Wednesday, 28 December 2011

These are a few of my 2011 favourite things

Having recorded our usual end of year albums podcast I have decided to do a list of my favourite 2011 phenomenons. It was an extremely busy year, hence only the second post.

It was in loose chronological order until A K Zincke expressed surprise at cricket and economics taking the first two places.

Shield Your Eyes Live
Saw them twice in a month at Old Blue Last and in my neighbourhood at Ryan's bar. For great mathy Neil Young emo-voiced jams. And the drumming. Don't forget the drumming.

Watched this neo-noir classic at the local Rio cinema.

India win the Cricket World Cup
My dormant interest in cricket was re-awakened by host nation and this blogger's motherland India winning the world cup and saving the entire country from imploding. See video below for captain Dhoni scoring the winning runs with an audacious six.

John Maynard Keynes
One of my recent interests is trying to understand economics as my master's degree covers a lot of general themes from manufacturing, investment, inflation and interest rates.

It is indeed all about the money.

Keynes was an extremely influentuial economist during the first half of the 20th century with great foresight about Germany post-WW1. He was then instrumental in re-structuring the global economy during and after the 30s Depression and his fiscal stimulus doctrine helped many nations recover.

Such ideas are being considered today as we experience the largest global downturn since this era. There's a good book by Robert Skidelsky positing a Return of the Master. FOLLOW THE MONEY.

Playing Drums
I developed a new technique while playing along to my favourite tracks in my basement (only one recorded neighbour complaint so far), a much more relaxed and enjoyable grip but with the downside of dropping my sticks more often. Some videos that inspired:

Skip to 7 minutes in

Or should I say the exposure of systematic corruption within the elites who run (into the ground?) this country. This guy is righteous internet gold.

During the summer when the Guardian exposed that the News of the World had hacked mudered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone Newsnight had many entertaining debates. Here's a particular favourite.

The Killing
I just caught up with this detective thriller from Denmark 2007. It was repeated on the always brilliant BBC4 but I chose to buy the boxset; often mainlining 3 episodes in a row when I was between jobs and studies in the late summer.

To say its a 'whodunnit' doesn't do it justice. It keeps you gripped with every cliffhanger of its 20 episode run. The acting, writing and directing are beautifully understated with great pacing, atmosphere.

Most importantly its thankfully nothing like the US remake!

Currently watching The Killing II. JUST HOOK IT UP TO MY VEINS.

Outdoor swimming in late September London
Rather smugly I made sure to tell everyone via that internet when I visited London Fields Lido on a weekday off. It nearly hit 30 degrees (approx. 85 degrees for metric friends). It wasn't all roses though, in line with pool etiquette I got told off the next day for taking more photos.

Bardo Pond Live
Last saw these noise rock stalwarts play 11 years ago and was blown away. They played this live at the surprisingly decent venue XOYO near London's trendy silicone roundabout. It was immense. Must try not to make it over a decade before the next time.


Following neatly on from the last entry I had been to Berlin about 11 years ago. Y'know when the Eurozone worked.

I remember there being a lot of cranes lit up at night and those toilets with those 'orrid inspection trays. This time I stayed with a friend of a friend who I mostly meet abroad. We and his crew went drinking every night in trendy (that word again) Kreuzberg with its many bars. Also went to party in Prenzlauer Berg and got lost trying to find another further west. Sehr Gut! (ahem)

Watch out for cyclists though!

East Side Gallery at the Berlin Wall.

See you in 2012!

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