Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Whiskey Pie Presents The Best of Whiskey Pie 2008 (A Whiskey Pie Production)

I started Whiskey Pie along with CJ at the beginning of 2008. Though he dropped out of the site for various reasons, I think I speak for both of us when I say that my only goal was to try to stick with something for once, to update it fairly consistently, and not to give up. I don't want to get too self-congratulatory, but throughout 2008 I was able to post at least a couple times a week on top of the other writing I was doing; not only that, I'm genuinely proud of some of the writing I did this year.

Anyway, I'm going to take this chance to look back on Whiskey Pie in 2008 and link some of the posts I was particularly proud of. Also, I'm going to Cleveland for New Year's and will take the rest of the week off, so new Whiskey Pie posts will start on this upcoming Monday (coincidentally, I'm starting a second job that day, too).

Look-A-Likes: When Whiskey Pie began, I was still getting back into the swing of coming up with something to write every week, but this feature was an idea I had had for some time. It might even have dated back to when I was still in college and writing for the paper. Anyway, I think my look-a-likes are pretty on the mark.

Super Mario Galaxy: I don't do a lot of videogame stuff on this site, mainly because I don't play enough games to feel truly confident in my critical faculties for the artform. But I feel like everything I wanted to say about this game I managed to squeeze in without doing the boring consumer report style review.

Bukowski On Film: Barfly Vs. Factotum: I'm a huge fan of Charles Bukowski, so it was interesting to finally see the movies he wrote/are based on him. I thought this came off pretty well.

A Guide To World of Warcraft Classes: I really enjoyed writing this article because I was heavily into WoW at the time. Now it just seems like a bad attempt at a Something Awful post. Still, I think the pictures are kind of funny and I don't do as much overt attempts at humor on Whiskey Pie anymore.

Video: Tom Waits- God's Away On Business: OK, I just wanted to get people to go watch this video because I think it's badass.

New Pornographers- Challengers: As I say in the review itself, I find it hard to write negative reviews but I think I did a decent job with this one.

Album of the Week: Spoon- Girls Can Tell: I try not to get too digressive or background informationy with my reviews and I think I achieved a good balance here while still digging into the album itself.

Why I Quit World of Warcraft: Maybe I should've let this article stew for a week or so while I made a few more edit passes at it. As it stands, I managed to get down everything I wanted to say as coherently as possible.

Primer: Beck Part 8- Guero: When I begin writing any of my Primer entries on bands, this is the kind of 'review' I strive for. Something that places the work in the context of the band or artist's discography but doesn't devolve into a constant series of "this isn't as good as" or "this is better than" statements with hardly a mention of the album itself.

Shadow of the Colossus: If I could write something like this everyday, I would be pretty damn happy with myself. I so clearly remember editing this post and thinking it was one of the best critiques/re-evaluations of something I had ever written. I'm still really proud of it, too.

The Jesus and Mary Chain- Psychocandy: Sometimes in writing a review, I'm working through my feelings about the album as much as I am trying to write a competent critique of it. I go into it without a clear positive or negative slant in mind but in the process of writing and thinking, I end up with something like this.

The Sincerest Form of Flattery: This is one of those critical think pieces I do from time to time. I know a lot of people don't bother with these since they are like reading someone thinking out loud, but I find them a healthy by-product of the critic's diet. Or maybe that should be 'the critic's masturbation.'

Halloween: Film Round-Up 1: In case you couldn't tell, I love Halloween and had a blast doing all the Halloween-y content throughout October. This was the first batch of mini-film reviews I did, and it was probably the best. Starting this series caused me to begin watching way more movies than I had been, thereby reigniting my love for film in general.

Primer: Phish Part 6/Album of the Week- Billy Breathes
: While I was writing the Primer entries on Phish, I was making a conscious effort to balance the music critic part of me and the mindless fan part of me. This was probably the point where the two were most equal.

Album of the Week: Elliott Smith- Either/Or: It was only after I finished writing this review and began editing that I realized I hadn't said very much about the music or the songs. Yet as someone who commented on this review said, I still managed to capture the feel of the thing. This is the same as the Shadow of the Colossus post, because I wish that every time I sat down to write something like this came out.

Half-Life: Again, even though I don't write a lot about videogames, I think I did a great job of talking about this game on its 10 year anniversary without devolving into "the graphics were good, the sound was OK, the controls are too loose, etc."

David Lynch's Inland Empire: Every single time I had seen Inland Empire before writing this I ended up drunk by the end of it. So it was enlightening to watch it during a drying out period and to know that it still doesn't make a lot of sense if you're stone cold sober. Still, I enjoyed writing this review and I think it helped me collect my feelings about it and Lynch's work in general.

Stephen Malkmus- Stephen Malkmus: I try to avoid concept reviews because they tow a fine line between smarmy/pretentious and fun/intelligent. Hopefully you think, as I do, that I ended up with the latter.

That ended up being a lot more posts than I thought. Well, Happy New Year everybody. Here's hoping I have as many highlights when 2009 draws to a close...

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