Archive for March, 2010

Favorite concerts of 2000-2009.

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

I realize that it’s a little late to be looking back on the last decade, since we’re already about 25% done with 2010. But I’ve got a little time to kill, so I thought it might be fun to look back on the nearly 500 concerts that I saw from 2000 to 2009.

Let’s start with some statistics, shall we?
Total # of concerts attended: 498
Total # of (unique) bands seen: 906

First concert of the decade: November Project and Nancy Falkow at the New Market Cabaret, Philadelphia, PA (15 January 2000).
Last concert of the decade: Sarah Borges & the Broken Singles and Eilen Jewell at Jammin’ Java, Vienna, VA (12 November 2009).

Most active concert-going year: 2005, with 90 concerts
Least active concert-going year: 2000, with 16 concerts
Most active concert-going day of the week: Saturday, with 120 concerts
Least active concert-going day of the week: Monday, with 27 concerts

Most popular day to see a concert: 22 June – Emmylou Harris (2008), Michelle Malone (2004), the American Analog Set (2003), the Dismemberment Plan (2002), La Zona Rosa Songwriter’s Circle (2001).

States where I saw the most shows: DC (245), Virginia (147), Texas (35)
Other states where I saw shows, listed alphabetically: California, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania

Venues where I saw the most shows: the Black Cat (62 mainstage, 27 backstage), the 9:30 club (62), Jammin’ Java (30)
(seriously?! Didn’t realize I’d been to so many shows at Jammin’ Java.)

Band I saw the most during this decade: Low (16 times)
Best live Low experience: Going on tour with them for a week in 2001.
Weirdest live Low experience: Seeing them open for Wilco at Merriweather Post Pavilion (11 June 2007) and instigating a Nels Cline jam on “Do You Know How To Waltz?”
Best guest appearance during a Low show: Gerry Beckley from America joining Low at the Black Cat, 12 October 2002.
Smallest audience at a Low show: myself, Scott “Starfire” Lunt, and Hollis watching the band film a Yahoo! in-studio performance in Dallas, 25 January 2001.
Best Low opening act: It’s a tie between former Swan Michael Gira at the Bowery Ballroom (19 October 2001) and Death Vessel at the Black Cat (4 February 2006).

Other favorite bands I saw multiple times this decade: the American Analog Set (7), Sonic Youth (5), Rye Coalition (5), Mastodon (4), Mogwai (4).

Bands I never thought I’d see once this decade: Mission of Burma (and yet, I saw them 4 times!), the Jesus Lizard, Slint, Gang of Four, Unrest, Eggs, Laibach, Os Mutantes.

Bands/artists I saw this decade that I will never see again: Jack Rose, Vic Chesnutt, Peter Paul & Mary, the Sun City Girls.

Best pre-inauguration show: the Big Shoulders Inauguration Ball (19 January 2009) with Jon Langford & Sally Timms, Eleventh Dream Day, the Waco Brothers, Andrew Bird, Tortoise, Ken Vandermark with John Herndon & Jeff Parker (performing songs of Sun Ra), Freakwater, and more.
Best post-inauguration show: Noise Against Fascism (20 January 2005) with To Live and Shave in L.A., Chris Corsano/Paul Flaherty, Mirror/Dash (Kim Gordon & Thurston Moore), Double Leopards, Magik Markers, and more.

Best Valentine’s Day show: Black Dice, Orthrelm, Dorkestra, and Nautical Almanac at the Ottobar, 2004.
Best birthday show: the Antiques at the Velvet Lounge.
Best St Patrick’s Day shows: SXSW 2001: Mogwai, Sally Timms, Anna Fermin’s Trigger Gospel, the New Pornographers, Jim and Jennie and the Pinetops, Flare.

Three memorable concert experiences:
• Built to Spill, Windsor for the Derby, and Explosions in the Sky at the Union Ballroom, Austin, TX (20 April 2001): Obviously, this was a great lineup, but this show was most memorable just for being in the company of good friends on the night before I got laid off from my dot-com job.
• Einstuerzende Neubauten at the 9:30 club (23 April 2004): There aren’t many artists who could take too long to get out on stage, come out and immediately insult the (extremely restless) audience, and still win everyone over within seconds of starting to play.
• Sigur Rós at the 9:30 club (25 September 2001): This was my first show at the 9:30 club, and it was also two weeks after September 11th. Sigur Rós’s music was just the perfect antidote for the mood in the city (and country) at the time.

Favorite house shows:
• Pretty much everything at 611 Florida, but especially Sir Richard Bishop in 2005 and the annual Free Folk Phantasmagory (including Sharron Kraus in 2004, Fursaxa and Samara Lubelski in 2005).
• Yellow Swans at Tarantula Hill, Baltimore, 31 May 2004.
• the Finnish folk tour (Lau Nau, Islaja, Kuupuu) on Frankfort Ave., Philadelphia, 3 September 2005.

You wanna see the full list of bands I saw this decade? It’s embedded behind the cut…. (more…)

15 albums: 21 February – 13 March 2010.

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Things have gotten a bit hectic here at the Autumnshades HQ, and while I’ve been holding up my goal of listening to 5 albums per week that I’m not reviewing, I haven’t gotten the chance to write about ’em. Today is, unfortunately, no less pressed for time; therefore, I offer 4-word reviews of the 15 non-review albums I’ve been listening to over the past 3 weeks.

7 March – 13 March 2010
1) Nico: The End… (Island, 1974). Cale + Eno + Nico = swoon.
2) Mogwai: Young Team (Jetset, 1997). Indeed, Mogwai fear Satan.
3) Sparklehorse: Good Morning Spider (Capitol, 1999). Rest in peace, Linkous.
4) Camera Obscura: Let’s Get Out of This Country (Merge, 2006). Ready to be heartbroken.
5) Aimee Mann: @#%&*! Smilers (SuperEgo, 2008). Delightfully wry, acerbic pop.

28 February – 6 March 2010
1) Tom Waits: Small Change (Elektra, 1976). The piano’s been drinking.
2) Jay-Z: the Blueprint (Roc-A-Fella, 2001). H to the Izzo.
3) Ryan Adams & the Cardinals: Cold Roses (Lost Highway, 2005). Gets even better retrospectively.
4) Samara Lubelski: Parallel Suns (The Social Registry, 2007). Ethereal, moody, pretty, sweet.
5) Bowerbirds: Hymns for a Dark Horse (Dead Oceans, 2008). Not quite as remembered.

21 February – 27 February 2010
1) Jonatha Brooke: 10¢ Wings (MCA, 1997). Sweet, Lilith folk-pop.
2) Son Volt: Wide Swing Tremolo (Warner Brothers, 1998). Uncle Tupelo’s better half.
3) Jonatha Brooke: the Works (Bad Dog Records, 2008). Woodie Guthrie improves anything.
4) Richard Hawley: Truelove’s Gutter (Mute, 2009). He could sing Broadway.
5) Black Eyed Peas: The E.N.D. (Interscope, 2009). Make it stop. PLEASE.