Friday, December 24, 2010

The 2010 Jock Awards

It's Christmas time, there's no need to be's time for the annual trip through my brain to see what's been keeping me entertained this year.
The Stone Roses Award for Album of the Year: (Nominees: Tame Impala - Innerspeaker; Warpaint - Fool; Massive Attack - Heligoland; Arcade Fire - The Suburbs; I Am Kloot - Sky At Night)
In a world where my favourite bands are starting to pack it in for good with frightening regularity, I don't think 2010 has been a vintage year for long players. Of those that have stirred me, Warpaint's Fool is the best, a proggy, bass-driven collage of melodies from four LA rock chicks.
The Strawberry Fields Forever Award for Single of the Year: (Nominees: Plan B - She Said; Mark Ronson & The Business Int'l - Bike Song; Warpaint - Undertow; Scrooge & Marley - I Don't Want It To Be Me)
I've not been entirely blown away by the quality of singles on offer this year either. The Streets' Mike Skinner and The Music's Rob Harvey collaborating on the Christmas track I Don't Want It To Be Me comes close, as does the little hairy oik from The View singing with Mark Ronson's image restoration project on Bike Song. But the catchiest, most soulful and snappiest track of the year is undeniably Plan B's She Said, transforming the man himself from acoustic hip-hop agitator into crooning soul legend.
The Rolling Stones Award for Live Act of the Year: (Nominees: The Black Keys, Black Mountain, Eminem, Paul McCartney, Muse)
I'm going to sound like a right miserable bastard if this continues, but I've not seen a lot of great live music this year. Having seen Dylan, Young, AC/DC, Them Crooked Vultures and Take That last season, 2010 was always going to struggle to keep up. Muse and Macca tower over the others. Another year, Muse might have won. But this was the first time I'd seen a Beatle in the flesh. A slowish start, but when Macca gets into his greatest hits stride, there's not an act on Earth could come close. The setlist is here - look at the run from Band On The Run onwards. Let It Be into Live and Let Die into Hey Jude is probably as good a 15 minutes of live music as I've ever seen.
The Goodfellas Award for Movie of the Year: (Nominees: Inception, Kick Ass, Iron Man 2, The A-Team, Toy Story 3)
Quite a decent year for movies, even if not all of my nominees would necessarily trouble the Oscars judging panel. All of them would be worthy winners, and Inception's maybe slightly pretentious dream-thief plot might have been my choice on another day. But today I'm going for Kick Ass, because I love Mark Millar's work, loved the comics on which it's based and thought the movie made a remarkable job of bringing them to life.
The Knight Rider Award for TV Programme of the Year: (Nominees: The Walking Dead, Spooks, Misfits, The Event)
Another good year in TV, and my favourites all seem to have a sci-fi, action or comic books theme. Misfits is very funny and would be a worthy winner, but the adaptation of The Walking Dead is magnificent (although I'm not sure why Andrew Lincoln got the nod to play an Atlanta policeman). But the interpretation of a zombie-filled southern US is incredible.
The Marilyn Monroe Award for Babe of the Year: (Nominees: Salma Hayek, Cheryl Cole, Michelle Keegan, Holly Willoughby)
As always, Mrs Wife is the hands-down winner of this category, and is looking even more radiant in pregnancy. So the well-deserved runner-up this year is another pregnant beauty, Holly Willoughby. Why? Here's why.
The Jet Set Willy Award for Computer Game of the Year: (Nominees: The Beatles Rock Band, Football Manager 2010, Super Mario Brothers Wii, Goldeneye)
In a shock twist, I haven't actually bought the newest incarnation of Football Manager, as I'm very happily still playing FM10. I've enjoyed The Beatles Rock Band a lot, given that it blends two of my favourite things (jumping about like a prat and singing like a donkey going through a jet engine). I've enjoyed Super Mario Brothers Wii even more, but I'm going to give the award to Goldeneye, which I won't get to play until tomorrow, and only then if Santa thinks I've been good. But I've been waiting for this game for more than a decade. It can't possibly fail....
The Godfather III Award for Biggest Disappointment of the Year: (Nominees: Eminem - Recovery; Tame Impala - Innerspeaker; Beady Eye - Bring The Light)
Nothing too majorly disappointing this year. Although I nominated Tame Impala for album of the year, I also felt that it could have been so much better. The early songs I heard promised a lot, but I thought the album itself had a bit of filler on it. But that was nothing compared with the half-baked gibberish of Recovery, lauded by some as a return to form by Marshall. A couple of good tracks, but nothing more.
The Screamadelica Award for Scottish Album of the Year: (Nominees: Miyagi - Electrosaurus)
One nominee, the deserved winners being my favourite Edinburgh-based acoustic-electric-cello-sax-singing-drummer band. The only band in the country who would ever let me play guiro on stage with them.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Six-Month Countdown

Six months today (according to the best estimates of People Who Know About These Things at the NHS), Mrs Wife and I will have our world thrown into chaos with the arrival of our first Jockling.
It's been a long time happening - we originally planned to increase the size of our family back in 2008, but thanks to wonky genes we discovered that our chances of conceiving naturally were exactly 0%.
Since then we've been through a series of tests and procedures that have variously been invasive, demoralising and depressing.
But the miracles of science have prevailed. Thanks to the wonderful people at Ninewells Hospital's Assisted Conception Unit, Jockling #1 is currently scheduled for arrival on June 11.
Medical science truly is incredible. If we'd been born 30 years earlier, we'd have had no chance of ever having a baby of our own. We might never have found out for sure that there was a problem.
Instead, we are now looking forward to welcoming a child that is half me and half Mrs Wife into the world.
Excited doesn't even begin to cover it. We're past the crucial 12 weeks period and Jockling #1 is the right size. At our 12 week scan it was jumping about like Mario on a particularly good day of coin collecting and mushroom guzzling. It was also sucking its thumb between bounces.
Mrs Wife has still to warm to my suggested name of Laudrup McCoist Hateley Durrant Gascoigne, or John Lennon if it's a boy, but I've got six months to work on that.
And have as many nights out, attend as many gigs and get as much sleep as I can.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Ten: My Ten Favourite Oasis Songs

(Or my ten favourite right this second anyway)
1: Supersonic
2: Acquiesce
3: Live Forever
4: Morning Glory
5: Champagne Supernova
6: Fuckin' In The Bushes
7: The Importance Of Being Idle
8: Talk Tonight
9: D'You Know What I Mean?
10: Whatever