THAT WAS THAT YEAR
2010? One personal disaster after another followed by cultural, political then physical and then emotional disasters. I spent half the year feeling suicidal and the other half planning how to make it look like an accident. Knowing, is how it is survived in the end I suspect, happy enough for it all to be taken out of my hands at some stage down the line. Then I got paranoid. Why did a cab driver ask for my address after I exited his cab? After I'd told him I was an American citizen? Even the dreams I dealt myself deteriorated as time went by. When Mr Lake asked our writers for some of their end of year thoughts I doubt he wanted to know mine. So I'll start with me. 1 - Film: Julian Temple's Requiem For Detroit 2 - Music: Cee Lo Green - The Lady Killer 3 - Print: The otherwordly images the Kindle affixes to the screen when sleeping/Muzik Kinda Sweet - Pogus Ceasar 4 - Live: Edwyn Collins on the Riverbank / A Brass band in Moseley Park. 5 - TV: Mad Men by a non metric mile. 6 - Food: Remembering something super scrumptious is hard. 7 - Any Other? - The Wowee One. It's fun and better than what we used to listen with in the kitchen before.
More considered contributions continue below in no particular order...
1 - Film: A Prophet by Jacques Audiard... This grueling and ridiculously ambitious prison/gangster film has more intelligence and feeling in it's little, burning finger than all the other films I saw this year combined.
2 - Music: Deerhunter's Halcyon Digest... Maybe it's musical maturity and maybe it's his friendship with the boys of grizzly bear, but bradford cox has managed to turn down the noise and dissonance while turning up the pain and confusion.
3 - Print: wikileaks... Even the messiest form of transparency is better than secretive, backroom government, that is if you believe government should be of, by, and for the people.
4 - Live: the mormon's @ hoek's death metal pizza in austin, texas... The early morning hour of their set during the sxsw music fest did not deter lead singer patrick jones (fresh off a border crossing mj bust) from singing while hanging upside down from a six-foot fence and then leading the audience, a la pied piper, through the streets of downtown austin
5 - TV: Louie . . . louis c.k. created, writes, directs, stars and edits, with his characteristically brutal honesty and some exceptional performances by non-actor comedians.
6 - food: Deep fry parties... Although i am all about healthy eating, set me loose me on a hilltop patio with a bunch of drunken friends, and i will eat anything non-animal that you are man enough to throw in a deep fryer.
7 - Any Other: Internet meme: "bed intruder song".. Antione dodson was born to be an internet luminary, but auto-tuning made him a superstar... Run and tell that, homeboy
1 - Film: I (literally never go to movies, I do rent them though) Restored, found footage added version of Fritz Lang's Metropolis or the restored oeuvre of Jean Renoir on Criterion.
2 - Music: I am not really into rock or pop thing, I like some ethnic stuff, some groove stuff like Nightmares on Wax and Kruder and Dorfemeister but overall its all stuff from long gone cats that I listen to . Belle Du Barry's new group, The complete Library of Congress recordings of Jelly Roll Morton by Alan Loman.
3 - Print: The reissuing in English of George Perec's Life a User's Manual. An amazing book with a horrible title, the title makes it sound like it will be Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Repair or some such other pabulum, but its a great book.
4 - Live: Jazz I treasure and some of the old guys that are still touring, I do not begrudge them playing the supper clubs where its a good pay day for them, good acoustics etc but jazz is becoming rather staid, the raw in the moment aspect is being lost as yuppies politely applaud to some aged master doing their thing while they order California rolls and premium mixed drinks. That being said, I saw Frank Wess in a trio setting at Stanford, he played, he wailed and burned impressively, doubly so considering his age.
5 - TV: I do not really watch much TV, ignored the whole Lost phenomenon etc. Walking Dead seemed pretty good not too many things that made one think "I can not believe they just did that" as so often happens in Zombie films.
6 - Food: The market on Port Royal (Saturdays)....impressive, fresh and cheap.
7 - Any Other... It was a good year, it was a rough year, one is necessary to the other for they both give food for thought.
1 - Film: As I have two small children, the only "current" films I ever get to see near release date are "Universal" rating, so my highlight of 2010 is "Marmaduke". My enjoyment of this mesmerising movie was tempered only by the fact that the central feature of the film - indeed, its most animated aspect, an object I could hardly tear my eyes from throughout - was Marmaduke's gargantuan canine schlong.
2 - Music: Not really keeping up with what's hot any more, as Simon Cowell seems to be doing his best to destroy all the magic, utterly, forever. So here's a recommendation from the past: "More tales from the city" by the Band of Holy Joy. Magic.
3 - Print: Been reading a lot of American deadbeats lately - the Fantes mainly. "Ask the Dust" by John (again) and the "Bruno" trilogy by his son Dan. It's the honesty I love, the fuck-u-all. Get to the end of the "Basketball Diaries", google Jim Carroll and discover he's dead, last year, heart attack. How can that be?Where does that soul fly? Unbelievable.
4 - Live: I'd love to say "Manchester United at Old Trafford", but being a typical cockney red now, these days I only ever watch them on my 42" telly, glass of Chablis in one hand, prawn sandwich on the other, Roy Keane next to me on the sofa muttering "shove it up yer bollocks". He's from Gloucestershire, you know.
5 - TV: Sadly, here in the UK we can't compete with "The Wire" and "Curb your Enthusiasm"; Ricky Gervais meeting Larry David recently was like one of those Thai painting elephants meeting Michaelangelo. But Steve Coogan's "The Trip" was my highlight of the year, even though it also featured Rob Brydon.
6 - Food: In our slow, inexorable rise to petty bourgeoisie/polite society, my wife and I have been developing some new nibbles for garden parties. Sliced gherkin, feta and chorizo on a biscuit - yum. Otherwise, as ever, vindaloo...
7 - Any Other... I won't get into the whole global warming debate again, but the return of the seasons has been great. Cold last winter, a warm, bee-breezy, flower-strewn spring, swimming in the cold ocean in summer, the mesmerising fall and drift of russet leaves in the autumn and now much more snow - sledging with the kids on Hampstead Heath then hot chocolate at the cafe. Doesn't get better than that...
1 - Film: Will Nugent's stirring and almost finished movie, Forty Shillin' Shame, concerning injustice meted out to Irish women in 19th Century Ireland which I saw in Will's Ardfinnan home.
2 - Music: Horslips Live at the O2. Pity about the corporate namecheck but this double CD captures the best band Ireland ever produced reformed after 30 years and hitting the stage running. I'm A Gypsy by Shakira was the sound of my summer spent with the person I love the most whose main concern in life other than achieving freedom is Shakira. This is Radio E by Alma/Joe Ambrose featuring Arthur Baker is my first single in a decade and the most exciting music project I've involved myself with in a long time.
3 - Print: Wormwood Star by Spencer Kansa concerns the life and loves of Marjorie Cameron who was Denis Hoppers' lover, a Kenneth Anger superstar, a Wallace Berman contemporary, and a magician lady. Message in a Bottle is Chris Campion's acerbic book on The Police and is the the best music writing of the year, including a fascinating and incisive analysis of the whole charity-rock scam perfected by right-wing rockers like Geldolf and Bono.
4 - Food: My sister gave me a breadmaker for Christmas so I've been learning how to make bread again so that I can break bread again with my co-conspirators.
5 - TV: I never saw Entourage because I was out of TVland for the last five years but now I'm catching up and in the middle of viewing Season 5. Proof positive of the quality of TV writing and acting.
6 - Any Other: Man of the Year. Gregory Isaacs, who bowed out after making a heroic contribution to music and life. He was my favourite singer and seeing him live was the highlight of every year. I miss him so much. A London black newspaper carried the headline: 'The king is gone but the music lives on.' Amen to that.
Bruce Bailey's 10 various things of 2010
1 - Film: Avatar - However vacuous and insignificant it may be, James Cameron's film did something Hollywood has not done for many years: show me things and places and people I have never seen before.
2 - Music: Woven Hand - The Threshingfloor - Religious ecstasy/frenzy as only an ever more insanely intense DEE can manifest. Title track is powerful beyond mere words.
3 - Print: Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself - A Road Trip With david Foster Wallace - David Lipsky - I feel privileged to have been able to spend a couple of days in the company of an imaginary DFW.
4 - Live: The closest I came to a live even this year was listening to Clutch, Down and High On Fire play the High Voltage Festival in Victoria Park. Through my bathroom window.
5 - TV: This has got to be a toss-up between An Idiot Abroad (funny and interesting despite EVERYTHING about it) and Naked Office (Seven is the devil).
6 - Food: The brief reappearance of the Whisper Gold earlier in the year. Aero (original Whisper) and caramel sounds dull but is actually a textural explosion in the mouth.
7 - Day: June 14th, 10h28.
8 - Celebrity: Lady Gaga - Seeing the media trying to create some element of culture out of what is really a plastic hermaphrodite wrapped in raw meat.
9 - Comic: Will have to be one of those with Deadpool in it, I guess.
10 - Cultural Moment: Seeing JM Coetzee set upon by a pack of angry Boy Scouts before being torn to pieces by their rabid den of Ridgebacks and then scattered off the Storms River Bridge.
CULTURE BUNKER ARCHIVE
- At Witz End
- Take it from the Bridge
- My Love Re-explodes: The Dukes of Stratosphear return
- Bob Dylan in Tangier
- Guilaine Adjutor Mining for the Art of the Soul
- Aural Dream Door; Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande
- Tonk Tonk Toccata World Tour
- A few Olde Good Things
- Feed The Birds - Wigpigeons Have Landed
- Bow Wow Wow! - Mighty Doglude