Happy New Year. I’m at home, sick, surrounded by sick family members and I sound like Robin William’s gay brother in Mrs Doubtfire, but enough of that.

I don’t usually do best of lists at the end of a year but 2010 has been so rich and diverse I wanted to share a few things with those of you who may not be aware of them.

Firstly, my favourite novel of the year was ‘Zero History’ by William Gibson. A taught thriller packed into weaving threads of ideas and devices so cool there are still people who think this is a science fiction novel.
In pop music one album was miles above any others, although I suspect I’m slowly growing out of pop music generally. Canadian Steven Page released Page One this year and it is a sizzling, mixed metaphorical gem of a record. If you loved the wit and intelligence of Barenaked Ladies but had the nagging feeling you were being sidetracked form the good stuff, well, here’s the good stuff. The song ‘Over Joy’ should be a single and it really should be a hit.
Very late in the year I found the song ‘Fuck You’ by Cee-Lo Green, which I somehow missed when it was number one. I loved this song. Simple, witty (despite what you might think with a title like that) and extremely good to sing along to when driving home in the night.
The Christmas compilation album with BBC Music Magazine was stunningly good. It’s so good I’ve already lost my copy, so if you like beautifully sung choral music with a Christmas theme but without the cheese, try and get a copy of the December issue.
I was torn for best album between Trey Gunn’s epic Modulator and Llyria by Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin. Two very different albums but both sublime. I came to the Ronin album through the recommendation of the excellent Sid Smith, who was already aware of this group and had seen them in concert earlier in the year. I was hooked from the first few bars and felt I had discovered an album that had been made for me. Trey Gunn's Modulator is a monster of an album. A 50+ minute improvised drum solo which Trey has written and played over but which sounds seamless. I've listened to it over and over yet keep finding more detail to enjoy.
Gig of the year – easy. The Adrian Belew Power Trio in Islington. One of the top three gigs I’ve seen in my life.
I managed another NaNoWriMo novel this year and finished the ‘Rising and Falling’ album with the inspiring John Marcell. This was a project that didn’t go to plan, that had the disadvantage of him being in Texas and me being in the UK, and none of having access to top of the line recoding studios. And yet, the result is something I’m terrifically proud of. Finally and album I’m on that I can listen to!
Finally, in late July, late at night, my son was born. That helped make it a special year too.


lani said…
happy new year!!! 2011 will surely be better than 2010

Popular Posts