Saturday, January 5, 2013

Reflections on 2012

So long 2012 … you won’t be missed. I don’t know about you, but by the time the New Year rolled around, I was pretty pleased to see the back end of 2012. On a personal level, thanks mainly to a series of events far too surreal and complex to go into here, the calendar year just gone turned out to be a very sobering period in more ways than one.

But time off over the New Year usually serves as chance for some reflection, or at the very least it presents us with clearly defined parameters to mentally box up events, to label that box “last year”, and to stick it up on the shelf reserved for “the past”.

Presumably we all now move forward into a bright new future, reinvigorated by hope, or driven to redemption by a new set of life affirming resolutions!

Or something.

In terms of music, my music consumption, and my exposure to new music, I am however happy to report that it feels like 2012 has been one of those bumper years. I discovered and listened to so much great music through the calendar year - new and old, covering a wide range of genres and styles, I really couldn’t have asked for more.

And I’ve really enjoyed having so much more access to new stuff than ever before. That also means I’ve had to wade through a lot more shit than ever before in order to find the stuff I like. Such is the new way of things … every silver lining has a cloud etc.

2012 certainly saw me buying less CDs than I have for several decades. And I experienced a yearning for long lost vinyl (now far more obtainable) in a way that I never have previously. But mostly I settled for new albums in a digital/mp3 file format to sate the compulsive need I had to hear as much music as humanely (sic) possible across a 12 month period. And yes, I know about the compression thing and other issues surrounding sound quality with mp3 files, but it’s a format that is portable, and that’s just what works for me as someone who consumes music on the move.

Given that state of affairs, 2012 being a top year for music and all that, you may have thought I’d have blogged a little more than I have done. 49 posts across a 52-week period, at just less than one post per week. So if everythingsgonegreen has an obvious tailor made resolution for 2013, it simply has to be to improve that productivity ratio, even if only by the smidgen required to take it over the most immediate post-per-week goal. We’ll see …

I had wanted to blog a little bit more about movies I saw through the year – the best of which was undoubtedly ‘Searching For Sugar Man’, but I never quite got around to expanding the blog’s horizons into areas I’d intended. Maybe in 2013?

I did manage to post a book review, looking at 'Last Night A DJ Saved My Life' (here), but I wasn’t really sure whether or not any of the other books I read through the year were of interest to anyone else. For the record, Howard Marks’ autobiography ‘Mr Nice’ was a challenging and at times exhausting read, Irvine Welsh’s belated ‘Trainspotting’ prequel, ‘Skagboys’, was everything it promised to be on the cover, and I finally caught up with Craig Marriner’s award-winning ‘Stonedogs’ (2001), a plunge into the murky underbelly of New Zealand bogan (and gang) culture. Good reads all, although given some of the remarkable tales he had to tell, the Marks life story offered too much in the way of detail and not enough by way of entertainment.

I’m also a little bit behind the blogger eight-ball on things like compiling/revealing annual lists, awards, and the other sort of year-end what-have-yous and what-nots you see on other more reputed blogs at this time of year. Hell, half of them are presenting tracks and album of the year lists by early to mid December.

We clearly prefer to do things in a far more orderly and considered fashion here at everythingsgonegreen towers. Truth be told, I’ve been far too busy absorbing new stuff to worry about much else. Far less compiling lists and ranking what is effectively another person’s work of art. As for sitting down and writing about it, well, who can even contemplate such a notion during the month of mayhem otherwise known as December?

As the opening few days of 2013 now provide a reprieve from some of life’s other pressures, I’ll do what I did last year with albums, and present something akin to a ten “best of” as heard in my house during 2012; the only prerequisite for an album to qualify for the list being that I own it (or owned it during the 12 months under review). That list of ten has been mentally compiled, and I’ll reveal it – at a leisurely pace – with a few words on each album, through January. Watch this space.

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