2016 in review

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2016 is a particularly bad year for me due to various health issues. At times, I feel like I should just close up this blog, since few, if any people will miss it, but writing is one of my first loves. The act of putting words to paper and creating worlds meaningful to me has give me much solace in the past, and I hope it will continue to do so in the future.

Without further ado, here are the best stuff that i have seen, heard, read or played in 2016.

 

Best Album

Malibu
Anderson .Paak

Malibu is an impressive second album by Anderson .Paak. In recent years, my infatuation with the new wave of hip-hop artists has been fascinating, to say the least, to friends who had known me to be an indie music lover, but even an indie fiend like me has to admit that much of the fresh, innovative ground broken in music these days are driven by young hip hop artists like Anderson .Paak. Unlike Kanye West and many contemporaries who sought street-cred via misogyny, Paak’s efforts harkens back to the groovy vibes of yesteryears, like a modern day Marvin Gaye with an advanced sonic palette of funk, gospel and electro-beats at his disposal. Give it a listen, I am sure the hopeful, optimistic and emotional vibe of the grooves will win over even the most cynical.

 

Best Movie

La La Land
Damian Chazelle

Continuing in the same hopeful vein of achieving your dreams, La La Land is the sophomoric effort of Damian Chazelle, who directed the brilliantly dark Whiplash, a movie about a jazz musician’s obsession to excel in the field of jazz drumming, while navigating the perils of a sadistic mentor. La La Land, on the other hand, is a much more optimistic take on a similar topic. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, playing an aspiring actress and a jazz musician respectively, adroitly slipped into the song and dance routines of a classic Hollywood musical. The story, while relatively mundane, has a bittersweet ending that throws an unexpected emotional gut punch while the amazing cinematography shows off what Damien Chazelle is capable of, when he is not directing smaller flicks, like the aforementioned Whiplash. La La Land is the best time you can have at the cinema in 2016.

 

Best Book

Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl
Carrie Brownstein

While I had listened to Sleater-Kinney back in their hey-days of the wonderful nineties, I was never really the biggest fan of their incendiary punk rock, as amazing as it can be. What prompted me to pick up Carrie Brownstein’s autobiography was a fascination with her journey from Riot Grrrl icon to one of the best sketch comedian on TV’s Portlandia. Brownstein’s writing has a straight-shooting confessional quality that creates an intimate sense of empathy and camaraderie that is often absent in high-profile rock biographies. Her sense of isolation from getting an episode of shingles leading to the demise of Sleater-Kinney is particularly sad to read, but it illustrates the best quality of the book, that of its painful honesty.

 

Best TV Show

Preacher

Being a huge fan of the irreverent, cathartic nature of the comics, I was extremely sceptical about the TV adaptation, particularly one that is being produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, but the first season has kind of won me over. While slow-moving at times, and TV’s Jesse Custer seems to have a less devil-may-care attitude than his comic counterpart, the first season is best deemed to be a prequel to the events that happen in issue 1 of the comic book. In fact, the TV is a very different beast, but its sardonic nature does seem very promising, and I have to say, I look forward to the next season.

 

Best Game

KOF 2002 Unlimited Match

Another year, another fighting game. This one is a remaster from the days when I actively play King of Fighters game. Enough said?

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