My favourite stuff of 2017 and a review

Will I ever learn? Every year I come here and write a blog post with some wonderful plans for a New Year ahead, full of photography, filmmaking and exciting art projects.

This year was a break from the 12 monthly projects, a chance to relax and get away from the forced creativity that would enable me to do bigger better projects.

I did nothing.

Only thing of note this year outside of a very creative job was my photography from New York. To be honest, I was rather pleased with a number of photos I took.

More importantly, let us look externally at things that I thought were awesome in 2017.

Travel location – Brooklyn, New York

Such an amazing city which I didn’t expect to enjoy as much as I did. As a simple country boy, I never imagined I’d see places like this and get to stay with some amazing people and go to Coney Island looking for Warrriooorrrssss.

Albums – Top 3

Any year that has Ed Sheeran as the most streamed artist isn’t a good year in my books. Still, some banging tunes came out this year. These three albums contain some of my favourite tunes.

  1. LCD Soundsystem – American Dream
  2. Grizzly Bear – Painted Ruin
  3. Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly and James McAlister – Planetarium

Special shout out to Wolf Parade returning with a massive album

Feature Film – Tony Erdmann

Again, I did not go and see enough films this year. The top pick for this year is reliant on you enjoying super dark, long and German films. If not give it a miss.

Short Film – Glue

Between the amazing follow shots, the awesome jazz soundtrack and some serious pow pow, what’s not to love.

Advert – McTavish Surfboards – Dirt Nap

Only came across this recently but it’s gorgeous. I do enjoy a visually amazing ad, it’s like perfume ads, you see them and you’re just like “wha??” but it’s a visual representation of a smell, how could it not be “Whaaaaa??”.

Sporting event / Venue – West Ham Vs Bolton, Olympic Stadium

This was a bit of a grim one. We got trashed, was a horrendous game but it was so much fun. The stadium looked majestic as we walked up to it, the chants were hilarious and the sleeper train home to Glasgow afterward was a delight.

Documentary – Right To Roam from Patagonia

Another recent discovery but a really inspiring one from Patagonia. When you live in Scotland sometimes you forget how amazing the freedom of walking, camping, and exploring is in this gorgeous place. Well worth a watch and yes snowboarding again, it’s playing on my mind perhaps.

TV Show #spoilers – Twin Peaks: The Return

Easy one for me, enjoyed this weirdness immensely. Such a visual and audio treat. Could have done with less Dougie Jones but you had to go through that to get kick ass cooper.

Beer – North Sea Stout from Pilot Beer

Drank a lot this year but this recent beverage has peaked it. Sea water in a milk stout, it makes no sense but tastes yum.

 

New York Photography #Expired 4

Cars in America. Not to be confused with Cars 3. Ever since experiencing monster trucks in Hawaii as a 5 year old I’ve loved the idea of owning a power mad muscle car. Unfortunately the sight of a Mini Clubman GT1275 soon destroyed any desire for a Mustang. It’s a toss up between this and a F40 for my dream car. What’s on your list?

2016 Monthly Projects Halfway Review

So here are the first six monthly projects for this year. A bit of a strange collection if ever I saw one. Most people who do these sorts of year long projects seem to align them within a theme, medium or concept. My monthly projects however are just a chaotic splurge of stuff.

We have video, photography (digital and film), design, drawings, social media and writing. From annoying hundreds of people and invading privacy over a month to making a short video while on holiday. Perhaps I should have had a thememonthly projects.

I now have six more opportunities to make some great stuff. Thankfully I am taking part in the September – Collaborative Project which will be a great chance to make something fun with the very talented Iain McAuley. We are making an Atari style game called “Avoid All Friends” it will come with a classic “looks nothing like the game” poster and I will have a mini arcade machine to play the game on for the Exhibition. We are still in the early processes but look forward to sharing some of the art work when we get it.

If anybody knows of any great projects like Expired Film Day please do get in touch and let me know. I am currently considering doing the Brew Dog #homebrewdog as one of the later project to get some creative homebrewing in. I will also be doing a music video / art piece with Cully at some point but time is a pressing factor as always.

 

Best things of 2015

Here is a quick run down of the best “things” I have experienced this year, any of them make your list of best things of 2015?

Best Album

Sufjan Stevens – CARRIE & LOWELL

This was an easy choice for myself as this album has been on repeat at home and in the car since its release. Sufjan reinvents himself again from last years self titled Sisyphus, with Son Lux, and the rapper Serengeti. This raw, honest and brutal album has just been amazing listening. If you havent yet give it a lisen and get it in your life.

Buy Sufjan Stevens – CARRIE & LOWELL

See Sufjan Stevens

Best App

Periscope

Without a doubt this app has been a real highlight of what 2015 has been all about. If you are unaware of what Periscope is it enables you to live stream video from your phone with people across the world able to watch, comment and give you hearts. For example the above left image is me with 28 other people watching somebody walk their dog in Georgia. Mind blown. If you haven’t had a go I strongly suggest it.

Free on App Store / Android Store

Best Beer

MochaccinoSmall

Still some beers to drink this year but this cheeky milk stout has been a major leader for most of the year. Having been an admirer of Pilot and their cheeky Twitter feed I drank the Mochaccion Stout at the 2015 Glasgow Real Ale Festival.

Buy Pilot beers here at Ale Sela  or Drink Monger

Best Coffee

Coffee

Tim Wendelboe

I have drank a lot of coffee this year. This little coffee shop in Oslo has served me the best coffee I have had all year. We were in Oslo for five days and went here about seven times, amazing coffee, beautiful wee shop and great staff. Highly reccomended if you find yourself in Oslo.

About £4 for a coffee.

 

Best Film

The Lobster

This was a real surprise favourite for me this year. I managed to catch it at the new third screen at the Glasgow Film Theatre. With Colin Farrell as lead there was a very strange audience around. They were in hysterics at some terrible ads before the film started and I was beginning to get worried. Were they hoping for another Phone Booth? I suspect they were. This was soon proven correct as a number of people got up a left during the film. It isn’t everyones taste and this brooding dark comedy won’t make everyone laugh but I was laughing my head up, usually due to knowing I really shouldn’t be.

I was really impressed by the Colin Farrell, usually a good reason to switch off a film (Excluding: In Bruges) He manages to absolutely nails this role and with some really strong performances around him I suspect awards.

The Lobster also manages to supply one of my favourite castings of all time, Jacqueline Abrahams who plays “Donkey Shooter”. Perfect.

 

Strathaven Hot Air Balloon Festival 2015

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For the second year in a row I made it along to the wonderful Strathaven hot air balloon festival. This year unfortunately the morning launch had to be cancelled due to strong winds so instead we headed along to the evening glow. The Strathaven hot air balloon festival is such a great quiet town festival with Jazz, food and a real carnival atmosphere.

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After confirmation that the Balloons weren’t able to take off we were instead treated to an evening glow. After of course the Strathaven community jazz band entertained the crowds.strathaven hot air balloon festivalstrathaven hot air balloon festival strathaven hot air balloon festival strathaven hot air balloon festival strathaven hot air balloon festival strathaven hot air balloon festival