Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Out With The Old, In With The New! My Year In Review...Or Something

In a few hours, 2013 will come to an end.  For the last couple of weeks I’ve been intending to post this and that but, I just never got around to it. Procrastination? Laziness? Who knows?  Most of my blogging year has been one long ‘I’ll get around to it,’  shoulder shrug kind of thing. Heck, several times, I even considered just quitting.  But hey, I celebrated QNYC’s fifth anniversary this year so, quitting seemed silly. Five years is a long time in the field of random blogs.

I meant to write a lot more this year.  I meant to do more photography.  I meant to go to more shows.  Yeah, that last one I really meant to do considering I blog about music! Off the top of my head I think I went to four or five, no six shows. I feel great shame, no, not really.  But, I feel like there should be some sort of shame or guilt or something!  

The shows:

John Michael Rouchell - One word, “Holler”.  John Michael, who released The Separation EP not long before this show, always puts on a good show.

Newport Folk Festival - It was sold out.  It was a day longer.  I got rained on.  I fell in love with the adorable Milk Carton Kids. I stood in the ladies room line with Nicki Bluhm (who did a great set by the way). I sat on the wall and said hey to several people...mostly really friendly, bearded dudes in bands. I got a grand kick out of Frank Turner, Michael Kiwanuka and several others.  I finally broke my Avett Brothers photography curse. And, I still don’t understand that which was Jim James’ set.

Newport Jazz Festival - I wanted to enjoy Natalie Cole (childhood sentimental stuff and whatnot) but,...we’ll leave it at that.  I meant to be more active photography wise but it didn’t work out that way.  I enjoyed Jon Batiste...everyone did.  I barely got to see any of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band’s set.  I enjoyed the sets of Gregory Porter and Dee AlexanderRobert Glasper brought his Experiment to the festival and it was weird, trippy, weird (yeah, I said that twice) and fun.  Wayne Shorter celebrated being 80 years young. 

Jazz In The Valley - More music by water but this time in Poughkeepsie, NY.  It was drizzly and muggy but had a nice river view.  Denise Thimes put on a great set though I couldn’t get a good photo of her to save myself.

U.S. Royalty - I hadn’t seen them since what, 2011?  They played stuff from their upcoming album Blue Sunshine...looking forward to that release.  They left it all up on the floor and exhausted me in the process just like rock ‘n’ roll should.

Jake Lewis and the Clergy - It was the first time I’d seen them.  Crammed into a tight space by the front door, they played a good set.  I got to catch up with my pal Katie who was drumming.  I had some wonderfully non-stingy drinks and a nice plate of fries. 

The records:

Wow, I liked a lot of stuff.  Some of it new, some of it just new to me.  Off the top of my head, I can only think of one release that I got kind of giddy over, pre-ordered even That was the deluxe reissue of Wings Over America...yeah, y’all know my weak spot!

I spent a lot of time listening to He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister.  Yeah, I know their album, Nobody Dances In This Town, came out in late 2012 but I listened to it a lot and I mean A LOT this year.

I spent a ridiculous amount of time listening to Swear and Shake’s song, “The Light”.  

I fell in lust with Great Peacock’s self-title EP...still loving “Take Me To The Mountain”.

Mission South released Migration, Vol. 2...still grooving hard on that one.  And, I loved their video for the track “Peaches.”  I really need to make it out to see one of their shows!

Those Darlins - “Oh God” from their latest album Blur The Line.  This song was on repeat from the moment I got a hold of it.  Actually, a few songs from this album have spent time on repeat.

Nico Vega covered “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)”.  Not my favorite song but, I do dig their version.  It's a perfect fit for Aja's voice.  I’m looking forward to their upcoming record.  I haven’t seen them play in a while; I must rectify that.

Def Leppard released Viva! Hysteria.  I meant to write about this record but I couldn’t get excited about it.  I wanted to, but, I just couldn’t.  I realized that I would have rather have had a ‘Viva! High ‘n’ Dry’ or ‘Viva! Pyromania’ or even ‘Viva! On Through The Night’...then again, maybe not.  It’s not that I dislike Hysteria, it’s just not my favorite ‘back in the day’ Def Lep album.  So, as a result, a live track by track of it really didn’t work for me.  I’ll probably be hunted down and beheaded by angry Def Leppard fans but vocally, I had to check and see if I was still listening to Def Lep on a couple of tracks.  I thought I’d accidentally switched to AC/DC only to realize it wasn’t Brian Johnson I was hearing but Joe Elliott!  

I just realized that I can’t think of one major ‘mainstream’ album that caught my ear.  I'm sure there must be one but, I can't think of it.

There are a lot more records that caught my ear this year, however, I think my first paragraph pretty much sums things up.  I meant to put this post together earlier this month but, I just now sat down to do it...

I hope 2014 brings great things for everyone.  May you have much happiness, good health and lots of love.  Be safe my friends.

Happy New Year!

Quirky NY Chick