Well, that’s 2008 done with. Bring on 2009, the year I (might) finish my PhD, the year Louisa does her finals and an exciting new chapter in our lives starts. So, as last year becomes a distant memory, here’s some pointless lists. 🙂
Best Gig – (probably) Pentangle, through in Glasgow. Had a great trip through with Ali, a nice pizza, and I got to watch Danny Thompson play bass again.
Honourable Mention – the Big Chill 2008
Best Gig that I played – that’s an easy one, the last Jazz Bar gig with Ali. Probably the best that I’ve played, and the best we’ve played together as a duo. Plus playing in the jazz bar is always a pleasure, and we’ve got a really good set just now (well, we *did* have a good set. Unfortunately, in classic AlKandAlC style, we seem to have forgotten how to play our songs!)
Best Album – err, I can’t really pick one. So here’s a short list of some that I liked:
- James McMurtry – Just Us Kids: a collection of really good songs played really well
- Portishead – Third: perfect, although not an easy listen.
- Matthew Herbert Big Band – There’s Me and There’s You: only got this on Christmas, and only had time to listen to it once. But, I saw the band performing the album at the big chill, and I know it will easily make my list 🙂
- E.S.T. – Leucocyte: I’ve blogged about how much I love this album elsewhere 🙂
- Lizzy Parks – Raise the Roof: brilliant female jazz vocalist, produced by Nostalgia 77.
Honourable Mention – The Als and the Pussycats – Demo EP: ok, well, not really. But it was a good learning experience. For example, I now know that having a good producer is not enough. You really want somebody who’ll give is some senses of, well, for want of a better word, a sense of “sound.” The EP recording in Banana Row just kind of sounds like a demo EP. I guess it’s our fault for (a) trying to record too many tracks and (b) not making clear/discussing what sort of sound we wanted before hand. But, I have to say, the live tracks from the Ark the other night are way better.
Best Non-musical things of the year
- Moving into a lovely new flat with Louisa just in time for Christmas
- Getting good feedback from the reviewers for my 2nd journal paper. Hopefully I’ll get the revised version submitted by the end of the month. As this paper represents the core of my PhD, it’s a lot more important than …
- … my first publication (Clarke et al. 2008).
- Getting a bread machine for Chrismas.