Saturday, January 01, 2011

My best of 2010

The thing about all these dull December best-of-the-year lists is the year isn't over yet. My list too is dull - duller in fact, since I lack both the enthusiasm and the expertise of others, but at least I waited till January 1st just in case something amazing happened at the last minute (it didn't).

Album of the year: Star of Love by Crystal Fighters

Now, I like music. I don't just mean I'll tap my foot along to a T-Mobile ad, I am a proper fan. I briefly even wanted to be a music journalist (I did meet the Sugababes). But either I've lost that passion or perhaps 2010 was a bit of a damp nothing of a year. I mean there was lots of vaguely promising dubsteppy type events but then the James Blake song that everyone really likes is actually just a Feist cover so where does that leave us? As a bunch of flipping Feist fans? At least the Crystal Fighters one has some twinkly guitar bits alongside good old fashioned bass wobble, plus they're obsessed with basque stuff and I for some reason like things to do with Spain so that's something.

Book of the year: Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

Who reads books the year they come out? Maybe if you work at Waterstones or are on the Booker panel, sure. But otherwise, really? Thankfully for me the one book I have read this year is the book of the year. I only read the first 100 pages or so mind, because I had to return it to the library, but once you get the jist you can imagine how it all winds up pretty easily (in my version it climaxes with a sexy alien invasion).

Movie of the year: Good Hair

I didn't pay to see Good Hair, and probably never would have. I mean, I like good things, but hair? I had barely ever considered my own hair - good or bad - let alone the hair of black women and the industry around it. But then for an hour and a bit one Tuesday night I learned it all. I learned what a weave is, where hair comes from and that all those men that hang out in barbers are funny - especially Chris Rock. So whilst it wasn't about how weird dreams are (pretty weird) or how fast Mark Zuckerberg talks (pretty fast) and didn't have a nine year old girl using swear words (pretty rude), it was good. And about hair.

Book cover of the year: The Shallows (designer - Ben Wiseman)

I wish I read more of these pop-intellectual books but I'm too busy reading (and occasionally writing) blogs about the inane lives of struggling creatives with series 45 of The Apprentice streaming in through another window. Perhaps the internet has made my brain shallow.

Viral video of the year: Newport (Ymerodraeth State of Mind)

Well, I only saw it for the first time today on the Guardian's list of viral-videos of the year, but these things aren't supposed to steep in your mind for eternity. They dance in front of your eyes and then disperse seamlessly back to wherever they came from like a flash mob. Plus, at least this one's not secretly an advert (though thinking about it, it could be). You can watch it here.

TV show of the year: Modern Family

Despite being a gentle American sitcom with every episode drooping into a super-saccharine schmultz fest, Modern Family, once you scrape off the sugar, has some sharp writing hidden inside. It's like our own Outnumbered, but with jokes. You can watch it online here (allegedly).

And so on.

Turkey curry and sausage rolls for lunch.

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