so these arent really ordered at all, other than to say that Cyclops Reap was my favorite record of the year. Heres the other 5.
6. The Growlers / The Coathangers live. I saw these 2 shows pretty close to each other, like 2 weeks apart. The Growlers were headlining a Burger Records tour. This was just the year of west coast music for me I guess. Ive kinda been feeling the tide bring me in that direction for like 2 years, after being a lot into East Coast bands. I still think that shit is cool....Guerilla Toss, etcetc i wont even attempt to name bands, but the DIY circuit over there is probably the most alive and well of anywhere as far as being a circuit. From Toronto and Montreal and Chicago to New York and down the east coast. The Growlers really got the crowd into it. Their music is hypnotic, but it seemed they were also trying to hypnotize the crowd. It was their last show of tour and they said something from stage about wanting to hang out, but I had to dance with the one that brought me. Oh it was pouring rain. Joey gave me an extra ticket. It was really fun going out with him, it reminded me of being on tour some. I like not being the lead guy, like just walking. He is a credible dude as far as having a beard and misfits tattoo as far as if I'm walking in a group with him I feel impervious against random attack or muggings. Im sure some Zetas could take us down, but I try and stay away from anywhere that might happen. Anyways, they were sick. I saw The Coathangers later, which I wrote about at the time (fairly recently). I suspect someone in the Growlers and someone in the Coathangers are in love, but its a pretty vague hunch. They have a lot of photos online where they are wearing eachothers shirts and the person wearing the shirt always looks like they are shrugging like "i know its crazy right, we fell in love with each other". --but im probably reading into something thats not there. Yeah The Coathangers were good in a way that made me want to root for them. They used to be a 4 piece and now they are a 3 piece. They still sounded tight to me making the adjustment on some songs, like as in instrumentalists were having to work too hard, but they just have this survivor aura, and the sound was mellowing out on some songs already for sure, like "aahh, thats it". One track that sounded like the Delta 5 I would say that was true of. I think the 4th chick from that band might have felt like she was the worst musician out of the bunch (<---total speculation) but even tho she was the ditziest one, she was probably super smart. I heard she got married, so good for her. Maybe the "smart" move. Its weird what makes bands tick or what makes bands good. Personality combos that sparkle together. I do reserve the right to say something negative about this bands early career if i ever get drunk enough to be so tactless and unpromoterly, but i guess if you believe in yourself that you should just stick to it, then finding out what you turn into becomes its own reward, which is kinda the same no matter who you are. At the end of the day, the exasperated crush proclaimed "the craziest thing about these chicks is, you might not guess it, but they are like the most solid dudes ever."
7. Spray Paint, the band. -- This band is really writing the book of underground rock history and I completely admire them. They just have always been so into it and now they really know what they are doing. You can tell from what they are doing --- get back from tour do a show at beerland, do another beerland show 2 weeks later, then 4 weeks later play the biggest local show of the summer at hotel vegas, totally off their own draw, then go on tour, record at the right time, and then also they have written a shit ton of music, because they released 2 full LPs on Vinyl this year. Stoke the flames on a steady drumbeat of press. I mean this shit is old shit for them by now, all they have done is throw rock shows since they were at least in college and there have always been people who go to their shows consistently at least since the Tuxedo Killers were on the cover of the Chronicle with bags over their heads, which was like 10 years ago practically. In terms of how to promote your own band, when you should take a show and when you should put your own bill together, I feel like I just try and copy these guys. Their band really nails it on 1) having a good concept for what sound they are going for, 2) writing insanely good music, 3) doing their own promotional scheme and 4) hustling hard. I wish these guys continued success. Hope I dont bug you too much fellas!! I act like an idiot around this band because they get me so pumped up it makes me feel super familiar, but I try to notice that about myself and act somewhat cool.
8. The SXSW party at Julian's parents house -- This show was megalooney and the only show i did over sxsw this year, on account of the "I have to work to save up money so i can be a musician" stage of musician-logic. This show was retarded and went from about 9 PM - 4:15 AM. The show was still going there were like 15 guests left who needed to pass out and everyone was in a state of half passing out. Bubbly Mommy Gun played last. This was supposed to be a day show, so it basically started 9 hours late, and it was cancelled for part of the day and then "back on". At that point it was being run on maybe the tiniest margin of error that I have ever run a show on, which I kinda decided half way thru was gonna be the point, or at least it turned out that way. I basically ran it by being able to anticipate the scene -- when Julian's parents were gonna cut us off from doing something, when the neighbors were gonna come by and yell at us, bands acting a certain way. Its not that hard if youve done it a million times ---its more like being at a dinner party at my grandparents how I know that its time my grandmother comes over and tells everyone they have to get seconds -- It was really fun for me. The level of talent was thru the roof, and running that back to back made everyone feel comfortable. At first it seemed like people didnt know what was going on like they were at a sham party at a sham house. Was it safe here? Is this a Scarface mansion? I actually heard 2 separate references to Scarface. Then it kinda turned into a covered atmosphere, like a professional atmosphere, like the room seemed non-nefarious but clear and empty for bullshitting, but i didnt really hear anyone bullshitting -- basically people were just tired from the whole week and were resting up. And it just happened that there was this crazy show going on. Some guy did a cannonball from the hottub to the pool and it had the potential energy of shattering a pane of glass. Im looking forward to the reprise this year, its kinda gonna be a secret, but I think it will be a more fun vibe from the beginning because we will have some return guests who get the drill better.
9. Rooommates -- my roommates were a big part of my life this year. I got to live with Julian, Paloma, Shelby, Melissa, Cole, Peter, and Colin. The changing of roommates has been one major way I mark time-periods in my life. I have fond memories of them all, and I learned a shit ton from all of them, mainly just to hear their different perspectives. In addition, some of these folks made it into the vaunted category of "someone who was there for me at a time when i needed it" and thats something that's going on their permanent records, at least in my book!!
10. Death of Lou Reed -- Lou Reed died close to my birthday. I spent a lot of time with his music right after that, and did a lot of reflection. I ventured into Tai Chi Intro videos on Youtube. I listened to a lot of velvet underground off Youtube that I had never heard before, different concerts etc. Not much I could say about this as sucinct as some of the stuff I read or that Lou Reed contributed, but I recommend everyone check out his life's work.