We are wrapping up our 6th season of What's In My Bag? and we wanted to take a look back at the year that was 2013. It's been a fantastic year for us (we won a Webby Award!!) and this season featured a number of outstanding WIMB firsts.
Lots of love and countless hours of editing goes into making each video happen. They're a bit like our children, so picking our favorites is a daunting task. We tried to make a list of our Top 5 episodes, but that seemed impossible. Then we attempted a Top 10 list, but we couldn't narrow it down. So we settled on our 13 favorite episodes of 2013.
These are the episodes that surprised, excited and engaged us the most. These are the episodes that make us laugh upon repeat viewings. These are the episodes that we send to our friends to make them jealous about the work we do. These are the best “What’s in My Bag?” episodes of 2013. Enjoy!
#13. Clairy Browne
The Australian soul singer may not be super well-known in the States yet, but she thoroughly charmed and entertained us. She talks about albums by strong women including PJ Harvey and Queen Latifah, deconstructing Frank Ocean songs, and shares some of her famously misheard lyrics. And then there's her fashion...
#12. Julieta Venegas
She's the coolest and sweetest Mexican pop star we've had the good fortune to meet, but she makes the list because her picks are awesome. From Doldrums to Olafur Arnalds to Roxy Music, she has a very eclectic selection rooted in her musical curiousity, a quality we admire and appreciate.
#11. Paul Weller
Our staff was so excited when Paul Weller paid us a visit. It's the Modfather! Talking about music by Rodriguez, Tame Impala, T. Rex and more! In the Amoeba Hollywood Green Room! What else do you need?
#10. Andre Royo
This episode was a cool one for us as actor Andre Royo spends the first half of the episode talking about some of the music and movies that changed his life. Then he switches it up midway through and starts only buying albums for his 14-year old daughter (in the hopes of being a "cool dad").
#9. Eric Andre
From Hip Hop to Flamenco to Whitney Houston to Classical, comedian Eric Andre has incredibly eclectic taste and he speaks knowledgably about each genre. The brilliantly bizarre Eric Andre Show somehow makes more sense in light of these picks. Plus, he gets bonus points for rocking a Wu-Tang Clan T-shirt that looks like he must have picked it up at their first show.
#8. Lou Barlow
A founder of two of the most influential indie rock bands of the 1980s and ‘90s, Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh, Lou Barlow was also incredibly genuine, kind, and knowledgeable. He shares pieces of his musical (and regional) history, including albums by Frontline, Blotto, and Evergreen, and even sings a bit of "Major Tom" for us!
The comedy duo Tim and Eric gave us a truly weird, funny episode. Though a majority of their picks are shtick, some of Tim's choices seem genuine...we think. Plus, the flying Rick Wakeman head alone is worth the watch.
#6. Gary Numan
Mr. Numan proves himself to be an amazing storyteller providing some great insight about his career as a synth-pop pioneer, yet remains humble while doing so. His story about rediscovering his love of music through Depeche Mode is completely honest and relatable.
#5. Charles Bradley
We don’t think a single episode of our series has ever carried the kind of weight and drama that Mr. Bradley seems to bring to each moment and encounter in his life. Even without knowing any of his back story (which is amazing, by the way. Did you know he released his debut album at 62 years old?!?!), you get a palpable sense of his spirit and character through his Amoeba selections and the memories they conjure.
#4. Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer
It is a rare treat to get a peek inside the relationship of such a dynamic creative duo as Mr. Gaiman and Ms. Palmer. They proved to be wonderfully engaging and unguarded storytellers. Some of the highlights include Palmer reliving the "holy trinity of eighth grade" and Gaiman sharing a Muddy Waters quote he had taped to his typewriter at the beginning of his career.
Not since we did an episode in season 3 with Pinky of TV Carnage have we been so intimidated and challenged to embrace the editing frenzy inspired by our guests. This is a standout episode for sure and a WIMB first that we’ll let you discover for yourself (it really took 301 episodes before someone did this in our series).
#2. Pretty Lights
We weren’t sure what to expect when the slyly gregarious giant better known by his superhero name, Pretty Lights, explained that he really needed to listen to each record to make his selections. We followed him on his journey and were delighted to be there for the moment of discovery when a DJ at the top of his game hears a hook like “Wop That Wandy” for the first time (and the second and the third time. Yeah, he really liked it).
We see many Hip Hop heads in our store, but rarely do we get two iconic turntablists together at once! These king selectors drop some serious knowledge on us and it's a joy to see their passion on display.
And there you have it folks. Amoeba's top 13 WIMBs of 2013. What were your favorite episodes of the year? For those of you who have ever thought, "Yeah, the series is great, but I wonder how it would look if they shot in high definition," stay tuned in 2014 when, at long last, "What's In My Bag?" goes HD.
Thank you for watching and we'll see you next year!