Highlight of 2009?
To quote to Jesus Jones “Right Here Right Now”, I’m sat in my cosy flat that’s taken a year to get to from our previous tiny “drunks and druggies outside” flat. After a year’s worth of secondments and stuff, my job role is now permanent. I’m off to Euro Disney this weekend. It feels a very chrisymassy Christmas and generally all feels good with even better stuff around the corner.
Low point of 2009?
Moving is hell at the best of times and certainly isn’t helped by lying bastardo estate agents and their crippling fees. Lots of other annoying job/money/grown-up admin challenges for Family PXPLCR but we overcome them with style and creativity.
In terms of PopArt, it was annoying to get an 8 out of 10 in a certain magazine only to be turned away in terms of articles and stuff. Also certain venues and events peoples being a bit trixie didn’t help. 2009 was the year of PopArt vs. the great glass ceiling and it was rather annoying.
And it was also sad to see so many of our alumni bands break up (Awwblot? Pocus Whiteface, Sub Girls) definitely the end of an era. All you Smart Kids out there must form bands NOW and write some snappy hits. Dave Rees is running out of people to terrorize.
PopArt moment of 2009?
PopArt albums getting nice reviews, I’m lead to believe the Bowie Allstars was rather good – I certainly had a blast tearing through Suffragette City with Les Carter. Lots of weird little moments when me and the boys do “duelling banjos” on the decks when it dawns on us that spinning tunes was what started it all off and it’s great that we can still bounce of each other. That sounds totally gaye doesn’t it. Oh well.
Single of 2009?
Was “Fax of Death” by The Laurel Collective a single? If so, that was the joint sound of my summer. Also surprisingly REALLY liked “Sea Within a Sea” by The Horrors, “Graveyard Girl” by M83 was also lovely. There’s always been a goth element to my work.
Album of 2009?
Best year for “enjoyable from start to finish” albums in yonks… The Boss, The Cribs, Kiss, SFAs all put out good uns.
“It’s Blitz” by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs was SUPERB… they pulled off the incredible feat of making their most adventurous album and their most accessible album at the same time. “Zero”, “Heads Will Roll” and “Hysteric” are irresistible alternative pop while the likes of “Skeleton” and “Runaway” are epically haunted and beautiful.
For those that like spooky, acoustic, string tinged ghostly beauty I urge you to check out the expanded CD version that has “acoustic versions” of several of the songs. The term “acoustic versions” doesn’t do these re-arrangements justice… they are superb and full of imagination… for example the stadium indie lighters aloft song “Little Shadow” is transformed in it’s “acoustic version” into something akin to 66 - 67 Beatles… pounding macca-esque piano backed with deep slightly sinister cellos. AND then get the i-tunes bonus track “Faces” for 79p it’s synthy & poptastic and was the other joint sound of my summer. Brilliant.
Best live band of 2009?
The Yeah Yeahs Yeahs put up one hell of a fight in Brixton the other night and any other year they would have waltzed off with the trophy BUT Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band in Hyde Park were simply godlike. I heard tales – heck we’ve all heard tales – about the Boss’ prowess at rocking a field full of people but until you’ve experienced it first hand you don’t know squat. Such was the healing power of the Boss’ rock n’ roll church that it felt like we were in the front row even though we were lurking at the back of the front.
The setlist was superb Laura & I were saying on the way there “god imagine if he opened with “Badlands” followed by Night” and HE DID (with a cheeky starter of “London Calling” no less)! He hardly ever plays “Night”… I’d like to think he was walking behind us and we didn’t realise. Unlikely but I can dream. My fondest memory is standing in a field full of hazily drunk people doing a seemingly made up whoah-oh oh chant to an extended outro of “Out In The Streets”. My wife Laura bought me the ticket for a birthday present and also got me a very handsome “Born To Run” t-shirt. Well worth turning 32 for.
Film of 2009?
Where to start? The Wrestler was great (if you liked it check out the documentary “Beyond the Mat” it’s where many of the films ideas were lifted). Watchmen may have had it flaws (and it’s Nite Owl doing a Vader “Nooooooo!” scene and it’s 80’s sex scene) but it did as good as it could to try and please all the people most of the time with millions of invested dollars resting like a burden on it’s shoulders. History will be kinder to it. District 9 was a thrill ride. Let The Right One In was spellbindingly odd and enticing. But the biggest surprise was Star Trek… Exciting, funny, well paced and full of great interesting characters… it’s only the film “Phantom Menace” should have been.
TV show of 2009?
Hmm let me think. I actually preferred Season 2 of Flight Of The Conchords to the first season. Jermaine trying to sneak out of the Australian Girl’s apartment in a mixture of fear, confusion and panic. It was brilliant.. i’m chuckling thinking about it. Been catching up on Battlestar Galactica over the past few months (just the last ten episodes to go… no spoilers please).
Was Season 5 of the Wire this year or last year… I’ll put it again as I actually thought it was one the best ones… what of it? Peep Show was ace but that’s a given. The final series of the Shield was INTENSE!
Oh and Rock of Love with Brett Michaels is always enjoyable bur series three was sublime.
Hero of 2009?
My wife Laura for her love, support, Spotify sessions and heavenly cooking. Oh and for letting me watch WWE Experience on Sundays without heckling and tutting like most girls would. Big shout to the cat Baby Bandit who’s never ending quests for food, rampant games of Bandit-Ball (kicking a conker about) and general face rubbing antics entertain and inspire me. Ian Watson for giving me & Tamla plenty of opportunities to run rampant at HDiF plus also for his ballsy move of releasing THREE albums in a month (we did two in a month and it almost killed us!) And of the PopArt team who continue to bust their asses to keep the dream alive.
What do you hope to achieve in 2010?
Most of the stuff from previous years “What Do You Hope To Achieve” alas. Next year I’m going to focus on one thing at a time instead of trying to do a billion things at once constantly and ultimately going nowhere fast.
Who else is worth looking out for in the coming 12 months?
Really not sure, however the band “This Many Boyfriends” really tore up “How Does It Feel presents” a couple of weeks ago with their Art Brut-y/Fall-y/Pavement-y/C-86-y racket
How will you be spending Christmas?
A little bit here, a little bit there for the first few days and then probably tearing through the final ten episodes of Battlestar Galactica
And the End of the Decade Bonus:
The Noughties - how was it for you?
To appreciate the destination you have to understand the journey I guess. On one hand if I think that the 90’s was nearly 20 years ago it fills me with dread that time slips away too fast and I should reserve a plot of land for my pasty body to be buried in (Just kidding… I’m the PhoeniX and thus I HAVE to be cremated for the legacy to go to another). But ultimately looking back over the decade I was shocked how long it was.
My instant thought was the decade started around the time of the Panic Nation back around 2004 BUT there was atleast two maybe three plump seasons of the TV show of my life before that which seem like I was played by a different actor atleast twice.. a bit like Dr.Who but without the budget or kudos. Ultimately the decade was ace for me… I got a lot of things out of my system, saw bucket loads of bands, rock n rolled all nite and partied everyday in The Violet Pad and The Tooting Rooms, hung out with people whose records I listened to growing up, did things that would have seemed impossible in Sittingbourne, meet loads of great people, a few assholes, a few people so bizarre that I swear they were method actors but all great characters and I feel all the richer for knowing them and best of all met my wife and got married totally changing my Phil-osophies on several of fears surrounding love. It’s been brilliant and for me it had a roll credits happy ending. I give it two big thumbs up, a smile and a wink.