Seems like everybody and their Mothers were putting out lists, either about the best musical releases of 2011 or the best gigs they saw that year or the biggest shits they took or whatever, and after reading the Las Vegas Weekly's pathetic attempt at year end lists (which you can read by clicking here) I was inspired to attempt my own lists, so here they are!
Top Ten Best Releases of 2011:
1. Jesus Lizard - Club
One of the most frightening live shows ever recorded. All killer no filler. The sound quality on this is phenomenal! Nothing released this year even comes close to how powerful and amazing this record is. Nothing.
2. Deadhand - Deadhand
The song writing, musicianship and emotions on display in this release still give me the chills. Scary good, and it still makes the hair on the back on my neck stand up every time a song off of this comes up on shuffle on my iPhone.
3. P.J. Harvey - Let England Shake
Simply astounding in it's musical brilliance. The best thing she's done since Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea. The woman is a genius.
4. Naked City Romeos - Naked City Romeos
If this CD came out in the classic Punk Rock era of yesteryear, it would be considered a legendary record alongside other releases by the Sex Pistols, 999, The Dictators and the Damned. Yeah, it's that fucking good.
5. Unfair Fight - A Constant Struggle
Again, if this CD came out in the classic Punk Rock eras of yesteryear, it would be considered an essential part of any Hardcore music collection alongside other releases by Agnostic Front, SSD, or the Cro-Mags. This release is incredible - enough said.
6. The Dwarves - The Dwarves Are Born Again
The fact that the Dwarves are still around is to be commended. The fact that they put out this CD full of such kick ass music is just icing on the cake. A great release that gives you exactly what you'd expect and deserve from this seminal band.
7. Jane's Addiction - The Great Escape Artist
Going back to their Nothing's Shocking drawing board, the band juggled bass players while coming together to create what is undoubtedly the best thing they've done in a long, long time.
8. The People's Whiskey - Eight Tracks And Dub Sacks
This CD came straight out of Hendertucky to hit a home run with this raw, melodic presentation of some of the better songs the band has been playing around live for a while now. The impassioned vocals and musical stylings on here are just fantastic.
9. Faith - Subject To Change Plus First Demo
This often overlooked classic band finally gets the recognition they deserve by having all of their material remixed and remastered, and it sounds better than it ever did. For this material to come out this year is a godsend.
10. Napalm Raid - Trail Of The World
One of the heaviest, crustiest recordings to come out this year. This 4 song EP highlights the bands musical muscle in short, brutal blasts of fiery anger. Amazing stuff.
And while I'm in the mood for it, here's another one:
Top 10 Best Gigs of 2011:
1. Melt Banana @ The Bunkhouse
If you were there, then you know why this gig was the best one to go down this year. How amazing was the band? And the crowd?? Wowsers!! Definitely in my Top 10 list for the best gigs I've ever seen in my Life. Seriously.
2. Shellac @ The Beauty Bar
I don't know why they played, but I'm glad I was there! I stood directly in front of the band with my mouth agape in bewilderment as they just pummeled the crowd with one incredible song after another. This gig was soul cleansing. Fucking brilliant.
3. Freddie McGregor @ Reggae In The Desert
Wowsers. I still can't believe I witnessed the King of Lover's Rock deliver a set of musical brilliance to an amorous and appreciative audience, who were hanging on every note the Man sung.
4. Deadhand @ Hypnotic Lounge
The band played a residency at this pool hall in September that highlighted their just released self titled EP, and to be able to see them perform live every weekend was a mind blowing treat.
5. Barrington Levy @ The Bunkhouse
To watch this dance hall Legend up close and personal in this downtown dive bar, 2 days in a row no less, was akin to seeing Peter Tosh at the Double Down. Just. Fucking. Incredible.
6. Manic Hispanic @ Diablo's
To see Jefe, fresh out of the hospital, lead El Hoakie Loco and their primos through a blistering set of old and new material was incredible. One of the best bands to play live you'll ever see.
7. Zeke @ The LVCS
The high revving, nitrous burning Rock N Roll machine known as Zeke just fucking slayed everyone in the place when they played here, leaving no doubt that these guys are no one to fuck with when they play. Sheer genius.
8. Napalm Raid @ Yayo Taco
These crusty Canadians played the most brutal set of D-Beat Noise Not Music that Vegas ever witnessed, and there wasn't more than 10 people in the room when they did it, and the intensity level was through the roof. Fuck yeah!!!
9. Descendents @ Punk Rock Bowling
I only watched a little bit of it from the outside, because I wasn't stupid enough to pay to get in, but what I saw was pretty impressive. Not from the band, who have definitely lost a few steps along the way, but more from the crowd, who just showered the band with nothing but Love L-U-V while they played nearly every song that the people wanted to hear. Pretty great to see.
10. The People's Whiskey @ The Royal Resort
I love these guys, and on this particular day they delivered a set of songs that was so fucking punk rocking, so memorable, that it was stuck in my mind for months afterwards. It was like seeing Nirvana when they played Al's Bar to like, nobody. This was one for the History books.
Yeah, that's pretty good for off the top of my head. :-) While I'm reminiscing about the last month of the year, lemme publicly acknowledge one of the worst kept secrets in all of the Las Vegas Music Scene by Congratulating Ministry Of Love on their signing to Negative Progression Records. The band certainly deserves it, and I look forward to hearing their tales of no label support, no money, shitty touring situations and all the fun, fun times they're gonna have. :-) Their debut for the label, Party Animals, will be released in February. Again, Congratulations to Ministry Of Love for finally getting signed. Gives me hope that a record label out there might actually 'get it'.
Yeah, First Friday tonight. I'm thinking about going down to see Pigasus and The Dirty Somethings tear shit up, but I dunno if that's gonna happen. Obligations, ya know? ;-) Tomorrow night it's all about The People's Whiskey / The Dirty Panties / The Quitters @ the Motor City Cafe, after I take care of some personal business in the morning. I don't have anything to do on Sundays now that football is over for me. :-( I was gonna go to a birthday party but it got cancelled, so, anyone wanna hang out and jam on Sunday? heh heh heh Everything is updated, I finished off all the Pictures for 2011, with the last sets being from The People's Whiskey, The Mapes and the Naked City Romeos. You can find them all to the side here. I also added all the photos to the Me And My Me And My Me And My Me And My Me And My Friends page as well as the Vegas - The City I Live In page too, which is weird, because those pages get a lot of views for some reason. I can't imagine why. ;-)