The John Peel Top 10 Lists 2004
(in honour of the great man, rip 1939-2004)
Favourite albums of the year
- P J Harvey - Uh Huh Her
- Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
- Interpol - Antics
- The Streets - A grand don't come for free
- Morrissey - You are the quarry
- Tom Waits - Real Gone
- Frames - Burn the Maps
- Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Abbatoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus
- Killers - Hot Fuss
Films of the year
- Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind
- Kill Bill 2
- Lost in Translation
- 21 Grams
- Before Sunset
All time Contributors
2004 compilation cds were compiled by Antony,Anthony,Barry,Brendan,Caroline,Colin,Scott,Garbhán,Livesey,Martin,Dave,Murph,Niall,Peter,Richie,Tom
Top 10 discs from 2004 (in no order except maybe alphabetical *smirk*):
1. The Beatles - Revolver and Rubber Soul
2. Interpol - Turn on the Bright Lights
3. Tom Waits - Real Gone - though, this came in a bit late this year
4. Prince - Musicology
5. Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson (The Midnight Band) - Winter in America
6. Gil Scott-Geron and Brian Jackson (The Midnight Band) - The First Minute of a New Day
Just got into this stuf this year. Also exchanged a few emails with Brian Jackson when I was looking up info on Gil. For all those interested, he's still far too into drugs and I believe back in jail (Gil - not Brian. Brian is working on a new record). it's crushing.
7. Cat Stevens - Tea for the Tillerman - replaced my worn out vinyl this year.
8. Fey Ray - I Wanna Be New and Perfect - roommate's band that my label released this year. Commerically not so great, but musically, freaking awesome!
9. Missouri - In Voodoorama - This won't be released in the states until march, but it's out in Europe (from germany). Another BlueDIsguise release, but top notch. I've also been listening to their previous one a lot...
10. Missouri - To the Darkened Corners Here We Come
11. Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
12. Guided By Voices - everything - I just started listening to these guys this year. Oh well.
13. Herbie Hancock - The Herbie Hancock Box - 5 discs of pure Herbie!
14. Iron & Wine - The Creek Drank the Cradle - mostly this stuff just kept coming up on my iPod while on random, so maybe it should be in my iPod's top 10 list.
15. Isaac Hayes - Truck Turner soundtrack - Oh yeah! Pursuit of the Pimpmobile!!!
16. Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter - Oh, My Girl - on Barsuk. Jesse's voice is just pure butter
17. Junior Kimbrough - You Better Run
18. Mclusky - Mclusky Do Dallas
19. The Meat Purveyors - All Relationships Are Doomed To Fail
20. Pink Floyd - Animals and Wish You Were Here.
21. The Standard - Wire Post to Wire
22. Troublemakers - Expressway
23. TV on the Radio - Desparate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes
24. The Zombies - Odessey and Oracle
Terminator X and the Godfathers of Threat Super Bad
SXSW - Austin, TX. with John Wesley Harding, Robyn Hitchcock and Ken Stringfellow playing our little Hattie's Hoot in a mexican restaurant on S Congress Street.
Tom Waits - The Paramount, Seattle. 1 show only in the US this past year. Tried to get Tom to fly out for it. Played mostly new tunes from his disc that was only released 2 weeks prior, but everyone knew it. (BTW, Tom Waits on the Mule Variations tour at the Beacon Theatre in NY is in my top show of all time tied with Jeff Buckley here in Seattle and...
Prince - Musicology tour - Key Arena, Seattle. Got free tickets for this one in those fancy VIP boxes (thanks Microsoft!) I paid a grand total of $3 to park. If you *ever* get a chance to see Prince live - don't hesitate, just do it.
Mclusky - The Crocodile, Seattle. Let me just say yer a cunt!
American Music Club - SXSW, Austin, TX and The Crocodile, Seattle, WA. 2 shows! They blew me away in Austin and had to come back in Seattle
The Young Fresh Fellows (and friends) - The Crocodile. This was the CD release for the Young Fresh Fellows Tribute disc my record label, BlueDisguise, put out. It was a tribute concert. The Young Fresh Fellows actually opened for their own Tribute show. Freaking killer! Only the 2nd time I've seen them. THe first being the day before in the hallowed offices of Amazon.com. If you're not into the Fellows, you really should be. This was quite possibly their last concert.
It's hard to remember what came out this year and I'm sure there will be a lot of, "Oh no!" when I read other lists, but I liked:
The Station Agent
School of Rock
Shaun of the Dead!
Kill Bills - both of 'em!
Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind
Some good books I've read.am reading:
Harry Potter (whatever the last one was) Oh, come on, it was good.
Hitler: 1889 - 1936 Hubris - long book. I've got Part 2 waiting in the wings
The Picture of Dorian Gray - reading this now as well Cool book.
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them - sweet
That's all I'm going to send this to tom before he yells at me again! ha ha.
Top Ten 2004 (in no particular order) :
1. Rameau, Les Grands Motets, Phillipe Herreweghe & La Chapelle Royale, Harmonia Mundi
2. Mum, Finally We Are No One
3. PJ Harvey, Uh Huh Her
4. Pergolesi, Stabat Mater, Concerto Italiano
5. Chopin, Recital, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Deutsche Gramaphone
6. Zwan, Mary Star Of The Sea, Reprise
7. Vivaldi, Stabat Mater / Nisi Dominus / Longe Mala, Europa Galante & David Daniels, Virgin
8. Radiohead, Hail To The Thief
9. The Album Leaf, In A Safe Place
10. Mozart, Piano Trios K496 & K502, Pires/Dumay/Wang, Deutsche Gramaphone
Ok here we go, a couple of these records featured heavily in last years top ten but I
only heard em this year so they're in! Also, I have a feeling that both the
new Kings of Leon album, and the Killers album would probably be in here
too, if I had them, which I dont, so theyre not,,,,,
1. Interpol - antics
just lots and lots of good songs, simple as that. I know they sound like
Joy Division, but i mean really, is that a bad thing?
2. Sonic Youth - Sonic Nurse
Hot damn, this band just keep getting better. Their second album with
Jim O'Rourke is maybe not as good as Murray St, but its still the best album
of 2004 as far as I'm concerned.
3. The Redneck Manifesto - I am Brazil
More intricate instrumental guitar music from the best Irish band around
at the minute. As a live act they're so tight it makes me sick, and the
addition of a keyboard player/second drummer has expanded their sound a lot.
4. Pj Harvey - Uh Huh Her
PJ Harvey with essentially the Queens of the Stone Age as her backing
5. Nick Cave - Abatoir Blues
A deadly return to form for the darkest one of em all! Twisted gothic
gospel music, whats not to like!
6. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever to Tell
Again, I only heard this during the summer, great stuff, especially the
closing three tunes which are surprisingly melodic when compared to the
stripped down punk of the rest of the album. Worth it for the song Maps
7. Mum - Summer make good
More luscious electronica from Iceland. Recorded in a lighthouse on a
glaciar somewhere, this album really only made sense after seeing them play
live. Lovely stuff.
8. Pinback - This is a pinback CD
Ok, this is an old record, 1999 I believe, but its really nice stuff.
Drum machines, soft guitars and melancholy vocal harmonies combined to make
a great little lofi album that doesnt get irratating,,,,are you listening
9. BOXES - Big Ships in the Night, Small Boats in the Morning
Great hardcore punk rock from another Dublin group. Theres a strong
Shellac influence but they also throw in great catchy vocal hooks that get
stuck in your head!
10.Wilco - A ghost is born
More Jim O'Rourke produced stuff, this man can do no wrong.
As ever, best intentions give way to mad last minute rush. Highlight of the year? That's simple - Tom Waits in London. Others? Ireland game in Paris was amazing - nightmare of a trip over (15 hours!) but very memorable weekend. Spent 2 weeks in the south of France and would move back to live there in the morning. Been busier that I've ever been in my life - didn't write one line of code and can't decide if that's good or bad. Really enjoyed the top 10 CDs, although found it difficult to limit mine to stuff I'd exclusively been listening to in 2003 (some of it just didn't fit!). I'll be well up for it this year, again it will be based on 2004 with one or two filler tracks to help the flow.
Have a great Christmas, Garbhán
Blocker's Top 10 Albums 2004
- Mark Lanegan Band - Bubblegum
- Tom Waits - Real Gone
- Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
- PJ Harvey - Uh Huh Her
- Hotel Costes - Vol. 6
- Interpol - Antics
- Modest Mouse - Good News for People who Love Bad News
- Adem - Homesongs
- Jonathon Richman - Not so much to be loved, but to love
- Air - Talkie Walkie
- Richmond Fountain – Post to Wire
- Troublemakers – Express Way
- Handsome boy modelling school – White People
- Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense (with 7 extra tracks from the movie)
- Wilco - A Ghost is Born
- Top 10 CDs - Some great, some not my cup of tea - but every one contained a number of gems!
Gigs and live events
- Tom Waits – London Hammersmith 23rd November - Blessed to get tickets for this. Loftiest expectations were surpassed with ease – genius
- France vs Rep. Of Ireland – Stade de France, Paris 9th Oct - 35,000 Irish fans witnessed this 0-0 home victory. If only John O’Shea’s shot was the other side of the post………
- Planxty – Vicar St – Thursday 12th Feb - No drinking, no smoking show – how things have changed from their hayday - tunes and atmosphere as electric as ever though
- World Golf Championship – Mount Juliet – 31st October - Arrived on wet and cold morning and went down the seventh fairway to meet Tiger and his entourage coming against me. Ernie is solid in the finish
- PJ Harvey – Olympia – 1st September - Quirky dancing, arkward movements – but cool as f**k
- The Coral – Olympia – 21st Feb - Definitely the new band of last year (2003).
- All Ireland Football – Croke Park 26th Sept - Amazing exhibition of football, no way Kerry were going to be beaten – answered their critics in style
- Pernice Brothers – Whelans – Thursday 4th March - Always a good show – ‘Bum Leg’ and ‘Cigarette Sandwich’ were the highlights
- Franz Ferdinand – Olympia – 13th Oct - Great album – some killer tunes – lacked a little bit of energy maybe
- The Beta Band – Ambassador – 3rd Dec - Farewell tour for a favourite band
- Ivans XTC
- American Splendour
- The Station Agent
- 21 Grams
- Lost in Translation
- Barbarian Invasions
- wilco - a ghost is born
- john cale - 5 tracks
- andrew bird - weather systems
- explosions in the sky - the earth is not a cold dead place
- soledad - del diablo
- hotel pelirocco soundtrack ('family tree' by sharon brown is a motherfucker but the whole album is good)
- rl burnside - a bothered mind
- the bees - free the bees
- blonde redhead - misery is a butterfly
- madvillain - madvillainy
- also the kings of leon album, and the mercury rev album in january
- best film: winged migration
- best live: evgeny kissin at national concert hall may 5, unbelievable. other good gigs were go-betweens (as ususal), violent femmes (surprisingly), dr john.
- best books: ned rorem - paris & new york diaries; wg sebald rings of saturn; bob dylan chronicles
Tunes of the year
Live songs of the year
Sporting memories of the year
Climbs of the year
Random memories of the year
Product of the year
- The Streets - A grand don't come for free
- The Album Leaf - In a safe place
- Orbital - Blue album
- P J Harvey - Uh Huh Her
- Beastie Boys - To the 5 boroughs
- Death in Vegas - Satan's circus
- Death in Vegas - Live at Brixton
- Morrissey - You are the quarry
- DJ Spooky - Celestial Mechanix (Title of the year : Spooky gets the keys to New York Jazz label Thirsty Ear's back catalogue)
- Radioactive Man - Radioactive Man
- Calexico - Feast of Wire
Freebie CD of the year
- Burn the maps - The frames
- Cane 141 - Flutter for Cuts EP
- Tom Waits - Beautiful Malidies
- Eminem - Encore
- Massive Attack - Danny the dog OST
- Mix Master Mike - Bangzilla
- Waiting Room - Catering For Headphones
- The Coral - Nightfreak And The Sons Of Becker
- U2 - How to dismantle an atomic bomb
- Ride : Smile / Carnival of light, these old tapes gots lots of replays in the car
Tunes of the year
- Small hours compilation by Donal Dinnen which came with Foggy Notions magazine #4
- One perfect Sunrise - Orbital
- Zero Gravity year '81 - Cane 141
- Thule - The album leaf
Live songs of the year
- The Pixies - Brixton, 5 June. Did this really happen? Nobody changes chords and tempo like the pixies. La la love was the only song from doolittle they didn't play. No one sat upstairs for the entire show, it was heaving dowsstairs, pinch yourself time, myself, Mike and Trevor were reliving summer of '88 in Jersey.
- Orbital, The Other Stage, Glastonbury, Sun 27 June
- Tindersticks, Acoustic Stage, Pilton Farm, Glastonbury, Fri 25 June
- Morrissey, Pyramid stage, Glastonbury, Sun 27 June
- P J Harvey - The royal court, Sat 11 Dec
- P J Harvey, Pyramid stage, Glasonbury Fri 25 June
- Nick Cave, Mercury Rev, Brixton Academy Thu 11 Nov
- P J Harvey, Apollo, Hammersmith Wed 15 Sep
- The Rapture, London Astoria, Tue 11 May 2204
- Cane 141 - The Social, Little Portland Street, London , Wed 16 June. One of only 2 gigs they played this year. The did 6 songs, showcasing their Flutter for Cuts EP.
- One perfect sunrise - Orbital : An instant classic from their Blue album which came out shortly before one of their last ever gigs at Glastonbury
- The best life moment of the year was that excruciatingly beautiful chord in "Dead" - Pixies
- Gigantic - Pixies : Got up to where Kim was spitting on me for this one
- There Is A Light That Never Goes Out - Morrissey
- Taut - P J Harvey
- Travelling Light - Tindersticks
- U can do - The Hitchers, Dollan's Warehouse, 26 Dec. The best band ever to come out of Limerick now play one show a year at Christmas. They had a guest bongo player on for this and zoned a beautiful jam.
- Orbital's last ever performance from Maida Vale, 28 July
- Bjork from Maida Vale, 12 Oct
- Keep It Peel from Maida Vale, 16 Dec
Todayfm moved Dineen to midnight to 2 and I've hardly heard it since. It would be so great if they streamed his show for repeat listening (like the bbc radio player), write to today fm controller Wille O'Reilly to put in a request!
- BreezeBlock with Mary Ann Hobbs
- Gilles Peterson
- John Peel
Big screen films
There was some superb cinema this year, there was a bunch I could not separate.
- Lord of the Rings - Return of the King. Peter Jackson pulled it off, an amazing feat.
- Lost in Translation. A perfect gem.
- Kill Bill 2. Completely different to the first one.
- Elephant. Unforgettable study of random mindlessness.
- Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind. Another classic Charlie Kaufman script.
- Before Sunset. Better than the first Before Sunrise. The last scene is a perfect naturally acted scene, one of the best endings ever.
- Garden State. Written, directed and starring Zach Braff.
- Touching the Void. Brave decision to interview Joe Simpson and Simon Yates in the present day. As good as the book.
- Napolean Dyamite. Comedy of the year.Innocence. Directed by Lucile Hadzihalilovic. Fascinating study of the loss of innocence.
Disappointment of the year
- 50 first dates
- Bad Santa
- 21 Grams
- The Cooler
- Layer Cake
- Shrek 2
- Finding neverland
Worst film of the year
- The LadyKillers (saw at Glastonbury)
- Bridget Jones : The edge of reason. The cringe factor is cranked very high.
Small screen films
- American Splendour
- Goodbye Lenin
- Mystic river
- The Virgin Sucides
- Master & Commander
- American Pie - The wedding
- Festen, Lyric Theatre, 25 October
- Shining City, Gate Theater, 11 October. Written & directed by Conor McPherson. Mesmorising perfeomance from Stanley Townsend as John.
- The Bog of Cats, Wyndham Theater, 22 November. Starring Holly Hunter, she is an amazing actor.
- Dance Hall Days, River Side Studios, Hammersmith, 12 August
- Harold Pinter's A slight Ache, 606 club, Chelsea, London 9 November
- Jimmy White V Stephen Hendry 6-4, 4 February
- Arsenal v Charlton 2-0, Premiership at Highbury, 28 February. Some incredible triangle passing in front of us with Berkhamp, Pires and Henri making it look ridiculously easy.
- Jimmy White v Peter Ebdon, The Masters 2nd round 4-6 (got ticket of Jimmy's manager whne I was looking for one outside), 6 February
- United v Charlton 2-0, Premiership at Old Trafford, 20 April. Got to see Gary Neville score! Last time at Old Trafford I saw Phil get one.
- England V Barbarians, 30 May. England B team but great to see O'Driscoll flying on the wing.
Hike of the year
- Schynige Platte to Faulhorn, Bernese Oberland, Switzerland
Climbs of the year
- High Exposure, 5.6, The Trapps, The Gunks, New York State, 10 April
- Rear Wind, HVS 5a, St Govan's East, Pembroke, 3 Sep
- Gelsa, 5.4, Near Trapps, The Gunks, 10 April
- Second of the year was the magestic Blue Sky at Saddle head in Pemroke, a steep unrelenting beauty at VS 4C which Martin lead in one long pitch.
Sporting memories of the year
- England v Portugal, first quater final Euro 2004 (Big screen at Glastonbury)
- England v France, their first group match Euro 2004 (Ringwood, Hampshire after a day's climbing in Swanage)
- Boston Red Socks winning the world series
- Kelly Holmes winning 800m & 1500m to complete the double (later at St Govans Inn, Bosherston, Pembrokeshire)
- Men's 1k time trail. Brilliant stuff with them sussessively beating the olympic record. The 1k record will go under a minute at the next olympics, insane.
- Men's mountain biking (Hannah's farm house in Tenby, Pembrokeshire)
- Sonia O'Sullivan waving to the Irish fans as she finished her 4th Olympics, sheer class.
- El Guerrouj winning the double, 1500m & 5000m first to do it since 1924, so deserved after a fabulous career.
- Women's pole vault with the russians fighting it out and the gold winner breaking the world record after she won.
- Loved the swimming the first week, Van Der Hogenband retaining gold in the 100 free, Thorpe in the 200 free with Phelps going head to head were some highlights.
Random memories of the year
- Champagne at the Vertigo bar atop Tower 42
- Edward Hopper exhibition at the Tate Modern
- Barcelona. I've never seen a place where an architect has made such a mark, and what a completely unprecedented mark gaudia has left, really insane stuff.
- Christmas Ice skating at Marble Arch
- Scones and bees at Ma Weston's in Bosherton, Pembrokeshire
- Murph's Stag Run. The stag team had just completed a classic paintball attack to recover the briedfcase from the plane and take it to the enemy base camp. With all our amo that was left we took shots at Murph as he ran back and forth through the trees!
- Firefox. If you are still browsing the web with Internet Explorer then you are not playing with the whole deck. Once you do tab browsing there is no return. If the occasional page won't open in Firefox because it's written with non standard stuff then you can use the ieview extension.
Product of the year
- I've never been happy with the portable music players I've invested in over the years, even this one a couple of years ago that played mp3/wma cds. I recently looked at the alternatives and went with an ipod chiefly because of the extras - I can get my contacts and todos on there - including the product of the year, the amazing Griffin RoadTrip which has a mini radio transmitter that allows you to play your ipod over the car stereo and even receive any music output (live streams!) from your computer to your tuner.
Tony Corrigan – The Top 10 Things
In no particular order…
Top 10 Albums
White Stripes Monster Love it! Their best to date… Anybody who doesn’t have this is probably
still listening to Dire Straits…
PJ Harvey Uh Huh Her Never fails to surprise... Her rawness and vitality are mesmerizing
Frank Black Francis
Loretta Lynn Van Lear Rose So I bought this for the Jack White moments, but this album nearly
converted me to country music. I’ll hold off on the Dixie Chicks
for next years list!
Brian Eno Music for Films Chill out extraordinaire
The Libertines The Libertines Maybe not the Clash but lots of English sensibility
Franz Ferdinand Franz Ferdinand This is what a pop album is all about. Beautiful guitar and an attitude
to die for… Reminds me of the Undertones before it all got serious…jeez
it even reminds me of Adam Ant!
Marianne Faithful Before The Poison If you want to hear PJ’s songs interpreted by a legend, this is the album
Bjork Medulla Coral Cacophony undulled by repeat listenings.
Magnetic Fields I Just buy it…no buy 69 Love Songs…
Top 10 Films
Monster Harrowing and authentic
Goodbye Lenin Superbly entertaining
The Bourne Supremancy Nothin’ like a good car chase….
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind Anything with Kristin Dunst is good enough for me…
Spiderman-2 Surprisingly, I though this was great!
Frieda The colours
Dogsville Arse numbing length, pretentions, but I loved it
Alfie Hell, the clothes man…
21 Grams Film of the year …no question
Kill Bill Vol 2. It’s got swords…
Top Overated things
Scissor Sisters Monster Derivative tosh…..why do I always think of the Bee Gees when
this comes on the radio
Michael Moore Farenheit 9/11 A wonderfully unbalanced look at the world through the lens of Mr. Moore.
A debate is a good thing, but a diatribe?
Top Other Things
White Stripes Marley Park Although this venue was too big for the White Stripes sound, they still
showed inventiveness and attention to detail. (Now the same couldn’t be
said for the New York Dolls supporting, but I think they’re all dead
PJ Harvey Olympia She could sing nursery rhymes and make them sound vile and demented.
Superb gig, nuff said.
Pixies Brixton Crackin’ gig, harking back to the good old days….not quite the good old
days though, but worth every penny. If only I’d gotten one of the live
Picasso Hermitage, A corridor of Picasso….can’t really go wrong
Picasso / Pollock Rome A gallery full of cubist paintings
If I was Dave Mc G, I’d put down a big turtle having a kip!!
Top 10 Gigs
1. THE STROKES @ Mesa Amphitheatre, Mesa
2. NO DOUBT & BLINK 182 @ Cricket Pavillion, Goodyear
3. GOMEZ @ The Venue of Scottsdale
4. BLUR @ Marquee Theatre, Tempe
5. THE SAW DOCTORS @ The Rhythm Room, Phoenix
6. GRANDADDY @ Marquee Theatre, Tempe
7. WARREN MILLER'S "IMPACT" @ ASU Gammage, Tempe
10. BARRY CULHANE sings MADONNA @ The Long Shot, Scottsdale (drunken
karaoke, don't ask)
Top 10 Albums
1. "Oscar's Pick of 2003" OSCAR THE GROUCH (a.k.a. Dave McGuinness)
2. "O" DAMIEN RICE
3. "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb" U2
4. "Encore" EMINEM*
5. "Surf" RODDY FRAME
5. "Get Born" JET
6. "Speakerboxx/Love Down Below" OUTKAST
7. "To The 5 Boroughs" BEASTIE BOYZ
8. "Antics" INTERPOL*
9. "Franz Ferdinand" FRANZ FERDINAND*
++ "Patience" GEORGE MICHAEL (shut up!)
[* = purchased within last 10 days]
Books worth noting
1. "Us Against Them" (the story of the 2002 Ryder Cup)
2. "How I Play Golf" TIGER WOODS
3. "Get Shorty" ELMORE LEONARD
4. "Bandits" ELMORE LEONARD
5. "Awareness" ANTHONY DE MELLO
6. "Stakeknife" MARTIN INGRAM
Top 10 moments of hilarity
1. Getting thrown out of my own 30th Birthday Party at THE LIBRARY in Tempe
for trying to get up on the bar and dance with the clantily-scad
"schoolgirls". And I only had one knee on the bar stool... The bouncers
were not sympathetic to my cause.
2. Waking up in my car at 730am on a Saturday morning after a 4-Bar Pub
Crawl in Old Town Scottsdale
3. Slowly realizing I had large gashes on my palms and grazes on my left
knee and elbow
4. Noticing I had dust all over my jeans and shirt, and more grazes on my
5. Finding out my battery was flat because I turned on the CD player when I
reclined to fall asleep
6. Only being able to remember 2 of the 4 bars (thanks to about 10+ shots of
Jameson and Tullamore Dew)
7. Finding out (from everyone) that I sang MADONNA karaoke at the 3rd bar
8. Being hailed as an International Sensation for my previous night's
musical and comedic performances
9. Trying to row a milk-carton boat in a charity race 3hrs after waking
having drank only a non-fat latte
10. Trying to play golf another 2 hours later with both palms bandaged up
"Life's a box of chocolates. I'm not sure if I'm a Strawberry Blonde, an
Orange Cream, or a Guinness Truffle."
1. Iron and Wine - Our Endless
Sam Beam managed to give up his day job due to the success of this
album of quiet, almost-whispered, songs.
That, and he helped to reclaim a slice of credibliity for the banjo. A
good year for Sam!
2. Sufjan Stevens - Michigan
The acceptable face of Christianity ;-)? Beautiful songs with more
than you could shake a
at.And as I discovered this morning, very soothing on those hungover
bus journeys to work!
3. American Music Club - Love Songs For
It's always a relief when a band reforms and releases something that
sits well with their back catalogue.
The Go-Betweens did it last year and AMC have done it this year in
spectacular style. I love this band to bits.
4. Interpol - Antics
A better 1980's sound than most genuine 80's bands could manage.
5. Richmond Fontaine - Post To Wire
You can't beat a bit of twang mixed with a generous slab of melancholy.
Great live band too.
6. Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
I didn't want to believe the hype at first, but I relented eventually.
7. Lambchop - Aw C'mon/No You C'mon
Music doesn't get more mellow than this. Some beautiful instrumentation
8. Morrissey - You Are The Quarry
An unexpected and most welcome return to form.
9. The Earlies - These Were The
Trippy sounds from Manchester and Texas.
10. Trash Can Sinatras - Weightlifting
These guys really struggled over several years to get this album out.
It was well worth the effort, and the wait.
1. Gillian Welch @ Vicar St
2. The Twilight Singers @ Whelans
3. The Go Betweens @ Vicar St
4. American Music Club @ The Village
5. Franz Ferdinand @ The Olympia
6. Sufjan Stevens @ The Douglas Hyde
7. Iron And Wine @ Whelans
8. Richmond Fontaine @ Whelans
9. Calexico @ Vicar St
10. James Yorkston And The Athletes @
Dave Farrell's List
In no particular order
- Kill Bill Vol2 - Best girl fight ever, truth serum, and the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique, what more could you ask from a movie.
- Touching the Void - For all the mountainy men out there.
- Motorcycle Diaries - Would make you want to buy a bike, become a revolutionay and help lepers, all in one movie.
- The Station Agent - Nothing happens but its still brilliant. At the risk of not sounding politically correct, also has the coolest short guy in any movie.
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - Great concept and Jim Carrey manages not to be too annoying
- Shrek 2 - Go on, you thought it was great too!
- 21 Grams - Not exactly fun, but a stunning movie overall.
- Lost in Translation - Can't remember if this was late last year or early this, so may not count, but having done the hotel thing in various places, could relate what was going on. Except, in my case, I'm not famous, there were no Scarlett Johansson lookalikes, and the hotels were generally crappy!
- The Algebraist - Iain M. Banks - Strictly for Sci-Fi fans, but great stuff from one of the best about.
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time - Mark Haddon - Great story told from the point of view of a child with a type of autism, very unusual.
- Ghost Written and Number9Dream - David Mitchell - Not even going to try to describe these, 2 of the best reads all year, if you're not too fussy about reality, highly recommended.
- Straw Dogs - John Gray - Everything you thought you knew is wrong, but its OK because everything everyone else thought they knew is wrong as well. Disturbing and thought provoking.
- How Mumbo Jumbo Conquered the World - Francis Wheen - If you're a fan of the politics of George Bush or Margaret Thatcher, this would not be recommended reading.
Having looked at the lists from the previous year, I think I need to get out more, see some bands and buy some music. Been fairly quiet generally, 3 good ones from this neck of the woods that I picked up were
- Snow Patrol - Final Straw
- Rodrigo Y Gabriela - Re-Foc
- Tycho Brahe - This is the Tycho Brahe - an oldie but I only discovered them this year
See above note! Best of what I did manage to get to were as follows
- PJ Harvey - Olympia Theatre - Great live, amazing set and a pair of green highheels that would make you consider cross dressing!
- Badly Drawn Boy - The Village - Wedged to the ceiling, sweaty as hell, nevertheless a great gig.
- Manic Street Preachers - Olympia - Not a huge fan, but the gig was top.
- Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Phoenix Park - Big and Loud.
1 American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush
By: Kevin Phillips
2 The End of the Line: How Overfishing is changing the World and What we Eat
By: Charles Clover
3 Attention All Shipping - A Journey Around the Shipping Forecast
By: Charlie Connolly
4 An Unfinished Life - John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963
By: Robert Dallek
5 Intelligence Matters
By: Senator Bob Graham
1 The Power of Nightmares (Special mention goes to a BBC2 documentary series screened in October. This was just about the best piece of TV I have seen in years. It was a three part series about how governments utilise fear as a means of controlling their citizens and charted the parallels between the Islamic Fundmentalists and the Neo-conservatives in the US. This may all sound strange, but catch the repeats when they come around.)
2 Himilaya - Micheal Palin (BBC 1 series screened in October/November)
3 England 13 - Ireland 19, March 2004
4 Any edition of the 9 O'Clock news with Sharon Ni Bheolain (during the Summer when Anne Doyle was on her holliers)
5 Arsenal 4 - Liverpool 2 - Good Friday (for the Gooners) April 2004.
1. The Streets - A grand don't come for free
2. Morrissey - You are the Quarry
3. Snow Patrol - Final Straw
4. Delgados - Universal Audio
5. Killers - Hot Fuss
6. Damien Rice - O
7. Blue Nile - High
8. REM - Around The Sun
9. Keane - Hopes and Fears
10. Blue Nile - A Walk Across the Rooftops
1. Keane - Somewhere only we know
2. Morrissey - Let me kiss you
3. The Streets - Fit but you know it
4. REM - Leaving New York
5. The Streets - Dry your Eyes
Top 5 flicks you can watch more than 100 times with your four year old and
1. Toy Story
2. The Invincibles (*)
3. Finding Nemo
4. Elmo Saves Christmas
(*) Haven't been able to subject this to the 100 viewings litmus test yet so
I'm sure it will be top of the pops next year.
Top 5 Turkeys from the same perspective
1. Shark Tale
2. Shrek 2 (my young fella was bored in the first hour and (worryingly)
scared by the second half of it when we saw it on DVD)
3. The Piglet Movie
4. The Tigger Movie
5. Anything else vaguely related to the Winnie the Pooh franchise
1. France Vs Ireland, Stade de France (To get the better of a 0-0 in Paris,
real progress has been made)
2. Munster Vs. Wasps, Lansdowne (The intensity of the match surpassed
anything I've seen on a rugby field)
3. England Vs. Ireland Twickenham (Devalued only slightly by the disarray
that England were in last Spring)
4. Celestial Gold winning the Hennessy at Newbury. (Timmy Murphy gave what I
consider to be the finest display of horsemanship I have ever seen. Over a
mile out I was saying to myself that I haven't half enough on this)
5. Colaiste Stiofain Naofa Vs. UL, Cork (To take on the Cork City Academy
side in their own back yard and to only be beaten by a truly outstanding Ray
Lally free kick bodes well for our intervarsity aspirations)
Booked - Tom Humphries anthology of his IT articles is good stuff
I re-read Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy and it just gets
Bushworld - Maureen Dowd, this anthology provides a really perceptive
analysis of what's happening in the States right now.
Inside The Looking Glass
Lucas Hilbert's Top Media Picks of 2004:
At the end of the year I find that once again I've done a poor job of keeping up with new music releases.
It seems that the most exposure I had to anything music related came either in the form of random titles and
barcode numbers flashing across my Amazon screen too quickly to take note, or while listening to Seattle's
supremely good indie station KEXP, with too many good titles and band names to remember.
And so, once again, most of my choices are at least 1-2 years behind the curve of new releases and such.
Top 10 Albums:
- The Veils - Runaway Found
- Beth Orton - Daybreaker
- The Stills - Logic Will Break Your Heart
- Postal Service - Give Up
- Delerium - Karma
- Iron and Wine - The Creek Drank the Cradle
- Low - Things We Lost in the Fire
- Afghan Whigs - 1965
- Curve - Doppelganger
- Tim Booth/Angelo Badalementi - Booth and the Bad Angel
Top 5 Soundtracks in my collection (couldn't come up with 10)
- Garden State (Cold Play, Remy Zero, Nick Drake, Iron and Wine)
- Donnie Darko (Tears for Fears, The Church, Echo, Joy Division)
- Million Dollar Hotel (U2, Eno, Lanois, Frisell)
- Until the End of the World (Talking Heads, Nick Cave, REM, Can)
- High Art (Shudder to Think)
Top 10 Films of 2004:
I think I did a little better with films this year and actually caught all new releases,
as opposed to my music picks.
- Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind
- I Heart Huckabees
- Fahrenheit 9/11
- Garden State
- The Missing
- The Manchurian Candidate
- Mystic River
- Before Sunset
- Brakhage - Anthology
Best Film Festival:
Irish Reels Film Festival -- Seattle: March 4-14, 2004
(okay, so it's the only film fest I went to this year, but it was really good and there was free Guiness at opening night !!)
Featuring these faves:
- The Ghost of Roger Casement
- Yu Ming is Anim Dom (10 minute short)
Best Irish Film that was not included in the Festival and should have been:
From a Whisper to a Scream - The Hit Songs & Artists of Irish Music
Best and Worst of TV in 2004:
Best Reality TV Show:
- America's Next Top Model
- Re-runs of That 70's Show
Best News Show:
- McNeil-Lehrer News Hour
Worst Sporting Event Moments:
- Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers bench-clearing brawl with fans
+ 1st runner up: Janet Jackson's Superbowl half-time topless flash (or was that the best tv of 2004?)
+ 2nd runner up: Seattle Sonics losing twice this year to Gary Peyton and the Boston Celtics
Best TV show on Video:
- Twin Peaks -- I finally watched all 2 seasons: Episodes 1-29 !!
Kings of Leon - Aha Shake Heartbreak
Planxty - Live 2004
Interpol - Antics
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Abbatoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus
The Killers - Hot Fuss
Tom Waits - Alice
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Ease on Down the Road
Esbjorn Svensson Trio - Seven Days of Falling
Nico - Chelsea Girls
Snow Patrol - Final Straw
The Bucket - Kings of Leon
Evil - Interpol
Mr. Brightside - The Killers
I've only been to two gigs all year (Violent Femmes in Tramore and the
Pixies in pheonix park), so no point in making a list :-)
Livesey’s Toptastic Tunes/Films/Events 2004
Another vintage year all-round I’d say, to the point that its going to be at least this time next year before I take it all in (?). Not sure if there are more and more good albums coming out these days, or it’s a fact that I’m just acquiring more. Broadband is both a blessing and a curse!
As an aside from all things top 10 etc. 2004 has been yet another blinder in personal experiences. Due to what can only be described as a sudden onset of mental illness, I have been bestowed the honour of joint best man by Mr Derek Murphy for his marriage to Miss Jo Ann Saxby in Jan 2005. Not sure that any of the bridesmaids were overjoyed at this choice of best man, however I’m sure I’ll scrub up well on the day, and should any girls reading this get lucky (?) and pull me, I’ve not had it in awhile, so rest assured I’ll be putting in 110%, should you make it back to the luxury, jacuzzi bathed, well stocked bar, four poster bedded, cottage, that I’ll be residing in for the weekend!
2004 also saw me take (sneak/blag) my rightful place on the Pyramid stage with non other than Mr James Brown, for his Sunday afternoon set at Glastonbury. Although not quite in the same central stage position as the soul man himself, I could be clearly seen throwing a few shapes of my own during his set. This did not however, stop me from helping myself to a feta cheese sandwich in his private port-a-cabin to the rear of the stage after the gig, and introducing myself with that killer line “Hi I’m Livesey”. Never in the history of music, since Lennon & McCartney or Simon & Garfunkle, has there been a coming together of such musical big hitters/love machines. I’m sure he felt equally honoured as we shook hands and I’m left feeling that this meeting will no doubt be remembered in his own top 10’s list of 2004.
And so, in no particular order, stuff I’ve been head nodding to in 2004……
Song of the Year
- Kasabian – Kasabian: A must have of 2004. Saw them in concert before the album came out. Loud psychedelic guitar, and a Richard Ashcroft/ Rick Witter front man. Brilliant
- The Killers – Hot Fuss: Missed them at Glasto, but a regular on the stereo for the rest of the year. “Mr Brightside” being a defo tune of the year
- Keane – Hopes & Fears: A tad on the “soft lad” front for some, but beautifully crafted songs throughout. And a three piece to boot!
- Muse – Absolution: Never been a big fan, however after catching the Glasto closing set on the Sunday night, probably my most played album of 2004. Matt Bellamy’s vocal/piano/guitar ability is criminally underrated.
- Zutons – Who Killed The Zutons: Jingly jangly pop from the nations most hard done by coterie, Scousers! Best thing to come out of Liverpool this year after Rooney.
- Josh Rouse – 1972: An addition from last year, however still as fresh and widely played. Check out his live DVD, The Smooth Sounds Of….
- A Girl Called Eddy – A Girl Called Eddy: Band fronted by the gorgeous Erin Moran, comprising ex-members of Pulp. The years ideal Sunday morning album, soft jazzy love songs, ahhhhhh………..
- Jane’s Addiction – Strays: An addition from last year. Perry Farrell’s unmistakable vocals with Dave Navarro’s guitar wizardry make for an amazing return to form. Track “Riches” is in a league with “Been Caught Stealing”!
- Razorlight – Up All Night: An ego-manic in the form of frontman Johnny Borell that could nearly out do Liam Gallagher. I met him at Glasto, as my mate is his sound tech and amongst other things, found that he smokes Marlboro Menthol???? Very rock&roll. Not….. Never the less, some fantastic songs on this debut album
- Damien Rice – O: For those that know me, I’m sorry to harp on, but this bloke is simply the most talented musician of our decade. Responsible for the greatest live performance
I’ve ever seen “in my life” (said with comedy Italian accent), I play this album more than I did last year but probably not as much as I will next year. Or the year after.
A tough one, as its ever changing throughout the year, but current fave, “Sad & Lonely” by “The Secret Machines”, is quite simply a swaggering rock behemoth of a record.
And at the risk of reducing my entire musical credibility to tatters, I’ve been know to hum along to “Love Machine” by “Girls Aloud” ( I am so going to regret that last sentence, however as part of my defence, Uncut magazine gave their album 4*, so I’m not alone!)
Ps). Not that said mentioned song is anywhere near my top tunes of the year.
Pps). Can I backtrack anymore????????????
Though “Orange Wednesday” (special 2 for 1 admission in UK) has got me to the flicks on a number of occasions this year, I feel I missed some of the years best on the big screen. Hurrah then, for blank dvd’s coming down in price to about 20p each, and on-line dvd rental services! 2005 will no doubt be spent catching up on some of the years classics on a smaller screen.
Of those I did see, the following were noted as being particularly good!
- Troy – Murph particularly liked Brad in this one, leading him to exclaim how he probably had the perfect male physic. Jo, be warned, its not too late to back out
- Collateral – Tom Cruise’s dodgy grey hair aside, another classic from Michael “Miami Vice/Heat” Mann
- Fahrenheit 911 - Because anything that shows Bush to be the twat he is, is a good thing. Is there any hope for an America after the election farce?
- H/Potter & Askaban – Not as good as the book??? Fuck off, amazing big screen adaptation, complete with a pipe smoking Ian Brown.
- SpiderManII – 50% vote for having Kirsten Dunst in, 50% for making ugly blokes like me believe they too can pull beautiful women.
- The Village – Though I guessed the twist before the end, Shymalamalaml bloke yet again made the hair on my neck stand on end with fear.
- Shrek II – Underlined that bald ugly ogre’s with big ears can live in harmony forever with a beautiful princess. Art imitating life where Murph is concerned (no offence intended to the beautiful, slim, gorgeous Jo Ann Saxby). (Just to Murph)
- Big Fish –Wonderful fairy-tale, involving a deformed giant, conjoined Thai twins and Ewan Macgregor (there must be a porn sequel in there somewhere?) Being known to tell a tall tale myself, made me wonder if a film will ever be made of my own exploits. Probably.
- Van Helsing – Hugh Jackman was on top form in this fantasy. Could easily be the next James Bond, apart from the little matter of him being Australian. Also had Kate Beckinsale in black leggings and thigh high boots. Enough said…..
- Super Size Me – Having bypassed all fast food outlets for 22months, I thoroughly approved of anything that exhibited just how bad Mac D’s is for you. However, have had to have a rethink as to why I’m still a fat bastard. Must be all the extra fags and hair of the dog I need on a Sunday, now I don’t have a Big Mac and large fries to help me get over any Sat night excess?
Special movie mention, though not in the good sense, goes to Mr Tarantino himself. For anyone with a snake phobia on a scale with my own (probably not possible by any other sane human being) his utilization of a black mamba in Kill Bill II was thee most terrifying thing ever committed to film. I’m sure he would, being at least partially responsible, join with me in apologising to the woman in the row in front whom I involuntarily vomited on.
Simple this; 2004 has been the year of “The Sopranos” & “The West Wing”. Probably two of the best-written television shows around, I’ve managed to watch every episode of each. If you are not yet initiated, spend your xmas vouchers getting any of the box sets and you will not be disappointed.
Niall's Top 10 2004
1. Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
I know, it's probably been overplayed by now, but it's still gotta be
best album of the year, witty lyrics great melodies, the likes hasn't
been heard since a lad with a quiff started singing about charming men.
They also gave us one of the great musical moments of the year, in wet
field in Puchestown on dull, damp afternoon at 4 o'clock, 60,000
people pogoing to Take me Out,
2. Morrissey - You are the Quarry
The Mozfather returns with his best album since Vauxhall and I. Packed
with great songs including Let me Kiss You which is also on a
new album by Nancy Sinatra. He played her version on the PA before his
show in Dublin Castle where he also called his album Who ate the Curry,
witty as ever.
3. The Go! Team - Thunder, Lightening, Stop
Think of 1980s hip hop and New York double dutch skipping teams and you
go someway to imagining the Go Team. I have to thank John Kelly and
the Mystery Train for introducing this to me. He played Everyone's a
Someone in between a Planxty tune and Miles Davies. You gotta love him.
You can have a look at their video on The Go! Team website.
4. Sun Kil Moon - Ghosts of the Great Highway
Red House Painters are back under a different name, a bit of a Will
Oldham trick I suppose. A beautiful melodic album with wonderful
stories, gets better with every listen. Mark Kozolek's voice is as
special as ever, that effortless chilled out way he has of singing
transports you to wherever his songs are.
5. Shearwater - A Winged Life
Some bonnie prince billie crossed with Mark Kozolek with a bit of Wilco
thrown in for good measure. Dark, stark songs of failure and
rejection, home made low fi sounds and an unusual vocal. It's great
the US keeps producing these type of alternative country groups.
6. The AM - The AM
The fact that bands like Kings of Leon and the Strokes make it big must
have something to do with marketing and hype, cause these new york guys
are pedalling a similar style of 70s influenced guitar rock, T-Rex,
Bowie, are there, brilliant catchy riffs and a cool look, maybe they'll
do it next year.
7. American Music Club - Love Songs for Patriots
I'm never sure about bands that break up and reform and write new
stuff, I'm not convinced about the Pixies doing it, the Velet
Underground re-union wasn't so great but somehow it works with AMC.
Maybe it's because Mark Eitzel is the creative force behind them and
what AMC do is not much different to what he has been doing. Classic
AMC stuff on the album, brilliant stories about everything from male
strippers to corrupt governments and the incredible shrinking man.
8. Sufjan Stevans - Welcome to Michigan
Strange sad sounds coming from Michigan. Lots going on in this album,
lots of different sounds from acoustic to electronic to bells, even
sounds jazzy at times. Give it a few listens and it will really reward
9. Pj Harvey - uh uh her
Another triumph for PJ that sets her miles ahead of all the cheap
imitators. Album contains a lot of hard guitar songs mixed with some
classic haunting quiet tunes not unlike what was one To Bring you my
Love. There's even one song of the seagulls recorded outside her house,
10. Sons and Daughters - Love the Cup
Raw young alternative country rockabilly influenced band from Scotland.
A short album but packed with excellent songs high tempo drummin, loud
strummin and plenty of screeching.
Talib Qweli- The Beautiful Struggle; worth getting
just for the song I Try, will be a hip-hop classic.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Abbatoir Blues/Lyre of Orpheus; loved
packaging, great idea of the two albums in one. I love that song
Breathless, how does he keep writing them?
The Streets - A Grand don't come for Free; Don't cry was overplayed but
there are lots of other great tunes in his second album.
Mum - Summer Made Good; More quiet and weird sounds from this
Nouvelle Vague - Bossa nova versions of classic alternative rock tunes,
it somehow works
Interpol - Uncompromising guitar tunes with powerful vocal reminiscent
of 80s indie sounds.
Giant Sand - Is All Over the Map; More weirdness from Howe Gelb and co.
1. The Rapture @ The Village, Dublin. first gig back in Ireland this
year, it was incredible. The band got into it right from the off, lead
singer gets into crowd for a song and grooves with us. Crowd were
excellent too. I think they were surprised and pleased that the venues
was so small.
2. The Rapture @ Oxygen, Punchestown. Even in the miserable rain got
the crowd grooving,
3. Calexico @ Vicar St., Dublin. Pity about the tables, would have been
nice to be able to bop, but still a great night, they never disappoint
4. Franz Ferdinand/Sons and Daughters/Firey Furnaces @ Ambassador,
Dublin. Crowd went nuts, great atmosphere.
5. Buck 65 @ Whelans, Dublin. country hip/hop guy from Canada, did a
bit of stand up too.
6. Morrissey @ Dublin Castle, return to form for Moz.
7. Sun Kil Moon @ Village, Dublin. plenty of old Red House painters
tunes played, great banter with the crowd.
8. The AM @ Whelans Dublin, Monday night gig, didn't know much about
them at the time but it didn't matter, they were brill.
9. Sons and Daughter @ Whelans, another Monday night gig
10. PJ Harvey @ MusicTheater The Hague, nice venue, great outfit and
*Albums of the year*
1. Belle and Sebastien: The Boy with the Arab Strap. (I know it's not
this year but I loaned it to a guy in 2001 and only got it back a month
ago. It has been welded to the CD player since, so it must count).
2. The Frames: Burn the Maps. (Contains "Fake", far and away the best
single of 2004. Don't bother ringing my house when this comes on as the
whole family aged from 34 days to 34 years adores it).
3. Harry Chapin. Greatest Stories Live. (Cause there's more to life than
*Read of the Year*
DBC Pierre. Vernon God Little.
*Sporting Moments of the Year*
1. Matthew Pinsent receiving 4th gold medal.
2. Fermanagh's winning point against Armagh.
3. Gerard scoring crucial third goal against Olympiakos.
*Graph of the Year*
Graph over time of betting odds on liverpool qualification for second
stage of champions league.
current top 10 flavour of the month is
Buddy Guy - Live in Basel
The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi
Dire Straits - Alchemy - Especially "Telegraph Road" - awesome
The Frames - Dance The Devil
Nick Drake - Best Of
Bruce Springsteen - The Essential ...but only CD1..which is Pre-"Born in the
USA"....I try, but I just can't like the later stuff
Royksopp - Melody AM
Damien Dempsey - Seize the day
The Very best Of the Stone Roses - (ok...only got it today, bit I know I'm
going to be listening to this solid for the remainder of the year!)
The Butterfly Effect....the only film I can
remember seeing recently that "truly satisfied". I mean, I'll give it 8 out
Other films that I rent of a Friday night usually peak at a "I suppose that
was alright" rating - 5. The mainstream films are just so goddam bland and made for the lowest common
denominator. Its like McDonalds!
Musical highlights of 2004 were of course the Top Ten compilations of 2003 - once again, many thanks to all involved and to Tom for co-ordinating. For me, many of the best album releases were returns to form by old favourites. As usual, hoping the rest of you can fill me in on what I missed.
1. Radiohead - Hail to the Thief. They're back, nuff said.
2. Wilco - A Ghost is Born. The Radiohead of country music.
3. Neil Young - On The Beach. This album is nearly as old as me, but sounding much fresher.
4. Pernice Brothers - Yours, Mine and Ours. Only complaint: too short.
5. Eels - Shootenanny! Another return to form.
6. Hi-Fidelity Dub Sessions Volume III. Fantastic dub compilation, strictly late night listening.
7. Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand. Best debut album since The Strokes.
8. Foo Fighters - One By One. Rocks.
9. Lambchop - C'mon, No You C'mon. This could have been an outstanding single album.
10. Loretta Lynn - Van Lear Rose. With much help from Jack White, but doesn't quite live up to the hype
Aphex Twin - 26 Mixes For Cash
Belle & Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress
Billy Bragg - Essential
Elbow - Cast of Thousands
Future Kings of Spain - Future Kings of Spain
Teenage Fanclub - Howdy!
The Go-Betweens - Bright Yellow, Bright Orange
2. Before Sunset
3. Lost in Translation
4. The Barbarian Invasions
5. The Station Agent
6. The Fog of War
7. Mystic River
8. Touching the Void
9. Warren Miller's Impact
10. Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Kill Bill 2
Shaud of the Dead
Hellboy deserves a mention for being unimaginably and indescribably bad
Fahreinheit 9/11 a disappointment
Rugby - Ireland winning at Twickenham, beating South Africa, and of course winning the Triple Crown
Soccer - Euro 2004, great tournament but England vs. Portugal had more drama than a whole season of Coronation Street
Olympics - seems like ages ago already, but some of my highlights are...
El Guerrouj's and Kelly Holmes' double golds
Tall Blacks beating world champs Serbia by a point in the basketball
Women's handball final between Denmark and South Korea was incredible
In the pool... Thorpe, Van den Hoogenband and Phelps
Women's pole vault final, ugly, grumpy Russian loses to cute, smiley Russian in a thriller - if looks could kill
Cian O'Connor - from hero to zero. Ireland continues to be an Olympio laughing stock - we can't even cheat well
New Zealand - camper-vanning and snowboarding on the South Island, an awesome end to 5 years in NZ
Costa Rica - turtles and sloths in Tortuguero, lava flows at Arenal volcano and gamefishing in the Pacific off Drake Bay
Venezuela - Angel Falls, hiking the incredible table mountain Mt. Roraima, biking and hiking in the Andes
Arizona - mountain-biking South Mountain, and hanging out with Blackie
Road-trip Achievements of the Year - using Spanish in anger, not losing any of our belongings, and pissing you all off with my email travelogues
Best Live Performances
Billy Connolly - still very funny and very angry at 60 (Queen's Wharf, Wellington)
12 Angry Men - all the way from the Edinburgh Festival to Wellington, the best play I've seen in many years (Opera House, Wellington)
Toots and the Maytels/Burning Spear - living legends of reggae, what a double header (Starlight Ballroom, Wellington)
Jay Farrar - ex-Uncle Tupelo frontman in intimate setting, brilliant (Bar Bodega, Wellington)
Gomez - lifted the roof, powerful stuff (Starlight Ballroom, Wellington)
Salmonella Dub - one of NZ's most popular bands (Queenstown)
Minuit - live NZ electronica at its best in Wellington's newest and hippest club (Sandwiches, Wellington)
American Scream - Cynthia True. Fascinating biography of comedian Bill Hicks.
Stories of Eva Luna - Isabel Allende. Magical short stories.
Fear and Loathing in America - Hunter S. Thompson. Memoirs, letters, political rantings and never a dull moment.
Songs of the Doomed - Hunter S. Thompson. Collection of his early work.
A Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson. Everyone should read this.
Senor Vivo and the Coco Lord - Louise de Bernieres. Fable of an ordinary man versus Columbian drug baron.
The Third Policeman - Flann O'Brien. Incredibly original and imaginative.
Billie's Kiss - Elizabeth Knox. My favourite NZ author.
The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver. Baptist missionary and his family in 1950's Congo.
The Brendan Voyage - Tim Severin. Retracing St. Brendan's journey to the new world.
Until the same time next year, over and out...
John M's Top 10
Top 10 Plays
The National Theatre has been absolutely thriving under Nicholas Hytner's
artistic direction. Three of my top four plays were on there. The top two are
still running, I can't recommend strongly enough that you try to catch them. For
every show the National release 30 tickets on the day of the performance (which need to
be picked up in person), so even if a show is sold out, you can still catch it.
- The History Boys, dir. Nicholas Hytner. National Theatre.
- His Dark Materials Part 1, dir. Nicholas Hytner. National Theatre.
- Hurricane, dir. Rachel O'Riordan. Arts Theatre.
- Play Without Words, dir. Matthew Bourne. National Theatre.
- Guantánamo: Honour Bound to Defend Freedom, dir. Nicolas Kent, Sacha Wares. Tricycle Theatre.
- Edge, dir. Paul Alexander. New End Theatre.
- Amadeus, dir. Michael Cavin. Samuel Beckett Theatre, Dublin.
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, dir. Paul Kerryson. Leicester Haymarket.
- The Glory of Living, dir. Che Walker. Battersea Arts Centre.
- Cruel and Tender, dir. Luc Bondy. Young Vic.
Top 10 Films
- Gone With the Wind, dir. Victor Fleming. 222 minutes of sheer bliss at the NFT.
- Kill Bill Part 2, dir. Quentin Tarantino.
- Farenheit 9/11, dir. Michael Moore.
- Happiness, dir. Tod Solenz.
- Supersize Me, dir. Morgan Spurlock.
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, dir. Michel Gondry. So Kate Winslet and Jim Carey can act after all.
- Knife in the Water, dir. Roman Polanski.
- The Fog of War, dir. Errol Morris.
- Bigger Than Life, dir. Nicholas Ray.
- Tokyo Story, dir. Yasujiro Ozu.
Top 10 Books
- Cien anos de soledad, Gabriel García Márquez.
- Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
- If This is a Man, Primo Levi.
- The Truce, Primo Levi.
- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee.
- Metamorphosis and Other Stories, Franz Kafka.
- Confieso que he vivido, Pablo Neruda.
- Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, Al Franken.
- The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Greg Palast.
- Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser.
Top 10 Albums
I'm not that good on new stuff - these are my favourite 10 purchases/acquisitions of the year.
- His Band and the Street Choir. Van Morrison.
- The Iron Behind the Velvet. Christy Moore.
- Life's too Good. The Sugarcubes. What ever happened to their crazy lead singer?
- Slanted and Enchanted. Pavement. Long live the summer of '93!
- Abbatoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
- Dear Catastrophe Waitress. Belle and Sebastian.
- Lost in Translation, the Soundtrack. Kevin Shields. Anything involving new music from Kevin Shields requires serious veneration.
- Never, Never Land. Unkle.
- The Will to Live. Ben Harper.
- Essential, the Very Best of. Terry Callier.
Top 10 Outdoor Adventures.
- Canoeing on the River Wye, June.
- Climbing in Swanage, June/September.
- Hiking in the Brecon Beacons, October.
- Swimming in Caherdaniel, New Year's Day.
- Hiking in the Lake District, March. Very wet and windy.
Top ten 2004
1.Burn the maps (frames)
2.Music in Mouth (Bell X1)…snook in from 2003
4.Living (Paddy Casey)
5.From basement on the hill..Elliott Smith
6.Uh Huh Her (PJ)
Nothing else worthy of mention
The all time top ten: (possible category??)
1. OK Computer Radiohead
2. The Joshua Tree U2
3. The Bends Radiohead
4. 10 track demo and radio sessions Veneer
5. For the Birds The Frames
6. I am The Greatest A House
7. This is the Sea Waterboys
8. Blonde on Blonde Bob Dylan
9. The Stone Roses The Stone Roses
10 Little Dark Mansion The Harvest Ministers .
Top Ten Dislikes of 2004
1.All new material from U2 and anything that came out of Bono’s mouth
Top Ten Musical moments of 2004.
1.Thom Yorke’s bashing on the piano at the end of the new band aid song
2.The Frames live on TV, Halloween.
3.The Frames live in King Johns Castle, Limerick.
4.Tom Waits, Seattle
5.Veneer live in the Sugar Club, Dublin (It was a cracker!)
Murph’s Best Of 2004 List
Well, I reckon it’s been a great year for music. Guitar led music seems to be going from strength to strength. There were a few disappointments this year, namely The Beastie Boys new album, which failed to hit the spot for me. As usual I wish I’d written shit down as the year progressed because I know that there’s brilliant books, films and albums that are eluding my memory as I sit down to write this… but hey, here goes!
Lee Server ‘Mitchum – Baby I Don’t Care’
Marianne Faithful ‘Faithful’
Mark Bowden ‘Killing Pablo’
Charles R Cross ‘Heavier Than Heaven’
L Frank Baum ‘The Land Of Oz’
Hanif Kureishi ‘The Budha Of Suburbia’
Carl Hiassen ‘Lucky You’
Jonathan Franzen ‘The Corrections’
- Green Day ‘American Idiot’
- My album of the year! A remarkable return to form or coming of age album. If you’ve only heard the singles off this, then do yourself a favour and get hold of a copy of the album
- Rancid ‘Indestructible’
- Rancid are pretty much amongst my favourite artists at the moment. This is a great album of melodic punk with all the hooks and that packs a punch in all the right places. The Transplants album, which is a side project of guitarist/singer Tim Armstrong, the roadie Skinhead Rob, and also the drummer out of Blink 182) was my album of the year last year and still got some heavy rotation on the Murph sound system all through 2004 too! Also see the Lars Frederiksen album below, which is a solo release from the other guitarist/vocalist out of Rancid.
- DJ Format ‘Music For The Mature B-Boy’
Good Funky Hip Hop this. It was last years album really but I only got hold of it this year and loved it. Good guest slots from Chali 2Na & Akil from Jurassic 5, Ludacris, and also a Bristol outfit called Aspects, who I saw live this year supporting The Bees and who were great.
- Kasabian ‘Kasabian’
Brilliant album. Kind of like a heavier cross between The Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses, but in a good way. Contains two of the best singles of the year in ‘Processed Beats’ and ‘Cutt Off’.
- Andy Smith ‘The Document 2’
The Beats man out of Portishead’s second compilation of good funky eclectic tunes, although there’s one bit on the album where he gets a bit mad scratching, which is frankly shit… but apart from that a brilliant album.
- Dangermouse ‘ The Grey Album’
I’ve got nothing but respest for this album which is a cross pollination of The Beatles ‘White Album’ and Jay Z’s ‘Black Album’. Every sound, beat and vocal on it is sampled from these two albums. It’s not had an official release yet as far as I know because it was completely illegal, but it got heavily downloaded on the internet and is an astonishing example of just how good nicking other people’s music can be.
- Razorlight ‘Up All Night’
Can’t seem to get away from Razorlight this year. The lead singer’s an arrogant knobhead, but he can fully write the tunes!
- James Brown ‘Live At The Apollo 1962’
Re-release of this incredible recording of a young James Brown in his prime!
- Lars Frederiksen & The Bastards ‘Viking’
If you like it loud and guitary then this is for you. A further spreading of the Rancid influence
- Good Will Hunting ‘Original Soundtrack’
A sad year with the passing of Elliot Smith, but it did inspire me to track down the soundtrack to what is fast becoming my favourite film of all time. If you skip the Dandy Warhols track, it’s a brilliant chill out album.
OK, I know it’s outrageous, but I only just managed to catch up with a few classics this year, namely Crouching Tiger and Donnie Darko.
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (nuff said)
The Notebook (great,intelligent film about love)
Whalerider (Beautiful maori film)
Bad Santa (Shocking, despicable and very funny)
The Last Samurai (shame about the Hollywood ending)
Donnie Darko (…what the fuck?...)
Big Fish (Tim Burton on top form)
The Incredibles (Fantastic)
Spider Man 2 (Couldn’t help liking it!)
Buena Vista Social Club (Wicked)
WORST FILM OF ALL TIME AWARD GOES TO…
‘Churchill The Hollywood Years’ (Truly the biggest bag of bollocks ever committed to film! Avoid at all costs!
The Bees – Birminham Academy
Damien Rice – Manchester Academy
Razorlight – Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Actually, i've been thinking a lot about this list and i really have to explain
myself. musically 2004 was totally taken up for me
with Belle and Sebastian- infact, since about march
i've been living in a B+S bubble- i'm just beginning
to emerge! I had the good fortune to see them in
somerset house in London last July. this was of course
preceded by a spending spree on old B+S cds that i
hadn't already purchased, ie 'Tigermilk' and 'If
you're feeling sinister'. the concert itself was just
superb- i mean they were just OUTSTANDING so of course
in the weeks and months that followed , i could listen
to nothing else. i then had to go and by all the
little cd singles they have released over the years,
which in themselves were a great source of new B+S
material for me. so there. that explains alot. and i
know i have been boring people to tears since july
going on and on , making mix B+S cds etc...apologies
people- i will find a new obsession in 2005!
so here goes- my favourites of 2005, not in any
Motor cycle diaries
eternal sunshine of the spotless mind
Anything else- woody back on form
A Mighty Wind- best comedy
lost in Translation
Wilbur wants to kill himself
and i'm putting down the silent 1927 movie 'sunrise'
that Lambchop did the soundtrack for- it's the coolest
thing if you get a chance to see it- the movie is
gorgeous and so innocent- and lambchop play the score
live behind the screen!
1. Belle and Sebastian- Somerset House, london- yes
this was definately the best live show i have ever
encountered! they were supported by 'The Shins'- also
2. Christy Moore- opera house Cork, Luka Bloom
supported him, and he too was outstanding.
3.Calexico - opera house, cork
4. I am Kloot- half moon, cork
5. Lambchop/Sunrise- opera house
6. Ron Sexsmith- Cruiscin lan
7. Evan Dando- Cruiscin lan
8. Josh Ritter- opera house
9. bic runga- the village, dublin- i must say i was a
little disappointed with this - but it really is an
I have been hopeless for reading this year- just
hopeless, but Vernon God Little was definately the
best thing i read.. i couldn't stop mself reading bits
of it aloud.
I loved 'The number one ladies detective agency' by
Alexander mcall smith- i have the sequels, but
typically i haven't found the time to start..
I also loved ' the curious incident of the dog in the
night time', and i must mention that joe loved the da
vinci code- which i hope to read this christmas.
This is next near impossible
I have to say that 'Tigermilk' is my absolute fave for
2004...not very current, but still.
the other difficulty this year is that thanks to all
the kind people who sent me 'best of' cds, i spent
much of this year listening to music from 2003 such as
'yo la tengo',bell x1, franz ferdinand, grandaddy.
1. All Belle and sebastian albums- esp 'tigermilk' and
'the boy with the arab strap'. i love the 'johnathon
david' ep- that song is out on its own for
singalongability , and 'the loneliness of the middle
distance runner' also on that ep is wonderful.
after that in no particular order-
Vetiver- Vetiver-folk at its best
God Speed you Black Emperor-' Raise your skinny fists
like antennas to heaven'- the first track is awesome
Mull Historical Society- this is hope
Calexico- Feast of Wire
The Esbjorn Svensson Trio- Seven Days of
Falling...can't neglect the jazz!
Air- Talkie Walkie
and finally- The Langer Song- by Natural Gas--just
And, I love 'Mr Brightside' by The Killers-but i
haven't the album..yet.
Thanks for doing all this Tom- it really is a superb
idea, it gives me plenty of new stuff to feed off in
the coming year.
cheers, Mary ( and a little help from Joe)
Title Country Year
Le Monde selon Bush FR 2004
Enternal Sunshine of a Spotless mind USA 2004
Lost in Translation USA 2004
L'equipier FR 2004
Supersize me USA 2004
The Corporation USA 2004
Les Choristes FR 2004
Farenheit 9/11 USA 2004
Sur mes Levres FR 2004
Lady Killers USA 2004
Top Concerts Pixies in Dublin!!
Top Crap Reelection of George
It's been really hard this year to get this together..firstly I thought I hadn't really listened to anything but I just listened to so much that there was nothing that was on the stereo enough to burn it out..anyway in no particular order but listened to most often were -
- Bic Runga - Beautiful Collision
- Beastie Boys - Check you head
- Snow Patrol - Final Straw
- Thievery Corporation - The Richest Man in Babylon
- Complete UK Upsetter Singles collection Vol 1.
- Bubba sparxxx - Deliverance
- Lali Puna - Faking the Books
- Afterlife - Simplicity Two Thousand
- Flaming Lips - Clouds Taste Metallic
- Apocalyptica - Reflections
- And Garbhans' compilation :-)
Top marks for almost naked scenes:
Waste of 16 CHF:
- Touching the Void
- LOTR:Return of the Kings
- Dawn of the dead - Not a patch on "28 days.." though!
- Spider Man 2
- Lost In translation : Can't remember if that was last/ this year..still great
- Kill Bill Vol.2
- Van helsing
- Coffee and cigarettes - I don't think I've ever been some irritated in my life..no Renee doesn't want another f*cking coffee..thank you Bill + Wu Tang for salvaging the worst coffee and cigarette I've ever had to endure!
- ZOOLANDER...buy buy buy
- Xmen 2
- 21 grams
- Finding Nemo
- Punch drunk love
- Cheech and Chongs' Up In smoke
- Alias - Series One
- Roger Dodger
- East is East - Comedy? Domestic violence is about as funny as it gets, hey?
- Poolhall junkies
- Scooby Doo
- Vanilla Sky
- Fargo completely in German :-)
- Life of Pi: Yann Martel - Missing Pi. Vivacious images drove me from retching to tears in moments.
- Touching the Void: Joe Simpson
- The Orchid Thief: Susan Orlean - Directed to this by Adaptation. "I want to know how it feels to love something passionately".
- The Cage - Tom Abraham
- Wild Swans - Three Daughters of China - Jung Chang
- The Pixies - Arena Geneva
- Violent Femmes - Olympia Dublin
- Jungle Brothers - Kaserne Basel
- Scratch Perverts - Tonimolkerei, Zurich
- Carl Cox - Club Q, Zurich
- Massive Attack, Freestylers & Apocalyptica (GO SEE if you get an opportunity, but these guys trained in classical cello - Cello metal - it's an experience to be had) - Zofingen Festival
Moments of the Year:
- Fasnacht (chasing away of Winter)…
Starts in Liestal on Sunday at 8pm, if you like, with the burning carriages parade.
Feeling a bit Golden Girl here like..picture it..one-car-wide cobble-stone street with crowds of people on either side..no barriers..babies being held in the front row!
Literally, people carry burning "wooden torches", possibly 3-5st for the under 12s' and anything up to 15st for the adults..while wearing metal colanders/kettles on their heads and have people follow them with wet sponges to put out the burning embers on their skin and clothes..then the real fun begins!
They pull these massive carriages, about 20ft high, on fire..flames reach the top of 5 story buildings, people in the front rows put hands over their faces in an attempt not to get scorched! Burning ash falls all around, people with branches flame grill sausages as the carriages pass..burning confetti covers the ground..people begin unceasing star jumps in attempt to release all that built up excitement for the one time of year it's allowed:
"Can't stop this fit, get me a god damn Kalbwurst…ganz so geil" they scream!
Then they check the next guideline on their tourist office "Rules of Fasnacht"!!!, back to Basel, sleep until (they decide to call the police on innocent little Irish girls throwing parties and get told to call the SAS for all my friends could care as I lie on the ground unconscious) about 3am and then take a place by Munsterplatz for the best view of the Morgenstriech..ofcourse you may pick up a Meiel suppen (flour soup - emmm, :*-( it's in the rule book!)
And so begins 22hr/day of the most demented music you've ever heard and it's not parades where people follow one path..they just go wherever..wandering along..4 or 5 demented music types crossing each other…crazy costumes..rotten orange throwing..get your Fasnacht pin or face the onslaught..get the three (gold, silver and bronze) and face humiliation you rich bassa! 3 days and 3 revival weekends after just incase you didn't have enough the first time! Amazing!!!
Starjumps at Fasnacht, SCUBA diving lessons in the snow, vodka jelly parties, Alexs' party, wacked cycling in Amsterdam, fountains in Lugano, beers at the Buvette, biking in the forest, Picasso faced dance-offs, mafia in Sicily, pirate parties, tobogganing in the middle of Berlin, falling out of taxis in London (not me) and sipping beer on the sun drenched snow capped mountains of Switzerland…not a bad year
No particular order
- One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Gielgud Theatre, London
Hadn't seen the film, was imagining Jack in the role, but Christian Slater did well. The Nurse Ratched 'voice' was soft and scary, shiver down the spine stuff
- Festen, Lyric theatre, London...Great Performance, Again I hadn't seen the film. A few scenes had several stories being played out at once and across each other - very hard to do, but they pulled it off excellently
- Harold Pinter Play- A Slight Ache... cast of three (including the one and only John Morrissey), great story and good production in a small jazz cafe (John .. what was the name of the place?)
- Shining Light, Conor McPhearson...Gate
- Holy Terror, Simon Callow, Simon Grey, Duke of York..Simon Callow was fantastic - very demanding role, constantly on stage - a big thrill to see him perform.
Books - new & rereads
No particular order
My left foot at football
was my least good.
Being as my right foot was bad,
this meant that my left foot
was very bad.
There were occasions, though,
when a combination
of self-belief and bravado
had me use my very bad foot
with thunderous accuracy.
On one occasion in Kilkenny
during a match between comedians,
Ireland against the rest of the world,
we, the non-Irish,
were an embarrassing 7 - 2 down
when the ball came whizzing my way
and Ihad an impulse to play
the left-footed dilettante
and the ball flew emphatically, unstoppably
beyond the reach of the fliling goalkeeper.
My own goalkeeper.
And I took ownership of that goal
instead of feeling small;
I celebrated what I'd done.
We were, after all,
- the five people you meet in heaven, Mitch Albom
Easy read, ordinary likeable characters well depicted, you get to know them very quickly, a kind of moralistic
(is that a word?) story, I liked it but it might be one for people who like Paolo Coehlo!!
- The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgkov
Probably the best book I have read in a long time, translated from Russian, the translators themselves deserve an award, excellent writing, based on a crazy tale of the devil and some companions causing chaos in Moscow with some flashbacks to
a story involving Pontius Pilate
- 11 Minutes, Paolo Coehlo
Another good one, interesting account of prostitution. Interested to know if people think Paolo Coehlo is mainly a 'female' author?? (email@example.com)
- Holes, Louis Sachar (Thanks, Dave)
- John Hegley, The Family Pack & other stuff. I heard him read one of his poems on the radio and was on the floor laughing.
Sorry I can't provide the audio, its bad literature but great entertainment.
- Rudyard Kipling, Just So Stories
- The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Agatha Christie
- The Clocks, Aagatha Christie
(Enjoy an occassional detective novel and Agatha Christie is still the best for me..)
(Not a lot I'd really recommend,..)
- Lost In translation, Sofia Coppola
- Kill Bill II, Quentin Tarantino
Then - no particular order..
Absolutely Awful films..
- Lord of The Rings - Return of the Kings, Peter Jackson
- Touching the Void, Kevin McDonald
- Layer Cake, Matthew Vaughn
- Bad Santa, Terry Zwigoff
- Sharktale, Bibo Bergeron/ Vicky Jenson...definitely for the kids, but thought the veggie shark was great
- Bridget Jones, The Edge of Reason (and I confess I did enjoy the first one, but this is very boring)
- Virgin Suicides, Sofia Coppola
- The Cooler, Wayne Kramer (great William H Macey)
- Gerry, Gus Van Sant
- Pixies, 5 June (Brixton Academy) Debaser was unforgettable as were the 5 drenched men who emerged from the
pits after the performance...Declan, Trevor, Mike, Tom and Colin had to buy tee shirts for immediate use
they were absolutely dripping..........
- Glasto - 24 June - 28 June
(PJ Harvey, Tinderstick, Christy Moore, Morrissey,and Orbital were the highlights... great fun)
- PJ Harvey - 15 September/ 24 June and best of all 11 December in The Royal Court. See Tom's review. The only
thing he forgot to mention was that the best beer in the world (Cruzcampo) has arrived in London and was a good
accompaniement to a great night!!
- Sailing - from Falmouth to Scilly isles, the only good week of the Summer, lots of great places out there
to discover, by boat if possible
- Barcelona - 1st time there. Shame on me. The Gaudi architecture is incredible. He manipulates stone in such a way that you would think he was working with wax. Parque de Guell is a must see. Also lucky to catch some 'Castilleros' in action. This Catalan tradition involves local teams making human castles, by climbing on top of each other - usually about 5 stories!!! The teams compete with each other and both the formation and the deformation is important - great to watch.
- Hiking in Switzerland - over the course of a few days, it is possible to see a good variety of landscape. Many huts in great location, with great wholesome tucker.... but you gotta like smelly cheese. Not good for the faint of stomach!!
Caro’s Top 10 Albums of 2004
20 Miles - Twenty Miles
Jon Spencer’s Judah does country distortion with deep south lyrics and a tin whistle from Fat Possum.
My little baby /
messin’ with the preacher’s daughter /
- Ghosts of the Great Highway - Sun Kil Moon
The San Franciscian womaniser Mark Kozelek strikes gold again with his provincial tales and cool acoustic guitar shapes.
Can't count through all the lovers I've burnt through /
so why do I still burn for you /
i cant say /
- Love the Cup - Sons & Daughters
Glaswegian youngsters terrorising their guitars and mandolins. Intro to 'Blood' suspiciously like 'Sheela na gig'.
You keep on holdin' back /
Can't break it to yourself /
That your life is nothing /
But the fear's making sense /
- Uh Huh Her - Polly Jean Harvey
Unfortunately the self-mocking title track didn’t make it on the album but tracks like Who the fuck?, Cat on the Wall and It’s you are a relief to the ‘Rid of Me’ lovers. It’s possible that Vincent Gallo is Badmouth, although his influence is strikingly obvious on The End, which perhaps indicates that they are still on good terms. There is no stopping this girl this year. Welcome back Polly.
I’m not like other girls /
you cant straighten my curls /
- The A.M. - The A.M.
What can I say. You got Michael Tighe (Jeff Buckleys band mate) in a white trilby and white shoes and the tightest clothes imaginable. No one else could possibly pull this off. If you only listened to the first three songs on this album, you’d go away happy. Catchy guitar songs with an enchanting voice and easy on the eye.
If i was the sheriff i would be treated differently /
and i could follow anyone i want /
with my arm out the window /
lovin' to drive slow /
- The Beautiful Struggle - Talib Kweli
Another intelligent lyrical feast from Talib, concentrating on ghetto struggle. After a disappointing release from Mos Def this year, this album stretches from hip-hop to soul with collaborations with Common and one the year’s most powerful tunes with Mary J.Blige I Try.
Life is a beautiful struggle /
People search through the rubble for a suitable hustle /
Some people using their noodle /
Some people using their muscle /
Some people put it all together.
- You are the Quarry - The MozFather
Back with classic charm and wit. How he keeps beating out new songs like First of the gang to Die and how he flirts on Let me kiss you I don’t know.
I’ve zig-zagged all over America and I cannot find a safety haven /
say? would you let me cry /
on your shoulder I’ve heard that you’ll try /
- Over the Sun - Shannon Wright
A Steve Albini production with moments of anger and lashings of abrasive complex songs.
Could you be the answer /
to a wretch like me /
clasp you hand in mine /
I must confess /
you’ll be the death of me /
- Rejoicing in the hands (of the golden empress) - Devendra Banhart
'From the moment I saw him perched on a mat surrounded by candles on Later with Jools, I was intrigued. Impossible to categorize, sounding like an old folk singer digging up revelations. In his own words its like an old folk song that you’ve never ever heard, still you know every word, for sure, you can sing along.
It’s a sight to behold /
when you got small words to mould /
and you can make ‘em your own /
- Seven Swans – Sufjan Stevens
This is the most surprising entry on this list because I was so resistant to Sufjan Stevens. It’s the antithesis of the trashing guitars that I love. It’s sickly sweet, charming and gentle and he managed to win me over much to my annoyance. And it pushed Nick Cave off my list.
I have a red kite /
I’ll put you right in it /
I’ll show you the sky
Top 10 Gigs
1. PJ Harvey, Music in my Head festival, Den Haag, June 2004
2. PJ Harvey, The Olympia, Dublin Sept 2004
3. Sun Kil Moon, The Village Dublin Apr 2004
4. The A.M., Whelans, Dublin June 2004
5. The Rapture, The Village, Dublin Feb 2004
6. Calexico, The Village, Dublin
7. Morrissey, Dublin Castle, June 2004
8. Sons & Daughters, Whelans, Nov 2004
9. Sufjan Stevens, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity Oct 2004
10. Franz Ferdinand & The Kills, Olympia, Dublin, Oct 2004
Top 10 Films
2. Old Boy
4. Lost in Translation
5. My Architect
6. Bad Education
7. Before Sunset
8. Anything Else
10. 21 Grams
Top 10 gigs
Belle & Sebastian – Tivoli, Utrecht
Franz Ferdinand/Sons and Daughters/The Kills – Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam
Interpol/Bloc Party – The Paradiso, Amsterdam
Oxegen, The Strokes, Libertines, Snow Patrol, Bell X1, Basement Jaxx, Rapture, etc.
PJ Harvey, Music in My Head Festival, Den Haag
Snow Patrol – Melkweg, Amsterdam
Franz Ferdinand/Joss Stone – Paradiso,
Bell X1 – Eurosonic
Death Cab for Cutie/Low, Paradiso
Bright Eyes – 3voor12 radio night, Amsterdam
Streets – A Grand Don’t Come for Free.
Kelis – Tasty
The Frames – Burn the Maps
Death Cab for Cutie – Transatlantasism
Razorlight – Up All Night
Nick Cave – Abattoir Blues / Then Lyre of Orpheus
Elliott Smith – From a mountain on the Hill
Dios – Dios
Bonnie Prince Billy – Sings Greatest Palace Music
Air – Walkie Talkie
Morrissey – You are the Quarry
The Killers – Hot Fuss (though they SUCKED live)
Felix Da Housecat – Devin Dazzle and the Neon Fever
Belle and Sebastian - Your Cover’s Blown
Interpol – Take Me on a Cruise.
Razorlight – Don’t Go Back to Dawston/Stumble and Fall
The Libertines – Can’t Stand Me Now
Kelis – Trick Me/Millionaire
Dios – You’ll Get Yours
The Frames – Finally
Felix Da Housecat – Watchin Cars Go By
The Streets – Blinded by the Lights
Morrissey – Irish Blood English Heart
Bright Eyes – Walk Away
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Lost in Translation
Coffee and Cigarettes
The most memorable cd i got this year was the hope of the states - 'the lost riots', also discovered and loved turin brakes 'Ether Song'
Fav book : colm toibin's - The Master
Songs of the year
Richmond Fontaine - Post to tire
Kings of Leon - The bucket
Loretta Lynne - Van lear rose
Razorlight - VICE
Steve Earle - The revolution starts here
The Zutons - You will, you won't
Tom Waits - Make it rain
The Killers - Mr Brighside
Interpol - Next exit
Bell X1 - Eve, the apple of my eye
Adem - Theses are your friends
REM - Final straw
Rufus Wainright - Pretty things
Ambulance Ltd - Ophelia
Mylo - Emotion
The Twilight Singers - Black is the colour
Modest Mouse - Float On
Grand drive -The guy who could carry on
The Bees - These are the ghosts
The Libertines - Can't stand me now
Colin Waugh : Best of 2004 list
Albums ( new Releases )
In rough order, depending on mood/time of day/weather
Best of the rest ( oldies/soundtracks etc)
- Tom Waits – Real Gone ( just gets better with age )
- Brian Wilson – Smile ( Amazing album, amazing story )
- Marjorie Fair – Selfhelp serenade ( If Keane/Coldplay could dream up a mature album, this would be it- awesome debut)
- Modest Mouse – Good news for people who hate bad news ( could do for them what Soft Bulletin did for the Flaming Lips, yes its that good)
- Elliot Smith – From a Basement on the hill ( A sweet kind of sadness, rest in piece)
- The Finn Brothers – Everyone is here ( even if you don’t like Crowded House style pop, there is no denying these perfectly crafted songs)
- Air – Talkie Walkie ( Welcome return to form)
- Faultline – Your love Means everything ( brilliant alternative/electronica from UK’s david Kosten with guest vocals form Chris Martin,Flaming lips)
- Morrisey – You are the Quarry ( Doesn’t always hit the mark, but when he does, few people write lyrics to match him)
- Blue Nile – High ( Strictly late night music, avoid if your mood is very low, could push you over the edge. Otherwise sweet stuff.)
- Soundtrack : Once Upon a Time in the West- Ennio Morricone ( best western of all time, best soundtrack I’ve ever heard.)
Jazz :Kurt Elling – Man in the Air
Reissues : The Clash- London Calling
Show/theatre/event of the year
- Tom Waits – London nov 2004 ( gig of a lifetime)
Marjorie Fair- London june 2004
The pixies – London sept 2004
the Rapture- London may 2004
Finn Brothers – London oct 2004.
Films ( have missed a lot and more coming this month so not a great list, and to be fair,not a great year)
- The Black Rider, Barbican june 2004. ( theatre, script William Burroughs, music Tom waits, Direction Robert Wilson. Out of this world!)
Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind
Kill Bill vol2
Top Ten Albums
1. Two Way Monologue - Sondre Lerche
2. Novelle Vague - Novelle Vague
3. Interpol - Antics
4. Thunder Lightening Strike - The Go! Team
5. Abbatoir Blues/ The Lyre of Orpheus - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
6. From a basement on the Hill - Elliot Smith
7. A Grand don't come for free - The Streets
8. Hot Fuss - The Killers
9. The Diary of Alicia Keys - Alicia Keys
10. Kish Kash - Basement Jaxx
Top Five Films
1. Lost in Translation - Sofia Coppola
2. Lo non ho paura (I'm not Scared) - Gabriele Salvatores
3. Goodbye Lenin! - Wolfgang Becker
4. Lord of the Rings - Return of the King - Peter Jackson
5. The Bourne Supremacy - Paul Greengrass
Top Five Books
1. Bobby Fischer goes to War - David Edmonds, John Eidenow
2. Flashman at the Charge - George MacDonald Fraser
3. A Short History of nearly everything - Bill Bryson
4. Vernon God Little - JBC Pierre
5. Whatever it takes - Lance Armstrong
My first year contributing and I think it is reasonably disappointing.
I am unsure whether it is just a disappointing year or I am just negative or I simply chose badly.
Will be interesting to see how others fared.
Therefore I have submitted all things together (music, books and movies). I have one good list,
and then some other comments.
My outstanding find for the year were 'herbal' energy/dance pills. They aren't really herbal, I think the drug was
used to de-worm horses, but they aren't bad, and completely legal (for now). Probably find they cause cancer at some stage.
||Everyone beating England at Rugby.
||Iranian super heavy weight lifter. What a freak.
||Hegemony of Survival
||More america bashing and he does go on a bit, but pretty interesting.
||Angels and Demons
||I also think this is an older book, but I read it this year. Similar style to Da Vinci Code, very readable.
||Vernon God Little
||Won Man Booker Prize. Not sure if I really liked it or not, I think some people may love it and some may not.
||Bringing Down the House
||Real life story about how some MIT students beat Casinos at Black Jack. Quite interesting to see how they did it.
||In My Fathers Den
||Based on a NZ novel by Maurice Gee. Really good movie, lots of twists and turns to keep you guessing.
||Lost in Translation
||I Liked it, Bill Murray is excellant.
||Touching the Void
||The guy is a bit of a tosser, but is an incredible story and told with enough realism to make you shudder.
||Can't get enough of Bush bashing. Again interesting but did tend to labour the point to make the movie long enough.
||Got a bit thrashed, but still a really good album.
||From a Basement on a Hill
||Maybe not as good as some or his earlier stuff, but not bad for a dead guy.
||A Grand Don't Come for Free
||I thought it wouldn't be as good as their first one, but I think it might be.
||Takes a bit of listening but is really good.
||Little bit preppy I thought but still pretty good.
||May have been last year, but a really good NZ album anyway.
||With some help from Scribe, very good NZ hip hop.
||History of New Zealnd
||Probably only of interest to NZers. Definitive (however brief) description of NZ. Interesting without being terribly exciting.
||True story about the wrongful conviction of a David Bain. He is still in jail for murdering his entire familty, even though the evidence should have pointed to his father doing it and then committing suicide.
||You Cannot be Serious
||John McEnroe's autobiography. Don't know why but it was bought for me. I like John Mcenroe even less after reading this.
||Serial killer thriller. Pretty good read.
||Not too bad as far as thrillers go
||The Day After Tomorrow
||Somebody got this on DVD and made me watch it. Possibly one of the worst movies ever.
||Boy in da Corner
||Got very good reviews, I liked a couple of songs but they all seemed to be variations on a theme.
||Cast of Thousands
||Not bad but I thought it was a little dull.