Category Archives: TV

My Favorite Albums & Movies of 2013

The following are my favorite albums and movies from 2o13. They’ve connected with me on some level, through nostalgia and pulling my mind back to old memories or taking me on a journey away from reality and into a story I’ve not yet heard. If you have yet to hear these albums or see these movies, I hope you get inspired to at least check into them a little bit and see if you too can be gripped by these stories.

20. Matrimony- Montibello Drive

19. Imaginary Friend- Fire Escape

18. Relient K- Collapsible Lung

17. Local Natives- Hummingbird

16. Pacific Air- Stop Talking

15. My Epic- Behold

14. Houses- A Quiet Darkness

13. Daughter- If You Leave

12. Air Review- Low Wishes

11. Moving Mountains- Moving Mountains

10. Ghost Ship- The Good King

9. Jimmy Eat World- Damage

8. Sleeping at Last- Atlas EPs: Darkness/Light/Space 1/Space 2

7. Leagues- You Belong Here

6. Dustin Kensrue- The Water and the Blood

5. Citizens- Citizens

Worship music has come a long way from when I first became a christian. Citizens really put out an album full of worship songs that have more depth than most of the K-Love hits, and they are upbeat and fun. This album has honestly helped me grow in my spiritual walk this year and I am glad to have found some genuine and accessible worship music I can enjoy.

4. Gungor- I am Mountain

Gungor has tuned the table around on us again. It seems every time they put something new out it is a new breed of Gungor. This album has it all. From western songs about war to a song completely done with auto tune. It’s eclectic spread of songs make it a good listen any time. It doesn’t matter if I’m in the mood for something upbeat and happy or slow and thought-provoking,  I am Mountain fills my thirst.

3. Twin Forks- EP

Chris Carrabba’s new folk band is the best musical outlet he’s had in a while. Dashboard Confessional has been in a downslide, and Twin Forks has become Carrabba’s premiere venue for his musical tastes. This album always gets me stomping my feet and clapping my hands as I join in with the band. If you get the chance to check these guys out live I highly advise that you do it.

2. Lydia- Devil

Lydia seems to have no shortage of music to make with putting out new music about every year and a half. This time around lead singer Leighton Antelman has some joyful things on his heart which make for an uplifting album (which is a rare occurrence with this band). Lydia is one of a kind, and a musical inspiration that has been with me since I started college. Usually Lydia songs are perfect fall or winter music, but this disc is just so lovely it fits with spring and summer, which just means Lydia will be on year round for me now.

1. I can Make a Mess- Enola

I don’t know if it’s because I had no expectations at all for this, or because I wanted it so badly to be great that it would’ve been no matter what, but this album captured me. Ace Enders first introduced himself to me with The Early’s November’s The Room’s Too Cold (which was one of my favorite albums throughout high school), and shortly after that Ace created my favorite full length disc ever: I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody’s Business self-titled album. I can still remember buying it from F.Y.E. and listening to it constantly that October and November. I still cherish the songs from that album. Ace went on and make more music with The Early November and a few alone as I Can Make a Mess, but nothing has ever rivaled that first ICMAM album… until now.

Enola is great because it holds nothing back. Guitar solo in the middle of the song? ‘K. Heavy techno infused songs mixed with stripped down acoustic songs? Done. Soaring and soothing guitars to balance out the peaks and valleys? Of course. Enola and the self-titled I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody’s Business will be sitting on my musical pedestal for years and years to come. Thank you Mr. Enders.

Click here to listen to my Spotify “Best of 2014” playlist with songs from the above albums and more!

Below are my five favorite movies I saw in 2013. There are a few more I am waiting on seeing, but I’ll list them afterwards.

1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

I think Peter Jackson can do no wrong. Plus Martin Freeman is incredible. And Benedict Cumberbatch is in it. This movie is hysterical and action packed and I watched it all from the edge of my seat.

2. Pacific Rim

The little boy in me loved everything about this movie. The monsters. The giant robots. The pet bulldog. Everything.

3. Now You See Me

Magic that captivated me the entire movie and with a great twist at the end!

4. Star Trek: Into Darkness

My man crush is Benedict Cumberbatch…

5. Despicable Me 2

The minions completely steal the show here. Much improved from the original too.

I have yet to see a few highly acclaimed movies and am waiting on the cheap, easily available route (Redbox) before enjoying them. Here are a few I’m looking forward to viewing soon:

  • Gravity
  • Captain Phillips
  • American Hustle
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
  • About Time

One final thing to touch on for the year is my favorite television shows! I have really enjoyed a few years and would encourage others to look into them if they’ve been looking for something fun to watch!

1. Sherlock

Led by Benedict Cumberbatch (as Sherlock) and Martin Freeman (as Dr. Watson), this hour and a half television show is my favorite show of all time. It plays out much more like a movie than a show (which can easily be done in it’s long, but well worth it run time). Cumberbatch and Martin are as great a duo as their is in TV currently. Sadly the show only offers us three episodes per series (season), but if you’re just now finding out about you are in luck! Series three is airing in the United States January 19th with the following two episodes the next two weeks as well!

2. The Walking Dead

Boy oh boy, have things strongly progressed since season three ended. I think each episode so far this season has had something great to offer either in the way of character development or a major plot twist. The zombies have become more of a “background noise” type of occurrence, but more and more dangers are popping up that the group cannot seem to avoid! I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for our Walking Dead characters!

3. The Goldbergs/ Trophy Wife

Admittedly these shows are my guilty pleasures. Just some pretty funny sitcoms that consistently make me laugh! The Goldbergs is perfect for anyone born in the 80’s due to all the old school references like Atari, the Delorean, and Run DMC. The Trophy Wife has some very uniquely intertwined family relationships that somehow work don’t overwhelm the show. All of the actors are given just enough time to shine and they each have their own quirks that make it hard to not continue coming back for more!

This is a reflection of my entertainment this previous year, and I look forward to all that 2014 has to offer!

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Reflecting on: The Walking Dead



It’s only been a week since season 3 ended, and I’m already having withdrawals.

…Not that I overly enjoyed season 3. Many conversations with friends were spent griping about plot lines, poor character development, and just Andrea in general. But despite its flaws The Walking Dead remains my favorite television show. It is the only show I make sure I watch every night it airs, and only one of two TV shows I watch weekly that is not sports related. (The other being Duck Dynasty. I cannot get enough of that family…)

Season 3 began with our favorite zombie killing group stumbling upon a prison outside of Atlanta, Georgia. They cleared a section of the prison of zombies and made this safe haven their home. Throughout the first few episodes A LOT, and I mean a lot, of action happened. Their was great character growth. Zombies were being killed. People were being killed. A lot of tough moral decisions were being made. Fans were being pleased. Herschel, our once religious father figure veterinarian, became a one-legged, do what is necessary fierce fan favorite. Michionne, the silent warrior, was introduced. Daryl continued being Daryl, a regular shoot ’em the face with your crossbow pro.Our villainous Governor took center stage for main creeper.  And Lori died. All was well.

Then the show slid hard. We spent 3 episodes whose main plot lines were that Rick is friggin’ crazy now and is losing his mind. Another consistent(ly boring) back story was having Andrea trying to decide where her loyalties lie; with the group at the prison, or her new lover, The Governor. Random “fights” between The Governor and our prison group take place, and no resolution is every truly reached in these battles besides many meaningless characters are killed off and Season 4 is coming and Woodbury is finally moving on without its leader. Gah! So much potential!

A friend of mine was telling me that my perception would be much different if I wasn’t watching the episodes one at a time, but rather had the opportunity already to view them on dvd (blu ray strictly for me), without interruption. His point being that the story would flow much better as it progressed and would entertain more than bore.

But therein lies part of the problem… this is a TV show, not a movie or web series. It’s going to be viewed by millions and millions of people one episode per week. Keep us wanting to come back, The Walking Dead! Keep us tantalized with Michionne beheading zombies. With a Daryl/Rick zombie WWE tag team match. With a group loose cannon who is always pushing peoples’ buttons *cough cough- Shane and Merle- *cough cough.

Season 4 does have some things to look forward to though. The main thing being a new showrunner is being introduced. Scott Gimple, who wrote the three episodes “Pretty Much Dead Already”, “Hounded”, and “Clear”, is hailed as an excellent replacement for Glen Mazzara, who had run his stay into the ground. Also, it’s been reported that the character of The Governor will get much more evil, the walkers will be a factor again (finally…), and of course, it’s being promoted as the best season yet.

The season 3 “finale” (if you can truly call it that) left our group taking in the women, children, and elderly from the abandoned Woodbury. Carl is questioning his father’s methods and is not allowing himself to be weak or soft and just committed his first murder in this post-apocalyptic world. Andrea, oh so ironically, got to off herself after being bitten. And Tyrese is here! Comic book fans understand…

The Walking Dead will always have a special place in my heart due to the nature of the show- zombies, moral dilemmas, and a desire for hope. A hope for a safe life. A hope for a promising future. A hope for a cure. As fans let us hope the characters do not find a permanent solution to what they’re searching for, or else The Walking Dead will just be referring to the zombies.

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