Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: Lists of Fury



2012 hey - what a fine collection of moments. Here are the ones I consider somewhat superior to the others. As usual - they needn't have been created this year - just experienced by me for the first time, for that be how I roll.

MOVIES

6. CHRONICLE
Fun found footage sci-fi with some brilliantly realised special effects given the micro budget. Talented director is annoyingly young.

5. THE CABIN IN THE WOODS
A very Joss Whedon-y barrel of fun. Playfully yet forensically deconstructs the slasher genre.

4. KILL LIST
The best horror film I watched this year, though its technically not really a horror film til the last 20 minutes which is it's weakest section. Prior to that is some truly unnerving business punctuated with one gasp inducing moment of ultra violence.

3. LOOPER
Good popcorn sci fi with some nice stylistic flourishes. Not surprising from the guy who somehow wedged in a 30 second car fetish MTV video into an episode of Breaking Bad.

2. MOONRISE KINGDOM
The film I have been wanting Wes Anderson to make since Rushmore (I.e. another story featuring a precocious bespectacled boy falling for an older woman). All the usual Anderson tricks and tics, which I will eat up forever. I love him the way I love AC/DC. Never change Wesley.

1. SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS
Hands down my fave film of the year. I've read a few reviewers complain it's structure was a bit too lazy and aware of itself but I was onboard with the genre deconstruction all the way. It helped having some of my fave actors in Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken totally on fire.


ALBUMS

5. SCREAMING LORD SUTCH: Heavy Friends
A case in point for the elastic nature of my criteria for fave things of the current year. I've been aware of this album for yonks, but never given it a listen, mostly due to it regularly being referred to as one of the worst of all time. I'm glad I stopped paying attention to that nonsense - This is lofi garagey greatness!  A huge pile of primitive bare bones arrangements with Lord Sutches whacky and joyful vocal stylings plus lashings of rocket sauce applied by Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck. The fact that he essentially tricked these superstars into recording an album with him makes me like it even more.

4. SUN GOD REPLICA: Primitive Clockwork
Link Meanie's foray into semi stoner rock territory is a match made in heaven. His distinctive voice and melodies are instantly recognisable and feel right at home in the tasty new context of the 'Gods garagey take on Black Sabbath.

3. TURBONEGRO: Sexual Harrassment
Aka Turbonegro's Back In Black. Tony Sylvester is a different kind of vocalist to Hank but fits like a leather glove with matching mask. Some flat out killer hard rock tunes filtered through their always hilarious colander of depravity.

2. THE DATSUNS: Death Rattle Boogie
Unashamedly retro hard rock with a palette of frequencies that would get any self respecting 70s guitar nerd hot and bothered. Killer solos throughout.

1. GIUDA: Racey Roller
Incredible street punk/glam Rock amalgam that totally nails an array of homages yet despite it's familiarity still sounds fresh and unique. It's the ultimate "why didn't someone think of this before?" record. And how much do I love discovering a punk band so obviously enamoured with my idols Slade? Answer - HEAPS!!!


TV

5. EASTBOUND AND DOWN
Whilst you only need to see a few episodes to have seen them all, I am enough of a Danny McBride fan to stick with the show plus the smash cut to title and music theme gives every episode a kind of greatness. On top of that Season 3 MUST get a guernsey purely on the strength of episode 2 which set a new world record for most insane 30 minute plot in the history of tv. To summarise: Kenny attempts to rescue his manchild assistant Stevie who has been forced to dress up in drag by the local Kia dealer Ashley Schaeffer [Will Ferrell] and rub his genitals on visiting Korean businessmen during a dinner party also attended by Schaeffer's wife, children and platonic gay sidekick. Kenny and Stevie escape after being fired upon by a cannon in the backyard.

4. BOARDWALK EMPIRE
Another solid plank of HBO period piecery let down slightly by an underwhelming climax. There were plenty of great bits prior to that and some first class thesping from the complex passive aggressive villainy of Gretchen Mol to the ticking powderkegdom of Stephen Graham. How does that guy not get more props for covering the chasm between his neo nazi in This Is England to Al Capone in Boardwalk? He is the Daniel Day Lewis of thugs with anger management issues.

3. MAD MEN 
Another incredible season of this mesmerising show. The writing and performances are consistently top notch. Plus Megan Draper singing Zou Bissou Bissou. Yikes.

2. BREAKING BAD
Like Deadwood an The Wire before it, Breaking Bad initially didn't do a lot for me but when I got hooked it was complete and utter addiction (like so much meth!! Oh that's fine writing!). I flew through seasons 3 and 4 this year before coming to a whiplash inducing halt with the Season 5 break. The prospect of what comes next makes me itch invisible rashes of glorious anticipation.

1. COMMUNITY
Speaking of things I didn't know I was missing out on, there was this. I was reliably assured it was as good as Arrested Development and it was - unfortunately it also shared it's broad appeal and lifespan. Though with AD returning next year and Community [kinda] still spluttering on maybe we haven't seen the last of this awesome, multi layered, endlessly re-watchable show. Let's just Chang for the best.

GIGS

5. BORIS @ THE METRO
My first live foray into noise rock, J pop and other things I don't really understand was a fine old time. They were pretty great and only marred by playing two of my fave tracks early before the mixer sorted his shit out. Not the liveliest on stage presences though the drummer goes pretty hard and is very entertaining.

4. FU MANCHU @ THE HIFI
A great night of wall to wall fuzz and So-Cal drawling. Played a great variety of stuff over most of their albums. Groovy and loud.

3. THE DATSUNS @ THE ANNANDALE
This ridiculously natural rock and roll machine were in white hot form and sounding frickin ace. Their guitar windmills had my colleague Bombshell Bakota and I cheering the wonder of life.

2. TURBONEGRO @ THE HIFI
Deliriously rad onslaught of hard rock and vulgar charm delivered in a sea of nautical themed denim. The music was tight and the banter awesome, peaking with Happy Tom throwing his sailor's hat into the crowd in disgust yelling "I have to wear this costume to feed my family!".

1. JIM JONES REVUE @ THE ANNANDALE
At the risk of sounding old - Contemporary rhythm and blues sucks shit. Fortunately, the JJR have created a portal directly to the olden days when it was fab - which I gladly stepped through one sweaty night in January and was consequently blown away like Little Richard at an International Gayness Convention. Ok - whatever tenuous quality my writing had is now officially exhausted. The gig was great. Sayonara 2012.







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