seasonsgreetings

seasonsgreetings

Friday, 19 December 2014

Other stuff I enjoyed from 2014


Some more listing of stuff I read, watched or heard.

TELLY

Well True Blood finally called it a day with a typically mixed season, I really will miss its cheesy dialogue and ability to just change a story arc mid sentence. Game of Thrones hit its usual level and didn't really drag for a bit at any point this year and the much talked about True Detective was alright if slightly too hard boiled for myself. The Bridge (Bron/Broen) improved in its second series surprisingly (what an ending!) and Sherlock was excellent again (what an ending!)

Good year for sketch shows particularly Cardinal Burns and Key and Peele, fledgling sitcoms Broad City, The Walshes, and Vic and Bob's House of Fools and returning shows like Louie, Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle (with added Chris Morris), Toast of London (I really think Matt Berry and Arthur Matthews have a good thing going) and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia continues to improve each series which is no mean feat, particularly enjoyed "The Gang Broke Dee" and "The Gang Tries Disparately to Win an Award". I also enjoyed most of Inside No.9, which was all over the place category wise. Didn't get round to Veep and Parks and Rec yet unfortunately but I'm sure they would have been highlights otherwise.

COMEDY

Live shows started well catching fellow food lover Jim Gaffigan, next came Paul Merton and his Impro Chums which included Mike McShane. Ralph Garman brought his many impressions while Kevin Smith enjoyed a load of Baby Guinnesses at Hollywood Babble-On. The Vodafone Comedy Festival at Iveagh Gardens was great again, highlights were Rhys Darby, Nate Bargatze, Anthony Jeselnik, David O'Doherty as well Romesh Ranganathan and Bobby Mair and also a thirty second conversation with Eddie Pepitone on the way in one day. Highlight of the year though was Todd Barry with support Jarlath Regan in the Sugar Club, so so so so so good and the year was rounded out with great sets by Lee Mack, Dave Gorman and Alan Davies. Also saw Foil Arms and Hog this year for the first time and loved Begorrah at the Smock Alley Theatre, made me realise I need to see more local talent.

Was a good year for comedy specials as well, Eddie Pepitone In Ruins (it's on Netflix) was fantastic as was Todd Barry's Crowd Work Tour (available on louisck.net) as was Chelsea Peretti's One of the Greats (also on Netflix) and Bill Burr's I'm Sorry You Feel That Way (also on Netflix).

GIGS

Franz Ferdinand were incredible at the Olympia, I really love that last album, as were Eels at the same venue although not into their last album as much. Real Estate were pitch perfect in an overheated Whelan's but highlight of the year was definitely Gruff Rhys in the Pepper Canister the other night, telling his American Interior story; great tunes, great story, great jokes.

BOOKS

Andrea Pirlo's (auto)biography I Think Therefore I Play made him look as cool as you thought he was and Matt Haig's The Humans was a very decent read about an alien sent to stop a scientist making huge a scientific breakthrough.

FOOTBALL

Was a tough year for a Man U fan but at least I was at the highlights of last season, our 3-0 demolition of Galatasaray, here's the proof and also being there for James Wilson debut hopefully he'll go onto be something special and I can say I was there at the start. Tough going to Rep of Ireland home games, losing to Serbia and Turkey and then a painful to watch win over Oman, at least thrashing Gibraltar and a good win against the US were positive.
THE GODDAMN WORLD CUP was beautiful with my beloved adopted Costa Rica doing so well. Read my randoms thoughts on it here http://www.amawaster.com/search/label/World%20Cup%202014

STUFF I LIKED THIS YEAR THAT WASN'T MADE/RELEASED IN 2014

Film wise I loved seeing Jacques Tati's sixties take on modernism, Playtime, so many visual jokes at once and amazing achievement for the time. Also saw the French horrror classic Eyes Without A Face and was sufficiently spooked, seventies horror Black Christmas which set the tone for every slasher film to come after it and was surprisingly very good. Saw the Ramones in Rock N Roll High School which was fun enough and loved Jude Law's performance in Dom Hemingway even if the film wasn't that great and also saw Withnail & I in the cinema, which was nice.

Loved reading Steve Martin's autobiography Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life, Jonathan Wilson's history of football tactics Inverting The Pyramid, Albert Camus' The Outsider and Groucho Marx's fascinating Groucho & Me.

Well that's that then, Merry Xmas and a Happy 2015 to ya.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Adventures In Movie Watching 2014


Well it's that time of the year again when I make lists that a few people look at, here's a long list of the films that I enjoyed that were around cinemas (and online) this year.....

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Xmas Spotify - 17/12/14



Loudon Wainwright III - Julian Casablancas - The Darkness - Eels - Weird Al Yankovic - Bob Dylan - The Kinks - They Might Be Giants - Gruff Rhys - Los Straitjackets - Harry Nilsson - Ramones - My Morning Jacket and most importantly a load of Vince Guaraldi Trio from "A Charlie Brown Christmas"

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

My Favourite Albums of 2014

Well it that's time of the year again, be doing list of movies again some time next week.
All fave tracks have links so you can listen to them.

10. Paddy Hanna - Leafy Stiletto

Fave Tracks:


Shola says "Great indie album that has one of the best songs of the year in the shape of Join The Army. Definitely in my top ten albums of the year"


9. Ryan Adams - Ryan Adams

Fave Tracks:


Shola says "First Ryan Adams album I've enjoyed in a long time. Nicely focused and crafted guitar rock, nearly a Bryan Adams album to be honest. Definitely in my top ten albums of the year"


8. Future Islands - Singles

Fave Tracks:


Shola says "Best album by a band with a bouncer for a frontman. Really strong listen from start to finish, plenty of chugging basslines and perfect synth hooks. Definitely in my top ten albums of the year"


7. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Wig Out at Jagbags

Fave Tracks:


Shola says "Malkmus's 'solo' output continues to make you miss Pavement less and less. Really laid back (who'd have guessed) and effortless sound. Definitely in my top seven albums of the year"


6. Metronomy - Love Letters

Fave Tracks:


Shola says "Including Future Islands it's been a good year for synth pop. Love Letters' title track has been on repeat since release. Takes some classic pop sounds and makes them seem fresh. Definitely in my top seven albums of the year"


5. Tweedy - Sukierae

Fave Tracks:


Shola says "Jeff Tweedy has the key to the music loving part of my brain, there's nothing he's released that I've not liked. This time he's teamed up with his son, Spencer to deliver a very fine album. There's a nice mix of classic Tweedy signature sounds but ultimately 20 tracks is too much, it really could do with losing four or five tracks. Definitely in my top five albums of the year"


4. Real Estate - Atlas

Fave Tracks:


Shola says "Jangle guitar pop that's nearly as good as it gets, they've improved with each album and continue to refine their sound rather than reinvent themselves each time, which suits me fine. It's an all-weather album in the sense that it suits whatever time of the year your listening to it. Definitely in my top five albums of the year"


3. Generationals - Alix

Fave Tracks:


Shola says "Generationals in at number 3 for the second year running. This album's a bit more electronic than 'Heza' last year but you still know it's them. Gone is the sunshine maybe of their earlier records but they still know a pop hook when they hear one and it's packed with them. Definitely in my top three albums of the year"


2. Gruff Rhys - American Interior

Fave Tracks:


Shola says "He's no stranger to the concept album and on this one he retraces the steps of a distant ancestor who traveled across the USA centuries ago looking for a Welsh tribe. The album takes in a myriad of styles that somehow mesh well, baroque pop on the title track, a hoedown almost on '100 Unread Messages', 80s synth on 'Lost Tribes' to name a few. Definitely in my top three albums of the year"


1. Ginnels - A Country Life

Fave Tracks:


Shola says "Mark Chester is a busy man, he seems to be involved a different musical venture depending on what day of the week it is, but Ginnels is my favourite incarnation. On 'A Country Life' while there's some great piano work and strings it's when he takes everything that I love about guitar pop and condenses it into such great catchy and concise pop songs (only the title track dares to pass the four minute mark) that I get excited the most. Every song on this is a winner so it was hard to pick the three fave tracks above, so do yourself a favour and at least listen to the album if not purchase it at http://ginnels.bandcamp.com/Definitely my favourite album of the year"



Here's what just missed out on top ten (in no particular order):

Wampire - Bazaar (Fave Track - Wizard Staff)
Eels - The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett (Fave Track - Mistakes of My Youth)
Jenny Lewis - The Voyager (Fave Track - She's Not Me)
Liam Finn - The Nihilist (Fave Track - Helena Bonham Carter)


and be sure to check out my last spotify playlist with a load more tracks from this year on it

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Sunday Spotify - 07/12/14 - Highlights of 2014



07/12/14 - Gruff Rhys - Paddy Hanna - Tweedy - Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Pat Thomas - Metronomy - The Voluntary Butler Scheme - Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings - Jimi Goodwin - Ryan Adams - Jenny Lewis - Honeyblood - Weezer - Belle & Sebastian - Generationals - Teleman  - Future Islands - The War on Drugs - Liam Finn - Broken Bells - St.Vincent - Tennis - Pale Lights - Real Estate - Reigning Sound - Allah-Las - First Aid Kit - Beck - Eels

PS - Ginnels ain't on Spotify so here's "Doing Fine" below

Saturday, 29 November 2014

In November I...


...watched the following films:
Playtime - dir. Jacques Tati
Say When (Laggies) - dir. Lynn Shelton
The Skeleton Twins - dir. Craig Johnson
Joe - dir. David Gordon Green
Mr. Turner - dir. Mike Leigh
The Woman in the Fifth (La Femme du Véme) - dir. Pawel Pawlikowski
Nightcrawler - dir. Dan Gilroy
The Imitation Game - dir. Morten Tyldum
The Drop - dir. Michaël R. Roskam
They Came Together - dir. David Wain
Valley Girl - dir. Martha Coolidge
(Bad) Neighbors - dir. Nicholas Stoller
Interstellar - dir. Christopher Nolan
Calvary - dir. John Michael McDonagh
Out of the Furnace - dir. Scott Cooper
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues - dir. Adam McKay
22 Jump Street - dir. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
The Lego Movie - dir. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
...at the Carte Noire IFI French Film Festival:
Diplomacy (Diplomatie) - dir. Volker Schlöndorff
The Blue Room (La Chambre Bleue) - dir. Mathieu Almaric 
Elle l'Adore - dir. Jeanne Henry
The Lizards (Les Lézards) - dir. Vincent Mariette
Fools Circle (Tristesse Club) - dir. Vincent Mariette

...also watched the following:
Doug Benson: Doug Dynasty
Chelsea Peretti: One Of The Greats

...also re-watched the following:
Flight of the Conchords S1 and S2
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai across the 8th Dimension – dir. W.D. Richter
Holy Motors – dir. Leos Carax
Tabloid – dir. Errol Morris
Upstream Color – dir. Shane Carruth

...read the following books:
Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall - Spike Milligan
The Humans - Matt Haig

...got the following music:
Jim Noir - Finnish Line

...saw Republic of Ireland beat USA 4-1 at the Aviva Stadium

...did my SPOOOOL.ie netflix column on "What's Goin' On?" - crazy or bizarre films

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Sunday Spotify - 16/11/14



16/11/14 - Randy & The Rainbows - Brenton Wood - The Rascals - The Standells - John Fred & His Playboy Band - Gene Pitney - Chad & Jeremy - Freddie & The Dreamers - Ron Grainer - Dave "Baby" Cortez - The Deltairs - The Chiffons - The Marvelettes - The Fleetwoods - The Bobbettes - Frankie Avalon - Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs - Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers - Dion & The Belmonts - Cascades - Jay & The Americans - The Cowsills - The Buckinghams - The Cyrkle - Gruff Rhys & Andy Votel

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Sunday Spotify - 02/11/14



02/11/14 - Air - Tame Impala - MGMT - Battles - Tennis - Belle and Sebastian - Elastica - Neon Neon - Miles Kane - T Rex - The Stranglers - Supergrass - The Undertones - The Jam - The Libertines - The Troggs - The Last Shadow Puppets

Friday, 31 October 2014

In October I...


...watched the following films:
The Battered Bastards of Baseball - dir. Chapman Way, Maclain Way
Nymphomaniac Vol.II - dir. Lars Von Trier
Lawless - dir. John Hillcoat
Dom Hemingway - dir. Richard Shepherd
Withnail & I - dir. Bruce Robinson
Gone Girl - dir. David Fincher
The Family - dir. Luc Besson
A Perfect Getaway - dir. David Twohy
Me and You - dir. Bernardo Bertolucci
Gold - dir. Niall Heery
'71 - dir. Yann Demange
The House of the Devil - dir. Ti West
American Interior - dir. Dylan Goch, Gruff Rhys
Starlet - dir. Sean Baker
Black Christmas - dir. Bob Clark
Rapture-Palooza - dir. Paul Middlemitch
Insidious: Chapter 2 - dir. James Wan
Foxfire: Confessions of Girl Gang - dir. Laurent Cantet
The Sender - dir. Roger Christian
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale - dir. Jalmari Hellander
Bronson - dir. Nicolas Winding Refn
The Couch Trip - dir. Michael Ritchie
John and Mary - dir. Peter Yates
Eyes Without A Face (Les yeux sans visage) - dir. Georges Franju
Dead End Drive-In - dir. Brian TrenchardiSmith
Housebound - dir. Gerard Johnstone (@ IFI Horrorthon)
The Babadook - dir. Jennifer Kent
What We Do In The Shadows - dir. Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi (@ IFI Horrorthon)
Hello I Must Be Going - dir. Todd Louiso
Re-Animator - dir. Stuart Gordon
From Beyond - dir. Stuart Gordon

...also watched:
The Americans S2
Maria Bamford: The Special Special Special
Burning Love S2
Jay Mohr: Funny for a Girl
Chelsea Handler: Uganda Be Kidding Me
Wyatt Cenac: Brooklyn

...read the following books:
Moranthology - Caitlin Moran
The Outsider - Albert Camus
Just Kids - Patti Smith

...got the following music:
Wampire - Bazaar
Christopher Owens - A New Testament
Spoon - They Want My Soul
Honeyblood - Honeyblood
Allo Darlin' - We Come From The Same Place
Gulp - Season Sun
Sex Hands - Pleh
Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright In The End
Teleman - Breakfast
The Coral - The Curse of Love

...saw Dave Gorman (w/Nick Doody) Gets Straight To The Point (The Powerpoint) at Vicar St
...and Todd Barry (w/Jarlath Regan) at the Sugar Club

...saw Republic of Ireland beat Gibraltar 7-0 at the Aviva Stadium

...did my SPOOOOL.ie netflix column on the best Scandinavian films available

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Sunday Spotify - 19/10/14



19/10/14 - Honeyblood - Weezer - Wampire - The Babies - Teleman - Spandau Ballet - Hospitality - Smith Westerns - Ryan Adams - Jenny Lewis - Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Allo Darlin' - Wild Belle - The Roots with Raheem DeVaughn