2009 - The Best Bits

Dec 31, 2009 23:00 · 406 words · 2 minute read

Music

Imogen Heap - Ellipse has taken a while to grow on me, despite loving Speak For Yourself at the first listen.   Persistence has paid off, though, and her voice is a great calming influence on otherwise hassling Underground commutes.

**The Ratells **- I’ve got my daughter to thank for putting me onto these Sheffield teenagers.  They’re pretty raw around the edges, but it’s fascinating to listen to how they get tighter and tighter as they’ve gained experience and confidence.

**Reverend And The Makers **- another Sheffield band, with the sardonic Sheffield sense of humour and multifaceted lyrics.

Films

Up - the first 3D, and first digitally-projected, film I’ve ever seen.  Thankfully the story wasn’t overshadowed by the gimmicks - the first 10 minutes of the story have to be some of the best silent storytelling of all time.

Moon - kept me guessing until the very end, and an amazing performance from Sam Rockwell in what is effectively a solo effort.

TV

I watched virtually no broadcast TV this year, thanks to a faulty aerial and iPlayer.   The standouts were_ Torchwood, The Thick Of It and Misfits. _ And I’m really looking forward to the new season of Being Human.

Radio

I don’t think I’ve heard any broadcast radio this year.  But In Our Time is a fixture on my iPod - 40 minutes was almost exactly the right length to get me from one of my semi-daily commute to the other, and it also fits exactly with my scattergun interests in obscure historical minutia.

Web

It’s difficult to pick on one or two standout websites, probably because I spend all day, every day online.   Is it too sad to nominate an API instead?  If so, Spotify gets a vote from me - and while it’s definitely not new, Twitter continues to enable relationships with people I wouldn’t otherwise be able to have.

Print

I’ve more-or-less stopped buying newspapers, but I’ve been very thankful for a subscription to the New Yorker for the 8-odd hours a week I’ve been spending on trains.   The UK edition of Wired also merits a mention, and I will get around to writing that article about Morse Code…

Events

Interesting - always worth a Saturday, despite my contribution.  Playful, because what’s not to like about a conference billed as a “day of multidisciplinary frolicking”?  And Reboot, because it’s in my favourite European city and is two days of mind-expanding thinking.