Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Top Shows 2011: 21 thru 30

21. John Hammond – Old Town School: You know those white boys doing Mustang Sally and all those other blues covers down at the dive bar in town? They should be ashamed of themselves. Hammond is the real deal.

Watch Hammond

22. Old 97’s – Lincoln Hall: It’s like a hip barn dance, but not at all, really. It’s not like that at all. If you like country, if you like rock, if you like fun, you’ll like an Old 97’s show. If you like barn dances you’ll probably like the show as well, even though it’s not like that. Actually I’ve never been to a barn dance so I guess I can’t really say with authority what it’s like. So forget I said anything. Generally a good policy any time I’m speaking.

Watch Old 97's

23. X – Bottom Lounge: The first couple of punk: John Doe and Exene Cervenka. Been a fan for a long time so I jumped on these tickets like a punk jumps on purple hair dye for his Mohawk. My first thoughts were, shit, John and Exene look old. My second thought was, yeah, they are old. At this point it was turning into a conversation with myself. I really need to find more people to go to shows with. But then I made an indisputable argument with which I could not even argue: They still sound bully. If you don’t know who they are, make an appointment with my secretary to come over so I may introduce you. We’ll have tea and listen to Los Angeles. Good times.

Watch X

24. Amy LaVere – Schubas: A petite girl in heels playing a standup bass twice her size and singing dark songs in a small club… a man swoons stage right.

Watch Amy

25. Hindi Zahra/Dessa – Lincoln Hall: Hindi was my new music crush this year and I made it clear to anyone who would listen that I would be leaving town with her after her show on October 11th. I would most likely settle with her in Morocco where I would make my fortune in phosphorus mining and continue to inspire her to make beautiful music. I’m still here, so it didn’t exactly work out that way, although the music was indeed beautiful. I also hate to admit that opener Dessa stole the show with her engaging, genuine personality and lyricism. Too bad following her back to Minneapolis doesn’t have quite the same romanticism as French Morocco.

Watch Hindi
Watch Dessa

26. John Doe – Old Town School: Yeah, the same John Doe from X back there in #23. He’s like my favorite kid and can do no wrong no matter what his siblings or teachers or neighbors say. I saw him with X, his side project The Knitter, and now solo, and I’d probably even go see him if he joined the Jonas Brothers. Are they even around anymore?

Watch Mr. Doe

27. Heartless Bastards – Schubas: Someone recommended HB to me earlier this year and I fell in love with Erika’s voice. She’s from Ohio, and there’s something about it that suggests Chrissie Hynde in attitude and timbre. And she won’t make you feel guilty about wearing your fur coat to her show.

Watch HB

28. Fitz & the Tantrums – Metro (2): I go through phases where I’m totally into the old school soul and R&B stuff. Since time travel has not yet been perfected and there’s always the chance of ending up in the Dark Ages, I’ve had to settle for some of the neo-soul stuff out there. Fitz captures some of that soul and keeps it fun.

Watch Fitz

29. Lykke Li – Metro/Vic: My first impression was that Avril Lavigne was going through a Goth phase and also got way into the whole Twilight madness. Fortunately Lykke is able to easily transcend that first impression as soon as the music starts. I’m sure she was a strange little kid, but weren’t we all? No? I digress. Wholly original tunes, ranging from haunting to funkadelic and dirty.

Watch Lykke

30. The Damned – Metro: Legendary punks, The Damned, hit the road for their 35th anniversary. Makes Fishbone seem young. Dave was looking a little old, but it didn’t show in his vocals. Captain Sensible was anything but sensible and still keeps the crowd entertained. I definitely missed Rat Scabies, not because the current drummer can’t handle the duties, but just because I wanted to be able to say that I saw a guy named Rat Scabies (and the original lineup). After all those years they can still bring it, but needed a brief intermission for a nap. Honestly, I think the show would have been better if they had pared it down to one awesome set instead of two pretty damn good ones.

Watch The Damned

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