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?
With fall break a week away and a real dearth of shows here in the valley, you can’t blame Brandon and I for being a little less than motivated. That said, the lack of quality shows has given us a chance to catch up on some videos that we’ve been sitting on for awhile now.
If you’ve been avoiding our youtube channel lately, you’re forgiven. Still, you may want to check back in as we’ve recently uploaded some tasty clips from some damn great bands.
Here is a sampling of recent uploads…
Twin Shadow – Golden Light
Papa – Got to Move
Father John Misty – Hollywood Cemetery Sings (live at the FYF festival)
Stay tuned as we hope to get more videos up soon!
Attention Phoenix friends:
August is among us, and another epic summer is nearing the end. For us teachers this generally means dedicating the next nine months to our students as we prepare them to face the challenges of tomorrow. For our friends in equally noble professions, the end of summer brings sadness in the form of longer hours and dwindling sunlight. Before you let the melancholy set in, the flowerhouse has a special announcement that will make everything better.
Hi Ho Silver Oh and Daniel Hart are returning to Phoenix, August 14, at the Trunk Space. If you don’t know who these bands are, shame on you. Hi Ho Silver Oh graced the flowerhouse with an uplifting performance last March, and Daniel Hart played a magnificent show at the Trunk Space in May. We’ve raved about these bands in previous posts, and if there is one thing the flowerhouse does well its recognize talent. Do not miss this show!
Hi Ho is on tour celebrating the release of their newest album, Big Rocks. They boast a catchy alt. rock sound infused with graceful harmonies that will melt your indie hearts. This is a band destined for great things. Don’t believe me? Check the videos below.
Daniel Hart is legit. His previous gigs (Violinist for St. Vincent and The Polyphonic Spree) speak for themselves. He is backed by a delightful group of musicians as they enter the last leg of their tour in support of The Orientalist.
Here are some Daniel Hart songs to look forward to:
Bottom line – Hi Ho Silver Oh and Daniel Hart are great people, and even better musicians. They deserve your support, and if you consider yourself a friend of the flowerhouse then we’ll see you August 14th.
So, we hinted at some news during the last podcast (you listen to the podcast, right?) and we can now confirm that the flowerhouse podcast will be hosting a special concert this saturday, March 10. As of right now, the lineup consists of Nova Joven, Rodman, Perry Allen and, headlining the show, L.A. based Hi Ho Silver Oh.
Nova Joven is the moniker for Eamon Ford whom we first caught opening for Michelle Blades during her record release last month at the Trunk Space. That night, he put on an enthusiastic set playing his own brand of stripped down, chillwave that at times sounded two parts joy division and one part the shins. That may not necessarily be accurate but you can check out 3 tracks on his sound cloud page here and decide for yourself. Check out To the Dirt first.
Perry Allen is a Phoenix based musician who recorded his first album back in 2004 and has won “Best Local Band”, “Best Arizona Band”, and “Best Arizona Singer” over the years. He’ll be playing with our buddy Mia Sorenson and we can’t wait to hear them live together. Until then check out the videos below and hit his bandcamp page for free downloads
and here he is playing with the Sparrows…
Hi Ho Silver Oh are making their way to SXSW and have made Phoenix one of their two stops on the way to Austin. (the other is Los Cruces, NM) Fortunately, the flowerhouse and Hi Ho have some mutual friends and when they inquired about playing a house show….well, we jumped at the opportunity. This will be our first live show here at the house and while we have no idea as to how it is going to come off -we promise to make it as much fun as we possibly can for everyone involved. Check out the videos below and be sure to hit up their page for more info and other goodies.
Suffice to say that we’re looking forward to kicking off our spring break in style and giving Hi Ho Silver Oh the send off they deserve as they continue on to texas. We feel very fortunate indeed to be hosting these great bands and can’t wait to welcome them to our humble abode.
The flowerhouse has been busy clocking in 2 podcasts and 6 shows in the last two weeks. Of course, we are just as heartbroken as you are that you couldn’t join us for all the fun but fear not, you can still experience the next best thing.
We have thrown up a bunch of new videos on our youtube site including live tracks from Nurses, Stephen Malkmus, Grimes, the Cloud Nothings, Girls and Toro y Moi. The videos are pretty solid save for the Grimes show which was a shit show in just about every way possible.
More videos after the jump but here are a few to wet your whistle.
After the disappointing Islands show last week, the flowerhouse boys were looking forward to cleansing our palates and hearing some great music. Fortunately, Michelle Blades’s show Saturday night at the Trunk Space was just what the doctor ordered.
River Jones artist Michelle Blades was out celebrating her new full-length release, Mariana, along with friends Tobie Milford and Wooden Indian. Multi-instrumentalist and Michelle Blades drummer, Eamon Ford, (under the moniker Nova Joven) also worked in a few enthusiastic songs for the early birds but, all told, this was definitely Michelle Blades’ night.
In all honesty, this was my first experience hearing Michelle Blades live and for that I need to give a loving shout-out to flowerhouse friend and accomplished cellist, Mia Sorenson. (hugs Mia!) In between her driving duties, playing friendly host and dealing with a questionable bf, Mia still somehow mustered and was able to provide cello and backup vocal work for what was an entertaining show. Mia, it was great seeing you play and we loved meeting your two sleepy exchange students.
I won’t rehash an album review of Mariana given that several sites have already summed up her solid junior effort. (check out album reviews here and here) Yet, I will say that, compared to earlier work, Mariana sounds more structured and composed which is not to say that it suffers because of it. Rather, the album comes across as a more distinct, mature effort – something reflected not only in Michelle’s own maturation as an artist but the inclusion of several accompanying musicians. It of course helps when you have talented friends such as Tobie Milford and Mia to tap for your album but that aside, the additions lend themselves to a fuller, richer sound that Michelle would be wise to continue to explore. Suffice to say that Mariana successfully captures the mystery and intrigue of the album’s namesake, the Mariana Trench, without the pretense or heavy-handedness that often plagues some concepts.
Here is some video from the show but be advised that it was pretty dark and we didn’t really catch much video of the performances. Fortunately, the sound quality is pretty good so you can still experience the show much as we saw it – in the dark.
Final word? Michelle did well and you’d be wise to give the album a try.