Monday, January 05, 2004

So today is the cut-off day for turning in P&J ballots, apparently, and I never got one. Sucks. I guess maybe I'll get on next year. Maybe I just need to hustle more. Remember all that stuff I said about how I'm good enough and I need to get my grind on and get published a few more places? Guess how much of that I've done. Still, it feels like getting picked last for kickball. Again.

Anyway, someone at least wants my top ten for the year. Here's the write-up.

I haven't been on this blog in a hot minute because I took a week and a half off for the holidays, which was pretty effing great. Christmas was fun, new years was tight, and now I'm back at work again.

2003 was the best year of my life, by far, for reasons that really have nothing to do with writing or music. But I had a lot of fun with writing and music this year, which definitely counts for something. Here are some shows I really liked this year, in chronological order.

Blonde Redhead/Ted Leo RX/El Guapo - Black Cat 1/30
Blonde Redhead is crazy gorgeous. They kept saying they were working on a record, and I've heard absolutely nothing about that, so maybe they're broken up or something. But everything I like about them was completely on display here. Ted Leo and El Guapo were fun, and some metal band with Joe Lally played one ridiculously awesome song and one boring one. And the show felt like an event, a rarity these days. I should probably go to shows in DC more often, but DC is gross.

Q and Not U/Organ Donors Bass Orchestra - Talking Head 2/13
This was the only time I've ever heard the Organ Donors, who are supposed to be great because they treat every show as a new opportunity for performance art chaos. Whatever, this bass orchestra thing was annoying as hell. Just 15 dudes onstage playing nothing but bass. Absolute self-indulgent crap. But Q and Not U was great; they were passionate and cathartic and hypnotic and everything that a good young post-punk band should be. I saw them play later in the year at the Ottobar and was not nearly as impressed, probably because of the sparse, passive crowd. Everyone was into it at the Talking Head, which makes me wish the bookers there would pull their heads out of their asses and book more bands like this instead of their cousin's friend's band that no one wants to see.

Godspeed You Black Emperor/Black Dice - Masonic Temple 3/5
Another one of those rare event shows. It seemed like just about everyone I knew came out for this one, and it was in a fucking Masonic Temple, this intimidating, huge domed thing I've driven past for years but never been inside. The Masons were nice. And they had weird sympols everywhere. Black Dice was ass, which should surprise no one. But Godspeed was amazing, one of the best bands I saw all year. I usually can't get into instrumental music live, but something in the air was just right, and when the word "hope" came up on their projector screen at the end it seemed perfect. This little exercise is making me painfully aware of how impossible it is to perfectly describe a great live show (especially months after the fact). Godspeed hit emotional buttons, and I wish I could recreate them through words somehow, but I can't. Maybe that's why I'm not voting In Pazz & Jop this year.

Anyway, I have to pee and it's just about 4:30 anyway, so part 2 tomorrow.