Its been a week since we dropped our best of list and I have to say that the songs are sitting pretty well with me so far. Sure, there were some tough calls but I never really understood the value of putting out a top 50 or even 100 songs of the year. What exactly is the value in that? As the adage goes, when you prioritize everything, you actually prioritize nothing…
That said, Brandon and I were sitting around the table last week trying to figure out just how many bands we had seen since January when the topic of best shows came up. Interesting question and it got us thinking that a post might be in order. Unfortunately, we don’t have video for every one of our top shows either because we simply haven’t uploaded it yet (LAZY) or….well, someone (*cough*cough*me) was singing too loud during the show and absolutely ruined the video. Ok, but for the record that was one show out of hundreds so I really don’t feel too bad.
Here are my top 5 shows of 2012 in no particular order;
Papa – (opening for Milo Greene @ the Rhythm Room)
We have seen Papa four times over the last year and something outrageous like six shows over the last year and a half. Suffice to say, we love Darren and Danny. That they happen to be completely down to earth, approachable, and funny only makes their music that much better. Not surprisingly, they also put on an incredible show as you can see for yourself. (I still get chills watching this video)
Tennis – @ the Crescent Ballroom
Tennis is another band that we have seen multiple times this year and loved every show. While we would have liked to throw “Origins” up for our dear friend Caylee (truce accepted. =), this is the one we had uploaded so enjoy. (bonus: you can hear Brandon singing his falsetto in the background at the start of the video)
Nurses – (supporting Stephen Malkmus @ the Crescent Ballroom)
At the first Nurses show we hit in 2011, they played with Dominate Legs and like 11 people showed up. Kinda sums up Phoenix’s indie scene – definitely growing but still has a ways to go. Growing pains aside, Nurses are an incredible band and Dracula was probably the most under-appreciated album of 2011. Come back soon guys.
Hi Ho Silver Oh – (house show @ the flowerhouse)
Ok, the video sucks and the sound certainly doesn’t do them justice but I’m telling you that Hi Ho Silver Oh is one great damn band. Besides being our first house show ever, this one has sentimental value because Roxy, Kevin, Jon, and Casey have become such great friends over the last year. Yep, another group of great people who I could sit around and chat with for hours without ever touching on music. Like Papa, I want nothing but good things for Casey and the boys because 1) they are super down-to-earth people and 2) they write great songs. They are based in L.A. so if you happen to be able to catch them live, do so. (i’m including their video for I confessor below to offset the crappy video above)
TIE – Twin Shadow @ FYF Festival in L.A. (video is from the Crescent Ballroom show two days later in Phoenix)
TIE – The Cults @ the Rhythm Room
This is cheating but it would be hard to leave out the FYF festival or the Cults from this year’s list. The FYF fest because of the sheer number of great acts that we saw, which included Father John Misty, Twin Shadow, The Chromatics, Yeasayer, Papa, Beirut, Purity Ring, Future Islands, and Tanlines just to name a few. The Cults because, well…they are the Cults and the Rhythm Room is smaller than your typical walk-in closet. Yes, it was dark as hell for the Cults and the FYF fest was awfully hot but it certainly didn’t take away from the sets any.
Honorable Mention: TV Girl’s private skype show for Brandon on his birthday, Friends, Wilco.
I also have to give a big shout out to Stateside Presents and the Crescent Ballroom for consistently bringing great indie acts to Arizona. The folks that we know at both these organizations, from Ernie and the doormen to the great barstaff to our dear friend Corrina, have been nothing but wonderful to us. Thanks for another great year of shows and here’s to 2013.
What were your favorite sets of 2012?
Fall is something that I’ve longed for since moving to the desert, and this collection of tracks helps bring back memories of those foggy mornings and flaming leaves. This list includes some new songs, two mash-ups, and a collection of my favorite lo-fi gems.
As always, the music posted here is for sampling purpose only. If you hear something you like, please support the artists by buying their music and attending their shows. We do.
*To request the immediate removal of a song, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The flowerhouse gang is just rolling in after a full night of music which included a solid set by Gabriel Sullivan & Taraf de Tucson at the Crescent Ballroom and a sold-out Wilco & White Denim show at ASU’s Gammage Auditorium.
We’ll have a more in depth detailing of the shows later but suffice to say that Wilco was as advertised (Great in just about every way!) while White Denim ultimately disappointed. I’m not sure when it was exactly that White Denim gave up the ghost and turned into a noisier Phish but Brandon and I were not impressed. They certainly didn’t help themselves by opening with, what seemed like, a 10 min jam nor by the fact that they only played for around 3o minutes. Even Street Joy left us feeling a little hollow and they never even got around to playing my second favorite song they do, Drug. Sigh…we are now wondering whether we need to see them headline their own gig later this Spring.
Wilco, on the other hand, not only sounded incredible but played for a solid 2 1/2 hours. Thankfully, Jeff and company washed the bad taste out of our mouths and we left the show on a high note with both Heavy Metal Drummer, I’m Walking and Box Full of Letters filling out the extended encore.
Here are some pictures from the show with video coming later.
*Note: a quick shout out to the wonderful gal behind the concession counter who the unforgiving folks at the Gammage/ASU felt necessary to shame tonight when she inadvertently forgot her name tag. We didn’t catch your name but thank you for 1) still being able to smile even though you had to wear that incredibly sarcastic, assholey name tag and 2) for holding onto my Snickers bar when I forgot it at the counter. Email us and the flowerhouse gang will send you a gift…just because.