Stuff I Liked in 2014

31 Dec

This sums it up.

OF COURSE.  The inevitable end-of-year summary, and my life would be incomplete without throwing my 2 cents into the fray.  I usually just do a music list, but I feel like 2014 was a weird year for media (or maybe just my consumption of it), so I’m going to highlight…whatever I feel like highlighting. Nothing is in order.


Taylor Swift – 1989 of course.  I’m not just partial to TaySway because she helped me write a good blog post…she killed it this year.  Her album is pop goodness, her promotion was spot on, she’s hilarious, and I think she will continue to climb.  Hail the Year of Taylor.  A vignette:

(SCENE: Jana meets up with Katie) 

Katie: Is that a Taylor Swift shirt?

Jana: Yes.

Katie: You mean you own 2 Taylor Sw-

Jana: Yes.


Icie – we found each other on Twitter and I listened and loved it.  Smart lyrics and um…British rap.  Yes, please.  Broken Violins is great.

Drew Kennedy – Drew released Sad Songs Happily Played, which is a live album he didn’t know was being recorded while he was performing.  This is the coolest way to make a live album.  He is such a good writer and if you don’t have it, well…get it.

Kelley Mickwee – Kelley is one of the best singers period, and her debut solo album You Used to Live Here is full of amazing songs.

The Belle Sounds – Black Stone EP.  This band sounds like nothing in Austin at the moment, which…face it, can we all admit how refreshing that is?  Noelle Hampton’s songs are gems.

Emily Shirley Suffering Soul.  Emily’s releasing a single at a time these days, which I love.  This one captures some sort of cinematic genius where you can almost picture Quentin Tarantino getting out of a muscle car in the middle of the desert when you listen.  (This is my own personal movie, take a listen and apply your own).

Sara Barreilles – her album The Blessed Unrest did not come out this year but she was nominated for album of the year at the Grammys for it and this single – I Choose You – came out this year and it’s so good.

Susan Gibson – OF COURSE.  This would be a favorite even if I wasn’t in the audience.  The Second Hand: Live at the Bugle Boy is the thing that captures the genius of the Gibson live show, in a great venue, FULL of great people.  The perfect night on disc.  If you have not heard The Second Hand or The Best of You well GO LISTEN WHILE I WAIT.  I AM WAITING.



Amy Schumer – I am fairly convinced she is the smartest thing on TV these days.  Watch any of these sketches for her biting satire.



Serial – I know, everyone’s talking about it, but it is pretty interesting.  The parodies are even good.

Here’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin – this show went on hiatus last year and I was sad.  Now it’s back.  Alec has many skills but I think radio host is one of his best ones.  It makes me want to have my own show and talk to people, which is weird for me to want.

With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus – the set up of this podcast blew my mind.  Every week Lauren is a new character and her guest is actually the HOST, making Lauren the special guest.  As the theme song says, “She’s the host but she’s always a guest and the guest is a host so she’s not really the host, it’s With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus, with your host as somebody else.”  Whoa.

Caity Weaver’s 14 Hour Search For The End of TGI Friday’s Endless Appetizers.  Just…read it.  Pure genius.



Yes Please – Amy Poehler: No brainer.  Amy’s book is different than most other comedian tomes I’ve read and I’m good with that. She’s smart, kind, and oh yeah, funny.

The Power of No – James Altucher: James is my favorite blogger.  He writes about real stuff and getting better at life, as opposed to all the self-improvement blogs that contain an air of unreachable perfection.

The Remembering Process – Daniel Barrett and Joe Vitale: This book is amazing and I’d be saying that even if Dan the Producer of Awesome hadn’t written it.  Truly, get this and reframe how you think.  It has done me wonders.

Through the Woods – Emily Carroll: I never thought I’d be caught up in a graphic novel of scary stories, but I found Emily Carroll one day and she sucked me in.  It’s Hitchcockian in its creepiness, which is about the right kind of creepy for me.

1 Response to Stuff I Liked in 2014


Don Richmond

December 31st, 2014 at 6:51 pm

Getting “The Remembering Process” – now I just have to remember to read it and all that – thanks, Jana!

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