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Local artists pick their faves of the year… Part 1

By Eddie Torres

Fort Wayne Reader

2011-12-01


Hey little babies. Check it out, our annual year-end bash, featuring some of your favorite local artists and arts-focused business types. For this issue of the Fort Wayne Reader we focus on books, films and television. Part 2 of the feature will run next week and be focused on the best albums, songs and concerts of 2011. Get busy ...


Sean Richardson
Drummer, The Dead Records
Favorite Read of 2011: Chuck Palahniuk's Survivor. We were on tour this summer and our guitar player had brought the book along, so I ended up reading it out of boredom. That's what you do when you have nothing to do on the road. It ended up being a really good book - pretty crazy and kind of depressing, but still a good read.
Favorite Film of 2011: Win Win. I have not been able to see as many movies as I would have liked to this year. There are so many out right now that I want to check out, but don't really have enough time. I think Paul Giamatti is a great actor and he is hilarious - though in a dry way.
Favorite TV Show of 2011: Does "Monday Night Football" count? I don't watch much of anything on TV other than sports.

Nichole Root
Co-Director, East of Nowhere; Production Assistant, WANE-TV
Favorite Read of 2011: I enjoyed reading The Help. And I didn't cheat and see the movie first! Actually still haven't seen the movie, but it's on the list. I've also enjoyed all the "how to" books on marketing an independent feature film, but that was more necessity than pleasure.
Favorite Film of 2011: I'm so bad at picking favorites in films! As a filmmaker I find things I like and appreciate in all films and also things I would critique. But I have to be cliche here and say definitely East of Nowhere! It was so awesome to see years of work finally arrive on the big screen.
Favorite TV Show of 2011: I'm a karaoke nut, so I really enjoyed "The Voice." But that's the only reality show I am hooked on. Sitcoms are still my favorite TV entertainment. I love "Modern Family." Just superb writing!

Zachary Boyd Smith
Guitarist, Definitely Gary, The Orange Opera, Wooden Satellites, Good Time Fun Club, House of Bread
Favorite Read of 2011: Though it was not released in 2011, Christopher McDougall's Born To Run made me feel like running can be a fine art.
Favorite Film of 2011: This has been a terrible year for film, but there are some terrific exceptions. Drive and Attack The Block were my favorites and there are several more to see whenever Fort Wayne eventually gets the prestige awards season films a week before they hit home video.
Favorite TV Show of 2011: TV is so good right now. "Game of Thrones," "Breaking Bad," "The Walking Dead," "Community," "Parks and Recreation," "The League" and "Louie." It's a veritable treasure trove of good tube.
Favorite Video Game of 2011: Surprise! Made up my own category, bet you didn't see that one coming! Skyrim holds sway over all others this year.

Lyndsy Rae Patterson
Lead Singer and Snake Charmer, The End Times Spasm Band
Favorite Read of 2011: Patti Smith's Just Kids
Favorite Film of 2011: Nosferatu (1922), White Zombie with Bela Lugois (1932) and A Clockwork Orange(1971)

Bart J. Helms
Guitarist, The End Times Spasm Band
Favorite Read of 2011: Ernest Nagel, James Newman and Douglas Hofstadter's Gödel's Proof. The original came out in 1959, but I picked up the revised edition this year on the strength of Hofstadter's recommendation. The book explicates one of the most important mathematical papers ever written with an enviable clarity.
Favorite Film of 2011: I finally caught Suzuki's Pistol Opera (2001) and loved it.
Favorite TV Show of 2011: "Downton Abbey." Simply amazing on all counts.

Greg W. Locke
Director, Editor and Producer, Holler and the Moan; Owner, ZeCatalist.com; Columnist and Critic, Whatzup
Favorite Read of 2011: I don't keep up. Joe Pernice's It Feels So Good When I Stop was surprisingly impressive. Mostly, I read older books like Raymond Carver's Cathedral, Arthur Nersessian's The F***-Up and lots of Hemingway. I just finished reading the Django Unchained screenplay. Good. Damn good.
Favorite Film of 2011: Thus far, Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life and Nic Refn's Drive are the ones that really stand out as masterworks, with Tree being my drop dead favorite. Drive is an admirable stylefest and Tree is an inventive work of art that I think will stand tall amongst the greats. My favorite film-related experience of the year, however, was digging through the extras on the Blu-ray release of Pulp Fiction - and also watching a proper print of the film for the first time. I was too young to see the movie when it came out, so I never saw a proper presentation of it until now. Damn.
Favorite TV Show of 2011: I really enjoyed "Louie" and "Treme" above all others, but also "How to Make It In America," "Breaking Bad" and quite a few new shows ("Homeland," "American Horror Story" and maybe even those two Gus Van Sant-directed episodes of "Boss"). And, if I'm being totally honest, the new "Beavis and Butthead" season's critique of pop culture is poignant, intelligent and irreverent. And hilarious. Not kidding.

Bob Roets
Owner and Manager, Wooden Nickel
Favorite Film of 2011: Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes
Favorite TV Show of 2011: "The Big Bang Theory"

Anthony Fanger
Executive Vice President, Chain Smoking Records
Favorite Read of 2011: Jeff Lemire's Sweet Tooth
Favorite Film of 2011: Attack The Block
Favorite TV Show of 2011: "Community." One of the freshest and funniest American comedies I've seen in years. Also, "Louie."

Lee Miles
Singer / Songwriter
Favorite Read of 2011: Peter Schiff's Crash Proof 2.0: How to Profit From the Economic Collapse. This book explains why we're headed towards an economic meltdown and what the average person can do to protect - and even grow - their savings and investments. Peter Schiff is the founder of Euro Pacific Capital. Highly recommended for anyone who has stopped buying into Bernanke's and the Fed's bullshit.
Favorite Film of 2011: Drive. Ryan Gosling blew me away with his performance in this film. He totally redeemed himself for the sins of The Notebook. Drive is stylistically impressive, yet there's a lot of depth to this film - more than initially meets the eye.
Favorite TV Show of 2011: "Breaking Bad." Walter White will make you lose sleep. This series is solid from top to bottom.

Lucas Carter
Bassist and Vocalist, Pretender/Contender; Photographer
Favorite Film of 2011: Probably Win/Win or Cedar Rapids. Both were very underrated films.
Favorite TV Show of 2011: "Workaholics," hands down!

Kay Gregg
Singer and Guitarist, The Elky Summers
Favorite Read of 2011: Tom Sawyer. Sam Clemens, you stitch.
Favorite Film of 2011: The Living Wake it's a delightful romp through a man's last dying day. So overwrought, so real for two minutes at the very end. Kind of the effect a really good song has after too much banal reality.
Favorite TV Show of 2011: A cartoon called "Ugly Americans." Its portrayal of hell as bureaucracy is enough to make me wonder what I did in a former life.

Matthew McCrory
Co-Director, Producer and Editor, East of Nowhere
Favorite Read of 2011: It's not new but I found Nick McDonnel's Twelve really captivating. Partially because I've already read everything by Bret Easton Ellis and it's the closest thing to Less Than Zero I've read. Something about the aimless life of the privileged and over-indulged always interests me, despite never having lived a life like that.
Favorite Film of 2011: Toss up between Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life and Spencer Susser's Hesher. The former was one of the most visually stimulating films I've ever seen and I just like the fact that a film can feature dinosaurs and end of the world footage while still having its most powerful scenes feature a young child reacting to his newborn brother. The latter manages to use a common story theme without getting overly sentimental. The lead performance by Joseph Gordon-Levitt is also highly entertaining and like a lot of people I've known in my life.
Favorite TV Show of 2011: "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." Admittedly, it's the only show I currently follow. I've procrastinated on starting to follow different shows, but I've procrastinated on doing that for the last few years. I've never been a fan of sitcoms in general and "Sunny" is the anti-sitcom. The characters are horrible in a lot of ways, and it's a guilty pleasure watching them fail at all their endeavors.

Matt Kelley
Owner and Graphic Designer, One Lucky Guitar
Favorite Read of 2011: I read a few great books, some incredible short stories, but the best thing I read all year was Joe Henry's essay in the booklet of his new album, Reverie.
Favorite TV Show of 2011: "How to Make It in America"

Brad Etter
Promoter
Favorite Read of 2011: Steve Earle's No One Gets Out of Here Alive. A great fiction read with larger than life characters. This man can write! And Keith Richards' Life. A great non-fiction read! At times some of the characters appear larger than life. And this one is not fiction, folks!
Favorite Film of 2011: Woody Allen's Midnight In Paris
Favorite TV Show of 2011: "Breaking Bad." Breaking new ground on TV! Best acting and writing on television. If you liked the Godfather movies, then "Breaking Bad" is what's next.

Jon Keller
Solo Artist; Sometimes Member of Illegitimate Sons, Thunderhawk and Mark Hutchins' Band
Favorite Read of 2011: Kate Hopkins' 99 Drams of Whisky. Totally not a new release, but I loved it.
Favorite Film of 2011: Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life. Probably the most beautiful movie I have ever seen. Every single shot is gorgeous.
Favorite TV Show of 2011: "Breaking Bad"

C.Ray Harvey
Songwriter, Wooden Satellites
Favorite Read of 2011: Keith Richards' Life
Favorite Film of 2011: The Tree of Life
Favorite TV Show of 2011: "Boardwalk Empire"

Morrison Agen
Owner, Neat Neat Neat Records and Music; Bassist, Wooden Satellites
Favorite Read of 2011: Cook's Illustrated. Seriously, I love that magazine.
Favorite Film of 2011: That one thing on Tosh.O where the girl wanted it to snow.
Favorite TV Show of 2011: "The Walking Dead," no question.

D.A. Fisher
Writer; Painter; Angerer; Druggie; Nappist
Favorite Read of 2011: I tend to judge books by their covers, and thus read very little. My favorite book released in 2011 was Jennifer Egan's A Visit From the Goon Squad. Easy, quick and full of memorable lies. And I've been meaning to read the one where Diane Keaton talks about taking Woody Allen's trousers off.
Favorite Film of 2011: Lars Von Trier's Melancholia. I only wish it were darker. I also really liked the non-ridiculious parts of In Time. Had the casting on that been different, and had it received a proper outside rewrite, I think it would've been a new sci-fi classic on the level of Blade Runner. Instead … ugh. Amanda Seyfried? Really, Mike Niccol?
Favorite TV Show of 2011: Seeing as how "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia" finally started to drop in quality (aka, it outright blew), I'm not sure I have a favorite this year. Maybe "American Horror Story" or "Californication." And "The Lake Bell Show." Oh my God Lake Bell.

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