The Week That Shook 2013

As ever, I’m a little behind with this blog post. I actually started writing it on Thursday, when there were THREE WHOLE DAYS left in The Week That Shook 2013, and none of us knew what would happen next. We were sitting on the edge of our seats, eagerly refreshing our Twitter home feed and anticipating the next shock. However, it turns out that nothing actually happened next so I could have finished this post then and looked like less of an idiot/killed some time before my exam. But nope. I’m writing it now, still needing to kill some time but as it’s after my exam that’s totally acceptable. Right?

Yes. Last week shall be referred to as The Week That Shook 2013, or TWTS2013 for slightly shorter. Or Comeback Week, which is probably more accurate. In merely the first full calendar week of this new year (which doesn’t feel so new any more; which in fact feels slightly overworn and in need of a wash) MANY GOOD THINGS HAPPENED. Specifically in the world of culture. More specifically to do with David Bowie. This post will outline all of them (the important ones of course), because if I don’t put it in writing I may forget to believe in it.

Firstly, the things that one can’t count as Comebacks. Nominations Week. This was the week of the Brits, BAFTAs and the Oscars all announcing those in contention for the next awards show. It was quite exciting. It’s still quite exciting, even after I’ve listened to people discuss the Oscars in great detail for many many days. Suddenly I’ve discovered a new love for awards season; or more specifically the sense of indignation associated with awards season. WHERE WERE THE SKYFALL NODS, EVERYONE? Not you so much, BAFTA (although it was one of the best films of the year, not just one of the best British films), but I truly feel the best Bond film in decades (possibly ever) deserved more recognition in the larger categories. I have, however, long since accepted that I will never see an Avengers film be nominated for something other than special effects, and while it hurts it seems plainly obvious that Christopher Nolan’s phenomenal Dark Knight films will receive no recognition either. But while the film awards threw up a few surprises (and I mean proper ones, not the snub of the mainstream) the Brits provided some true shocks. The Best British Female category, for instance. While largely a predicatable collection it was really nice to see a posthumous nod for Amy Winehouse, still influential after her death, and for the brilliant Bat For Lashes, who is truly remarkable and deserves more recognition than she gets. I don’t realistically think either of them will win, but it’s quite refreshing to see the Brits taking some different tastes into account. Also the inclusion of Alt-J (), while not alarming considering their impact on the music scene this year, is good too. It means the hipster brigade hgave to find something new to latch on to, after all.

But this week is known as Comeback Week for a reason.  This was the week in which anyone who was a pre-teen in the early years of the millenium took one glance at Twitter and thought they’d been involved in a very specific process of time travel. First of all Justin Timberlake, who made a cryptic Twitter ‘announcement’ and then a bizarre talky video before releasing the actual single the week after (which I should listen to but I was almost entirely put off by the talky video). Secondly, and even more excitingly, Destiny’s Child announced that they were releasing a single and, after a while, stated that they would be joining Beyoncé in her Superbowl halftime show for a medley of their tracks. Therefore I felt the need to listen to a selection of their back-catalogue as soon as possible. Sad but true.

The main event of the week, though. No-one saw it coming. I woke up one morning, blearily turned my phone on and scrolled through Twitter, only to almost fall out of bed. David Bowie had released a single. DAVID BOWIE. And it was moving and magnificent and brilliant. It truly overshadowed every announcement that came afterwards through its sheer beauty and the fact that n0-one, no-one at all, saw it coming. In a day and age where everyone feels the need to begin promotion for a new album or film about six months in advance, boring everyone so much with trailers and ‘announcements’ and teasers that when the album finally comes out there’s nothing new to discover, it was refreshing to see someone completely disregarding this. Refreshing and an absolute treat. Plus the album’s coming out in Birthday Week, which shall be magnificent and might actually make my 20th exciting.

Will 2013 have another week as remarkable as this one? I doubt it. Maybe if it happens too often it won’t be special any more.


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