My Weekly Top 10 :: Week of August 29, 2016


My Weekly Top 10 :: Week of August 29, 2016

1. Roadies 

Shelli and Bill

To be honest, the show had me at the initial trailer and early marketing, I mean Cameron Crowe gets me in a very personal way, especially when his storytelling incorporates music (like Almost Famous, and now Roadies), and then Winnie Holzman, too, the woman responsible for my second favorite television series of all time, the short-lived My So-Called Life, oh, and J.J. Abrams, too – I was destined to fall hard for the show. All that said, I ended up falling harder than I expected, and wound up at the end of this first season (please renew, Showtime) caring about everyone of the regular characters on the show, and even some of the one-episode guests – oh ,and the music, I discovered some new favorites along the way, and enjoyed many already-favorites. My favorites on the show – Bill and Shelli (relate to both of them so much), Christopher House and Milo – but really, I loved everyone – Staten House Band forever.

Christopher House

2. Lucius


One of the bands I discovered thanks to Roadies is Lucius. Though I’d heard their music before, it had been on the peripheral, or in the background, but after when they guest starred, and performed, on Roadies I really heard them for the first time. I can’t seem to get enough of their music lately, and have found myself devouring their albums; “Dusty Trails” is my current favorite, that song just digs in under my skin and stays.

Dusty Trails (live) :: Lucius

3. Road Regrets :: Dan Mangan

“And Robbie likes his country tunes,
it’s never been the lens that I see through,
but I guess driving for a week or two,
puts words in your mouth

So find dodge,
and then get out of it,
it’s about as country as I get,
so you ain’t living ’til you’re living it –
not dead ’til you die.”

Sometimes I hear a song that I feel so deeply, so internally, a song I relate to so much that I wish I’d written it. From the “on the road” element (girls with gypsy souls really get what a road regret is), to the music tie in (“so find dodge and then get out of it”), to the notion of escaping, and living, and dying – all of it, I just feel so fucking much. And, I can’t stop listening to this song right now.

Dan Mangan

4. “Remy” Playlist

Arly Jover, who I would cast as Remy if I was casting my novel

I’ve been back to working on my vampire/post-apocalyptic/speculative fiction novel (and will be using an excerpt for my final creative piece in the horror/speculative fiction class I am taking), Inbetween Days (working title), and have been listening to the playlist I made for the lead character/reluctant hero, Remy, while I’ve been writing. Music is forever my muse, and this playlist, with 97 Remy-centric songs, is really doing it for me.

Listen to Remy here.Listen to Remy here

Arly Jover (my “Remy”)

5. Black Mirror
“Be Right Back”
Season 2: Episode 1

Domhnall Gleeson & Hayley Atwell

“Be Right Back” is my favorite of the Black Mirror series, and this past Tuesday, in my American Horror Story and Speculative Fiction class, we watched the episode. Though I’d remembered Gleeson vividly, I’d forgotten that Hayley Atwell was in it, too. This one hit so much harder than the first time I saw it, and the tears fell more than once as the episode played, which is probably part to do with my current emotional state, and the way loss and death and grief and love have been top of mind for me, especially when trying to sort out how to deal with the memory of someone I love who is not of this earth any more – irregardless of the way the episode stung this time, it still is my favorite.

Hayley Atwell

6. Paper Girls

Paper Girls

My most recent favorite comic series, quite possibly my most favorite of all-time, Paper Girls presents a story with teenage female heroes out saving the world, on bikes, the bikes they usually use for their paper route. The series starts in the 80’s, and has that real 80’s immersive feeling that “Stranger Things” has, along with a bit of that friends against the world (think Goonies and Stand By Me and ET). There is a time travel element happening, too, which makes me love it even more – I really recommend series, Brian K. Vaughan is brilliant.


7. Kelly Vivanco’s art

“Mooring” by Kelly Vivanco

Music has always been a muse to my writing, a given perhaps considering how much music means to me, but it isn’t music alone that motivates and triggers plot bunnies and imaginative crafting, visual art has always held a significant key in helping to unlock story in me. Kelly Vivanco’s art has been, and still is, one of my writing muses – so many poems and stories and characters have been inspired by her paintings, as well as a ton of personal reflection. This one above (“Moorings”) is one of my all-time favorites, and always brings to mind the journey of self, and the realization that there are multiple selves within us, and that sometimes it takes a journey to make peace with our varying sides, and sometimes they need to work together to get to where you are trying to go – at least that’s what it sparks in me.

“Space Within” by Kelly Vivanco

8. Issac Gracie

Terrified (live):: Issac Gracie

Issac Gracie showed up on my Spotify Monday Discovery playlist and I was drawn in, and blown away, immediately. His voice reminds me of the first time I heard Jeff Buckley sing, and his lyrics cut me like Elliott Smith did. I am terribly sad that I missed him by like one week when he was at the Hotel Cafe (discovered him the week after, I won’t miss him again). He is definitely one to watch, and listen to (side note: one of his songs was used in an episode of Roadies).

Last Words (live) :: Issac Gracie

9. Now, Voyager (1942)

Now, Voyager, Bette Davis

I’ve been on a Bette Davis kick as of late, and was happy to see Now, Voyager featured on a recent Bette Davis day on TCM. This one was always my favorite, and still remains top of my Bette Davis film list. Not ever part of the story holds up, but the emotional heft, the connections, the self esteem struggles, and the tragic love story still slay me (oh, and that double cigarette lighting thing, too…*sigh*).

Now, Voyager, Bette Davis and Paul Henreid

10. “Kia and Gio” by Daniel José Older

Illustrated by Goni Montes

I’ve had the opportunity to read so many fantastic horror and speculative fiction stories during this summer quarter, in the American Horror Story literature class I have been a part of. One of my favorites we read was the short story, “Kia and Gio”, written by Daniel José Older, who also spoke to our class via Skype about diversity in the genre of horror/speculative fiction/science fiction and also about the writing world, and his life as a writer. I want to know so much more about Kia and Gio (Kia especially) and what happens next in that magical botánica.

You can read the story for yourself here.

Daniel Jose Older


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