1
The songs in this show are hilarious. The songs have me rolling. The dialog is moderately funny and the characters likable enough. But the songs are absolutely what put this show over the top and into #11 on my list.

10. Black Mirror - Netflix - Season 1-4
No show has made me feel more uncomfortable, challenged my thinking and been just downright wrong than this show. Yet I couldn't stop watching. If you are curious how technology could change the world for both the better and the worse and you're not afraid to feel uncomfortable about it, this show is for you!

9. The Americans - Amazon Prime - Season 3
I feel bad only ranking this show at #9. Really, this show is near perfect. It might be the most well acted show on TV.

8. Justified - Amazon Prime - Season 6
The final season of what has become one of my all time favorite shows. I will miss the action, the drama and the fights. But most of all, I will miss the clever dialog between the characters that never missed a beat.

7. Rectify - Netflix - Season 3
Still the absolute best show on TV that no one is watching. This show will stretch your thinking, make you feel in new ways and bring you to tears. Basically, you should be watching. Why aren't you watching? Start watching.

6. The Walking Dead - Netflix - Season 6
Still a bit of a guilty pleasure for me, I am committed and hooked until the bitter end on this show. I can't stop Walking Dead.

5. The Detectorists - Netflix - Season 1-2
The biggest surprise for me on the list. I watched both seasons twice, I loved this show so much. I found it to be charming, I loved the scenery and I laughed large barrel laughs on several occasions. This small little show captured my attention and pulled me in. The best comedy I watched this year.

4. Better Call Saul - DVD - Season 2
I thought season 2 was better and more drama-filled than season 1, and I loved season 1.

3. Mr. Robot - Amazon Prime - Season 1
It got really strange on me at the end, and I normally am not able to keep up with that kind of strange, but I was able to follow this show and it made me feel smart. I like shows that make me feel smart for following. I am really smart. Mr. Robot!

2. Stranger Things - Netflix - Season 1
Not sure if it was because this show made me feel nostalgic or if it's just because it is just an incredible show, but this show rocked in every way it could rock.

1. Fargo - DVD - Season 2

Two years running and it is still my favorite show, hands down. I can not express how much I love this dark show. Season 2 surpassed an amazing season 1!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

My Top 20 Favorite Songs of 2016

Here are my top 20 favorite songs of 2016 in descending order...

20. Two Door Cinema Club - Are We Ready?
19. Grouplove - Welcome To Your Life
18. Blind Pilot - Packed Powder
17. Empire Of The Sun - High And Low
16. The Naked And Famous - Higher
15. Band Of Horses - Casual Party

14. Dr. Dog - Bring My Baby Back
13. Ra Ra Riot - Absolutely
12. The 1975 - Somebody Else
11. The Strumbellas - Spirits
10. The Lumineers - Cleopatra
9. Sia - Unstoppable
8. Tegan And Sara - Boyfriend
7. Weezer - Wind In Our Sails
6. The Avett Brothers - Smithsonian 
5. Islands - No Milk No Sugar
4. The Head And The Heart -Library Magic
3. Frightened Rabbit - Woke Up Hurting
2. Miike Snow - Genghis Khan 
1. Radical Face - Road To Nowhere

Saturday, April 16, 2016

My Favorite Movies of 2015

It's that time again. Time for me to select my favorite movies from the previous year.

I know what you're thinking... it's April, Abe. You should have done this list months ago.  Yes, yes, I know, it is April. The thing is, I don't have a lot of money and it takes money to see movies in movie theaters. Therefore, the majority of movies I watch, I watch in the comfort of my own home. Unfortunately, movies are not released on DVD the second they are released in theaters.

Now, I suppose that by now I could be called a "movie snob" as I have released this list several years in a row now. However, ignore my snobbishness and do yourself a favor and see the movies at the top of the list. I've decided to go all out this year and give you my top twenty favorite movies AND a few honorable mentions. (Stay tuned at the end for previous years' favorites.)

(Oscar best picture nominees are noted with a *)

Honorable Mentions

Train Wreck (R)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II (PG-13)
*The Big Short (R)
Jurassic World (PG-13)
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (PG-13)
Spectre (PG-13)
*Bridge of Spies (PG-13)
      The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (PG-13)



Okay, so this is a guilty pleasure for me and it helps that I have a bit of a celeb crush on Anna Hendrick. There are still plenty of laughs in this one though.


The best Steve Jobs movie so far. I knew nothing about Steve Jobs. Now I know a little about Steve Jobs. The acting was superb in this movie and the tech talk was a little over my head. Still enjoyable enough.


The plot was over my head. The bad buy was a bit convoluted. Sometimes I had no clue what was going on. But it was still included my favorite superheros flying around, battling evil. It was fun. Fun enough.

17. DADDY'S HOME (PG-13)

I was so excited to see this movie. The Other Guys is one of my all time favorite comedies and I was excited to see Will Farrell and Mark Wahlberg on screen together. They have such great comedic chemistry. Unfortunately, this movie relied more on physical gags than clever dialog and it suffered for it. Fortunately, there was enough to keep it going and I chuckled quite a few times. It was funny. Funny enough.

16. THE DUFF (PG-13)

Obviously, I am not a big high school comedy guy, but this movie had a lot of heart and sincere comedy that rarely falls flat and that you don't find in most high school comedies.


Alright, this might be the movie I liked most that was most universally panned by movie critics.  That being said, I had such a fondness for the book, I came into the viewing very biased.  I thought the movie captured the heart of the book, even though a couple of the most funny parts of the book are suspiciously missing from the movie. I actually thought the casting was perfect and I smiled all the way through.


Not the best animated movie of the year (stay tuned), but very solid. I thought it was one of the most beautifully animated scenery ever animated. The scenery was worth the ticket price alone. Also, the scene where they eat the rotten fruit: BRILLIANT!


This movie was wildly rowdy, raunchy and inappropriate and went on WAY TOO LONG, but had some hilarious scenes. I think the real reason I ranked it this high is sitting in the theater with my wife and listening to her giggle uncontrollably at a certain scene in which a guy sits on music box. This movie would likely be ranked higher if it it didn't go on too long.

12. *BROOKLYN (PG-13)

This movie proves that a movie can be cute and simple and work in every way. This is a honest and clear love story. Normally a movie this simple would not work. The acting and the heart this movie holds make it work so well. 

11. CREED (PG-13)

Talk about formlamatic and predictable. This movie was everything I expected from a Rocky movie and I loved every second. This is the second movie in as many years that Michael B. Jordan has been snubbed for an Oscar nomination. His acting stole the show and he is fast becoming my favorite actor.

10. *SPOTLIGHT (R) (Best Picture Winner)

Interesting, sickening and well acted, this was a story that needed to be told. I disagree with the choice of Best Picture, but I agree that it is an important movie that sheds light on a crucial time in history. I enjoyed it, but I liked three other Best Picture nominees more.


I have never been an all-out Star Wars geek. I mean, I've always liked Star Wars, but I am not one of those people, you know? Anyway, I was thrilled to finally see a good Star Wars movie again and I liked it, I really did. Somehow, however, it did not resonate with me as much as I thought it would. I liked it and I'll leave it at that.


Matt Damon #1 fan here. I love that guy. He gained all that weight to buy a zoo. Now he lost it all and is way too skinny in The Martian. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this movie. I enjoyed this movie so much, I went right home and pooped on my garden.


I initially loved this movie. I still love this movie, but a little less as time has passed. DiCaprio grunts and moans and grunts his way to Oscar. I have never had a movie make me feel so cold. I wanted to curl up in a bear skin and cuddle with my wife. All that being said, I thought this was a beautiful movie. Beautiful and brutal.


Who says there is not any original ideas in Hollywood anymore? This movie is original, strange, twisted, creepy and I found that I couldn't keep my eyes off of it.

5. ANT MAN (PG-13)

This is my new all-time favorite superhero movie. I think because Ant Man is so cool. But also because it is hilarious and Paul Rudd rules. This was the funniest movie of the year. And it was a superhero movie. Go figure.


For a long time, this was my #1 movie of the year.  Now it sits here at #4. I enjoyed this movie as much as my kids did and I am an adult. And this is a cartoon. Mind blown.


Besides Joseph Gordon-Leavitt's terrible accent, this was a near perfect movie. It had thrills, love, a true story. Definitely a feel-good movie and it was family friendly!


If you've read any of my lists, you know I love a good coming-of-age movie. This one did the trick for me this year. It helped that this movie had laughs galore throughout and the acting was superb.

1. *ROOM (R)

Looking at my past lists, this was my favorite movie of the past four years and one of the best movies I've ever seen in my life. I loved it that much. PLEASE SEE THIS MOVIE! It should have won best picture. I'm disappointed it didn't.

10. The Hobbit
9. Alexander and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
8. The Theory of Everything
7. Joe
6. Big Hero 6
5. Boyhood
4. The Imitation Game
3. Big Eyes
2. Whiplash
1. St. Vincent

10. The Heat
9. Mud
8. The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
7. Despicable Me 2
6. Gravity
5. Short Term 12
4. Nebraska
3. 12 Years a Slave
2. Philomena
1. The Kings of Summer

10. Premium Rush
9. Moonrise Kingdom
8. The Amazing Spiderman
7. Looper
6. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
5. Argo
4. Frankenweenie
3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
2. Sleepwalk With Me
1. Safety Not Guaranteed