In the second of our 2011 reviews - which culminate in a grand announcement of overall winners later in the week - Jonjon talks us through his favourite albums and speaks, brilliantly, about the year:
Top 5 Albums
- The Look – METRONOMY.How can something that sounds so simplistic and dated work so well? Nuwave/disco directly through a wormhole from 1982.
- Welcome to Condale – SUMMER CAMP.A vocalist that sounds like Debbie Harry, Kate Bush and Belinda Carlisle in one and the sounds of a never ending summer. If you can’t enjoy this we can’t hang anymore.
- Within and Without – WASHED OUT.Dreamy synth perfection forms the soundtrack for someone with a better life than ours.
- Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming – M83.Excessive and over the top, it shouldn’t work but somehow it does. God knows where they go from here though.
- James Blake – JAMES BLAKE.Disarmingly simple jazz and blues electronica that has/will end up as the soundtrack to dinner parties everywhere (but you’re still allowed to like it).
Top 5 TV shows
- Community.“Six seasons and a movie”. Never popular, it appears doomed so now is the chance to vent your frustration online as that always works.
- Wilfred.Yes it’s a remake of an Australian show. Also an improvement. Elijah Wood tries to kill himself and is introduced to a rather large talking dog. “Come on Ryan! These are big existential questions, best left for boring Russian novelists and teenagers on acid. Real people don't think about this shit!” Never a truer statement.
- Archer.Mix James Bond, Harvey Birdman and Arrested Development and you get this. Sick, depraved and very, very smart. “Just the tip?”
- Beavis and Butthead.“I’ll get a tattoo of a butt that has a butt-shaped tattoo on it, and I’ll get it right on my butt.” Don’t dismiss it out of hand as that won’t make you look smarter, no matter how many books you may own (but have never read).
- Angry Boys.There was the inevitable backlash against Chris Lilley but honesty is rarely popular. Terrifyingly accurate as always, it was aggressive, fearless, very dark and yet had a strongly emotional core.
Highlight of the year:
I don’t want to dismiss the deaths of thousands in Syria, Tunisia, Congo, Egypt or anywhere else (well not on purpose, nor were those deaths a “highlight”) but I have to go with the Murdochs’ appearance at the UK media phone hacking inquiry. The “Dirty Digger” (I never wanted a job with News Corp anyway) being called to give evidence was astounding. It didn’t achieve much but at least it happened. James Murdoch’s floundering was schadenfreude 101 and don’t forget the pie to the face. Will the UK media culture change? Not unless they’re all taken outside and shot. Will News Corp change any operational standards? I doubt it. But it was nice to see a parliamentary democracy actually doing something about an issue for however a short period. Pity action on the economy seems beyond them.
2011 in words:
The year of protest (thanks for stealing my opinion Time Magazine). Whether or not this signals real change is anyone’s guess. There have obviously been some changes; however Egypt hasn’t exactly become a utopia following Mubarak’s removal, you’re a brave person to protest in Syria and I doubt the Politburo in Beijing is quaking in their boots. Italy’s still screwed despite Berlusconi resigning, austerity cuts are occurring across all of Europe and Putin and Medvedev don’t appear to be going anywhere. In the US? Well the Occupy movement still exists... but proved in many respects that elements taken for granted in the US constitution mean bugger all. We fell in love with Julian Assange, Australians realised that as a nation, they’re still terrified of small numbers of brown people in rickety boats appearing on the horizon, morons thought Lil’ Kim had died and we didn’t get a chance to fall in love with Crownies. Because it was shite. What a year. What an absolutely balls year. Oh well, at least some hippies/hipster student types got pepper sprayed. Hooray!
Prediction for 2012
We’ve got a US Presidential election to look forward to, more economic turmoil, Baz Luhrman butchering The Great Gatsby and and, er, war with Iran? Oh... good.
Jonjon reviews albums with an iron fist. He has given up the Sydney sun to relocate to grimy old London. Absolute madness.