Friday, 30 December 2011

The Top 50 Albums Of 2011, Reinterpreted As Short Stories (Part 3)

Click here for Part 2

Top Albums Of 2011 - 30. EMA - Past Life Martyred Saints

EMA - Past Life Martyred Saints

16 April
Alternative Singer/Songwriter

Cutting his feet on jagged floors, Jimmy stumbled around the abandoned concrete building. A few hours earlier, this place had hosted an over-populated drug-fueled party, now the only evidence of which were the piles of broken glass, rancid puke, and a few other tired individuals sitting around with no where else to go. Jimmy had been trying to find the origins of some dramatic sound, which was like a wounded moan distracting him from finishing whatever it was he was trying to finish. Turning corner after corner, his hazy vision eventually lead him into a room not so far away, where a pretty yet dirty pale-girl sat on the floor uncomfortably. She was beyond gorgeous, but obviously very destroyed; a mess who no longer gave a fuck about anything. And Jimmy found this as shocking as it was adorable.

“Are you ok?” he asked, at loss for a better question to get her attention. She didn’t bother to look up at him, but her shaky voice growled nonsense in response, distorted with genuine attitude, and this action provoked all sorts of lo-fi thoughts in Jimmy’s basic mind. He couldn’t help but feel something deep and loving towards this raw character, and even though he had no idea why, he knew that he had to help the girl. He had to take her home. He had to take care of her.

Jimmy rubbed his forehead, not sure why he was thinking these illogical thoughts. Surely this would be impossible. Surely a girl like this would never let a guy like him close to her. But he felt he had to try, and approached her cautiously, as she slowly looked up at him with her big blue eyes.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 29. REKS - Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme

REKS - Rhythmatic Eternal King Supreme

8 March
East Coast Hip Hop

And not long after that, Jimmy found himself looking at his wristwatch and then quickly slipping it back under his sleeve. It was getting late, and the East Coast ghetto was no place to bling. He was a little bit lost in these parts, he may have made a wrong turn somewhere, as foreign crack eyes from the world’s lost gangsters now trailed his every move. But Jimmy was smart in the most streetwise of ways, and his ambition alone carried him where he needed to go. He kept eye contact with each one of the dark expressions staring at him, producing his own darkest expression right back, bouncing his head with a straight face ... otherwise he knew he wouldn’t survive this path. Occasionally someone called out to him, and he spoke back fast without walking too fast, confident with a fluid sharpness, aware that this was no joke and he couldn’t afford any hiccups. This place was old school. It kept itself so underground that wikipedia couldn't even find it, and he knew the mission ahead would be long and the struggle would be hard. But he had to remember why he was doing this. He was doing this for Erika. They needed the money.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 28. Anna Calvi - Anna Calvi

Anna Calvi - Anna Calvi

17 Jan
Gothic Rock/Art Pop

Santa isn’t coming to town this year, sorry to be the first to tell you. A reliable source informed me that he was captured during the first full moon after The Portal had opened, and he was being held captive deep within a dark church, surrounded by slick religious architecture and Gothic hallways.

Word has it that he is being treated well enough, kept secure on smooth marble surfaces and warm within sinister layers of comfort. But his cold aching center was all he needed to remind himself that the love he was receiving was just another disguise for evil motives, despite all the swirling erotic vibes he was presented with. I’ve heard of this happening before. Rumours that lullabies echo through the walls are a common tale, consisting of superb operatic compositions and soft whispers, designed to trick you into falling asleep. But when you do, your slumber would be laced in reverb and eternally tortured in epic nightmare territory. Poor Santa. And even more disturbing is the organized chaos of the demons said to be living right there with him. Creatures of sin rolling towards him on stone floors, or soaring above his head with menacing mannerisms—yet never striking. They taunt him. They just leave him hanging in fear.

This is all in theory, of course, as none of this has been widely reported. But there is something stunning about this image, do you not agree? A part of me almost hopes it to be true. The part I enjoy the most. The part I am deeply ashamed of.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 27. Frank Ocean - Nostalgia, Ultra.

Frank Ocean - Nostalgia, Ultra.

16 Feb
Contemporary R&B

The door creaked open and Erika awoke to the sound. A shadow formed at the doorway and entered, keys rustled and then the door shut behind him. He walked to the foot of the bed, turned around and then fell backwards into it, sighing as the rusty springs squeaked their age.

“Hey you,” she whispered in perfect English (a skill she had only recently acquired), and she rubbed her sleepy eyes.
“Hey you, yourself,” Jimmy smiled, and leaned across to kiss her forehead.
“Where were you?” she asked as he clicked his cassette player on, The Eagles quietly filling the atmosphere.
He sighed again. “I was with the gang. You know that, baby. I was with The Family.”
She rolled over and lifted her head. “I don’t like your family.”
He paused. “Me neither, Erika. Me neither.”

They lay there for a few moments not speaking, allowing the mixtape to fill the silence. Then she put her arm around his chest and kissed his ear.
“Tell me the story again.”
He laughed. “Again? Baby, I’m tired...”
“Please?!” she begged. “Tell it to me again, I wanna hear it”
He turned onto his side and looked into her eyes. “Well... if this next deal goes through as planned, we will have some good money for our savings. And if we do this carefully, we could get outta this town in the next month or so. We could go live with my parents by their forest...”
“And then?” she urged the story on faster, causing him to laugh again.
“And then ... you could start selling your pottery, and get into dancing. And I could try get back into the music business. We would kick the junk for good over there, no more gangs. Just you and me, getting clean and forgetting all of this shit.”

As he spoke, his fingers tickled her leg and she smiled, allowing them to crawl further and further up her nightgown until reaching her panties, and promptly moving them aside. She groaned as he continued to whisper in her ear.
“And then we will be millionaires, baby. You and me. Anything you want, you can have it. Everybody in the world will treat me like a king, and you, my queen.”
She groaned louder, and then stopped. Worriedly, she turned and looked at him, changing the subject.
“Jimmy, did you get the stuff?”
“Yeah I got it,” he replied, and she relaxed with this information, allowing his fingers to dig deeper into her until she came. She could only cum when it was time for her next fix.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 26. Washed Out - Within and Without

Washed Out - Within and Without

12 July

Unbelievably so, the “next deal” went through without a hitch. And after shooting his boss in the head and claiming all the money for himself, Jimmy took Erika and they skipped town, escaping to live with his parents in a relatively unknown yet extremely scenic place in the countryside. He felt he had out-smarted the system, as if all the world’s clichés didn’t apply to him—and to a degree, he was right. His life of crime had been an empty existence, reverberating only what authority figures had told him to do, over-saturating his opinions with second-hand diluted visions of others. Now they lived the healthy lifestyle, no longer hooked on heroin, giving Jimmy a great excuse to stay in doors and play on his laptop all day. And Erika was finally able to live a life closer to her wilderness origins, often begging Jimmy to explore the surrounding forests with her.

And that’s how Jimmy found himself now, standing on top of a high rock cliff, looking down. Erika floated effortlessly in the water below him, quietly encouraging him to jump in after her. Heights freaked him out, and he was visibly nervous. His shakes looked like he was dancing in slow motion in front of the heavens, which made Erika laugh as she did backstroke, never breaking eye-contact. Jimmy took a deep breath and looked up to the dusk sky in all its perfection, and felt his mood shifting one way to the next. How he had come so far: from days as a care-free teen; to a mastermind of criminal activity; to this blissful existence out in nature without a single problem in the world ... was all because of Erika. He loved her so much, and was convinced that if he did whatever she wanted him to do, to the very best of his ability, their relationship would guide them the right way. And in this moment, she wanted him to jump into the water from this nauseating height. She wanted him to follow her. And he wanted to follow her anywhere.

A nostalgic type of bliss ran through him, followed by a calming serenity deep within. And without a further thought, he felt his feet leave the rocks and he sailed into the air, the space and wind rushing through him as time seemed to hold onto this moment forever. Silence was everywhere and he almost felt like he was falling asleep, until the rush of water smothered him, and for a second he assumed he must be drowning. He sank further into this state until arms that weren’t his wrapped around his waist and pulled him to the surface again, water in his ears muffling the sound of Erika’s joy. “You did it!” she exclaimed and they embraced, suspended in the still water around them and the safety of each other.

“No, Erika. We did it,” he responded, and they hugged even tighter in the deep cradle of love and sense of achievement, not letting go for as long as they needed. Which wasn’t long, as something shiny caught Erika’s eye on the river bank not so far away, interrupting the passion.
“Hey, what’s that?” she asked out loud, and began to swim towards it, followed once again by Jimmy, blown away by her profound maturity laced with an adorable childlike personality.

God, he loved her. And at this point of the story, he could never have imagined the dark fate that lay ahead of them.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 25. Astronautalis - This Is Our Science

Astronautalis - This Is Our Science

13 Sep
Abstract Hip-Hop

King Jay grabbed his candle and joined the various other people who sat in a circle on the dusty floor. Their faces spanned all races and ages, and he could tell by their weary expressions that had taken them a few days to climb up this mountain too. Who knew why they made up their minds to come to this cave, but for Jay it was because he had no choice. He had lost his kingdom and had heard of many others who’d carried out this journey in deep distraught, never to come back. To a degree this worried the King, but he hoped this was a sign that those before him had found what they were looking for here. And now more than ever, he needed advice from the man who was said to live in these elevated peaks. The man who knew everything.

Murmurs faded in and out as everyone waited in patience, candles flickering in unison, interesting sounds echoing from the depths of the cave, until finally a dark shrouded figure appeared from the furthest corner of the shelter. One by one, each person was silenced as the man approached the circle, eventually taking a seat in the middle of them, all eyes on him. Jay couldn’t see his face, but as soon as the speech began, he knew that this individual was what everyone said he would be.

At first Jay wasn’t sure what to make of all of this—the wise gruff voice preaching many things and not allowing for any interruptions or questions. But it didn’t take long before the King realised that there were some very unique and deliberate ideas coming from this elder’s mouth, the wise words delivered quickly with the freshest of parable-like structures to back them up, each one different from the one before. There were topics of love, topics of everyday troubles, and topics Jay had never even heard of but would definitely never forget. He spoke of The Prophecy, the fall of the kingdom at the hand of The Devil, and the cycle of time. He spoke of how there will always be a partnership of love destined to die unfulfilled, and how nothing could interfere with this eternal pattern. And in a short time, the King understood that this wise man was answering his questions without having to be asked, the philosopher’s mind working on a deeper level of intelligence than anyone else he had ever come into contact with.

Slowly, all the seated members were getting hypnotised by these tales, sometimes presented as tender and understanding, sometimes presented as aggressive and blunt, but all of which felt like the nature of life itself: unpredictable and always special. And yet even within all his quirkiness and wisdom, the old man's poetic teachings never escaped a hint of sadness beneath it all, as if he wasn’t pleased with the job he had to fulfil. Jay guessed this is why he was so easy to relate to. This is how he got such a loyal fan base to hang onto his every word like some cult leader. He had taken his superiority and superhuman traits, and adapted them into a more human form. And Jay (like everyone else) appreciated the warmth and honesty of these thoughts, deciding that while he was here, he may as well stay a little while.

And like so many before, the longer he stayed there, the faster he started to forget where he had been only days before. His men had been slaughtered. His kingdom had been reduced to rubble. And Kylie. He had even started to forget Kylie.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 24. When Saints Go Machine - Konkylie

When Saints Go Machine - Konkylie

06 June
Indie Electronic

In the castle garden, Kylie spun around, dancing in the unseasonal snow, taking in all the feelings from the green plants temporarily turning white, stunned with cold. She shuddered as the freeze sunk deep inside of her, reminding her of her mortality. She had never journeyed this distance into the garden before, as her father—The King—didn’t like her to adventure too far away from her home. Which wasn’t hard to enforce, as the castle walls were high and Kylie had never even seen the outside world. Which didn’t bother her much, as she didn’t know any better.

Her feet left tiny footprints behind her as she ventured further into the darker regions of her father's land. Here her gaze fell upon a small apple tree and she felt drawn to it. In her limited perception, she couldn’t understand why this particular tree seemed so special and bright, but for the rest of us it would have been fairly obvious that this was the only plant on all the grounds that no snow seemed to fall upon. She danced towards it, and felt its warmth as she approached the twisted branches. The apples shone ripe red, and as she touched one, her pale skin instantly turned from cold to hot as if hovering above the kitchen fire. This fascinated her, and she picked it off of the tree, surprised to find it retained the heat as she cradled it in her thin fingers. She placed it against her rosy cheeks and her whole face felt love from this fruit. Without any more hesitation, she bit into the apple and chewed vigorously as the hot juices swirled around in her mouth. It was delicious. She savoured the taste and then swallowed it, ready for the next bite, which never came.

As the blood rushed out of her head at the same time as the apple rushed down her throat, she felt her wind-pipe closing up like it had been cut out with scissors, and her tongue swelled up like a sponge. The world went dizzy and she fell back into the snow, slowly freezing in a position that she would stay in forever, unless this curse could be broken.

An eerie cackle rang from the tree as the witch who had been watching Kylie her whole life finally spoke.
“My master, it has been done. Only the true chosen one could break a spell this strong. The kingdom is now weak and ready for you, King West. Attack now and claim the throne which is rightfully yours.”

And with a sneaky pact with Satan, he did just that.

Top Albums Of 2011 - 23. Modeselektor - Monkeytown

Modeselektor - Monkeytown

30 Sep

The tails of the whip flew through the air and cracked on her pale skin. She yelped in pain which caused the monkeys to scream with laughter, the sound of their cheers building up in unison. And even though this was the hundredth time they had done this, the joke never seemed to get old.

It had been four days since the mission of these animals had invaded and taken over the village, creeping in while the tribe had been sleeping then slitting all of their throats one by one. Well, all of them except for this pale-skin girl of course, who for some reason fascinated the monkeys. It wasn’t just her white complexion either, even though admittedly, it did shine a delicious red from their hand-prints when faced with the abuse. No, it was something else. She just seemed ... on a different level of sorts, as if a child born from a different time. This encouraged them to dance around her in an almost admiration, howling in what appeared to be a musical way, but subtly manipulated to reflect their madness. “Again! Again!” they seemed to chant, and the leading monkey raised his whip to strike again.

“I wouldn’t do that if I was you,” an electronic voice pierced the monkey’s ears, and they all turned in surprise to see who had joined the party. There stood a robot in all its cubic goodness, unnecessary lights beeping in complete control and assurance of itself. The being was nothing like this jungle had ever seen before, and the monkeys stopped in complete intrigue. Even the pale-skin teenager forgot about her nudity and current painful position, now captivated by this strange character. They held their breath, their eyes almost begging for the synthetic voice to speak again. But it didn’t.

Instead, a mass load of light shone out of its eyes, blinding with so many various colours, filling the entire village in seconds. The sight was so peculiar and different that the monkeys were beyond confusion, unsure whether or not they enjoyed the spectacle. But within just a few short moments, it didn’t matter any more. The light began to die down, contracting back into the robot’s face, until only the disrupted noise of the forest remained. The pale-skin girl opened her eyes, and they refused to comprehend what they was seeing, blinking furiously just to make sure. All the monkeys had disappeared. Where they had gone, she had no idea, but the relief of the situation was too unbelievable to believe, her good fortune refusing to kick in.

“BRAVO! BRAVO!” a crazy voice came from behind her.
“Yes, good show, Robot,” another very different voice responded. "You are definitely one of us."
The pale-skin girl felt the ropes ease off her skin and then drop to the floor, her tired legs so weak that she tumbled onto the ground after them.
“You will come with us to New York, Robot. Together we will make decisions that change history,” the girl heard the second voice speak again, as arms wrapped around her and lifted her to her feet.
“And you too, my darling, will be coming with us.”

Top Albums Of 2011 - 22. Cults - Cults

Cults - Cults

07 June
Indie Pop

On their boat surrounded by late 60’s decor, Erika sat on her cheap couch, clutching her phone watching cute children’s anime on the television. It wasn’t helping. She needed to get hold of Jimmy to tell him the news, but the natural love-endorphins shooting through her heartbeats conflicted with a soft scent of nostalgia, confusing her shallow feelings even more. She longed for his kisses and slow dances more than ever, but she knew he was busy fighting evil in the Ocean War under his superhero disguise once again. The idea of this swamped her with as much adoration as it did with despise, the neglect of being a superhero’s girlfriend weighing heavy on her day to day existence. She couldn’t help but dial his number again.

It rang to voicemail, as it did before, and she decided to leave another message. “Hey. It’s me again. Just ... just wanting to let you know that I love you and ... and, well, I have something to tell you. It’s just, please get back to me as soon as you can, okay? And be careful out there, sweetheart.” The phone beeped its pretty chime as she hung up, and then she cursed her lack of courage. It would have been so much better to treat this like a band-aid, to get it out as quickly as possible, but she couldn’t bring her tiny voice to do so. How her life had got to this point she had no idea, but when the little baby punches vibrated against her ribcage, she filled with a nervous adrenaline and wasn’t sure just how Jimmy would react when he found out she was pregnant with his baby. And, of course, it didn’t take long for Erika to find out that this baby had superpowers of its own...

Top Albums Of 2011 - 21. Black Keys - El Camino

Black Keys - El Camino

06 Dec
Garage Rock

Fast forward a few years later, and things couldn’t be happier for the family. Erika watched from the kitchen window, casually sipping at a mojito, while Jimmy played in the yard with Gillian, their daughter. He was so good with her, Erika thought. A great father—as if the child was scratching an itch he never knew he had. And due to Jimmy’s recent success in the Ocean War, money was never going to be an issue for them ever again, allowing them to live out in the countryside, away from the press and nosey fans. But best of all (as far as Erika was concerned) was Jimmy’s ample focus on the family. He seemed to urgently spend as much time with them as he could, his days of super-heroism waning, this frictionless lifestyle of purity his only priority. Well, that and fixing up old cars, which was something Gillian helped him with greatly. For their daughter, like her father, had been blessed with a special ability, being that of superhuman smell. To some this may seem like a bland power—nothing in comparison to her dad’s reputation at least. But for Jimmy it was exceptionally useful, as she sniffed out any car-parts he needed, or discovered the leaking of fumes before they even happened. And while they worked, they spoke of grand road-trips into the sunset. And when they took breaks, they would play their signature games of hopscotch or frequently jump on the trampoline for hours. Which is what Gillian was doing right now, as her father watched her go higher and higher, the both of them occasionally waving to their mommy who would calmly wave back with a warm smile.

Just then the phone rang, and Erika walked away from this gorgeous sight to answer it, completely unaware that the conversation waiting on the other side would change her life forever.
“Hello, Erika speaking?” she offered her canned line, effortlessly and automatic.
“Erika," a sultry female voice on the other end responded. "You don’t know who I am, but in a few moments, you will never forget the words I am about to say to you.”
“Who is this?” Erika inquired.
“My name is Lucy. And a few years ago, I fucked your lover Jimmy in the bathroom of a frat party.”
Erika felt her grip tighten on the phone, her knuckles fading whiter than her usual pale skin tone, eventually settling on a shade of blue.
“You’re going to have to prove a claim as extraordinary as that, bitch,” Erika hissed, which was met with a calm and sexy laugh.
“Oh, I will prove this to you in the next 30 seconds,” and she proceeded to do just that. All the raw details of her seduction with specific words used in such a natural order that the authenticity of her story was impossible to doubt. And as it began to sink in, Erika dropped the phone and walked into the master bedroom, locking the door behind her.

And neither Jimmy nor Gillian knew that they would never see her alive again.

Click Here For Part 4

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Thursday, 29 December 2011

Dear 2011,

I think it’s about time you and I have a little chat. No biggie really, just figured you are leaving us soon, and there are a few things left unsaid - so I’m going to say them now.

I liked you, 2011. There was a lot to like about you. The thing is, I just didn’t really love you, you know? I guess you could feel it too. I considered you a mate, sure - I wouldn’t have deleted you off facebook or anything. But if you called me asking a favour, I might have been a bit too busy. Hey, at least I’m being honest.

I have thought long and hard about why this might be, because some of our mutual friends loved you, and I respect their taste. And I have concluded it simply wasn’t your fault - it was that you had a very hard act to follow. For, you see, 2009 was a terrible year, which put 2010 in the easy and fortunate position to totally rock my world - which it did. And for you to somehow top a year which was pretty much my best friend... well, that’s a tall order and a bit too much for anyone to expect. That said, I still appreciated the effort dude. I don’t want to sound like an ungrateful complainer - you were a good guy at the end of the day.

Probably the first thing people would notice when they looked our relationship from a distance, was that we were a significantly less creative team. I mean, when comparing to 2010 again (sorry!), it definitely could seem that way. When last year I wrote 16 blogs, this year I only essentially managed 12. And while The Funpowder Plot released 7 videos last year, this year we only released a disappointing 2. And worst of all, while in 2010 I launched 2 new websites and remade 2 older ones - this year I did nothing of the sort.

But who cares what they think, right 2011? We know differently. We know I spent countless hours working to the bone on my music project Coming Down Happy, and it was just unfortunate I couldn’t finish it in your time. And further more, my job and my girlfriend never left me, and still stand as the best job and girlfriend I have ever had - and I owe that to you. Maybe you didn’t provide that much excitement and craziness, but you did provide stability, including good health and spending much time with my best friends, living in The East Village.

And while the rest of the world seemed obsessed with looking at lolcats (still?!?), insulting hipsters, talking about some sort of phone hacking mess and occupying places - you and me rose above that. We preferred researching more sophisticated meme’s, trying to find out who Narcissister really was, and of course, painstakingly listening to new 2011 music. Every. Single. Fucking. Day. We could have done it worse, is what I’m really trying to say.

So out of respect to you and all that you were Mr. 11, let’s look at you together. One last time, from the beginning, to the end:

Dear 2011, January, Thanks for Adele, Ted Williams, Stampeding, Aliens and Penguin Illustrations

01 Jan
I came into the year sitting on a couch with my then-something-friend Lizzie. We were feeling very sorry for ourselves and not really digging the vibe of what was supposed to be a New Years party mixed with a mates birthday. I guess it was a combination of a load of people in a small house where the drugs don’t work, they just make you worse, but I know I’ll see your face again. Although in hind-sight, when comparing to 2009 and 2010 - at least nothing died!!
In other news, Estonia officially adopted the Euro in the new year, becoming the 17th Eurozone country.
And most important of all, Pogo uploaded THE BEST SONG OF THE YEAR HANDS DOWN on this day, titled Joburg Jam. Everyone agrees with this.

02 Jan
Lizzie left London to go back to studying in Scotland, as well as hanging with her family in Greece quite a bit. She would come back every now and again, but was gone for the majority of the year, which sucked balls for me and my poor heart/sex life.
To drown out my sorrows, I decided to start watching Lost from the beginning so I can finally work out where those fucking polar bears came from.

03 Jan
A video of a homeless guy named Ted “Golden Voice” Williams was uploaded to YouTube and went viral, here. He shot to stardom so fast that he started drinking again, but has since found quite a bit of work, so I view it as a happy story. I think.

04 Jan
Formspring: I answered my first question of the year, which was a good one, about how to make all your dreams come true. It was a massive success, people even asking me when I would write a self-help book. I don’t know when, but mark my words, I will do it.

05 Jan
After HMV didn’t sell shit so well over Xmas, they announced the closure of 60 stores, costing around 900 people their jobs. Which reaffirms the terrible state music as a product is, in these modern times.

06 Jan
Formspring: For the first time ever, someone (my friend Matthew) asked me to draw him a picture. I thought this was a very original idea, and was glad to oblige.
(spoiler: it’s an asshole penguin)

14 Jan
A human stampede took place at Sabarimala in Kerala, India. It happened when a jeep fell over during an annual pilgrimage, causing chaos and killing 106 pilgrims, injuring around 100 more.

18 Jan
Formspring: I was asked what words rhyme with Jared, and promptly wrote a poem-rap thing which I was quite chuffed with in the end.

20 Jan
Formspring: Arguably one of my best received questions of all time was this one: a short story I wrote entitled “Every Girl I Have Ever Slept With, In One Room”. Especially people on Twitter ReTweeted the shit out of it and made me feel very happy - even though there were so many in-jokes very few would understand.

21 Jan
This is the day that the most weirdest and fearful experience of my life took place. I still cannot reveal the details, but OH MY GOD. One day I will bust the lid on this one, but for now I’m too scared. However, you must know that it changed my life in many ways, and until I can come to grips with what happened in my head back there, I still don’t feel comfortable putting specifics out publicly just yet. I might (might might) do so on Halloween 2012 though... ugh, it’s all too much.

24 Jan
Adele releases her album 21, which broke all records and was undoubtedly the biggest album of 2011. How big? Well, she sold 12 million copes world wide; spent 26 weeks at the top of the New Zealand RIANZ Album Chart (longest run in history); spent 18 nonconsecutive weeks as number 1 in the UK (longest since The BeeGee’s Saturday Night Fever soundtrack in 1978); was the 2nd biggest-selling album of the 21st century behind only Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black; and was the most downloaded album in UK history.
Even more impressive is that due to this success, her previous 3 year old album (19) also rose up the charts, meaning she was the first living act since The Beatles in 1964 to have two UK top 5 albums and two UK top 5 singles simultaneously.
This all put her in a well-deserved slot in the 2011 Guinness World Records.

Dear 2011, February, Thanks for Charlie Sheen, Serene Branson, Mila Kunis, The White Stripes Split and The Funpowder Plot's Marijuana

01 Feb
In response to yet another a formspring question by Matthew, I launched Save Mila Kunis: The Drinking Board Game. It was met with an awesome response, and spread quite far, as far as I could tell. It was the first time since my childhood that I had made something like this, and I intend to do many more.

02 Feb
Desperate to get something onto The Funpowder Plot, I begged Kris to put up an old Flash Animation about the legalization of marijuana that he had made years ago, called norml decrim. He agreed, and there we had it, 1 of the only 2 videos we launched in 2011, a very sad state of affairs. Still, it’s a good piece of work.
On the same day, The White Stripes announced their break-up. I only liked about 50% of their tracks, but I think Jack White is a genius and I was fairly gutted that I never got to see them live.

03 Feb
And then in conclusion to a very creative week, I launched You Don’t Have To Choose, which was the first short story I’d ever written for Juice Nothing, and the original step towards revealing the world of The Goat’s Nest, which is something I have been working on for my entire life - no jokes.
The story itself was written (in rough) in one sitting during a bit of a bender with me and my mates in 2010. In a fit of inspiration I crumpled myself antisocially into a corner and spoke to no one for hours, finishing it, and then forgetting about it completely. Near the end of 2010, I remembered it and rewrote it throughout January. It’s probably still the best Goat’s Nest short story to date, and I also quite liked the artwork too. That said, only 2 people I know of read it.

08 Feb
Got my tattoo shaded, which looked FUCKING ILL.

11 Feb
Formspring: What I believe to be the last question from the ever creatively-testing Matthew, I got asked to elaborate on the asshole penguin with a comic, which obviously I did.
Later that day, I finished watching Lost. I had managed to do 121 episodes in 37 days, averaging 3.2 a day. My mind was blowing a fuse. I loved it so much, and unlike the majority of people, was at least 70% happy with the ending.

13 Feb
On this day, the 53rd annual Grammy Awards were held, and were pretty much dominated by Eminem with Rihanna, Jay-Z with Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Justin Bieber and motherfucking Arcade Fire.
But the highlight for me was when Emmy-award winning KCBS reporter Serene Branson totally lost her shit. In an attempt to recap the Grammy highlights, her words became a mix of gibberish and her face turned to panic, which many assumed was a stroke happening live on air. In the end, it was only a migraine that had brought it on, but still, remember this.

14 Feb
Valentines day is extra important for me and Lizzie because, not only is it the time of love, but this special girl was born on the day. In order to make it as awesome as I could for her while she was nowhere near me, I drew a picture of myself giving her flowers, and then sent those actual flowers to her house too. She loved me for it.
Later that day, I went and watched the band Sleigh Bells all by myself. The opening acts were Teeth (who were crap) and MEN. This turned out to be quite eventful, as I managed to meet the singer from MEN (JD Samson) who is also the singer for the much more famous band Le Tigre. Besides this, I gave the hot Sleigh Bells girl (Alexis Krauss) a high-five and then obtained their set-list. Then NME interviewed me about them and Beyonce for some reason, which was possibly included in some issue somewhere, I have no idea. Anyway - total success!

18 Feb
Having only announced it 4 days previous, Radiohead released their album King Of Limbs. I am such a massive fan, so this was the biggest deal for me, even though in hind-sight it is one of my least favourite of their albums.

22 Feb
While I tend to stay out of politics, I did take some interest in the whole protest/revolution thing that happened over January in Egypt. This is mainly because fellow Funpowder Plotter, Ammr, is an Egyptian man himself. However, the story which really grabbed me was when a man had a chiled born on this day, and named it “Facebook”. This was out of respect for the important role websites like FB and Twitter played in organizing the protests, and how websites like Flickr and YouTube managed to show the world what was happening in the country, even when the government tried to shut it down. God bless the internet/the internet is God.

23 Feb
My first real piece of writing published outside of Juice Nothing came in the form of a review for Radiohead’s King Of Limbs, on a site called Midnight Mixtape. I found it difficult to work within word restraints, and the original draft was twice as long, talking mostly about my girlfriend rather than the music. So it was an educational experience, the feedback was fantastic, and I am in no hurry to do it again.

25 Feb
On this day I finished reading Keith Richard’s autobiography Life. I loved it, one of the best books of its kind from probably the biggest/most interesting legend ever to write one.

27 Feb
The 83rd Academy Awards took place on this night, mainly dominated by The King’s Speech, Fighter, Inception, Black Swan, Social Network and Toy Story 3. All of which were very deserving, I thought.

28 Feb
After some drug-related problems; giving some extremely erratic radio interviews; and completely ripping into his boss: Charlie Sheen went onto ABC’s 20/20 on this unforgettable day. I don’t think I need to remind everyone about how fucking awesome this was, but it gained its first million views within 48 hours, gave us more quotable quotes than our heads could handle, and the meme scene literally exploded in front of everything. I think we all know how it went, but if there was a King Of 2011: Charlie Sheen.
Maybe related to this, human breast milk Ice-Cream was confiscated by the Westminster City Council, and no longer produced following two complaints.
In more personal news, one of my favourite artists from 2011, Ghostpoet, responded to one of my Tweets. And then the most recent member of The East Village, Sutchy, left our home after only 2 weeks notice. This put us in a very awkward position trying to fill the gap with someone rad and worthy, which was stressful and nearly broke our loving home up. But we sorted it, as we do.

Dear 2011, March, Thanks for Rebecca Black, The Reincarnation Of John Lennon, Elizabeth Taylor, Henry Carroll, and Planking

01 March
In probably the biggest launch of the year for me, I opened the Juice Nothing Album Charts. Here I listened to new albums every day and posted reviews for them in some sort of an order. I had no idea what I was doing. In the end, I listened to 580, and in hind-sight it was totally not worth the stress. That said, goddamnit, I knew 2011 music better than you.

02 March
The newest member of The East Village moved in, and went by the name of Henry. I can honestly say he is one of the coolest motherfuckers I have ever lived with, despite having a very unhealthy obsession with Drum n Bass. He was an instant legend, and quickly became one of us with no trouble at all.

03 March
I swore I’d never do this, but I did, and got my first Top Comment on a YouTube video. Sorry!
In other news, on this day it was announced that they had found a way to make a beer which retained its fizz in space. They called it space-beer. Not sure that’s really a good idea.

04 March
I launched probably the best blog of the year, namely I Am The Reincarnation Of John Lennon. Everyone loved it, and it was such a success that I even got an email from a guy who claimed to be the reincarnation of Buddy Holly. He wanted to meet up. I didn’t. But that’s the kind of reaction I dig.
Later that night, I shook hands with one of the most famous drug dealers of all time, namely Howard Marks AKA Mr. Nice. He was very nice.

9 March
Went to a Beardyman gig, which was fucking awesome and massively impressive.
Just before which, a lady interviewed me and then I beat-boxed for her... terribly.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, The New American Bible Revised Edition was released on this day, the first major update to the New American Bible in over 20 years.

11 March
I think most people will remember the day when a 9.1-magnitude earthquake hit Japan, and the subsequent tsunami that followed. It killed 15,840 people, and another 3,926 went missing. This scared the shit out of me because I had a few friends (as well as multiple other friend’s with family members) living there. They were all okay in the end (thank God), but things like the emergencies declared at four nuclear power plants proved that this was a very serious deal indeed.

14 March
Rebecca Black releases Friday, which was considered by many to be the worst song of all time - which if true, deserves respect. I didn’t mind it so much, but after amassing more than 167 million views, 3.1 million Dislikes (87% of the total rating), and countless parodies from unoriginal fucks... if there was a Queen Of 2011: Rebecca Black.

15 March
After many health problems including an heart-attack and multiple strokes, Nate Dogg dies in California. RIP.

18 March
Finished reading Brain Head Welch’s autobiography Save Me From Myself. He’s the dude who used to be in Korn. The book was the worst I’ve ever read in the genre.

21 March
In one of Lizzie’s visits, she helped me bake a duck cake for work.

23 March
After health problems her whole life, Elizabeth Taylor died of congestive heart failure. Despite not knowing as much about her as I should, I know she was considered one of the greatest actresses of all time, and her list of achievements were overwhelmingly impressive. She will be sorely missed.

24 March
Formspring: In celebration of my 300th question, I cut my hair.

27 March
During the pro-rugby match between Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and Newcastle Nights, David “Wolfman” Williams Planked on the playing field - and the sensation blew up as one of the biggest and most original memes of 2011. While the practice of Planking had been around for years (Tom Green claiming he invented it in this 1994 clip) it became a worldwide phenomenon on this day.
It even resulted in the death of a 20 year old Australian named Acton Beale, who fell off his 7th story balcony 2 months later trying to perform the act. Sucks dude.

29 March
Formspring: I explain how to get laid, which was met with a great response and hopefully got a few willy’s wet.

30 March
I launched one of the dumbest blogs I had ever written (albeit my first Double Feature), namely The Best/Worst of all The Juice Nothing Artwork, which does exactly what it says on the box.
Thankfully, the shame was short lived, as after waiting 9 years or so, I finally got to see GlassJAw live. They were one of my favourite bands in my late teens, and it was such an epic show. They even gave us their EP entitled Colouring Book for free!

Dear 2011, April, Thanks for Nyan Cat, My Trip To Amsterdam, The Royal Wedding, April Fools Jokes and Romantic Plane Crashes

01 April
In the spirit of April Fools Day, I took down Juice Nothing and replaced it with an FBI warning claiming that my website had been shut down for containing Kiddie Porn. I fooled many of my close friends and felt so very proud of myself.

02 April
Illustrator Chris Torres posted an animation of The Pop Tart Cat on LOL-COMICS. More on this story shortly.
Also on this day, I got more work done on my tattoo, mostly in the form of the infected red parts where the roots go in and out of my ankle. Totally stoked.
So stoked, in fact, that when I got home after drinking that night, I did a strip tease for myself in front of the mirror, and totally smashed my watch. Thought you’d like to know this.

03 April
The UK's last circus elephant retires.

05 April
YouTuber saraj00n posted a video featuring The Pop Tart Cat over the Japanese track Nyanyanyanyanyanyanya by Daniwell-P. It was titled Nyan Cat, and is the version most of us know and love today. All 55,406,329 of us.

20 April
Around October 2009, I flew to South Africa. To kill time on the long flight, I decided to write a short story, mostly about an airplane crash - which is an unusual thing to write about on a plane, I know. Sometime in 2011, I remembered about it, rewrote it, and launched it on this day, called "The Art Of Enjoyable Flying".
Funny enough, a few hours after launching the blog, I boarded another plane to fly to Amsterdam with Kris, where we would stay for 2 weeks. I think it’s important to recognize that I landed in the country of legal pot-smoking on the date 4-20, and got fittingly high. I then ran out of money after a few days and spent the rest of the time begging for food and waving at hookers in their windows.

26 April
The Official Juice Nothing Most Original Album Prize (yes, I just made that name up right now) goes to 3 albums this year. The first being 8in8 - Nighty Night, released on this day.
This band consists of The Dresden Dolls/Evelyn Evelyn/solo LEGEND Amanda Palmer; her husband and hugely famous author Neil Gaiman; the solo musician Ben Folds; and the singer/guitarist from OK Go Damian Kulash.
As if that wasn’t enough of a selling point, the main original aspect of this release was that the 6 songs were written and recorded in 12 hours, based on suggestion sent to the band via Twitter. Then, of course, the whole thing cost whatever you wanted to pay, and all proceeds went to charity. Inspirational! And proof that despite whatever lies the record labels feed you, music is not dying, and is in fact, getting more interesting when in the hands of the right people.
Also, on this day an estimated 2 billion people watched the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London. I didn’t.

Dear 2011, May, Thanks for Bin Laden, Harrison, Banksy, Lulzsec, and Gil Scott Heron

02 May
U.S. President Barack Obama announces that Osama bin Landen has been shot dead in Pakistan. Some people were happy, some people were sad, some people thought it was all one big conspiracy. Me? I was still in Amsterdam and hadn’t ejaculated for over 9 days. That is to say, I had other things on my mind.

05 May
A new Banksy was discovered literally a 2 minute walk from my work.

11 May
My older sister Paulette and her husband Tyrone had their second son, Harrison, levelling me up in the Uncle Game once more :)
To celebrate, I went and watched Twin Shadow, who were really good despite the fact that, over time, I have lost all interest in the band.

16 May
Formspring: I got asked what I would do if I had 3 days to be invisible. Some called it their favourite answer yet.

17 May
Went for a full STD test, and am proud to say that I am squeaky clean and good to go :D

18 May
Formspring: I was asked if there truly was truly such a thing as monogamy in the animal kingdom, and after some extensive research, I found some very interesting facts. Check it out.

19 May
Formspring: In this question I wrote about how to find out if your fuck buddy is actually looking for something more serious. Girls in general loved my answer. Boys didn’t.

20 May
Randy Savage, WWF legend, dies from a massive heart attack while driving his car. I was a big fan back in the day, so it’s sad.

21 May
Harold Camping predicted the Rapture would take place on this day. It didn’t, and the stress of being wrong caused him to have a stroke a month or so later. In his defense though, the Hulu Langat Landslide did occur, killing 16 people, mostly children.

22 May
At an outdoor psytrance party, I turned to Lizzie and said “you know what? I think we should make our relationship official” and she agreed. We have happily been together ever since.
And then the eruption of Grimsvötn took place, which was Iceland’s largest in 50 years, causing serious trouble for air travel.

24 May
Went and watched Braids, one of my favourite bands from 2011. Was one of the most amazing, true-to-the-album shows I have ever been to, and I even got to shake each of their hands afterwards - it was that kind of small and intimate gig.

26 May
After staying in Austria for 6 months, fellow Funpowder Plotter Jonathan Loose Agent 23 van der Velden came back to London. He was welcome with open arms.

27 May
Launched the article My Brief Brushes With Greatness Part II. Far superior from Part I, it was met with a much greater response than I could have ever expected, and made me feel more important than I actually am.
And then musical legend Gil Scott-Heron died. While his reason for death has yet to be announced, he was known to be HIV positive, and had been previously hospitalized for pneumonia. It was very sad, especially because the recent remix of his album I’m New Here by Jamie xx (called We’re New Here) was a HUGE fixture of my 2011 playlists.

Sometime in this month, the group Lulzsec started to attack people’s websites, leaking sensitive information and exposing holes in security systems. There are too many details to go into here, but they were very naughty in that fun kind of way and I enjoyed following their activity. Eventually it did get out of control, arrests were made, superior hackers began to attack them, and they disbanded in fear.

Dear 2011, June, Thanks for The Funpowder Plot, Lizzie Drinking My Puke, Duke Nukem Forever, Google Plus, Do You Like Me Now and Ryan Dunn

02 June
The Funpowder Plot launched their second and last video of the year, The First Date, where Lizzie drinks my puke, proving once again that she is the greatest girlfriend ever. Naturally, it caused quite a stir, people deleted me off facebook, and as of December 2011 we’ve had more than 5,000 YouTube views - our most successful video to date. In fact, I believe if you google “girl drinks puke” we are the number 1 hit.

03 June
The very next day, a silly little cunt ripped a section of the Puke Video for his own product. By using the power of my awesome facebook friends (as well as emailing his mother and adding him on facebook) we managed to get the dude to take it down. Look at how beautiful it was.
Also on this day, the second of three Official Juice Nothing Most Original Album Prizes went to Kaiser Chiefs - The Future Is Medieval.
This was a create-your-own-album of sorts, allowing fans to pick their 10 favourite songs of 20, design their own album cover, and then order their own unique version of the record. Further more, if someone else liked your design/tracklist and bought the same copy, you earned £1 per sale. Genius.

04 June
One of the more stranger nights of my life was this one. I went to a house party where I knew one person, and was surprised to find an old lady laughing in the corner who had far too much make-up on her face. After speaking to a few people, they told me she was the severally agoraphobic next-door neighbour, who had never been further than the end of the road in 20 years or something. Ok, that’s weird, but I’ll accept.
Then I met a guy who showed me his travel card, which allowed him to travel anywhere in London at any time for free. I was impressed, and naturally asked him how he got it.
“Well,” he explained “I got arrested for drugs, so I claimed insanity by blaming my drug use on ‘the boogie’ and then moon-walking around the courthouse. Now I get disability benefits, the government bought me a house, and they send me anti-insanity medication - which I take all the time! Free drugs!”
Wow, that’s pretty amazing, I was impressed. Until I started talking a bit more to the guy, and realised he definitely wasn’t quite all right in the head. Further more, I am pretty sure the tests on claiming insanity are fairly thorough, so it must be fucking difficult to fool them. Regardless, he proceeded to whip out a bag of ketamine and bang massive lines on the table, continuing to say weird things to me which all seemed a bit off. The one thing that scared me the most was “Do you know my plan? Are you going to try and stop me?” to which I casually replied “don’t worry about it dude.” To this day I am incredibly proud of that response.
Suddenly, all his friends burst in, and were like “NO! DON’T LET HIM DO KETAMINE, HE’S NOT ALLOWED IT!” and tried to take it away from him, all the while he kept fighting them, saying “IT’S FINE! IT’S FINE! I CAN DO IT!” So yeah, whatever, I politely excused myself from that situation.
And that's when (I shit you not - this 100% happened, no fucking jokes) the midget walked in (or “little person”, to be PC) and started talking to me about bacon, continuously emphasizing the word “sizzling” over and over... I couldn’t take it anymore and went home. Literally, too much for my poor brain.
In other news, the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic eruption took place this day, forcing 3,500 people to be evacuated from their homes and hundreds of flights to be canceled.

06 June
I did my first radio interview ever, about the whole Lily Allen project on Belgium Radio. I mean, shit, it had been over a year and this site was still giving me attention? Possibly my biggest fear is that I will never top this project. Regardless, I was stoked it happened, and you can listen to the somewhat uncomfortable, somewhat funny interview here.
Then the New Zealand sheep Shrek (who was considered a national icon) was put down on this day. He was famous for managing to hide from being shorn for 6 years, until someone caught him, removing enough wool to make suits for 20 men.

09 June
Nearly missed my bus to Edinburgh, but managed to get there and spent a week with Lizzie. Here it rained a lot but it was still a beautiful city and I finally ate a deep fried Mars Bar.
The thing is, around 2006 or so I met a gay psychic at a bar called HobNobs in Cape Town. I asked him to tell me my future, and so he took my hands in his (which was probably just a gay thing) and then told me I had to go to the castle in Scotland, where I would find what I was looking for. I had no idea what I was looking for and also had no idea when I would ever be going to Scotland, so I just laughed it off. But on this day, I did just that, spending much time in the Edinburgh Castle checking out some rad things. Did I find what I was looking for? Well, the whole time Lizzie was by my side, and so I guess in that regard, he was right. Awww, that’s so sweet Jared!

10 June
After 15 years of development, Duke Nukem Forever was finally launched, and failed miserably.

12 June
The Nabro eruption came from a volcano thought to be extinct in Eritrea, which began after a series of earthquakes. It killed 7 people and possibly a further 31, and emitted the highest level of sulfur dioxide ever observed into the Earth’s orbit.

13 June
Finished reading Does The Noise In My Head Bother You? by Steven Tyler from Aerosmith. I am a huge fan and thought it was one the best autobiographies I have ever read. Recommend.

15 June
Google’s Chromebook starts shipping. It was considered a flop, but it is the future of everything in my opinion.

16 June
Formspring: In an elaborate short story, I detail what would happen if Madonna fought Lady Gaga: Street Fighter Style. It got huge reviews and many other people posted it.
And for some reason, this was the last formspring question answered of 2011. I told people that it was because I needed to focus on other things, which was true, but mostly I blame Madonna.

20 June
After drinking a bit too much, 34 year old Ryan Dunn from Jackass drove his car at 100mph into a tree and burst into flames, most likely dying on impact. I found people treated the thing very insensitively.

22 June
Went and watched Tame Impala, and these Australian children BLEW ME AWAY.

28 June
A girl named Alex posted a video of herself to her Tumblr, parodying Jersey Shore type girls, called Do You Like Me Now. It was the weirdest most unsettling video I had seen from this year. She has since completely disappeared from the net and the video often gets taken down off YouTube.

29 June
I released a new article called The Best Songs Of 2011 So Far (according to me). It was a bit meh, mainly because people were complaining that all the YouTube videos in one place made the page load slowly, and also the fact that I knew I would never make a part 2. However, it was this blog where I developed a special technique in reviewing things, which I will continue to use forever.
Funny enough though, the news item from this month got much more attention than the blog, as I did a quick piece about Toe Cleavage. Some people even claimed it was their favourite thing I had written.

30 June
I became one of the first people I knew of to be invited to Google Plus. In fact, I think I was responsible for inviting around 50 people, and who knows how many people those 50 invited. In the end, I consider it to be one of Google’s worst projects and I only use it to spam really. With that knowledge, add me here!

Dear 2011, July, Thanks for Amy Winehouse, OFWGKTA, Owling, Jaclyn Woods and Harry Potter

01 July
Although it had been around for a while, the hashtag #firstworldproblems saw its largest spike on this day - which was probably the best hashtag of the year.

02 July
Went to Wireless Festival and watched a bit of Katy B, The Streets and Ke$ha. Watched the whole of Digitalism (who rocked) and most of Aphex Twin, ending off with Chemical Brothers.
However, the whole fucking day was ruined by Battles. Their sound system blew up or something, so we stood and watched them do nothing for almost an hour. Eventually they managed to bust out 3 tracks which were executed pretty badly, and the whole ordeal was painful to watch. Very sad, I’m a big fan.

06 July
Went to watch Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, and was probably (maybe) the best show of the year. Despite the general gangster mentality, I managed to get to the fence right at the front, and the pressure was so bad that my entire stomach was bruised by the end of it. I also ripped all the skin off of my knuckles somehow. Totally fucking worth it.

07 July
The world’s first artificial organ transplant takes place, using a fake windpipe coated in stem cells. Hell yeah, playing God ftw.

09 July
My sister Jaclyn comes to stay with me in London for a month. We have an awesome time throughout, catching up on everything and doing all the cool stuff one does in the London summer. Stuff like... um... drink? And some other stuff too, I'm sure, don't really remember.

11 July
The first response to Planking gets posted on Reddit, called Owling.

13 July
For my sister’s birthday, a bunch of us went to Thorpe Park and it was AMAZING. I know you don’t care, but what’s more important than family? I'll tell you - Thorpe Park. Jaclyn said it was her best birthday ever.

15 July
Continuing the birthday vibes, we went to Lovebox Festival 2011, where we saw The Wombats, Metronomy, Beardyman and possibly others I can’t remember. I got really drunk. How drunk, you ask? Well, I started to throw up in front of random people just for fun, and I was also doing stuff like this.
Also, on this day Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 came out. I think it was probably the biggest movie of 2011, and personally I loved it.

20 July
I won tickets to see the band Everything Everything. After standing in the rain for half an hour waiting to get in, we decided “fuck it” and went home. First time I’ve ever done that.
Also on this day, the United Nations declared famine in southern Somalia after tens of thousands of people died.

22 July
Those nasty Norway attacks went down. 76 people were killed, first from a bombing in the Regjeringskvartalet government center in Oslo, and then from a shooting at a political youth camp on the island of Utøya - all by a dude dressed as a policeman. They eventually caught and arrested a man named Anders Behring Breivik, who claimed (among other reasons) that he did it to promote his manifesto “2083: A European Declaration of Independence”.

23 July
Amy Winehouse dies from drinking too much alcohol, entering the legendary 27 Club. I was a huge fan, and became an even bigger one after the matter. The worst death in 2011 in my opinion. Rest In Peace you legendary star.

24 July
Despite being official for over 2 months, me and Lizzie entered the public step and became “In A Relationship” via facebook. That's when you know it's got to be true.

25 July
Went to Amy Winehouse’s Camden house to join many others in paying respect to her passing. You can see my blurry photos here.

27 July
Wrote an article dedicated to Amy Winehouse and all those who died at the young age, entitled The 27 Club. It became my most viewed blog to date, and there may even be some interesting prospects still to come from it.
Also on this day, Facebook banned the cover for Nirvana’s classic album Nevermind due to nudity - despite the fact that everyone in the world has seen it, and most people already own a copy. Does that make us all paedophiles? OMG!

Dear 2011, August, Thanks for The London Riots, Nope Chuck Testa, X-Men, Taxi Driver and How To Fuck Boys And Not Be Gay

02 Aug
Finished reading "Fab: An Intimate Life Of Paul McCartney" which is an in-depth 656 page book all about the man himself. Learned loads, am a huge fan, really enjoyed it.

04 Aug
Jaclyn left London on this day. Which made me sad, sure, but I like to believe the trip changed her life in some way or another, and that’s all I can ask really. To change lives, one life at a time.

05 Aug
Juno, the first solar-powered spacecraft, is launched from Florida on a mission to Jupiter.

06 Aug
Went to Field Day and watched artists like James Blake, Jamie Woon, Jon Hopkins and some others I just can’t seem to remember. Drinks were far too expensive, the sound was terrible, and it was probably the worst festival of the year. That said, I did meet up with an old friend Lonnie which made me feel ok about it.

08 Aug
Today was my 3 year anniversary in London, and to celebrate I planned to go watch Neon Indian. No such luck.
Instead, the most intense shit EVER took place. Rioters hit up the streets everywhere, and particularly targeted Hackney, where I lived. Buildings and cars were getting set on fire; shops and buses were getting smashed and looted; all you could hear were helicopters; all you could smell was smoke; and all around London was general insanity to the likes I had never seen before. It just seemed to get bigger and bigger, and that night I watched from my window as a group of kids walked down my street smashing the shit out of every car they passed. Was incredible.
Luckily, London is as London does, and the cops (who were caught off guard at first) hit back with full force, and it was all back to normal in a very short time. Anyways, I wasn’t even scared, and happily took photos in the middle of the chaos, as you can see here.

10 Aug
Finished reading “Life With My Sister Madonna” by her brother Christopher Ciccone. It changed my view of her a bit, as I didn’t realise the extent of her manipulative and self-righteous nature (as far as the book claimed). But whatever, she is still a legend and very fuckable even at her age.
This was the last book I read of the year. I told people that it was because I needed to focus on other things, which was true, but mostly I blame Madonna.

12 Aug
I went to the gym for the first time ever, and over the next 2 months, made quite a habit out of it. Kind of lost the spirit near the end of the year, but I totally get the appeal, love the feeling, and can’t wait to hit it hard in 2012.

14 Aug
YouTuber ojaivalleytaxidermy uploaded a video titled “Official Ojai Valley Taxidermy TV Commercial” which became better known as the “Nope! Chuck Testa” video. In a few days it got a million hits, and by December 2011, went over 9 million. It deserved every single one too.

20 Aug
In just over a week, I watched all the X-Men films in a row, and it took me days to come to terms with the fact that I was never going to be a supermutant.
And then Hurracane Irene took place in the Caribbean, causing an estimated $10-$15 billion of damage and at least 56 deaths.

22 Aug
Went to the official London Red Hot Chili Peppers - I’m With You listening party. I enjoyed it very much, and still dig the album to this day.

24 Aug
I finally saw the movie Taxi Driver, and it instantly became my favourite film ever. The acting woke me up to what real acting was for some reason, and every movie I've watched since then was different somehow.

30 Aug
I launched probably the most controversial blog I have ever written, namely “How To Fuck Boy And Not Be Gay”. Got a huge response, and took over The 27 Club as my number one read article of all time. In fact, I believe that if you google “How To Fuck Boys” I am still the number 1 hit.

Dear 2011, August, Thanks for The London Riots, Nope Chuck Testa, X-Men, Taxi Driver and How To Fuck Boys And Not Be Gay

03 Sep
Went to In The Woods Festival and watched a bunch of unknown bands, the only one I had heard before being Three Trapped Tigers. Still - fucking amazing. By far the most friendly vibe and the best location I have ever experienced at a festival. Definitely going again next year, see you there.

07 Sep
Watched the entire Game Of Thrones first season in one week. Which is important because...

09 Sep
...literally 2 days later I went downstairs, and Alfie Allen (who stars in the series as Theon Greyjoy) was in my living room visiting The Freewheelin’ Troubadour. Talk about weird “coincidences”, right? We shared a spliff and spoke about his career, and then he went on his merry way. Only afterwards I found out that he was Lily Allen’s brother, which could have been awkward for me. Troubadour did eventually tell him about that project, and apparently he found it funny. LOL, weird life man.
Also around this time I started watching Breaking Bad.

14 Sep
The FBI announces they are investigating the hacking of Scarlett Johansson’s cellphone, which resulted in nude photos of her leaking onto the internet. Personally, I didn’t mind that it happened.

15 Sep
After Sinéad O'Connor announced that she was looking for someone to do anal with her, I pointed out via Twitter that she should have stuck with Anthony Kiedis, cos I am sure he would’ve loved to put his winkie in her bumbum. She responded that the whole relationship between them was a rumour, and told me to “kindly fuck off”. So basically, Sinéad O'Connor swore at me. FTW.
That evening she apparently contemplated killing herself, and I will always wonder how much (if any) of a role I played in that thought process. Oops, celebrities have feelings too? Nah...

17 Sep
Went into studio and recorded the first set of vocals for the Coming Down Happy EP.

19 Sep
The Sikkim earthquake took place, killing at least 111 people and the fall of several structures.

21 Sep
The band R.E.M. announce that after 31 years, they were breaking up, proof that the 2012 predications are true. Pretty sure this is how The Book Of Revelation starts, right?

22 Sep
Went to the launch party, and despite taking hours to get in, there were loads of free drinks and it was a solid party on a weeknight. Highlight was my friend Mark pissing into cups on the dance-floor because he didn’t want to wait in the bathroom queue. Genius.

23 Sep
I got Facebook Timeline, and still fucking adore it. Was surprised to find that it took many other people 3 months after this date to get theirs. Sorry lol.

24 Sep
Went to my third tattoo session of the year, and only lasted 2.5 hours before chickening out. Felt like a pussy, and realised I hate the feeling of needles injecting ink into my skin. Of course, I have since forgot that, AND WANT MORE.

27 Sep
After going away and coming back so many times that my feelings had been torn and manipulated into a pile of emo spagetti, Lizzie finally came back to London for good, and they lived happily ever after.

28 Sep
The Tuvalu drought started here, affecting approximately 10,500 people.

30 Sep
Tweeted to Mantana Roberts telling her that her album was excellent, and she thanked me for being so kind. I know you don’t know who she is, but you know that you should know.

Considered a natural disaster, The United Kingdom got hit by a heat wave which pretty much lasted until now, giving us the hottest temperatures ever on record. I think wikipedia summed up the effects the best, including such terrifying lines as “saw visitor numbers in Chester Zoo rise by 149%”; “an increase of camping and caravan parks and hotel bookings in parts of the country”; and “67% tourism increase.”
But of course, with every natural disaster, there were some serious negative effects, which were reported as “some clothing retailers [suffering] their largest [sales drop] for two years, as autumn and winter clothing sales decreased” as well as the BBC and ITV claiming they lost one million viewers for Strictly Come Dancing and the X Factor, because people chose to rather go outside to the parks.
I’m sorry, but this is funny. While the rest of the world gets hit by Hurricanes and Earthquakes, we get hit with a warm winter? Lol! God loves the United Kingdom!

Dear 2011, October, Thanks for Steve Jobs, Sonic Youth, Cyclops Shark, Paul McCartney and PJ Harvey

05 Oct
At age 56, legendary pioneer Steve Jobs passes away, a complication from previous pancreas cancer resulting in respiratory arrest.
Apple creates some of the greatest, most user friendly products on the market, and I feel that we are in-dept to the man for making our lives so much easier - in so many ways. I am pretty much touching an Apple product every second of every day, as are many of us. Rest In Peace Steve.

07 Oct
Finished watching Breaking Bad’s 4th season, up to date, and now waiting for the final season next year. All I can say is OH MY GOD. Best series I have EVER watched, I think about it often. If you haven’t watched it yet, you know that EVERYONE can’t be wrong - stop reading this blog RIGHT NOW and start IMMEDIATELY!

09 Oct
Paul McCartney marries American heiress Nancy Shevell. And as every other Beatle has been married twice, this makes Macca the first to do it three times.

10 Oct
And finally, the third and last Official Juice Nothing Most Original Album Prize goes to Bjork - Biophilia.
First of all, this album featured new and unheard-of instruments like the Telsa Coil; A Gameleste (a mixture between a gamelan and a celesta, played remotely by a tablet computer); and a group of pendulums which created patterns, transmitting the movements of the Earth to the sound of a harp. You heard me.
But what really makes this album special is that it was released not only in the conventional way, but also as a series of iPad apps, allowing people to experience or even manipulate the songs in new and different ways. This is some master-shit. In a time where most bands make no money off of releases and only get paid from touring, Bjork was so innovative that she found a way which gave people incentive to pay a little bit extra to get a little bit extra, without even leaving their homes. God I love this girl. Oh, and the album is amazing.

12 Oct
A death that flew mostly under the radar was that of Dennis Ritchie, who helped build the C programming language - arguably the most used computer language ever. He was 70 years old and had been in bad health following prostate cancer and heart issues. Godspeed, sir.

13 Oct
A one-eyed albino shark fetus was found in Mexico, and reported by the National Geographic on this day. Thought at first to be fake, it’s not, and it’s fucking weird.

14 Oct
Split of Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore after 27 years of marriage? SPLIT OF SONIC YOUTH?? OH GOD PLEASE NO.

16 Oct
This was my 27th and final birthday ever! Remember very little, except wearing a thong when everyone sung happy birthday to me, and then telling everyone that they were all going to die. Was fun, I think.

21 Oct
Despite being uploaded in November 2009, I only saw this video now, and it messed me up. Properly. I’ve only ever watched it once.

26 Oct
I launched my third and final short story of the year called “The Poster Couple For Cross-Species Relationships“. It was something I had started writing in 2008, and decided to finish it off. The thing is, it was a nightmare, trying to turn about 3 separate ideas into one solid story - and I failed. By far the longest wankiest pile of shit I’ve written all year, it makes me sad and hateful of myself.
But the truth is - it is important, and is by far the deepest I have gone into The Goat’s Nest yet. I think after a few more stories, it will make more sense. Hopefully.
However, my main achievement of the day was listening to every single PJ Harvey album in order, in a row. I have proof too.

30 Oct
And then I went and watched PJ Harvey at the Royal Albert Hall all by myself. It was unlike anything I had ever been to before. The crowd was dead quiet for almost the entire show, we were all seated, and she sang songs almost exclusively from Let England Shake - which is my favourite album of hers if I’m honest. I was blown away, she is probably the best female artist of modern times (maybe).

31 Oct
After many days and nights of intense thinking/drinking, I decided it was time to leave The East Village once and for all. I had lived there for just under 2 years, and things weren’t quite the dream they once were. Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot to love, but certain housemates and I didn’t see eye-to-eye any more, which is no-one’s fault, just the nature of sharing a house I guess. We were also at war with the neighbours, and the place could get a little bit too noisy sometimes. Maybe I’m getting old or whatever, but all of this made my life feel like it was on a loop, my creativity had gone down and I felt somewhat depressed. So I announced my departure, and funny enough everyone agreed. Ash ended up moving out before me, and Kris was quick to follow.
So me and Lizzie made the decision to move in together, and chose the day of Halloween to do so, cos like, how could anything go wrong? We moved to Finchely, and in many ways it is exactly what I wanted: Quiet. Big. Less rent. Closer to work somewhat. And despite living with a load of weird old people, they tend to ignore us, which is a great non-distraction. I think the change has helped my life along a bit, and it’s nice to live with Lizzie cos she’s friendly and stuff.
Also on this day, the world population hit roughly 7 billion.

Dear 2011, November, Thanks for Red Hot Chili peppers, Beardyman, Hellen Zille, Skyrim and the iPhone4s

03 Nov
Walked past Professor Green on the street just outside my work. I didn’t say hello, so it doesn’t count as a brush with greatness, but it was still quite fancy.

09 Nov
Walked past Beardyman on the street just outside my work, and refused to let another celeb go by without annoying them. So I ran up to him, shook his hand, told him he was The Man, and that I was a huge fan. He mumbled something grumpily and went on his way. What a cool guy.
Also on this day, I trended on Twitter because of some shit I said to Helen Zille, which you can read about here.
Good day then!

11 Nov
Went and watched Red Hot Chili Peppers. It was a lifelong dream come true, got right to the front and it did not disappoint - I could cry at the pure awesomeness. However, at some point I lost my iPhone3G, which did suck a bit I'll admit. But if I had known this would happen if I went to the show, I still would’ve gone, no questions asked.
Also on this day, the game Skyrim was released. I haven’t played it, but it swallowed up a large amount of my friends, so it’s got to be good.

18 Nov
Released the filler blog 10 People You Have To Follow On Twitter (again), which was essentially the third one of its kind. It’s ok, I guess, mainly because quite a few of the entries messaged me back, giving thanks. No, no, thank you.

21 Nov
Got the iPhone4s baby!! Siri, tell me where I can eat tonight! What the fuck do you mean you can only look for businesses in the United States? WHAT THE FUCK IS THE POINT OF YOU??

22 Nov
Black Tuesday for the South Africans, where the Protection of State Information Bill was passed, allowing the government to regulate the publishing of state information. It sucks, but fukkit, the internet will always get it all out, don’t you worry your pretty faces.

Dear 2011, December, Thanks for my  tattoo, the death of Kim Jong-il, Little Dragon, Kepler-22b and the end of the Iraq War

02 Dec
So after about 17.5 hours or so, spread over more than a year, my tattoo is finally completed. I have to thank for the millionth time my good friend Scab. He is so incredible and is my favourite artist of all time. Please check out the rest of his work, he’s fucking sick.
Also on this day, The Telegraph reports that the once mighty Mozilla Firefox has fallen to third place in the browser wars, .5% behind Chrome. It was inevitable, because the entire year, Firefox went from awesome to miserably crap and pathetic.

04 Dec
Went and watched one of my favourite bands from 2011, Little Dragon. We only had seated tickets, but the show was incredible, kind of jammy takes on the album - not to mention the front-woman is the hottest thing ever. For the last show of the year, it was a great send off.
While we were doing this, The Freewheelin’ Troubadour was being interviewed by Pheonix FM, where he busted some poetry and played some great tunes. He also got a chance to plug The Funpowder Plot, and the whole Lily Allen project came up again which was nice of him. Max respect to the guy, I’ve always said I see big things for his future. Listen to the whole thing here.

05 Dec
Kepler-22b is discovered and confirmed by NASA to be the first planet that could contain life due to its distance from a Sun-like star. Roughly 2.4 times the radius of Earth, it is 600 light years away, and little does anyone know, they have already been watching us for a while now...
Also Hurricane Bawbag took place, the worst to hit Scotland in 10 years. The economy suffered £100 million in losses and over 70,000 people remained without electricity for the day. On the upside, we got treated with this.

09 Dec
A 61-year old man named Alan Billis dies of lung cancer, and as part of his will, agrees to be mummified to help researchers grasp a better understanding of Egyptian burial rituals. Nice one brother.

13 Dec
Arcade Fire FINALLY allow their music on Spotify!!!! No one cares but me.

15 Dec
The U.S. formally declares an end to the Iraq War.

16 Dec
Finally closed the Juice Nothing 2011 Album Charts, satisfied that I had listened to enough music for one year.

17 Dec
Kim Jong-iI dies from a heart-attack whilst traveling by train. It’s one of the few times that the inevitable jokes that immediately followed the announcement didn’t bother me whatsoever.

19 Dec
Launched The Top 50 Albums Of 2011, Reinterpreted As Short Stories (Part 1). It’s a big project which I unfortunately didn’t get to finish by the end of the year, but the pure magnitude of the idea was killing me, so I decided to chill out about it before I actually did die. It’s only a fucking blog after all.
Today I also finished recording all the vocals for the Coming Down Happy EP. Finally.

22 Dec
Launched The Top 50 Albums Of 2011, Reinterpreted As Short Stories (Part 2).

25 Dec
Celebrated Xmas without parents, which is always dangerous.

29 Dec
Launched this very blog, and you read it. Thanks.

30 Dec
UPDATE: Managed to juuuust cram in and launch The Top 50 Albums Of 2011, Reinterpreted As Short Stories (Part 3).

Whew, do you think I talk too much? Regardless, that’s it 2011. Let us shake hands and get on our ways, grateful for the time together and yet painfully unsatisfied with everything. But hey, isn’t 2012 supposed to be the last year ever anyway? I think I will probably appreciate you more when the entire world explodes.

Just do me one small favour and tell 2012 that I am keen to do some special stuff with him/her, if he/she is up for it. Like release Coming Down Happy. Remake Juice Nothing. Go to the gym often. Eat better. Have fucked up crazy sex with multiple famous people at the same time. Get a job at Google. Become a millionaire. Suck my own dick. Take over a small country. Invent a new colour. Learn to speak Afrikaans. Stuff like that.

Enjoy your place in history, and have a safe trip.
Love Jared