Hello, my peeps. Seeing as how I don't have anything else lined up for the rest of this year, I thought I'd post my favorite gigs of the year. I was racking my brain trying to make sure I haven't forgotten anything, and even though I'm fairly confident that I haven't...I probably have. For better or for worse, here it is. Feel free to disagree and bitch me out, or praise my insight and impeccable taste. Also, check out the sites and listen to the sounds.
11. Aimee Mann @ Bimbo's 365 Club
There's a certain familiarity that comes with an Aimee Mann gig. Part of that is because I've seen her so many times since she started releasing records under her own name. Another part is her charm. She doesn't come off as a pretentious bore, and she makes fun of herself quite a bit. Her self-deprecation is sort of endearing, and not at all in a woe-is-me-I-am-so-emo-and-need-attention kinda way. I've heard a lot of people say that Aimee's music is sorta samey, but I think the strength of her songs lie in the lyrics. Most of them are about some kinda fucked up relationship, and then she'll laugh about it after singing it to you. She's very cool and I have never, ever been disappointed by a gig of hers.
10. Rage Against The Machine @ Coachella
I have to admit, I was more curious than anything else about seeing Rage Against The Machine. I used to love them way back when and I drifted away. Then they broke up. I was wondering how they would sound after 6-7 years of Audioslave or whatever. Sorry, I am not really impressed with Audioslave...but this is about RATM, and they brought the fucking noise with them from start to finish. I was really pleased to have seen their set. Looks like they're still doing the festival circuit, so I'd advise you to check them out if you used to like them.
9. Bjork @ Coachella
Bjork. Man, I'll never forget that performance of Declare Independence, with that trippy table instrument thingy. Freaking awesome. Remember what I said about big outdoor festivals? Well, Bjork transcends all that.
8. Morrissey @ The Fillmore
What can you say? Morrissey is the man. I had seen him once before, about 16 years ago-ish...right before Your Arsenal was released. That gig was at a much larger venue (The godawful Shoreline theater in Mountain View). He may be the elder statesman now and misconstrued as a racist, and maybe his albums are declining in quality, but his performance was pretty goddamn good.
7. The Arcade Fire @ The Greek Theater
I wasn't gonna go to this, but I ran into a co-worker's extra ticket, so I figured I may as well. I had seen them a few years ago at Coachella, but wasn't terribly impressed. Many bands get lost in the big outdoor festival translation. This was much, much better. The Greek Theater, in Berkeley, is sort of a bigger venue compared to The Fillmore or Bimbo's, but it's still cozy enough where the crowd can feel the band's energy. I'm not a huge AF fan, but they brought a lot of energy to this gig. Just as a side note, Electrelane opened up which was a good thing, as they've since decided to call it quits or go on hiatus or something.
6. Puffy AmiYumi @ Slim's
If you've talked to me during the past few years, you undoubtedly know of my undying love for Puffy. They did a small west coast tour this year and I got to see them and they fucking rocked. I love these girls, they can do no wrong by me.
5. The Jesus & Mary Chain @ The Fillmore
This was actually my second time seeing the JAMC this year, the first being at Coachella. The Coachella set was great, but way too short...plus there was that weird distraction with Scarlett Johansson showing up to sing background vox on Just Like Honey. I mean, why? The Fillmore set was longer and felt more complete.
4. The Pipettes @ The Rickshaw
These girls are cute, sassy, and pure fun. Do not hesitate to go see them!
3. Eluvium @ Slim's
One of my new favorites. Eluvium is just one guy and he was supporting Explosions In The Sky. I love the distorted instrumental tracks. It reminds me in a way (but doesn't sound like) Brian Eno. It's very cool music that sorta transports you to another world or universe when you listen.
2. Grinderman @ The Great American Music Hall
This is rock n' roll. Dirty. Sweaty. Raw. Sexy. Grinderman threw it down and tore it up. Added bonus was Blixa showing up to sing on The Weeping Song during the encore. Fucking awesome.
1. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings @ Bimbo's 365 Club
This gets the barest of nods over the Grinderman gig, simply because this dropped on my birthday. These guys are the real deal, and I don't think there was one person not bouncing along to the music. Superb, superb show. Go and see them if and when you can.