Things I liked in 2015

I didn’t want to do a list of movies or books or music and try to come up with a top 10 or anything like that. So instead just a list of things I liked. In no particular order and in no way an exhaustive list, just the things that have stuck in my head.

Jamie XX – In Colour

Probably my favourite album although it’s not my usual go to style of music. Something about it stuck in my brain and I listened to it solidly for weeks.

 

Hip hop shows

So 2015 was a year of few live shows but also the year I discovered the real joy of live hip hop. My two favourite shows were Astronautalis and Doomtree both captured the raw enjoy I loved of punk shows in my teens but felt new and exciting.

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The Sculptor by Scott McCloud

2015 was a hit and miss year for comics for me. There were ongoing series that I already read that stayed great (Saga, Wicked and the Divine, The Walking Dead, Shutter) but I didn’t discover any series that I really loved but The Sculptor filled a gap in graphic novel form. The story of a struggling artist who finds a way to create the art he’s always wanted to but at a cost is a really original and beautifully told story. As a designer that lives with an artist there was a lot of personal experience in it as well.

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Mad Max: Fury Road

This summed up the absolute joy of cinema for me. Stunning visuals, great direction, perfect editing and a great story filled with well-rounded male and female characters.

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Ex Machina

Tense, thought-provoking and beautiful.
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Invisibilia

I’ve written a blog post previous to this about how much I love podcasts and Invisiblia was one of my favourites this year. It’s a look into the workings of the human mind and it’s fascinating and sometimes disturbing.

 

Crimson Peak

Del Toro. Ghosts. Brutality. Beauty. What’s not to love?
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Quarterbacks – Quarterback

Short, fast songs about girls written by young men with guitars. Music as it should be. Quarterbacks don’t mess around, every songs get’s to it’s point asap and then gets itself stuck in your head too.

 

Walking Dead

The best show on TV. A zombie show that isn’t really about zombies, it’s about what happens when society breaks down whatever the cause. The zombies are fun though.
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Mr Robot

A TV show that shows technology in a realistic fashion, possibly for the first time. It also has an incredible story, excellent twists and a great soundtrack. Roll on series two.

 

Foals – What Went Down

The best British band for years getting better and noisier.

 

Verge ESP

Another podcast, this time one that examines the point where science and entertainment meet. It describes itself as a podcast about the science of art and the art of science.

 

Worriers – Imaginary Life

Political punk that is grown up, sophisticated and contemporary. Covering all subjects from gender fluidity to police violence.

 

The Daily Show

got a new host in Trevor Noah who is getting better and better but the late night satire crown has passed to…

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

 

Deafheaven – New Bermuda

My favourite shouty screamy album this year. It is equal parts beautiful and brutal switching from shoegaze to hardcore metal. It’s an album that has to be listened to in it’s entirety.

 

and this song with Justin Bieber in it

 

oh and a little film about wars in space.

I love podcasts

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I’ve had the same conversation with a few people recently, it seems like more and more people are discovering how amazing podcasts are and they are looking for more to listen to. I’ve been listening to them for a few years now and have quite a long list that I listen to regularly. So here are my recommendations from that list (in no particular order):

5 Live Sports Specials
Special reports and programmes from BBC 5 Live. I don’t listen to every episode but there have been some fascinating documentaries.
Highlights: The Brain Game

Song Exploder
Interviews with artists exploring how they created one of their songs. Analysing the separate parts of the song and the inspiration behind it.
Highlights: The Postal Service, Converge, The National

Distraction Pieces with Scroobius Pip
Rapper Scroobius Pip interviews a wide range of people from DJs to cinema owners. Really interesting conversations and usually with people who don’t have something specific to promote.
Highlights: Greenpeace, Gail Porter, Frank Turner, Zane Lowe

The Memory Palace
Short stories about fascinating people, beautifully presented.

Radiolab
Indepth look at unusual stories about people, places and events.
Highlights: Distance of the Moon, Nazi Summer Camp, Sight Unseen

There’s No Such Thing as a Fish
The podcast from the QI elves, sharing their favourite fact of the week.

Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project
Adam Savage from Mythbusters talking to two co-hosts about making, films, books and life.

99% Invisible
The greatest of them all. If you have any passing interest in design this is a absolute must. Even if you don’t have an explicit interest in design you will probably still love it. If you take one from this list make it this one.
Highlights: The Sound of Sports, Clean Trains, Reversal of Fortune,

The Nerdist
Chris Hardwick interviews various film, tv, comedy and music stars. A great range of guests.
Highlights: Will Wheaton, Churches, Adam Buxton

Kermode and Mayo’s Film Reviews
The king of movie review shows.
Highlights: Transformers 3, Sex and the City 2,

The Football Ramble
Four blokes talking about football with a twist, no stupid banter and they actually know what they are talking about.

The Infinite Monkey Cage
Science podcast with Brian Cox and Robin Ince.
Highlights: A Balanced Programme on BalanceThe Origins of LifeWhat Is Death?

Serial
I don’t want to say much about this other than it deserves your attention.

Invisibilia
A podcast that looks at the brain and the way people think.
Highlights: FearlessHow To Become Batman

 

So that’s my list if you have any recommendations then leave a comment. I’m always on the look out for more.