Top 5 Lists!! For 2011.

It took me until about halfway through 2011 to make my 2010 top 5 lists. This year I am starting to write this journal entry on the second day of 2012.

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

1. Yuck - Yuck
2. The Smith Westerns - Dye It Blonde
3. Grouplove - Never Trust a Happy Song
4. Ballpark 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), Ballpark 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, Danananaykroyd - 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 dissappointed. 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 eploring all the newly changed parts of the world. Of Warcraft.

1. Darwin Deez - Awesome energy, amazing dance moves and great songs!
2. Random 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.

Top 5 Lists!!! For 2010.

So, normally I do my top 5 lists for a particular year at the end of the year. Maybe a couple of days after New Years Eve. However last year I was really slack.

I eventually found five minutes and came up with some list while I was at work, and I emailed myself. I sent the email on March the 18th. Already, with the benefit of a couple of months of hindsight I might want to change the order, but I think I should keep it as I had ordered it then. Any text in italics are just comments that I am adding after the fact. Here it is:

1. OK Go - Of The Blue Color of the Sky
2. Various Artists - Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Soundtrack
3. Surfer Blood - Astro Coast
4. Vampire Weekend - Contra
5. First Aid Kit - The Big Black and The Blue

Others of note: The Black Keys - Brothers, Darwin Deez - Darwin Deez, Best Coast - Crazy For You, The Arcade Fire - the Suburbs, Hungry Kids of Hungary - Escapades, Jenny and Johnny - I'm Having Fun Now, Two Door Cinema Club - Tourist History

With my top five albums I struggled to come up with a list because 2010 had such incredible depth. There were so many good albums released, hence the size of the honorable mention list. Since making this list I would definitely move Darwin Deez and Arcade Fire onto the top 5 list, but what two albums to remove?

1. Radar Detector - Darwin Deez
2. OK Go - WTF
3. Two Door Cinema Club - Something Good Can Work
4. Sex Bob-Omb - Garbage Truck
5. Surfer Blood - Floating Vibes
Others of note: Foster The People - Pumped Up Kicks, The Black Keys - Tighten Up, Darwin Deez - Bad Day, OK Go - Last Leaf, Yeasayer - Ambling Alp

These were my favourite '2010' songs in 2010. In particular 'Radar Detector' and 'WTF' were delights. And 'Bad Day' and 'Last Leaf' were such strong album tracks that I had to include them somehow.

Old School Albums:
1. Los Campesinos! - Hold on Now, Youngster…
2. The Get Up Kids - Something to Write Home About
3. Bright Eyes – Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground
4. Beck - Odelay
5. The Beatles - Revolver
Others of Note: Beulah - Yoko, Eagles of Death Metal - Death By Sexy

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.

Old school songs:
1. Los Campesinos! - My Year in Lists
2. First Aid Kit - Tiger Mountain Peasant Song
3. Regina Spektor - Apres Moi
4. The Mountain Goats - Dilaudid
5. The Get Up Kids - Close To Home
Others of note: Tegan And Sara - Nineteen

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. Apres Moi le deluge. After me comes the flood.

1. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
2. Inception
3. Kick Ass
4. Toy Story 3
5. The Social Network
Others of note: Easy A

2010 was a shockingly good year for films. I don't think that anything I have seen so far in 2011 would even have a snowflake in Dubai's chance of sniffing last ears top five list. Scott Pilgrim became one of my favourite films of all time about 5 minutes in.

TV Shows:
1. Battlestar Galactica
2. Dexter
3. True Blood
4. Survivor: Nicaragua
5. QI
Others of note: NBA coverage

2010 was the year when Cara and I finally (FINALLY!) finished watching Battlestar, and it was awesome. Great show. And I think the fourth season was really well executed. Dexter and Survivor were good as usual. True Blood is really one of my favourite shows now. It is professionally put together and interesting. I don't care if it is uncool to be into a sexy vampire show. QI has become a part of my growing tea habit. Whenever I watch QI I need to drink tea, and whenever I drink tea I want to watch QI, but - given that I mostly drink tea at work - that doesn't always work out.

Computer Games:
1. Starcraft 2
2. Street Fighter IV
3. Super Mario Galaxy 2
4. World of Warcraft
5. Bejewelled Blitz
Others of note: ESPNU CollegeTown

I was obsessed with the single player form of Starcraft 2 for a good little while last year. It came out just before I went to Melbourne for a month with work, and so I basically spent a month mainlining it. Then I got back home and stopped playing it. Hmm, I might need to load it up again right now.

Right now I am struggling to think of what I would put in these lists for the current year. I think computer games have been good. The rest, not so good.
  • Current Music
    The Beatles - Let It Be

Favourite Video Game By Ganre

This is hard, because it is hard to categorise genre sometimes. Is Diablo 2 'Action', 'RPG' or something else? Anway.

Fighting Game:
1. Street Fighter EX 2 [ ]
2. Street Fighter IV
3. Mortal Kombat 2

Real Time Strategy Game:
1. Warcaft III
2. Age of Empires
3. Warcraft 2

First Person Shooter:
1. Quake 3 Arena
2. Halo 2
3. Descent

1. Pokemon Blue
2. Diablo 2
3. WoW

'Sim' Game:
1. Monopoly Tycoon
2. Pharoah
3. Sim City 2000

Adventure/Platform Game:
1. Relentless: Twinsen's Adventure
2. Super Mario Galaxy
3. Alex Kidd In Miracle World

Puzzle Game:
1. Balderdash
2. Portal
3. Professor Layton
HM: Puzzle Bobble, Tetris

1. (I cannot remember what it was called, but it was a cross between 2-player Pong and Arkanoid).
2. Doom 2
3. Diablo 2

1. NBA Jam
2. Wii Sports
3. NBA Live '10

1. Guitar Hero 2
2. Guitar Hero World Tour

Party Game:
1. Mario Kart
2. Worms
3. Mario Party
HM: Boom Blox

Side(or top) scroller i.e. Raiden style games - or platformers on rails:
1. Action Fighter [ ]
2. Golden Axe
3. Raiden
HM: Emo Game

Also, I seem to have accidentally done a top three for each.

I may think on this and come up with something better, but here is a first go.

Potential Best Albums of 2010

I just got in from The John Lennon Tribute gig. Owen and Tree doing I am the Walrus was a highlight. As was most of the Joe King's set. The second band, who I think were called Hurricane Fighter Plane probably were the best at sounding like The Beatles. And Instant Karma's gonna get you! It is amazing how many epically talented people we have in lil ol' Perth!



I have purged my iPod of all my old music, and loaded only albums from this year onto it, so that I can figure out what my album of the year is. Currently I have the following potential albums of 2010 on there:
- Surfer Blood - Astro Coast
- Best Coast - Crazy For You
- Darwin Deez - Darwin Deez
- OK Go - Of The Blue Color of the Sky
- Hungry Kids Of Hungary - Escapades
- Various Artists - Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
- Los Campsinos! - Hold on now Youngster... (Didn't come out this year, but I got into it this year, I may remove it from top five consideration and give it an honorable mention instead)
- First Aid Kit - The Big Black & The Blue
- Vampire Weekend - Contra
- Jenny and Johnny - I'm Having Fun Now
- Two Door Cinema Club - Tourist History

I just checked and I also have Pinkerton on there. Who knew?

But either way, I plan on immersing myself in this for the next month. Anyone have any other albums that came out in the last year and should make the cut? I am happy to buy them for myself. I guess I am asking "What is your album of the year, and do you think that I would like it?"

Yellow Matter Custard. Dripping from a dead dog's eye!

Feed a family of four for under 35 cents

So, today I bought a home brand packet of french onion soup.

It cost 34 cents.

It weighs 40 grams.

It says that a single serve requires 10 grams of the dry mixture.

You know those adds where Coles brags that you can feed a family of four for under $10?

Well I can feed a family of four for under 35 cents.

I think this means that Coles and Curtis Stone can suck it.

(And if I increase my budget to like $2 per person then we can fit in homebrand garlic bread and a juice box each too.)


Last night I went and saw Carl Fox in Northbridge with Ricky et al. And I think it was their best show that I have seen yet. The new mixed up cover song is pretty great. For realz.

Rage 50

Just voted in the Rage 50 for my top 5 video clips of the past year.

I voted for 2 Darwin Deez clips and 3 OK Go clips. But how could you go past any of the three OK Go clips? They are like the picasso of the musical videogram.

DARWIN DEEZ - Radar Detector
DARWIN DEEZ - Up In The Clouds
OK GO - This Too Shall Pass - Band Version
OK GO - This Too Shall Pass - One Shot version

My shortlist:Collapse )
Weirdly there seemed to be some old clips listed like Captain and Tenille and Cliff Richard. Has someone hacked the list, maybe?

Also, while watching the top four of Junior Masterchef, I think that in a couple of weeks there will be a scandal when it is revealed that 9 year old Siena is actually 29 year old Siena, born with some kind of pituitary problem which makes her tiny.

(no subject)

People like to quote the 'fact' that nothing rhymes with orange.

I put it to you that nothing rhymes with oranges, if you say it with an American accent. However with an Australian accent, plenty of things rhyme with it.

Americans pronounce it Orr-nj. The r sound segues straight into the n sound, with no vowel sound in between. No rhymes.

Australians pronounce it Awe-Rinj (or Oh-rinj). This rhymes with singe and fringe.

He danced so much the floor caught fire.
While breakdancing he thought he might singe his fringe.
He kept on dancing, he did not tire.
His do was alight, it had turned Orange.

So today I felt tired and a little frustrated with my project. There are just so many little annoying things to sort out all the time. Also we won our floorball game tonight. Woo.

(no subject)

Many years ago I wanted to go this Custard/Regurgitator show, but I was young and rarely went to gigs. Instead I read about it in the X-Press after it happened and kicked myself for not going.

This long weekend I get to finally experience a Custard/Regurgitator double header. Even if it is actually Dave McCormack/The-'Gurge, and we are subbing in Dan Kelly for the Resin Dogs. Possibly an improvement all round really.

In the first leg of this exciting adventure I found Dan Kelly to be fun and charming and have catchy songs, and I found Dave McCormack to be very similar, but about 9% better.

(no subject)

Today I am feeling quite happy. It may be because I just had a coffee, or maybe because there is old, good Muse on the stereo.

Yesterday however, I was getting kinda depressed. And for perhaps the most stupid of reasons.

When we are little kids everyone likes to tell us that we can do anything we want. And we can achieve any grand scheme that we can dream up. We are taught history and we see that people built cities, conquered nations, created great works of art and invented ingenious devices. As a child I was pretty damn smart, and I thought that it was a given that I would do at least one of these things if not more. My name was supposed to go down in the history books. And now that I am approaching my thirties I have to accept the fact that right now it looks like there is a 99.9999999995% chance that I will be forgotten and I will never achieve anything of great worth.

Part of the reason for this is that, in order to get anything done in this world you seem to require a mixture of nepotism and luck. The other part of the reason for this is that I am a lazy bastard. (Also, maybe I'm not good enough to do anything of significance?)

Basically I want to build Australia's own version of Manhattan in the North-West of our great state, release a critically acclaimed album, have my own personal philosophies quoted in high school yearbooks worldwide and retire to riches and interesting adventures. Is that really so much to ask?