Year-end lists tend to be the what-does-Corey-Taylor-think equivalent of every crevice of the music and film blog circuit. Nevertheless, it’s a tradition in which I’m willing to participate for the same reason I flew thousands of miles to listen to my grandpa call Rachael Ray fat while trying to enjoy my carb-loaded Christmas dinner: it somehow beats the alternative of spending my holiday staring at the walls of my apartment (or does it?). All bleakly accurate jokes aside, I will never take having a space to bounce my thoughts off the Graveyard readership for granted. Thank you to those who have given my content a read this year, and for standing by when my posts grew spotty due to my foray into grad school. Without further ado, here are some favorites to bring along on the spaceship into 2019, as well as a few faux pas to leave behind in the time capsule.
Artists I’m Bringing to 2019
La Goony Chonga
2018’s hip-hop heavyweight Cardi B is cool, but you know who else is pretty alright? The literal thousands of other female rappers in the world. One of my favorite discoveries this year has been La Goony Chonga. While growing up in Miami, the rapper looked up to the likes of Trina and Celia Cruz and wrote songs when she wasn’t freestyling for friends. After a few years of dancing in New York while honing her music with colleague Bootychaaain, she moved to Los Angeles, where her career began to come to light. This journey has yielded classics for whenever I need to enter boss bitch mode immediately if not sooner. Single Claro Que Si will always be among one of my favorites for prominently featuring her signature dreamy, orgasmic ad libs. With a baby son by her side, La Goony Chonga continues to prolifically release underrated hits with flashy visuals to boot.
Lilith is Gone
True to her name, Lilith is Gone is an elusive gem discovered on Soundcloud AutoPlay back around Mardi Gras time. Coincidentally, that’s when spring-like weather returns to New Orleans, and there is perhaps no better sound to add to the whispers of warm breeze than Lilith is Gone’s take on ethereal melancholy. While not much has been disclosed about her back story, the element of relative mystery seems to bode well for the message that her music intends to send. Last year’s pulsing Bury You (Prod. Foliage) was followed up with 48 Days (Prod./Feat. Shae Delea) – an especially melodic epic perfect for whatever inevitable angst 2019 has in store. While Lilith is Gone’s last Instagram post promises her return, the blissful memories of the marks she’s made thus far will prove lasting.
Films I’m Bringing to 2019
New Year’s is all about new perspective, and if reflecting on 2018 has taught me anything, it’s that I invested way too much time and care into men who just “aren’t ready” to treat me—or anyone for that matter—like an actual person. If this sentiment is resonating, I recommend adding Bad Match to your petty-night-in repertoire. While apps like Tinder can’t necessarily be to blame for the degradation of dating, superficial sources of romance-seeking seem to bring out the worst in individuals who were assholes in the first place. While women are often pegged as crazy for holding romantic interests to certain expectations, this 2018 Netflix addition excels at conveying the extent to which treating each other like programmable baboon bots is really the true horror of it all. Even better, it does so through campy goodness that’s nothing short of entertaining until the very last twisted scene.
A Simple Favor
If you teared up while watching Ariana Grande’s thank u, next video, then you’re probably at the age where you love the classic chick flick bangers, but also crave something a bit more substantial as you inch another year closer to qualifying for the Denny’s senior menu. If you fall into this category, then you’re in luck; 2018 gifted us A Simple Favor – a stylish, neo-noir dark comedy about the disappearance of a suit-clad Blake Lively. Whether you’re as confused about your repressed bisexuality as I am or just like a good who-dun-did-it, this is the perfect way to kill a couple of wine-drunk hours on a rainy Friday night in stretchy pants. While it certainly has its faults—including an off-the-rails ending and an ‘act like men’ approach to feminism—A Simple Favor is pretty damn elevated for a major Hollywood zinger.
YouTubers I’m Bringing to 2019
Always tardy the party, I recently stumbled down the rabbit hole of YouTube commentator ContraPoints aka Natalie Wynn. Stationed in my hometown of Baltimore, Wynn sheds well-reasoned thoughts on issues of race and capitalism, as well as gender and philosophy. While many YouTube talking heads tend to just rant into a microphone from the safety of that one specific chair, Ms. Points pushes the limits of editing and costume design, often taking on the caricatures of various individuals in what are effectively one-woman debates. As her list of Patreons grows, her videos keep getting bigger and better without falling into the YouTube-famous trap of becoming bigger than themselves. Recently, a productive look at Incels had me doubled over as the eroticism of the rain storm is pondered as credits begin to roll, suggesting that content can be thoughtful, even challenging, without taking itself too seriously.
While some days I enjoy pontificating about the existential void, other days, I just need to be completely distracted from it. On the latter occasion, vlogger Cluam Sutherland keeps me from calling 911 on myself. Truly, Sutherland—a proud, professional sugar baby—is the epitome of an ace YouTuber in that her own personality deserves a parade. While people like to rag on the Kardashians for having no talent, there is something particularly special about not needing a designated skill to be entertaining. Sutherland, along with her gang of friends, tears her way across nightclub pre-games and summary vacations, getting into hijinks ranging from vomiting massive chunks of cheese to carrying a wig down the side of the road like it’s a firstborn child. Holding these all-killer scenes together is an editing style that varies between choppy, scream-filled madness and slow-motion posing while princessy pop music blares. Like a tote of Halloween candy, Sutherland is full of surprises that are straight sugar for the mind.
Concepts to Consider Leaving in 2018*
Hot take, I know, but don’t revoke my gOtH GiRl CaRd just yet. I don’t have a viscerally negative reaction to burlesque whatsoever. Like many of us, I became enraptured with Dita Von Teese at a young age; it was reassuring to see someone who looked like me—sickly skin with dark hair—on the cover of Playboy back in the dark ages of The Girls Next Door. However, the burlesque tradition has become so played out that I feel myself swinging in the opposite direction. Particularly when I was a dancer in New Orleans, I found that playing to the tacky hot pink/spray tan look helped me separate myself from the millions of other tattooed, Lana Del Rey-idolizing sirens at my club. While I’ll always respect and enjoy a well-done burlesque performance, perhaps it’s time to find a new move in 2019 before it becomes straight-up conformity through non-conformity.
Sexy Plague Doctors
I think I speak for most people when I say that I try to have a fairly laissez-faire take on sexuality, but dragging the plague out of the 14th century and introducing it into my timeline via a questionable boudoir photoshoot is where I cry uncle. While a variety of tactical masks are involved in different kinks, the plague doctor mask is one that seems to be randomly peppered in alongside that cropped “flesh-pie baker’s wife” costume, which Spirit has yet to officially license with Johnny Depp. Chief, this truly, positively is 100 percent not the move. If burlesque is becoming subtlety played out, then playing plague doctor is level 10 corny. I’m really trying to contain my anger because I think people should be able to present themselves how they wish, but don’t expect a gold star from anyone if you choose to parade your Big Bird gig around the internet next year.
*But really, do whatever you want because it doesn’t matter, we all die.
Tune in next week to Thirsty Thursday for more from Jenna.
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