The Year

As with every year, I have compiled a list of various aspects of my life. These appear to involve a) drinking, b) reading and c) listening to music. I am intending on adding to these categories over the next twelve months.

Also, I wanted to add that the blog has been sparse of late, owing to my inability to juggle commitments effectively; it is also my intention for this not to be the case in 2014. January will also hopefully see the return of the year in review, with an expanded scope that does not simply include music. The WDT/VSTM archive will continue in January.


What I remember doing:

Writing, all the time, every day. Being an incredibly inattentive gardener and watching many things die. Not travelling as much as I’d hoped to, and not seeing people as much as I wanted to.


Estimated total spend: £1143 (assuming £3 a pint; the balance here being that some are more, and some are less, and does not take in to account that I tend to drink half pints).


An increase in spending of £520, though if I used the same logic from last year, I actually only spent £571, which is less (last year’s total being £643)

Top ten beers:

10. Kissmeyer – Uusigi Syndrom
9.   Brewdog – Cocoa Psycho
8.   Chesire Brewhouse – Galaxy Blues
7.   Cromarty – Red Rye Ale
6.   London Fields – American Black IPA
5.   Beavertown – Gamma Ray
4.   Buxton – Jaw Gate
3.   Magic Rock – Dancing Bear
2.   Harbour – Imperial Chocolate Stout
1.   Brodies – Hackney IPA

(Special mention also to Brooklyn – There Will Be Black and Bristol Beer Factory – Southville Hop)

Brodies were generally grand all year, as were Magic Rock, and they would have scored more in the top ten if I weren’t self-imposing a rule about only having one beer from each brewery. London breweries did well on the whole I think, with London Field’s being pretty great, along with Pressure Drop, Redchurch and Portabello. Beavertown were also good though they managed to produce one of the rankest beers I have ever tasted…

Top ten worst beers:

10. Oak Leaf – Hole Hearted
9.   Tim Taylors – Ram Tam
8.   Great Heck – Navigator
7.   Marble – Ginger 6
6.   Camden – Gentleman’s Wit
5.   York – Dino-sore-arse (charity beer I think)
4.   Beavertown – Sour Brown
3.   Leeds – Funfair
2.   Beartown – Bearskinful
1.   Wild Beer and Fyne Ales Collab – Cool as a Cucumber

Cool as a Cucumber was undoubtedly the worst beer I tasted this year; gherkin rather than cucumber. Not refreshing on a warm afternoon. Sour Brown reminded me of a Gueuze, which I am not a fan of (I should have guessed from the name) and Camden Wit just tasted too much like Earl Grey Tea. These beers failed because the flavours used in them didn’t work. The Beartown, York and Leeds beers were simply badly made.


Top albums:

20. Danny Paul Grody – Between Two Worlds
19. Julia Holter – Loud City Song
18. Theo Parrish – Black Jazz Signature
17. M. Geddes Gengras – Collected Works Volume 1: The Moog Years
16. Darkside – Psychic
15. Arve Henriksen – Places of Worship
14. Iasos – Celestial Soul Portrait
13. Netherworld – Alchemy of Ice
12. Ben Frost – FAR
11. Clark – Feast/Beast

10. Sean McCann – Music for Private Ensemble
9.   Star Rzeka – Cien Chnmynad Ukrytyn Polem
8.   Tim Hecker – Virgins
7.   Roly Porter – Life Cycle of a Massive Star
6.   The Flaming Lips – Terror
5.   The Dead C – Armed Courage
4.   Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest
3.   Jasper TX – An Index of Failure
2.   Mo7it Al-Mo7it – Jerusalem In My Heart
1.   Paul Jebanasam – Rites

My overall impression of music this year has been how downbeat everything is, in the sense of the feeling of malaise rather than the musical genre.

Most listened to tracks:

10.  Colin Stetson – The Stars In His Head
9.    Clinic – For The Season
8.    Saroos – Henderson Island
7.    Miles – Lebensform
6.    John Brooks – Twelve Woods
5.    James Holden – Rannoch Dawn
4.    Forest Swords – Irby Tremor
3.    David Bowie – The Next Day
2.    Emika – Centuries
1.    Boards of Canada – Reach For The Dead

Best compilations:

5.  Various Artists – The Outer Church
4.  Various Artists – Zirko: Advanced Music from Ukraine
3.  Various Artists – Where The Dancefloors Stand Still
2.  Various Artists – Who’s That Man: A Tribute to Conny Plank
1.  Various Artists – I Am The Center: Private Issue New Age Music in America 1950-1990

10 male deaths in May 2013 (in no particular order):

24th – Michael Crozier

15th – Jens Elmegård Rasmussen

5th – Robert K Ressler

26th – Jack Vance

31st – Tim Samaras

23rd – Hayri Kozakçıoğlu

22nd – Sigurd Ottovich Schmidt

16th – Heinrich Rohrer

1st – Stuart Wilde

7th – Ray Harryhausen

Intentions for 2013 (red = success):

Finish PhD
Finish Shinje
Record some new/collaborative music (completed)
Work out what exactly to do with my life once I have completed No.1 (half completed)

Additional credit achievements:

Got an actual job.
Became an uncle, twice (required no skill on my part).

Intentions for 2014:

Finish PhD (no choice on this one really)
Finish Shinje
Go cycling around the Orkneys
Find a new job
Travel more
Sort out journal publications

Comparison with 2012:

I may have consumed considerably more alcohol this year, possibly as a result of getting a new and very stressful job, but this is difficult to be certain about (the consumption that is, not the job).
I pissed around a lot less, again as a result of the above.
I read more, I slept less.
I feel like, on the whole, I did not achieve what I wanted to achieve in 2013, despite the resolutions for 2013 being fairly nebulous. Perhaps though this is just the constant anxious state we are supposed to live in now. Downbeat ending.

Summary image for 2013:


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