Top 5 Eps of 2011

I always feel bad when I make a top album list and don’t let EPs have a chance to make it, so here is a list of my favourite 5 EPs of the year:

5 – Broken Bells – Meyrin Fields

4 – Washington – Insomnia

3 – Snakadaktal – Snakadaktal

2 – The Decemberists – Long Live The King

1 – Enola Fall – I Am An Areal

WELL, that’s done. I’ll be doing my favourite albums of the year list soon (though not as soon as i’d like, as i’m without internet few a while soon)
Toodles for now.

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Best of 2011: TV Shows

You know I love lists, so this time of year is one of my favourites.  So over the next few weeks, I’ll be making a bunch of lists and checking them twice. I’m like Santa, but without the creepy sneaking into young children’s bedrooms late at night.

So check here and over at my LISTS page for some lists of my favourite things (and maybe least favourite) of the year: Movies, Games, Albums, Songs, and starting off now with TV SHOWS.

5 – Modern Family (season 3)
Season 3 continues doing what the previous seasons have done – provide solid entertainment, and none of that awful forced down your throat comedy that shows such as Two and a Half Men and Big Bang Theory produce. But more complaints about them in an upcoming “WORST” list. Modern Family, watch it.

4 – Psych (season 6)
Business as usual. Not really much to say here, each episode is for the most part, a story that needs to previous watching to get into. While I usually prefer shows that have a long season arc, Psych is always good, entertaining, and hilarious fun. The standout episode of the season so far is the Hangover-inspired episode, which is actually far, far better than that average and over quoted movie.

3 – Revenge (new)
A bit of a strange one, but a definite grower. Without giving anything away or trying to complicate things, it’s basically the following:
Girl moves to rich society in order to get revenge on anyone who had any involvement in getting her father arrested on false terrorism charges and ruining her childhood. The first episode was very, very dramatic, in the most hilarious way. It was almost like a soap opera at times. But stick with it. The next couple of episodes are about gaining revenge on several members of the rich society, while the show moves away from the sort of “week-to-week” story format after a few weeks, focusing more on the ongoing story as a whole.
I’ll say it again, but stick with it, as it’s one that grows on you with each episode, until the point where it becomes almost ridiculously addictive.

2 – Dexter – season 6
A lot of people seem to be jumping on the “DEXTER SUX NOW” bandwagon lately. I am not one of these people who believe that Dexter should go back to being like the first season. Sure, the first season was awesome, but how lame would it be if there had been no character development, and had remained exactly the same, season after season? He is a complex and forever evolving character, not a Nickelback album.

I think the Trinity Killer was an extremely tough villain to follow, but the two* villains in the current season are sure trying.
*SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER. IT’S JUST ONE PERSON.

Anywho, while it may not be living up to the greatness of some previous seasons, it is still more satisfying and entertaining than most shows on TV.

1 – Homeland (new)
Easily the best new show of the year, nothing else really comes close. It’s a show that follows a soldier, Sgt Brodie, who has recently been found and brought home to the USA after being a prisoner of war for 8 years. It also follows the CIA (focus on Agent Carrie Mathison) and their hunt for a terrorist known as Abu Nazzir. Carrie has information stating that an American prisoner of war has been turned by the enemy, and when Sgt Brodie returns home, she believes it to be him. It becomes more complex as the episodes go on, but I won’t give anything away. Don’t expect it to be some kind of 24-esque AMERICA VS TERRORISTS action packed gunfight-fest, it’s so much better than that. The end of the first episode is sure to intrigue and hook you if you weren’t already hooked, and it keeps getting better as it goes on. Just two episodes remain in the season (I have no idea if further seasons are planned), and I have no doubt that I will be left entertained, shocked, and ready to watch the entire series again. Great stuff.

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Top 15 – Los Campesinos! songs

Yes, FIFTEEN rather than TEN, as I was having too much trouble getting it down to 10 (getting it to 15 wasn’t easy either).
Anyway, I’m doing this list now as I am eagerly anticipating the new Los Campesinos! album, due out in mid-November. Though, I’d have it already if I’d remembered to pre-order >: (
Songs in this list are from the band’s Albums, EP’s, EEP (yes, you heard me), singles, 7 inches (insert your own penis joke) and so on.

15 ) Miserabilia (We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed)
Watch a live performance of the song here

14 ) There Is A Flag, There Is No Wink (Romance Is Boring)

13 ) Light Leaves, Dark Sees (Heat Rash #1)

12 ) Romance Is Boring (Romance Is Boring)
Watch a live performance of the song here

11 ) We’ve Got Your Back (Documented Minor Emotional Breakdown #2) – from the album (Romance Is Boring)

10 ) …And We Exhale And Roll Our Eyes In Unison (Hold On Now, Youngster…)

9 ) Death To Los Campesinos! (Hold On Now, Youngster…)
A live performance of the song can be watched here.

8 ) Letters From Me To Charlotte (RSPV) – from the EP All’s Well That Ends Well

7 ) In Medias Res (Romance Is Boring)

6 ) We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed (We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed)

5 ) Hello Sadness (Hello Sadness)

4 ) You’ll Need Those Fingers For Crossing (We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed)

3 ) You! Me! Dancing! (Hold On Now, Youngster…)
Watch the video for this song! Now!

2) A Heat Rash In The Shape Of The Show Me State; or, Letters From Me To Charlotte (Romance Is Boring)
Watch a live acoustic performance of the song here. Being acoustic, you could say it’s more like the All’s Well That Ends Well version than the Romance Is Boring version.

1) By Your Hand (Hello Sadness)
I’m sure I posted the video here when it was released, but what the hell… watch it again!
And don’t forget, Hello Sadness is out in mid-November for those who didn’t pre-order it.

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OCTOBER

Music

A fairly busy music month, with many albums being purchased by me. Said albums include (I may be forgetting some):

– Florence + The Machine – Ceromonials
– Wolf Gang – Suego Faults
– Washington – Insomnia
– Real Estate – Days
– M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
– Feist – Metals
– Mates of State – Mountain Tops

Out of those, the new Florence + The Machine has got the most listens so far, but I’ll be sure to give the others an equal go soon.

Tv
I made a large post about TV shows a while back, so to hell with writing out more. I will say that a couple of the shows I mentioned are really growing on me though, in particular “Revenge” and “Up All Night”

That’s about it for now. Good day.

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Top 10 – Angus & Julia Stone

Continuing in my series of “i’m bored, i’ll do a top ten list!” things, Angus & Julia Stone are the band/group/people for this list. You’re welcome for that poorly constructed sentence.
As well as Angus & Julia Stone (group), songs from Julia Stone (solo) and Lady of the Sunshine (Angus Stone’s solo project) were also taken into consideration. Anywho:

10 – Angus & Julia Stone – The Beast (A Book Like This)

9 Julia Stone – This Love (The Memory Machine)

8 – Angus & Julia Stone – Draw Your Swords (Down The Way)

7 – Lady of the Sunshine – Home Sweet Home (Smoking Gun)

6 – Julia Stone – Winter on the Weekend (The Memory Machine)

5 – Angus & Julia Stone – Hold On (Down The Way)

4 – Angus & Julia Stone – Just A Boy (A Book Like This)

3 – Angus & Julia Stone – For You (Down The Way)

2 – Angus & Julia Stone – Silver Coin (A Book Like This)

1 – Angus & Julia Stone – And The Boys (Down The Way)

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TV SEASON (aka i’m too lazy to go outside)

It’s that wonderful time of year again. The time of year when a bunch of new shows come out, and new seasons of old favourites begin. A time where I avoid assignments and make excuses not to see friends so I can catch up on the latest episodes. And this year seems to be more jam packed (for a lazy ass such as myself) than ever.  Here is a brief look at what shows I have been watching (totally not just killing time while I wait for something else to download):

Firstly,

RETURNING SHOWS

Psych. An interesting first episode to the new season, where it appears for a moment as though Shaun’s secret is going to be outed. But that’d probably be a strange way to start the season, so never mind. The second episode, a sort of “Hangover” parody was one of the funniest episodes of the entire series so far. Far funnier than the actual Hangover (and subsequent exact-copy “Hangover 2”) movies.

Dexter. A lot of people didn’t like Season 5. Those people suck. Sure, it was different than previous seasons- no season long “enemy” as such, Dexter becoming a little more “human” than we’ve seen before. But it had to happen. It’d be stupid if every episode was just “kill someone. I’m a monster. rah rah no character development.”  Season 6 is certainly an interesting one so far. Without wanting to post any spoilers, there is apparently a returning face from the past in the upcoming episodes that will “change things forever.”

NCIS & NCIS LA. In typical NCIS fashion, these two shows started the season after cliffhangers at the end of previous seasons. NCIS LA probably had the better end/start of season multi-episode arc, but NCIS has also set into motion an arc that will return towards the end of this season, as they always do. For now, both are probably going to stick to “regular” episodes.

Modern Family. Currently the best comedy on TV. It’s funny, but not forced down your throat in the style of laugh-track sitcoms such as 2 and a Half Men and Big Bang Theory.

NEW SHOWS

My first thought this new TV season was to find a genuinely funny sitcom/comedy show that would make me want to watch every episode the second it came out. Unfortunately, the days of great comedy shows (Seinfeld, Fraiser, etc) are gone, replaced with generically awful shows with the same bad jokes, bad characters and even worse canned laughter. I may eventually try a couple of shows I have been hearing about (2 Broke Girls and New Girl), but I don’t have high hopes for either.
The one new comedy show I am watching at the moment is:
Up All Night. The only reason I gave this show a try is because I saw that Will Arnett (Arrested Development – coming back soon!) is in it. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn’t another canned laughter-filled generic sitcom, but something more along the lines of Raising Hope (Hey, they’re both about raising a baby. shhh). While the first episode (only one i’ve seen so far) wasn’t the greatest or funniest thing I’ve ever seen, it fit have its moments, and enough of them to make me want to keep watching.

Revenge (or Reven8e). Seemed like a pretty good idea on paper – Girl gets her life ruined as a child, returns to take revenge on anyone who caused said life-ruining. I sort of had no clue what was going on in the first episode for a while. A scene involving someone being shot, then BAM, GO BACK 5 MONTHS (it seems the entire season will play up towards that shooting scene). Anywho, rich people with big houses and snobby friends makes for some hilariously dramatic and almost soap opera-ish moments (such as a heart attack, a seemingly evil housewife, and about 5 cheatings/affairs already within the first 3 episodes). Meanwhile, main character Emily sets about her plan (by the way, she’s back in a town she used to live in, though no one knows it’s her as she isn’t going by that name, rah rah rah, all part of her plan to seek revenge and whatnot) to uncover affairs and destroy rich people’s lives. Anywho, after an initial “WHAT IN THE HELL IS THIS?”, I’m starting to get quite into this show.

Homeland. After seeing a small clip for this on TV, I thought it was going to be an action show about CIA agents or something along the lines of 24 or The Unit. I’m glad I was wrong though, as it’s much, much better than that. Without wanting to give too much away – a soldier is found alive after 8 years as a prisoner of war, and co-main character Carrie (of some agency) believes that he has been turned (as in, now working for the enemy) during his time in capture. She begins surveillance on his home, where he has returned to his wife (WHO SLEPT WITH HIS BEST FREIND. LIKE, OMG DRAMA YOU GUYZ) and two kids. Slowly signs begin to show of his turning. Anywho, just watch it rather than have me retell the entire story. It is worth it. Definitely the best new show of this year, and one of the best in my recent memory.

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Rah Rah September

Music

I made some fine and dandy music purchases in September, including :

Grouplove – Never Trust a Happy Song
The Rapture –  In The Grace of Your Love
Ball Park Music – Happiness and Surrounding Suburbs
Kasabian – Velociraptor!
(may have been early october, but shhh)
Beirut – The Rip Tide

I’m sure there were others, so check my RYM complete list of 2011 albums for the ones I’ve forgotten. Also, i’ll update my “lists” page soon.

The year may be nearing an end, but there is still plenty to look forward to, most notably the new Florence + The Machine and Los Campesinos! albums. It would seem squeezing all of this years albums down to a top ten will be difficult work.

Two of my favourite songs of the month come from those two upcoming albums:
Florence + The Machine – What The Water Gave Me
Los Campesinos! – By Your Hand.

Another favourite is the new Snakadaktal song, Air. Those in Australia might be familar with Snakadaktal. They are a high school band that recently won “Unearthed High”, a competition for unsigned and independent bands. More on “Unearthed” in a later post. Listen to the song here.

TV and Movies

Guess what? Still haven’t watched a movie this month!
As for TV, I finished watching (rewatching) all seasons of The Shield. Awesome. Full post on it soon.
More awesome TV stuff – Arrested Development is coming back for a 10 episode season before the movie. Should’ve never been cancelled, but this is still awesome.
New seasons have started, I have especially liked the first episode of the new season of Dexter so far.

That is all for now. Good day.

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