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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?
The flowerhouse boys spent Labor Day weekend in LA enjoying two full days of music at the 9th Annual FYF festival. The weekend boasted a talented line-up of indie bands (new and old) and seemed to offer something for just about everyone. Acts we saw included: Sleigh Bells, Purity Ring, Yeasayer, Twin Shadow, Glass Candy, Father John Misty, and more. Suffice to say that we saw some great bands, heard some great music, and had a terrific time out in LaLa land. As such, we thought we’d give you a taste from the ground floor of the festival.
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.
I came across this graph by the fine folks at theworldsbestever.com and thought I would repost it here for anyone who might have missed it.
The graph itself shows the geographic concentrations for each of the artists constituting Pitchfork’s top songs for 2011. (for the record, I’m not clear if it’s the artist’s home location or current location) Take a look.
It’s probably not a surprise to anyone that New York is sitting at the top of this graph with around 27 songs in Pitchfork’s “best of” list but can we get some love for the Westsideeee? The West Coast had 4 out of the top 8 listings with both of my hometowns (Seattle and the Ya Area respectively) represented. Also, check out lil’ Eau Claire (WI) coming in above Portland, Austin, Chicago and Madison. Good for you.
What does this all mean? Well, if your interested in becoming the next Pitchfork “It” band, don’t move to Halifax. (you and Southern Shores are going to have to scrap otherwise) Also, this should solidify yet another year with New York and Los Angeles at the top of the Greyhound enabled, teenager runaway capitals of the US list.
Ok, so I don’t know if there is actually a list for teen runaway destinations but maybe Fodor’s or Lonely Planet could track this for their magazines? Who wouldn’t read articles titled This year’s top teen runaway destinations for 2012 or The ultimate runaway bucket list for 2012??? Sold.