21 votes

2019 Superlatives

As we come to the close of another year, I thought it would be a neat idea for people to give their picks for the Best/Worst/Most/Least [something] of 2019. Think of these like awards, although some of them are not necessarily in categories people would want to win.

There are no limits and no criteria. Examples:
Best Meme
Worst Tweet
Most Pretentious Startup
Least Surprising Box Office Bomb

Anything is fair game -- do whatever you want! Get creative and have fun! Winners can be people, places, or things -- all 2019 nouns are eligible!

While I'm intending this to be mostly for fun, it's okay to give serious ones too, so if you want to tell me about, say, the legit Best Movie or the Most Transformative Hashtag of 2019, be my guest.

Make sure you don't just drop your award winners' names in the thread. Be sure to explain why they're deserving of their title.

Also, it's okay for one category to be awarded with more than one winner, so if someone else has already given their pick for, say, Best Season Finale, and you feel strongly that another deserves the win, add your pick and explain your thinking!

14 comments

  1. [2]
    Akir
    Link
    I would like to nominate @kfwyre for Best Community Organizer for orchestrating last month's Timasomo in addition to all of the other conversations he has started!

    I would like to nominate @kfwyre for Best Community Organizer for orchestrating last month's Timasomo in addition to all of the other conversations he has started!

    9 votes
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      Awww, thank you @Akir! That's incredibly kind of you.

      Awww, thank you @Akir! That's incredibly kind of you.

      2 votes
  2. [3]
    mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    Best Movie of 2019: The Highwaymen. That is a personal choice, I'm in no way qualified to elect the actual best movie. I'm a sucker for traditional storytelling with all three well-sized acts,...

    Best Movie of 2019: The Highwaymen. That is a personal choice, I'm in no way qualified to elect the actual best movie. I'm a sucker for traditional storytelling with all three well-sized acts, including a generous conclusion to give us a sense of closure and satisfaction. That's very rare nowadays. On top of that, a delicious crime story with a moral compass (cynicism is becoming a beaten cliché...). And it helps to have Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson basically playing himself.

    Best Movie I watched in 2019: Hell and High Water (2016). A dry and compelling modern western that takes inspiration in works such as Breaking Bad to update the genre while gloriously reaffirming its essence and history.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      mxuribe
      Link Parent
      Thanks for your note on The Highwaymen. I think i saw the little icon on one of the streaming services, and just skipped without thinking on it further. Generally, i tend to reflexively give Woody...

      Thanks for your note on The Highwaymen. I think i saw the little icon on one of the streaming services, and just skipped without thinking on it further. Generally, i tend to reflexively give Woody Harelson movies a look-see, and Kevin Costner movies a pass/skip. I always enjoy reading about comments - and especially suggestions for/against - about movies from humans as opposed to algorithms. So, thanks again!

      1 vote
      1. mrbig
        Link Parent
        Costner did a lot of crap, but he's still a terrific actor!

        Costner did a lot of crap, but he's still a terrific actor!

        1 vote
  3. [6]
    vivaria
    (edited )
    Link
    Best Album of 2019: Laura Stevenson - The Big Freeze. This album dominated my listening habits for Spring/Summer 2019, to the point where I've nearly worn it out! I'm not sure how I feel about it...

    Best Album of 2019: Laura Stevenson - The Big Freeze.

    This album dominated my listening habits for Spring/Summer 2019, to the point where I've nearly worn it out! I'm not sure how I feel about it as a cohesive whole, but the entire album is full of "holy sh*t" moments that took my breath away on first (and subsequent) listens. I'm tempted to do a track-by-track, because there's not a bad song on the album, but this post would be ages long if I did that.

    Opener Lay Back, Arms Out is a perfect litmus test for whether or not you'll like the album. It's such an engaging composition! It goes through all sorts of distinct phases... gentle and twinkly, spacious and direct, propulsive and thrumming. It ebbs and flows and swells until it reaches its climax, which lifts you to the heavens. It makes such lovely use of both its instrumental palette, and the empty space which fills the gaps.

    Short tune Hawks floats seamlessly into Big Deep, to the point where you can't discuss one without the other. It's the transition that's the key, too. (I'd link to them individually, but you REALLY need to get a player that has seamless playback for the true experience. I cannot recommend it any other way) Hawks is a song that sways like a slow dance in a barn on a clifftop. If it's the song that swaggers and twirls near the edge, then Big Deep is the surge off the cliff, soaring off into an endless canyon. You'll know you've hit it the moment you hear the guitar work at the beginning -- it feels lighter than air, a swell of warmth you could glide off of.

    Low Slow is absolutely my most listened to song of the year. The opening motif is so... aching and cavernous, like a glimpse into the void. I felt spellbound the first time I heard it, drifting weightless through infinite reverb. Then, it builds... it builds and it builds with swelling strings and vivid imagery of a tireless performer, at times feeling like a tightrope walk and at other times a cannonball, a blast through the air, a graceful fall to a bed of feathers. Laura's vocal delivery both soothes me and lights a fire in me; she's the perfect narrator.

    Besides the album, there are some other bits and bobs I want to mention in the context of this album and her yearly output. In late 2018, she released single that I'd call a spiritual companion to the album: The Mystic & the Master b/s Maker of Things. Both tracks were... written for mother's day, but, they're certainly not in line with the uplifting spirit of the day. They're story-driven tracks, and heartbreaking ones at that. I found myself fully immersed in the memories she depicts, and I highly recommend these too.

    Finally, she recently released an EP of Neil Young covers (?) with Jeff Rosenstock (!!!), as she's close friends with him, and played with him in Bomb the Music Industry! way back. I don't know much about Neil Young, but I absolutely adore their rendition of both Harvest Moon and Through My Sails. The latter has a thick, hazy, enveloping mood to it, and I've loved breathing it in this winter.

    Hopefully I've sold you on her music, so please check the links out, and let me know what you think!

    5 votes
    1. [3]
      kfwyre
      Link Parent
      I listened to The Big Freeze at work today, and it reminded me a lot of Kate Bush (who I love). Stevenson's voice is gorgeous and the arrangements were beautiful and sweeping. I wasn't able to...

      I listened to The Big Freeze at work today, and it reminded me a lot of Kate Bush (who I love). Stevenson's voice is gorgeous and the arrangements were beautiful and sweeping. I wasn't able to give it my full attention since I had it on in the background while working, but I liked what I heard and plan to return to it. Thanks for sharing it here!

      4 votes
      1. vivaria
        Link Parent
        Hoorah! I was worried me posting that late at night was going to doom the visibility of what I wrote. I'm glad you gave it a listen!

        Hoorah! I was worried me posting that late at night was going to doom the visibility of what I wrote. I'm glad you gave it a listen!

        3 votes
      2. mxuribe
        Link Parent
        I guess i know which album I'll be listening later today! :-)

        listened to The Big Freeze...reminded me a lot of Kate Bush

        I guess i know which album I'll be listening later today! :-)

        2 votes
    2. [2]
      mxuribe
      Link Parent
      Wow, this is a great sell! you've convinced me to listen to her. Also I grew up not listening to Neil Young...and then someone introduced him to me via...Harvest Moon! So, guess which song I'll...

      Wow, this is a great sell! you've convinced me to listen to her. Also I grew up not listening to Neil Young...and then someone introduced him to me via...Harvest Moon! So, guess which song I'll also hear from Laura Stevenson? Thanks for this review!

      1 vote
      1. vivaria
        Link Parent
        I'm excited to hear your opinions on it. Please report back! :D

        I'm excited to hear your opinions on it. Please report back! :D

        1 vote
  4. moocow1452
    (edited )
    Link
    Best use of petty rebellion: Tagging posts as Exemplary that the owner wished to be tagged as anything else. Best Essayist who is putting their media recaps on Patreon for free: Film Crit Hulk...

    Best use of petty rebellion: Tagging posts as Exemplary that the owner wished to be tagged as anything else.

    Best Essayist who is putting their media recaps on Patreon for free: Film Crit Hulk

    Worst Kick in the Ass from a Video Game Company: Activision-Blizzard for letting go off a massive chunk of staff the weekend when they announced their highest earnings ever, and for their duplicitous way of dealing with Blitzchung in the Hearthstone Grandmasters.

    Best Movie adapted from a video game: Detective Pikachu, it was the quality of a solid Disney Channel Original Movie, which makes it the best game to movie adaptation ever made.

    5 votes
  5. minimaltyp0s
    Link
    Best Album. Tool - Fear Inoculum. This took a while to solidify for me. I've been a long time Tool fan (not OGT, mind) but when the first single ("Fear Inoculum") dropped, my comment to my mates...

    Best Album.

    Tool - Fear Inoculum.

    This took a while to solidify for me. I've been a long time Tool fan (not OGT, mind) but when the first single ("Fear Inoculum") dropped, my comment to my mates was, "this sounds like a machine-learning algorithm ingested the Tool back catalogue and produced something 'new'".

    I put in about 5 or 6 spins and my main feeling about it was "meh". There was nothing wrong with it, per se, it was just that it wasn't sitting right with me.

    After a few weeks of leaving it alone I slowly started to miss parts of songs and so it entered the mix again. I then moved into a phase of "I don't really like it, but I do like: [songs]". This slowly grew to the point where I was a fan of every single song, and I was hit with the realisation that I actually really like the album as a whole.

    Sure, the instrumentals are gash and can take a running jump, but the songs are strong, layered, complex, and well worth your time.

    Where does it sit in the hierarchy of Tool albums? Slightly above 10,000 Days maybe, but not as high as Lateralus or Ænima. But if that's the worst criticism it has to endure then that's truly no criticism at all.

    4 votes