The stuff that dreams are made of…
C’mon, you didn’t actually think I’d publish my 2011 lists during the actual year of 2011…did you? Now that I have the undivided attention of eight people:
Best Show(s) That I Never Saw
Lightning Bolt at Healthy Times Fun Club (RIP) Soundgarden/Queens of the Stone Age/Mastodon etc. at the Gorge Pig Destroyer at El Corazon Musicfest Northwest Reverbfest Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings with Fly Moon Royalty at the Showbox Market Jon Spencer Blues Explosion at Neumos Matsuri at the Black Lodge Portishead at WaMu Scratch Acid at Neumos
The Lightning Bolt, Portishead, Pig Destroyer and Scratch Acid shows are the ones I’m most upset about. Who knows if I’ll ever have a chance to see those bands in the city of Seattle again (and in some instances, anywhere else). I suppose I could hop on a plane for the sake of noise and nostalgia. Who am I kidding? I’m too poor to do that. Being broke is the reason why I missed that Portishead show at WaMu. I made the conscientious decision to avoid the “Dinosaurs of Rock” show at Gorge. I’m not too ashamed (“shame” is a word I am unfamiliar with) to admit that I still listen to Soundgarden and enjoy their music. This is the exact reason why I did not want to see them play the Gorge. I’m one of those people that likes to leave the past in the past. Which is why you’re not going to see me embracing the reunions of At The Drive In or Refused as much as my inner high school spirit would like to. Mastodon has been dead to me for a couple of albums now. When I heard they were coming to SoDo, I immediately assaulted the first human being I saw (some elderly woman with no legs) and yelled, “This is what happens when good bands put out terrible albums!”
Her hearing aid fell out during the attack. I don’t think she heard me.
I was actually at the Matsuri show when they played the Black Lodge. I went to my car for a second and by the time I got back they were done. I picked up their record “Endship.” It’s pretty great.
The Kool Keith “We Do This All The Time” Live Music Award(s) For Excellence.
There are few winners for the most recognizable award in the music community the award that is inspired by Black Elvis himself. First and foremost, I have to give it up to Spurm. They were the best act I saw at Capitol Hill Block Party, but I never published my post out of crippling writer’s block, oh-my-lanta sheer laziness. Here’s what I wrote (consider the “theme” of those write-ups):
“Of course you’re back in the bowels of Bimbo’s Cantina, the shadowy underworld that is known as Cha Cha. Today, there is hope because it is Sunday. For some reason the only time good things happen at Cha Cha is when the calendar day is Sunday or Monday. What brings you to the Cha Cha? One word: Spurm.
You’ve never been a pervert (unless the lights are off, meow) but Spurm feels so good. They are like a demented version of the B-52′s. You realize that you must rephrase your assessment of Spurm. Whoever is reading your thoughts is already aware of the “bananas” behavior of the aforementioned legendary Athens, Ga. based “New Wave” band. Whereas the B-52′s might tuck their kids in with stuffed animals that resemble Brer Rabbit, Spurm play the part of Anansi and spin webs to ensnare those same children and their pathetic limitless dreams.
Don’t get me wrong, Spurm know how to have fun. But there is a darkness in the presentation my friends.
Weird quirky keyboard that is sometimes defiantly noisy. Punk rhythms. Where did that fucking saxophone come from? That guitarist plays like he used to be in The Pretenders but his personality was licks were too vicious so they kicked him out. A charismatic, matter-of-fact lead singer, who dons a white ship captain’s hat and makes gestures to the crowd that are both exciting and flamboyantly menacing. At one point in-between songs Jordan Adams says something to the crowd but you can’t remember his exact words. You just know that he said something about this particular song being his favorite Spurm song. When the lead singer of a band says that before his/her band plays a song, your expectations tend to grow by the second. To no surprise the song exceeds whatever conjecture you have tied around its neck. At one point Mr. Adams enters the heart of the Cha Cha audience and is swallowed be the most eager jazz hands that the world has ever seen. It were as if ten thousand Richard Simmons just finished an exercise routine and had given the lead singer of Spurm a metacarpus cocoon.”
Man, they were so good. Simply outstanding.
Strong Killings at their Record Release Party at the Rendezvous.
If you were there, you know what I’m talking about. If you weren’t, you missed one of the most magical moments in music history. I’m not kidding. People in Seattle think they can get away with murder every once in a while act proactively dickish and think it’s OK.
“What the fuck are you doing to do about it? Passive aggressive, coffee-drinking, Subaru outback driving, yoga-mat carrying, vibram five-finger rocking, mostly neutral color wearing…”
I don’t remember the exact details of the exchange between the heckler and Nathan (the lead singer of Strong Killings) because too many grains of sand have sunk to the bottom of the hourglass. Did Nathan respond to the drunken heckling with a karate chop? Did the heckler leave the venue after he got the volume turned up on his antics? Gentle readers, just remember one thing the next time you go to a Strong Killings concert….
TALK SHIT. GET HIT.
(Cue “Too Cool.”)
To read the rest of Phil’s live music stand-outs and disappointments from 2011 (more…)