Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Favorite Music/Movies/Books/TV/Performances of the Decade


2010 - Hey Soul Suster - Train
2011 - Rolling in the Deep - Adele
2012 - Hell or Hallelujah - KISS
2013 - (tie) The Stars are Out Tonight and Give Life Back to Music
2014 - Uptown Funk**
2015 - (tie) Seasons (Waiting on You) by Future Islands and Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon***
2016 - Put Your Money on Me*
2017 - Cumberland Gap - Jason Isbell
2018 - No Erasin' - Steve Perry
2019 - Hello Sunshine

*Song of the Decade - Up until I hear the opening chord of The Struts's "Put Your Money on Me," "Uptown Funk" was the song of the decade. Before that, it was "Give Life Back to Music" by Daft Punk. Unlike the album category, there's a whole lot more new music here. Put Your Money on Me--specifically the opening chord--sold The Struts for me. Joyful exuberance in song form.

**Uptown Funk is all but tied for first because it is everything I want in a song. Great vocals, funky bass, tight horns. I just HAVE to dance whenever I hear it.

***One man, one performance sold me the Future Islands album. Just listen to Letterman's reaction. Sounded like mine when I watched the performance live. See below.


2010 - Save Me San Francisco - Train
2011 - Chicago XXXIII: O Christmas Three
2012 - KISS - Monster
2013 - Random Access Memories and The Next Day
2014 - Chicago XXXVI: Now
2015 - Burlap to Cashmere - Freedom Souls
2016 - Everybody Wants by The Struts*
2017 - Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit - The Nashville Sound
2018 - Sting and Shaggy - 44/876
2019 - Chicago XXXVII: Christmas

*Album of the Decade - A quick review of the albums on this list reveals one glaring thing: Most are good albums by older, legacy acts. When a band like The Struts shows up on our radar with unabashed enthusiasm for making rock music fun again and for making music multiple generations can love, well, that's a great album.


2010 - Toy Story 3 (Inception runner up)
2011 - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol)
2012 - The Avengers (John Carter)
2013 - Man of Steel (Iron Man 3)
2014 - Guardians of the Galaxy (Edge of Tomorrow)
2015 - Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Ant-Man)
2016 - Captain America: Civil War (Rogue One and The Nice Guys)
2017 - Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Wonder Woman)
2018 - Mission Impossible: Fallout (Avengers: Infinity War)
2019 - Avengers: Endgame* (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker)

*Movie of the decade - When a movie as big as Endgame actually sticks the landing, you can't not give it the award for best of the decade. Every feel, every cheer, every laugh, every tear was earned.


2010 - Naked Heat by Richard Castle
2011 - The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
2012 - Redshirts by John Scalzi*
2013 - Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America's Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941 by Lynne Olsen
2014 - Face the Music by Paul Stanley
2015 - Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush by Jon Meacham
2016 - Longarm and the Bank Robber's Daughter by James Reasoner
2017 - Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
2018 - The Cutthroat by Clive Cussler
2019 - The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot Against George Washington by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch

*Book of the decade - When you bawl your eyes out on hearing the final chapter of the audio and then break down trying to explain the ending to your wife and get emotional describing it to other people, well, that's an awesome book.


2010 - Sherlock
2011 - CSI: Miami
2012 - Elementary
2013 - Castle (5th season)*
2014 - The Flash
2015 - Castle (7th season)
2016 - Stranger Things
2017 - Broadchurch
2018 - The Haunting of Hill House
2019 - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

*Television show of the decade - I was hooked with the promos. Castle was the perfect show for me: writer who loves writing and pop culture teamed up with a beautiful detective to solve crimes. The mythology of the show blossomed into something larger than crime-of-the-week. The chemistry between Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic was palpable. The writers solved the "Moonlighting problem" [how long to keep the will-they-or-won't-they tension]. And then there were the actual books that became go-to fall reading. Great series (although that last season could have been scrapped; an odd thing to say for my favorite series of the decade).


I saw a lot of shows in this decade, and quite a few in 2018 and 2019. Here, off the top of my head, are my favorites.

KISS - Farewell Tour (2019) Full review
Halestrom (2019) Full review
The Struts (2019)
Ludovico Einaudi (2018) Full review
Tony Bennett (2018)
John Adams and "City Noir" with the Houston Symphony (2014)
Future Islands on David Letterman (2015)

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