2015 in Personal Entertainment Consumption

I do not consume entertainment immediately. For whatever reason, I wait on certain books, albums, TV shows, movies, articles, experiences. This seems out of sorts nowadays, though I have a hard time understanding how the hell people find the time to consume everything immediately.

It’s not a matter of better or worse; I don’t have the energy, interest or faith to dive in often and repeatedly. It isn’t a new situation. One of my sisters continues to press me to listen to an Arcade Fire CD she burned for me with great urgency a decade ago; my homeboy Dave kindly sent along a Sun Kil Moon album that I just don’t feel ready for at this moment or the one before (but maybe the next); borrowed books are shuffled from next to bottom to middle; nightly rabbit-holes of Wikipedia links redirect direction.

So, with such sluggishness and incapability in collecting the output of a single calendar year, I’m no good at traditional year-end lists. I did, however, get immersed in many options for entertainment, information or distraction in 2015, some of them even rewarding and fun. (Big relief, huh!) They weren’t all new but they were new to me. I have also forgotten great things or great’d forgettable others. Regular and known things continued to exist, as well.

Here are the entertainment items I consumed for the first time this calendar year which brought me great personal enrichment. They are listed in no particular order and you should feel free to read this later today or six months from now or in 2078.

Music – Recorded

“Dabke: Sounds of the Syrian Houran” (various)

Space Lady “Greatest Hits”

Milk Cult “Bury or Burn”

“Asia Classics 1: Dance Raja Dance” (various)

The Bug “London Zoo”

Throbbing Gristle “20 Jazz Funk Greats”

Live Performances*

Pig DNA @ San Jose Rock Shop, San Jose

Maria Bamford @ Turner Hall, Milwaukee

The Coltranes @ some hesher bar, Long Beach

Rio Turbo @ Bay View Bash, Milwaukee

Viet Cong @ Cactus Club, Milwaukee

Riles Walsh / D.I.Y. Chamber Music Vol. 1 @ Var


“The Seventh Seal”


“The Wolfpack”

“Leg In Grill”

“City Lights”

“War of the Gargantuas”

“Among Wolves”

“Story of Women”

“Going Clear”

“Atari: Game Over”

“Gates of Heaven”

and all of the short film segments from the Milwaukee Film Festival


“Papillon” by Henri Cherriere

“The Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson

“Eavesdrop Soup” by Matt Cook

“Phonesex” by Phillip Toledano

“Freedom of Choice” by Evie Nagy

“The Mysterious Package Company Membership Handbook”


“Better Call Saul”

“Broad City”

Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins (both times … felt new, anyway)

American Pharoah @ Belmont

“Escaping ISIS” (Frontline)

Articles (woefully yet perpetually incomplete list)

Feet of Clay, Heart of Iron” by Matt Tullis

Uncovering the Secret History of Myers-Briggs” by Merve Emre

How Hedge Funds Deepen Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis” by David Dayen

’Dismal And’ Wins Spoof Prize” (BBC)

Senate Candidate in Florida Admits Drinking Goat Blood” (BBC)

I Crashed a Family Reunion in Wauwatosa and Public Enemy Was Playing There for Some Reason” by Corey Baumann

Bills’ Butler Finds Faith in Forgiveness” by Tyler Dunne

I Hung Out with the Prisoners who Fight California’s Wildfires” by Julia Lurie

Reports of People Dressed as Clowns Raise Concern in Waukesha” by Breann Schossow

some things in The Economist

most everything in Harper’s


Andrew Bird singing and playing music in caverns (online)

Ai Weiwei exhibit @ Alcatraz, San Francisco


*2016 will hopefully bring us technology that finally enables attendance at a live performance at a later date rather than a technological advance to solve this whole available fresh water issue.

About Justin

Justin Kern pays the annual bill to own this domain that contains his name. What you see here is a sampling of how he chooses to use that online space. He lives in Milwaukee and still plays Sega Genesis.
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