Tomorrow Sleater-Kinney return to Melbourne for the first time in just over a decade. Given the fact that the last three posts that I have published have focussed somewhat heavily on Sleater-Kinney, some of the more astute readers amongst you may probably have some inkling that I have a certain fondness for the band. Over the past couple of weeks, partly in preparation for seeing the band live again, but mostly because it’s exactly the kind of thing I’m likely to do anyway, I have immersed myself again into the band’s back catalogue. Out of this retrospective I have put together a list of ten Sleater-Kinney songs that falls somewhere between my favourite ten songs of theirs and the ones that I’d most like to hear them play live this week (however unrealistic that may be in a couple of cases). Either way, hopefully it’s a pretty decent overview of the band’s career and a good starting point for anyone new to their music.
I’m not particularly bothered with balance here, these are quite simply my favourite twenty songs from 2015 placed in an approximate order of greatness. Subsequently I’m not going to impose any arbitrary rules on my selections, such as trying to find some kind of equilibrium between genres or limiting artists to a single song. As a result, this selection will almost certainly contain a disproportionate number of tracks from talented female musicians and men with luxurious beards. I can also absolutely guarantee that there will be several songs by Sleater-Kinney. Enjoy!
Musically, 2015 started with a bang. On January 20th Sleater-Kinney released what was pretty obviously going to be my album of the year, Belle And Sebastian brought me down with what was the most disappointing album of the year and The Decemberists left me pleasantly surprised with a fantastic album which only just missed out on my top ten. In fact, my favourite albums of 2015 ended up heavily stacked towards the start of the year, with seven of the ten albums released by March 31st. Looking at the final list of albums, it seems pretty well balanced between phenomenally talented women, men with luxurious beards, incredibly innovative hip hop and albums with commas in their titles.
Looking back over 2015, it was quite an extraordinary year for home video releases. Companies such as Arrow Video, The Criterion Collection, Masters of Cinema and Twilight Time not only released a wealth of fascinating and brilliant films on blu-ray for the first time, but raised the bar in relation to restoration, packaging and supplements. Subsequently, narrowing this list down to only ten releases was a difficult process, but for me, these are the ten most essential new releases that I watched this year.