Ye. Usually I only make one of these each year, but I’ve been stepping up my music game a bit the last few months. Been bolder and gotten better at dealing with my (pretty deep-seated) apprehension of trying out new things. I absorb things quicker. Kept better track of it all (thanks, Spotify). Started to trust my own opinions more and yeah. Generally just improved a bit, I guess.
Which is all well and good and it’s (mostly) been a very rewarding experience, but it does also mean that I’ve already managed to collect an AOTY list that’s twice the size of last years. Which is a lot to keep score of. When New Years does come around I’m going to have to be really cruel with my final choices or end up with something preposterously long, but I’ll deal with that hurdle when I get to it. As for now I just want to tally it up and make a mark of how much music I’ve already managed to experience in 2016, how far I’ve come.
Because I’m a little bit proud of the progress I’ve made, to be honest. Flash back to 2011, where I’d struggle to get my addled brain through maybe ten albums overall. And now I’m here.
And yes, I know we’re way over the 2016 halfway mark at this point but, yeah. Initially I was going to hold out until I got my laptop back, but apparently that’s not going to happen anytime soon. So ye. I got sick of it, and instead of sitting around waiting for my Photoshop to come back I got creative with my iPad and some low-rent Instagram apps. So, here we go, the current mid-year longlist of my favourite albums of 2016:
Yet To Listen To Animalia, Cat’s Eyes, Corinne Bailey Rae, Chloe x Halle, Darkstar, Dawn Richard, Drake, Gallant, Glass Mountains, Honne, K. Michele, Kvelertak, Leo Abrahams, Masayoshi Fujita, Me And My Drummer, Minor Victories, NAO, Olympia, Ray Lamontagne, Rufus Wainwright, SBTRKT, Woodkid, Zayn
Honorable Mentions Animal Collective, Aphex Twin, Ariana Grande, Aurora, Betsy, Bibio, Birdy, Brooke Fraser, Chelsea Wolfe, DIIV, Eliot Sumner, Elliphant, Emika, Garbage, Gazelle Twin, Gundelach, Highasakite, Ida Maria, The Invisible, Katy B, Ladyhawke, Last Shadow Puppet, Lion Babe, Låpsley, Miike Snow, Mt. Wolf, Nisennenmondai, Nosaj Thing, Pet Shop Boys, Polica, Prince Rama, Ra Ra Riot, Savages, Tricky, Wild Belle
Looking Forward To Agnes Obel, Alicia Keys, AlunaGeorge, Angel Olsen, Banks, Brooke Fraser, Crystal Castles, Dawn Richard, Danny L Harle, FKA twigs, Frank Ocean, Glass Animals, Gothic Tropic, How To Dress Well, Ingrid Michaelson, Jem, Jenny Hval, Jóhann Jóhannsson, King Creosote, KT Tunstall, Mabel, Massive Attack, M.I.A., Missy Elliott, Miynt, MØ, Norah Jones, Ólafur Arnalds, Phantogram, Pixx, Preoccupations, Rachael Yamagata, Rainbow Chan, Regina Spektor, Rostam, Russian Circles, serpentwithfeet, Sigur Rós, Sky Ferreira, Sleigh Bells, Tove Lo, Trentemøller, Woodkid, Zomby, Warpaint, Wild Beasts
There’s a Spotify/YouTube link to an album highlight on each one if you’re curious. And here’s a (regularly updated) playlist over pretty much everything + loads more if you want to browse. Or put on shuffle, if you’re feeling extra spicy.
okay, let’s do this. i want to get this out of my system. i rewatched 6x09 just to reopen the wound so this should be good. :)
The wasted character - Ron Anderson
the majority of the fandom hated Ron (scratch that - the whole Anderson family). which was deliberately supposed to happen i think (oops). like i’ve mentioned in my 6x09 meta post they created the kid for one purpose only and that was shooting Carl’s eye out but of course he couldn’t just do that randomly right…? they had to give Ron reasons thus giving the character depth. they had to make him three-dimensional. they had to create a path which led to him pointing the gun at the Grimes’. and i gotta admit they did a pretty fucking awesome job because Ron was as three-dimensional as a character can get under this short period of time. that’s the reason why i love him so much. the eyerony of this shit is - pun intended - they created this amazing build up just to have Ron shoot Carl ACCIDENTALLY. WHAT? IF YOU’RE GOING THERE WHY NOT MAKE HIM DO IT ON PURPOSE? BECAUSE IT WOULD’VE ACTUALLY MADE SENSE THAT WAY? BECAUSE THAT WAY YOU WOULD’VE ACTUALLY GIVE THIS CHARACTER SOME RESPECT? WHAT’S LOGIC? WHAT’S LIFE? and that is what i think makes Ron such a wasted potential. they created such a raw and honest and flawed character JUST to do the “dirty” work. the growth this kid could’ve had and wasting a redemption arc like this are both fucking unbelieveable.
what is also fucking unbelieveable is the amount of hatred this character’s got from the fandom. of course the show is operating with characters who have been on TWD since s1. it’s not surprising that fans tend to not be open at first when new characters are introduced. which is fine. it’s a normal reaction. i didn’t really like Ron at first either. but i do find that ridiculous when someone loves and understands a character like Daryl Dixon - and we all know what he’s been through - but they just CAN’T understand and/or sympathize with Ron’s situation…are you aware that Daryl and Ron are basically two sides of the same coin? you call a grown ass man with a past like his ‘precious misunderstood baby’ for example but a teenager is ‘a trash asshole’. congratulations hypocrite. (note: i love Daryl please leave my head on.)
and now let’s have a closer look on Ron’s life shall we because apparently there are people in the fandom who think he didn’t have any reason to hate Rick. or to be troubled. [coughs] [pulls out long ass list out of thin air jESUS GIRL CALM DOWN] where do i start: domestic abuse (both done to you and your family) + people turning their heads in the other way in your community and basically ignoring the domestic violence because they need the abuser for medical reasons + father killed by the new guy who thinks he’s God (abusive asshole or not it’s still traumatic) + mom is romantically interested in the same guy who killed dad + girfriend is romantically interested in mini-God (Carl) + probably having no one to talk to + having to adapt to the end of the world under little to no time + mom and brother eaten alive in front of you (bonus: *chop chop*) = damaged goods…[Rebel Wilson voice] whoop there it is. call THIS an easy life.
and for the people who say he was an asshole to begin with please stop talking and watch the very first interaction between Ron and Carl. he’s just the most gentle and kindest baby.
The wasted talent: Austin Abrams
Austin killed it. his portrayal of Ron’s inner turmoil was insanely good. what i particularly like about Austin is that he’s acting and talking with hands, eyes, face, voice, body at the same time and it’s in “harmony”. that’s a hard fucking thing to do. and he nailed this “harmony” in every fucking scene he had. I could smyphatize with Ron because the portrayal felt real and that’s why I wanted more and more and more of this character. and I did. I still do but 6x09’s happened…
The wasted relationship: Ron x Carl
The love triangle: so I don’t know what’s the reason but it seems like writers are obsessed with the 'OMG LET’S MAKE A LOVE TRIANGLE’ idea. to quote @gr8writingtips “writing tip #1374: instead of a love triangle try doing literally anything else”. it’s boring, it’s superficial and it’s the most cliche of all the cliches. this show is on its 6th season. it can’t just disrespect its audience with a love triangle. i mean come on. character development, interaction between the characters, backstories of the characters, bonding between the characters. these are what most of the fans are interested in at this point.
Ron x Carl - The friendship: let me ask you a question TWD writers? why the fuck do you hate one of your main characters so much? when was the last time Carl had a friend around his age? or had a decent interaction or bonding experience with the people on the show (except Judith)? do you realize what kind of friendship could have been between these two? with Carl teaching Ron how to live and survive in this world? supporting each other and protecting each other on runs? i wanted to see Ron learn how this life works. i wanted to see them interact. would have watched the shit out of these two becoming best friends.
Ron x Carl - The relationship: so here’s the thing. these kids had INSANE chemistry. AND THE SHOW HAS DECIDED TO DO NOTHING WITH IT! YOU HAVE DECIDED TO GO WITH SOMETHING AS CLICHE AS A LOVE TRIANGLE! YOU COULD HAVE MADE CARL GRIMES BISEXUAL (and of course Ron too). DO YOU REALIZE HOW AMAZING THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN? HAVING ONE OF YOUR MAIN MALE CHARACTERS BISEXUAL? THERE’S YOUR ORIGINAL IDEA AMC! reasons: representation in this fucking show is very rare. if you would have gone through with this idea the love triangle could have actually create a great base for the relationship (frenemies-friends-lovers and who’s not a sucker for that trope). you don’t ignore the obvious chemistry. insane character development for both Ron and Carl (if you still go through with Ron’s family dying and Carl’s getting shot but with not Ron shooting Carl’s eye out and not making Ron watch how Rick chops his mom’s hand off). cute scenes between these two i mEAN HAVE YOU SEEN THE HANDHOLDING (dat post got me famous what up)?!?!!? Enid just being her own badass self and teasing and supporting the boys and being grossed out by all the love and have them as her best friends without being a love interest…i mean COME ON.
to quote @indie-arrow “bitter little espresso deserved better”.
Bonus: Jessie and Sam
like i said they HAD to make Ron three-dimensional. they didn’t have a choice. in Jessie and Sam’s case though they had and they chose to go with the easier path which was making both of them this weird 2D/3D mix of a characters. and it seems like they made these two more two-dimensional than three-dimensional. i think that’s why they seemed kinda simple. like in Sam’s case his fearfulness was enhanced thus introducing him as a coward which was totally not the case if you look closer and think but you know. it’s whatever. and in Jessie they enhanced this semi-shallowness which sounds weird but that was really the case. like i said we were supposed to hate them (again: oops). but they still had potential.
i mean i don’t know man i just found the Anderson family really interesting and i just wanted to see them develop and grow. fuck my life. *mic drop*
The documentaries on the West Memphis Three case make a convincing argument for the innocence of three Arkansas teens accused and convicted of the brutal triple murder of three young boys in May 1993; however, crucial evidence that does not support a guilty stance is often glossed over or ignored entirely, thus skewing public perception of the case. This evidence, whilst not intentioned to be damning, is undoubtedly intriguing enough to warrant considering Echols, Baldwin, and Misskelley responsible for the horrific crime.
FACT: Damien Echols showed some very disturbing insight into the mind of the killer.
When Damien Echols was interviewed five days after the bodies were found, he adamantly denied responsibility for the killings (the report summary written up by officer Bryn Ridge notes at this point Echols was NOT a suspect in the killings) but offered a few rather interesting thoughts on the case; that he thought the murders were a “thrill killing”, that the killer had enjoyed mutilating the victims, that one victim had been “cut up” more than the others. When asked why he thought the victims were so young, Echols replied that the younger the victim, the more potent their sacrifice would have been for the one who killed them.
FACT: Damien Echols was very familiar with the crime scene and victims neighbourhood.
In recent interviews Echols has claimed that he barely knew his way around West Memphis and lived in the nearby town of Marion at the time of the murders.
Both these assertions are blatantly untrue; at his own trial Echols testified to his address being Broadway Trailer Park (within two miles of the crime scene) and at one point actually lived within 200 yards of the ditch where the bodies were found, at Mayfair Apartments. He also attended at one point a church just down the street and within sight of Robin Hood Hills, where the three boys were discovered.
Echols’ father Joe Hutchison told his lawyers that his son had a long standing pattern of walking the streets, and mentioned Damien walking around in the local woods. On an answering sheet during his last stay in a mental institution Echols mentions “parks, woods” as being the public facilities he uses the most.
FACT: Jessie Misskelley confessed multiple times, to multiple people.
Much is made of the so called “coerced” confession made by Jessie Misskelley a month after the murders, which innocence advocates insist was bullied out of the mentally disabled teen over 12 hours without his parents consent.
Firstly, official transcripts reveal that not only was Jessie arrested and interviewed with full parental consent and knowledge, his confession only lasted two and a half hours. In it he gives incoherent, often incorrect information that the police note down and use to lead into their next round of questions.
The pattern for false confession most often follows thus; the confessor, usually of below average intelligence, gives details to a crime he did not commit, then immediately retracts his confession once removed from police pressure. This was not the case for Jessie Misskelley. He continued to confess his involvement, once to his own defence lawyers, and gave details that were supported by physical evidence. How Jessie was able to repeatedly withstand the pleas of his lawyers NOT to confess after supposedly being led so easily by the police is something the innocence campaigners have yet to explain.
FACT: Damien Echols was overheard confessing to the crime, and these witnesses have never recanted.
Some weeks after the murders two girls watching a softball game witnessed Damien Echols say he had killed the boys and was going to kill more children. Under cross examination, Jodee Medford swore she had heard Echols identify himself as a culprit, and a friends testimony backed up her claim. Echols coldly denied the girls testimony and called them liars from the stand. However, in a recent interview, Echols admitted he may have bragged about killing the boys, but it would have been “a joke”. This means Echols perjured himself in 1993 by flatly denying he said he had killed the boys.