To say that 2022 had some real highs and real lows would be a tremendous understatement. We went from the extreme lows of dealing with a Condo fire (which as of this writing is STILL ongoing. Not the fire, just the “dealing with it” part) and struggling with family health stuff, to the extreme highs of starring in School of Rock the Musical (and all the friends and experiences that came with that) and watching Margot enter Kindergarten and Avery 2nd grade (and taking Avery to her first rock concert – Biffy Clyro at House of Blues). So much stress this year, but also so much joy and a lot of new friends that already feel like family. It’s been a roller coaster to say the least. But every year a prevailing joy (even though it can be frustrating and stressful at times) is watching my girls continue to grow and become the hilarious incredible little girls that they are.
Those were certainly the big things that happened in 2022. My lone goal that I had leading into the year was to write a new album. Thanks to the aforementioned stuff, that didn’t really happen, but I have picked it back up in 2023 so far, so that’ll be a rollover goal into this year. ?
I have a feeling that 2023 is going to bring some big changes in a lot of ways, and I think most of those changes are going to be good. But even if we hit adversity like we did this year, I know that I have a pretty incredible group of family and friends in my corner. I never want to take that for granted, as that gives me the foundation to face any darkness thrown my way. So I guess we’ll see what I’m writing about at the beginning of 2024!
But to officially let go of 2022, I need to do my usual look back on the various media that I enjoyed in 2022 (knowing this may not be interesting to anyone but me). Here are the previous 17 (!!) years that I’ve done this:
2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005
And as per usual, I’ll begin with music, though I will say that this was a year where I really didn’t consume music at the usual rate that I do. Again, due to the roller coaster times, my routine got thrown off quite a bit.
Top 5 Albums
- the 1975 – Being Funny in a Foreign Language
I know that the 1975 has fallen out of favor at least with some, and maybe rightfully so, but I can’t help loving their music. I roll my eyes a little bit at the general “being canceled” theme that comes up in some of the lyrics, but almost every song on this album feels like the closing credits to an 80s rom com. And maybe after a year of such ups and downs, I just wanted some music that made me feel happy, and this album knocked that out of the park.
2. Lizzie McAlpine – five seconds flat
Jake Chandler had an advanced song by Lizzie on his mix in 2021 (doomsday) and I really dug the tune, so figured when the full album came out, I would give it a listen. It blew me away and stuck with me all year. Catchy, beautiful, sassy, and songwriting that seems like it is from someone much older than she is.
3. Fatherson – Normal Fears
Was really excited for this album leading into 2022, and it definitely delivered. Hard to replicate the joy I got from discovering their first album, but they’re the closest band to Frightened Rabbit I’ve found, and give me all the feels.
4. ONE OK ROCK – Luxury Disease
In other years, this album might not make the top 5, and while it certainly feels very young in the songwriting, it is just so catchy and heavy and fun. It also helped that the girls really love them too. Maybe the timing will work in the future to take both of the girls to see them live, but in the meantime, we’ll rock out in the car.
5. alt-j – The Dream
Another album that I didn’t necessarily revisit much through the year, and in other years, it wouldn’t make a top 5, but I really loved it, and the track Get Better is stunning and heartbreaking.
Arcade Fire – We, Jukebox the Ghost – Cheers, Taylor Swift – Midnights, Holly Humberstone – Can You Afford to Lose Me?, Gungor – Love Song to Life
Theme Song of the Year
Me: Better Friend – Fatherson
Corinne: Naacho Naacho – RRR (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Avery: I Just Wanna Shine – Fitz & the Trantrums
Margot: Stick it to the Man – School of Rock: The Musical
Top Albums I Should Have Been into Earlier
MUNA – MUNA
Didn’t hear this album until early 2023, and I bet it makes my top 5 had I actually heard it in 2022.
This year I was able to keep a little better track of this (at least part way through the year), because I started using Letterboxd, thanks to Calin (my username is fosterthemorgan if you care to be friends on there). So I’ll give my full list of top rated movies, but I first have to make a special call out to:
Could be that this caught me at exactly the right time (while having covid and being stuck at home), but this was as much fun as I’ve ever had seeing a movie. It’s like 3.5 hours long and I wouldn’t cut a minute of it. You should all see it, it’s incredible.
My other top rated movies that I saw for the first time in 2022 were:
Everything Everywhere All at Once
Worst Movie of the Year
As usual, with following along with How Did This Get Made, I watched many terrible movies. But of those that I watched and rated (in Letterboxd), looks like the worst rank was:
Ghost in the Machine
I remember this movie coming out when I was a kid and it looked SO cool. It…. was not cool, it was so dumb and terrible.
Favorite TV Shows
No clear winners this year either, but here were a few I really loved:
Stranger Things Vol 4
No runaway favorite this year either, and to be honest, I listen to so many podcasts I can barely remember what all I did listen to, but here were a few I really enjoyed:
Ultra (Rachel Maddow Presents)
The 2022 MCAM (Morgan, Corinne, Avery, Margot) Mix
1: Better Friend – Fatherson
My primary warm up song on the way to School of Rock rehearsals and shows. Lyrically it’s somewhat unimpressive, but it’s such a catchy tune full of heart.
2: Be Sweet – Japanese Breakfast
Didn’t listen to this album that came out in 2021 until early 2022, and the girls and I both really loved this tune and listened to it all year.
3: Giants – WALK THE MOON
Similarly, I totally missed this album in 2021, and this song stuck with me all year.
4: SLAY!! – Paledusk
This was a Jake Chandler special, and hoo boy does it deliver. When I first heard this track I said “I don’t know what they’re doing in Japan, but I am here for it.”
5: Prove – ONE OK ROCK
Wonderfully catchy epic rock tune, kind of their specialty.
6: Wasted – Jukebox the Ghost
This song hits me deep on a variety of levels – reminiscing about being young and in a band; “worrying about our parents getting older”; etc
7: Unconditional I (Lookout Kid) – Arcade Fire
“Lookout kid, trust your soul
It ain’t hard to rock n’ roll
You know how to move your hips
And you know God is cool with it
But some people want the rock without the roll
But we all know, there’s no God without soul”
I mean come on!
8: Honest to God – Fatherson
My other warm up tune on the way to School of Rock rehearsals and shows. Simple and beautiful.
9: Get Better – alt-j
“I still pretend you’re only out of sight in another room
Smiling at your phone”
Oof, just heartbreaking and beautiful.
10: Cut Me Up – Friday Pilots Club
Heard a track by these guys on Jake’s mix last year, so I listened through their EP, and I especially loved this track. I’m a sucker for a dramatic ending to a tune.
11: Stick it to the Man – School of Rock the Musical
Obviously had to include something from School of Rock. ??
12: Anti-Hero – Taylor Swift
I mean….. this is a great track, I’ll admit it.
13: Naacho Naacho – RRR (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
The iconic song from maybe the best movie ever (as I explained above).
14: Cameo – Kavinsky
Totally random poppy tune I Shazam’d in a grocery store or something like that, and Avery loved it too, so we jammed out in the car often to this throughout the year.
15: Scarlett – Holly Humberstone
This one I believe Avery heard at a coffeeshop with me and asked me to put it on her playlist. Another super catchy fun tune.
16: Happiness – The 1975
Perfect title for this song, as it is like a pop rock version of a nice cup of cocoa. Just delicious and comforting.
17: orange show speedway – Lizzie McAlpine
A memory that will stick with me for a long time was driving in the car with the girls and all 3 of us singing this song together. ?
So that’s a wrap. What a weird year. One that I both couldn’t say bye to fast enough, and yet….. I miss it already? Hoping 2023 will be a little less roller coaster-y and just a nice smooth glide. Regardless, people will keep making art, and I will keep consuming it and telling you all about it. So long, 2022.