I feel like writing a run-down of where my 2017 ‘favourite things’ chart is at so far, January to July. So here it is. Obviously subject to change and I’ll do the full rundown in December as per usual.
My record of the year so far is Yorkston/Thorne/Khan – Neuk Wight Delhi All-Stars (Domino Recording Co), which came out early doors and continues to fend off tough competition. My song of the year was briefly St Vincent ‘New York’ but it may be a victim of its simplicity (or my relentless bingeing); it slipped and currently Lorde ‘Green Light’ is back on top. I love that in my Top 10 Charli XCX ‘Boys’ sits next to Converge ‘Eve’ – they should do a split 7″ – and the two songs that make me cry are Kesha’s ‘Praying’ and Grace Petrie’s ‘Done Deal’.
My gig of 2017 so far is Fonda 500 at Truck Festival, who ripped the crown from the battle between Half Man Half Biscuit in Worthing and the reformed Senseless Things. My favourite music on a small screen is Kate Tempest doing ‘Europe Is Lost’ on Jimmy Fallon.
I’ve already seen more new films than I normally would in a whole year, so come December my film list should be better than usual. Moonlight is my favourite – and Master Of None knocked The OA off the top for my best telly. My favourite book is Ben Myers‘ The Gallows Pole and of older books I loved re-reading Peter Dickinson Changes Trilogy and discovering Rae Spoon & Ivan Coyote Gender Failure. My favourite journalism and essay work has been Carole Cadwalladr reporting around and beyond her Great British Brexit Robbery piece. And I loved Jesse Newton’s Facebook post about her Roomba and a dog poo. It’s unusual that Ta-Nehisi Coates hasn’t yet featured in my writing lists but to be fair he’s been off doing comics.
I’ll leave visual art because the list is somewhere else and I can’t be arsed to go get it. West Wing Weekly dominates my podcast faves. I haven’t yet figured out how to restructure the podcast chart; I’ve documented individual eps but some series are consistently ace (like WWW), while others pop in with a classic (like when Maron interviewed Springsteen). Up the top of the live non-music category sits Simon McBurney‘s The Encounter, several live podcast tapings from SO Live Festival 2017 and Stewart Lee at The Dome.
In food the chart is dominated by Chiangmai (David’s Kitchen, Gallery Seescape / SS1254372 Café) and Berlin (Restaurant Bastard, H&D Chay) – and I may add a separate dessert category just to accommodate Five Elephant‘s cheesecake. Looking at these lists I need to entirely re-jiggle the food / coffee / booze charts: they’re a mess and important stuff is missing. Brighton’s Twin Pines and Tony Marks’ excellent new Starfish & Coffee aren’t down yet and I love them. Er, how is a scary pub in the Somerset village of Butleigh so high up my food chart, if I had to leave before finishing!? Bonanza Coffee Heroes near Mauerpark survives (just about) on top of the coffeehouse chart, though Brighton will reclaim places as rose-tinted holiday memories fade. And Brighton dominates the beans war because the one thing in Berlin that’s consistently pricier than southern England (when everything else is cheaper even with the weak pound) is coffee beans.
And that’s it. If you’re interested, check back in the first week of December for the final year’s tallies.