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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.