Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best of 2011

Well, since it seems like everyone is doing of of these "best of" I thought I'd do one too. I have to say, definitely a good year, despite the economic troubles here at home, great things were accomplished around the globe. Libya was liberated from its dictator, and will hopefully build a democracy for its people. Kim Jong-il kicked the bucket (not a year for dictators, I guess).

As for me, I have a few favorites of things that I discovered (or just really, really enjoyed) in 2011.

Best movie
I didn't see very many movies this year; Hollywood didn't have much to offer. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (US version) would have to be the best one, and after that, Cowboys and Aliens. Yeah, two dramatically different films. I did enjoy Captain America, though I didn't see it in theaters. Loved Loki from the movie Thor. As you can tell, I'm totally stoked to go see The Avengers next year.  

Best TV show
The Venture Bros., of course. Their fourth season has to be the best so far, and loved their special Jacket. Sadly, it's going to be another two years before we'll see new episodes. Honorable mention for The Big Bang Theory and Mike and Molly. I don't watch much TV, but what I do watch is usually, what I like to think, is the good quality stuff.

Best music
This one is a toughie because I've discovered so many great songs and artists, so I'm going to name the top ones that I enjoyed the most and my favorite song of theirs.
  • Emilie Autumn - Swallow 
  • Adele - Rolling in the Deep
  • Claire Maguire - The Shield and The Sword
  • Florence and the Machine - Cosmic Love (Though, I just heard Heartlines and it's amazing. Just about all her songs are fantastic.)
Yeah, I know, all female artists (but note, good artists, none of that auto-tune crap). Can't say I found many male artists this year that I like, they all sound soft spoken and boring. I don't see what the hype is about Coldplay, they really don't sound that great (Florence did a beautiful cover of one of their songs, tho). Yet, one of my favorite vocalists is Dave Gahan from Depeche Mode. Now that is a voice I can listen to all day.

I should add that I do like some of WEEP's stuff (headed by Doc Hammer), but it's not for the vocals, but rather, the composition, which is this blend of retro new wave soft rock punk and synth. Yeah, that's a mouthful. If you haven't listened to the song "Worn Thin", I definitely recommend that.  

Okay, so before I derail too much...

Best book
The Skinner by Neal Asher -- bet that wasn't a surprise.

A close second is Evolution's Darling by Scott Westerfeld. I didn't review this book since it's been out of print for over ten years, but excellent "what it means to be human" kind of book. But there's a twist: Is it possible for a human to no longer be considered a person?

It's actually part erotica, which I normally don't read, but the Westerfeld takes an interesting approach, from the robot's PoV, and how the robot analyzes, while stimulating, the sex act. It doesn't sound interesting, but it really was. The title comes from how robots/AI are in constant change, can update ("evolve") themselves as often and at anytime. Whereas humans are limited to generations. Thus, AI is the darling of evolution. If you stumble across this book in a garage sale or used book store, I highly recommend picking it up. 

Best buy
Because we all like to buy things for ourselves, and this T-shirt from Threadless is my all-time favorite.

Well, here's to a happy New Year and many more good things to come!


  1. Happy New Year!

    Congratulations for W1S1, and good luck for next year.

  2. Adele and Florence rock it, mos def. And CONGRATS on reaching your December W1S1 goals! Also, thank you for reading Arcane -- so glad you enjoyed my weird western. =]

  3. Get out of town! Depeche Mode is my all time favorite band. *high-gives* Congrats on your W1S1 progress this year, and best of luck next year!

  4. @Lydia - Thanks! good luck to you, too!

    @Milo - Thanks! I love weird west, and your story was definitely the weirdest, haha.

    @Sealey - I know, I adore Depeche Mode, and I don't think there's a song of theirs that I don't like.