another year in review list

sorry to be THAT person but also i'm not!

I’m back.

WELL, kind of. Sort of. In a shrugging “no one missed this but I feel obligated to update it anyway and also I do love the attention kind of way.”

This is the last newsletter for 2019 (unless I’m struck with some sort of enormous revelation I must must must get out but even still, idk), and it’s not even really a real newsletter, not like the others. My brain is fully fried, a sentiment I have expressed approximately 87 times a day for the past two months.

Instead of being a newsletter-y newsletter, this is going to be a bunch of lists. People love lists this time of year, but they stress me out! (I am not even going to start on the decade-in-review thing because that is too overwhelming and my memory is not that good.) Ranking things? No thank you. But sometimes it’s nice to list things — in no particular order — that I have done or learned or enjoyed, nice to think about the concrete accomplishments and joys of the recent past rather than focus on all the still things I feel are missing and yet to be found in the vague future.

This is that. A little in case you missed it, a little maybe read it again, a little maybe just be curious and click this link. It’s fun. It’s whatever.

okay thanks sorry love you happy honda-days merry crisis bye,

things i wrote in 2019 that i’m proud of, a few of which i’m lowkey shook i had the privilege to do:

~ I wrote and hosted season 3 of The Opus podcast, all about Jeff Buckley’s Grace. Episode one of three is here.

~ Wrote a lot on my blog and/or this newsletter in the early half of this year, which was terrifying and liberating at the same time. A few favorites: (1) On Jenny Lewis’s On The Line (an album that — from an artist whose work has always been part of my bloodstream — got especially under my skin this year), (2) on climate change and anxiety, and (3) on being one of the youngest in the audience for a Mott the Hoople concert.

~ I wrote and gave a reading of a piece about Buckingham Nicks and youth and mortality that made people in the audience cry lol

~ Talked to Slack Dad Stephen Malkmus about his swerve of an electro album for Flood Magazine.

~ I wrote my first essay for a book (you! love! to! see! it!) on the — very good, actually!! — Liz Phair (2003).

~ Flood let me write about Jessica Lange’s new photography collection (ya, that Jessica Lange) and wax about a disappearing part of America a little.

~ An enormous holy shit moment: I had a wine lunch (and got carded lmaO) with one of my musical and feminist heroes, Kim! Fucking! Gordon, and wrote about her brilliant solo debut for Garage. BONUS: Here’s a big chunk of our transcript that didn’t make it in.

~ I wrote about the patron saint of “difficult” girls everywhere, my queen, Elaine May, for Bright Wall/Dark Room.

~ And I spent the summer reporting — which included ya girl going to the Tonys and making A COLD CALL TO ELAINE MAY (okay so the number was out of service, but still, it was scary!) — this profile of Elaine May, who arguably had the best 2019 of us all, for Glamour. Might fuck around and do something more with the penultimate draft, which had grown to 4K+ words, stay tuned.

~ I talked about Honey Boy with the brilliant director Alma Ha’rel for Flood.

~ Got a Vanity Fair byline writing about grifters, which was tight.

~Flood also let me write about my favorite albums/songs of the year: Norman Fucking Rockwell! and Better Oblivion Community Center, and, again, Jenny.

~ Anddddd, I spent the most wonderful afternoon getting called “honey” a lot by Lee Grant, two-time Oscar winning actor, director, and bad bitch blacklist survivor, for Bright Wall/Dark Room.

20 albums i enjoyed and listened to often in 2019:

On The Line - Jenny Lewis // Norman Fucking Rockwell! - Lana Del Rey // Heard It In A Past Life - Maggie Rogers // Better Oblivion Community Center - “” // The Hours soundtrack - Philip Glass // When I Get Home - Solange // Homecoming - Beyoncé // Rather Ripped - Sonic Youth // Groove Denied - Stephen Malkmus // No Home Record - Kim Gordon // Hello, I’m Doing My Best - Ali Barter // Big Science - Laurie Anderson // Le Tigre - “” // Remind Me Tomorrow - Sharon Van Etten // i,i - Bon Iver // Transportation - Chandra // Titanic Rising - Weyes Blood // Anak Ko - Jay Som // All Mirrors - Angel Olsen // GIRL - Marren Morris // Reward - Cate le Bon

15 movies i watched for the first time and enjoyed in 2019:

Hustlers (2019) // Knives Out (2019) // Gloria Bell (2019) // Marriage Story (2019) // Booksmart (2019) // Little Women* (2019) // Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019) // Honey Boy (2019) // Margaret (2011) // Ishtar (1987) // Down and Out in America** (1986) // Frances (1982) // Downtown ‘81 (1981) // Girlfriends (1978) // A New Leaf (1971)

*i am seeing greta gerwig’s little women tonight and preemptively including it because i already know i will love it
**i saw this freshman year of college in a film crit class and since that was 10 years ago, i’m absolutely counting my second viewing of it as the first because hoooooboy it hits harder now.

you should google all of those; i highly recommend.


friendly reminder that if you missed any previous emails, you can read the archive here.

okay that's it that's the end thanks see y’all in the screaming ‘20s bye