Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The Movies, Books, Theater, Concerts, CDs I've Seen/Read/Heard So Far In 2020

Updated as of September 2, 2020

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


BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS
(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. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo *** 1/2
2. Thank You, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse *** 1/2 (despite the blackface)
3. Walt and Skeezix aka Gasoline Alley Volume Three 1925-1926 by Frank King
4. Bubble In The Sun by Christopher Knowlton ** 1/2
5. A World Without Work by Daniel Susskind **
6. Tightrope by Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn ** 1/2
7. Arguing With Zombies by Paul Krugman ***
8. The Complete Terry and the Pirates Vol. 5 1943-1944 by Milton Caniff *** 1/2
9. The Complete Terry and the Pirates Vol. 6 1945-1946 by Milton Caniff *** 1/2
10. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate ***
11. Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler ****
12. The Queen Of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner *** 1/2
13. The King Of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner *** 1/2
14. Harriet The Spy by Louise Fitzhugh *** 1/2
15. Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee by Dee Brown ***
16. Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner ** 1/2 
17. Apropos of Nothing by Woody Allen **
18. Thick As Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner ***
19. Why We're Polarized by Ezra Klein **
20. Gold Rush Girl by Avi ** 1/2
21. The Singapore Wink by Ross Thomas **
22. The Few by Alex Kershaw (nonfic on Battle Of Britain) *** 
23. The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson ** 1/2 (read too many books about Churchill and his wartime cabinet) 
24. The Warden by Anthony Trollope (1855) book one of Barsetshire Chronicles *** 1/2 
25. Trumpocalypse by David Frum * 
26. Rigged by David Shimer (history of covert election interference) *** 
27. Surviving Autocracy by Masha Gessen *** 
28. Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope (1857) book two of Barsetshire Chronicles *** 1/2 
29. An Irish Country Village by Patrick Taylor (2008) ** 
30. An Irish Country Christmas (2008) ** 
31. Fingal O'Reilly, Irish Doctor (2013) ** 1/2 
32. An Irish Country Girl by Patrick Taylor (2010) ** 
33. Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith ** 
34. An Irish Country Courtship by Patrick Taylor * 1/2 
35. The Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame, radio play by Alan Bennett *** 
36. The Mirror and The Light by Hilary Mantel *** 1/2 \ 
37. The Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark ** 1/2 
38. Owls Of The Eastern Ice by Jonathan C. Slaght *** 
39. Shane by Jack Schaefer *** 
40. The Human Cosmos by Jo Marchant *** 1/2 \ 
41. 





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. Neil Young -- Tonight's The Night (1975) *** 1/2 /
2. Neil Young -- Zuma (1975) *** 1/2
3. Neil Young -- After The Goldrush (1970) *** 1/2 /
4. Neil Young -- American Stars N Bars (1977) ** 1/2
5. Neil Young -- Comes A Time (1978) *** 1/2
6. Neil Young -- Rust Never Sleeps (1979) *** 1/2
7. Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto -- Getz/Gilberto #2 (1965) *** 1/2
8. John Luther Adams -- Become Ocean (2014) ****
9. Green Day -- Father Of All Motherfuckers *** 1/2
10. Teddy Thompson -- Heartbreaker Please *** 1/2
11. The Magnetic Fields -- Quickies *** 1/2
12. Drake Bell -- The Lost Album (2000) ***
13. Moses Sumney -- grae, Part 1 *** 1/2
14. Randy Travis -- Worship & Faith **
15. James Taylor -- American Standard **
16. Various Artists -- Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Masters Collection (1995) *** 1/2
17. Various Artists -- Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Masters Collection Vol. Two (1999) ***
18. Nancy Priddy -- You've Come This Way Before (1968) **
19. Brandy Clark -- Your Life Is A Record *** 1/2
20. Jose Feliciano -- Behind This Guitar **
21. Judy Collins -- Silver Blue Skies (w Ari Hest) (2016) ***
22. John Denver -- Greatest Hits (1973) **
23. Jose James -- No Beginning No End 2 **
24. Mike and the Moonpies -- Cheap Silver and Solid Country Gold ** 1/2
25. Minnie Ripperton -- Come To The Garden (1970) **
26. Nathaniel Rateliff -- And It's Still Alright **
27. Kate Bush -- Never For Ever (1980) ***/
28. The Lone Bellow -- Half Moon Light ** 1/2
29. Louis Armstrong -- The Standard Oil Sessions **
30. Michael Doucet -- Lacher Prise ** 1/2
31. Nazz -- Nazz (1968) ***
32. Nick Frater -- Full Fathom Freight-Train ***
33. Oh Wonder -- No One Else can Wear Your Crown ** 1/2
34. Parliament -- Mothership Connection (1975) ****
35. Paul Weller -- In Another Room ep **
36. Kate Bush -- The Dreaming (1981) ***/
37. Luke Haines and Peter Buck -- Beat Poetry For Survivalists **
38. Robert Cray -- That's What I Heard ***/
39. Old Crow Medicine Show -- Fifty Years Of "Blonde On Blonde" ** 1/2
40. Rumer -- B-Sides and Rarities ***
41. Judy Collins and Stephen Stills -- Everybody Knows (2017) ** 1/2
42. John Denver -- A Lime Creek Christmas ***
43. Jim Sullivan -- UFO (1969) ***
44. Kalapana -- Best of Black Sand: The Best Of Kalapana **
45. Kate Bush -- Hounds Of Love (1985) ****
46. The Kinks -- Face To Face (1966) ** 1/2
47. Matt Monroe -- Matt Sings and Nelson Swings (1967) *
48. Major Matt Mason USA -- Me Me Me (1998) **
49. William Prince -- Reliever **
50. Various Artists/Wynton Marsalis -- Motherless Brooklyn soundtrack ***
51. Beta Radio -- All Remains ep ***
52. R.E.M. -- Monster (1994) ** 1/2
53. Maria McKee -- La Vita Nuova *** 1/2
54. Gordon Lightfoot -- Solo **
55. Brian Eno and Roger Eno -- Mixing Colours ***/
56. Rod McKuen -- Greatest Hits Of (1969) *
57. Barry Manilow -- Night Songs II *** 1/2
58. Bill Fay -- Countless Branches ***
59. The Everly Brothers -- The Hit Sounds of the Everly Brothers (1967) ** 1/2
60. The Everly Brothers -- Sing (1967) **
61. Mister Rogers -- It's Such A Good Feeling: The Best of Mister Rogers ** 1/2
62. Cowboy Junkies -- Ghosts ***/
63.  Bill Withers -- Just As I Am ****
64. Bill Withers -- Still Bill ****
65. Bill Withers -- Live at Carnegie Hall *** 1/2
66. Bill Withers -- +Justments *** 1/2
67. Bill Withers -- Make Music ***
68. Bill Withers -- Naked and Warm ***
69. Bill Withers - Menagerie ** 1/2
70. Bill Withers -- 'Bout Love **
71. Bill Withers -- Watching You, Watching Me ** 1/2
72. John Prine -- John Prine (1971) ***
73. John Prine -- Diamonds in the Rough (1972) *** 1/2
74. Ron Sexsmith -- Hermitage ** 1/2
75. John Prine -- Sweet Revenge (1973) ** 1/2
76. John Prine -- Bruised Orange (1978) ** 1/2 
77. John Prine -- The Missing Years (1991) *** 1/2 
78. John Prine -- A John Prine Christmas (1994) ** 
79. Todd Rundgren -- Runt: The Ballad Of Todd Rundgren (1971) *** 1/2 
80. Todd Rundgren -- Something/Anything? (1972) *** 1/2 
81. Huey Lewis -- Weather ep ** 1/2 
82. Todd Rundgren -- A Wizard, A True Star (1973) *** 1/2 
83. A Girl Called Eddy -- Been Around ***/ 
84. Todd Rundgren -- Todd (1974) *** 
85. Todd Rundgren -- Faithful (1976) ** 1/2 
86. Boy George -- This Is What I Dub Vol. 1 ** 
87. Brian Fallon -- Local Honey ** 
88. Todd Rundgren -- Hermit Of Mink Hollow (1978) *** 
89. Judy Collins -- Silver Skies Blue (2016) *** 1/2 
90. Judy Collins -- Strangers Again (2015) ** 
91. iLe -- iLevitable *** 
92. Chatham County Line -- Strange Fascination ** 
93. Jeri Southern -- The Southern Style (1955) ** 
94. Kenny Rogers -- Gideon (1980) ** 
95. Kenny Rogers -- What About Me (1984) ** 
96. Kenny Rogers -- Water and Bridges (2006) *** 
97. Kraftwerk -- Trans Europe Express (1977) *** 1/2 
98. Various -- Funny People soundtrack ** 1/2 
99. Beau Jennings -- The Christmas Light ** (title song good)  
100. Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians -- Twas The Night Before Christmas * 
101. Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians -- Christmas Time *
102. George Benson -- Beyond The Blue Horizon (1971) * 1/2 
103. Jim Lauderdale -- When Carolina Comes Home Again ** 1/2 
104. David Archuleta -- Therapy Sessions ** 
105. Badly Drawn Boy -- Banana Skin Shoes ** 
106. Steve Earle -- Ghosts of West Virginia *** 1/2 
107. Coconut Records -- Nighttiming (2007) ** 
108. George Jones and Tammy Wynette -- Golden Ring (1976) *** 
109. Alec Benjamin -- These Two Windows *** 
110. Teddy Thompson -- Heartbreaker Please *** 1/2 
111. Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton -- Porter Wayne and Dolly Rebecca (1970) *** 
112. The Magnetic Fields -- Quickies *** 1/2 
113. Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton -- Two Of A Kind (1971) ** 1/2 
114. Kris Kristofferson -- Kris (1970) *** 
115. Philip Glass -- Music In Eight Parts *** 1/2 
116. Todd Rundgren -- Nearly Human (1989) *** 
117. Jimmy Buffett -- Life On The Flip Side ** 1/2 
118. Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton -- The Right Combination (1972) ** 1/2 
119. Dion -- Blues With Friends ** 
120. Todd Rundgren -- Liars (2004) *** 
121. Todd Rundgren -- Arena (2008) ** 1/2 
122. Todd Rundgren -- Healing (1981) *** 
123. The Dwight Tilley Band -- Sincerely (1976) *** 
124. Dolly Parton -- Release Me ep * 1/2 
125. Emahoy Tsegu-Maryam Gubrou -- Ethiopiques Vol. 21: Ethiopia Song Piano Solo (1963) *** 1/2 
126. Janet Devlin -- Confessional ** 1/2 
127. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever -- Sideways To New Italy ** 1/2 
128. The Kinks -- Something Else By The Kinks (1967) ** 1/2 
129. The Sylvers -- The Sylvers (1972) ** 1/2 
130. Norah Jones -- Pick Me Up Off The Floor ** 
131. Odetta -- Christmas Spirituals (1960) *** 1/2 
132. Niall Horan -- Heartbreak Weather ** 
133. Rush -- Permanent Waves (1980) ** 1/2 
134. Shelby Lynne -- Shelby Lynne ** 
135. M Ward -- Migration Stories *** 
136. Canyons -- Gone West ** 
137. Neil Young -- Homegrown (1975/2020) *** 1/2 
138. John Legend -- Bigger Love ** 
139. Phoebe Bridgers -- Punisher ***/ 
140. Perfume Genius -- Set My Heart On Fire Immediately ** 1/2 
141. The 1975 -- Notes on A Conditional Form *** 
142. Van Dyke Parks and Brian Wilson -- Orange Crate Art (1995) *** 
143. Bob Dylan -- Rough And Rowdy Ways *** 1/2 
144. Andi Rae Healy -- Last Time I Checked This Was A Free World and I Wasn't Anybody's Girl ** 
145. Run The Jewels -- RTJ4 ** 1/2 
146. Nicole Atkins -- Italian Ice ** 
147. Pet Shop Boys -- Hotspot ** 1/2 
148. Temporex -- Care ** 1/2 
149. Corb Lund -- Agricultural Tragic ** 1/2 
150. Johnny Cash -- Johnny Cash Is Coming To Town (1987) ** 1/2 
151. Johnny Cash -- Water From The Wells of Home (1988) ** 
152. Johnny Cash -- The Mystery Of Life (1991) ** 
153. Johnny Cash -- Out Among The Stars (2014) ** 
154. Distant Cousins -- Here & Now ** 
155. Supergrass -- The Strange Ones: 1994-2008 *** 1/2 
156. Ambrose Akinmuserie -- On The Tender Spot Of Every Calloused Moment ** 1/2 
157. Lady Gaga -- Chromatica ***\ 
158. Teyana Taylor -- The Album *** 1/2 
159. Richard Thompson -- Bloody Noses ep *** 
160. Willie Nelson -- First Rose Of Spring *** 1/2 \ 
161. Paul Weller -- On Sunset *** / 
162. Tom Petty -- Southern Accents (1985) ** 
163. Tom Petty -- Let Me Up, I've Had Enough (1987) ** 
164. The Jayhawks -- Xoxo *** / 
165. Margo Price -- That's How Rumors Get Started ** 
166. Ray Wylie Hubbard -- Co-Starring ** 
167. My Morning Jacket -- The Waterfall II *** 
168. Joe Ely -- Love In The Midst of Mayhem ** 
169. Rufus Wainwright -- Unfollow The Stars *** 
170. Lianne La Havas -- Lianne la Havas *** 
171. Emitt Rhodes -- Emitt Rhodes (1970) *** 1/2 
172. Logic -- No Pressure *** 
173. Caetano Veloso -- Transa (1972) *** 
174. Cinder Well -- No Summer ** 
175. Taylor Swift -- folklore ** 1/2 
176. Paul Kelly -- Please Leave Your Light On (w Paul Grabowsky) *** 
177. Seasick Steve -- Love & Peace ** 
178. Thomas Bartlett -- Shelter *** 
179. Tom Petty -- Full Moon Fever (1989) *** 1/2 
180. Tom Petty -- Into the Great Wide Open (1991) ** 1/2 
181. Tom Petty -- Wildflowers (1994) ** 
182. Mary Chapin Carpenter -- The Dirt and the Stars ** 
183. Holly Humberstone -- Falling Asleep At The Wheel ** 1/2 
184. Rumer -- Nashville Tears: The Songs Of Hugh Prestwood *** 1/2 
185. Trini Lopez -- Live At PJ's (1963) * 
186. Bruce Hornsby -- Non-secure Connection ** 
187. Kathleen Edwards -- Total Freedom ** 
188. Gloria Estefan -- Brazil305 ** 1/2 
189. Matt Rollings -- Mosaic ** 1/2 
190. Mandy Barnett -- A Nashville Songbook ** 
191. Beta Radio -- Way Of Love ep ** 1/2 
192. Ryland James -- Ryland James ** 
193. The Texicana Mamas -- The Texicana Mamas ** 
194. Troye Sivan -- In A Dream ep *** 
195. Michael Harrison w Roomful Of Teeth -- Just Constellations *** 
196. The Waterboys -- Good Luck, Seeker ** 
197. Bettye LaVette -- Blackbirds *** 
198. Toots & The Maytals -- Got To Be Tough ** 1/2 
199. Emitt Rhodes -- Mirror (1971) *** 
200. 



MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES TV MOVIES 

(Not TV movies, of course, but movies and TV -- 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. Local Hero (1983) ***
2. Where Is The Friend's House? (1987) *** 1/2
3. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) **
4. Local Hero (1983) ***\
5. Where Is The Friend's House? (1987) *** 1/2
6. L'Argent (1983) ** 1/2
7. Sans Soleil (1983) ** 1/2
8. High Hopes (1988) ***
9. Atlantic City (1981) ***
10. The Day Of Rest (1939) Robert Benchley short *
11. The Mandalorian S1 ** 1/2
12. Pacific Liner (1939) **
13. Tiger King (Netflix doc) ** 1/2
14. An Hour For Lunch (1939 Robert Benchley short) *
15. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) ** 1/2
16. Derry Girls S1 ***
17. Derry Girls S2 *** 
18. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance S1 *** 
19. The End of the F---ing World S2 **** 
20. The River (short film by Pare Lorentz) (1938) ** 
21. The Plow That Broke The Plains (1936) music by Virgil Thomson, Didactic, confusing and haphazard. barely gets across the idea that ending grasslands doomed the plains to drying up. Much mention of the war driving up wheat prices. 
22. Poetry of Nature: A Pete Smith Specialty (1939) "humorous" short about wildlife in California redwoods * 
23. The Sea Around Us (1953) ** 
24. Star Trek: Picard S1 ** 1/2 
25. A Small Town Idol (1921/1939) no stars 
26. Old Hickory (1939 short) * 
27. Seeing Red (1939 short w Red Skelton) * 
28.  Word Is Out (1977) *** 1/2 
29. Better Call Saul S1 *** 1/2 
30. Rough Riders' Round-up (1939) Roy Rogers * 
31. Welcome To Chechnya (doc) *** 
32. Unsettled: Seeking Refuge In America (doc) ** 1/2 
33. Sexual Exiles (1999 short; 30min) *** 
34. The Fighting Gringo (1939) * 1/2 
35. Family Romance LLC *** (Werner Herzog film) 
36. Beanpole *** 1/2 (plus acting, prod design) 
37. A Russian Youth ** 1/2 
38. Star In The Night (1945) Don Siegel dir short about hotel/diner in middle of nowhere on Christmas Eve * 1/2 
39. Three Smart Girls Grow Up (1939) ** 
40. One Hundred Men and a Girl (1937) * 1/2 
41. It Started With Eve (1941) ** 
42. I Know Where I'm Going! (1945) *** 1/2 
43. Brief Encounter (1945) *** 1/2 
44. Smashing The Money Ring (1939) * 1/2 
45. Big Wednesday (1978) * 1/2 
46. Rewind ** 1/2 
47. Death On The Nile (1978) * 1/2 
48. Another Thin Man (1939) *** \ 
49. The Mirror Crack'd (1980) * 1/2 
50. Evil Under The Sun (1981) *** \ 
51. The Personal History Of David Copperfield * 1/2  
52.  


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


1. Dana H *** 1/2 (Lucas Hnath play)


Updated as of September 2, 2020

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