Wordless Wednesday: Ingrid Michaelson Tonight

2013 Pop Culture Year in Review

2013 pop culture year in review
Music, movies, television, live performances, and more. 2013 was a great year for culture in many genres, which made this raving pop culture junkie a happy girl. What were my favorite pop culture experiences of 2013*? Here’s my recap.

Favorite Television Shows of 2013
Breaking Bad (I still can’t believe it’s over)
New Girl
The Mindy Project
Orange is the New Black
House of Cards
Arrested Development

Favorite Concerts of 2013
Muse – Rose Garden, Portland, OR
Muse – Energy Solutions Arena, Salt Lake City, UT
Tegan and Sara with Walk Off the Earth – The Fillmore, Detroit, MI
Empire of the Sun – Twilight Concert Series, Salt Lake City, UT
Keane – Live from Berlin (it was a concert movie, but it was amazing)

Favorite Albums of 2013
Tegan and Sara – Heartthrob
Imagine Dragons – Night Visions
Keane – Best of Keane
Arcade Fire – Reflektor
Phoenix – Bankrupt!
Lorde – Pure Heroine
Lana Del Rey – Born to Die
John Mayer – Paradise Valley
Frozen Soundtrack
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt

Favorite Movies of 2013
Secret Life of Walter Mitty
The Great Gatsby
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
Ender’s Game
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Monsters University
Man of Steel
Oz the Great and Powerful

Favorite Songs of 2013
Imagine Dragons – Demons
Sara Bareilles – Brave
City and Colour – Thirst
The Killers – Miss Atomic Bomb
The Neighbourhood – Sweater Weather
M83 (featuring Susanne Sundfor) – Oblivion
Lorde – Royals
Lana Del Rey – Summertime Sadness
Daft Punk – Get Lucky
Biffy Clyro – Biblical
The 1975 – Chocolate
OneRepublic – Counting Stars
Barenaked Ladies – Odds Are
Bastille – Pompeii

Favorite Performances/Exhibits of 2013
Florencia en el Amazonas – Utah Opera
Watch Me Move – Detroit Institute of Arts
The Heidelberg Project – Detroit
The Fargo Tourist Bureau – Fargo, ND
Chris & Kevin’s Batman Wedding – Dana Point, CA

Favorite YouTube Videos of 2013

Hashtag – Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake
Walk Off The Earth – Red Hands
Tegan and Sara – Closer
Ylvis – The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)
Prancercise: A Fitness Workout
The Ragtime Gals – “SexyBack” and “I Wanna Sex You Up”
Christmas Jammies

*note: Some songs, albums, and movies were released in 2012, but they were heavily enjoyed in 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Live Bands Tonight

live bands tonight

Wordless Wednesday: The Muse Concert In Portland

Muse Concert in Portland

Pop Culture Year in Review: Top Picks Of 2012

best movies music tv of 2012

favorite movies music tv 2012

At the end of (almost) every year, I do a recap of my favorite things in pop culture for the ending year. Because I’m a “culture chick”, my picks revolve around movies, music, and television, it’s a fun time to look over the stuff that most influenced my pop culture addiction for the last 365 days. Here are my 2012 picks.

Favorite Songs of 2012

  • “Disconnected” – Keane
  • “Take a Walk” – Passion Pit
  • “Madness” – Muse
  • “Somebody That I Used to Know” – Gotye
  • “It’s Time” – Imagine Dragons
  • “Too Close” – Alex Clare
  • “Ho Hey” – The Lumineers
  • “Everybody Talks” – Neon Trees
  • “Lights” – Ellie Goulding
  • “Silenced By The Night” – Keane
  • “Glad You Came” – The Wanted
  • “Stereo Hearts” – Gym Class Heroes/Adam Levine
  • “Tongue Tied” – Grouplove
  • “Not Over You” – Gavin DeGraw

breaking bad 2012 castFavorite Television Shows of 2012

  • Breaking Bad
  • Big Bang Theory
  • Mad Men
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • Community
  • The New Girl
  • Gossip Girl
  • Weeds

Favorite movies of 2012

  • Les Miserables
  • Moonrise Kingdom
  • The Hunger Games
  • Skyfall
  • Wreck-It Ralph
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • Brave
  • The Inbetweeners
  • Ted

dumb ways to dieFavorite YouTube videos of 2012

Wicked at Apollo Victoria LondonFavorite Live Performances Attended in 2012

  • Wicked at London’s Apollo Victoria Theater
  • Les Miserables at the Utah Shakespearean Festival
  • Keane in Salt Lake City
  • Stones in His Pockets at the Utah Shakespearean Festival
  • Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert
  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Murray City Amphitheater
  • Miscellaneous bands playing at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England
  • Fictionist at Provo Rooftop Concert Series

Coachella 2010 Lineup



Forget all those SkyMall wishlist items…please just donate to my Fund for Coachella Concert Tickets!



Meeting Keane, and other brushes with stardom in 2009

If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you know that I love going to concerts, symphonies, operas, plays, and musicals.

My favorite concert of 2009 was Keane at the Hollywood Palladium (with Mat Kearney as the opener). My “bosom friend” Esther treated me to my ticket for my birthday, and we met up with my friends Kathryn and Elizabeth in Hollywood for a night we’ll never forget last May. I was recently going through my pictures of 2009, and realized that I never blogged about my experience meeting Keane after the concert, nor had I mentioned other “celebrities” I met in the past year.
The Palladium is a fantastic venue, and I was excited to actually be there for a performance (after being a lifetime closet fan of The Lawrence Welk Show.) It underwent a very extensive renovation that was completed 6 months earlier in 2008, but it still had the retro charm. Mat Kearney, who has become one of my other recent music obsessions, performed a stellar opening set (and Esther and I saw Mat again in SLC in October). Keane’s set was phenomenal…the best performance I’d seen of their three concerts I’ve attended (Coincidentally, all in LA). After the show, us girls were DETERMINED to meet our favorite band. We waited out on the street by the door, shivering in the cold next to the tour bus, for over an hour until the boys from Battle came out to greet their adoring fans.

Esther with Tim

Kat with Tim

An awkward shot of me with Tim (there wasn’t any time for retaking pics)

Tom greeting his adoring fans

Esther fondling Richard’s ear (I mean, caressing his cheek)

Another embarassingly bad shot of me by Tom post-autograph (I was the dedicated photographer of the post-concert experience, so there aren’t any decent pics of me)

I was lucky to go to more concerts in 2009 than any other prior year. Despite my anorexic bank account, family and friends with connections hooked me up with great tickets throughout the year (They no longer think it odd when I tell them which concert tickets I want for my birthday and Christmas) I also got some insanely cheap concert tickets off Twitter and fan sites. Here’s my 2009 list:

January: Missy Higgins, Justin Nozuka, and Lenka at Atlanta Center Stage
February: Flight of the Conchords at Atlanta Fox Theater
2 Fox Elipsus Shows (Austell and Snellville, GA)
March: New Kids on the Block at The Bi-Lo Center, Greenville, SC
April: Jersey Boys in Chicago (technically a Broadway musical, but it FELT like a concert)
May: Keane and Mat Kearney at the Hollywood Palladium
June: No Doubt at Atlanta’s Lakewood Amphitheater
August: Greg Laswell and Elizabeth and the Catapult at the Murray Theater
Iron and Wine at Gallivan Center, SLC (sort of…long story)
October: Mat Kearney and Vedera at In the Venue, SLC
November: Imogen Heap at In The Venue, SLC
Justin Nozuka and Elizabeth and the Catapult, Glass House, Pomona, CA
December: Natalie Cole with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Salt Lake City
Peter Breinholt (et al.) at Rose Wagner Theater, Salt Lake City

Throughout the year, I did meet a handful of celebs. Here are the pictures I was able to snag…

Me with Elizabeth (of Elizabeth and the Catapult)

Missy Higgins (I was 5 feet away from her at the merch table, but Taylor didn’t want to wait in line to meet her) I DID have a wonderful 5 minute conversation with her in 2005 in SLC.


Rosie with Peter Breinholt (I could write a whole blog post about these two…)

Rosie and I with Ryan Shupe (of Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band)

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir – obviously, I didn’t meet the whole choir, but I have several friends and relatives who are in MoTab, or the Orchestra on Temple Square


Waiting in line to meet David Archuleta at his Christmas CD signing in November

This goofy Archie kid went to Murray High, where I graduated, and used to hang out with my sister Mary. When she came with us to the CD signing, he said “Hey Mary, I like your hoodie!”

Rosie with HER favorite (American) Idol

Nine “Top 9s” of 2009

Top 9 Bands I discovered in 2009
Elizabeth and the Catapult
Owl City
Greg Laswell
The Bird and the Bee
The Airborne Toxic Event
Fleet Foxes

Top 9 Live Performances I attended
Keane , Mat Kearney – Hollywood Palladium
Jersey Boys – Chicago, Bank of America Theater
Missy Higgins, Justin Nozuka, Lenka – Atlanta, Center Stage
Mat Kearney, Vedera – Salt Lake City, In the Venue
Imogen Heap – Salt Lake City, In the Venue
Justin Nozuka, Elizabeth and the Catapult – Pomona CA, Glass House
New Kids on the Block – Greenville SC, BiLo Center
No Doubt, Paramore – Atlanta, Lakewood Amphitheater
Peter Breinholt – Salt Lake City, Rose Wagner Theater

Top 9 Websites I Visit Daily
Google Reader
iTunes App Store

Top 9 TV Shows I Watched and Loved
The Sing Off
More to Love
Private Practice
Grey’s Anatomy
The Office
Drop Dead Diva

Top 9 blogs I discovered that I love (to stalk)
Confessions of a Mormon Bachelor Pad
How Could You Not?!
Feminist Mormon Housewives
Fail Blog

Top 9 CDs I obsessively listened to
Muse – The Resistance
Imogen Heap – Ellipse
Elizabeth and the Catapult – Taller Children
Missy Higgins – On a Clear Night
John Mayer – Battle Studies
Vedera – Stages
Mat Kearney – City of Black and White
Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
U2 – No Line on the Horizon

Top 9 YouTube Videos
Slapchop Rap
JibJab’s 2009 in Review
All You Need Is Love Starbucks Project
Lenka “Trouble is a Friend”
Ingrid Michaelson “Maybe”
Jim and Pam Wedding (Forever)
United Breaks Guitars
Tweeting on a Jet Plane
Owl City “Fireflies”

Top 9 Favorite People to follow on Twitter

9 Favorite Places to Shop
Trader Joes
KSL.com Classifieds
Mitsuwa Asian Market

Mat Kearney – In The Venue

Last week, Esther and I saw Mat Kearney in concert at In the Venue in SLC. We’d seen him open for Keane in LA earlier this year, and were impressed by his stuff. I’d heard some of his music prior to that show, such as his radio hit “Nothing Left to Lose.” but this year I’ve been getting into more of his albums. We started our night out with dinner at Zupa’s, then headed to In The Venue in SLC.

Waiting for the show

The opening band was Vedera, and they did a short, but sweet, set. Their style was reminiscent of Paramore, and I’ve had their CD in heavy rotation all week. After tiring of the poor view from the back of the main floor, we headed up into the loft and sat on a six-foot high bench. We called it the crow’s nest and loved the view. Mat started around 9 pm and did a solid 2-hour set. Highlights were “Breathe In, Breathe Out,” “Undeniable,” “Closer to Love,” “Crashing Down,” and “City of Black and White.” I was particularly impressed with how crisp the percussion was…so much more defined than listening to the album. It enjoyed coming to the show with a greater appreciation of his music than his pre-Keane set in May. Esther and I are now certifiable “Kearneyheads!” (in addition to our Keane obsession…oddly enough the two acts share a lot of the same letters)

At the end of the show, Vedera came back on and did the final song with Mat and the Band. There was a great synergy between the two bands….you could tell that they were having fun on the tour. They barely made it to SLC, as the prior show was in Denver just as it was being slammed with a bunch of snow. We were glad they made it, because it was a show that was unforgettable…

It’s undeniable how brilliant you are
In an unreliable world you shine like a star
It’s unforgettable now that we’ve come this far
It’s unmistakable that you’re undeniable

Post-concert afterglow

NKOTB concert photo megapost

Mariesa and Rosie with the banner

We roadtripped to Greenville, SC from Atlanta…all for the love of Jon, Jordan, Joe, Danny, and Donnie. It was fun to share it with my daughter, but just as fun to share it with someone who remembered NKOTB back in the day.

The opening scene

“Baby when you’re single, single….”

Mariesa and Rosie
The band did a set toward the back of the arena right by us. We held our banner high, and got a wave from Jon! Unfortunately, the lady in front of us compained to the usher, and we were asked to put it down.

Raising the hydraulics

Pianotop dance contest

Mother Daughter Concert Love

Shirtless Jordan singing “Baby I Believe in You”

I’ll Be Loving You Forever

Click Click Click
At the end of Click Click Click, they took this awesome still shot, which they laughed and joked about for about 5 minute. The Knight brothers are on the left.

“It’s been a few years and I can’t deny…the thought of you still makes me crazy”

Step by Step

“Step 5 – Don’t you know that the time has arrived….HUHH”

Awesome logo during Hangin’ Tough

A view of our location without any zoom