“Weird Al” Yankovic, Sharon Van Etten, Scott Aukerman, and more pick their 2012 pop-culture highlights

“Weird Al” Yankovic, Sharon Van Etten, Scott Aukerman, and more pick their 2012 pop-culture highlights



While
The A.V. Club staff gets to weigh in about what movies, TV, music, and more we liked this year, we’d be fools to think that anyone really cares what we think. After all, we’re not famous. That’s why we asked a bunch of our favorite actors, musicians, podcasters, comedians, actors, and showrunners what they liked the most this year, and we’ll post a different batch of answers every few days until the end of the year.

Scott Hutchison, frontman of Frightened Rabbit
What’s the best thing you listened to in 2012?
The audiobook of I Partridge: We Need To Talk About Alan is essential listening for fans of Steve Coogan’s finest creation, Alan Partridge. A word of warning: Listening results in A LOT of loud chuckling in public, but any embarrassment incurred is totally worth it. 
What’s the best movie you saw in 2012?
I really loved The Angels’ Share. Ken Loach has a way of tugging at the heartstrings that can break even the stoniest viewer. I suppose what I’m trying to say is, I cried. Quite a bit. 
What’s the best TV show you watched in 2012?
The Thick Of It. Although Veep came close, the original and best was on magnificent form in its fouth series. Quick-fire dialogue with plenty of choice language, it was easily the best thing on television this year. 


Sharon Van Etten, singer
What’s the best thing you listened to in 2012? 
Lower Dens’ Nootropics. Really amazing, underrated record of the year on Ribbon Music. Beautifully layered guitar, poetic lyrics, proggy drums, and synths. 
What’s the best movie you saw in 2012?
Lawless. Great movie about bootlegging with soundtrack by Nick Cave. Dirty, violent, rad.
What’s the best TV show you watched in 2012?
Boardwalk Empire. Great show about bootlegging in Atlantic City. Steve Buscemi is amazing. It’s more like an ongoing movie series than TV. It’s shot so well, and the characters are so addictive.


Matt And Kim, musical duo
What’s the best thing you listened to in 2012? 
Jay-Z and Kanye West, Watch The Throne. It is the one album I listened to from start to finish. 
What’s the best movie you saw in 2012?
Last night we watched Men In Black 3. It was hilarious. Will Smith is my [Kim’s] favorite actor, so if he is in it I am going to love it. 
What’s the best TV show you watched in 2012?
Oh man, that’s a tough question... there are so many good ones. How I Met Your Mother will always be a top pick, but there is also Modern Family, Downton Abbey, and Homeland. I could keep going. We watch a lot of TV.


Will Tracy, editor of The Onion
What’s the best thing you listened to in 2012? 
“Ode To Viceroy” by Mac DeMarco. A song about wanting a cigarette that makes you really want a cigarette, and thus a song that could kill you.
What’s the best movie you saw in 2012?
I thought Bernie was funny, a little sad, and a nice rebuke to anyone who’s forgotten how great Jack Black can be.
What’s the best TV show you watched in 2012?
Veep. At first it feels like a slightly watered-down version of The Thick Of It, but by episode three or so, it finds its inner core of rage. 


Scott Aukerman, host of the Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast and TV show
What’s the best thing you listened to in 2012? 
Twin Shadow, Confess
My friend Kurt Braunohler and I were on tour together this summer, and the topic of our favorite music eventually came up. After I named a couple of bands I was into, Kurt said, “Oh, I know the perfect thing for you: Twin Shadow!” He sort of described it as a cross between Prince and The Smiths. I nodded my head, pretending to listen, and thought about what I was going to eat that afternoon. But Kurt followed it up by actually buying me the album and sending it to me. I then let it sit in my inbox for a month, until he emailed me to remind me to listen to it. Well, all of that hard work paid off, Kurt—I heard it and loved it. And here’s your thanks: a brief mention in The A.V. Club! You’re welcome.
What’s the best movie you saw in 2012?
The Raid: Redemption
There are probably more moving films of the year—heartfelt romans à clef about the loss of boyhood innocence. But if you wish to be schooled upon the most awesome ways to split a man open while using the Indonesian martial art of Silat, do yourself a favor and rent The Raid: Redemption. I saw it by myself at SXSW, then dragged all my bros to the theater for a screaming-and-high-fiving-after-every-kill good time at the cinema.
What’s the best TV show you watched in 2012?
Mad Men and Happy Endings
Let’s get it out of the way: Homeland and Community were maybe the best one-word-titled shows of the year. But Mad Men had the most heart-wrenching episodes of its time upon the earth, creating a near-perfect season. And Happy Endings was the most laugh-out-loud show on TV this year. Maybe more TV programs should have two-word titles. I may have made a mistake adding that extra “Bang!” to mine.


Eric Wareheim, star of Tim & Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie
What’s the best thing you listened to in 2012? 
Aquarium Drunkard mixes. Justin has opened up a whole new world of music to me. 
What’s the best movie you saw in 2012?
Samsara. No dialogue. No actors. No Hollywood. 
What’s the best TV show you watched in 2012?
Jam. I do a full-season rewatch every year. Always delivers.


Jonathan Coulton, singer-songwriter
What’s the best thing you listened to in 2012? 
“The Great Undiscovered Project,” a serialized story about Ice-T, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and John C. Riley that stretches across the Paul F. Tompkins podcast, The Pod F. Tompkast. It’s charming, hilarious lunacy that would take too long to explain.
What’s the best movie you saw in 2012?
Old news, but I finally watched Banksy’s Exit Through The Gift Shop. It was one of those things where I knew absolutely nothing about it, and so as the story unfolded my jaw kept falling on the floor.
What’s the best TV show you watched in 2012?
The writing on 30 Rock makes me feel like the people who make all the other TV shows should probably just give up. It’s perfect. It’s so good that I’m afraid it’s going to get canceled.


“Weird Al” Yankovic, singer-songwriter and co-author of the new book, Weird Al: The Book
What’s the best thing you listened to in 2012? 
I’m a friend and fan of Ben Folds, and I was very excited when he told me he was getting back together with his BF5 bandmates to record a new album. The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind came out in September, and it’s every bit as good as I’d hoped.
What’s the best movie you saw in 2012?
I think I might have to say Argo. Ugh… Does this mean I need to apologize for all the snarky Ben Affleck jokes I made when Gigli came out? Sorry, Ben.
What’s the best TV show you watched in 2012?
Television seems to be going through another Golden Age, which makes it nearly impossible for me to pick a favorite from the bunch. The shows winning all the awards—Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Louie, Homeland, Modern Family, and 30 Rock—are all insanely good, as are gloriously wacked little shows like Childrens Hospital, Eagleheart, Key & Peele, and Comedy Bang! Bang!


Eugene Mirman, comedian and actor late of Delocated and Bob’s Burgers
What’s the best thing you listened to in 2012? 
Daniel Kitson’s The Stand—August 2005. After many years, Daniel Kitson finally put some of his stand-up online this year. This was one of the first shows of his I saw. I really loved it, and now you can, too. If you don’t know Kitson, he’s an award-winning British comedian, often with a beard.
What’s the best TV show you watched in 2012?
I really like Homeland.


Britt Daniel, frontman of Spoon and Divine Fits
What’s the best thing you listened to in 2012? 
I listened to a lot of Bo Diddley this year. The first two albums especially, Bo Diddley and Go Bo Diddley. They’re incredible. Serious maracas and some serious attitude.
What’s the best movie you saw in 2012?
I haven’t gotten a chance to see Looper yet, but I have a feeling that’s going to be it. Otherwise, Brooklyn Castle.
What’s the best TV show you watched in 2012?
The Jeffersons.

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