So it comes that time when we all compile pointless lists of what we enjoyed throughout the year.  And I’m feeling it this time so make no exception.  So some top lists (in alphabetical order):

Movies:

  • Cloverfield
  • The Dark Knight
  • Iron Man
  • No country for old men
  • Son of Rambow
  • Wall-E

A quiet year for movies on reflection.  If I had to choose only one it would be Wall-E.  As much as The Dark Knight is perfectly accomplished and astonishing in its brilliance and Iron Man is just brilliantly entertaining, Wall-E is just a wonderful combination of stunning visuals, gorgeous sound design and heartbreakingly staged story.  I love it.

Albums:

  • Crystal Castles
  • Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
  • Foals – Antidotes
  • Fuck Buttons – Street Horrrsing
  • Los Campesinos! – Hold on now, youngster
  • Lykke Li – Youth Novel
  • Metronomy – Nights out
  • Mogwai – The Hawk is Howling
  • Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Did, Lazarus, Dig!
  • Remember Remember
  • Vampire Weekend

Picking a favourite from these is extremely difficult.  Or very easy, as since The Hawk is Howling was released I’ve listened to very little else.  It’s a truly stunning Mogwai album and feels fully formed, like it’s existed for years.  And I love it.  However, choosing Mogwai as my favourite of the year is kind of cheating as they’re my favourite band.  So before that was released it was Fuck Buttons – Street Horrrsing.  I’ve been listening to this all year and still love it.  Powerful and compelling.  Regardless, all  the above have been on constant repeat since release and are well worth listening to.  Interestingly, my favourite album of last year: Low – Drums and Guns is still on heavy rotation.

Songs:

  • Black Francis – The Seus
  • CSS – Rat is dead (Rage)
  • David Byrne & Brian Eno – Strange overtones
  • Elbow – One day like this; Weather to fly
  • Fleet Foxes – Blue ridge mountains
  • Fuck Buttons – Sweet love for Planet earth
  • Gotye – Hearts a mess
  • Ladyhawke – Paris is burning
  • Lambchop – Sharing a Gibson with Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Lykke Li – I’m good, I’m gone
  • Metronomy – Heartbreaker
  • Mogwai – Scotland’s Shame; Devil Rides
  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – More news from nowhere
  • Noah and the Whale – 5 years
  • Pete and the Pirates – Mr Understanding
  • Remember Remember – Fountain Mountain
  • Santogold – You’ll find a way
  • Those Dancing Days – Hitten

Rather an indiepop-tastic selection this year (getting old?) but fuck it.  My favourite?  Hmmmm.  Fountain Mountain probably (the original version rather than the split version that appeared on the album).

Books:

I managed to get through an impressive 53 books this year (not including comics) and out of those my favourites were:

  • We need to talk about Kevin – Lionel Shriver
  • The Murder of Roger Akroyd – Agatha Christie
  • I am Legend – Richard Matheson
  • Regeneration – Pat Barker

My favourite was ‘We need to talk about Kevin’ – an incredibly powerful and compelling story.  Plus this was the year I discovered Agatha Christie and more importantly, Poirot.  The full list is at my Goodreads site on the right.

So, that’s it for the lists.  Not a bad year all in all.

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K left the country yesterday for New Zealand (via LA) which is sad but exciting.  Sad as we don’t get to see each other for the next 3 months but exciting as it’s the start of a new life.  Exciting also because I got my job in Christchurch so now can buy my plane ticket.  Add to my ticket to Nepal I bought last week and life is very exciting.  Well, apart from today which is just ok.

Paid in a check, bought some books, then fought a massive desire to just read my book rather than do anything ‘constructive’.  Meh.  Plus the weather is switching from baking sun to pounding rain and back again at the touch of a random button.

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An interesting video for the new Mogwai single Batcat has been released.  It’s an odd tune, very metal.  I need to hear this album as a whole as none of the recent tunes seem to fit together.  Watch it here.

We saw The Dark Knight again the other day at the IMAX – it really does look great on such a huge screen and is worth the journey.

I am now content.

Turns out the seats were not bad afterall so me, K and a cinema of excited people sat down to watch the special advanced screening of The Dark Knight last night.  And it was everything I wanted.  Everyone played their part perfectly so credit to them all (not just Heath Ledger).

 

Regardless, the Joker is a magificent creation in this form.  I was genuinelly scared at times when he’s on screen as you just didn’t know what was going to happen.  The sense of instability is ramped up even more by the marvellous and deeply unsettling score.  All the whining and screeching really put me on edge.  The mob and the disappearing pencil trick was about as terrifying and succinct introduction to a charcter I’ve ever seen.  He got multiple cheers and shocked utterances from the crowd the whole way through.  Plus I’m really glad I didn’t sneak a peak at Two Face all those months ago on the leaked images.  Jesus H Christ!

The only concern of mine is I cannot see where it can go next.  I almost don’t want it to.  Stil, going to see it on IMAX soon so can really sit through and enjoy it for what it is.

What with seeing Wall-E (twice) last week (just as good if not better the second time) and this I’m pretty happy.  Roll on Hellboy 2 in a few weeks.

Start nights tonight for the next week so probably more blogging.