The first month of 2018 has gone by. It flew by quickly, perhaps a little too much so. But, there is a good reason for that as it was a month of Bliss, of Love celebrations, of Music, Movies Books, and times spent with family, friends, and the man I love. Oh, and four mischievous cats. This year one of my “resolutions” was to keep track of things I enjoyed a bit more, chronicling the Music, Art, Books, Films, TV, and Adventures I experience. And, because I love lists, it will be done as a Top 10. So, here’s to first months and new resolutions, and here’s to January 2018. Thanks for being a good one.
Lyriquediscorde January 2018
My Top 10
1. The Jam
Paul Weller became a big thing to me last year as I delve deep into his Music as I was falling in love with my boyfriend. Though I indulged in all of Weller’s endeavors, it was mostly his Solo work that I got into. This past January (and into February, honestly) I started to really dig into The Jam, Album-by-Album, and their Songs became part of my daily life, and many a “Top 5 Obsessions” Playlist. My most played Jam Songs in January? “Art School”, “Butterfly Collector”, “Private Hell”, “Pretty Green”, and “Down In the Tube Station at Midnight”.
“Pretty Green” (live) by The Jam
2. “San Junipero”
I think I watched “San Junipero” 3 times in a row the first time, and then a few more times after. It’s difficult to sufficiently explain how this episode of “Black Mirror” affected me. It’s impact felt visceral, deep within, emotional, and even a bit life-altering. I had a dozen questions (still do), and it kept swirling around in my head for days and days after (still comes back every so often). There was something about it that made me believe in an “after”, even if it is one by design, or maybe especially if it is. It also made me feel understood, especially in the way I love. I may need to watch it again tonight, after writing this I’m itching to see Yorkie and Kelly again. I can hear “Heaven On Earth” in my head, can you?
3. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
Besides being one of the most gorgeous book covers I’ve ever seen, We Are Okay was truly an amazing read, one that was the best choice for a “first book of the year”. Here’s a snippet from the review I wrote of it:
Nina LaCour has a way with words, with details, with raw emotions, and with characters who open up slowly, realistically, and in the end, beautifully. I rooted for Marin the entire time, as well as I did for Mabel and Javier and Ana, and even Gramps. I wanted to know what happens next, at school, in Marin’s life, in all of their stories.
When I got to the last page, I had tears in my eyes, a smile on my face, and a wanting for more. That’s a pretty good way to feel when you end a book, don’t you think?
4. The Shape of Water
Oh, my stars – The Shape of Water was remarkable. I thought I’d love it, as Guillermo del Toro Films are some of my favorites, but I didn’t know it would move me the way that it did, nor did I expect that the characters and performances would be so outstanding. Here’s a snippet of my review:
I love that the misfits are the heroes, have the most heart and humanity, and love big. And that they become family to each other.
I adore Antonia Thomas, have since “Misfits”, another show I loved. I also adore well-done stories about friends/”chosen family” that is unconventional, and real. This is everything I could want in a twenty-something/quarter-life-crisis/coming-of-age/rom-com/dramedy, and more. One episode in and I already cared about Dylan, Evie, and Luke. I even grew to care about Angus. Oh, and the Music is outstanding.
Season 1 and 2 I binged through in January, so I still have 3 to enjoy in February. I’ll miss them when its over – hoping there will be a Season 4.
“Lovesick” is available to Stream on Netflix. I highly recommend it – ultimate binge-worthy goodness.
6. Jane Birkin
Jane’s been a Favorite of mine for a long time, but it’s only recently (this past January) that I started to really love her style. She’s become a style-inspiration/icon to me. I’ve also been going mad for all things 60’s as of late, so she fits right into that Obsession. I’d love to learn more about her life. I plan on doing a search for any biographies on her.
This weekend I watched a Film she was in (“Blow Up” – stay tuned for a review sometime next week) and was excited when I realized it was her. It was a small part, and she was quite young. I’d like to see any other Films she was in, too.
7. Juliana Hatfield and Olivia Newton-John
Though the Album is not out until April (soooo long to wait!), the first Single (“A Little More Love” came out in January, and I pre-ordered the Album in January, too. Olivia was my Idol growing up, and I’ve loved Juliana since the 90’s. This project makes me so happy that I actually jumped up and squealed when I first heard about it. I’m counting the days for its release! Here’s a snippet of a small piece I did when the Single came out, and the Album was announced:
When I was a young girl one of my favorite Artists, and Idols, was Olivia Newton-John. I’ve written a lot about her at various times and places. I had (still have) all of Olivia’s 70’s and 80’s Albums on Vinyl, including the Soundtracks. And yes, I do still play them. Maybe not as much as I did when I was a pre-adolescent and wanted to be her, but her Songs still make it into Playlists, and I do still give the Albums a spin sometimes.
In the 90’s I discovered Juliana Hatfield, round about the time she was in the Juliana Hatfield Three. “My Sister” was the first Song I heard, and I was hooked on her voice and her Music ever since. I have most of her Music, be it Solo, or with Blake Babies or The Lemonheads, on CD or Vinyl, and I definitely include Juliana in a lot of Playlists. Lyriquediscorde used to also do a monthly Feature showcasing Evan Dando and Juliana Hatfield (Evan and Juliana Days).
Pre-order the Album here.
“A Little More Love” by Juliana Hatfield
8. Domenico’s, Belmont Shore
My Favorite Italian restaurant is also one of the first restaurants to serve pizza in California. Opened in 1954, by Domenico and Beverly Spano, it has been in the Belmont Shore area since. My boyfriend and I discovered it last year when we were looking for an Italian restaurant that felt authentic, had that classic atmosphere, and good food. We found everything, and more, at Domenico’s (the food isn’t good, its great). Now the place has become one of “our places”. We went again the last week of January, right around our year together anniversary. It was wonderful.
A tip if you want to visit Domenico’s. If you go for lunch they give you complimentary soup with your meal. The tomato bisque is incredible.
9. Fiona Apple When the Pawn
Rediscovering some of my CD’s from the 90’s during my to-and-from work commute. Fiona Apple’s Second Studio Album, When the Pawn got heavy-rotation in January. Though Tidal has always been my go-to “Fiona-Favorite” When the Pawn is a close second and may be edging its way to first now that I’ve come back to it.
Maybe its because I’m older. Maybe it’s me looking back. I don’t know for certain. But, I do know that these Songs hit harder and deeper than ever before.
My Favorite Songs from this revisit? “Paper Bag”, “Love Ridden”, “Get Gone”, and “I Know”.
“I Know” by Fiona Apple
10. The Incredible Jessica James
Netflix is one of my favorite things if you can’t tell. Two of my January Top 10’s are from the network – “Lovesick”, and this – The Incredible Jessica James. This was the first Movie I watched in January, and I enjoyed it a lot. Here’s a snippet of a review I did of it:
Indie, unconventional “Rom-Coms” are a favorite of mine. Beyond the “Rom” in the “Com” (or Dramedy, which this seems more like), I love when the story goes beyond a romance, and also has a strong story arc for the main character/characters, and also showcases other relationships in the lead(s) life. A good Soundtrack does it for me, too. All of this and more were part of the Netflix Original Movie, The Incredible Jessica James.
So, there it is, My Top 10 for January 2018.
There are a few honorable mention – “Grey’s Anatomy” (starting watching from S1 in October, and hit S9 in January), Big Thief (especially the Song “Shark Smile”), the new Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Album (Wrong Creatures), Baby Driver, the Podcasts “Levar Burton Reads” and “Required Reading with Tom and Stella”, Ginger Tumeric Tea and Cheddar/Caramel Popcorn Mix (both from Trader Joe).
I’d love to hear some of your January loves. Share in the comments below.