Wednesday, December 31, 2014

post 336

hello there

well, i can't call this a "best of the year" thing, as it just upsets people for no reason. these are just the things that i was most impressed with through the year, look you see. you are most welcome to disagree, partially agree or agree. just dig what you dig, man, look you see.

here we go, then.

The Year In Music

for me the best part of the year was being able to walk into HMV and purchase albums on their date of release. with only a little bit of falling out with HMV along the way.

yes, as per the picture, i believe that Songs Of Innocence by U2 was the best album of the year. away from all the hype, hysteria and nonsense around the release, or more to the point the initial giveaway, what seems to have been lost on a lot of people was that it is a very, very good album.

as for the nonsense around the release, well, that's just modern times, i am afraid. a great many talent-free people who had somehow landed record contracts worked out that they were able to get publicity by bad mouthing U2 for giving their album away for free, in particular immensely obscure and insignificant rap / hip-hop artists from America who pretty much had no idea who or what a U2 was.

as for "normal" people who complained about an unwanted album being "forced" onto their Apple product, well, let me not shock you, d!ckhead, but there's a clue in the pointless nature of that whine in the form of it is an Apple product. Apple routinely and regularly put sh!t on your device that, if you had a choice, you would not want anywhere near you. so shut up and work out how to delete something you don't want without writing about it all over the internet.

away from U2, and we were blessed with some amazing albums. in a semi-specific order, Holly Johnson, Kasabian, the Manics and Morrissey all released brilliant records. a late arrival was, of course, the Robbie Williams one i mentioned a couple of posts ago. a sign of concern, perhaps, is that with the possible exception of Kasabian, it's the "old guard" that are being relied on for quality new music. where are the new decent bands, please? have we really given up on the music industry?

other than releases of albums, the music highlight of the year was unquestionably Metallica's headline slot at Glastonbury. for the first time since The Who or Bowie, the headline act just did a great set for the fans with no agenda to flog their new or most recent album.

The Year In Books

i would, for the most part, refer you to the many, many reviews of books i have posted here throughout the year 2014. for those that simply cannot be bothered with such things, well, i don't think they were first published in this very year that i read them, but The Martian by Andy Weir and I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes were the two best novels that i had the pleasure of reading. i would happily suggest to everyone that they give them a try, they were both excellent.

speaking of which

The Year In Bus Rides

Frankly, for the most part every bus ride was a good bus ride, for it meant that i was not driving. However, in the spirit of this post, some of the more outstanding bus trips i took this year.

* the one or two where the bus was woefully late, and the driver went completely mental with the speed in a valiant effort to make up the time.

* the one where the driver greeted me with the words "goere more", or whatever good morning in Afrikaans is. unexpected, to say the least, in Yorkshire.

* the one where the bus driver attempted to totally demolish and trash the clutch and gears. unless they are the same thing, which i confess they might be. 

* the one where the bus got cut off by a big massive fat guy that had somehow squeezed into a Ford Ka, and the bus driver having a smart road rage taunt at him. was boss watching the fella try to get out of the car he was wedged into and make an effort to run after a bus, it was.

* the one where the bus driver went around the roundabout (traffic circle) several times prior to exiting it just to make absolutely sure.

all of them, in several ways, were memorable. feel free to pick from the above which you think was the best and i am happy to agree with you.

The Year In Movies
i wasn't really expect much out of a film that had, as highlights, a dancing tree and a rat with a gun, but wouldn't you know Guardians Of The Galaxy turned out to be the best film of the year. excellent, it was - i think, but accident, it has given a whole load of kids the same sense of wonder and excitement my generation got as kids when Star Wars came along - a film no one expected much of, but became much loved by audiences.

and that's it for films of the year. a dire year, really, although in fairness i have yet to watch Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. i have the disc on the way, and i am looking forward to it. yes, child of the condiment phoenix, i am aware that it has Gaz in it and yes i shall forward on.

2014 was, as far as cinema was concerned, all about flogging trailers for films to be released in 2015. of those trailers, Mad Max Fury Road looks like it shall be brilliant, Jurassic World looks like it could be one of the best films ever, Star Wars VII - Mission To Moscow looks like it could be OK, and Terminantor Geynisissie or whatever they have decided on looks like it could well be Terminator Phil Collins, sadly.

The Year In Television

this whole "Freeview" digital television thing meant that it was possible for me to watch Bullseye repeats every night of the week. i didn't, but i would say of the 364 nights thus far that i could, i probably did for about 200 of them. nice one, smashing.

and that's just about all i can think of.

whatever you watched, read, listened to or opted to travel via in 2014, i trust it was all excellent, and may 2015 be even more excellent for you.

many, many thanks for reading this and all the stuff from the last year; hopefully i will see you, or you will see all of this, in the new year.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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