With 2021 looming so close 2020 already seems like a parody of itself. But man we lived 2020– in its eternities of doom, its zoom playgrounds, its laundry rooms full of empty wine bottles. There were moments of longing for the real-life tv screens of people flirting at parties, concert-goers swaying awfully close to strangers, separate-household-living-loved-ones greeting each other with reckless abandon. There were times we reveled in our sheer lack of plans, moments we shrank into our hand sanitized anxiety, and others when we pulled ourselves up and baked some bread.
2020 was shit, but it also wasn’t. There were many moments of joy: a recipe conquered, a birthday jeopardy game, a dusting off of old hobbies. There were interviews, music reviews, and pieces summoned from the deepest depths of our creative banks.
As editors of this magazine, we are proud of our writers, our contributors, of every single piece we publish. We do our best to shine a light on creators, giving coverage to those often left out of mainstream media. This year presented particular challenges, eliminating many of our early year plans. La La Lista came out better because of it. While we loved every single piece on our site this year, here’s a list of our favorites that stood out for one reason or another.
Thanks for reading.
The Astonishing Resilience of the Local Music Scene: Our Monthly Music Roundup Series
We’d be lying if we said there wasn’t a point during lockdown when we wondered what effect this devastating pandemic would have on the output of local musicians. And while it was quite harsh in many very real and tangible ways, it’s also true that we found ourselves marveling month to month at the beauty and vitality of these new songs. Our Monthly Music Roundup series has always been an important part of our mission, but documenting our favorite new music during 2020 felt like an act of defiance in the face of overwhelming odds.
Argentines and Their Celebrities: What Do They Know? Do They Know Things? Let’s Find Out!”: The Argentine Explainer Series
–Magu Fernandez Richeri (cover art by Lucia Marelli)
As an editorial team, we have lived in Argentina for a combined total of 23-odd years. That being said, some aspects of Argentine pop culture remain elusive to us, known on a superficial level but not truly understood. Magu’s extremely entertaining series of articles were a fantastic fix for that — a perfect primer for the uninitiated to the dazzling world of Argentine Divas (featuring Moria Casan, Mirtha Legrand and Susana Giménez), Ricardo Fort, and Gilda. Accompanied by dreamy, original illustrations from our staff illustrator Lucia Marelli, they are easily some of the most playful pieces of the last year.
What does it all mean!?: Argentine Slang to Expand the Mind Series
-Emilyann McKelvey (cover art by Fran, Pablo Damien Perez & Lucia Marelli)
The series that explained the many colloquialisms of Argentine slang was more than just a linguistic lesson and your unlocked code into understanding Argentine speak. Its reflections of language and how the way we think is shaped by the words we know urged us to take our own revolutionary stands through the words we use. We learned about Argentine culture, the intricacies of expressions, and the stellar personal anecdotes of Emilyann. It was a flash. Ah re. No, but really it was.
-Ezequiel Mancilla, Jamie Larson
When live music was # canceled due to covid, it would have been very easy to give up on that type of coverage entirely. But as artists pivoted to live streams, our amazing Setlist columnist Eze was at the ready to jump back in the fray, rounding up a fresh batch for our ears every week. As two previous writers of this column, we know too well the effort and energy it takes to keep it going every week, and so would like to recognize the amazing job the Eze did in starting it back up and assisting Jamie as he joined him.
Auntie Alfa Saves Our Relationships: The Ask an Alfawhore Series
-Auntie Alfawhore (art by Pablo Damien Perez)
This year our Auntie Alfawhore tackled self-love, rebuilding relationships, cohabitation woes, sexy sexting, dating during Covid, and so much more. This column brought us sage advice in our darkest of times and a comforting fairy godmother that wants us all to have good sex, healthy boundaries, and clear communication at all times. This year in particular it felt nice to have someone on our side to handle life’s woes.
Public Service in a Time of Crisis: Restaurants (and Everyone Else) Are F*cked Unless We All Help
Some of our proudest moments at La La Lista are when our writers completely rethink their weekly beat to create urgent pieces that support others in a meaningful way. Our food writer Kevin has done this multiple times during the pandemic, but perhaps his most inspiring endeavor was when he cranked out this piece on how to best support restaurants within the first week of the pandemic. With a live spreadsheet that indicated which restaurants were still open and to what degree (delivery/takeout/etc) and tips to ordering take-out and delivery responsibly, it was a must-have resource in a very scary and uncertain moment.
Staying Connected During Social Distancing: Postcards from Quarantine
Accustomed to a monthly beer congress staff meeting and running into each other at various events about town, quarantine was a significant blow to our previously cuddly team dynamics. To reconnect with each other, we commissioned all of our staff writers to share a memory, a moment, or just a state of mind from their quarantine experience. Every vignette was accompanied by stunning art from our art director Pablo, making one of our most sentimental and intimate pieces one of our most visually compelling.
An Off-Kilter Retrospective of an Off-Kilter Production Company: Our Deep Dive Into the Work of El Pampero Cine
–Magu Fernandez Richeri
El Pampero Cine has been one of the most interesting film production teams working in Argentina for the last 20 years, putting out a series of beautiful cinematic maladies. Early during quarantine, they made several films in their catalogue available to stream for free. In addition to examining their overarching ethos, Magu dove into those films and presented them here in ascending order of running time — from the brisk, 70-minute La Vendedora de Fósforos to the 840-minute epic La Flor.
A Long List of Talented People Telling You What Movies, Books, and Albums to Check Out: Culture is a Comfort
So many of us were looking to delve into books and movies and music during our quarantines. Some call it distraction, we’d call it survival. Sick of scrolling through tired listicles, this compilation of creators brought us one of the most stellar recommendation lists of all time. Musicians, filmmakers, illustrators, chefs, and actors from the local Argentine scene shared with us their secret cultural inspirations and latest cultural consumptions. In turn, we kept a thorough list of everything we wanted to check out in our notes app that we check off regularly…just us?
A Truly Necessary Dose of Levity: Our Taste Testing of Argentine Chocolate Milk
It started as a joke, and then became all too serious (but not really). Our resident Kiwi and relatively newcomer Jamie is a big chocolate milk fan, and wanted to bring that passion to the wide array of Argentine chocolate milks. Both hilarious and surprisingly controversial, he offered whimsical and sometimes biting pairings (see: “Annoying children, thinspiration, and weak bones”). One of the most delightful reads of the year, and sure to serve readers for CENTURIES TO COME in their chocolate milk consumption.
Exploring the Niche: Pinmakers of Buenos Aires
–Lucas De Paoli
Our resident comic writer, whose monthly comics column Ltd Edition keeps us up-to-date on the latest from the independent comics scene in Argentina, branched out this year to talk about a pretty cool niche within the creative scene: designers of local enamel pins. From the pioneers of the local scene to the varied inspirations behind each artist and their work, we got a peak into the world of pin designers and introduced to what would be on top of our Christmas wishlist.
Taking the Interview Format to Strange, New Places: Our Interview with Mariana Michi
We’ve published our fair share of interviews over the years, and we are always happy to pick the brains of our favorite creators. But when our music writer Emilyann spoke to singer-songwriter Mariana Michi, the resulting piece goes beyond a simple exploration of Michi’s work and transforms into a free-flowing meditation on boundaries — geographical, emotional, and artistic.
A Chronicle of Creation and Reconnection: Buenos Aires Street Artists
Buenos Aires lives and breathes with art and culture, and, like many cities, one of the ways this vital lifeblood is manifested is through street art. Our first-time contributor Madeline Finkel provided us with a beautifully poignant written and photographic record of the moment when a group of street artists reconnected with their canvas after several months of lockdown.
Equine Emotional Epiphanies: Horse Constellation Therapy at Pacagua
You might have heard of Family Constellations, a therapeutic technique that claims to reveal the underlying dynamics of a dysfunctional situation by visualizing the network of relationships using stand-ins. Horse constellation therapy is exactly that, but with horses! Whatever you may think of the merits of the practice, practitioners often report emotional breakthroughs and a sense of healing. In this beautifully introspective article, Evy guides us through her experience attending one of these sessions, examining the utter weirdness — and the unexpected poignancy — of it.
If Tinder Gave You Something Sweet: Our Search for the Best Dulce de Leche in Town
We loved the idea of a dulce de leche taste tasting, but we loved the comparisons of each DDL to finding a partner even more. From low expectations that blow you away, to OkCupid match references of dates that “looked great in pictures…but can’t hold a fucking conversation,” we felt seen. We felt heard. We ate damn good dulce de leche to celebrate.
Highlighting Groups That Are Fighting Important Fights: Our Piece on FemHack
– Bonnie Rowan
The Internet is obviously a wonderful thing, but it also had the unintended consequence of becoming another avenue for women to be victimized. Thankfully, there are important groups like Dr. Marina Benítez Demtschenko’s FemHack are advocating for victims and fighting legislative battles for a safer Internet for all of us. In this piece, Bonnie dives into their mission statement and the harrowing story behind the organization’s creation.
Providing a Window to the Argentine Music Scene: Our Guide for Newbies
As editors and founders of this publication, we often ask ourselves: “if I were new here, what would I want to know?” This question guides probably 90% of the content we produce, but perhaps never more so than when we’re talking about music (see: Monthly Music Roundups). As a different approach to this question, we asked our music writer team to collaborate on a comparison piece that points to local artists that share certain inspirations and sounds with international counterparts.