Album of the Year: If you told me year ago that Jack White, La Roux, Jenny Lewis, Lykke Li, and Ozma would release albums in 2014 that were good but they still wouldn’t come close to making my top 10 list for the year, I would have told you that you were cray cray. That’s how many awesome albums came out this year. It was really hard to pick a winner. At the end of the day, my favorite band but out their best album since Pinkerton so I can’t no pick Everything Will Be Alright in the End by Weezer. My top five is rounded out by St. Vincent, Ex Hex, the Rentals, and Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. Sleeper Agent, Fanfarlo, and the Orwells were all in the running as well.
Music Video of the Year: There were lots of awesome 90s throwback videos this year. I can’t bring myself to give the award to the excellent Clueless video for “Fancy” because I hate the song, so I’ll go with a The Adventures of Pete and Pete inspired gem from Diarrhea Planet:
Cover of the Year: I’m digging She and Him’s new covers album, especially Dusty Springfield’s “Stay Awhile.”
Sia – “Elastic Heart”
Sleeper Agent – “Be Brave”
The Rentals – “Stardust”
Eagulls – “Possessed”
Lykke Li – “Love Me Like I’m Not Made of Stone”
The Orwells – “The Righteous One”
Weezer – “Lonely Girl”
Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings – “Stranger to My Happiness”
Fanfarlo – “Life in the Sky”
Ex Hex – “Everywhere”
Conor Oberst – “Ziggzagging Toward the Light”
St. Vincent – “Digital Witness”
Bleachers – “Rollercoaster”
Sleater-Kinney – “Bury Our Friends”
Alvvays – “Archie, Marry Me”
Song That Got Played to Death But I Still Love: Somehow I managed to be blissfully unaware of most pop music in 2014. I had no idea who Ariana Grande was until she was all over the VMAs. I didn’t even hear that stupid “all about the bass” song until a wedding in late October. That Sam Smith song that everyone seemed to like seemed legitimately good. So that’s the best I’ve got for this category this year.
Concert of the Year: Much as I loved Weezer’s EWBAITE show in Philly, I have to go with the Rentals at Irving Plaza in NYC. The best show in DC this year was Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings at Lincoln Theatre with Grouplove at 9:30 Club being a close runner up. Great year of live music. I hope 2015 stacks up.
Festival of the Year: ACL Fest was awesome (especially St. Vincent’s set) but there is no way the 2nd Weezer Cruise doesn’t win this category. Ozma, Ash, Bleached, the Orwells, DIIV, Palma Violets and many, many more made it a magical floating musical festival.
Guilty Pleasure of the Year: I saw Mates of State do their Miley cover live twice this year. I love it. And that makes me die a little on the inside.
Sports Moment of the Year: Well it obviously wasn’t the f-ing Super Bowl. Chelsea made a run at the Premier League title. With a few games left it became clear that we weren’t going to win. Liverpool was in first place. I hate Liverpool. We played them, in Liverpool, and ruined their chances for the title by beating them with one game left. Even better? Their criminally overrated captain, Stevie G, slipped to give Chelsea the winning goal. I will never get tired of seeing that replay. Never.
Movie of the Year: I didn’t see as many movies this year as I would have liked. My favorite was Neighbors. I also enjoyed The Grand Budapest Hotel, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Wolf of Wall Street.
Best TV of the Year: I’m tempted to pick Gilmore Girls being on Netflix now. But that seems unfair to shows currently on TV. I thoroughly enjoyed Sonic Highways. So I’ll go with that.
2015 Pop Culture Moment that I’m Most Looking Forward to: Definitely the Sleater-Kinney reunion tour and new album. Runner up: Kim Gordon’s memoir due out in the spring.