31 December 2020

The Best of 2020 (Music and TV)


2020 Top Fifty Songs

1 Annie – In Heaven

2 Ben Wise – Sans Bouchon

3 Kleerup - TRU

4 Carly Rae Jepsen – Heartbeat

5 Kari Faux – Look At That

6 Rina Sawayama – Bad Friend

7 Dua Lipa - Hallucinate

8 The Weeknd – Blinding Lights

9 Jessie Ware – Save a Kiss

10 Fiona Apple – I Want You To Love Me

11 Romy – Pyaar Tenu Karda Gabru

12 Pet Shop Boys – Will-O-The-Wisp

13 Megan Thee Stallion and Beyonce – Savage (Remix)

14 Lady Gaga – Stupid Love

15 Troye Sivan – Easy

16 Bfb Da Packman and Sawa Baby – Free Joe Exotic

17 HAIM – Summer Girl (Solomonophonic Bouncey House Mix)

18 Chromeo – Clorox Wipe

19 Charli XCX – Forever

20 The Killers – Caution

21 Sam Vance-Law – Stat. Rap.

22 Nina - Unnoticed

23 Kylie Minogue – Say Something

24 My Marianne – Husavik

25 Nadia Rose – Bad N Boujee

26 Duke Dumont featuring Boy Matthews – Ocean Drive

27 Blackbear – I Felt That

28 Taylor Swift – cardigan (Russ Rich and Andy Allder Remix)

29 Netta – Ricki Lake

30 Jon The Dentist – A Clockwork Orange

31 Scott Matthew – The Wish

32 Ariana Grande and Doja Cat – Motive

33 Gorilla Twins – Married To The Game

34 Jonsi and Robyn – Salt Licorice

35 keiyaA – Forreal???

36 Sofia Kourtesis – Home Is Where I Can Dance

37 Josef Salvat – Modern Anxiety

38 Cut Copy – Like Breaking Glass (Jacques LuCont Remix)

39 The Chicks – Gaslighter

40 Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion – WAP

41 Lyrica Anderson – Plot Twist

42 BT – Atari’s Lantern

43 Frida Sundemo – Backbone

44 Anne Clark – Abuse

45 Sam The Astronaut – Blue and Pink

46 Sparks – Sainthood Is Not In Your Future

47 Aly & AJ – Don’t Go Changing

48 Eelke Kleijn - Woodstock

49 Perfume Genius – Your Body Changes Everything

50 Victor Tellagio – X Files

 The TV What Has Helped During This Year

1 Letterkenny

2 Star Trek: Lower Decks

3 I’ll Be Gone In the Dark

4 Schitt’s Creek

5 What We Do In The Shadows

6 I Am Not Okay With This/Harley Quinn

7 Devs

8 Lovecraft Country

9 We Are Who We Are

10 At Home With Amy Sedaris/Animaniacs

As well as previous years/seasons of TV which have proved a useful respite against the waves of despair and malaise prominently amplified by the pandemic: Community, Happy Endings, Harper’s Island, Letterkenny, Mary Hartman Mary Hartman, Nightflyers, Now Apocalypse, Schitt’s Creek, and Talk Show The Game Show. Also, I literally don’t remember when Legion Season 3 and The Terror: Infamy actually finished their run, but they were both bouncing around in my mind as well.

TOP 40 ALBUMS of 2020

1 Kleerup/2

2 Carly Rae Jepsen/Dedicated Side B

3 Ben Wise/In The Stars Tonight

4 Kari Faux/Low-Key Superstar

5 Rina Sawayama/Sawayama

6 Dua Lipa/Future Nostalgia and Club Future Nostalgia

7 Lady Gaga/Chromatica

8 The Weeknd/After Hours

9 Annie/Dark Hearts

10 Frida Sundemo/Sounds in my Head

11 Troye Sivan/Inside a Dream

12 Megan Thee Stallion/Good News

13 Destroyer/Have We Met

14 Sam Vance-Law/Homotopia

15 Fiona Apple/Fetch the Bolt Cutters

16 Pet Shop Boys/Hotspot

17 Chromeo/Quarantine Casanova

18 Perfume Genius/Set My Heart On Fire Immediately

19 Nadia Rose/First Class

20 Haim/Women in Music Part III

21 Kyle Kinane/Trampoline in a Ditch

22 Kylie Minogue/Disco

23 Sufjan Stevens/The Ascension

24 Ariana Grande/Positions

25 Jonsi/Shiver

26 Nina/Synthian

27 Blackbear/Everything Means Nothing Part I

28 Cut Copy/Freeze Melt and Freeze Melt Remixes

29 Diamanda Galas/De Formation Piano Variations

30 Sparks/A Steady Drip Drip Drip

31 The Killers/Imploding The Mirage

32 Gorilla Twins

33 Rufus Wainwright/Unfollow The Rules

34 Josef Salvat/Modern Anxiety

35 Rose McGowan/Planet 9

36 Hurts/Faith

37 The Irrepressibles/Superheroes

38 Lyrica Anderson/Bad Hair Day

39 Magnetic Fields/Quickies

40 Scott Matthew/Adorned

15 December 2020

After Midnight, The Black Cat, and Wolfwalkers at The AV Club.

 So I've done three more reviews for The AV Club in recent weeks, and that's been a lot of fun and wild as well. Here are they:

The Black Cat (1934)


After Midnight

At the movies: Archenemy.


There's a new Adam Egypt Mortimer film, and it is well-worth your time. His 2019 film Daniel Isn't Real was my favorite film of last year, and this year's Archenemy is a violent, vibrant SciFi/Horror/Superhero epic that has a lot of awesomeness going on within it. Check it out...

19 November 2020

At the movies: Freaky and Come Play.

So, after a particularly awesome night at the drive-in out in Watertown, I got to delight in Freaky and Come Play. Both of them were quite enjoyable, for very different reasons. The former is deliciously funny and vicious, and the latter has a great monster. I mean, a genuinely great monster.


My Sincere Thanks to the Drive-Ins.


I wrote from a place of sincere gratitude for drive-in theatres during the CV19 pandemic. 

At the movies: The Twentieth Century.

                                                              THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

If you love Canadian phantasy, the twisted history of human ego, grand farce, distinctive vowels, or the tension between political ambition and deap-seated peccadillos, then The Twentieth Century is exactly what you need right now. Directed by experimentalist Matthew Rankin, it is intensely stylized and constructed equally of the real and the imagined- like if you went to the Natural History Museum and someone mixed amyl nitrate into the air supply, leaving you to swoon your way through the proceedings.

To be honest, its portrayal of political succession as a combination Charlie Brown obstacle course/espionage caper can either make the madness around us easier to bear or cut even deeper, so do keep that in mind. This isn’t an Armando Iannucci satire, but rather a Guy Maddin fantasy about the first Prime Minister of Canada. And the fanciful, hypersymbolic, sprung-from-the-id warping of the historical record might very well offend those who are beholden to Canadian history.

But for anyone who needs some mean, absurdist laughs at the expense of overconfident men, you’ve got a treat waiting for you. There’s an entire lecture about expressionist architecture lurking in this film’s exquisite design (by Dany Boivin), and William Lyon Mackenzie King (Fargo (TV)’s Dan Beirne), the protagonist, is the kind of wormy-adjacent man that motivates all sorts of contradictory emotions just by committing wholeheartedly to the madcap insanity on display.

If Maddin’s My Winnipeg carbonated your cerebral cortex, this is absolutely how you need to spend ninety of your minutes sometime over the next two weeks. Is it possible to resist a film this devoted to strong milkmaid and Valkyrie influences in costuming? Can you resist tinted Super 8mm and 16mm footage? Fetch yourself some Maple Walnut ice cream and soak up some gleeful, cruel absurdity.

The Twentieth Century opens virtually throughout the United States courtesy of the lovable freaks at Oscilloscope Laboratories and arthouse theatres very close 2 where u live. In my geographic space, that’s Nashville’s Belcourt Theatre.

05 November 2020

Catching Up with the 2020 New York Film Festival.

 I went (really) long on the 2020 New York Film Festival, and I think I covered a decent amount of ground with it.

At the movies: Synchronic.

 Worth checking out, despite some reservations about the ending. Get ready for Synchronic, the latest mindbender from Benson and Moorhead.

07 October 2020

Oh Damn, I wrote a couple of things for the AV Club!?!

 So yeah.



 If you like them, your media attention and comments on that site help my media profile.

At the movies: Possessor

 So, Brandon Cronenberg has a new film out and it does the family name proud. It's exceptional. Deeply violent and upsetting in a most provocative and visceral way.

10 September 2020

Beau Travail with Dave White


What with the awesome folx at Janus Films releasing a new 4K restoration of Claire Denis' BEAU TRAVAIL via virtual cinemas (you can do so via www.belcourt.org in Nashville), I called up dear friend and colleague Dave White (of the exceptional book Exile in Guyville and the Linoleum Knife podcast empire) to talk about this majestic work of flesh and fury.

10 August 2020

At the movies: She Dies Tomorrow.


So Amy Seimetz' staggering new film She Dies Tomorrow is currently playing On Demand (but also for at least the rest of the week at some drive-ins around the country), and you owe it to yourself to check it out because it's great and cathartic.

20 July 2020

At the (virtual) movies: The Painted Bird.

Already infamous from its debut at Venice in 2019, this movie is a lot. Like, way too much for most folk, and I'm including myself. If you thrive on the arthouse challenge, which can often be the subtitled equivalent of a frathouse dare, you may feel compelled to experience it. And it is a visceral and transformative experience.

09 July 2020

Learning how things work. A talk with Kim Carnes.

So in the fulfillment of a lifelong dream, I got to talk to singer/songwriter/icon Kim Carnes about her 1985 album Barking At Airplanes. It was an amazing experience, and I'm glad to be able to share it with the public.

21 May 2020

The Primal Stream (updated weekly)...









Quarantine Catchup.

My, quite a bit has happened.

I'm currently in exile, like the rest of us. I took a socially distanced trip to the Drive-In and wrote about it, as well as reviewing The Wretched, a refreshingly brisk horror flick that benefits greatly from both the drive-in setting and the historical moment it arrives in.

I've pivoted into mostly streaming reviews at the moment. A weekly collection of them, in fact. It's going to have its own post that gets updated each week, because that's just how the world is for the foreseeable future.

I've also got a monthly column in Out and About Nashville called THE SPECIAL SHELF, where I've been reviewing interesting queer cinema.

2019 LGBTQIA+ cinema in review.

Hindi-language musical Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan.

A double feature in what I like to call NOT IN FRONT OF THE STRAIGHT PEOPLE Cinema: Midnight Kiss and You're Killing Me.

Legendary Sundance drama Urbania.

Get your wig down out of the box, it's Hedwig and The Angry Inch.

Sultry psychodrama Devil's Path.

The gorgeous and emotionally devastating cosmic horror Starfish.

You know it, you love it, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge! And if you're going to read that, you should read this as well- a piece I wrote on Elm Street 2 in 2004- I was tapped in from an early place.

A twofer of Freeway 2: Confessions of a Trickbaby and the series Now Apocalypse.

Brazilian gay post-picaresque Bathroom Stalls and Parking Lots.

Films Maudits: Basic Instinct and Cruising.

2019 Pride quartet: Boom!, Jeffrey, Can't Stop The Music, and To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar!

Horror classic Witchboard.

Chilean psychosexual cinephile drama Cola De Mono.

And there's also:

Vitalina Varela, a gorgeous and devastating film from Pedro Costa.

The Hunt - the last film I saw in actual theatres before everything went to shit.

Well, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but Fantasy Island is an incoherent mess.

The Invisible Man, which is so, so, so good.

Zombi Child, the latest from Bertrand Bonello

The exquisite Georgian queer dance film And Then We Danced.

A review of the bonkers VHYes.


Here's an interview I did with Susan Ottaviano from synth-pop legends BOOK OF LOVE and a preshow piece I wrote about the band's legacy.

Jonny Gowow dropped a new single and launched a podcast.