Other Ten Percent 12/30/13

Dec 30 2013

Oh hey so I got up at 3:45 this morning to make a flight back from Seattle and how do words work again? It’s the end of the year now so let’s do some off-format entries. I’m cleaning out my RSS reader and planning to talk about some possible directions for OTP I’m going to try in the new year before I probably just give up and revert to the standard format like I always do but that’s for tomorrow. For now it’s a year end best of best of lists list!

Video- Weirdly T.V. is the only medium where I’ve got any problem coming up with two separate year end lists and that’s because the first one is a pretty good catch all. The A. V. Club has a pretty solid grasp of the year’s best TV and a hell of a lot of content covering it all. So instead why don’t we just make this the year where we admit distinctions between different types of video content are getting kinda stupid? Instead of talking about the year’s best movies which is inevitably just a list of all the movies I saw and didn’t hate (Gravity! Other Things!) Why don’t we talk about internet shorts? Here’s Vimeo’s list of the best stuff on Vimeo this year.

Games- If we’re talking about video games it seems like I should direct you to Rock Paper Shotgun’s year end Advent calendar. The RPS crew has a pretty ecclectic taste so there’s a really good cross section of the gaming world in there. Something for everybody with one exception. They’re a PC gaming blog so the list lacks any of the console games that were good this year but the only really huge console exclusive I can think of is GTA V and honestly most of the people I trust said that game just made them feel tired and old. It’s one of those escapist works that’s supposed to make you feel all-powerful but accidentally backfires and makes you consider your own mortality, like that time Jay-Z sampled Forever Young and accidentally made me aware he too would grow old and die like the rest of humanity. The new Pokemon’s fun though. There’s your console round-up. If you want even MORE game suggestions my friend Alex Wawro created a year end best of list of his own for Gamasutra and I’m pretty confident I’m responsible for him knowing about one of the games on that list.

Books- Oh man. Remember what I said for movies? I read two books this year. Two! I mean I read more than that but there were just two fiction books. The new Thomas Pynchon book (Good!) and Neil Gaiman’s Ocean at the End of the Lane (also good! Very short!) soooo I totally do not feel qualified to talk about the best books of the year. I do feel pretty good talking about the Best Covers of things though. Or letting somebody else do it I guess.

Music– So much good music this year you guys! Like so many can’t miss albums even Pitchfork’s top 50 list wasn’t insufferable. Well that’s not true it’s still impossible to read their review of the new My Bloody Valentine album on there and not want to punch a member of Gen X in the face but the actual picks are solid. Seriously pick basically anything off that list and I couldn’t complain. That list’s also pretty boring though so let’s go a bit deeper with the links. Once again Bad Machinery has two british teenage girls describe the author’s 20 best albums of the year and it’s hilarious. I can’t totally stand behind John Allison’s musical sensibilities but it’s hard to stay mad at a list that describes Kurt Vile as “the sleepiest artist in music since Dinosaur Junior Man.” Come for the hilarious fake Bowie nicknames stay for the everything else. Also hype machine has its list of the most blogged artists which I always enjoy only because it’s the kind of metric that gets you some interesting results down in the twenties after the artists you knew everybody was talking about but before the artists you’ve basically never heard of.

Comics– Are comics different enough from books to justify smushing film and television together? Who knows. I don’t have time to really make my case here and I needed this divided into five sections so here we are. I honestly didn’t read enough comics this year either. I got kinda bored with superhero comics a while back and never put feelers down into the world of NOT superheroes enough to really state anything with authority about that either so let’s hedge my bets with the A.V. Club list of best superhero books AND best graphic novels. And Here’s a bonus list about a thing I do feel like I can say is good with authority: the year’s best new webcomics.

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