Not a vintage year for culture in the Sanddancer household, but as I've done it each year before, I thought I'd continue the tradition.
Live music was strictly old bands. Jesus and Mary Chain were consistently brilliant, MC5 playing with Primal Scream was legendary, but truth be told I probably enjoyed the WonderStuff the most. I ignored new music again, with the only new band making an impression was Vampire Weekend, mainly because I spent a pleasant lunchtime in a cafe with a glass of wine and a book and they were being played.
I did go to the theatre quite a lot this year, as I was determined to make better use of the free tickets offered at work and I returned to my old amateur theatre. However, I didn't actually pay to see any professional shows this year so it wasn't really that representative of my usual taste. Billy Elliot was probably the best show I saw, although Wicked was a lot of fun too.
The films I enjoyed the most this year were comedies, which again is unusual for me, but perhaps a sign that in gloomy times that is what is needed. I loved Juno and Burn After Reading made me laugh more than anything else I can remember. J K Simmons was in both films, a great underrated actor.
The final series of The Wire wasn't perhaps as good as the previous four series, but was still way better than anything else. The Daily Show with John Stuart became must-watch television, especially during the American election. The SkyPlus Box has changed my life as I can now record daytime detectives.
A new category for 2008 as I read more this year than I have in any year since I finished my degree. I discovered the books of Magnus Mills, a genius of deadpan and inventive alternative worlds, and I read all five of his full novels. I hope in 2009 he will write some more, but I hear he is working as a bus driver. Fup by Jim Dodge and Naive, Super by Erlend Loe were other short, quirky favourites, and I loved Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and Light of Day by Graham Swift too.