Including a middle aged version of this man…
Back in the mists of November, it was put to the startling Interestment Family to compile some of their favourite discoveries from the last ten years. These could literally be anything, from people and places, to forgotten treats, and beautiful delights. Coming directly after numbers 1-20, and 21-40, here are the next twenty. Remember, this is not a chart, it’s just a bloody massive list…
I have only seen the first and second seasons, and it’s one of the best box sets money can buy. It’s about an attractive widower in America who sells weed to support her family. It features one of my favourite actresses, Elizabeth Perkins, and it’s easy viewing but leaves you on a cliff-hanger at the end of each season, so it’s not for the faint hearted.
42. On Chesil Beach
Without wanting to get too hoity toity about it – with all books and that – the last ten years have been good ones for reading. Cormac McCarthy has proved very engaging, Zadie Smith started very well. But this 166-page gem is the one that really tightened the Interestment Sunday afternoon pantaloons. One of Ian McEwan’s best, it’s a study of young love that left us weeping like children with Astroturf grazes stepping into a hot bath. Tissues essential.
In these days of hard drinking, thoughtless eating, and occasional heavy smoking, every once in a while, your insides are going to creak and bemoan your antics. Cue that horrible burning acid that lurks in the throat making it damn near impossible to relax. Unless, of course, you have a bottle of this stuff handy. A miracle cure, and as important to the modern go-getter as penicillin was back in the olden days.
44. RA the Rugged Man
In the glamorous world of hip hop – which revolves around diamond encrusted jewellery, expensive champagne and, of course, massive-buttocked women – it’s highly unorthodox for an “ugly white dude with a big gut and shoulder hair” to be any good at rapping. RA The Rugged Man, however, is brilliant. A disgusting man, with incredible MC skills and a fascinating life story, his 2004 debut album Die Rugged Man Die is an underrated masterpiece.
(Hip Hop Sam)
45. Beach Boys Reissues/Remasters
What a fine decade for new sounds from the The Beach Boys. Bonkers Brian finally unleashed Smile on the world, which was absolutely great/weird, and then Dennis got in on the act from beyond the grave with a remastered version of Pacific Ocean Blue, which has been a regular visitor to the Interestment record player over the last year or so. Wonderful stuff.
I saw this play at the Donmar Warehouse, and let me tell you, folks, it was incredible. In-cred-ible! I was expecting a comedy – thanks mainly to the Specsavers advert with the song Non, Je ne regrette rien in it – but what I got was a really depressing/uplifting play about Edith Piaf. And now I know a bit more French, so that’s helpful. Or, as the French might say – c’est ‘elpful.
47. Pork Pie Hats
It’s been a great year or so for hats, which have evolved from kids in baseball ones, or Winter beanies, into an all-year-round affair for anyone who fancies it. Here at Interestment, we’ve always been huge fans of iconic hats – like, for ages, yeah? Before it was fashionable and that… ahem – and have long carried a torch from a decent Pork Pie. Now a staple in all of the most popular high street stores. In honesty, we’re not entirely sure how we feel about that. But we’ll keep wearing ours, because nothing completes a strong “look” like a well positioned hat atop your head.
48. Christina Hendricks
Mad Men is a show about ad execs who smoke fags in their offices, get drunk at meetings, then cheat on their wives. This flame-haired goddess, meanwhile, prowls around the office tightening everyone’s trousers, berating secretaries for not being sexy enough, and explaining to the boss that they have run out of staples – only in the manner of the Cadbury’s Caramel Bunny describing a pair of soft round boobs. The new Monroe.
49. Dyson Airblade
The Rolls Royce of hand dryers. No touching required, just lower your hands into the scary looking gap and roughly 2.5 seconds later they’re as dry and happy as a camel with a erection. But be warned, this machine could chop an anorexic’s arms in two should they be foolish enough to lower their shrivelled, malnourished limbs into it. A beast from the man who reinvented those vacuum hoover cleaner things.
50. Cristiano Ronaldo
In the olden days, striker scored goals, midfielders did a bit of tackling and wingers, well wingers pranced up and down the touchline in jewellery, playing the odd good game but generally frustrating. Until Ronaldo came on the scene that is. In 2007-08, CR scored an astonishing 42 goals, and perhaps led the way in the tactical evolution of the now ubiquitous one up front / 4-3-3 formation. Because if your wingers are scoring 40+ a season, you only need one striker. Unless that one is Emille Heskey of course. (WARNING: Clip contains weird music)
51. Salma Hayek
As she accelerates towards middle age, Hayek is getting better and better. She still has the kind of taut, aggressive body that gives anxious people the jelly-legs, and her hair is darker than a raven’s overcoat. Like the famous Cleopatra, age cannot wither her. She’s like a fine wine etc…
52. Wasabi Peas
Just like every other delicious modern cuisine, the bar snack is forever evolving, and the latest trend to hit these shores is a dainty bowl of Wasabi Peas. They look almost exactly like traditional everyday peas, but they contain a taste explosion that will literally blow your mind. Not to be ordered with a glass of fruity white if the football’s on and you’re with the lads.
Moniker describing (straight, gay and bi) gentlemen who liked having ‘nice‘ hair, sometimes rejected pints for a half and knew that Prada wasn’t a discount supermarket chain. As the 90’s waned, male need to constantly demonstrate robust masculinity declined and by the Noughties stealing your girlfriend’s moisturiser and taking longer than her to get ready for a night out was a given. Females rejoiced at the fact that their hairy, smelly other half was now aspiring to look like (Metrosexual King) David Beckham and asking her gay friends for style tips. Although she still drew the line at handing over her Immac for him to wax his nuts.
54. Chicken Jalfrezi
Curries have had a wonderful ten years, and are now a staple in most modern, forward-thinking households. And while we’re not usually prone to massive sweeping statements, this one is by far the best of a great bunch. It packs a little bit of a punch, because it’s made using small handfuls of tasty green chillies, which work wonderfully well with a tomato-based sauce and gentle sprinkle of coriander as a garnish. Washed down with a conveyor belt of Carlsbergs, this would be our Death Row meal.
55. Honda “Impossible Dream” Advert
Selling motors isn’t an easy job. Car-makers are shutting down faster than a Porsche being driven by Iron Legs McGinty. But, their advertising has spawned some classics – from Paula Hamilton in a VW Golf, to that amazing Peugeot 405 ad with blazing fields and a wicked soundtrack. But the clear winner is Honda, whose Impossible Dream film is just plain blooming amazing. Not sure it makes me want to buy a car, but I really want to grow a moustache and ride in a speedboat. Peowww.
56. Tom Stade
We don’t know a great deal about Tom Stade, aside from that whenever we’ve seen him perform, our insides have very nearly been laughed out of our mouths. He’s that bloody funny. What we do know is that he’s a Canadian gentleman who now lives over here in beautiful England, and apparently he once braved the violent world of Afghanistan just to give the troops something to laugh at. Courageous and hysterical, then.
57. Chicken Soup
The greatest of the soups, this has been known to cure common colds, flu like symptoms, and crippling bouts of heartbreak. It’s that potent, and we were schooled on how to make a really decent version of the thing during the cold months of early 2007. It’s basically a clear broth made from boiling chicken bones, which you can then accessorise to suit the level of rumblings in your bulbous, angry stomach. The Interestment way would be to include actual bits of chicken, noodles, and some dumplings called kreplach, which we came across thanks to our Jewish brothers and sisters. Wonderful.
58. The Word Magazine
Top-hole journalism married epic music-geeking and the only intelligent magazine left in the Universe was born. Entertainment is its business (without the typical elitist sneering) from Girls Aloud to Prog to Tom Waits. Very often in the same issue. Loved by those who ask for more from their magazines than an unfunny caption underneath another full-bleed picture of Katie Price coming out of Tescos.
59. Alec Baldwin in 30 Rock
Alec Baldwin, were we to be forced by a group of angry film critics to list our favourite ever actors, would probably creep into the top ten. He’s really excellent, and always completely watchable – a trait which is hugely important in an actor. His finest moment will forever be his cameo in Glengarry Glen Ross from 1992, but this decade has seen him score massive points in The Departed, as well as enter the pantheon of sitcom greats as Jack Donaghy in 30 Rock. Put simply, he’s perfect in it. Innit.
60. Alice Russell
While the likes of Joss Stone and Duffy get all the plaudits, and the Dusty Springfield comparisons, this girl is the real blue eyed soul sensation of the moment. Her voice is startlingly good, she’s worked with the excellent Quantic Soul Orchestra, and above is a fantastic rendition of a White Stripes song that she sang with Nostalgia 77. Better than Leona, Winehouse and the rest. Fact.