Here’s a list of stuff I was really into in 2010.
Electric Six, Zodiac: This album arrived in the mail a few months before its actual release. When it arrived, I was so excited that I actually felt sick. So instead of listening to it right away, I read all the press notes that accompanied it. I listened to it the next day. I have listened to this album over 245 times. This is not a lie. Drive somewhere with me and you’ll hear it twice.
The Meligrove Band, Shimmering Lights: These guys keep getting better and even though Shimmering Lights contains material they’ve been performing live for a few years now, it’s still a fresh record. In fact, it’s a beautiful record by some beautiful men, whom maybe I got drunk around and tried to kiss.
Wordburglar: I’ve known of SJ the WB for many years, but this was the first year I got into his music. Don’t know who he is? He has rapped about G.I. Joe, drops Star Wars and Transformers references, and is one genuinely cool dude. One of the nicest guys I met all year and he’s one bad-ass freestyler as well.
More or Les, Brunch With a Vengeance: A hip-hop album full of songs about things More or Les hates, and I love it! The album’s also full of sick beats and great guest appearances. I’d say more people should make hip-hop like this, but they never could. Any time I need an instant pump-up I play “Get Back,” a song featuring The Mighty Rhino in an MC duel with Les, while Peter Project drops the beats. Jets taking off. MOTHERFUCKING JETS TAKING OFF.
Daft Punk, TRON: Legacy: I love Daft Punk, so I was guaranteed to love this soundtrack as well. It’s a pleasant departure from their established sound. I listened to this many times before even seeing the movie, which I think made the movie more enjoyable. Also, their awesome cameo in it was probably my favourite part of the whole thing.
Sweet Thing, S/T: I hadn’t heard of this band until they opened for Electric Six in March. They’re AMAZING, and will probably be super famous soon. This album is catchy as hell and full of excellent musicianship.
Movies and Television
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: My favorite movie of the year! I still can’t believe I got to interview Edgar Wright and Brian Lee O’Malley (twice!) and much of the film’s amazing cast. I fell in love with Jason Schwartzman, but I didn’t get drunk and try to kiss him (yet).
Kick-Ass: I dig all the changes made to the script from the comic book. The jetpack’s a little weird, as is Kick-Ass’s sudden acceptance to kill during the final battle, but whatever. The movie’s cool on its own, but its soundtrack is amazing and includes Sparks. SPARKS!
Inception: It’s no Batman flick, but I did get my Nolan/Hans Zimmer fix here, and then some. I’m confused by people who found this movie confusing, though. It’s probably the most straightforward Nolan film.
The Fighter: Bale and Wahlberg give amazing performances. I could go on about this, but then I’d never finish this list.
The Colbert Report: Stephen Colbert is inspirational, and his patriotism is unmatched by anyone else in the world. This man IS America. He even has a book to prove it. It’s the only book I read all year because everything else just tasted like paper after its sweet prose.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: It’s a show about a bunch of assholes. And it’s hilarious.
The Venture Bros. Best music in a cartoon, ever. Also, best cartoon ever!
No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle: I haven’t sat down and played a game all day in a long time, but Desperate Struggle had me completely mesmerized for the two days it took to play it. Everything about this game is amazing. Okay, the part where you have to control Shinobu really sucked and made me want to destroy stuff. But other than that, it was pretty fantastic.
Professor Layton and the Unwound Future: Being a huge fan of Professor Layton’s adventures, I was looking forward to this game more than any other all year. I received an early copy of it and nearly finished it by its release. Spurred on by friendly competition with my friend Jorge, I decided I would try not to use hint coins, and try to get the most picarats (essentially the game’s main points currency) out of my adventure. And we tied. I needed to use about four hint coins through the entire game but finished with a perfect picarat score. The previous Professor Layton game’s ending made me cry; this one came close. I don’t mind admitting that I fought it. And there were several opportunities for more tears. Apart from the unfolding mystery, we are treated to some great glimpses of Layton’s past as well as the future of the Luke + Layton team. I wanted the next game immediately upon finishing this one.
Super Street Fighter IV: I haven’t played this game that much, but it is awesome and I’m good enough at it to have a good time even when playing people who are jerks (by this, I mean they’re better than me or are move spammers). I don’t really have much more to say other than I actually liked Street Fighter IV more than Super Street Fighter IV. It’s a slightly better game. Also: Fightsticks!
Limbo: A game that’s as creepy as it is challenging. I couldn’t put this down, and finished it in two sittings the day I bought it. A boy with white eyes traverses a dangerous greyscale world full of traps and enemies that kill him, repeatedly. Limbo is a beautiful and haunting game.
Bit.Trip BEAT: One of my favourite WiiWare games, now with the bonus of being playable anywhere on my iPod Touch. A must for fans of chiptunes.
Pac-Man: Hells yes. I play this more than any other game on my iPod. I will never stop liking Pac-Man. Speaking of . . .
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX: Holy crap, this game is amazing. I need to play more of it.
Marvel Pinball: This is by far the best pinball game I’ve ever played. Check it out if you like Marvel heroes and pinball, obviously. Duh. Also: I need to beat Craig’s top score on that Wolverine table. He’s a pinball wizard.
Nidhogg: Google it.
Games I’d like to play more of: too many to list.