Why not kick things off with some end-of-the-year lists, hmm? I’ve had this one finalized for awhile, so expect no changes in the future. It’s been a wonderful year for new music, but you know what? It’s been a fantastic year for me as far as live performances go, bloody hell. I’ve had the pleasure of going to loads of brilliant concerts, a few of which I would consider some of the highlights of my life:
- I was fortunate enough to see Duran Duran perform twice in a year and both times I had to surgically re-apply my face due to extreme face-meltage. I broke my Center Stage cherry in April at that Duran Duran show and it immediately cemented my love for that venue. Oh, and I kinda made contact with John Taylor and Nick Rhodes. So that was nice. Chastain show only made me realize that middle-age fangirl/fanboys are way more terrifying and dangerous than any tween with a pair of fake vampire teeth.
- Tim Minchin. I heard Tim….sing “Hallelujah”…..live? That happened? That was a thing? Not only was that a thing, not only did I sob like an infant at a comedy show because of it, not only did I get an audio recording of it…but I got to meet the man himself and tell him to his face how much his rendition of it means to me. And fuck, I will be a fangirl about this: he gave me a hug because of it. (Way to go, Paris, being the super serious teenager. uuugh, emotions, don’t get at me. Get AWAY from me.)
- I am not fit to formulate words on my experience seeing my musical hero, Elvis Costello, play with Pete, Steve and Davey (his band, the Imposters, for those unawares). It wasn’t just the perfect line-up, but it was in the form of the newly-revived Spinning Songbook tour format. A format I believed was long-dead. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I’d ever see that big wheel on stage but I did…and, boy, was that wheel good to me. It landed on “Town Cryer.” Right away. Second or third spin, I don’t remember, I just remember it happened. I died then and there and I don’t remember ever recovering from it. I can’t go on discussing this show because my heart hurts just thinking about it, but I can’t imagine any concert in my life ever beating that one. I mean, maybe if I got to see Paul McCartney play. That’s the only scenario I can think of.
- Team Starkid. Twice, bitches! My wonderful friend Brittany introduced me to this bunch earlier in the summer, but it only took a live concert experience for me to understand how brilliant this lot truly are. Babies were had at that Atlanta concert, I’m sure of it. Just check back in in nine months time and I’ll confirm it. I really lucked out in deciding to buying those VIP tickets on a whim, because I got to get a bunch of free swag and meet everybody. It was so great. And no, we did not go on a spur-of-the-moment road trip to Charlotte, NC, so we could see them again. No, we did not stand in the freezing cold afterwards just so we could say hi and get pictures. You’re so crazy if you think we did that. Ha, ha, ha. (shifty eyes) I can’t recommend them enough, check out their YouTube channel for lots of music, fun and laughs. You won’t regret it.
*sigh* I’m so grateful for it all.
Let’s get back to some records, shall we? I had some lists I was talking about earlier, and I’m sure that’s the only thing some of you care about.
Top 15 Albums:
- Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
- The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow
- St. Vincent – Strange Mercy
- Tom Waits – Bad As Me
- Adele – 21
- Nightlands – Nightlands
- Nick Lowe – The Old Magic
- Laura Marling – A Creature I Do Not Know
- Ryan Adams – Ashes & Fire
- The War on Drugs – Slave Ambient
- PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
- Black Lips – Arabia Mountain
- Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
- Example – Playing in the Shadows
- Cults – Cults
Top 5 Cast Recordings/Soundtracks:
- The Book of Mormon (original cast recording)
- Drive (soundtrack)
- Matilda the Musical (original cast recording)
- Anything Goes (original revival cast recording)
- The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn (soundtrack)
Top 3 acts I enjoyed in 2011 that have their debut albums coming out in 2012 (lol, a legit category):
- Walk the Moon
- Milo Greene
- Charlene Kaye (not a debut, but a full-length!)