Top 5 albums
1 Radiohead - In_Rainbows
Just instantly sounded better than everything I'd heard for months - and for once in our instant preview/early release/download era, an album felt like an event.
2 Devandra Banhart - Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon
Love the 70s laid-back vibe here, traversing rock, folk and tropicalia effortlessly.
3 LCD Soundsystem - Sound Of Silver
Beyond the hipster hype, an album with something to say, and a fresh way of saying it.
4 Wilco - Sky Blue Sky
Warm rock, the perfect soundtrack to a snow-bound expedition. Great solos too.
5 Kings Of Leon - Because Of The Times
They disappointed live, but any album that kicks off with a good 7 minutes of slow-burning driving music is a winner round these parts.
Justice - +
Demented production, great inventive dance/pop that felt like it could only have been released in 2007.
OK, it's a compilation of post-Tropicalia freak-outs from 70s Brazilian, but most of it was new to me this year.
Burial - Untrue
Intriguing dubstep with soul
Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
Bit like eating a whole chocolate cake after a while, but still great in small chunks.
Top 5 gigs
1 The Rolling Stones - A Bigger Bang - The O2 August 26
They still rule. Billed as the last-ever tour too, glad to have finally caught them.
2 Prince - 3121 - The O2, August 31
Unstoppable showmanship, amazing guitar, huge catalogue of hits to draw on.
3 Wilco - Shepherd's Bush Empire, May 20
Possibly even better live than on record.
4 Beastie Boys - Brixton Academy, September 4
Good to see the BBs again, still got the skills to pay the bills.
5 Black Mountain - Cargo, December 5
Great introduction to a band I'd only heard on one track before - might have been higher in this list if I'd been able to sing along more.
Also: Cornelius/Matmos - Royal Festival Hall
Laptops, psychedelia, rock-outs and pure pop. RFH refurb works too.
The Vitamin Trip reunion, Joyce Is Not Here, September, Hong Kong
Just about pulled it all together again after ten years.
Top 5 films
1 Inland Empire
Unhinged Lynch. Not sure there's anywhere for him to go after this, but it's hard to beat for showing the extremes of cinema possibility; great performance from Laura Dern too.
2 The Lives Of Others
Brutally sharp in its dissection of recent state madness, and the ways people surprise and disappoint.
4 Knocked Up
Great way to play both sides of the romcom gender split.
Enjoyed the tight scale and execution of this MySpace generation Rear Window.
Most Disappointing threequel - Shrek The Third
Sucked as much as the first two rocked.
Ghost Ship - Menomena
Ponytail - Panda Bear
I Got Lost - Dinosaur Jr
Tenderoni - Chromeo
Love Your Man, Love Your Woman - The Broken Family Band
Veni Vidi Vici (Diplo Mix) - Black Lips
I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance - Black Kids
Is There A Ghost? - Band Of Horses
Top 5 TV shows
1 The Wire - FX/HBO
Just gets better and better. Does it really have to be the last series next time round?
2 Heroes - Sci-Fi/BBC2/NBC
Took a while to put everything in place, but this was one of the most fun shows around this year.
3 Entourage - ITV2/HBO
Vince and the gang are on a roll.
4 Flight Of The Conchords - BBC4/HBO
Jokes? Present. Songs? Present. Something new worth quoting.
5 30 Rock, Five/NBC
Didn't think this would be as funny as it is - Alec Baldwin's timing is great.
20th Dec 2007 - Tumblr5
Ambitious, stagey epic. Plenty of tropes and it falls in all the usual 1-take potholes.
27th Oct 2020Read more 3 star reviews
Thoughtful, stylish drama with a zen central performance.
17th Oct 2020Read more 4 star reviews
Stiff, poorly paced innovative film that hasn’t aged well.
11th Oct 2020Read more 3 star reviews
Inspiring, tightly scripted gem - overlooked by lockdown.
4th Oct 2020Read more 4 star reviews
Standard-issue airplane movie, with Joel Kinnaman standing in for Vin Diesel.
3rd Oct 2020Read more 3 star reviews
Sub LA Confidential gumshoe thriller - with an underplayed USP. Ed Norton misses again.
27th Sep 2020Read more 3 star reviews
Over explained threequel, that undermines a low key original.
18th Sep 2020Read more 2.5 star reviews
Intriguing, but generally incomprehensible sci-fi gobbledegook.
31st Aug 2020Read more 3 star reviews
The Next Level
Marginally less fun sequel, but still plenty of laughs.
16th Aug 2020Read more 3 star reviews
Beautifully imagined and lovingly restored, but it still alternates between a snail’… https://t.co/6bZj694rnx.
12th Aug 2020Read more star reviews
Surprisingly enjoyable plane movie, though it owes a lot to the magnificent Copland.
8th Aug 2020Read more 3 star reviews
Tension-free Bateman rom com. Lacking rom and com.
8th Aug 2020Read more 2 star reviews
Incredibly stylish and wannabe cerebral sci-fi, that’s ultimately a little thin.
19th Jul 2020Read more 3.5 star reviews
Underwhelming space drama that’s a bit too intimate and not very epic.
5th Jul 2020Read more 3.5 star reviews
Dire, tension-free postcode gang drama. Just add drama.
21st Jun 2020Read more 1 star reviews
Magnificent documentary, re-assembling the moon landing from beautifully remastered footage.
14th Jun 2020Read more 4 star reviews
The 8th slow-paced Tarantino pic. Literally half entertaining / boring.
24th May 2020Read more 2.5 star reviews
Entertaining Brit-com, though it’s a bit on-the-beaten-path for Danny Boyle.
13th Apr 2020Read more 3 star reviews
Mildly enjoyable, thoroughly forgettable Nick Hornby pic ...once you get past the contrived set up.
4th Apr 2020Read more 3 star reviews
Kid-friendly(ish), super fun superhero movie.
23rd Mar 2020Read more 3.5 star reviews
Impeccably realised remake, but it’s emotionally flat.
15th Mar 2020Read more 3 star reviews
Standard festival thriller, with some style and decent moments - but it’s all a bit thin.
10th Mar 2020Read more 3 star reviews
Surprisingly enjoyable, Guy Ritchie-fied Disney remake.
10th Mar 2020Read more 3.5 star reviews
Cookie cutter biography that could literally have been written from his Wikipedia page.
7th Mar 2020Read more 1.5 star reviews
Text book indie, literally days out of Sundance. Interesting until it gets a bit too wacky.
9th Feb 2020Read more 3 star reviews
Strong slice of 90s skate nostalgia. Slow and subtle.
8th Feb 2020Read more 3.5 star reviews
Considered character study that strays into pretentiousness here and there.
25th Jan 2020Read more 3 star reviews
Enthusiasticly directed sequence of unrelated musical set pieces.
31st Dec 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Yet another biggest-battle-yet, with more than a passing nod to BTTF2.
30th Dec 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Thoughtfully assembled montage doc.
30th Dec 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Decent origin story, with charm and some 90s nostalgia.
27th Dec 2019Read more 3 star reviews
The Rise of Skywalker
Freestyle bouillabaisse with all the ingredients, but no chef.
27th Dec 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Quintessential indie movie ...funded by Netflix. Great perfs, lovely camera work and solid direction.
22nd Dec 2019Read more 4 star reviews
Superior modern thriller. Smart script and accomplished direction.
15th Dec 2019Read more 4 star reviews
Long, slow, thoroughly enjoyable loose jam through Scorsese/DeNiro/Pacino/Pesci/Keitel’s greatest hits.
2nd Dec 2019Read more 4 star reviews
Batman via Scorsese, in impeccably art directed, neatly packaged origin story.
28th Nov 2019Read more 4 star reviews
Surprisingly strong sequel that gets going after a convoluted start.
24th Nov 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Casual drama from Clint Eastwood, with the man himself anchoring things through a charming turn.
16th Nov 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Luscious period drama. Beautifully put together - like Wolf Hall+.
3rd Nov 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Throw away Breaking Bad expansion piece with little tension or jeopardy.
13th Oct 2019Read more 2.5 star reviews
Stylish but incoherent Cheney biopic, hampered by another one-note turn from Bale.
5th Oct 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Mind numbingingly basic biopic, saved by the nostalgia for the music and moments.
5th Oct 2019Read more 2 star reviews
Interesting doc following the lives of 3 teens becoming adults, tied together by skateboarding.
28th Sep 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Painful, occasionally uplifting viewing with a grief stricken central performance.
28th Sep 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Into the Spider-Verse
Stylish, trippy concept animated superhero flick with some great moments.
21st Sep 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Young adult upgrade, with just enough Conchords humour to keep it enjoyable.
22nd Aug 2019Read more 2.5 star reviews
Decent Aussie surf drama, that nostalgically investigates the soul of surfing before losing its way a little.
14th Aug 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Somewhat unremarkable, but enjoyable music drama. Bit long.
13th Jul 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews