Entertainment To-Do List: Week of 3/27/20

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CREDIT: Adult Swim

Every week, I list all the upcoming (or recently released) movies, TV shows, albums, podcasts, etc. that I believe are worth checking out.

TV
Three Busy Debras Series Premiere (March 29 on Adult Swim)
Beef House Series Premiere (March 29 on Adult Swim) – Tim & Eric’s latest venture.
Whose Line is it Anyway? Season 16 Premiere – Improv institution returning a little earlier than expected.

Music
-Dua Lipa, Future Nostalgia
-Pearl Jam, Gigaton

Watch And/Or Listen to This: Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now”

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CREDIT: Dua Lipa/YouTube Screenshot

Disco’s So Hot Right Now, Part 2

Best Songs of 2019

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CREDIT: Tove Lo/YouTube Screenshot

The following are the singles that had enough of an impact on me in 2019 to make me go, “I’ll have to mark that one down for posterity.” A few of them were originally released before 2019, but they didn’t reach their full cultural impact until 2019. And for the first time in the decade or so since I’ve been doing this, I’ve got a repeat winner, as I also coronated Tove Lo in 2017.

1. Tove Lo – “Glad He’s Gone”: Such friendship, such storytelling. We are all so blessed to have Tove Lo in our lives.
2. Lana Del Rey – “Mariners Apartment Complex”: Four minutes of musical madness that feels like hours of bliss.
3. The Chemical Brothers – “Eve of Destruction”: If you think the world’s gone to hell, have a dance party!
4. Vampire Weekend – “Sunflower”: There have been multiple (good) songs named “Sunflower” the past few years; this is the one that’s most likely to make you feel like a sunflower waking up in the morning.
5. Lizzo -“Truth Hurts”: 100% that mix of references that clearly hold deep emotional resonance for Lizzo.
6. Gary Clark Jr. – “This Land”: Can tasty guitar solos solve racism? Can’t hurt.
7. Hozier – “Dinner and Diatribes”: A galloping piece of soulfulness.
8. Dua Lipa – “Swan Song”: An original track from Alita: Battle Angel, and clearly the sound of future sci-fi feminism.
9. Sara Bareilles – “Armor”: Listen to Sara Bareilles getting down with her jazzy bad self and the rest of us getting down with her!
10. Kimbra – “Lightyear”: Space wonder Kimbra has a message to beam down to us earthbound folks.
11. Shaed – “Thunder”: One of those indie rock “This is who we are!” statements of declaration.
12. Billie Eilish – “Bad Guy”: Billie sings about the joys of being devious, but by all accounts, her personal life is quite wholesome. I think that’s a great way to live.
13. Meg Myers – “Running Up That Hill”: I’m just glad that Kate Bush covers are on the radio in 2019.
14. Lana Del Rey – “Doin’ Time”: Is Lana the current Queen of Remix? She just knows how to summon the past into her modern legacy.
15. Tones and I – “Dance Monkey”: We can always use some monosyllabic shouts amidst the more word-like lyrics to convince us to get up there and bust a move.
16. Camila Cabello – “Cry for Me”: Sometimes you need to make an insistent demand for emotional connection to get the message across.
17. Lil Nas X – “Old Town Road”: The epitome of Gen Z’s total lack of recognition of genre constraints.
18. Absofacto – “Dissolve”: A little skitter-skatter of chillax rock.
19. Benny Blanco, Tainy, Selena Gomez, and J Balvin – “I Can’t Get Enough”: A pleasure moan produced into nugget-size song form.
20. Starcrawler – “Pet Sematary”: It really is the perfect unassailable opening guitar riff to kick off some opening credits, no matter which version.

2/15/20 UPDATE: In the spirit of comprehension, I may have overlooked a few songs that I loved enough to be top 20-worthy from a band that had already made the cut. So, to correct the record, some more-than-honorable mentions go to “MAH” and “Got to Keep On” by the Chemical Brothers.

Billboard Hot 20 – Week of April 7, 2018

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Each week, I check out the Billboard Hot 100, and then I rearrange the top 20 based on my estimation of their quality. I used to rank all 20, now I just rank the cream of the crop.

Original Version
1. Drake – “God’s Plan”
2. Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line – “Meant to Be”
3. Bruno Mars and Cardi B – “Finesse”
4. Post Malone ft. Ty Dolla $ign – “Psycho”
5. Ed Sheeran – “Perfect”
6. BlocBoy JB ft. Drake – “Look Alive”
7. Zedd, Maren Morris, and Grey – “The Middle”
8. Lil Dicky ft. Chris Brown – “Freaky Friday”
9. XXXTentacion – “Sad!”
10. Camila Cabello ft. Young Thugh – “Havana”
11. Bazzi – “Mine”
12. The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar – “Pray for Me”
13. Migos – “Stir Fry”
14. Camila Cabello – “Never Be the Same”
15. Migos ft. Drake – “Walk It Talk It”
16. Kendrick Lamar and SZA – “All the Stars”
17. Offset and Metro Boomin – “Ric Flair Drip”
18. Rich the Kid – “Plug Walk”
19. NF – “Let You Down”
20. Dua Lipa – “New Rules”

Jmunney’s Revision
1. New Rules
2. Pray for Me
3. All the Stars
4. Havana
5. Never Be the Same

Billboard Hot 20 – Week of March 17, 2018

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Each week, I check out the Billboard Hot 100, and then I rearrange the top 20 based on my estimation of their quality. I used to rank all 20, now I just rank the cream of the crop.

Original Version
1. Drake – “God’s Plan”
2. Ed Sheeran – “Perfect”
3. Bruno Mars and Cardi B – “Finesse”
4. Post Malone ft. Ty Dolla $ign – “Pyscho”
5. Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line – “Meant to Be”
6. Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug – “Havana”
7. BlocBoy JB ft. Drake – “Look Alive”
8. Zedd, Maren Morris, and Grey – “The Middle”
9. The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar – “Pray for Me”
10. Migos – “Stir Fry”
11. Kendrick Lamar and SZA – “All the Stars”
12. Post Malone ft. 21 Savage – “Rockstar”
13. NF – “Let You Down”
14. Dua Lipa – “New Rules”
15. G-Eazy and Halsey – “Him & I”
16. Offset and Metro Boomin – “Ric Flair Drip”
17. XXXTentacion – “Sad!”
18. Bazzi – “Mine”
19. Camila Cabello – “Never Be the Same”
20. Imagine Dragons – “Thunder”

Jmunney’s Revision
1. New Rules
2. Pray for Me
3. All the Stars
4. Havana
5. Never Be the Same

Best Songs of 2017

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CREDIT: ToveLoVEVO

It’s early March, so it must be time for me to post my list of the best singles of the past year!

1. Tove Lo – “Disco Tits” – A woman doesn’t have to be modest to earn respect, and don’t Tove Lo know it.
2. Kesha – “Praying” – The gospel-tinged anthem we all need right now.
3. Lorde – “Green Light” – If you’re looking for euphoria, Lorde has you covered.
4. Jain – “Makeba” – This guaranteed toe-tapper/hip-spinner was technically released in 2016, but while it may have taken off in Jain’s native France that year, it didn’t really hit in the U.S. until that Levi’s commercial debuted in late 2017.
5. Marian Hill – “Down” – A deceptively simple piano-driven trip-hop jam from this Philadelphia duo.
6. Carly Rae Jepsen – “Cut to the Feeling” – We all need to just follow the Tao of Carly.
7. St. Vincent – “Los Ageless” – St. Vincent is still the master of combining genuine chops with super scuzzy distortion.
8. Beck – “Up All Night” – Put this track on if your house party’s tunes are bringing everyone down.
9. Miley Cyrus – “Younger Now” – Is this what agelessness feels like?
10. Dua Lipa – “New Rules” – Dua Lipa’s anthem attempt = anthem success!
11. Miguel – “Told You So” – If there is one singer above all others belting out tunes right now about whom I would say, “You’ve got to listen to what they’re saying,” it’s gotta be Miguel.
12. Alice Merton – “No Roots” – There may be no roots to Alice Merton’s disposition, but there plenty of roots, powerful ones at that, to her musical influences.
13. Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug – “Havana” – This song makes me sweaty. But it’s the sweat of passion, so I don’t feel gross.
14. Zedd and Alessia Cara – “Stay” – Zedd is the kind of DJ so skilled at bottling up those moments you don’t want to let slip away.
15. Calvin Harris ft. Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, and Big Sean – “Feels” – Just some tropical vibes to get you by.
16. Portugal. The Man – “Feel It Still” – The sort of generational rock song with lyrics that might mean something profound or nothing at all.
17. Katy Perry ft. Ziggy Marley – “Chained to the Rhythm” – Direct, but also pointed and bopping.
18. The Killers – “The Man” – One thing we can count in this life is songs entitled “The Man” being silly but also kind of anthemic.

Billboard Hot 20 – Week of March 3, 2018

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Each week, I check out the Billboard Hot 100, and then I rearrange the top 20 based on my estimation of their quality. I used to rank all 20, now I just rank the cream of the crop.

Original Version
1. Drake – “God’s Plan”
2. Ed Sheeran – “Perfect”
3. Bruno Mars and Cardi B – “Finesse”
4. Camila Camello ft. Young Thug – “Havana”
5. BlocBoy JB ft. Drake – “Look Alive”
6. Post Malone ft. 21 Savage – “Rockstar”
7. Kendrick Lamar and SZA – “All the Stars”
8. Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line – “Meant to Be”
9. The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar – “Pray for Me”
10. Migos – “Stir Fry”
11. Dua Lipa – “New Rules”
12. NF – “Let You Down”
13. Zedd, Maren Morris, and Grey – “The Middle”
14. G-Eazy and Halsey – “Him & I”
15. Kendrick Lamar ft. Zacari – “Love.”
16. Imagine Dragons – “Thunder”
17. Halsey – “Bad at Love”
18. Bazzi – “Mine”
19. Post Malone – “I Fall Apart”
20. MAX ft. gnash – “Lights Down Low”

Jmunney’s Revision
1. New Rules
2. Pray for Me
3. All the Stars
4. Havana
5. Love.

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