Wednesday, December 30, 2009


2009 draws to a close, as does another decade. Here are the year's favourite things, which have formed the backdrop, on a personal level, to the happiest of times.

The deliveries sourced from Amazon and Biblio are still arriving thick and fast. Now having renewed a taste for rare out-of-print works, the cost for this regular literary fulfilment has at times been considerable, but so so worth it when referring to classic works such as Albert Goldman's Disco, David King's The Commissar Vanishes, and Helen Hazen's Endless Rapture.

Apart from the predictably sublime pleasure that the ever-reliable Saw franchise delivered with VI, there are three films that for me stand out. The knowingly neo-Bergmanesque Daisy Diamond by Danish director Simon Staho; the scandalously fun popcorn horror of Orphan featuring Esther, one of the most badass characters in memory; and the marvellously satisfying Swedish horror Let The Right One In - let's pray there's never a Hollywood remake.

Despite being an unreformed Sony fanboy, and despite having an instinctive hostility against Apple and Microsoft (along with several other hardware manufacturers), I have to confess to finding my iPhone 3GS a true marvel. But even that doesn't compare to the scandalous magic of the SpiderBox 9000HD.

The ferociously, sadistically, unforgiving time sink from Japan that goes by the name of Demon's Souls (PS3) is not only the best game in 2009, but of this decade. Play it to death.

Too many incredible memories to choose from: Whitehouse at OutFest in Portugal, Cut Hands concerts in Germany and Poland (not to mention dear Auld Reekie), Benetti at Cocadisco and Bloc 2009, are but a few of the highlights. Thanks to everyone who made these shows possible, and thanks to everyone who came along, I hope you also had an amazing time.

The undeniable excellence of Cologne's Ludwig Museum was trumped only by the visit to Wellcome Trust's exhibits in the history of medicine at the Science Museum in London.

And yes, I'm sparing you the restaurant reviews this time around.


The Shivering Manatee said...

I believe the LTROI remake is already underway, and is to be called Let Me In, or something similar....

Mark said...

Orphan is brilliant. It's nice to have a film that flies in the face of the current PC tripe.

SenzuriChampion said...

I agree Mark I am shopping around my script for a psychological horror flick where it turns out the monsters are just black people

Alan.. said...

Cut Hands 3 at the CCA was a great night. Looking forward to the next one and especially looking forward to the record.

All the best.

Steven said...

Intrigued by your admiration for Albert Goldman's work. Never read him myself (I plan to), but all other reference to him I have seen suggest mean spiritedness and inaccuracy (Greil Marcus makes a big deal out of him misquoting the head of Sun records about Elvis). Soon after reading in your Wire piece about the treasure trove of Ono info. in the Lennon book, I read a review that lambasted Goldman's supposedly unfair and nasty treatment of her.... A couple of books to add to the must read list - too bad Disco goes for $150...

Adverse Effect said...

Glad you enjoyed Cut Hands here in Polska. Hope to make it happen again when the opportunity arises, William. Always good to see you, plus the Cut Hands sets I witnessed stand out as a personal live performance highlights from last year, too. Looking forward to the album!