The music of 2015 delighted and surprised me to no end. The albums described below are all tied to memories from this rollercoaster of a year. My favorite artists (Joanna Newsom, The Mountain Goats) continued to innovate and evolve and I also discovered new musicians and performers that quickly found a special place in my heart (Hop Along, Natalia Lafourcade). Oh and this year, Carly Rae Jepsen reigned supreme. I will admit that I’m surprised at how little overlap there is between this list and the one at wrote at the halfway point of the year back in July. That’s only a good thing. Let’s count ‘em down and then share your favorite records of 2015 in the comments below!
National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a special time of year for many people. Writing a novel in one month is an intense challenge, but it will be a lot of fun if you prepare yourself. As I am about to dive into my fourth year of the challenge, I thought I’d share a few things I assemble in my kit to do NaNoWriMo right. Take a look below and share what’s in your kit in the comments!
Canadian popstar Carly Rae Jepsen broke the airwaves and the internet with her incredibly catchy and string-laden single “Call Me Maybe” back in 2012. There were plenty of naysayers, but no one can deny the refreshing clarity of her songs when compared to her peers. This is pop music in its purest, most unencumbered form. Other finer minds have waxed on Jepsen’s allure and her commitment to artistry first and foremost. With the release of her new record E•MO•TION this past August, folks have started to come around to the soda pop genius of Jepsen, but there are plenty of gems in her entire catalog. So let me countdown my top ten Carly Rae Jepsen songs (not including “Call Me Maybe” on this list because duh) for you below!
I’m a big fan of going to the zoo. I’m also a big fan of Jurassic Park. I’ve written extensively about both! I’m entering my third year as a San Diego Zoo passholder and after going this weekend for the first time since the release of Jurassic World, the fourth film in the Jurassic Park franchise, I noticed that certain aspects of the zoo reminded me of the film. This makes sense of course, Jurassic World is a zoo, but instead of exotic animals from the four corners of the globe, it houses dinosaurs. The Jurassic World website also took a few cues from the San Diego Zoo site anyway so I can’t help myself in imagining the zoo being filled with dinosaurs as I wandered the grounds on a sunny Sunday afternoon in August. The following moments stuck out most to me.
There's only three days left to support the Kickstarter of animator Don Hertzfeldt. He’s raising money to bring his beautifully surreal and exceedingly keen oeuvre to the world of High Definition on Blu-Ray. He's succeeded way past the original goal (over six times actually!). So count your lucky stars and get in on the action if you haven’t yet. There's still time to hit another stretch goal! To celebrate, take this quiz to see which Don Hertzfeldt film represents your solipsistic mind best.
Filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki has a long and rich history in the world of animation and Japanese cinema. He got his start as an artist at Toei Animation getting into directing on television shows like Lupin III and Sherlock Hound. With the creation of Studio Ghibli in 1985 Miyazaki would go on to create one of the most impressive filmographies, animated or otherwise. With Nerdist’s announcement of The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki (and Amazon exclusive) coming to blu-ray this November 17th, I wanted to stack up and compare his entire feature catalogue that is included in the boxset (although it does come with some juicy extras including a pilot Miyazaki directed in the early 70s). Now, Miyazaki has gone on record declaring that he is officially retired from feature filmmaking (a CGI short is forthcoming), but I’m not holding my breath as he’s said this after completing every film of his since Princess Mononoke (in ’97). For now though we have eleven great films to explore with my list from most favorite to lease favorite below. Be sure to let me know how you rank his films in the comments section!
The Netflix original animated show BoJack Horseman follows the titular celebrity horse, a washed up 90s sitcom star, as he tries to reclaim his former fame and glory in the sun-soaked city of Los Angeles. His closest friends are just as colorful and troubled as he is, take this quiz to find out which BoJack Horseman character you are!
Maybe it’s something in the water, but 2015 has been a great year for music so far. Up top we got great new albums from Sleater-Kinney, Drake, Braids, Sufjan Stevens, Best Coast, and Mikal Cronin to name a few. We still have new Beach House, Julia Holter, Lana Del Rey, Emily Reo, Grimes, Kanye West, and M.I.A records to look forward to along with Carly Rae Jepsen’s E•MO•TION (and if I continue to pray maybe a new Joanna Newsom record), but I wanted to share my favorite records of 2015 so far. Dive in and hold on for dear life.
A sequel to Jurassic World is coming, no doubt about that at all. Even before the surprise box office success of the fourth film in the Jurassic Park franchise, director Colin Trevorrow stated that Jurassic World was meant to start a new trilogy (even if he isn’t directing the future sequel). While the fourth film contained plenty of nods to the original Jurassic Park and reintegrated the Dr. Henry Wu character back into the fold, future Jurassic sequels will have even more opportunities to build upon the more tangible mythology established in Jurassic World. Spielberg, Trevorrow, and company are taking their time to develop Jurassic World II (Jurassic Park V!), potentially aiming for an initial draft by this August according to some sources. Besides the assured return of Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong), and possibly Barry (Omar Sy) and/or Lowery Cruthers (Jake Johnson), I wanted to suggest a few secondary characters from previous Jurassic films that deserve another chance to tango with dinosaurs. Note: Ellie Sattler, Alan Grant, and Ian Malcolm aren’t coming back. We need to let them go. Haven’t they been through enough?