Top 5 Lists!! For 2011.


Fev 20 2012, 14h15

It took me until about halfway through to make my 2010 top 5 lists. This year I am starting to write this journal entry on the second day of 2012(and posting it to in February).

Any text in italics are comments about my lists. Here it is:

1. Yuck - Yuck
2. Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde
3. Grouplove - Never Trust A Happy Song
4. Ball Park Music - Happiness and Surrounding Suburbs
5. Portugal. The Man - In the Mountain in the Cloud

Others of note: The Strokes - Angles; The Get Up Kids - There Are Rules; Arctic Monkeys - Suck It and See; Jebediah - Kosciuszko; The Wombats - Proudly Present... This Modern Glitch; Fucked Up - David Comes To Life; Ben Folds & Nick Hornby - Lonely Avenue
Albums I have listened to a little of and need to buy to judge completely: Bright Eyes - The People's Key; Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring for My Halo; Ryan Adams - Ashes and Fire

With my top five albums, I struggled to come up with a list because 2011 seemed to have a lot of albums that were _pretty_ good, but none that blew me away. I could see my future top album of 2011 being something I haven't listened to yet, or something from my honorable mention list that keeps on growing on me. Hopefully next year has some awesome stuff. I didn't include the Ben Folds Retrospective, because while it was good, almost all of it was old.

1. The Beastie Boys - Make Some Noise
2. Yuck - Get Away
3. San Cisco - Awkward
4. Grouplove - Itchin' On A Photograph
5. The Strokes - Gratisfaction
Others of note: The Black Keys - Lonely Boy, Wild Flag - Romance, Smith Westerns - All Die Young, The Wombats - Jump Into the Fog, Portugal. The Man - Got It All (This Can't Be Living Now), Ball Park Music - Sea Strangers (I Don't Really Know You)

In a strange contradiction, while the albums were not so good, the individual songs often really were great. 'Make Some Noise' is not only catchy, juicy and bouncy, but the video clip is one of the things I will most associate with 2011 in my memory in the future. 'Get Away' is sludgy distorted gold, and 'Awkward' is an unbelievable car sing along song. These were my favourite '2011' songs in 2011.

Old School Albums:
1. The Postal Service - Give Up
2. Girls - Album
3. Belle and Sebastian - Write About Love
4. Albert Hammond Jr. - Yours To Keep
5. Okkervil River - Don't Fall in Love With Everyone You See
Others of Note: Cloud Cult - Feel Good Ghosts

These are albums that didn't come out last year, but that I either heard for the first time last year, or really started appreciating last year. I added this category to my lists last year, but this year I don't think I listened to as many good old albums.

Old school songs:
1. Benji Hughes - The Mummy
2. She and Him - Why Do You Let Me Stay Here
3. Fats Waller - Aint Misbehavin'
4. Girls - Lust For Life
5. Modest Mouse - Heart Cooks Brain
Others of note: Rilo Kiley - Glendora, Mayer Hawthorne - Just Aint Gonna Work Out, Tilly and the Wall - Fell Down The Stairs, Pavement - Gold Soundz, Bill Withers - Use Me, Dananananaykroyd - Black Wax, John Lennon - Mind Games

Similar rules for the old-school songs as the old-school albums. I think as I get older that a larger and larger percentage of the music I listen to is just undiscovered music from other time periods. And it is just as fun as listening to new stuff. In the past year it was a big anniversary of John Lennon's death, or birth, or something and so I listened to more of his stuff than I have before. So even though I knew his songs one still made it in as I grew to love it.

1. X-Men: First Class
2. Fright Night
3. The Ides Of March
4. Captain America
5. Crazy, Stupid Love
Others of note: Red State, Tucker and Dale vs Evil, Tintin

2011 was a far inferior year for movies when compared to 2010. There were definitely a lot that I found very entertaining, but none that really blew me away. The new X-Men flick was probably the pick of the bunch, as it was an entertaining comic book movie that still managed to feel edgy and interesting. I just saw the new Muppet Movie, and it was great, but I saw it on the 1st of Jan 2012, and it doesn't come out until mid jan in Australia.

TV Shows:
1. Misfits
2. Survivor: South Pacific
3. QI
4. Doctor Who
5. Letters And Numbers
Others of note: NBA coverage (which channel 10 has stopped for 2012. Boo!), True Blood

In 2011 I didn't watch a lot of really absorbing TV shows. It seems like we mostly watched quiz, variety or reality shows. However, some of the shows we did watch were truly brilliant. I had been recommended Misfits by a couple of different groups of friends, and thus far it has not disappointed. We finished the first season quickly and have just started the second. Survivor: South Pacific was great. I really enjoyed Cochran in this season. Little nerdy Cochran. QI continued to rock our tea-drinking trivia-loving world (including on the QI live show we went to see. And Matt Smith's Doctor Who was fun and imaginative. Meanwhile we watched (and enjoyed) a hell of a lot of Letters and Numbers until we moved to our new house and stopped receiving SBS.

Computer Games:
1. Super Streetfighter IV
2. Street Fighter IV
3. Pokemon Black and White
4. Assassin's Creed
5. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
Others of note: Facebook Zuma Blitz

I have been driven for most of the year to unlock all the achievements in Super Streetfighter IV. Of course a lot are tied to XBox Live play which I have not set up, so I am now trying to complete the really time consuming single player cheevs. Pokemon Black and White was awesome. I had Pokemon White (and it was the first Pokemon game I finished in ages!). WoW regained my interest by releasing the Cataclysm expansion towards the end of last year. I spent a serious chunk of time playing a Goblin up to about level 50, and exploring all the newly changed parts of the world. Of Warcraft.

1. Darwin Deez - Awesome energy, amazing dance moves and great songs!
2. Random The Chemist shows - Went to one on New Years Eve that might have been the worst Chemist show we saw all year. Still a dynamic, interesting, nuanced performance and the few times we saw them earlier in the year were WAY better.
3. Yeasayer at Laneway - The tribal feel of the music was enhanced by the crowd which was WAY into it. And even though I only really knew three songs we had a great vantage point and an even better time.
4. Jenny and Johnny at Laneway - They were real good, the songs seemed to come to life more live, when compared to the album. And I finally got to see Jenny Lewis in the flesh.
5. Two Door Cinema Club at Laneway - Really solid show, tight band and good tunes ensured that we all had a great time.

So, as per usual I am unsure of whether the above lists truly represent my rankings for the past year as I know that there must be some things I am forgetting. So it is time for a New Year's Resolution: I will endeavour to track all of this stuff this year and we will see if I can have the lists ready to post before I go out on New Year's Eve this year.

In summary, 2011 was a huge year. There were definitely some sad and shocking times, but I think they were outweighed by the good. I proposed to Cara and she said yes. We bought a house together. We went on three holidays together (Tassie in Jan, Gold Coast in June and Melbourne in October??). I quit playing all team sports in any kind of competitive way, as my knees are just too old and decrepit. But this has given me more time to enjoy other things. We have realised that no one ever overstates the stress of organising a wedding, and I went to six weddings in the past calendar year myself (Tim, Bec, Ferg, Rochelle, Blaze, Meghan). The family are all in pretty good spirits and pretty happy. Nicola is still living in Melbourne and has started a Planning Consultancy over there, Dad is still retired and had some problems with his eye (but the doctors sorted it all out no problems) and Mum is happily preparing for her own retirement. I only wish I was preparing for mine. Work has been interesting. I worked ridiculously hard on my most recent air traffic control project (and I am not 100% sure that I got the recognition I deserved), and towards the end of the year I switched onto a different project which has been a nice change of pace. Today I go back to work for the first time in 2012, and the year starts anew. I hope it's a good one (and I am sure it will be, with our wedding and honeymoon coming up).

Love you guys.

Happy 2012.

Addendum Number 1:
I forgot that I played through Portal in the past year. That was an awesome game, slot that in at the top and slide everything else down one spot.

Also, "No Ordinary Family" was a good TV show, and "Game Of Thrones" was also pretty damned good. I guess those deserve top five tv show spots.

And I didn't rank books at all. I think I read the last three of the George RR Martin books this year, and they probably hold the top spots. I really enjoyed Chuck Klosterman's 'Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs'. Also the basketball book that Jacinta bought me for Christmas last year was awesome - "The Art Of a Beautiful Game" by Chris Ballard.

Addendum Number 2:
The Adam Carolla Book "In Fifty Years We'll all Be Chicks should also be in the top five. It was a real fun read. I should get that book back from Cliff.

And The Tenacious D/Foo Fighters/Fucked Up gig probably should slot into the number 2 spot on the gigs list.

Hopefully this is the final addendum.

Addendum Number 3:
I also forgot another AWESOME song. The Lonely Island - We're Back. Great bragging track. Awesomely ridiculous boasts.


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