I was spoiled. For fifteen years, there wasn’t a day when a new book or CD didn’t arrive in the mail. Sent for review, at the magazines I edited, it was a very different era. Publishers could far more easily dispense with physical copy, for PR purposes, than they can today. I owe half of my library to this largesse.
Due to a combination of factors – the economic crisis, the transition to digital downloads – there’s a lot less free handouts today. If you want to consume new culture, despite all the bullshit about illegal file sharing, you’ve got to pay for it.
As both an editor who needs to keep up for work, and as a fan, I always find ways to do so, even though I’m a lot more discriminating, for financial reasons, than I used to be. I’d rather pay for my fix than not get it at all.
2013 was a surprisingly engaging year. Independent publishing, online, continued to improve. Mainstream cinema provided some surprising hits. Electronic music (at least the genres I like) remained interesting. I could go on. There was no shortage of creativity or inspiration.
In no specific order, here are the cultural moments that made my year more bearable.
Revolting Subjects, by Imogen Tyler
Explore Everything, by Bradley L. Garrett
Soldier Box, by Joe Glenton
Corporate Europe, by David Cronin
The Immigrant War, by Vittorio Longhi
This Ain’t California, directed by Martin Persiel
The Patience Stone, directed by Atiq Rahimi
The Great Beauty, directed by Paolo Sorrentino
12 Years a Slave, directed by Steve McQueen
Blue is the Warmest Color, directed by Abdellatif Kechiche
Double Cup, DJ Rashad
Filthy EP, The Bug
Control, Ital Tek
In St Cuthbert’s Time, Chris Watson
El Babor, Umm al-Fahm
Pizzeria Kiromina, Turin
Eat Drink Man Woman, Stuttgart
Marché highway rest stops, Switzerland