2014 was a very good year for Stargayzing, both in terms of growing its readership—it doubled—but also (I hope), in terms of the quality of its writing. In addition to regular pop culture commentary here, I also began contributing to the Huffington Post, which has given Stargayzing the opportunity to reach an expanded audience (shout out to my friend Christopher Rudolph for facilitating this happy development). A recent HuffPo piece is a re-written version of My Worst Audition Ever? Or, The Danger of Playing Paddle Ball, Chewing Gum, and Singing “We Built This City” Simultaneously.
I historically take January off to recharge my creative batteries and 2015 will be no different. Along with the groundhog, Stargayzing will return on February 1, but before I jet, I want to leave you with a year-end list: The Top 20 Pieces of 2014. During the break Stargayzing will still be active on Twitter and Facebook, because to completely disconnect is social media suicide.
So as 2014 winds down, all of us at Stargayzing—or, in other words, me—would like to take a moment to extend our sincere best wishes to all of you for a happy and healthy 2015. As always, let’s take a moment to remember the Stargayzing motto from the great Oscar Wilde: “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
Stargayzing Top 20 Pieces of 2014
When my mother and I visited Israel, I figured things would be too serious to provide me with material. I was wrong. As Nora Ephron’s mother said, “Everything is copy.”
Since I interviewed Bridget earlier in the year, her star has continued to ascend. She released an album called Pound It with her band The Tender Moments and I’ve just learned that she will star in her own Comedy Central special in 2015. Keep your eyes on Miss Everett.
This is the story that put me on the radar of James Gavin. At the time he was writing his hypnotic biography of one of the all time vocal greats, Miss Peggy Lee. The story sketched out in this piece wound up in the book and we ended up becoming very good friends. (I also enjoyed interviewing him for the blog upon the occasion of the book’s publication—was also reprinted in HuffoPo.)
When an Eating With the Stars piece does as well as Mr. Stanley’s sprouts, I am often confounded. I wonder, is it an enduring interest in Paul Stanley or a freakish fetish for Brussels sprouts? Oftentimes, the recipes I am certain will be big hits—Angela Lansbury’s Power Loaf comes immediately to mind—often underperform. Who knew that Paul Stanley’s Brussels Sprouts would be as popular as one of KISS’s greatest hits compilations?
This lovely piece by Elisa Casas continues to capture the imagination of readers; it reflects both the resonance of Laurel Canyon at the time of Joni’s residence as well as the enduring appeal of her early music.
[The top 15 blog posts of 2014 after the jump.]