Archive for January 19th, 2018


by attractive variance

Every time I’ve attempted a top 50 records for a calendar year I’ve settled on an ordered 50-6 and then an unranked top 5, which each of those five nearly interchangeable. It’s a format I like, especially for music, where a selected favorite on any given day is usually at the behest of an emotional temperament or desired mood. This year, for a litany of reasons, I decided to set out to explore streaming services and artist friendly commerce sites more (like bandcamp and soundcloud) in an attempt to better track the artist expression of our many resistances and scattered undergrounds that the fallout from 2016 birthed like an army of determined ants set to ‘spur’n. With these avenues tackled weekly throughout 2017 alongside my usual, more mainstream, dives, I saw my number of favorites triple. So instead with this years list you’ll notice a three tiered system, each producing masterpieces by the bushel, but with an attempt by my oversaturated mind to attempt something akin to organization. The first post will be the third tier, roughly albums 50-31 unordered, then the second post will have tier two (30-16; also unordered) and the last post the unordered top 15 in place of the normal top 5. Scouring amounted in helping me hear three times the masterworks and personal favorites I usually do. That, or our artistic resistance is indeed healthy. Assuredly both I’d think. 

(With this being said, my list still overwhelming bares my main rock n’ roll predispositions and obsessions, the raison d’être for the entire form in my eyes: the interplay between a loud guitar [or 2], a loud bass [or 2], and a cracking drummer) (more…)

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Craig Gillespie’s trenchant inde “The Florida Project” is Brian Wilson’s #1 of 2017

Brian Wilson, a veteran Evanville, Ill. librarian and past Caldecott committee member is also a consummate cineaste and film and television writer.  For the third third year running he has graced the halls of Wonders in the Dark with his Top 20 after another year of torrid movie going.  His year-end round-up is the first one posted at the site, with a few more to come:

  1.  The Florida Project (USA) Sean Baker
  2. I. Tonya (USA) Craig Gillespie
  3. Lady Bird (USA) Greta Gerwig
  4. Get Out (USA) Jordan Peele
  5. Good Time (USA) Ben and Josh Saftie
  6. The Shape of Water (USA) Guillermo Del Toro
  7. BPM Beats Per Minute (France)
  8. Visages Villages (France) Agnes Varda
  9. God’s Own Country (UK) Frances Lee
  10. Brigsby Bear (USA) Dave McCary
  11. The Little Hours (USA) Jeff Baena
  12. The Post (USA) Steven Spielberg
  13. The Phantom Thread (USA) Paul Thomas Anderson
  14. Lucky (USA) John Carroll Lynch
  15. The Meyerowitz Stories (USA) Noah Baumbach
  16. Ingrid Goes West (USA) Matt Spicer
  17. Columbus (USA) Kogonada
  18. Mother! (USA) Darren Aronofsky
  19. Paddington 2 (USA) Paul King
  20. Personal Shopper (France/Germany) Oliver Assayas

Margot Robbie plays the lead in Brian Wilson’s #2 film of 2017 – “I, Tonya”

Saoirse Ronan in Greta Gerwig’s acclaimed “Lady Bird,” Brian’s #3 film of 2017.


Jordan Peele’s brilliant and visceral “Get Out” is Brian’s #4 film of 2017.

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