Wednesday, December 31, 2008

not a top ten

is there a problem with top-ten lists? nope. artforum does 'em every month and their end-of-the-ear issue is almost exclusively t-10s. some buck-toothed dood on teevee does 'em too. they can be funny. evry music mag and blogger does 'em too. so why should i?

my friend hatedeverysong sent out a best-of and a worst-of list this year (on the myspace) and that was cool, except he is an indie fanatic (especially when it gets west-coast), and i can only gawk/be jealous at the amount of shows and records he seems to absorm per annum.
which is a little disingenuous, heh.
i bought more records this year than i ever have (in a one-year period). i didn't really pay much attention though to what year they were released in, though, so a "best of '08" seems a little dishonest. it also seems a bit silly: i mean, john-effing-darnielle released three records this year; sorta tilts the field, y'know?
the clean and the bats, new zealand legends, put out new albums this year, and so did plenty of other bands, but i spent most of my money stuff by bands i had just come across/focussed on for the first time, and whom i was eager to absorb into my crammed conciousness.
i can't believe that i hadn't heard of some of this stuff before, so i'll sacrifice any snobbery so i can say "wow" about this stuff.
i get really excited about new stuff! give me a little leeway!
oh, right. i didn't say what i was doing...

so instead of a "best-of" list, i'm just going to do a list of bands/performers i didn't know about until sometime in 2008 (an who i am happy to have found, natch). it'll be in "top ten" format, but please don't ascribe any major significance to the actual order. that wouldn't be really fair since my memory is terrible and i'm just going to try to remember what i want to remember!
okay. here goes:

1) phil elvrum, aka: microphones/mt eerie/d+* (really the whole anacortes scene, as well...)
2) woelv/├┤paon
3) dirty projectors
4) the blow (yeah, yeah, everyone's been telling me about this for a while--i get easily distracted, ok?)
5) simon joyner
6) peter jefferies
7) the cannanes (how did i live without this band?)
8) the mad scene (this is 1/3 of the clean, so is it fair? the answer is yes: i didn't know about hamish's other band before)
9) elf power**
10) mark szabo (how did i live without this either?)

*when i say d+, i should point out that i'm really getting into this band of former beat happening-er bret lunsford, and also band-member karl blau's stuff as well. just sayin'.
**this is dishonest. i knew elf power before because i've had a couple of their records for three years, but i never was obsessed with them until this year, when i became obsessed with them. sooooo good.

of course there's the pile of stuff i got from 555/red square (ie jen+stew) that i am still working through, and honorable mention goes to fly ashtray, who i just got psyched about via douglas wolk's singles club. i will obsess more soon...


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Shut the f*ck up

this is just a quick note, but it regards a long-time problem that has been on my mind of late: the incessant talking at shows. i have been listening to a shit-ton of boots lately (mostly mountain goats and mount eerie--woo!), and people just won't fucking shut up. why is this people? i mean, i usually don't go to shows alone, and between songs i am likely to be overheard saying something along the lines of "oh, holy shit, i can't believe he played neon orange glimmer song" but in that particular case, i also am paying attention to the onstage intro/banter/what-not, and will keep my own commentary to a minimum.
but you people, o you bastards, who prate and snigger while the songs are being played, seriously, why are you [t]here?
if you want to have discourse, a fellow like myself would position himself far from discouraging it, but there are inappropriate times for it, like when they are putting your mother into the cold hard ground, or when colin meloy is singing red right ankle.
it's aggravating in person, but reaches a sublimely new level of inanity when it's preserved for posterity on a bootleg. an example: a fellow asking a particularly chatty girl to please be quiet during the songs, her saying what? what? me? ohsuresorry. then immediately slagging him off with her chums and using the sad justification that she paid to get in [too].
i have apparently been fortunate to have found myself in a life where i have not needed to pay a cover charge to have a conversation, so obviously my heart goes out to these deprived kids. poor dears.
another example: phil elverum politely pointing out at a show that the venue has a front room where conversationalists might be able to hear each other better, where they won't be distracted by the music he's playing.
thank you.