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And the wind-down

11 December 2009

The Minor Leagues live, 11/14/2009

The Minor Leagues live, 11/14/2009

Ben over at Almost Four Stars was kind enough to post my ten song end of year roundup on Wednesday. Since that’s taken care of, here are my top six favorite live shows of 2009, listed in chronological order:

  • February 9th: The Pretenders at the Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor, MI
    Holy shit, Chrissie Hynde can still rock the fuck out.
  • March 31st: Morrissey at the Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor, MI
    He came out wearing a tuxedo and I almost fainted on the spot. I felt an electrical charge just from being in the same room as Morrissey. I don’t even know if I can describe what it was like to be sitting in the front row/center of the balcony, in the same theater where I’ve seen The Maltese Falcon and Sunset Boulevard, and see someone that I’ve spent countless hours staring at (photos, videos, youtube, books, dreams) standing in front of me, breathing the same air as me, whipping a microphone cord around. I feel so, so, so lucky that I could see him live in my lifetime.
  • Moz live in Columbus

    Moz live in Columbus

  • April 1st: Morrissey at the Palace Theatre, Columbus, OH
    This time I went with Hilly and Ben (met them halfway), and Shiv and Stacey were also there. Supremely magical. I won’t tell you which one of us cried, because you wouldn’t believe it. I wish I could carry this night forever in one of my cheek pouches, like a squirrel.
  • Exene Cervenka

    Exene Cervenka

  • June 17th: X at the Magic Stick, Detroit, MI
    Went with Jen and Gabe, two of the greatest friends a girl could have. It was supposed to be in the Majestic, which is huge, but there were few enough tickets sold that it was bumped to the Magic Stick, which is tiny. The stage is basically six inches off the floor. I was standing eighteen inches from Exene, and if I hadn’t been busy being jostled by every asshole punk boy in a 60 miles radius, I might have tried to kiss the hem of her garment. In love forever.
  • July 20th: Future of the Left at the Southgate House, Cincinnati, KY
    Probably my least favorite of these shows, but I’m super glad I got to see FOLT live. LIVING LEGENDS.
  • November 14th: The Minor Leagues at Mayday, Cincinnati, OH
    Smooshed right up against the stage with a handful of my favorite humans. Danced my ass off (I was sticky to the touch after, and my clothes were soaked through with sweat), screamed along to every word, and basically felt like my soul was aflame with refulgent splendor. You should consider seeing them live, if you get a chance.

And finally, a roundup of what I was listening to in 2009 that wasn’t new in 2009, but was new to me (or at least, in newly-heavy rotation): Scott Walker, Jacques Brel, The Wizard of Oz soundtrack, the Let the Right One In soundtrack, a lot of early Elvis, the Cocteau Twins (especially “Lorelei”), Margaret Leng Tan, Moondog, Sia, Young Marble Giants, Jo Stafford, Au Pairs, the 2008 Brideshead Revisited soundtrack, X, Emitt Rhodes, and Kronos Quarter Performs Philip Glass, to name the most prevalent. Phew. On to 2010!

It only takes one ni-i-i-ight

30 September 2009

My friends The Minor Leagues just released their latest (final? no one ever knows) album, This Story Is Old, I Know, But It Goes On (props for the Smiths reference!). I picked it up at their live show on Saturday night, but if you weren’t there or didn’t have the scratch, you’ll be able to get your own copy in November from datawaslost, their label.

This Story Is Old, I Know, But It Goes On

In the meantime, you can quell your sadness by listening to this jazzy track from it, “Little Angel”:

The Minor Leagues – “Little Angel”

Move over, Scott Walker, because there’s some great new pop rock out in the world name-dropping the Queen City (not this song specifically, but on the album, you see). This song is a great jazz duet (full disclosure: two of my favorite people are doing the dueting!), with a fantastic melody held together by a) bass, b) guitar, c) trumpet, and d) piano. It pulls off one of my favorite tricks in the book, sharing the bass line between the left hand of the piano and the bass guitar, lending the verses a full-throated sense of intrigue and impending misadventure.

I haven’t given the album more than a couple of listens so far, but I’m sure I’ll have more to say once it’s sunk in. In the meantime, try to find a copy of your own!