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

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

Top 10s of 2010

Top 10 Albums of 2010

1. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

2. Ben Folds – Lonely Avenue

3. Keane – Night Train

4. Florence and The Machine – Lungs

5. Vampire Weekend – Contra

6. Sarah Bareilles – Kaleidoscope Heart

7. Sufjan Stevens – The Age of Adz

8. OK Go – Of The Blue Colour of the Sky

9. Kings of Leon – Come Around Sundown

10. Maroon 5 – Hands All Over

Top 10 Movies I Saw This Year

1: Love and Other Drugs

2. Toy Story 3

3. The Social Network

4. Tron Legacy

5. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

6. The Black Swan

7. Inception

8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part 1)

9. Despicable Me

10. Date Night


Most Watched TV Shows of 2010

1. Big Bang Theory

2. How I Met Your Mother

3. 30 Rock

4. Glee

5. Nip/Tuck

6. Californication

7. The IT Crowd

8. Weeds


10. The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret


Favorite 10 Apps/Websites/Social Networks/Games

1. Twitter

2. Facebook

3. Foursquare

4. WordPress

5. Get Glue

6. Tumblr

7. Beatles Rock Band

8. LinkedIn

9. Will It Blend?

10. Smurfs Village



Not-New Bands  that I finally communed with:


2. Incubus

3. Oasis

4. The Eels

5. Linkin Park


Best 2 Books I Read

1. Hotel On The Corner of Bitter and Sweet

2. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

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


Five words:

My Pirates of Penzance Quest

One of my favorite musicals of all time is The Pirates of Penzance. It is a play that I’ve been in 3 times, once as a policeman and twice as a daughter of the Major General. My best friend Lizzie also shares the same obsession with Pirates. Especially the 1983 movie version. We can make quotes and comments about catlike tread, hailing poetry, pouring pirate sherry, and gaily treading the measure, and burst out into simultaneous song together. I’ve had other friends that love the play, such as Emily and Celeste, but nobody else has equalled my campy obsession with Pirates as Liz. And we’re not talking Jack Sparrow pirates; we’re talking singing, dancing, bumbling and squooshy-with-emotion pirates. She had posted a Facebook status update this week, referring to herself as being the “Very model of a Modern Major General”. And I replied back with “I know the kings of England and I quote the fights historical, from Marathon to Waterloo in order categorical.” And then we started texting back and forth about our love of the music and choreography and Rex Smith’s jewfro. Then the wheels in my head started turning, and I asked her, “Do you have it on DVD.” And she said, “I don’t think it’s even been released on DVD. I’ve got a horrible stage adaptation of it on DVD, and a discombobulated VHS version, but no DVD.”
And then my quest began. I told her, “I will do everything in my power to find this movie for you on DVD.” And she relied, “You would be the undisputed eternal queen of awesomeness.”

I NEED that title of Undisputed Eternal Queen of Awesomeness in my life. It would look good on a resume.
I’ve been researching all over the internet, and so far all I can easily find is the horrible stage adaptation on DVD. The HBO version stars Kevin Kline, Linda Ronstadt and Rex Smith…and any other version is just not the same.

I plan to start a Facebook petition to HBO to release the movie on DVD, since they originally released it on VHS. But in the mean time, does anyone have a quality version of the VHS that I can rip into a DVD for Lizzie for her Christmas gift?

Girls Night Out

Last night, I grabbed my two best friends in Michigan, and went to see “Twilight” for a Girls’ Night Out. Husbands stayed back and watched the kiddos, the soundtrack was a-blasting in the car, and we were ready for some hot vampire action. We stopped by the store first, grabbing some drinks and candy to smuggle in. Hillary (middle) and Erin (right) had never actually met each other, but Hillary recognized Erin, and I think they made fast friends. After the movie, we had appetizers and dessert from Chili’s, and stayed up way past our bedtimes.

There’s no way I could have survived my time in Michigan with these ladies. Here’s a little about my ladies:

Hillary lived in the apartment next door to me. She is the only neighbor who came over to introduce herself in the whole time I’ve lived here. She has a deliciously adorable daughter, and Rosie loves to dote over. We both dealt with Absent Husband Syndrome for the first half of the year, as both men had to constantly travel for work. We kept up on American Idol together (although she voted for the wrong David) She moved a few blocks away in the summer, but we still saw each other all the time. She needed some extra cash, and I needed someone to flexibly watch Rosie on the days Taylor was on a trip. She was so sweet…she offered to let us stay over for dinner almost everyday that Rosie was at her place. We are both movie/music nuts and love to stay abreast of all the latest new releases.

Erin got to see my husband a lot more than I got to see him in 2007. Her husband Mike was Taylor’s bunkmate at Jet U for 5 months last year, so we both suffered from Absent Husband Syndrome. When they both started working at DTW, Taylor lived on their couch for next-to-nothing for three months. Erin graciously kept a stiff upper lip when he was hard to live with, and let him stay much longer than originally anticipated. We met last November on the weekend I flew out from California to find a place to live. We ended up living within walking distance of each other. We share the same obsessions of Trader Joes, creative crafting, Keane, blogging/LJing, and the fresh organic produce. It was tough to have get-togethers for both of our families because Mike seemed to typically work the opposite days of Taylor. She’s attempted to teach me to knit, and I still owe her a sewing lesson. We share the same pain of being drowning in debt from our husband’s careers, and living of their anorexic paychecks. I introduced her to the Twilight series, so we’ll always be connected through vampire blood.

Speaking of vampire blood, didn’t I pull off the vampire look pretty well to see the movie?

Flaps Up!

This morning Taylor and I caught the early showing of Madagascar 2. The pilot penguins totally make the movie! From the “Flaps Up!” comment, to the union contract representative (“No maternity leave!”), you may catch yourself laughing so hard your eyes tear up….it happened for Taylor. I recommend this for the whole family, especially those that love aviation movies.

WALL-E and BBs

Today started out so great..slept in with Taylor, ate some yummy french toast for breakfast, watched a beautiful rainstorm, and then saw WALL-E with Rosie, Taylor, Mike, and Erin. As we walked out to the car after the flick, I noticed seven bullet holes in the side of Taylor’s Civic!!!

I just came back inside from talking to a police officer who took the police report. A few silver BBs were in the cracks of the asphalt at our apartment, so it didn’t happen in the parking lot of the theater. The officer said that two other people had filed reports in our neighborhood for BB vandalism. I guess that I didn’t notice the holes in the car when we left for the theater because the car was still covered in rain from the storm.

This is the third incident with Taylor’s “new” Civic since he bought it in March. First was the drivers side rear fender, then it was the rear bumper….both hit-and-runs in the airport parking lot. Now BB’s at our apartment?

At least WALL-E was wonderful. I totally loved it and suggest you see it.