How was your year? Mine was pretty good.
I didn’t see a lot of gigs, but Leonard Cohen, Elbow, dEUS, My Bloody Valentine, Scott Walker’s Drifting and Tilting and the Rogue’s Gallery shows were very memorable. While many reviewers dwelt upon the alleged darkness of Walker’s Drifting and Tilting, the one thing I took away from the show was its wicked humour.
Musically often impenetrable, these lighter moments were brought to the fore by Walker and show director Ann-Christin Rommen’s staging. Afterwards, Walker’s albums, Drift, and Tilt, didn’t seem quite as ‘difficult’ to deal with and the show stopping ‘Patriot’ became my most played track of the year’s final three months.
Musically I mostly stuck to old favourites, but I enjoyed newcomers Duffy, Rachel Unthank, Sam Sparro, The Aftermath, and welcomed the return of Tricky and Grace Jones. In the last few months of the year, I mostly craved Hi-NRG beats. Hercules & Love Affair, Sparro, The Potbelleez, Ne-Yo and Robyn all scratched that particular itch. I’m not an album listener anymore, my iTunes/iPod is always set to ‘shuffle’, but judging from my iTunes and Last.FM stats, Duffy’s Rockferry was my favourite, or at least the most played.
I spend more time watching TV-series than I do listening to music and genre shows came out on top this year: Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, The Sarah Connor Chronicles were unmissable. Comedy came second, with 30 Rock and The Office constant features on my list of weekly downloads. My favourite drama series of the last two seasons is still the awesome Friday Night Lights.
I’ll spare you the full list of the shows that I watch, it is endless. I think watching TV-series (and following some of its complex stories) has replaced watching films and reading books for me. I don’t do either much anymore. In fact I haven’t read a book in years, certainly not since I stopped commuting. I find most (Hollywood) movies disappointing and have not made an effort checking out arthouse flicks as I would have in the past. Films I did enjoy this year included Burn after reading (One of the few Coen Brothers films I liked), Iron Man (I’ll watch anything with Robert Downey Jr), Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (same goes for Philip Seymour Hoffman) , and In Bruges.
On a personal level, while the economy plummeted, my health improved steadily and I lost quite a bit of weight and dropped from a size 18 to 12. To compensate for no longer being able to tuck into Chinese roast pork and other such delicacies, I picked up a serious on- and offline shopping habit, partly necessary as I had to replace my wardrobe, partly pure indulgence. (Six pairs of new shoes? Really?) Consequently I rekindled an interest in fashion and started reading fashion magazines and websites.
I finally got a job that seems to agree with me, in a place where I can learn things. I made a bit more money, spent it even more. I travelled a lot. Four great trips to Ireland, three to the UK, three to Paris and two trips to Cologne and Antwerp.
I’ll remember walking along the Salthill promenade in Galway, hanging out with Ben in Coffee @ Whitecross Street, becoming my nephew’s godparent in the Eglise de la Trinité, sitting in a park in Brighton with Stuart, looking for chickens in Gav’s garden in Killiney and, of all the time I spent with him this year, our mad dinner in that dingy cellar in L’Ecurie in Paris.
In 2009 I hope to continue doing well in my job, which is going to change slightly as our project moves out from development to production. I’ll have to travel less, because I really can’t afford what I did last year. I need to pick up the camera again, didn’t do enough of that in 2008. I intend to stick to my food regimen, drop another stone or so and hopefully be taken off even more of my medication.
U2 is releasing a new album and will be touring, so that’s going to create a bit of work over at u2log.com, even if I don’t know why I’m still doing that. Whedonesque.com will enjoy a traffic spike as Joss Whedon’s new series Dollhouse will start airing on Fox on February 13. But there are other things afoot on Planet Prol that eclipse Whedon (easily – I’ve kind of lost interest, really) or U2 (just as easily) which are going to be as time consuming as they will be rewarding. I can’t wait to tell you more about that.
Engage! So say we all!