Works of art can have infinite lifespans, and sometimes your favorite thing of the year isn’t necessarily something that was released during the previous 365 days. Maybe you were 10 years late on starting The Wire or listened to Fugazi for the first time in 2012. Just because it wasn’t released this year doesn’t mean that it doesn’t deserve some recognition. These are a few of the things that we missed out on when they first came out, but thankfully caught up on when we had the time.
Old Horror Movies
This year I went on a classic horror movie spree and watched a whole slew of old movies that I had somehow missed over the years. One of my favorites was The Baby, a freaky psychological horror film from 1973 about a social worker investigating the case of a grown man who is forced by his crazy mother and sisters to remain an “infant” for life. It’s a disturbing movie that came out around the same time as Rosemary’s Baby, The Devil Within Her (A.K.A. Sharon’s Baby), and other works that were at least partially in response to the women’s sexual liberation movement going on during that period.
Megan has been creating and exhibiting art for a dozen years now, and somehow I just learned about her in 2012. The minute I happened upon her modern-day take on the pathetically adorable big-eyed craze of the 60s, I already mentally redecorated the hallway and picked out a spot for my print to hang (I went with the pink-haired Frenchie look-a-like, though it was admittedly difficult choosing between her biker babes and tattooed mod chicks). Fans of kitschy vintage art will be whipping out their wallet as fast as I did. The best part? Megan offers prints in her Etsy shop framed and ready to go for only twenty bucks a pop.
I saw these guys play at the Soundpony in Tulsa, OK this summer. It was rowdy and greasy and my heart sank when their set was over. I bought a copy of their World War Fun release and proceeded to listen to it more than anything else I owned for the rest of the summer. They pull out all the proverbial lo-fi stops but in all honesty, there’s just this pop nostalgia that yanks at my heart and gets me dancing like a Peanuts character. The songs “Vietnomnomnom” and “Skateboard Devito” are in a constant battle to be the catchiest song in my life. If you can make it through this album without some happy urge to tap your appendages to the beat, maybe you should check your pulse!
It’s safe to say this is might be the first local act release I’ve listened to enough to actually memorize every single track.
I know, I’m slow, like 5ish years slow. I didn’t have cable growing up, and I’m still growing up. I pay whatever the monthly fee is for Netflix Instant Watch to very occasionally watch something instantly on my computer, and when I do, I frickin’ watch that stuff til’ there’s nothing left. (Probably why I don’t like TV.)
This spring my husband and I gave Mad Men some attention. I was naturally hyper-intrigued by the idea of Mad Men: the advertising industry, the dominant aesthetics of late 50s/early 60s fashion and decor, and don’t even get me started on the music! As a graphic designer and vintage everything junkie, we’re a formulaic match made in heaven. I’ll admit, it took a couple episodes to transform me from a partial skeptic rolling my eyes every other scene at the (seemingly) exaggerated big-shot white male nepotism, to an addict defending the character’s shortcomings like they’re my family and asking myself “What Would Joan Do?” For the first time in my life, I find myself actually waiting for a show to resume a new season, marking Mad Men as one of my favorite discoveries EVER, let alone this year.
There’s a chance I may never stay in a brand-name hotel ever again, and that’s all thanks to AirBnB. This “community marketplace for unique spaces” has helped me find a big comfy place to stay (and for cheap!) a time or two. It’s also caused me to fantasize about trips I never planned on taking, just so I can stay in a train or a music studio or a charming dome. Oh, and I’m also kind of obsessed with their design team.
Freetown Christiana is an independently operated area in Copenhagen, where residents have repurposed old army barracks and strange buildings into something out of a fairy tale, with twisted alleys and curved porches for roofs and bright colors everywhere. Like a heaven for homeless dogs and sinners and the otherwise dejected souls of our generation.
Lori Nix is an artist/photographer who creates elaborate fantastical dioramas of every neat thing you’ve always wanted to see, from sunken ships to abandoned palaces, then takes a perfect picture of them. Be sure to check out her Unnatural History collection, which features all the dark exhibits that don’t exist in real museums.
These illustrations by Amy Borrell at cakewithgiants.com are as cute as a bunch of tiny animals wearing tiny-animal-sized clothes. Her depiction of the 64 Moons of Jupiter beats out all the cosmic images released by apod this year.
The Santa Cruz line of Simpsons Skateboards
There are so many things about these beauts that I love. It is basically an accumulation of everything that I am and stand for. I love the Simpsons! I love skateboarding and the culture. And I love these designs. I am a true sucker for old skateboard designs. And when Santa Cruz brought old school designs that I love and fusing it with a cartoon that shaped my childhood and young adulthood. Come on!
I found this man through bored lunch hours of fishing around on the internet to find something to watch while eating my sub sandwich. I stumbled upon him through a website called Big Think. Eat a footlong sub. Learn about the makings of the universe.