Over the last few years, I’ve started keeping lists of everything I’ve watched and listened to, interviews I’ve done throughout the year and gigs I’ve seen.
2016 was busy but there’s always room for improvement. I would have liked to get to more gigs, for starters, and this year I will make an effort to get out more for non-work stuff, as well as read a hell of a lot more.
58 interviews, 33 gigs, countless albums, 11 books (pathetic!), 71 films, 17 TV series/documentaries.
Must try harder.
TOP 10 ALBUMS
1. Field Music – ‘Commontime’
2. Cathy Davey – ‘New Forest’
3. Metronomy – ‘Summer ’08’
4. Angel Olsen – ‘My Woman’
5. Radiohead – ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’
6. Anderson .Paak – ‘Malibu’
7. Solange – ‘A Seat at the Table’
8. David Bowie – ‘Blackstar’
9. Wild Beasts – ‘Boy King’
10. The Divine Comedy – ‘Foreverland’
BEST FILMS THAT I SAW IN 2016
In no particular order:
Hunt for the Wilderpeople, The Jungle Book, Anthropoid, Desierto, Bone Tomahawk, Green Room, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Hell or High Water.
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping was genuinely brilliant satire and probably the film that made me laugh out loud the most. I didn’t expect a lot of either Don’t Breathe or Hush, but both put a new spin on the horror/thriller genre and were great exercises in keeping a movie consistently tense. I saw an early screening of A Monster Calls in December and it destroyed me. I liked Arrival well enough, but don’t get the hype.
Documentaries I enjoyed were Weiner, Making a Murderer and Supersonic. I felt Amanda Knox was a missed opportunity and My Scientology Movie disappointed, much as I love Louis Theroux.
BEST TV THAT I WATCHED IN 2016
Best standalone series I watched this year? Probably The Night Of (John Turturro worthy of every award going). I was late to the party on Catastrophe and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and adored them both. Happy Valley Series 2 was excellent. I thought ‘The People vs. OJ Simpson’ was bloody awful and pungently cheesy, but the documentary ‘OJ Simpson: Made in America’ was great. Stranger Things was good but pretty overrated. I enjoyed The OA a lot more than I thought I would; it was certainly flawed, but undoubtedly original. Otherwise, Game of Thrones and House of Cards remained firm favourites for good reasons.
BEST BOOKS I READ IN 2016
Johnny Marr – ‘Set the Boy Free’ – a really enjoyable, honest, revealing music autobiography. Patrick De Witt’s ‘Under Major Domo Minor’ (published 2015) was also great, as was Catriona Lally‘s ‘Eggshells’ (2015) and Emily St. John Mandel‘s ‘Station Eleven’ (2014).
BEST GIGS I SAW IN 2016
I loved Wilco at the Iveagh Gardens in July and Teenage Fanclub at The Academy in December. To be completely honest, I saw a lot of underwhelming gigs this year – or at least gigs that were ‘fine’ but far from mindblowing, even by some of my favourites (Rufus Wainwright, John Grant, etc.). Either my standards are becoming impossibly high, or everyone else’s have lowered.
Here’s to 2017 and more consistent blogging. Happy New Year!