Last year was another year of really loving Hamilton it seems – along with some pop and instrumentals.
This visualization is a little off because it’s based on data from the last 365 days and not 2021, but it’s close and I like it.
My top ten artists:
Leslie Odom Jr. – for Hamilton
Lin-Manuel Miranda – Hamilton again
Original Broadway Cast of Hamilton – obvious
Weezer – because I loved their Teal Album
Vitamin String Quartet – due to their instrumental versions of songs from Bridgerton
Call Me A Hole – actually a mash-up of Nine Inch Nails and Carly Rae Jepsen on YouTube
Poppy – all because of one cover of a t.A.T.u. song
Montaigne – thanks to making the new theme song for My Brother, My Brother and Me
Lil Nas X – because Matt was surprised I didn’t know any songs by him and claimed I actually did. Turns out, I had heard Old Town Road but didn’t know who performed it
Spice Girls – because my neighbors started blasting Spice Girls at 3 in the morning and it put me in the mood to listen to more
My top albums:
Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording) by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Bridgerton (Covers from the Netflix Original Series) by Vitamin String Quartet
Weezer (Teal Album) by Weezer
All The Things She Said by Poppy
Spice by Spice Girls
Heaven & Hell by Ava Max – but only one song I think
Nena by Nena – again because of one song
Release Me by The Like – thank you Barnes & Noble for making me listen to this all day until I loved it over a decade ago
7 EP by Lil Nas X
When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? by Billie Eilish
My top tracks mostly make sense given the top albums and artists, although there are few stragglers – numbers 9 and 10 don’t have artists or albums that show up on my top ten lists.
Call Me A Hole, Nine Inch Nails / Carly Rae Jepsen Mash-Up – I can’t believe this was my most played song, although I’ll note that it’s actually tied with a real song haha
All The Things She Said by Poppy – tied for first
Yorktown (The World Turned Upside Down) by Original Broadway Cast of Hamilton
Kings & Queens by Ava Max
Guns and Ships by Leslie Odom Jr.
Nur geträumt by Nena
Old Town Road by Lil Nas X
Technicolour by Montaigne
You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) by Dead or Alive
Merry Happy by Kate Nash
Spotify Wrapped gave some interesting bits of information, but I don’t think it reports as clearly as Last.fm – plus, Spotify only considers data from 1/1 through 10/31.
Looks like I’m pretty average as Spotify users go.
I really have no idea what this means. I don’t think I’ve ever thought to myself “time to listen to some spooky and bold music.”
This, on the other hand, seems super accurate! I didn’t even realize how accurate it was, but now I love it.
As for live music, 2021 was obviously better than 2020. I went to one concert – The Aquabats, The English Beat, and Dead Man’s Party; it was awesome! I saw one virtual concert – The Aquabats! Legion of Righteous Comrades! You Pick the Set List! Livestream Concert! That title sure had a lot of exclamation marks. I saw a singer/guitarist at a small event.
I also saw The Nightmare Before Christmas Live-to-Film Experience at the Banc of California Stadium, which features Danny Elfman, Paul Reubens, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Billie Eilish, and Ken Page. Plus, at the end Steve Bartek of Oingo Boingo joined Danny Elfman on stage to play Dead Man’s Party.
And I can’t leave out more Hamilton! I saw Hamilton at the Pantages twice in 2021!
It looks like this year I really liked Hamilton again with Leslie Odom Jr. and Lin-Manuel Miranda tracks swapping places and both passing The Orion Experience, which was number one for the past two years yet fell to fourth this year. Jack Stauber’s Micropop and Shawn Wasabi are newcomers to the top!
Here’s my top 10 (as shown above but put into text in case the image breaks):
Leslie Odom Jr.
Jack Stauber’s Micropop
The Orion Experience
Royal & the Serpent
Original Broadway Cast of Hamilton
SilverLetomi performing a WoW parody of I’m Still Standing by Elton John (but scrobbling from YouTube yields an incorrect artist name)
My top albums aren’t a surprise given the artists
Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording) by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording) by Various Artists
(Above two combined)
Micropop by Jack Stauber’s Micropop
Cosmicandy by The Orion Experience
Overwhelmed by Royal & the Serpent
Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum by Tally Hall
Лучшие by Звери
Otter Pop (feat. Hollis) by Shawn Wasabi
In Character by Blood and Water
‘Cause I’m a Liar (Kokichi Oma Fan Song) by Mcki Robyns-P
My top tracks are mostly Hamilton!
Overwhelmed by Royal & the Serpent
Guns and Ships by Leslie Odom Jr.
I’m Still Standing by SilverLetomi
Right Hand Man by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Guys Don’t Like Me by It Boys!
Aaron Burr, Sir by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Otter Pop (feat. Hollis) by Shawn Wasabi
Sleep It Off by Blood and Water
What’d I Miss by Daveed Diggs
The Reynolds Pamphlet by Original Broadway Cast of Hamilton
I certainly saw less live bands in 2020, which obvious.
Koo Koo Kanga Roo with Kepi Ghoulie at Chain Reaction
Wait, where’s number 2? There is no number 2.
But there were some virtual shows:
The Aquabats!: Kooky Spooky! Halloween Party!
The Aquabats!: Kooky Kristmas Party
I really hope we can get back to seeing live music next year!
San Diego Comic-Con 2019 was a little over six months ago, which I guess means I should get around to writing about it. I like to keep a travel journal on this blog, but I’m bad at sitting down to blog and good at procrastinating. It’s a good thing I take a lot of photos and keep notes on my phone! If you want to see some photos I took on my camera, check my Flickr album. Most of the photos in this post were from my phone, but I embedded a few from Flickr as well.
As always, SDCC was Thursday through Sunday. I went down on Wednesday night with gem. Antonio couldn’t join us at the start of SDCC, and Kaleigh was only able to come down on Saturday unfortunately.
gem and I started with dinner at Soda & Swine, one of our favorite San Diego restaurants. We found that it was totally revamped. It used to be a meatball place primarily, and they pulled way back from that unfortunately. The menus were now on cloth napkins that were attached to a clothesline with clothespins at the front of the restaurant. Weird. I wasn’t happy. But we ate, and the food was decent even if it wasn’t as good as what we remembered.
We started the festivities by attending Ready Party One, an 80s party at the Fluxx nightclub in the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego. The party alternated between DJs playing modern dance music and 80s music with live performances by 80s cover band The Flux Capacitors.
I’d say it was a good approximation of a club in the Oasis from Ready Player One! Costumes and dress were varied and perfect. It was fun to be dancing with regular people as well as people in costumes of all sorts and styles.
Plus, there were even live lyra performers!
And hula hoop performers!
gem and I stopped at the photo op as well!
Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters!
And to get really nerdy, the Pokemon theme!
I started Thursday, the first day of SDCC, by picking up our bags!
This woman made an awesome dress from her bags! She looks happy to show it off too!
Next it was off to the Funko booth. I ended up making purchases for myself, gem, gem’s friend, and stranger. I even got reprimanded by staff for clearly buying something for someone else. But uh, so was everything else. I got Johnny Rico (Starship Troopers), Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and Derek Zoolander Funko figures!
Was this man dressed as something, or did he just love pizza? Who knows.
gem and I got to pretend to be Mario at the Nintendo Lounge.
I explored the exhibit hall a bit before heading to a show. D&D: All Bards featured Pierce Brown, one of my favorite authors. He played a D&D one-shot as a party with all bards with Sam Sykes, Chuck Wendig, Paul Krueger, E. K. Johnston, and Jim Zub. (I don’t know the other famous people, oops.) It was really funny. It turns out, yes, a party of all bards can kind of stumble their way to success. Pierce Brown’s cocky humor stole the show.
I spent some more time wandering the exhibit hall after the D&D show, including watching some Steven Universe karaoke. It was right in the middle of the hall. Who’s brave enough to do that? More on that later.
Check out this Wonder Woman cosplayer! Isn’t she a cutie?
Thursday wrapped with an Anamanaguchi concert! Anamanaguchi is a band that combines traditional rock instruments with chiptune music, and they did the soundtrack to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game.
Here’s a little clip of them. The show was a lot of fun, and the visuals on screen went well with the music. It was outside, behind the convention center on the green as part of Adult Swim’s SDCC offerings.
The churros looked pretty but weren’t that great!
I’ll admit I didn’t know Anamanaguchi by name before getting tickets, but I’m really glad I went.
Friday began with a Veronica Mars panel. I’ve never seen Veronica Mars, but I wanted to see the next panel. And I do love Kristen Bell, so it was still entertaining. The panel showed some footage of the Veronica Mars revival, and it did make me want to try the show – although not enough to have actually done so yet.
The Steven Universe panel started after that. The actresses who voice Peridot (Shelby Rabara), Garnet (Estelle), Amethyst (Michaela Dietz), and Pearl (Deedee Magno) joined series creator Rebecca Sugar to discuss the show and premier the trailer for Steven Universe: The Movie. I’m behind on the series, so I haven’t seen the film yet. However, seeing them talk was a lot of fun, and I love the passion and fun they bring to the show.
Between that and the next panel was the Disney group shoot for photographers and cosplayers organized by Robert T Photography. I went as a cosplayer last year, but this year I just went as a photographer to get some photos.
I showed up a few minutes late so didn’t get a photo of the entire group. The event always does photos of various subgroups. I don’t remember what this was in particular, but I like it because it has a large number of people.
gem was dressed in a casual cosplay of Steven Universe, so I had to get a photo of her with Rose Quartz! Check out more of the photos from the shoot in my Flickr album.
“Wherefore Dystopia and Darkness? Enjoying Creators’ Wretched Unjust Societies” was next. It features authors Marie Lu, Jess Rothenberg, Rachel Caine, Richard Kadrey, Ally Condie, S. L. Huang, and Mallory O’Meara. It was fun because I enjoy dystopian novels. I don’t care that many are aimed at children; that just makes them faster reads! I had read Marie Lu’s Legend series and Ally Condie’s Matched trilogy. And since SDCC, I also read Marie Lu’s The Young Elites trilogy. The biggest take away I got from hearing them talk about their dystopian worlds was that I need to reread the Matched trilogy.
The Geek Geek Revolution panel involved geek trivia with Pierce Brown, Seanan McGuire, Paul Krueger, Tochi Onyebuchi, and Kiersten White. The only person I knew was Pierce Brown, but it was fun. The audience was allowed to submit questions, and they read one of gem’s! What was the name of the mail carrier moogle from Final Fantasy IX? No one knew the answer, but it was Stiltzkin! I can barely remember what was going on in the photo. Did the winner have to wear the horse mask? The loser, maybe?
Taking a break from panels, I went outside to Adult Swim on the Green to the Rickflector, which puts you in a augmented reality minigame in the Rick and Morty universe. I don’t watch Rick and Morty, but whatever. It was silly and probably not worth the line, but I had a good time.
A museum for The Orville was set up near the convention center called The Orville Experience. It was rather small but still neat as a fan of the show. It felt like the show might have been too new to really warrant it, but I suppose nothing’s stopping them from having a bigger one in the future if the show continues to go strong!
“Always go with one more zipper than you’re comfortable with.” Wonderful advice from Lamarr to Malloy.
We got to take this little video too!
Friday night, the IKV Stranglehold, a Klingon fan group, put on a live, original Star Trek episode featuring their own cast of Klingons. It’s the second year I’ve watched them do this, and I really enjoy seeing people being passionate and having fun with the fandom they love.
I last event of the day was Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog and Karaoke Party. I was late to it because of IKV Stranglehold, but I still caught the second half the movie and sing along. And I did sing along! After the movie was done, they had karaoke, but I didn’t stay for it.
The Interdimensional House of Pancakes seemed like a good place to stop for dinner! (I wrote that before I realized the double meaning and went back to add emphasis.) It took over maryjane’s at the Hard Rock Hotel.
I thought it was worth sharing a few more photos from the restaurant just to see the little details.
I saw an awesome Sabrina from the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Saturday!
Since I was moving quickly, I mostly took photos of awesome cosplayers on my phone.
Look how cute Ariel and Flounder are!
My first goal of the day was to get Pierce Brown’s autograph. I already had it from previous years, but I wanted it again!
I watched a panel on The Man in the High Castle because I actually wanted to watch the panel that was next in the room. The Man in the High Castle, which is about the US after it loses World War 2, has always seemed pretty interesting, but it’s hard for me to decide to watch something that’s dark. Maybe I’ll give it a go eventually. It seems more likely that I’ll eventually read the original Philip K. Dick novel.
I was actually there for the NOS4A2 panel. The panel was about the TV series starring Zachary Quinto, but I think gem read the novel. It’s a supernatural drama, and if you hadn’t figured it out, NOS4A2 is pronounced “Nosferatu.” The show is apparently available for streaming on AMC’s streaming platform, which means I guess no one will ever see it. I’d probably watch it if it was on something more mainstream.
Now on to one of the highlights of SDCC this year – The Adventure Zone: Dadlands! In this live TAZ one-shot, the McElroy’s each took the role of a leader of his tribe of Dads in a post-apocalyptic future in which only Dads exist after Moms and Children have all gone extinct.
There are the Grill Dads, Vacation Dads, Sports Dads, Car Dads, Drama Dads, and Craft Dads. Griffin played Briquette Hoggins, a Grill Dad. Justin played Chip Hugginsbee, a Vacation Dad who loved to throw out worthless trivia about where they were. Travis played Guy Ferrari, a Car Dad. And Clint played Coach Red Ruffinsore, a Sports Dad – and Clint had whistles on hand with which to annoy his actual kids. I love that this entire game seems to have been created to play up terrible dad jokes. It was great!
After the show, I watched a dog fight with a balloon. He was such a good boy!
We finished the evening with pizza from BIGA. This was giulia, one of the greatest pizzas I’ve ever had! It has “house-made fior de latte mozzarella / pecorino / parmesan / basil / burrata / prosciutto di parma / fennel pollen / local honey / figs / saba.” So good!
Sunday, the last day, started with Spotlight on Jonathan Hickman. He’s a comic book writer and artist… and I only attended his panel so I’d be in the room for the next panel about The Adventure Zone!
Clint and Travis were joined by Carey Pietsch and moderator Satine Phoenix to discuss the release of The Adventure Zone: Murder on the Rockport Limited, the second graphic novel in the series. Admittedly, I hadn’t yet read the first one – oops. But it was really fun to see two of the McElroys more up close, and it was the first time I’ve heard from Carey Pietsch. I decided during this panel that I had to get off my butt and pick up the graphic novel.
In Cartoon Voices II panel, moderator Mark Evanier joined voice actors Jim Meskimen, Robin Atkin Downes, Secunda Wood, Dee Bradley Baker, and Candi Milo to talk about performing cartoon voices and do some live examples. At least, that’s who the schedule listed. I honestly can’t remember much about this panel, but I know I’ve enjoyed it in the past too!
Next it was time for more Pierce Brown! gem and I picked up an autographed copy of Iron Gold, chatted with him briefly, and got photos with him.
And speaking of autographs and photographs, I had to make good on my decision to pick up The Adventure Zone graphic novel. I bought the first one, Here There Be Gerblins. Clint McElroy signed it and talked to me for a bit, and then I got a photo with him. It was really awesome meeting him! How cool that he and his sons get to do so many fun projects together for a living.
Remember earlier how I wondered who would be crazy enough to do Steven Universe karaoke at the Steven Universe booth in the middle of the exhibit hall? gem got in line for karaoke. And while she slowly moved through the line, I decided to join her. The staff allowed him to jump into line with her, and we sang in front of anyone! Scary!
And that’s another SDCC for the history books – my 9th one attended! Check out my Flickr album for more photos!
Every year, I like to examine my music tastes from the previous year. The image above was generated a couple weeks into 2020, so the actual data from 2019 is slightly different.
Here are my top 10 artists from 1/1/2019 through 12/31/2019. It has a lot of good stuff on it – but of course I’d think that, right? And in case images break in the future:
The Orion Experience – 111 scrobbles (1st place in 2018 too)
Lin-Manuel Miranda – 105 scrobbles
Leslie Odom Jr. – 98 scrobbles
Tally Hall – 54 scrobbles
Ariana Grande – 45 scrobbles
It Boys! – 35 scrobbles
Phillipa Soo – 35 scrobbles
Queen – 32 scrobbles
Keke Palmer – 29 scrobbles
Regina Spektor – 24 scrobbles
The Orion Experience was number 1 last year also, and It Boys! and Regina Spektor have been on my top 10 previously. The rest appear new!
In the image above, you can see my top albums of the past year; again, it’s a little inaccurate given that it was generated a couple weeks into 2020.
Here’s the actual top 10 album list for 1/1/2019 through 12/31/2019. Hamilton won, by a ton. I didn’t want to listen to it much before seeing it live. I waited until I had my ticket, listened to the album once, watched the show, and then listened to the album a ton. And to ensure I have it written in case the image breaks:
Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording) – 350 scrobbles
Cosmicandy by The Orion Experience – 110 scrobbles (down from 1st place in 2018)
Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum by Tally Hall – 53 scrobbles
So Uncool by Keke Palmer – 29 scrobbles
My Everything (Deluxe) by Ariana Grande – 28 scrobbles
Guys Don’t Like Me – Single by It Boys! – 25 scrobbles
Soviet Kitsch (U.S. Version) by Regina Spektor – 23 scrobbles
Absolute Music 64 by Ariana Grande – 17 scrobbles
Лучшие by Звери – 15 scrobbles (down from 2nd place in 2018)
Steven Universe, Vol. 1 (Original Soundtrack) – 13 scrobbles
And here are my top 10 tracks:
Right Hand Man by Lin-Manuel Miranda – 66 scrobbles
The Cult of Dionysus by The Orion Experience – 45 scrobbles
The Queen of White Lies by The Orion Experience – 43 scrobbles (down from 1st place in 2018)
A Winter’s Ball by Leslie Odom Jr. – 38 scrobbles
Guys Don’t Like Me by It Boys! – 35 scrobbles
Break Free (feat. Zedd) by Ariana Grande – 33 scrobbles (not present in 2018 but 10th in 2017)
Bottoms Up by keke Palmer – 29 scrobbles
Helpess by Phillipa Soo – 21 scrobbles
Eye to Eye from A Goofy Movie – 18 scrobbles
Your Obedient Servant by Leslie Odom Jr. – 15 scrobbles
Overall, a lot more Hamilton and a lot less ska. And a surprise showing by A Goofy Movie, which really amuses me.
And I saw some live shows as well:
Sweeney Todd at South Coast Repertory
Heathers: The Musical at Cal State Fullerton
The Little Mermaid: Live-to-Film Concert Experience at the Hollywood Bowl
Anamanaguchi concert at SDCC
Shrek: The Musical at the Cerritos Performing Arts Center
Half Past Two in Anaheim
Codename: Rocky, Skapeche Mode, Suburban Legends, Voodoo Glow Skulls, “Save Ferris”, and The Aquabats at OC Brew Ha Ha
We Will Rock You at the Microsoft Theater
R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps: Phantom of the Auditorium: The Musical at the Chance Theater
Hamilton at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway
Anastasia at Segerstrom Hall
Suburban Legends in Downtown Disney twice
Frozen: The Musical at the Pantages
The Aquabats with PPL MVR and Dirt Farm at the Fonda Theatre
Let’s take a look at my Last.fm account for last year, which I enjoy doing at the start of each year. The Orion Experience took the top spot. They weren’t even in my top 10 artists of 2017. Suburban Legends and The Aquabats also broke into the top 10 after not being in it in 2017. Звери dropped from number 1 to number 3, but Hayley Kiyoko went from number 10 to number 4.
Here’s my full top 11 (since 10 and 11 were tied).
Cosmicandy by The Orion Experience takes the top album spot, which isn’t a surprise to me because I’ve been listening to The Queen of White Lies, Obsessed With You, and The Cult of Dionysus off that album a ton.
Here’s the top 10 albums.
These were the top 10 tracks of 2018 for me. Only one song isn’t in English, just like 2017.
Spotifywrapped.com gives some interesting highlights from Spotify:
I started 2018 by listening to Для тебя by Звери.
The first artist I discovered was Big Black Delta… and I have no idea who they are right now.
I listened to 10,675 minutes listening to Spotify.
I spent 7 hours listening to The Orion Experience, my top artist.
My top artists were The Orion Experience, Camila Cabello, Suburban Legends, Звери, and Let’s Get It. I wonder how Last.fm doesn’t have Camila Cabello higher? I listened to her a lot. Sometimes Last.fm tracks artists with different names. For example, if a song features another artists, it might be considers “Artist A featuring Artist B,” separate from both A and B.
Top songs were We Don’t Care, Carnivore, Hit Me Up, Into It, and The Queen of White Lies.
Top genres were pop, indie, rock, punk, and hip hop.
My top 100 playlist was generated and can be found here or below.
I listened to non-mainstream artists 80% more than the average Spotify listener.
My oldest song played was “Did You Ever Have to Make up Your Mind?” by The Lovin’ Spoonful.
I listened to more Pisces artists, which Spotifywrapped notes includes Camila Cabello and Kesha, than any other sign. Hm, and I’m a Pisces too.
Using Last.fm makes it easy for me to check what I listen to most, and every year I like to look back at the previous year. Звери took the number one slot, beating out Distemper by a single play. Sia was my number one in 2016, and she dropped to number three in 2017.
The only artist from 2016’s top ten that made it to this year’s is Taylor Swift, who jumped from number ten to number five.
I always find it interesting that some I listen to some songs a lot but not many other songs by that artist. A lot of songs in my top ten most played tracks are by artists that didn’t make the top ten.
I actually only went to one concert in 2017, which is kind of crazy. I finally got to see Regina Spektor, who absolutely amazing and so cute live. She might have forgot the words to a song once or twice, and I don’t mind a bit!
Every year, I like checking my Last.fm account to see what music I played the most the previous year. This year, my most played artist was Sia. Given that I definitely know I play her music a lot, this doesn’t come as a surprise to me. She’s not my sixth most played artist overall in addition to number one in 2016.
This graph shows just how much more I listened to Sia than anyone else. It also amuses me that Instalok is number six considering I listen to his parody songs that use Overwatch footage.
Four of my most played tracks were by Sia. I only listened to her during the second half of the year as well. I have a Spotify playlist made on July 6 that consisted of the music Anela played while I was driving, and it was during that drive that she introduced me to Sia I think (although I did go on to find new tracks by her that I loved). “Kill Em with Kindness” and “You Don’t Own Me” (which Suicide Squad made me love) was also from that same playlist actually.
Despite enjoying ska concerts, no ska song broke the top ten (although two ska bands were in my top ten most played artists. I guess I must listen to a lot of different Suburban Legends and Half Past Two songs.
I keep hearing about how awful 2016 was and how 2017 should hopefully be better. There were a lot of celebrity deaths in 2016, and I was devastated by the presidential election. More personally, I was laid off from Toshiba in a huge reduction-in-force, and my roommate had to put our two dogs to sleep. Yeah, there were negatives. And yet I’ll be lucky if 2017 lives up to 2016.
I traveled to Europe and saw eight countries with three of my closest friends, gem, Antonio, and Anela, and visited two great friends, Jessica and Andrew, who had recently moved to Paris. I saw Denmark, the UK (including England and Northern Ireland), the Republic of Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, and Sweden. It was amazing, and I swear I’ll get to sorting photos and blogging eventually.
I saw Disneyland Paris and our hometown Disneyland’s Season of the Force. I attended Devin and Lorena’s 30th wedding anniversary party that included a face-painted bar crawl and a 1920s speakeasy party. I saw Kristine’s first exhibit that she curated in LA – Firsts, Seconds and Thirds: African American Leaders in Los Angeles During the 1960s & 70s.
I watched Anela dance a few times, including Shimmy Shakedown featuring her and Melissa. I saw the Wet Silk art exhibit, met Jon Klassen at the LA Times Festival of Books, and watched an LA KISS Arena football game.
The Holi Festival was a colorful blast of fun. Here I am with gem, Tory, Sean, and Nicole. I also went to the Huntington Beach Cherry Blossom Festival!
I went to a number of photoshoots with Anela, including this Fourth of July shoot that I really enjoyed, a fairy photoshoot, cherry blossoms, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall and train tracks in LA where I also got to shoot gem!
I took a bunch of friends to the Alpaca Hacienda for Anela’s birthday, and we got to see feed and pet alpacas and a llama!
I watched Sherlock Holmes and the Time Portal as well as Sweeney Todd, and gem surprised me with tickets to see Patton Oswalt. I’d been wanting to see his stand-up for a long time, and he didn’t disappoint. I had the three most amazing meals of my life – two at Frame in Paris and one for Edward’s birthday at Alexander’s Steakhouse in Pasadena.
I participated in a high-altitude sleep and cognitive ability sleep study at Barcroft Station, White Mountain Research Center where I witnessed some of the most beautiful views of nature I’ve ever seen. I saw the B-52s and Flight of the Conchords live as well as a number of local ska bands that I see regularly. I went to Allison’s awesome gaybut party and finally made it to one of Bryan’s parties where I participated in some of the most stimulating conversation I’ve had in a while. Visit our lawyer site to find more info.
I cosplayed Luke while gem cosplayed Professor Layton at San Diego Comic-Con. I also cosplayed Fix-It Felix Jr., and a Pokemon Go trainer. I got to dress as a zombie later in the year as well! I attended the Sonic the Hedgehog 25th anniversary party and saw some improv such as Spectacles, ImprovCity, and more.
Two great friends, Gracie and Jon, got married, and I got to watch.
I worked for three months doing server and other hardware installation for California DMVs. While I was traveling across the state, I got to visit my friends Matt, Katie, and Marc. I also had the chance to have lunch with Chuck Sommerville, a game designer whom I’ve admired for a very long time. He’s incredibly fascinating and has done many interesting things, and he was every bit as nice as I could have hoped.
And I even got to meet Alex and Darnell’s beautiful new daughter, Meredith.
Now I’m sure I’m missing many awesome things about 2016, but that just proves my point. If 2017 is half as good to me as 2016 was, I’ll be very grateful. Happy New Year.
I went Reel Big Fish concert a couple weeks ago featuring Starpool, The Maxies, Skapeche Mode, and Stupid Flanders at the Observatory. I didn’t get chance to share any photos. Better late than never.
After watching The Maxies on the main stage with gem, I switched rooms to watch Stupid Flanders. That’s also where I ran into my friend, Amit.
gem left Stupid Flanders to be sure to catch all of Suburban Legends. I missed the first half of the first song or so by the time I got over there. It was packed, and we were separated.
After Suburban Legends’ set, I switched back to the Constellation Room for Skapeche Mode. Can you guess that they do Depeche Mode covers?
I got nice and close! Skapeche Mode has great energy, and I love fun 80s tunes. Plus, they’re pretty friendly! I actually ran into Bryan, the trumpet player, at SDCC.
gem managed to find me at this point even though we couldn’t text. Signal was so bad that our text messages were actually lagging by 20 minutes or so.
After their set, gem and I chatted with Bryan briefly, and I got this photo with Skapeche Mode’s singer. Note the David Bowie homage.
Last was Reel Big Fish. By that time, I just wasn’t feeling it too much anymore. Plus, there was a lot of weed around us, so we left after a couple songs. We did, however, run into Brian Klemm, guitarist for Suburban Legends. I think this is the happiest I’ve ever seen gem. Plus, when I asked Klemm about the band since this is their last tour, he confirmed that they’re not breaking up and should still be playing locally. Awesome!
I thought it might be fun to look at what I listened to in 2015. I use Last.fm, which tracks music you listened to by linking to Spotify, using a Chrome extension for YouTube, and getting play counts from iTunes. You can find me on Last.fm here if you’re interested. This is Make a New Dance Up by Hey Ocean! at the top. It makes me happy; It’s very upbeat, and it really does make me want to dance. Sometimes I listen to it when I’m about to go dancing.
Here are my top artists played in this last year. What a good-sounding bunch.
My top artists aren’t a surprise. However, I guess I should admit that I think all 214 plays of The Orion Experience came from a single song. Wow.
Here are some more interesting notes. Scott Bradlee and the Postmodern Jukebox is tracked under two different names.
Combined, they’d beat Suburban Legends for the most played artist.
I don’t own any music by Taylor Swift, and her music is on Spotify. All of her plays are from YouTube. While I already liked a few of her older songs without really knowing who sang them, her recent rise in my listening habits can be attributed to Anela playing the music videos in Daniel’s apartment. Kat DeLuna and Priyanka Chopra are also from her.
The Orion Experience, Cascada, Lena, My Crazy Girlfriend, Hey Ocean!, It Boys!, Hailee Steinfeld, and Kerli all came from Spotify’s Discovery Weekly playlist that changes weekly and is customized to each user. It’s fantastic.
Colt Ford is all Crank It Up. I line danced to it at Atomic and had to go listen to it a thousand times (well, 156 times).
Suburban Legends and Half Past Two are two of my favorite ska bands and local to the area. They’re not new to my listening this year. Half Past Two is taking a break, and Suburban Legends just announced that their current tour is their last, so I’m mad at them! (I’m sorry; I’m not mad. I love you. Thanks for making my ears happy.) Scott Bradlee and the Postmodern Jukebox and Regina Spektor are both favorites of mine for longer than 2015, and I actually saw the Postmodern Jukebox in early 2015.
I was introduced to Daniela Andrade by gem. At first, I mostly listened to her cover of Crazy, which is crazy good. She’s very talented.
Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy is actually the podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me. I don’t know what they have against the Oxford comma.
What can I say about Carly Rae Jepsen? I really, really, really, really, really like her. (Do you get it?!)
Here’s my all time top artists in 2015. Again, no surprise, but there is one caveat. My play counts in iTunes were also increased by gem, and she went completely crazy on Owl City for a while. That was the only album she listened to for far too long. I couldn’t stand them for a while. I like them again, but they wouldn’t be this high without her.
When I look at my list of all time top played artists, it makes me want to listen to some of them more. I need more Liz Phair and Vampire Weekend.
These are the songs I listened to the most in 2015. I can’t say much about them. Obviously I love all of them or I wouldn’t have listened to them so many times.
These are my top all time songs. Some of these are artists that made it on my top artists of 2015 list. Some, like Suburban Legends, already had a lot of plays from previous years and continued strong with me in 2015. Others, like The Orion Experience, Cascada, Lena, Colt Ford, It Boys!, and Hey Ocean! I only learned about this year and they already shot into my all time list. I knew of Taylor Swift, but Shake It Off was new to me. Again, Owl City has infiltrated the list thanks to all those dang plays from gem.
Less interesting, but for completion’s sake, here’s the top albums in 2015.
This is the top 20 list.
Here’s the all time top albums. Ugh, Owl City! You’re a fine band, but you make me angry that you’re so high.
And here’s the final list for all time top played albums.
This song didn’t make it on the list, but its album did at least. I want to share it anyways.
I wonder how these lists will change next year! I think it’s fun to look back at what I’ve been listening to!