Thursday, February 02, 2023


Here's a look at the music I loved and listened to the most from 2022. If you enjoy the genre one of my picks is from, chances are it's worth a listen. Let me know what albums I'm missing! 

While you're here, check out my list of the Best Albums of All Time! You'll find my #1 pick for every year from 1924 to the Present. Then under each year you'll find a list of all the albums I love that first came out that year. 


Now, onto this year! First, I list my favorite albums. Then I list them again, with a few comments about why I love them. Below that you'll find links to my in-depth library of music, presented by artist and then to cap it off, my #1 picks of all time, with the latest lucky artist at the top. This year, that artist is...


ELVIS COSTELLO -- The Boy Named If /The Resurrection of Rust 
HARRY STYLES -- Harry's House 
ESLABÓN ARMADO -- Nostalgia 
BARBRA STREISAND -- Live At The Bon Soir 
ROLLING STONES -- Live At The El Mocambo 
iLe -- Nacarile 
ALTAMEDA -- Born Losers 
TOMMY MCLAIN -- I Ran Down Every Dream 
WET LEG -- Wet Leg 
TCHOTCHKE -- Tchotchke 

WEYES BLOOD -- And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow 
BAD BUNNY  -- Un Verano Sin Ti 
LADY BLACKBIRD -- Black Acid Soul 
NOORI & HIS DORPA BAND -- Beja Power! Electric Soul & Brass From Sudan's Red Sea Coast  
DR. JOHN -- Things Happen That Way 
JOEL ROSS -- The Parable Of The Poet 

VARIOUS ARTISTS -- Gotta Get A Good Thing Goin': Black Music In Britain In The Sixties 
ASHLEY MCBRYDE -- Presents Lindeville 
IAN NOE -- River Fools and Mountain Saints 
JULIA BULLOCK -- Walking In The Dark 
STEVE LACY -- Gemini Rights 
JUDY COLLINS -- Spellbound 
VARIOUS ARTISTS -- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Music From And Inspired By
COLIN HAY -- Now and The Evermore 
OUMOU SANGARÉ -- Timbuktu 
DUNCAN SHEIK -- Claptrap 

GOGOL BORDELLO -- Solidaritine 
MADONNA -- Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones 
VIGÜELA -- A La Manera Artesana 
PANIC! AT THE DISCO -- Viva Las Vengeance 
BINKER & MOSES -- Feeding The Machine 
MEGHAN TRAINOR -- Takin' It Back 
ALEC BENJAMIN -- (Un)Commentary 
THE MOVERS -- Vol. 1: 1970-1976
MIDLAKE -- For The Sake Of Bethel Woods 
RENÉE FLEMING -- Voice Of Nature: The Anthropocene 

 THE BEST ALBUMS OF 2022 (a breakdown)  

1-10 (plus 3) 

ELVIS COSTELLO -- The Boy Named If /The Resurrection of Rust 

Check out my list of the best albums of all time and you'll see him year after year after year. From 1977 with his debut My Aim Is True to the 1980s with the infectious Get Happy! and the baroque Imperial Bedroom to the 1990s and the 2000s and the 2010s right up to today, Elvis Costello has consistently delivered great music for almost 50 years. Indeed, 18 albums and 1 EP of his have popped onto my "best of" lists over the years, often right near the top. Whether he's collaborating with Burt Bacharach or the Roots, exploring New Orleans jazz or singing with a classical quartet,  Costello is always fascinating, always great. His voice has a timbre all its own, cutting through with its nervy anger or gorgeous croon. Maybe those marvelous experimentations of recent years weren't quite your cup of tea. If not, The Boy Named If is your chance to dive right back in. Costello pounds it out with one great rock song after another. This is a mature, adult Costello, but any song on here would sound right at home in concert side by side with songs from This Year's Model. Remember when everyone assumed watching grown men try to rock out would be embarrassing? Surely the Rolling Stones would have to hang it up when they hit, say, 40 years old! Well, here's Costello at 68 sounding as brash and hungry as ever. Just to prove his consistency, Costello "reunites" his original band Rusty by bringing pal Allan Mayes into the studio to rerecord six songs their group covered back in the day. Like Tom Petty's late career reunion with Mudcrutch, it's not nostalgia or generosity here-- they sound damn good. But then, Elvis Costello always does.  

HARRY STYLES -- Harry's House 

Apparently, One Direction was a super group. All the lads enjoy solo success, with my money still on Niall Horan to break even bigger than he has so far. But clearly Harry Styles is the one. If 1D has a reunion, it will be because Harry decides they should. (And why not Harry; it would be fun.) His solo success wasn't fore-ordained. Sure, Harry co-wrote some of their songs (including the not-so-swift Taylor retort "Perfect"), but he wasn't the driving creative force any more than Robbie Williams was in Take That. Yet the band took a "break" and Harry turned out his debut solo album which was ok and then another one which was solid and now this. Yes, each album was better than the one before, with Styles working through his influences. But I still wasn't ready for the sonic delight on display here or the pop song-craft. Now he just sounds like...Harry Styles. It's quiet, sad, open-hearted and sometimes creepy. (Those lines "Cocaine, side boob/ Choke her with a sea view" contrast darkly with the sensitive soul listening to a friend's woes in "Matilda," for example.) And it's so compulsively listenable, with every track on side one sounding like a monster hit, not just the unstoppable "As It Was." All the songs were written by Styles with at least one collaborator, but they sure sound personal.  Maybe a good comparison is Carole King for its vibe of feeling confessional and universal at the same time. Here's hoping he can follow up this tapestry with a lot more like it. 

ESLABÓN ARMADO -- Nostalgia 

Combining the ethnic pride of ranchero with the socially conscious lyrics of norteño, the young band Eslabón Armado has -- wait. Actually I don't know a damn thing about Sierreña or how these guys combine the sounds they heard diving into their parents' album collections with one ear cocked to the radio. All I know is they hit the Billboard Album Top 10 chart, the first Regional Mexican artist to ever do so. That caught my attention. Thanks to streaming, I didn't have to agonize about spending $15 on a compact disc just to check them out. Two minutes after hearing about them, I'm nodding my head along with vocals that burst with charisma and acoustic guitar interplay that makes me yearn to see them in concert. And if you don't speak the language, don't worry. Just listen and you'll know they're having their hearts broken. (Or you can use Google Translate.)  I first listened to them back in May of 2022. Eight months later I'm still digging them, exploring their four earlier albums and wondering when they'll make it to Alabama and...hold on. A quick search shows they're playing Montgomery, Alabama on February 26! You know, the internet isn't all bad. 

BARBRA STREISAND -- Live At The Bon Soir 
ROLLING STONES -- Live At The El Mocambo 

Like a god, Barbra Streisand arrived fully formed during club dates in 1962. She had no learning curve; we had a learning curve to keep up with her. The vocal acrobatics, the humor, the insight into the lyrics, the performance of those lyrics akin to a great actor tackling a role, the pacing, the perfectionism, the taste in was all there. These performances were unavailable for decades and naturally they grew in the telling. No actual recording could live up to the hype, except they do. Astonishing. 

In contrast, I've never hungered for any live albums from the Rolling Stones. I'm a Beatles fan in the great Stones vs. Beatles debate (as if one had to choose) and I've always loved the Beatles and merely appreciated the Stones. Never wanted to see one of their massive stadium shows, even if Mick and Keith can hold the attention of 80,000 fans whenever they want. But yeah, if I was going to see the Stones, I'd want it to be the impossible fantasy of a club date. Something like their Live At The El Mocambo performances from 1977. Ronnie Wood is new to the band and they've got something to prove and clearly a club is the place to prove it. Fans knew via bootleg these shows were special, but damn. It can make even a hold-out like me learn to love 'em. 

iLe -- Nacarile 
ALTAMEDA -- Born Losers 

Whew! I named iLe's album Almadura as the best album of 2019. Pretty bold to back such a young act. Her follow-up proves my faith in this Puerto Rican talent is well-founded. Not that anyone else is paying enough attention this time around. Similarly, Canadian act Altameda seems to be flying dangerously under the radar. With their third album, they are ready for the spotlight, having built on their first two albums and honed their chops in concert. Both acts are lyrically precise, musically captivating, alive. Either one could easily be the Act Of The Moment and I've loved them so much it's a shock to look online and discover precious little attention. Maybe college radio or some alternative Latin formats are embracing them? All I know is, you should. 

iLe's new album features a panoply of guest artists, but it feels as fully her own as ever. She's definitely in charge, twisting sexist comments back on the men who say them, embracing an image as "difficult" because what's wrong with knowing who you are and wrapping it all up in music as sonically adventurous as ever. It's a treat and a wake-up call at the same time. It took me a while to track it down, but the word "nacarile" means sort of being in a place that's the middle of nowhere and a slang way of saying "no, uh-uh, not happening." So iLe can't be tied down to this or that location or region or style of music. And no,  you're not going to forget her. Not happening. Nacarile. 

Altameda is a rock band. The opener on their latest album is "Dead Man's Suit," a song about a thrift store purchase that includes lyrics worthy of John Prine. The centerpiece "Everybody's Got To Bleed" has a Stones-like crunch. They portray females with empathy on "Ramona Retreat" (about a woman slipping away from her lover to return home for good) and "Sweet Susie." Really their third album feels more confident musically and lyrically than ever, from "Wheel of Love" to the title track (with guitar echoing George Harrison) and the gorgeous closer "In Time They Say." They nod to Dylan and the Band here and there. Like Springsteen, on "Nightmare Town" they detail with care the places that formed them, but at the same time convey the desperate desire to get the hell out of there. Wilco? The Jayhawks? Those are useful touchstones here. Like them and you'll probably like Altameda. Only 50 years of Elvis Costello's genius kept me from naming this rocker the best album of the year. If you're in the market for "favorite new band," Altameda is ready for you.

TOMMY MCLAIN -- I Ran Down Every Dream 

Oh I love a great backstory as much as anyone. Beloved but obscure act gets their moment of glory? Aging veteran given a showcase with the help of their more famous friends? Sign me up! So let me be clear. Both these albums came on my radar not because of their backstories but because my friend Sal said they were worth my time. I put them on the to-be-listened-to list and when I got around to them, I wasn't even sure why they were on the pile. But the moment the music starts, you know they're special. Tommy McLain has a long, funky career and here's the aging vet making the artistic statement of a lifetime. Charlie Gabriel is a key member of the legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band. He plays multiple instruments, is revered in New Orleans and is releasing his debut the age of 89. EIGHTY NINE! If that doesn't scream feature story for NPR and CBS Sunday Morning and the like, I don't know what does. But I knew NONE OF THIS when I played them. The wisdom, the strongly etched lyrics of McLain blew me away. The sheer beauty of Charlie Gabriel's playing on classic standards held me still. And then I checked out their stories. Just play them. McLain's is a treat. Gabriel mixes a few genial originals with some lovely versions of classic tunes. What exactly happens on his version of "Stardust" that makes me sigh with pleasure? He doesn't radically rework the song or deconstruct it with flair, the way John Coltrane blew apart "My Favorite Things." It's a simple duet with guitar and Gabriel on clarinet. He doesn't worry about a purity of tone. In fact, a few times, he allows a little distortion to show us he's only human, though by and large his sound is lovely here.  I think what makes it special is that the musicians clearly love this song. Maybe they've played it a thousand times but they're paying attention to it. And so we pay attention to them. Gabriel begins in an ever so sprightly manner and then at about the 1:08 mark, he clears his throat and launches into the main melody and it's just...heart-stopping.

And do check out Burning Wood, the music blog of my friend Sal Nunziato. He's turned me on to great new music over the years, almost as often as he's championed classic albums I need to listen to again or for the first time. His Top 10 albums of 2022 contain seven albums I also loved. So clearly he's got good taste...or I'm just cribbing from him. 

Also if you've got vinyl to sell, he's your man. (If you want to buy vinyl, he's got you covered there as well.)

WET LEG -- Wet Leg 
TCHOTCHKE -- Tchotchke 

Okay, there's world music and hip hop and acts devising music that can catch your ear in ten seconds on TikTok. But don't worry. Kids will always grab some guitars, a drum, a bass and start pounding out \ rock and roll. Hence the pleasure of these three acts. Wet Legs got all the buzz and like any music consumer burned many times in the past by music industry hype, I wasn't jumping to check out a band suddenly buried in press clippings. I've seen that hustle before. But people with good taste kept mentioning them too and well, what the heck, why not give them a listen? Damn if Wet Leg isn't a blast with its meat and potatoes rock and roll, which is a compliment in my book. The star-making machinery might just as easily have singled out Buzzard Buzzard, Buzzard, a pretty obscure UK act. Wet Legs is deservedly touring the world and playing music festivals like Coachella. Meanwhile fellow UK act Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard (one of my least favorite band names; I mean, really guys?) is just as awesome and promising. They sing "Come on, rock on!" without irony, and who could ask for more than that.Their upcoming tour dates include...maybe some shows in Bristol in March?  And yet another act (this one with the cool name of Tchotchke) is also delivering the goods. They might actually slipstream behind Wet Legs since both are all-female acts, a still too rare occurrence in rock. Their album is more eclectic and pop-friendly than the others. But all three could set up their gear in your garage, plug in and thrash away to the delight of friends and neighbors. If you like Wet Leg, jump on the other two right away. 


Cécile McLorin Salvant was already one of the boldest and most exciting jazz singers around, building on the brilliant, path-breaking recordings of Cassandra Wilson with her own singular vision. I named her album Dreams and Daggers the best of 2017. Now she's expanded even my idea of what a jazz vocalist might encompass with her latest, most theatrical album yet. It contains a clutch of originals sitting comfortably alongside  a number of songs you can only describe as "eclectic." It opens with an astonishing cover of Kate Bush's delirious debut single "Wuthering Heights," a song I love and yet never imagined someone else covering. You'll also find -- among others -- a very obscure song by Sting ("Until," a tune rescued from the soundtrack of the modest Hugh Jackman film Kate & Leopold), Kurt Weill's "The World Is Mean," a traditional number and "Optimistic Voices" from The Wizard of Oz. What's that? You thought you knew The Wizard of Oz and haven't heard of that song? Tell me about it. I was listening to the album when she sang it and without looking at the liner notes I just knew I was familiar with this song but I was damned if I could remember from where. It drove me nuts but I refused to look it up until finally my aging brain clicked into action. Dorothy is entering the Emerald City and a chorus of voices perkily delivers "Optimistic Voices," telling her how much she's really really going to like her time visiting there. You've heard it countless times and it's part of your subconsciousness, just sitting there until Salvant brings it up to the surface. Her great achievement is not reviving obscure gems or casting familiar songs in a new light. It's all of that and more -- an expansive embrace of popular music as broad as her vocal range. Salvant can do it all. And does. 

NOTE: It's been pointed out to me that Pat Benatar covered "Wuthering Heights" on her second album Crimes Of Passion, the best-selling album of her career. Bette Midler covered "Optimistic Voices" on her second album, 1973's Bette Midler. So take away my rock card and my gay card. 


WEYES BLOOD -- And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow 

A Seventies vibe, sure, but she's not retro. Weyes Blood is delivering a very distinctive body of work in the singer-songwriter but-I-know-what-I'm-doing-in-a-studio genre. You might just start with the album Titanic Rising (I really can't get the should-have-been-a-hit song "Everyday" out of my head). If you do, before you know it you'll be listening to this excellent follow-up as well. 

BAD BUNNY  -- Un Verano Sin Ti 

The artist of the year. We're in an era that devalues the album and hey, that's how music was heard for most of the past 100 years, with singles and a stream of music mattering more than the album, that unhip artistic statement of a 40 minute song cycle. For two or three years now, the singles and collaborations and albums of Bad Bunny kept coming and kept delighting. And I've had albums of his higher on my lists. I just wish I would hold up one of them and say, HERE! Start here. But you know, start here. 


Miranda Lambert really is astonishing, never putting a foot wrong. She pivots from an expansive double album to a Pistol Annies Christmas album to the stripped down Marfa Tapes and tosses off a couple of terrific studio albums before and after. Palomino is terrific. It doesn't explicitly echo any of her musical explorations alongside others. But you get the sense her palette is more varied than ever. I'll follow her anywhere. 


A marvelous composer, Jóhannsson died too soon, so this is a posthumous release. He's best known for film scores, including the towering achievement of The Miners' Hymns, a brilliant documentary that combines archival footage with Jóhannsson's music to triumphant effect. (It was my favorite film of 2012.) Here he's composed a mass, a mass one might imagine is a requiem though it doesn't have the weighty sadness of such an enterprise. He's especially good at using voices in choral arrangements that are haunting and classical in nature. Clearly Jóhannsson enjoyed Arvo Pärt as much as anyone. But he's his own artist and this is perhaps a final reminder of how much we lost when he died in 2018. 

LADY BLACKBIRD -- Black Acid Soul 

I listened to Black Acid Soul. Vaguely retro soul music with a strong voice, but I've heard it all before. Months later, I put it on again and wow! How does it happen that an album can strike you so differently on a second listen? Suddenly, Lady Blackbird is an artist I'm dying to see in concert and tell friends about and anxiously hope she'll deliver the goods next time around. Because I want more music. A real talent and yet more proof that sometimes it not them, it's you. Keep an open ear. 

NOORI & HIS DORPA BAND -- Beja Power! Electric Soul & Brass From Sudan's Red Sea Coast  

What do I know about the music of Sudan? About as much as I know about ranchero. (Check out Eslabón Armado, above.) What do I know about the travails of the Beja people? Even less. Apparently music has been stifled and suppressed in Sudan in countless ways over the years. Maybe that's why this album is so joyous. This new band kicks out the jams and delivers world music, which is to say music for the world. Infectious, fun, compulsively listenable and when you hear it you'll want to learn more about Noori & His Dorpa Band. as well as Sudan and the Beja people. Or you can just dance to it. 


Power pop heaven. I never listen to EPs but somehow I stumbled across an EP of this band. Damn it was good. Straightforward, catchy pop-leaning rock and roll with clever lyrics. In other words, power pop that's compulsively listenable. When would a proper album out? Months and months later a second EP appeared. I never listen to EPs but I listened to that one too and damned if it wasn't just as high in quality as the first. Finally, in 2023 the third and final EP in the trilogy came out. I'm retroactively declaring this an album (you can buy it on vinyl as such, I think or follow me on Amazon Music and click onto my playlist combining the three EPs) and putting it on this list now. The Raspberries, Fountains of Wayne and the like are good comparisons. Just terrific. But wait, there's more! After falling in love with them, I discovered they rose from the ashes of the legendary power pop band Jellyfish. That group released two beloved albums in the 1990s and then disappeared. And no, I'd never even heard of Jellyfish, much less heard them, if you follow me. Now I'm gaga for Bellybutton (1990) and Spilt Milk (1993) and you'll find them on my lists of the best albums of those years so I look like I was really cool and smart back in 1990, even though I wasn't. So check out The Lickerish Quartet and you'll discover two great bands for the price of one. 


It's not her debut  but singer-songwriter Silvana Estrada comes into her own with this Blue album of heartbreak. Estrada performs on the cuatro -- a sort of smallish guitar I'd never heard of before -- and it's the key instrument here, keeping the music intimate and folk-ish even as Estrada employs everything from an organ to a cello to complement the simple directness of her voice and her playing. Mesmerizing. 

DR. JOHN -- Things Happen That Way 

What a great country detour for Dr. -- kidding! It's not a country album. It's just a Dr. John album, the voodoo/bayou/New Orleans gumbo you expect from one of the city's most famous performers. Sure he covers some country classics like "Funny How Time Slips Away" and "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry." But it's the swampy, soulful sound the Dr. has been prescribing to audiences for more than 50 years. He died in 2019 in the midst of recording this, but they must have been about to wrap things up because it sure sounds complete. It's a great, mellow capper to a marvelous career. How often can you tell people that if they want to check someone out, that the 33rd or so album he recorded is a great place to start? 

JOEL ROSS -- The Parable Of The Poet 

Entire sub-genres of jazz are devoted to spiritual matters. They can be searching, questioning works like A Love Supreme or they can offer solace and contemplation. That's what you get here with vibraphonist Joel Ross's new work. Ross composed seven movements, from Prayer to Benediction and assembled a terrific group of musicians to bring his piece to life, especially Immanuel Wilkins on alto sax. This isn't aural wallpaper, it's not soothing as such. But it does offer a calm and centeredness amidst the spiritual journey Ross embarks on. Apparently that journey is a self-effacing one: Ross is the guiding force here but his vibraphone is not front and center. You'll have to check out his other albums to savor it more, but after hearing this you'll be doing so. 


VARIOUS ARTISTS -- Gotta Get A Good Thing Goin': Black Music In Britain In The Sixties 

What a terrific compilation. (By the way, kids, a "compilation" or "boxed set" is a sort of physical playlist. Someone came up with a terrific playlist but instead of just posting it online, they were so proud of it they put it out on vinyl or CD or cassette for all I know so people could buy it and put it on their shelf. Go figure!) As the subtitle says, it gathers Black music in Britain in the Sixties. As far as I can tell, these weren't by and large big hits in the Sixties, but the Northern Soul movement in the UK has long rediscovered relatively obscure songs and given them a second life. For example, the Flirtations had one modest Top 40 hit in the U.S. with "Nothing But A Heartache." Carl Douglas enjoyed a fluke novelty hit with "Kung Fu Fighting" in 1974...but six years earlier in 1968 he put out the memorable "Serving A Sentence Of Life." Nobody paid it any attention. They're both on here with a host of other songs by acts only hardcore enthusiasts would know. The full boxed set features more than 100 tracks, though only 30+ are available to stream on Amazon Music. (If you're obsessive like me, you can check out the track list and hear the rest by heading to YouTube or searching for individual acts on your streamer of choice.) The music is so fun, I haven't felt this giddy since diving into the Rhino Records boxed set Beg, Scream & Shout, a similar Aladdin's cave of riches. The acts here are not so hefty artistically as the better-known ones on that set, not by a country mile, yet both collections opened up vistas for me and kind of blew my mind. Gotta Get A Good Thing Goin' is a testament to just how much damn good music is out there. 

ASHLEY MCBRYDE -- Presents Lindeville 
IAN NOE -- River Fools and Mountain Saints 

The working class. The working poor. Poor people. Country and folk music is where you can dependably find them presented with affection and clarity of the "don't pull that shit with me, I know the game" variety. They know life is hard in country and folk, but that's no excuse. 

Ashley McBryde gathers a host of musicians to offer a variety show of sorts depicting regular folk. It's a hoot from the opening track, "Brenda Put Your Bra On." She leans heavily into the humor at first. But as her concept album deepens, so do the shadows until they're enjoying gospel night at a strip club and it's no joke when they sing "Jesus loves the drunkards and the whores and the queers." It's a prayer. 

Ian Noe is deadly serious in capturing the underbelly of serious poverty and despair. His folk-rock album River Fools and Mountain Saints is a series of short stories set in the heartland where the heart is in love with opioids, not love. If there's a swing set in the yard, it's rusted. Drunkards, veterans, mountain saint mothers who do what they must to get by and wouldn't know how to complain if it ever occurred to them to try -- they're all here. All here in songs that pierce the Appalachian haze with a spotlight because what else can you do but write it down? 

JULIA BULLOCK -- Walking In The Dark 

A rising classical star, soprano Julia Bullock does it right with her solo debut. Her husband Christian Reif conducts the London Philharmonic and accompanies her on piano. Composer John Adams called Bullock his muse so she returns the favor by including an aria from his work El Niño. The other major outing is "Knoxville: Summer Of 1915," which I forever associate with Dawn Upshaw. Other songs include the Connie Converse piece "One By One," a spiritual and even Sandy Denny's "Who Knows Where The Time Goes?" You might chide it for following the blueprint of such albums to a fault, if she didn't deliver the goods. 

STEVE LACY -- Gemini Rights 

While we wait for Maxwell's blacksummerNIGHT, this soulful and psychedelic offering will do just fine. Stevie Wonder is a heady but worthy comparison.

JUDY COLLINS -- Spellbound 

Late in her career, Judy Collins is on a hitting streak, knocking out one excellent album after another. Think Johnny Cash in his final days or Rosemary Clooney once she paired up with Concord Records. This 29th (!) studio album is the first on which Collins wrote all the songs. Well, no wonder, since she built her carer on showing great taste in the songs of others, ranging from Joni Mitchell and Stephen Sondheim to Leonard Cohen and beyond. When you've got a gift for uncovering gems by others, focusing on just your own songs might take a back seat. The happy surprise is how good her own songs are here. Forgive yourself if you didn't know better and kept wondering what talented songwriter Collins lit upon this time. And her voice is in fine form. Whatever agility or heights she has lost are more than made up for by knowing exactly how to use the instrument she has. 

VARIOUS ARTISTS -- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Music From And Inspired By

Both times, I've enjoyed the soundtrack more than the film. The first one was overseen by Kendrick Lamar, wonderfully so. This time the soundtrack has a more expansive, world music scope, even if the song getting much of the attention is Rihanna's return to the spotlight. In many ways, it captures the vibe of the Black Panther ethos even better this time around. Instead of heavyweights stopping by, listening to it is like heading to Wakanda and discovering all sorts of riches you had no idea were available. 

COLIN HAY -- Now and The Evermore 

Zach Braff was right. Okay, I won't stick with just that one-liner. But Braff really has kept me on top of the solo career of Colin Hay, the Men At Work frontman who has delivered so many solo albums by now he really wishes we'd quit with the Men At Work references. But now you know who he is and that the mellow angst of "Overkill" wasn't a downer misstep by the band but a hint at the rich territory Hay would explore on his own. I enjoyed his recent covers album but this new collection of tunes might be his peak. Think solo Sting. 

OUMOU SANGARÉ -- Timbuktu 

The Mali singer Oumou Sangaré has nothing to prove after decades of vibrant recordings, social activism, a worldwide profile as a feminist leader and success as a businessperson. But here she is, heading to the US during the COVID lockdowns and recording a new album embracing elements of the blues and folk without ever abandoning the Malian sound that is at her core. It's fresh and exciting without ever stooping to an attempt at cross-over. Sangaré doesn't stoop, unless it's to help others up. 

DUNCAN SHEIK -- Claptrap 

Maybe it's the voice. Duncan Sheik sings and you lean in. His singing is intimate and confessional; his best album -- the Nick Drake-inspired Phantom Moon -- should be played as dusk settles into night. He sings and you want to hear what he's saying. Here, finally, he's discovering a sort of peace. Sheik's gone from struggling to catch his breath to struggling to understand the world around him. Maybe we're surrounded by love, he says. Maybe we can find an opportunity for grace. He's still searching but maybe he's more confident there's something worth finding. Claptrap? Not at all. 


GOGOL BORDELLO -- Solidaritine 

Surely we're ALL ready for a loud, raucous new album championing Ukraine. It's from the NYC-formed punk band Gogol Bordello.  The lead singer is from Ukraine; it's named in part for the Ukrainian writer Nikolai Gogol; and like Goran Bregovíc's Wedding and Funeral Orchestra, the musicians are exuberant, seemingly prone to drinking, fervently inspired by the sounds of the Romani and ready to rock. Solidaritine  is political, angry, ferocious and about as much fun as you can have right now. Think The Pogues but not nearly so low-key. 

MADONNA -- Finally Enough Love: 50 Number Ones 

I can't review this boxed set. It contains the 50 #1 hits Madonna has achieved on the Billboard dance music charts, so far. No other artist has ever created 50 #1 hits in a single genre before. To my knowledge, no artist has ever created 50 different songs that have hit #1 even in multiple genres. That's remarkable. Scan the titles or start playing them and you won't even think about asking yourself whether you really like a song until you reach #25 or #28 or so. Madonna spins out one classic single after another and you're dazzled and -- if you're me -- slightly surprised at how well you know these specific mixes. I"m no club goer, never was, and yet many of these tweaks of her album tracks are familiar to me. Once I hit the last 15 or 20 songs, well then I'm in new territory, songs that didn't quite land with me or songs I actively disliked or simply weren't up to Madonna's standards. (Please don't tell her; she'd kick my ass.) And yet...and yet the versions contained here, the versions reimagined and rethought by some of the best in the business (and all undeniably still the songs she created) have me thinking twice about my opinion on the later, lesser songs. Still, I can't review it. I can't listen to dance music at home on my iPhone or even in my car driving down the road in Birmingham, Alabama. I need to head to New York City, re-open the Limelight, have a drink or two and then head to the dance floor preferably with a date dancing by my side while the deejay spins this album. Then and only then can I hear these songs in the context they deserve and know what I think about them.  Meanwhile, it's not too late for Madonna to clean up her discography and put out The Immaculate Collection Vol. 2, the much-needed follow-up to The Immaculate Collection, one of the most astute greatest hits compilations ever released. Separate the wheat from the chaff, Madonna and deliver a statement about the singles that matter.

VIGÜELA -- A La Manera Artesana 

Literally, music from la Mancha, Spain. A regional style that might evoke the Gipsy Kings to my ears, but Vigüela isn't interested in combining the music handed down to them with modern pop sounds.  They'll pound out percussion grabbing a tool from the barn or a spoon from the kitchen and get on with it. Neither approach is better or purer. All that matters is that they're passionate about what they're doing. The Gipsy Kings have that and so does Vigüela and so will you when listening to them. 

PANIC! AT THE DISCO -- Viva Las Vengeance 

My Chemical Romance. Fall Out Boy. Panic! At The Disco. These emo bands that listened to Queen and thought, hmm, what if we went bigger are all a blast. I'm a little bummed to hear Panic is calling it a day after this final tour. But it's become a solo vehicle for singer Brendan Urie and presumably he'll carry on under his own name in the future. So not to worry. For now, if you want propulsive music that takes you higher, if you know a crafty hook is just as important as a guitar solo, if you understand that stadium moves aren't selling out dude but precisely what they've been aiming for since singing along to the radio in their bedroom as kids, well dive into Viva Las Vengeance. 

BINKER & MOSES -- Feeding The Machine 

Saxophonist Binker Golding and drummer Moses Boyd are mainstays of the London jazz scene. Here they collaborate with synth wizard Max Luthert on a set of restless, freewheeling instrumentals that would sound right at home in the films of Davids Cronenberg or Lynch. Not that the vibe here is creepy; it's just mind-blowing and eager to take you on a ride. Golding blows away in sheets of sound, Boyd anchors it all when he's not flying off into orbit himself and Luthert is always there with shadings and loops and echos to make clear this is no ordinary set. It's free jazz and everything that doesn't interest me in jazz...except when it's this good. Anyone rightly enamored by the great recent work of Kamasi Washington, Immanuel Wilkins and the like should dive right in. 

MEGHAN TRAINOR -- Takin' It Back 
ALEC BENJAMIN -- (Un)Commentary 

Pure pop pleasure. Meghan Trainor lost her way a bit. But here she is hitting the sweet spot of catchy, memorable songs with a delightful retro vibe. Alec Benjamin was poised to break out when the pandemic upended everything. I'm not quite ready to declare any of his albums as great, but since I keep listening to them over and over there's clearly something going on. With both these acts, I have to admit that -- often enough -- passionate teenage fans know what they're talking about. 

THE MOVERS -- Vol. 1: 1970-1976

I headed to South Africa for a wedding over the New Year. As is my wont, I prepared by reading about a dozen novels and works of history about the country, watched some South African movies and dived back into the wealth of music I was introduced to in the wake of Paul Simon's Graceland. Happily, I also discovered some bands new to me, especially the groovy, organ-driven group The Movers, who flourished in the 1970s. Think Booker T & the M.G.'s and you'll get a good sense of what a blast these tracks can be. Don't hesitate. Seriously, start playing this right now. 

MIDLAKE -- For The Sake Of Bethel Woods 

Here is the obligatory reference to Midlake's The Trials Of Van Occupanther, one of the best albums of 2006 and a landmark of indie rock. Here is the obligatory reference to former lead singer Tim Smith, who left the group after 2010's The Courage of Others. He announced a new band called Harp and then got all The Las on us, trapping himself in the studio to seek that sonic perfection that always stays on the horizon, tantalizingly out of reach. Perhaps that's what drove his bandmates bonkers, who put out an entirely new album -- Antiphon -- just six months after he walked away. But then they took nine years before putting out For The Sake Of Bethel Woods, so maybe it's just something in the waters of Denton, Texas. Mind you, the members released five different side projects in recent years, so, they haven't been silent. But still, nine years! And just to shock everyone, Smith announced recently that yes, indeed, Harp will be putting out a proper album in 2023. Why should you care? Well, you're just admitting you haven't listened to The Trials of Van Occupanther, a moody atmospheric masterpiece following in the wake of R.E.M.'s Murmur and sitting comfortably alongside Fleet Foxes and the like. Get on that. Then you'll enjoy the British folkie vibe of The Courage Of Others and that will set you up to appreciate For The Sake Of Bethel Woods. Bethel Woods is a reference to Woodstock, which the late father of one of the member's attended as a youth, the same dad who appeared to him in a dream recently and said, "Hey, you should get the band back together." So they did. The result is a nifty opener, setting up the religious undertones of an album that celebrates family, friends and the music that knits them together. It's heart-warming, really, just to hear them again. In typical Midlake fashion, track 10 is "The End," but it's not the end. They have more to say with the next song, "Of Desire," confessing, "We're working it out/ But time can really, really play some tricks on us now." It's sweet and quiet until it explodes into the sound of six friends making a beautiful noise, simply because they can. 

RENÉE FLEMING -- Voice Of Nature: The Anthropocene 

Soprano Renée Fleming is in excellent form here, celebrating the natural world she found consolation in during lockdown. The "anthropocene" refers to the current era, when humanity's impact on the environment is undeniable. This isn't a requiem, even though the centerpiece and longest track is Nico Muhly's "Endless Space," which underlines and exclamation points the dire threat of the climate crisis. That's the only misstep on an otherwise faultless recital ranging from newly commissioned pieces to Romantic classics. Fleming is especially marvelous on French songs by Liszt and Fauré, her light precise vocals making you wonder anew at her instrument. Just to prove she can do anything, Fleming segues from some Edvard Grieg to her best new commission: the marvelous "Aurora Borealis" by Caroline Shaw. But she's not done yet, capping it off with a cover of Jackson Browne's "Before The Deluge" where she's joined by Alison Krauss and Rhiannon Giddens and sounds right at home. In that tune, almost everyone is swept away by nature's wrath, even as they sing, "Now let the music keep our spirits high/ And let the buildings keep our children dry." It's a prayer Jackson Browne sang in 1974. Some fifty years later, it's more urgent than ever. 


Wondering what I think about Bruce Springsteen's body of work? Or where to start with Prefab Sprout (who?) or Frank Sinatra? Check out my list of albums, organized alphabetically by artist and then chronologically by album with a rating for each one. Under A-E you'll find ABBA to the Everly Brothers, from F to J Marianne Faithful to Damien Jurado, from K-O the Kaiser Chiefs to Buck Owens and so on. 


THE 2020s 

ELVIS COSTELLO -- The Boy Named If /The Resurrection of Rust (2022) 
A GIRL CALLED EDDY -- Been Around  (2020) 

THE 2010s

iLe -- Almadura (2019) 
BOBBIE GENTRY -- The Girl From Chickasaw County: The Complete Capitol Masters (2018) 
CÉCILE MCLORIN SALVANT -- Dreams And Daggers (2017) 
DAVID BOWIE -- Blackstar and Lazarus ep (2016 tie)
LEONARD COHEN -- You Want It Darker (2016 tie) 
SUFJAN STEVENS -- Carrie and Lowell (2015)
KAISER CHIEFS -- Education, Education, Education and War (2014)
JANELLE MONAE -- The Electric Lady (2013)
RUMER -- Seasons Of My Soul/Boys Don't Cry (2012)
FLEET FOXES -- Hopelessness Blues (2011)
THE TALLEST MAN ON EARTH -- The Wild Hunt (2010)

THE 2000s

THE AVETT BROTHERS -- I And Love And You (2009)
SHARON JONES AND THE DAP KINGS -- 100 Days 100 Nights (2007)
CORINNE BAILEY RAE -- Corinne Bailey Rae (2006 tie)
JAMES HUNTER -- People Gonna Talk (2006 tie)
SUFJAN STEVENS -- Illinois (2005)
GREEN DAY -- American Idiot (2004)
THE WHITE STRIPES -- Elephant (2003)
NORAH JONES -- Come Away With Me (2002)
MANU CHAO -- Proxima Estacion: Esperanza (2001)
EMINEM -- The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)

THE 1990s

DAVID GRAY -- White Ladder (1999)
BILLY BRAGG AND WILCO -- Mermaid Avenue (1998)
RADIOHEAD -- O.K. Computer (1997)
BECK -- Odelay (1996)
THE MAVERICKS -- Music For All Occasions (1995 -- tie)
ALISON KRAUSS -- Now That I've Found You: A Collection (1995 -- tie)
JOHNNY CASH -- American Recordings (1994)
CASSANDRA WILSON -- Blue Light 'Til Dawn (1993)
kd lang -- Ingenue (1992)
NIRVANA -- Nevermind (1991)
MADONNA -- The Immaculate Collection (1990)

THE 1980s

BEASTIE BOYS -- Paul's Boutique (1989)
PUBLIC ENEMY -- It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back (1988)
PAUL SIMON -- Graceland (1986 -- tie)
VARIOUS ARTISTS -- The Indestructible Beat Of Soweto Volume One (1986 -- tie)
BARBRA STREISAND -- The Broadway Album (1985 -- tie)
PREFAB SPROUT -- Steve McQueen aka Two Wheels Good (1985 -- tie)
U2 -- The Unforgettable Fire (1984)
R.E.M. -- Murmur (1983)
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN -- Nebraska (1982)
QUEEN -- Greatest Hits (1981)
JOHN LENNON AND YOKO ONO -- Double Fantasy (1980)

THE 1970s

THE CLASH -- London Calling (1979)
WILLIE NELSON -- Stardust (1978)
STEELY DAN -- Aja (1977)
STEVIE WONDER -- Songs In The Key Of Life (1976)
BOB DYLAN -- Blood On The Tracks/The Basement Tapes (1975)
RICHARD AND LINDA THOMPSON -- I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight (1974)
BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILERS -- Catch A Fire/Burnin' (1973)
SIMON AND GARFUNKEL -- Greatest Hits (1972)
JONI MITCHELL -- Blue (1971)
RANDY NEWMAN -- 12 Songs (1970 -- tie)
HARRY NILSSON -- Nilsson Sings Newman (1970 -- tie)

THE 1960s

THE BEATLES -- Abbey Road (1969)
VAN MORRISON -- Astral Weeks (1968)
ARETHA FRANKLIN -- I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You) (1967)
THE BEACH BOYS -- Pet Sounds (1966 -- tie)
THE BEATLES -- Revolver (1966 -- tie)
BOB DYLAN -- Bringing It All Back Home/Highway 61 (1965)
STAN GETZ AND JOAO GILBERTO -- Getz/Gilberto (1964)
PATSY CLINE -- The Patsy Cline Story (1963)
RAY CHARLES -- Modern Sounds In Country and Western Music Vol 1 and 2 (1962)
BILL EVANS -- Sunday At The Village Vanguard/Waltz For Debby (1961)
ELLA FITZGERALD -- The Intimate Ella (1960)

THE 1950s

MILES DAVIS -- Kind Of Blue/Workin'/Porgy and Bess (1959)
ELVIS PRESLEY -- Elvis' Golden Records Vol. 1 (1958)
LERNER AND LOEWE -- My Fair Lady Original Broadway Cast (1957)
ELLA FITZGERALD -- Sings The Cole Porter Songbook (1956)
FRANK SINATRA -- In The Wee Small Hours (1955)
DINAH WASHINGTON -- Dinah Jams (1954)
PEGGY LEE -- Black Coffee (1953)
VARIOUS ARTISTS/HARRY SMITH -- The Anthology Of American Folk Music (1952)
HANK WILLIAMS -- 40 Greatest Hits (1951)
BILLIE HOLIDAY -- The Complete Decca Recordings (1944-1950) (1950)

THE 1940s

DJANGO REINHARDT -- Djangology 49 (1949)
HANK WILLIAMS -- 40 Greatest Hits (1948)
WOODY GUTHRIE -- Songs To Grow On: Nursery Days aka For Mother And Child (1947)
BING CROSY AND THE ANDREWS SISTERS -- Their Complete Recordings Together (1939-1951) (1946)
BING CROSBY -- Merry Christmas (1945)
DUKE ELLINGTON -- The Carnegie Hall Concerts: January 1943 (1943)
FRANK SINATRA AND TOMMY DORSEY-- The Song Is You! 1940-1942 on RCA Victor (1942)
DUKE ELLINGTON -- The Blanton-Webster Band (1941)
DUKE ELLINGTON -- The Blanton-Webster Band/1937-1940 on Classics Label (1940)

THE 1930s

GLENN MILLER -- The Essential Glenn Miller (1939)
BENNY GOODMAN -- Benny Goodman At Carnegie Hall (1938)
BILLIE HOLIDAY -- The Quintessential Billie Holiday Vol 3-4 1936-1937 (1937)
ROBERT JOHNSON -- King Of The Delta Blues Singers Vol. 1 (1936)
BING CROSY -- Bing Crosby: His Legendary Years (1931-1957) [Decca 1934-1954] (1935)
BING CROSY -- Bing Crosby: His Legendary Years (1931-1957) [Brunswick 1931-1934; Decca 1934-1954] (1934)
BESSIE SMITH -- The Collection (1933)
THE MILLS BROTHERS -- The 1930's Recordings (1932)
BING CROSY -- Bing Crosby: His Legendary Years (1931-1957) [Brunswick 1931-1934] (1931)
DUKE ELLINGTON -- The OKeh Ellington 1927-1930/1924-1930 on Classics Label (1930)

THE 1920s

CHARLEY PATTON -- King Of The Delta Blues (1929-1934) (1929)
MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT -- Avalon Blues: The Complete 1928 Okeh Recordings (1928)
HENRY THOMAS -- Bull Doze Blues (1927-1929)
LOUIS ARMSTRONG -- The Complete Hot Five And Seven Recordings (1927)
LOUIS ARMSTRONG -- The Complete Hot Five And Seven Recordings (1926)
LOUIS ARMSTRONG -- The Complete Hot Five And Seven Recordings (1925)
DUKE ELLINGTON -- 1924-1930 on Classics Label (1924) 


Tuesday, January 31, 2023

A New Phrase!

 timor defectus librorum

latin for the fear of running out of books! I experienced this often while going about my day in NYC. I'd have a magazine with me...and another magazine in case I finished the first one. Or I'd have a book...and another book in case I got to the end and wasn't home yet.

Happily, Kindle ended this unease for me, but the fear of running out of something good to read is more appealing than describing the fear of my e-reader running out of battery power.

Monday, January 23, 2023

The Movies, Books, Theater, Concerts, CDs I've Seen/Read/Heard So Far In 2023

Updated as of  March 2, 2023  

KEY: star rating is on the four star scale
          meaning of "/" or "\"
          *** is three stars out of four
          ***/ is three stars leaning towards  3 1/2
          ***\ is three stars leaning towards 2 1/2

The Movies, Books, Theater, Concerts, CDs I've Seen/Read/Heard So Far In 2023

(Increasingly, I am sampling books, reading 10%, 20% even 40 or 50% before deciding to move on. The books below are only the ones I've read completely. That also explains what looks like generous grading -- more and more, if I sense a book is not going to be among my favorites, I stop reading. Too many books; too little time!)

1. My Ántonia by Willa Cather **** 
2. Just William by Richmal Compton ** 1/2 (pleasant enough but repetitive) 
3. A Child's Garden Of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson *** 1/2 
4. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov *** 1/2 (finished at The Mavericks concert Feb 17, 2023) 

CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS CDS (A strong emphasis on the ones I like, so don't think I love everything I listen to -- I just don't bother really listening to the ones I don't )

1. Marty Robbins -- Hawaii's Calling Me (1969) * 1/2 
2. Cheap Trick -- All Shook Up (1980) ** 1/2 
3. Daryl Hall & John Oates -- H2O *** 
4. The Beach Boys -- Carl And The Passions -- "So Tough" ** 1/2 
5. Sammi Smith -- Lonesome (1971) ** 1/2 
6. Willie Colon -- El Malo (w Hector Lavoe) (1967) *** 
7. Ismael Rivera -- Esto Si Es Lo Mio (1978) *** 1/2 
8. Ismael Rivera -- Feliz Navidad (1975) *** 
9. Sting -- If On A Winter's Night (2009) ** 
10. Marty Robbins -- Marty After Midnight (1969) ** 1/2 
11. Duke Ellington -- Money Jungle w Max Roach and Charles Mingus (1962) ** 1/2 
12. Michael Nesmith -- Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash (1973) *** 
13. Michael Nesmith -- And The Hits Just Keep On Comin' (1972) *** 1/2 
14. Daryl Hall & John Oates -- Voices (1980) ** 1/2 
15. Bette Midler -- The Divine Miss M (1972) ** 1/2 
16. Bette Midler -- Bette Midler (1973) ** 
17. Howdy Glenn -- I Can Almost See Houston ** 
18. Bob Dylan -- Time Out Of Mind (1997) *** 1/2 / 
19. Daryl Hall & John Oates -- Big Bam Boom (1984) ** 
20. Bob Dylan -- Fragments: Time Out Of Mind Sessions 1996-1997 *** 
21. Hank Williams -- Ramblin' Man (1954) **** 
22. Mavis Staples -- Mavis Staples (1969) ** 1/2 
23. Cheap Trick -- Heaven Tonight ((1978) *** / 
24. John Cale -- Paris 1919 *** 
25. Hank Williams -- Sings (1951) *** 1/2 
26. Dionne Warwick-- The Dionne Warwick Collection: Her All-Time Greatest Hits **** 
27. Hank Williams -- Honky Tonkin' (1954) *** 1/2 
28. The Movers -- Mr. Moonlight Meets Miss Starlight (1974) * 1/2 
29. Cymande -- Cymande (1972) *** 1/2 
30. Hank Williams -- I Saw The Light (1954) ** 1/2 
31. Marty Robbins -- Songs Of The Islands (1957) * 1/2 
32. Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys -- The Essential Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys (2013) *** / 
33. Steve Forbert -- Early Morning Rain (2020) ** 1/2 
34. Patty Loveless -- When Fallen Angels Fly (1994) ** 1/2 
35. The Selecter -- Too Much Pressure (1980) *** 1/2 
36. Wanda Jackson -- There's A Party Goin' On (1961) *** 
37. Buck Owens And His Buckaroos -- Bakersfield Gold: Top 10 Hits 1959-1974 (2022) *** 1/2 
38. Johnny Western -- Presenting Johnny Western (1958) ** 
39. Joe Henderson -- Page One (1963) *** 1/2 
40. Joe Bataan -- Riot! (1970) ** 1/2 
41. Burt Bacharach and Steven Sater -- Some Lovers (2021) *** 
42. Donald Byrd -- Chant (1961) *** 1/2 
43. Billy Preston -- Music Is My Life (1972) ** 1/2 
44. Booker Little -- Out Front (1961) *** 
45. Jerry Jeff Walker -- Viva Terlingua (1973) *** 
46. Os Mutantes -- Os Mutantes (1968) *** 1/2 \ 
47. David Axelrod -- Song Of Innocence (1968) *** 1/2 
48. Marty Robbins -- The Drifter (1966) *** 1/2 
49. Ernest Tubb -- The Ernest Tubb Story (1959) ** 1/2 (just don't like his voice) 
50. Be Bop Deluxe -- Futurama (1975) *** 
51. Pee Wee Russell and Coleman Hawkins -- Jazz Reunion (1961) **** 
52. Lefty Frizzell -- Look What Thoughts Will Do (1997) ***\ 
53. Julie Driscoll -- 1969 (1971) ** 1/2 
54. Art Farmer & Benny Golson -- Meet The Jazztet (1960) *** 1/2 
55. Cheap Trick -- Next Position, Please (The Authorized Version) (1983) *** 1/2 
56. Mal Waldron -- On Steinway (1972) *** 
57. Ray Charles -- The Genius Of Ray Charles (1959) *** 1/2 
58. Ray Charles -- The Genius After Hours (1961) *** 1/2 
59. Ray Charles -- The Genius Sings The Blues (1961) *** 1/2 
60. Merle Haggard -- The Legend Of Bonnie & Clyde (1968) *** 1/2 
61. Merle Haggard -- A Portrait Of Merle Haggard (1969) *** 
62. Led Zeppelin -- Houses Of The Holy (1973) **** 
63. Merle Haggard -- Same Train,  A Different Time: Merle Haggard Sings The Great Songs Of Jimmie Rodgers (1969) **** 
64. Hank Williams -- Sing Me A Blue Song (1957) *** 1/2 
65. Merle Haggard -- A Tribute To The Best Damn Fiddle Player In The World or My Salute To Bob Wills (1969) *** 1/2 
66. Ray Charles -- Soul Brothers (w Milt Jackson) (1958) *** 
67. Merle Haggard -- Sing Me Back Home (1968) *** 1/2 
68. Ray Charles -- At Newport (1958) *** 
69. Ray Charles -- In Person (1960) ** 12 
70. Led Zeppelin -- Physical Graffiti ((1975) **** 


(Not TV movies, of course, but movies and TV shows -- and TV movies if it comes to that. Mostly I only list TV shows when I've tackled an entire season at once or reappraising an entire series after it's over This doesn't really capture my ongoing watching of current TV.)

1. All The King's Men (1949) ** 1/2 
2. The Big Lebowski (1998) *** 1/2 
3. Coming To America (1988) ** 1/2 
4. Raising Arizona (1987) *** 1/2 
5. Spaceballs (1987) ** 
6. My Best Friend's Wedding ***/ 
7.  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (in theater) **** 

(The names after the shows are the people who joined me at the performance.)

1. The Mavericks at Variety Playhouse in Atlanta on Friday Feb 17 *** 1/2 

Updated as of  March 2, 2023 

TV and Film Must Watch List


2023 (It's never too soon) 

THE BEASTS (GM) (limbo) 
    (French eco-thriller) 

BRUISER (GM) (Hulu) 
    (coming of age for bullied kid) 

PILGRIMS (MG) (Oscar hopeful for Lithuania; release in the future) 
    Quiet Lithuanian drama about the aftermath of violence 


AFTERSUN  (AD, MG, HK, AO) (theaters, rental)  
    (Paul Mescal drama about divorced dad on holiday w his 11 year old daughter; sad, quiet) 

AFTER YANG (AL, AO) (Showtime, rental) 
    (Dir Kogonada, dir of Columbus, TV series Pachinko; drama about A.I. robot)

ALL THE BEAUTY AND BLOODSHED  (GR) (theaters, HBO Max March 19) 
    (Poitros doc on artist Nan Goldin v Sackler dynasty) 

APOLLO 10 1/2  (AL, AO) (Netflix) 
    (Dir Rick Linklater's childhood reminiscence; it's a g-dd-mn cartoon!) 

APPLES (MG, AL, GM, AR, GR) (MUBI, rental)
    (Greek drama) 

ARMAGEDDON TIME  (AD, HK) (Peacock, rental) 
    (James Gray coming of age tale)

THE AUTOMAT  (AD, JS) (HBO Max, Kanopy, KinoNow, TCM, rental) 
     (doc on NYC quick and easy food institution; my mom went there in the 1950s)

    (Lockdown doc; chatting with people...from their balcony) 

THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN (MG, HK, MGS) (HBO Max, theatrical, rental) 
    (Latest Martin McDonagh film)

BONES AND ALL  (AO) (rental) 
    (Timothee Chálamet, Taylor Russell cannibal movie)

BRUISER (GM) (Hulu) 
    (coming of age for bullied kid) 

    drama thru eyes of a boy

COW (GM, GR)  (AMC+, rental)
    (Andrea Arnold doc on cow) 

CRIMES OF THE FUTURE  (RB aka Robert Bowman, AL) (Hulu, rental) 

DESCENDANT  (AD) (Netflix) 
    (doc on origins of the city Africatown, Alabama and exploration of slave ship Clotilda) 

DOWN WITH THE KING  (AL, GM, AO, GR) (rental) 
    (rap industry pic) 

    (Aubrey Plaza student debt film) 

EO  (AD, HK, AO) (Criterion, rental)  
    (donkey movie) 

    (Michelle Yeoh multiverse) 
FIRE OF LOVE (MG, AR)  (Disney+, Hulu)
    (Doc on volcanologists) 

THE FIRE WITHIN (GR)  (History Channel, rental via Amazon and Vudu) 
    (Herzog on same scientists as Fire Of Love) 

FRANCE (GM)  (Criterion, rental) 
    (Bruno Dumont  w Lèa Seydoux as celeb journalist) 

    (doc on comedy legend)

    (German gay prison drama)

    (Fascist setting for dark fairy tale classic) 

HAPPENING (AD, MG, AL, ES) (Hulu, AMC+, rental) 
     (French period abortion drama, pun intended)

HOLY SPIDER  (GM, GR) (rental) 
    (Iranian drama about journalist tracking serial killer who targets sex workers) 

    (Hong Sang-Soo latest; his 26th film)

    (Doc on writer) 

LAST FLIGHT HOME  (GM) (Paramount+, rental) 
    (doc on end of life decision)

    (doc on Paul Newman/Joanne Woodward) 

LIVING  (AL, JS) (theatrical) 
    (Ikiru with a British accent) 

    (historical romp based on Balzac novel) 

LOVING HIGHSMITH  (HK, AL)  (Kanopy, rental) 
    (Doc on Patricia Highsmith) 

MEMORIA (GR)  (city by city road show release around the country in 2022/2023)
    (Tilda Swinton in dir Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

THE MENU (AO, MGS) (HBO Max, rental) 
    (drama w Ralph Fiennes as chef at fancy restaurant; alternate Twilight Zone title: To Serve The 1%)

MOONAGE DAYDREAM (GM) (theatrical, rental) 
    (fever dream of a doc on Bowie) 

    (German doc on teacher and students) 

    doc on Russian political prisoner Alexey Navalny) 

NITRAM (AL, GM) (Hulu, AMC+, rental)
    (Aussie flick by dir Justin Kurzel of Snowtown, Macbeth w Fassbender) 

NOPE (AD, AL, AO, MS, MGS) (Peacock, rental)
    (Jordan Peele flick) 

PETER VON KANT (AL) (rental) 
    (Ozon gender flip of Fassbinder's The Bitter Tears Of Petra von Kant) 

PETITE MAMAN (AD, MG, HK, AL, AO, GR) (Hulu, Kanopy, rental)
    (Dir Celine Sciamma's latest)  
    (French drama about little children and bullying) 

PLEASURE (MG, AL, GM) (Showtime, FUBO, rental) 
    (Sundance film about woman entering adult film industry)  

THE QUIET GIRL (GR) (theaters) 
    (Irish drama set in 1981 with little girl sent to live amidst foster family) 

RRR (AO, MS) (theaters, Netflix) 
    (a Tollywood spectacle) 

SHE SAID (JS) (Peacock, rental) 
    (film insisting the NYT doesn't always suck)

"SR." (AD) (Netflix) 
    (Doc on Robert Downey Sr.)  

TÁR (JS) (Peacock, rental) 
    (toxic composer) 

    (doc on indigenous people in Brazilian Amazon) 

THREE MINUTES: A LENGTHENING (AD, GR) (Hulu, Kanopy, rental) 
    (doc on Holocaust footage)

    (Portuguese film about moviemaking from dir Miguel Gomez) 

TURNING RED (MG) (Disney+) 
    (Pixar allegory for puberty with 13 year old girl turning into giant red panda when excited) 

THE U.S. AND THE HOLOCAUST (AD, MG, HK, GM, MS) (DirecTV,, reruns on PBS) 
    (Ken Burns doc --what the U.S. knew and when, what it did and mostly failed to do) 

VENGEANCE (Al, AO, JS) (Amazon Prime, rental) 
    (offbeat film frm B.J. Novak of The Office, who wrote, directed and stars) 

WATCHER  (AL) (AMC+, DirecTV, rental) 
    (Bucharest serial killer)

THE WHALE  (AL) (theater) 
    (Darren Aronovsky w Brendan Fraser) 

WOMEN TALKING (HK, AL, AO, MGS) (theaters, rental) 
    (Sarah Polley directed ensemble; men suck) 

THE WONDER (AR) ((Netflix) 
    (French period religious drama) 




Argentina, 1985 (Oscar hopeful about lawyers battling military dictatorship in 1980s) 
Catherine Called Birdy (Amazon) 
Dog (Chaninng Tatum) (Amazon) 
Good Nght Oppy (Mars rover doc) (Amazon) 
The Sound of 007 (Bond music doc) (Amazon) 
Til Kingdom Come (doc on Kentucky evangelicals loving Israel) (spoiler alert -- Jews still aren't saved)

Annika S1 (Amazon Prime/PBS) 
The English S1 (Emily Blunt Western miniseries)
Friday Night Dinner (2011 sitcom) (Amazon Prime) 
The Kids In The Hall (Amazon Prime) 
Undone (S1 and S2)

Attica (Amazon Prime, Showtime) 
The Electrical Life Of Louis Wain (Amazon) 
Joji (Amazon) 
Mayor Pete (doc) (Amazon) 
My Name Is Pauli Murray (Amazon) 
Val (Val Kilmer doc) (Amazon) 

Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas (Amazon) (1976) 
Invincible S1 animated (Amazon) 
The Underground Railroad S1 (Amazon)


Banana (Amazon) 
Beats (Amazon Prime, MUBI) 
Blow The Man Down (Amazon) mys
Boys (Amazon) 
Cucumber (Amazon) 
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Netflix) 
Pride (Amazon) 
Route One/USA (Amazon/Ovid) 
Saint Frances (Starz/Amazon) 
The Surrogate (Starz/Amazon, rental) 
Sylvie's Love jazz romance (Amazon) 



Happening (AMC+, Hulu and rental) 
Hold Your Fire (hostage negotiation doc) (AMC+ and rental) 
Watcher (serial killer in Bucharest) (AMC+, rental) 

Better Call Saul (AMC+) 
That Dirty Black Bag S1 (AMC+) 
This Is Going To Hurt S1 (AMC+) 


The North Water S1 (AMC)



Boom! Boom! The World Vs. Boris Becker (doc) (Apple+) 


The Big Con (Apple TV+) 
Cha Cha Real Smooth (Apple+) 
The Girl and the Spider (for rent on Apple+) 
In Front Of Your Face (for rent on Apple+) 
Louis Armstrong's Black and Blues (Apple+) 

Pachinko S1 (Apple+) 
Severance S1 (Apple+) 
Shining Girls S1 (Apple+) 
Slow Horses S1 (Apple+) 


Roadrunner (rental only) 
The Truffle Hunters ($1 rental) 

For All Mankind (Apple + series) 
Girlfriends (1978 movie $4 rental) 
Mythic Quest S2 (Apple+) 
71: The Year That Music Changed Everything (eight part doc) (Apple+) 
Ted Lasso (Apple+ series) 


Beastie Boys Story (Apple+) 
Greyhound (WW II film, Tom Hanks) (Apple+) 
On The Rocks (Bill Murray, Sofia Coppola) (Apple+) 



Sherwood (S1 crime drama) 



France (Bruno Dumont)
Neptune Frost Afro-futurist musical (Criterion, Kanopy) 
A Night Of Knowing Nothing (Criterion) 
Pyaasa (1957 Indian classic) 


Bacurau (Criterion/Kanopy; rental elsewhere) 
Cane River (1982 lost film) (Kanopy, Criterion) 
Compensation (1999, never released theatrically)
Pink Narcissus (Criterion) 
Searching For Mr. Rugoff (GM, JS) (NYC film exhibition doc) (Criterion, rental) 
This Is Not A Burial, It's A Resurrection (also rental) 
Vitalina Varela (Criterion) 
You Will Die At Twenty (Criterion) 
Zombie Child (French flick, Criterion) 



Last Exit: Space (by Werner Herzog's son) (Discovery +) 



Chip 'N' Dale: Rescue Rangers
Fire Of Love (volcano doc) (Disney+) 
The Territory (Disney+) 
Turning Red 

Bluey S3
Moon Knight S1


Becoming Cousteau (Disney+) 
The Rescue (Thai cave doc) (Disney+) 

Loki S1 (Disney+) 
The Muppet Show (Disney+) Feb 19 
[S1E5 (Rita Moreno) S2E8 (Steve Martin) S3E7 (Alice Cooper) S4E24 (Diana Ross) S5E15 (Carol Burnett) ] 
WandaVision S1


Soul (Disney +) 




Cruel Summer S1 (Freeform) 



After Yang (FUBO and Showtime) 
Hit The Road (dir son of Panahi) (FUBO, Kanpoy, Showtime, rental) 
Montana Story (Fubo, Showtime and rental) 


Attica (Fubo and Showtime) 
Everything's Gonna Be Okay (LGBT series) 



Atlanta (fX) 
The Bear S1 (fx) 


Reservation Dogs (S1) (fX)



All That Breathes 
The Batman (HBO Max) 
George Carlin's American Dream (HBO Max) 
Kimi (Soderbergh w Zoe Kravitz) (HBO Max) 
The Last Movie Stars (6 part doc on Newman and Woodward) (HBO Max)
Limbo (HBO Max Alonso Duralde) 
Menudo: Forever Young (HBO Max)
Navalny (doc) (HBO Max) 
Rothaniel (Jerrod Carmichael comedy special) 
38 At The Garden (Jeremy Lin doc) 


Batman: The Animated Series (HBO Max) 
Euphoria S1 and 2 (HBO Max) 
Hacks S1 and 2 (HBO Max series) 
The Industry (HBO) 
Julia S1 (HBO Max) 
The Last Movie Stars (6 part doc on Newman and Woodward) (HBO Max)
Minx (comedy about female erotica mag in 1970s) 
My Brilliant Friend S1-3 (HBO Max) 
The Rehearsal S1 (HBO Max) 
The Sex Lives of College Girls (S1-3) 
We Own This City (from many behind The Wire)


Listening To Kenny G (HBO Max) 
Nightmare Alley (HBO Max, Hulu) 
No Sudden Move (Soderbergh) HBO Max 
Tina (doc on Turner) (HBO) 

Betty (HBO Max series) 
A Black Lady Sketch Show S1 (HBO Max) 
Exterminate All The Brutes 4 part doc (HBO Max) 
The Investigation S1 (HBO, Swedish) 
It's A Sin (HBO Max miniseries) 
Love Life S1 (HBO, guy from The Good Place) 
Mare Of Easttown S1 (HBO Max series) 
The Other Two S2 (HBO, Justin Bieber-like guy and his mom) 
South Side comedy (HBO Max) 
Station Eleven (HBO) 
Succession (S1-3) (HBO) 
The Other Two S1-2 (HBO) 
Veneno S1 (HBO Max) 
The White Lotus (HBO Max) 


American Utopia (HBO Max) 
Emma (HBO Max) 
Let Them All Talk (HBO Max) 
On The Record (HBO Max) 
We Are Who We Are (HBO Max)
Wonder Woman 1984 (HBO Max) 



Beba (Hulu and rental) 
Benediction (Terence Davies) (Hulu)
Changing The Game (doc on high school trans athletes) (Hulu)
Good Luck To You, Leo Grande (Hulu) 
Happening (Hulu, AMC+, rental)  
Nitram (Hulu, AMC+, rental) 
Petite Maman (Hulu)
Stars at Noon (Claire Denis) (Hulu)  

The Bear S1 and 2 (Hulu) 
Reservation Dogs S1 and 2 (Hulu) 
Welcome To Flatch S1 and S2 (Paul Feig) (Hulu) 


All Light, Everywhere doc on bias (Hulu, rental) 
Bergman Island (Hulu) 
The First Wave (covid doc) (Hulu) 
Homeroom (doc) (Hulu) 
I'm Your Man (Hulu) 
The Killing Of Two Lovers (Hulu, rental) 
New Order (HULU, rental)  
Nightmare Alley (HBO Max, Hulu) 
Pig (Hulu) 
Saint Maud (Hulu, Paramount+)
Swan Song (Hulu) 
The Truffle Hunters (Hulu) 
Undine (Hulu, rental) 

Freaks & Geeks S1 (Hulu) 
In My Skin S1 and 2 (Hulu) 
Only Murders in The Building S1 (Hulu) 


After Parkland (DOC) (Hulu)  
Beach Rats (Hulu) 
Everything's Going To Be Okay (Hulu) 
Farewell Amor (Hulu) 
Please Like Me (Hulu) 
Premature (Hulu) 
The Secrets We Keep (Hulu)
Tesla (Hulu)



Ali & Ava (Kanopy, rental) 
Hello, Bookstore doc (Kanopy, Roku, rental) 
Hit The Road (dir son of Panahi) (FUBO, Kanpoy, Showtime, rental) 
I Was At Home, But....
Neptune Frost (Criterion, Kanopy) 



Bacurau (Criterion/Kanopy; rental elsewhere) 
Cane River (1982 lost film) (Kanopy, Criterion)
Tom at the Farm (Kanopy) 



The Automat (doc) 
Darryl Jones: In The Blood (doc on Rolling Stones bassist) 
Hello, Bookstore (doc) (KinoNow) 
Hold Me Tight (dir Mathieu Almaric)
Love, Charlie (doc on chef's rise and fall) 
Murina (Croatian, endorsed and prod by Scorsese) 
Til Kingdom Come (doc on Kentucky evangelicals loving Israel) (spoiler alert -- Jews still aren't saved)



Apples (Greek drama) (MUBI) 
The Balcony Movie (lockdown doc chatting w people from balcony) (MUBI) 
The Box (Venezuela Oscar submission) (MUBI) 
Decision To Leave (K thriller) (MUBI as of Dec 9) 
Free Chol Soo Lee ((K doc on trial injustice) (MUBI) 
Great Freedom (German gay prison) 
Intregalde (Rom drama) (MUBI) 
Lingui: The Sacred Bonds (MUBI, rental) played Cannes 
Lost Illusions (French costume drama, award winner) (MUBI) 
Moneyboys (Taiwanese rent boy drama) (MUBI) 
Mr. Bachmann and His Class doc (MUBI) 
Petite Maman (MUBI) 
Playground (French film, 7 year old girls) (MUBI) 
Taming The Garden (doc) (MUBI) 
This Much I Know To Be True (Nick Cave doc) (MUBI)
Wet Sand (Georgian drama) (MUBI) 

Time To Love (1965 Turkish film, restoration) (MUBI) 
Zama (2017) (MUBI) 


Azor (MUBI) 
Beginnings (Georgian Oscar entry) (MUBI) 
Days (MUBI) 
Labyrinth Of Cinema (MUBI) 
Luzzu (MUBI) 
A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence (MUBI) 
State Funeral (MUBI, rental via Apple) 
Sweet Thing (MUBI, Hoopla, rental) 


Beats (Amazon Prime, MUBI) 
Beyond Clueless (2014 doc on film Clueless) (MUBI) 
Citadel (short by John Smith) MUBI 
Dead Pigs (Feb 12; dir of Birds Of Prey) (MUBI) 
Meanwhile On Earth (doc on funeral homes)
Overseas (Filipino nannies doc) (MUBI)  
Spring Night Summer Night (1967) 
White On White (MUBI)



Mixed By Erry (Italian biopic about bootlegging music guy) 


All Quiet On The Western Front (German) (Netflix)
Apollo 10 1/2 (Linklater animated) 
Athena (French drama from dir of Les Miserables) 
Descendant (doc on recovery of slave ship in Mobile AL) (Netflix)
Downfall: The Case Against Boeing (doc) (Netflix)
Emily The Criminal (Aubrey Plaza) (Netflix) 
Gangubai Kathiawadi (Netflix) 
Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio (Netflix) 
Hustle (Adam Sandler sports) (Netflix) 
Is That Black Enough For You? (doc on black cinema) (Netflix) 
Killing Them Softly (Dominik from 2012) 
RRR (Netflix) 
"Sr." (Downey doc) (Netflix) 
The Swimmers (Netflix) 
13: The Musical 
White Hot: The Rise & Fall Of Abercrombie & Fitch 
The Wonder (French religious period drama) (Netflix) 

Residue (from 2020) 

Break Point (tennis doc) (Netflix) 
Cunk On Earth S1 
Heartstopper S1 
Trial by Fire S1 


The Alpinist (Netflix) 
A Cop Movie (Mexican doc/mock) (Netflix) 
Crack: Cocaine, Corruption and Conspiracy (Netflix) 
The Disciple (Netflix) 
Pray Away (Netflix doc) 
Procession (church abuse doc) (Netflix) 
7 Prisoners (Netflix) 
The Sparks Brothers (Netflix, rental) 


Al Rawabi School For Girls S1 Jordan high school drama (Netflix) 
Hometown Cha Cha Cha S1 rom-com from K (Netflix)
Lupin S1 AND S2 (Netflix) 
Maid (miniseries) (Netflix) 
Pretend It's A City S1 (Netflix) 
Squid Game S1 (Netflix) 
We The People S1 a la Schoolhouse Rock (Netflix)  


Bounding (Netflix) 
Circus of Books (porn shop doc) (Netflix)  
Grand Army S1 (Netflix) 
Handsome Devil (Netflix) 
I Care A Lot (Netflix) 
I'm Thinking Of Ending Things (Netflix) 
Nobody Knows I'm Here (Jorge Garcia) (Netflix) 
A Sun (Taiwan) (Netflix) 
The Trial Of The Chicago 7 (Netflix) 
Yes God Yes (Netflix) 
Your Name Engraved Herein (Netflix) 



Confess, Fletch (Paramount+) 
Honor Society (High school caper) (Paramount+) 
Last Flight Home (doc on end of life decision) (GM) (Paramount+) 
Love, Tom (doc on Nashville songwriter) (Paramount+) 
Three Months (Troye Sivan) (Paramount+) 
Wasteland (sewage doc) (Paramount+) 

The Mayor of Kingstown S1 (Paramount+)


Ascension (China doc) (Paramount+) 
Bring Your Own Brigade (Paramount+) 
Saint Maud (Hulu, Paramount+)



Armageddon Time 
She Said 

Poker Face S1 (Columbo-like mys series)


Brian and Charles (inventor) (Peacock) 
Mrs. Harris Goes To Paris (Peacock) 
Nope (Peacock, rental) 
The Northman (Peacock, rental) 
She Said (Peacock, sale, theater) 
Vengeance (Peacock, rental) 


We Are Lady Parts S1 (Peacock) 



Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road doc (Plex, rental)



Hello, Bookstore doc (Kanopy, Roku, rental) 

Sherlock Holmes (TV series)  



After Yang (FUBO and Showtime) 
Everything Everywhere All at Once (Showtime, rental) 
Hit The Road ((dir son of Panahi) (FUBO, Kanpoy, Showtime, rental) 
Montana Story (Fubo, Showtime and rental) 
We Need To Talk About Cosby (Showtime) 

Yellowjackets S1 


Cusp (summer for teen girl military brats doc) (Showtime) 


Relic (horror) (Showtime, rental) 
Shithouse (Showtime, rental for $7) 
La Verite/The Truth (Showtime, rental)



Nine Days (Starz, also rental on Apple for $6) 



Life In A Day 2020 (crowd-sourced doc about day in life)


Arthur Wontner -- numerous Sherlock Holmes movies




Aftersun (Paul Mescal drama) (theater, rental)
All The Beauty and the Bloodshed (theater) 
The Beasts (French eco-drama) (limbo) 
Bodies Bodies Bodies (written by Wolves playwright) horror flick
Close (Belgium heart breaker little boys) (theater) 
Corsage (Austrian bio of royal) (rental) 
The Duke (rental) 
EO (theater) 
The Eternal Daughter (online purchase) 
Funny Pages (coming of age) (rental)
Holy Spider (Denmark religious thriller) (limbo) 
The Inspection (rental) 
Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power (doc on SNCC in Alabama) (rental) 
Marcel The Shell With Shoes On (rental) 
Miracol/Miracle (Romanian film) (rental) 
My Donkey, My Lover & I (rental) 
Onoda: 10,000 Nights In The Jungle (limbo)
El Otro Tom (rental) 
The Quiet Girl (theater) 
Riotsville, USA (doc on military response to racial unrest) (rental) 
Saint Omer (French courtroom drama) (theater) 
The Story of Film: A New Generation (doc) (rental) 
Tantura (Israeli doc on war crimes of 19948) (rental) 
Three Minutes: A Lengthening (Holocaust doc on snippet of footage) (rental) 
To Leslie (rental) 
You Won't Be Alone (Macedonia, woman accused of being witch) (rental) 


All Light, Everywhere (surveillance doc) (Hulu; rental) 
The Alpinist (Netflix)  
Ascension (Paramount+)
Attica (Amazon Prime, Showtime) 
Benedetta (Verhoeven nun flick) (Hulu, rental) 
The Card Counter (rental) 
Days (MUBI) 
The Eyes Of Tammy Faye (for Jessica Chastain esp) (HBO Max, rental)
14 Peaks (doc) 
John and the Hole (rental at Amazon Google YouTube etc) 
The Killing Of Two Lovers (Hulu, rental) 
Labyrinth Of Cinema (MUBI) 
The Most Beautiful Boy In The World (rental) 
Nightmare Alley (HBO Max, Hulu) 
Nine Days (Starz, also rental on Apple for $6) 
No Sudden Move (HBO Max) 
7 Prisoners (Netflix) 
The Souvenir Part II (rent on Spectrum; purchase elsewhere) 
The Strong Ones (Chilean queer) (rental) 
The Tender Bar (Amazon) 
Undine (Hulu, rental) 
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (by director of Drive My Car) (rental)

Rentals: this means a movie is widely available to rent for $4 or so via Apple, Amazon, etc.


Identifying Features (rental) 
I'm Your Man (rental) 
I Was A Simple Man (rental) 
Little Girl (trans doc) (rental) 
The Lost Leonardo (art doc) (rental) 
Mass (rental) 
Minyan queer may dec (rental) 
No Ordinary Man (Billy Tipton trans doc) (rental) 
Old Henry (rental) 
Philly D.A. 8 part pbs doc (Topic streamer) 


American Utopia (HBO Max) 
Assassins (rental doc) 
Beats (MUBI, Amazon) 
The Painted Bird (Hulu) 
The Platform (Netflix) 
Route One/USA (Amazon/Ovid) 
Two Of Us (rental) 
La Verite/The Truth ((FUBO, Showtime, DirecTV, rental on YouTube for $4, Amazon for $7) 
Vitalina Varela (Criterion) 
Young Ahmed (Dardenne film) (Criterion, Kanopy, rental) 


Klaus (animated) (Netflix) 
The Match Factory Girl (Criterion) 
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (horror-ish) (Hulu, Peacock) 
Tokyo Godfathers (animated) (rental) 


All Is Well (Netflix)
Anthropocene: The Human century (Kanopy)
Asako I and II
Ash Is Purest White
The Beach Bum
The Brink (Hulu) (Steve Bannon film)
The Burial of Kojo
The Chambermaid (Starz/Amazon)
The Competition (French doc on entry to film school)
Diane (Hulu)
The Edge Of Democracy (Brazil docu) (Netflix)
Everybody Knows (Ashgar Farhadi) (Netflix)
Fast Color
The Gospel Of Eureka
High Flying Bird (Netflix)
The Hottest August (Roku channel, Amazon fee)
I Lost My Body (Netflix)
Jay Myself (doc)
The Kingdom (Netflix  K period zombie)
Klaus (Netflix)
The Laundromat (Netflix)
The Lighthouse
Light Of My Life
Little Woods
Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool
Missing Link (Netflix)
One Child Nation (Amazon)
One Cut Of The Dead (Jap zombie) (Amazon, maybe)
Permanent Green Light (Dennis Cooper) (Kanopy)
Rolling Thunder Revue (Netflix)
Shadow (wuxia by Zhang Yimou) (Netflix) 
Slut In A Good Way (Amazon)
Sorry Angel (French gay; Honore) (rental Amazon Apple)
Sunset (dir Nemez) (Starz/Amazon)
Thunder Soul (2010 doc)
Too Late To Die Young (Criterion Kanopy)
Transit (Amazon)
Two Plains and a Fancy (Amazon, Kanopy)
Under The Silver Lake (Amazon)
The Wild Pear Tree (Nuri Bilge Ceylon)
Woman at War (Hulu)


The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs
Ben Is Back
Bisbee '17 (doc)
The Cakemaker
Crime and Punishment (doc)
Don't Worry,  He Won't Get Far On Foot
El Angel
Everybody Knows
The Green Fog (Guy Maddin)
The Guilty
Happy As Lazzaro
The Insult
Jane Fonda in Five Acts (doc)
Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992 (John Ridley)
Nico, 1988
Reversing Roe (Netflix doc)
A Simple Favor
Skate Kitchen
Sollers Point
Stan and Ollie
The Third Murder (Kore-eda film)
You Were Never Really Here


Lost In Paris (rental, by people behind L'iceberg) 


Berlin Alexanderplatz (Criterion)
Cutter's Way (Pluto w ads)
The Elephant Man (Amazon rent)
The Last Metro (Truffaut) (Criterion/Kanopy)
Lola (Fassbinder) (Criterion)
Marjoe (Amazon? Vudu Roku? )
Mon Oncle d'Amerique (Criterion)
The Night Of Shooting Stars (Amazon rent)
A Passage To India (Amazon rent)
Raising Arizona (Starz/Amazon)
S.O.B. (Amazon rent)
Taxi Zum Klo (Pantaflix rent)
They All Laughed
The Vanishing (Criterion)
Videodrome (Amazon rent)
The Whole Shootin' Match (70s) Amazon


Adventure Time (Hulu)
American Crime (three seasons, ABC) (Netflix)
The Americans (Amazon)
American Vandal (Netflix)
America To Me (Starz doc)
AP Bio (Hulu)
Archer (Hulu)
Avatar: The Last Airbender (Amazon?)
Babylon Berlin (Netflix) 
Better Call Saul (Netflix)
Betty (HBO) skating boarding chicks 
Big Mouth (Netflix animated)
Blackadder (Amazon and Hulu)
Black Mirror (Netflix)
Blue Planet II (BBC America)
Bodyguard (Netflix)
Bojack Horseman (Netflix)
The Bridge (Hulu)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC) 
The Bureau (French TV thriller, five seasons) (Amazon) 
Casa de los Flores aka House of Flowers (Netflix)
La Casa De Papel aka Money Heist (Netflix)
Crashing UK w Phoebe Waller-Bridges (Netflix)
Dark (German Stranger Things on Netflix)
Das Boot (Hulu)
Dickinson (Apple)
Drew Michael (HBO standup, no audience)
Elite (Netflix high school drama, Spain)
The Half of It (Netflix teen Cyrano Asian)
Los Espookys (HBO)
Euphoria (HBO)
Fargo (Hulu)
Fauda (Israeli-Palestinian) (Netflix)
F1: Drive To Survive (Netflix)
Forever (Amazon)
GLOW (Netflix) 
The Great (Hulu w Nicolas Hoult Russian period) 
Hannah Gadsby Douglas (watch Nannette first) (Netflix) 
Happy Valley (Netflix)
Homecoming (Amazon)
The House of Flowers (La Casa de las Flores, Mexico) (Netflix)
I Know This Much is True (HBO) 
I May Destroy you (HBO) 
Insecure (HBO)
I Think You Should Leave (Netflix)
Kidding (Showtime)
Kid Gorgeous at Radio City: John Mulaney stand up (Netflix)
The Kominsky Method (Netflix)
The Leftovers (HBO)
Letterkennny (Hulu)
The Little Drummer Girl (Amazon?)
Lodge 49 (Hulu)
Mira, Royal Detective (Disney Channel)
Money Heist aka La Casa De Papel (Netflix)
Moone Boy (Irish Wonder Years)(Hulu)
Mr Inbetween (Amazon) 
Mrs America (Hulu w Cate Blanchett as Phyllis Schaffly) 
Mum (Britbox, Amazon)
My Brilliant Friend (HBO)
Nanette: Hannah Gadsby standup (Netflix)
Nathan For You (Comedy Central) 
Never Have I Ever (mindy Kaling high school comedy) (Netflix) 
The Other Two (gay, Comedy Central)
Our Boys (HBO) 
Outer Banks (Netflix, Aussie teens Pogues, dawson's creek) 
Patriot (spy guitar) (Amazon)
Pen15 (Hulu)
Perpetual Grace LTD (creators of Patriot) (Epix)
Please Like Me (Irish gay, mother attempted suicide etc) Hulu
Ramy (Muslim American) (Hulu)
Random Acts Of Flyness (HBO)
Rectify (Sundance) 
Red Oaks (Amazon, country club tennis 80s) 
Rick And Morty (Cartoon Network/Adult Swim) (Hulu)
Russian Doll (Netflix)
Salt Fat Acid Heat (Netflix cooking show)
Sex Education (Netflix, Asa Butterfield, Gillian Anderson)
Shangri-La Rick Rubin doc (Showtime)
Sherman's Showcase (Hulu)
Silicon Valley (HBO)
Six By Sondheim (HBO)
Sorry For Your Loss (Facebook Watch)
Steven Universe (Cartoon Network)
The Story Of Minglan (Chinese drama on YouTube)
Succession (HBO)
Tamborine: Chris Rock special (Netflix)
The Terror (AMC)
This Close (Sundance)
This Is England (Amazon)
Tig Notaro: Happy to be Here standup (Netflix)
The Trip (rentable) 
Truth Seekers (Amazon, Simon Pegg) 
Unbelievable (Netflix)
The Untamed (Netflix)
Veep (HBO)
The Vicar of Dibley (BritBox Amazon)
The Vietnam War (Amazon)
Warrior (Cinemax)
Watchmen (HBO)
What We Do In The Shadows (Hulu)
When They See Us (Netflix Ava DuVernay)
Wild Wild Country (Netflix doc)
Years and Years (HBO)


Alan Partridge
An American Family (1973 PBS documentary)
Anne Of Green Gables (1985)
The Avengers
Baseball (Ken Burns)
Brassed Off
Broken Trail (2006 TV movie)
Buffalo Bill
Danger UXB
The Day After
Eleanor and Franklin
Elizabeth R
Gulliver's Travels (1996 miniseries)
Jazz (Ken Burns)
The Kids In The Hall (1988 sketch)
The Jewel In The Crown
Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts
Mr. Show
The Paper Chase
Party Down
Planet Earth
Reilly: Ace Of Spies
The Rockford Files/Maverick
S.C.T.V. (1976 sketch) 
Sherlock Holmes (starring Ronald Howard from 1954, on Roku) 
Sons Of Anarchy
St. Elsewhere (1982 drama)
Tattingers (1988 light drama)
Victory At Sea
The Waltons (1971 drama)
The World At War
World on a Wire (Fassbender TV four hours, Criterion) 


Cluny Brown (Criterion)
Imitation Of Life (rental) 
Marnie (Criterion) 

Aguirre, Wrath Of God (rental, Apple Amazon) 
All That Jazz 
L'avventura (HBO Max, Criterion) 
Bāhubali: The Beginning (2015) (Netflix) 
Beau Travail (Criterion) 
The Big Lebowski (rental Apple Amazon) 
A Brighter Summer Day (Criterion) 
Chungking Express (Criterion) 
Cluny Brown (Criterion)
Come and See (Klimov) 
Cutter's Way (rental Apple Amazon) 
A Day In The Country aka Partie de campagne (HBO Max, Criterion) 
Design For Living (TCM) 
Germany Year Zero (HBO Max, Criterion) 
The Hitch-Hiker (Amazon, Kanopy) 
In Bruges (rental Apple Amazon) 
Intentions Of Murder (Criterion) 
Journey To Italy (HBO Max, Criterion, Kanopy) 
Lagaan: Once Upon A Time in India (Netflix)
Lipstick (Apple rental) 
Lola Montes (HBO Max, Criterion) 
The Long Goodbye (Altman)
La Maman et al Putain 
The Marquise of O (Apple rental) 
Mary and Max (Criterion)
Mirror (Tarkovsky, 1974) (Criterion)
The Night Porter (HBO Max, Criterion) 
Los Olvidados 
Only Angels Have Wings (rental Apple Amazon)
Persona (HBO Max, Criterion) 
Shaun Of The Dead (rental Apple Amazon)
Solaris (Tarkovsky) 
Stalker (Tarkovsky) 
Story Of Women (Criterion)
Such A Pretty Little Beach 
3 Women (Altman) 
Touki Bouki (HBO Max, Criterion) 
Wanda (Criterion)
A Woman Under The Influence