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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, April 24, 2014

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In Holiday Guide Commentary

The Tegan and Sara concert was a 2013 memory maker. (PHOTO: CJ Foeckler)

2013 picks: Molly Snyder


It's hard to believe 2013 is almost over, and looking back, it wasn't my favorite year, but it certainly contained some fine entertainment moments.

Music: I blame "American Horror Story: Coven" for my recent re-obsession with Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac. I may or may not have downloaded a "four-disc" set just to feed my need. However, when not jamming out to "Leather and Lace," I also really enjoyed "We Can Be Horses," the first release from local band Buffalo Gospel that features the super talented Heidi Spencer. Laura Mulva's "Sing To The Moon," "Mutual Friends" by BOY, M.I.A.'s "Mantangi" and Placebo's "Loud Like Love" also got a fair share of my ears' time this year.

And the NOLA-phile in me must shout-out to Kermit Ruffins' collection of traditional New Orleans' jazz, "We Partyin' Traditional Style," that came out earlier this year.

Movies: It sounds cliche, but I wish everyone in the United States could see "12 Years A Slave." That said, I will never see it again. Even though I did not learn any new information about slavery or that period of American history, I have never been so moved by, troubled by and engrossed in something I saw on a screen. (OK, except maybe "Precious.") I just wish I would have streamed "12 Years" at home because my uncontrollable choky, sniffly, weeping sounds got downright embarrassing.

Books: I love memoirs and earlier this year I read Roseanne Cash's "Composed." It's now one of my all-time favorites. As the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, Roseanne struggled to carve a signature niche for herself in the music industry. She beautifully and accessibly documents her ups and downs with music as well as her relationship with her father, mother, husbands, and later, her stepmother June Carter Cash. Roseanne's eulogy to June is printed in the book – along with her eulogy to Johnny – contain some of the most heartfelt words I have ever read.

I am currently reading "Watership Down" to my children – we are about 250 pages in – and I am enjoying it so much more this time around. I read it as a sophomore in high school and missed a lot of social and political commentary that's burrowed in those pages. I have realized in the past few years that I really love rereading books, something I always pshawed in the past. (Hazel rah!)

Concerts: I didn't see the Violent Femmes or the Die Kruezen reunion shows, sadly, but I feel if I had they would have been my year-end picks. In fact, it wasn't a stellar year for me and live music, but I did really enjoy The Waterboys at Turner Hall in October and I took my kids to see everyone's favorite lesbian, Canadian, hipster duo Tegan and Sara in March. It was their first "real" concert indoors (they have seen shows at Summerfest) and the second-row seats (thanks, Andy Nelson!) made the event even more memorable.

Article: Overall, I found my writing to be pretty strong this year. I think it has something to do with trying times bringing good art or at least that's what "they" say. In any case, there are quite a few stories I wrote for OnMilwaukee.com this year that I am proud of, but most of all, I was honored we broke the news to Milwaukee that Alterra was changing its name to Colectivo. And even more than breaking the story, I appreciated the chance to tell the whole story. It was a huge, fun, surprisingly controversial event that instantly became a memorable piece of Milwaukee history.

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