Andrew Hamlin's Best of 2016


Andrew Hamlin shares his favourites of the year.

Top Ten Albums

1. Sara Gazarek and Josh Nelson: Dream In The Blue

So subtle and richly so, I’ll be digging out its secrets all next year.

2. Jad And David Fair: Shake, Cackle And Squall

Some of the greatest guitar solos of the 21st Century, because they
don’t give a fuck how a guitar solo should sound. As Half Japanese,
they broke rock and roll; now they’re playing with the pieces.

3. Herbie Mann: Live At The Whisky 1969: The Unreleased Masters

Pop songs become springboards. Into the air, a double-flip, then deep
down. Hold your breath in rapture.

4. Ravi Shankar: In Hollywood 1971

Ashamed that I don’t know the rules of this music. Exhilarated at how
much it does for me anyway.

5. MC Chris: MC Chris Is Dreaming

Nerdcore hiphop? All I know is, solid hiphop overwhelmed,
magnificently, by long dialogues with Freddy Krueger, plus an
existential horror suicide (not Freddy Krueger’s).

6. Beth Orton: Kidsticks

Matter-of-factly frightening, how much she knows about what people
feel but rarely say.

7. Paul Simon: Stranger To Stranger

He flashes his privilege here and there, but “Wristband” makes for a
prezel-logic look at privilege. Elsewhere, gentle harshness at
mortality and longevity.

8. Perez Patitucci Blade: Children Of The Light

Such a broken year. So reassuring that three men know how to wing it
and win every time.

9. Ingrid Michaelson: It Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect

She’s mourning her mother, her dog, her marriage, her health. She
still managed one of the most affecting albums and one of the
catchiest, angriest hit singles (“Hell No”) of the year.

10. Kendra Shank and Geoffrey Keezer: Half Moon: Live In New York

Another piano/voice duo. Unknown tongues, encyclopedic moods, and a
song made up on the spot, because they can.

Top 5 Books

1. The Boys In The Bunkhouse, by Dan Barry

2. The Most Famous Writer Who Ever Lived, by Tom Shroder

3. The Maximum Security Book Club, by Mikita Brottman

4. Old Records Never Die, by Eric Spitznagel

5. Ten Days A Madwoman, by Deborah Noyes

Top 5 Films

1. Indignation, directed by James Schamus

Like a punch in the face. A meticulous clockwork of beautiful cruelty
and impeccable ruin. Passion has no place in the machinery of

2. Max Rose, directed by Daniel Noah

Jerry Lewis is not funny. He’s manifesting pain. He’s been doing
this and not being funny for a long time and no one seems to
understand. A brilliant, plain film about pain.

3. Miss Hokusai, directed Hara Keiichi

The most beautiful film of the year.

4. Arrival, directed by Denis Villeneuve

Folks vow to do their duty, keep their cool – and still succumb to
temptation from nimrods with webcams exhorting us to never think
outside base instincts, a great grating chorus of worst wheels
ratcheting towards the worst noise.

5. Unbroken Glass, directed by Dinesh Sabu

The only documentary on this list. Facing family, and the truth about
family, can be hardest of all.




Brian Wise

Brian Wise was the Editor of Addicted To Noise‘s Australian site from 1997 – 2002. The site won two ONYA Awards as Best Online Music Magazine in 1999 & 2000. He has also been Editor since its reincarnation in 2013. He also presents the weekly music interview program Off The Record on 102.7 Triple R-FM ( in Melbourne. It is networked to 45+ stations across Australia on the Community Radio Network and is a four-time winner of the Best Music Program Award from the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia. In 2012, it was nominated as a finalist in the Excellence in Music Programming category. Brian was also the Founding Editor & Publisher of Rhythms Magazine and is now its Senior Contributing Editor.

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