12 Jan 2017 ’16 Addictions, One Offs and Shout Outs
2016 was a year that left many things on the table that I wish were only fiction. The unreal became the real… Stuff I’d like to forget. Everything on this list is something worth sharing and remembering because as a counterpoint to all the losses and all the political insanity, it made 2016 better. This year’s eclectic list starts out macro…
President Barack Obama – A huge shout out to the man that I have been proud to call my President. Thoughtful, eloquent, diplomatic, rational, reasonable, caring and decent… everything a true leader should be. A supporter of equality and tolerance; a man who clearly embraced every opportunity to shine a spotlight on the achievements of his wife and daughters and to celebrate all women. He made 2008-2016 better. Seems appropriate to go live with this today, a year after President Obama’s last State of The Union speech.
Peaky Blinders – Addiction. Binged three seasons in under two weeks. The crafting of this series is exceptional with a superb cast led by Cillian Murphy, Paul Anderson and Helen McCrory.
Moonlight – Shout out to Barry Jenkins for beautiful, honest storytelling and an excellent ensemble cast including the outstanding Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris.
Narcos – Shout Out to creators Carlo Bernard, Chris Brancato, Doug Miro for the individual style, tone and storytelling. Shouts to a great ensemble cast led by Wagner Moura, Boyd Holbrook and Pedro Pascal.
Enchanted: Forest of Light – One Off annual event at Descanso Gardens. Like I walked into a dreamy fairytale.
Insecure – Shout out to Issa Rae for her down to earth creativity as a writer, actor, creator. Great ensemble cast with Yvonne Orji, Jay Ellis and Natasha Rothwell.
A Sip With Kenya Barris – A One Off event… with a shout out to Kenya for creating Black-ish and for bringing Yamara Taylor into the fold. And a shout out to Issa for the Q&A.
Ray Donovan – Shout outs to director Daisy von Scherler Mayer and creator Ann Biderman for Fish and Bird… This season took a huge leap forward tonally. But in particular, this episode was so beautifully written and directed that everyone’s performances hit a whole new high… led by Liev Schreiber, Paula Malcomson and Eddie Marsan.
Quarry – Shout out to EP/director Greg Yaitanes and a great ensemble led by Logan Marshall-Green, Damon Herriman, Peter Mullan and Jodi Balfour.
Rectify – Addiction. Thank you, Ray McKinnon for the whole, beautifully written journey and shout outs to the excellent Aden Young, Abigail Spencer, Johnny Ray Gill and the whole ensemble. I will miss this…
How We Do at The Ace Hotel – One off event by WeTransfer, curated by label-head, DJ and radio presenter Gilles Peterson to kick off Worldwide FM, a new global music radio platform broadcasting live from major cities around the world. On the night, there were tremendous performances by Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and his 11-piece orchestra including my longtime collaborator, Katisse Buckingham, the fabulous Kamasi Washington and the legend, George Clinton.
Supermoon November 14th – This one off event gave us the largest full move since 1948 and won’t be surpassed until November 2034. I loved watching it rise from high atop the Griffith Park Observatory on my mom’s birthday.
Fences – Shout out to the late August Wilson for his first screen adaptation. Shout out to Denzel Washington for donning the director’s cap, nothing like hearing him talk about his process… and to Viola Davis for bringing gut wrenching honesty to Rose, to August’s wife, Constanza Romero, for passionately representing his body of work and to Jovan Adepo and all the performers.
13th – Shout out to Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick and Tilane Jones – Superbly done, heartwrenching and most of all important!
Circle V – Shout out to Moby for curating this vegan one off event where all proceeds benefit Mercy For Animals. Had a chance to reminisce with vegan advocate, John Salley about the time he was a guest on HawthoRNe, when I was scoring the show. Big man, big smiles…
Vikings – Shout out to creator/writer Michael Hirst. There’s a reason why this show is on my list every season… it’s simply brilliant. The season 4 episode, “In The Uncertain Hour Before The Morning” is such a powerful highlight, but above all, the interplay between Ragnar (Travis Fimmel) and King Ecbert (Linus Roache) is absolutely priceless.
Better Call Saul – Shout out to creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, who really have carved out their own unique tonal space in TV land. And a shout out to my friend Dave Porter for contributing to that tonal uniqueness with his score.
—– On Auto-Repeat —–
ATCQ – “We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service”
So on point and so on time. My antidote to what 2016 became… and anthem for what 2017 might be.
“Enough!!”, “Melatonin”, “Kids…”, “We The People…” in heavy, heavy rotation
Navigator ft MC Agent & Hardplay Lyrical Warfare
DJ Drez – Alpine Swift
Vibrant – Rising EP
Aceyalone [The 6Blocc Remixes]
Juice Aleem – Warriors (Gamma Proforma)
Rumble feat Suku (Ward 21) – Siren
Slim Paul – “Berta Berta“