The below is an incomprehensive list of things/content/stuff/etc. that left an impression on me in the last year. Notably, a large archive of most articles/stuff online that I read can be found here instead of the list below. Beyond that, I don’t keep a record of everything I do/see/read/eat/and so on but there is enough of my own personal data floating around that I’ve tried to piece together what has stuck with me the most.

So, in no particular order, probably plenty of stuff I’m forgetting in the moment, and linked out where I can, here’s my year.

Health to you and yours for the year ahead
-MG, December 2021

GLOW ON by Turnstile

Spotify said this was my second most listened to artist and album this year. Quite possible, though dwarfed by an amount of live Grateful Dead I’d prefer not to put a public number to. Just unbelievable energy from this record front to back. The kind of hardcore I wish existed back when I thought I was into hardcore as a teenager. The live videos are also unbelievable. Looking forward to seeing them next year.

The Beatles ‘Get Back’

I don’t think there is more about this documentary I could say that hasn’t been better phrased by smarter people. I was Beatles obsessed as a kid and this is by far the most human I’ve ever seen them. Smokin’ cigs, making dick jokes, goofing around, and then suddenly McCartney is pulling the chorus of Let It Be out of thin air. Doesn’t matter how many times it gets caught on video, watching the process of a legendarily good song come together is magic still.

The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing

One of only a few books I actually managed to finish this year. Dense as hell at times but an incredible perspective of how it’s all connected. From climate change to rampant capitalism to immigration crises to class war. Food is history is culture is commerce, exceptionally told.

Cocaine and Rhinestones: Season Two by Tyler Mahan Coe

Season one of this podcast was fantastic, then Coe went dark for a while. He came back with an exceptionally researched, wonderfully rambling, in-depth biography of country music legend George Jones. A story of heartbreak, excess, the birth of the Nashville Sound, but also bullfighters, ancient Rome, and Hemingway. I can not recommend this podcast enough if you have any interest in American music as a cultural artifact and/or business.

This Is Pop: Season 1

Most notable here are the episodes on Auto-Tune, Swedish songwriters, and Britpop. Stories of the seismic shifts in pop music from those who were there.

Watch The Sound with Mark Ronson

Well, its basically the same show as above, but with Mark Ronson as host and produced by Apple TV. Episodes on Auto-Tune, reverb, and drum machines are good though!

The 2021 Formula 1 Season

I got into watching F1 around the time the first season of Drive to Survive came out. For a myriad or reasons, this season caught a lot more peoples’ attention. I’m writing this the night of the final race of the season. What a bizarre and kinda dumb note for things to end on. Anyway, it took some arm twisting but I got most of one of my group chats into the sport, and a Discord server I’m in mainly for gaming ended up watching most races together in voice chat. I did not grow up watching sports at all, really. So, having a sport to follow with friends and have favorites in now is a nice change.


I think, by hours, my most played game of 2021. Flashbacks to middle school days of late-into-the-night CS1.6/CS:GO sessions. High highs, very low lows, but also a way to keep in touch with a few old friends and made a few new ones. Followed along with a fair amount of the esports scene around the game too, it really does help when you actually know how the game works. Doing well in this game feels really good, and the feeling that you’re getting better at it is also very good.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Technically I started watching this right before 2021, but the final three seasons lasted me through the end of winter so I’m counting it here. I was never a Trekkie, I still don’t think I am, but once I got over some gripes with the aesthetics of the show, it really is just a good office drama set in space

Money Stuff by Matt Levine

The world of capital-F Finance makes less sense than ever. I hope to never be asked to explain cryptocurrencies, NFTs, or anything like that ever again but I know it’ll continue to happen. With meme stocks and inflation and government spending and Elon Musk continuing to exist, Levine approaches the whole shebang with a healthy dose of skepticism (and a tinge of cynacism sometimes) that helps make sense of it all. 


I don’t know. How do I even write about this? Discord is a chat app originally designed for use by gamers to talk to each other while playing video games. It has since become a company now valued somewhere in the ballpark of $15 billion. It has easily become my most used app on my computer this year and is likely in the top three on my phone (behind Twitter and iMessage.) Group chats, chatrooms, forums, newsfeeds, and a few other digital social spaces have all been replaced by Discord. I’m logged in to something like 16+ servers right now but I’m probably only regularly active in two of them. One of my group chats started and only exists on Discord. Earlier this year I had started writing a thing about how Discord has helped me maintain a healthier relationship with the internet and avoid doomscrolling but I never got around to finishing it. The gist is that when something is going on, I go to Discord before I go to Twitter. Better? I don’t know, but it feels it for right now…

Yellowstone National Park

Specifically, probably, Artist Point. We took a family vacation to Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Jackson Hole in August. We drove, a lot, in a minivan (SLC to Idaho Falls, Idaho Falls to Yellowstone, a few days around the park, through the park to Grand Teton, through Grand Teton to Jackson, from Jackson back to SLC.) Seeing hundreds of bison was cool, Ol’ Faithful was a bit of a letdown, but Artist Point was truly the picturesque view of the park that made it worth going, in my opinion. Apparently, the national parks have had a huge surge in visitors over the pandemic (can’t travel internationally so we may as well go see the natural splendors of our own country, so the thinking goes.) Which, great! I can only hope this increase of hikers, sightseers, campers, and the like will spur an increase in concerns over natural preservation and climate change as well. We’ve taken family trips to a handful of national parks at this point and I can say with certainty that the size, variety, and accessibility of Yellowstone sets it apart from any of the others so far.

Summer of Soul

Another incredible music documentary that it feels like a lot less people saw than then ones I talked about earlier. Just insane footage and a wild story of a huge festival that we just… never heard about.

CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST by Tyler, The Creator

Tyler is just truly on top form here. Bombastic production, DJ Drama(!), catchy hooks, smart as all hell verses. The works. Again, the live show, he really manages to tie it all together and carry a whole festival set on his shoulders.

Bright Green Field by Squid

Brutalist and harsh, like Talking Heads and Joy Division thrown in a blender, but it works. Produced some really cool music videos too.

Notes With Attachments by Pino Palladino and Blake Mills

Beautiful stuff here.

I Know I’m Funny haha by Faye Webster

Your indie darlings’ favorite indie darling.


This was maybe the first new big single player game I was excited to play, and my first dive into the work of Arcane Studios. Not quite the most immersive of immersive sims that the developers are known for, but some excellently done art direction and game design, fun to play, a good mystery to unravel, thought about it for like two weeks after I finished it.

Hell Let Loose

On another hand, Steam says I’ve played roughly 100 hours of this game which I only started playing over the summer. It’s one of those things that gamers have been talking about for, I don’t know, since online games became a Big Thing? 50 versus 50 First Person Shooter, except the teams also have a commander who get to see the entire battle as if it was a Real Time Strategy game. It only recently hit 1.0 and had some rough spots during the early access period but it is a game with a definitive look and incredible sound design and grit to it. Intricately balanced systems, real teamwork, for whatever reason it was the right game at the right time to really get its teeth into me. I also wrote a whole thing about this but never finished the last few paragraphs. TL;DR: It’s a visceral experience that is, with a fair amount of rarity, interrupted by white supremacists and Nazi fanboys. Online gaming! What’re you gonna do, right?

Garbage Day by Ryan Broderick

Ryan’s newsletter is probably the single source of internet culture reporting I recommend to people the most. Ryan has a singular and unique relationship and perspective on how the web is shaping our lives and vice versa, plus he looks at all the gross/weird/neo-Nazi stuff so his readers don’t have to. Memes to crypto to internet radicalism. Good stuff. Must subscribe if your work directly involves the internet, in my opinion.

Today in Tabs by Rusty Foster

My second “read every time” newsletter is Tabs. Just a full rundown (and often dressing down) of the media discourse that day. Great for the days where I’m too busy to look at Twitter too often, and even better for surfacing the origin of the discourse or the most relevant reaction I probably missed.

The Daily Solve: New York Times Crossword with Chris Remo

Niche, nerdy, but truly excellent Content. Chris Remo is a composer and designer working mostly in video games. He also has an absurd record of solving the New York Times crossword puzzle, every day, without any assists and at some point began recording himself talking through how he solves them. This in turn helps you learn the “language” of crosswords (some things specific to how the Times does its clueing) and got me trying some of the easier ones when I find the time and wanting to do so. Wholesome stuff, feelgood energy, very low stress, highly recommend if you like trivia, wordplay, and general knowledge party facts.

Dune (2021)

I still don’t get how people didn’t like this one. True (in the right ways) to the book, beautifully shot and directed, looking forward to part two.

Four Hours at the Capitol

It’s pretty fucked that we started the year with a literal insurrection, right? I think it was hard to grasp the scale of what was happening on the day of, or at least it was for me. It was scary but unsurprising, radical but predictable, a grand gesture of just how warped and broken our political system has become. This documentary gives a tic-toc of the day, with some eerie on the ground footage. Worth watching and digesting.

Lunch Sandwiches from Hart’s

A lot of restaurants in New York City, prior to the 2nd? 3rd? Great Reopening (real George W. “Mission Accomplished” vibes) did the thing where they convert into a fancy market with some prepared foods and bottles of wine and stuff. Hart’s is one of my neighborhood restaurants (admittedly on the spendier side than sister restaurant The Fly which is/was just a good spot to be a regular at) did this model extremely well! Luxurious Italian groceries, good fresh affordable bread, booze, snacks, whole chickens, and during the spring and summer, prepared sandwiches for lunch. They were so dang good. I miss those sandwiches.

100 Foot Wave

Deeply personal look at the literally extreme sport of big wave surfing, centering around legend of the sport Garret McNamara. Reality show meets sport doc meets freak-of-nature big waves in Portugal.

NTS Radio

I make a LOT of playlists. Like a lot a lot. On top of the weekly one I put out with Liam for OK Mondays, I also have big never ending playlists as well as a bunch of other ones. So I’m in Spotify a lot, clicking and exploring related artists and tracks. The last year I moved away a bit from the algo driven Spotify-core music and got back into some good old fashioned internet radio. I’d say NTS specalizes in electronic and dance music but also has shows with psych, rock, jazz, classical, ambient, and more. The “endless mixtapes” (blends of genre specific-ish shows) have been a go to whenever what is live on either of the two channels isn’t matching my mood. Truly just a wonderful independant and unique radio station to support if you can. Honorable mention to the local heroes at The Lot Radio, too.

Logitech MX Master 3 wireless mouse

Look, yeah, I know, its a computer mouse, okay? But it’s like the computer mouse. I, probably like you, ended up working from home for a vast majority of this year (roughly 76.35% of the year to date, according to my work calendar.) And so, like many of us, I invested in my WFH setup. Sit/stand desk, new mechanical keyboard (Ducky Shine 7 Blackout with MX Silvers), the works. This mouse is by far my favorite thing I’ve purchased for working and every other computer task. Ergonomic, good scroll wheel, a fun squishy little macro button under your thumb. Trust me, if you’re starting to get wrist strain or just want the better mouse, it is this one.

The Facebook Files

By cruel twist of fate perhaps, I am professionally tied to the whims of the major social media platforms. This kinda felt like a big splash with small ripples. The Facebook Files maybe will not turn out to be the big reckoning that whistleblower Frances Hougan or the Journal had initially hoped for (though, as time goes on, it has become more clear that it isn’t really clear what Hougan wanted out of all of this anyway.) Still, to have all the stuff that has been whispered about or semi murky secrets that the industry has known about for what feels like forever now be verified, reported on, and become the subject of congressional hearings? That was something, I think? Props to the team over at Gizmodo for working to publish source files, too.

A Lot of Natural Wine

Not really exclusive to this year but a carryover from last year, too. Not going out and spending money at bars and restaurants for longer than I can remember since moving to New York City meant I had some extra dollars to spend at my nearby wine shops. Too many standout bottles to list here but do support your local wine weirdos. Mine happen to be Thirst, Leon & Son, and Radicle.

Getting Vaccinated (and a Booster Shot)