In no particular order:
Animal Collective – Feels or Strawberry Jam
I remember getting very scared, when I was a kid, that, mathematically, there was only a limited number of songs possible - limited number of notes and limited number of combinations. When would they run out? ARRGGH!!!! Then I heard Animal Collective and I realised it was all going to be alright. Feels probably gets the nod from me. Saw them live – bit disappointed. But YOU won’t be if you pipe them in through your headphones.
The Strokes – Is This It
Neither before nor since have I experienced such excitement about a new band and a new album. Debut single “Last Nite” blew my socks off. Seeing them live twice – in Barcelona (buying tickets from an old woman the afternoon of the gig – unimaginable in the UK) and Brixton confirmed their greatness. Shame they’ve got bloated and tired since.
My Morning Jacket – Z
Shit. Seriously. Don’t mess about. This album is fuqing brilliant. From the “burrm burrm” opening through to the long rock out bit of Lay Low and right through to the end, this album is a vortex of mind blowing ness. (Ok - apart from “Into The Woods”, but I read the lyrics for that the other day, realised it was about crackin on off in the shower and changed my mind). I saw these dudes on the Okonokos tour at the Astoria – One of the best gigs I’ve been to.
Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes
I’d heard of them before I heard them, and this was a most unexpected treat of an album. This surprising sub pop fare is up there as my most played album ever ever and is still on rotation now. Beautiful. And good live too (saw them at the roundhouse)
Lamchop – Nixon
Having never heard of them before, I have no idea what compelled me to by this album (ok it was £3 in the Virgin Megastore sales). Very pleased I did mind. Ok, so I skip a few of the later songs, but this is a special album. It still holds a special place in my heart. I saw them at the Barbican (mwah) when they performed a soundtrack to a silent Russian film... or something. Yawn.
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – CYHSY
Apart from the first weird track (sign of things to come with their 2nd album), every song on this record is super. Easy to play on the guitar, but hard to sound as good. I drunkenly saw them at ULU with Chimpovich and his sensei bro. They were alright, but the support act - Hockey Night - were better.
M.Ward – Post-War
Ok – I’m not sure which is my favourite M. Ward album of the last 10 years, so this one’ll do. Cripes - this chap can write and sing a song. Not seen him live yet.
Yo La Tengo – Prisoners of Love (Compilation)
Not an album album, but rather a low price gem of a comp. This 25 odd track bad boy introduced me to Yo La Tengo and I’ve never looked back. These elder statesmen can seemingly do the lot – short pop numbers to 16 minute thought pieces and everything in between. Magic. Seen them about 4 times since (USA / Spain / UK) and they never disappoint.
Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
KA-BOOOOOM! – this album is nothing short of mega. It came along just as I was getting into Jim O’Rourkes solo stuff and his production really elevates this album above all others ever. Some beautiful and funny lyrics blended with amazing riffs and loops – the soundtrack to many a long walk. I saw them at the Hammersmith Apollo, but I was too far away up in the gods to really dig it.
Flaming Lips – Soft Bulletin
Yeah Yeah. I know. It was released in 1999, but tough tits. It’s on my list. Seen these chaps live lots of times (highlight was seeing your man Wayne in a big zorb in Royal Albert hall). So influential, I even model my hair / beard combo on him.
Track worth a notable mention:
The Truth – Handsome Boy Modelling School
Oh my me. This song is so sweet. Staple song on nearly every mixrtape I made in the (early part of the) noughties. Before Minidiscs came along and ruined everything!
Awesome film. Brilliant Font. Cracking soundtrack. Wes Anderson is preternaturally gifted. I bet he stands up in meetings.
If you care to, you can listen to a selected track from each album (where available) on this Spotify playlist: - Locochimpo: 2000-2009
26th Jan 2010 - Tumblr5
Surprisingly underwhelming biopic that doesn’t find its feet until 20m from the end.
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Utterly derivative / thoroughly enjoyable ‘Heat’ rip off.
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Well crafted character study, with some nice touches.
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Brutal revenge thriller. Stylish and violent, with plenty of explanation… https://t.co/VfjHjpveUJ.
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Intense indie drama from Netflix. Impeccably acted and directed.
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Disappointingly unoriginal superhero movie, complete with dull CGI action.
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Continually clichéd rock romance that never breaks into originality.
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Dry Morrissey biopic that gets arty by avoiding using any Smiths songs.
7th Oct 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Decent rehash of vintage indie movie tropes.
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Mumblingly wordy western that’s big on self-importance and low on drama and tension.
25th Sep 2018Read more 2.5 star reviews
Muddled biopic with occasional moments of eccentric comedy madness.
22nd Sep 2018Read more 2.5 star reviews
Like a long episode of Girls that’s all about one of the more boring characters.
16th Sep 2018Read more 2 star reviews
Slightly confused slice of post-Michael Mann LA crime.
7th Sep 2018Read more 2.5 star reviews
Sympathetic retread of Single White Female, with added #hashtags.
26th Aug 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Welcome to the Jungle
Fun updated reboot with added Breakfast Club.
26th Aug 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Low-tide mark for super hero movies. I only finished watching to see how bad it could get.
14th Aug 2018Read more 1 star reviews
It’s a cover version of every other Mallick pic, but the setting is inspired and the improv from Gosling is enjoyably enthusiastic.
8th Aug 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Well written, well paced sequel. Surprisingly competent and heartwarming.
4th Aug 2018Read more 3.5 star reviews
70s pot boiler that lazily meanders through a series of mediocre set pieces.
23rd Jul 2018Read more 2.5 star reviews
Enjoyable change of pace for the super hero genre. Comedy wins.
21st Jul 2018Read more 3.5 star reviews
Great concept, but shoddily directed and utterly devoid of jeopardy.
17th Jul 2018Read more 2 star reviews
Small scale wartime espionage flick. Decent, but a bit laboured.
15th Jul 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Sub Roland Emmerich swill, with Gerard Butler saving the world from crazy weather.
13th Jul 2018Read more 2 star reviews
Derivative but fun romp through 80s CIA drug and gun running.
12th Jul 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Brutally sincere, painfully thin yakuza flick. Jared Leto goes full Gaijin.
6th Jul 2018Read more 2 star reviews
Huge misfire from Tomas Alfredson, with a multitude of bizarre choices. Like a bad 80's VHS rental.
6th Jul 2018Read more 1.5 star reviews
Brutally violent, post-Tarantino western. It’s all a bit mechanical.
2nd Jun 2018Read more 3 star reviews
A Star Wars Story
Reasonable, forgettable addition. Overfilling that mysterious back story.
1st Jun 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Lazy double-crossing spy drama, directed with a certain amount of swagger.
24th May 2018Read more 2.5 star reviews
Stylish, incredibly depressing portrait of life on the margins.
12th May 2018Read more 3.5 star reviews
Minimally written and confidently directed, with a brutally violent third act. Starring thin Vince Vaughn.
4th May 2018Read more 3.5 star reviews
Unofficial sequel to The Last Detail. Surprisingly slight effort from Linklater.
29th Apr 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Another tired entry, trotting out the same old tropes, plus new nonsensical gibberish.
13th Apr 2018Read more 2.5 star reviews
The Last Jedi
Every moment is undermined by a gag and the few serious scenes are sloppily handled.
13th Apr 2018Read more 2 star reviews
A third crack at Spider-man. Fun-ish, but it’s zero-stakes, zero-jeopardy. Bit smug too.
31st Mar 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Another garish super-hero flick. Slightly above average, mainly by being more old-fashioned.
30th Mar 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Overly dry, eccentric western. Jarmuschian overtones.
16th Mar 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Incredible, tense, original thriller. A western with snowmobiles.
14th Mar 2018Read more 4 star reviews
Career retrospective doc that keeps it fun and doesn’t outstay it’s welcome.
11th Mar 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Blockbuster-by-numbers as Universal clumsily attempt to build a franchise.
24th Feb 2018Read more 2 star reviews
The Story of Mudhoney
Unsurprising history run-down, enlivened by the band’s ferociously DIY attitude.
21st Feb 2018Read more 2.5 star reviews
Some good ideas, buried by shambolic direction and storytelling.
20th Feb 2018Read more 2 star reviews
Intense, eerie thriller that’s surprisingly straightforward and a little old-fashioned.
30th Jan 2018Read more 3.5 star reviews
Disappointingly slow, underdeveloped and literal monster metaphor from Nacho Vigalondo.
27th Jan 2018Read more 2.5 star reviews
Long, but moving and stylishly directed period drama. Fantastic cinematography.
15th Jan 2018Read more 3.5 star reviews
Grown-up superhero flick. Handled far better than most, but ridiculously violent.
6th Jan 2018Read more 3.5 star reviews
Slated by the critics, this is a stylish, slight, small movie - with two massive stars in it.
6th Jan 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Fun, original take on an otherwise ageing property. Apocalypse Now meets Watchmen.
5th Jan 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Clunky Brit thriller that telegraphs every one of its sub-Hitchcockian twists, despite the decent premise.
3rd Jan 2018Read more 2 star reviews