JOPLIN, Mo. — In no particular order, here are the things that geeked me out the most in 2012:
Favorite movie: ‘Cabin in the Woods’
“The Avengers” was great, as was “The Dark Knight Rises.” I haven’t seen “The Hobbit” yet, but I’m still kind of ticked at director Peter Jackson’s attempt to draw that story out to three movies. And “Looper” was a brilliant ride.
But “Cabin in the Woods,” the other Joss Whedon movie of 2012, was a genius send-up of a genre I love. It included every trope in the horror genre and cast them all in a clever light.
I’m not even going to try to tell the story, because I don’t want to spoil a bit of the plot.
Let’s just say there’s a lot more than the standard young-people-in-cabin going on.
“Cabin in the Woods” is arguably inferior to many movies this year, for good reason. But that’s the movie I enjoyed watching the most this year, so it gets my nod.
Favorite album: Rush, “Clockwork Angels”
I gave a lot of consideration to “The 2nd Law” by Muse, “The Sound of the Life of the Mind” by Ben Folds Five and “The Crux” by Hurt. I listened to all of those albums regularly throughout the year, and loved them all.
But Rush’s new concept album “Clockwork Angels” made me fall in love with the band all over again. Even though it’s not much of a concept album, it’s filled with brilliant songs that had me hitting “repeat” after the last song’s last chord.
There’s a book out by Kevin Anderson of the same name that expands on Neil Peart’s originaly story. I havent’ read it yet; I’ve heard it ties the songs together into a cohesive story. That’s fine, but I didn’t need a novel for “Scenes From a Memory,” “Operation Mindcrime” or “The Hazards of Love.” (To be fair: A novel would GREATLY help “The Hazards of Love” make sense.)
But that doesn’t matter, because each song on the album is wonderful enough to make me forget that there’s no musical themes that tie the songs together. From the radio friendly “Headlong Flight” to the soaring title track; from the orchestral “The Wreckers” to the sublte “Halo Effect, every song is a standalone winner.