Albums of 2016

2016 was a year of musical grazing. I seemed to have a limited attention span this year, and as a result very few albums got the requisite rotation for me to feel like they were really mine’. As a result, this list is a bit of a hodgepodge, the Honorable Mentions’ list is longer than I’d like, and my favourite discovery / most listened-to album (A Hundred Years A Day by The St Pierre Snake Invasion) isn’t even eligible, as it came out in 2015.

Albums of 2015

By my reckoning, 2015 was one of the best years for music in some time. We seem to have reached the point where 90s indie rock is a bona-fide touchstone for new bands, so there are a slew of albums that have familiar aspects to them.

Bermondsey Beer Mile

Kernel Bottle ShopKernel Bottle Shop

My birthday is in January, just long enough after the excesses of Christmas to usually be able to convince people to celebrate it with me. A couple of years ago an intrepid group of us attempted to pub-crawl from Brewdog Shoreditch to Brewdog Camden, taking in various craft beer pubs along the way. It was a fun way to spend an afternoon, although starting on a 16.5% Triple IPA may have been a tactical misstep in retrospect.

Albums of 2014

In hindsight, 2014′s list seems weirdly incomplete; there were numerous second releases by previous favourites (Parquet Courts, Broken Bells, Shabazz Palaces) which didn’t quite live up to expectations, and a few solid more-of-the-sames from dependable stalwarts (Mark Lanegan, Sharon Jones) . Also, I appear to have stopped paying attention to new music in about August, and subsequently missed several new releases (Shellac, Cloud Nothings, Blood Red Shoes) so we have a few glaring omissions in the list. But here goes, as usual in no order:

Smoked Pickled Onions

Tasty...Tasty...

I’ve been meaning to try pickling some onions at Christmas for a few years now, but kept forgetting to do it early enough. Last year, I apparently decided to send future me a present in the form of a reminder to get my act together. This happened to pop up in October around the same time as I was experimenting with my cold-smoker, and so the idea for Smoked Pickled Onions was born.

Chain Chain Chain

A big pile of rusty chain, at the Black Country MuseumA big pile of rusty chain, at the Black Country Museum

Recent months have seen some significant updates to 3 of my most-used apps - Drafts, Launch Center Pro and IFTTT. The updates have made them more powerful, and less dependent on hacky steps to chain them together, but the available documentation on the web is a bit confusing. As it took me a while to get my head around, I thought it was worth summarising here.