Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It's the End of the Year as we Know it... and i feel fine (Useless List edition)

So here we are at the end of another banner year here at the lounge, frankly i'm surprised the lounge made it through the year and wasn't shut down for neglect but these days we have a renewed sense of something around here and maybe all the shit i planned to write in 2013 will get written in 2014, along with some of the other major projects i have planned, you see the guvment teet has finally run dry and desperate times call for desperate measures so in order not to get a quote "real job" i'm gonna do my best to make myself valuable and not get tossed out of the house, of course the whole taking care of the boyos thing helps but let's face it while that saves the house some dosh it doesn't bring much in, hence my evil schemes that will remain un-named... but don't worry most of them are of the legal variety just to put the mind at ease...

And so i'm sure you're all wondering what the fuck did you listen to this year Kono? Well this was the year i broke out all the old records and some new ones and set up the turntable that was collecting dust, started liquidating all those pesky CD's that are swiftly becoming dinosaurs and made the commitment to go all vinyl and digital, not that i like the digital but it saves space especially when the records start stacking up around the place, so in no particular order except for the top three here they are, my favorite records of 2013:  The National- Trouble Will Find Me, Thee Oh Sees- Floating Coffin, Parquet Courts- Light Up Gold (reminds of my college radio dj days), The Men- New Moon, Deerhunter- Monomania (a good old dirty, scuzzy rock n' roll record), Robert Pollard- Honey Locust Honkytonk, Mikal Cronin- MCII, Merchandise-Totale Nite EP, Destroyer- Five Spanish Songs EP, Stephen Malkmus and Friends- Ege Bamyasi (Stevie M. doing the whole classic Can album start to finish and doing a fine fucking job)... and now my top three:

Cass McCombs- Big Wheel and Others, never heard of this guy? you should have, he makes great fucking music and shuns the hype machine and his new record is fucking brilliant, a very American rock record i would say and pay close attention to the lyrics cuz the dude ain't just singing love songs, his sly social commentary is both cutting and telling, i'm sure he'd be tagged the next Dylan if he bothered to play the game...

Phosphorescent- Muchacho,  the first record i fell in love with this year, got to talk to Matt Houack when i saw them back in March before this record started getting lots of attention, great show in front of maybe 150 or so people in a tiny place, the album is great start to finish, an album about love and loss and addiction and be lovess and lost and addicted...

David Bowie- The Next Day, what the fuck you think i'd leave one of my favorite artists of all time of the list? What do you say about Mr. Jones that hasn't already been said, the man takes ten years off and then comes out with a blinder, Where Are We Know? might be my favorite song of the year (though that'd be tough for me to choose) and his videos were absolutely brilliant especially for the title track...

Books you ask? Well i didn't get as much read this year as i'd like and spent a good chunk of it re-reading some old favorites, haven't started Pynchon's new one which i'm sure i'll enjoy and don't really read so-called new books, i usually just read whatever catches me eye or tickles the brain while i research things i might like and since fiction has gotten a bit dull for me i'll admit i'm reading alot more biographies, history etal:   I really dug Peter Hook's book about being in Joy Division called Unknown Pleasures, i mean let's face it, if you were gonna have a drink with anyone from JD/New Order besides of course the deceased Ian Curtis wouldn't it be Hooky? Barney seems a bit of a twat and Steve and Gillian are about as dull as they come, Hooky is the man... Roberto Bolano's Between Parentheses was another surprise, picked up used it was a collection of all his columns and articles he had written and was a very thought provoking read for the writers among us... Edward Bunker's Mr. Blue - The Memoirs of a Renegade, Ed Bunker is a character, raised by the state with a genius IQ he was a career criminal until he started writing, he was Mr. Blue in Reservoir Dogs, they say the based Jon Voight's character in Heat on him (he was a consultant on that flick) and the book is a fascinating look at the culture of prison and the workings of a very intelligent criminal mind... Frank Bill's Crimes in Southern Indiana, a book of short stories that intertwine about the backwoods meth business and all the fun that ensues when desperate people try to get by, i loved this book but will freely admit his novel fell more than a bit short...

Movies? I didn't see any except Django Unchained and i thought it was pretty good... i avoid movies as a rule cuz they just ain't that smart these days...

Past-time of the year: Crate-Digging, the art of wasting massive amounts of time by looking for old records that are in good condition and if you're lucky not paying an arm and a leg for them, i scored all of these for under $25 bucks which on some were an absolute steal, so what did i find? Bowie's Aladdin Sane, Heathens and Hunk Dory (scored Hunky Dory for 15 bucks off Ebay, the same guy was trying to sell it for 60 bucks on another site, i'm sure he was pissed when i was the only one to bid on it), Flaming Lips Heady Nuggs box set, okay i paid 75 but you can't find it for under 125 usually, another steal, Happy Monday's - Pills, Thrills and Bellyaches, the Repo Man soundtrack, the Alex Cox movie not the shit Jude Law one, The Fall - Live at the Witch Trials, The Kinks - a compilation of Pye Records from 1972 that had never even been opened... until i got it, The Afghan Whigs - Gentleman, an original copy of Joy Division's Still, a half dozen original 12" pressings of the Smiths singles and just in the last week i scored Ian Dury and the Blockheads New Boots and Panties ($7) and Do It Yourself ($9), not a bad year if i do say so meself...

As for the live shows it was a slow year do to some limited funds and time but it started out well enough with a ticket to see one Steven Patrick Morrissey on a cold January night, Mozzer never disappoints but i'd say this show was my least favorite of the three times i've seen him, don't get me wrong it was still very good but the heavy handed Meat is Murder performance and his usual encore felt a bit lacking... In March came Phosphorescent as mentioned above and the show was great, small space, great sound, crowd and band both into it, everything you could ask for from a band, helps when the songs are really fucking good as well... In May i splashed out to go see Peter Murphy perform the songs of Bauhaus, yes this was right after Pete got busted speeding in L.A. with a bunch of meth but Mr. Murphy and his band were in top form, another throwback to my teenage years and it's always fun to go to these shows and see that 90% of the crowd in fat, grey and balding, the other 10% are young kids with good taste... In June came FLAG, another night of reliving my youth, complete with beers flying, pit churning, i've already wrote about it in the picture section so i won't say to much more other than three days later i left for Jamaica and when we went to the beach on the first day the girl looked at the bruises on my arms and shoulders and asked how i got them, when i said "the pit at the FLAG show" she just shook her head and gave me one of those priceless looks...

And the show of the year: hands down it was the Flaming Lips/ Spiritualized show... the great thing was that the Lips didn't treat J. Spaceman and the crew like and opening act, i mean Spiritualized is a brilliant fucking band with i guess what could be called a cult following here in the States cuz as a whole we have shit taste in music but the Lips gave them over an hour as the opener and they did not disappoint, i witnessed many converts that night to the songs of J. Spaceman and since i was fucking singing along to every word and lighiting joints the kids around me took it upon themselves to ask me many questions when it was over, here's hoping J. got a record sales bump in Pittsburgh the next day but what a fucking band live... And then came the Fearless Freaks, i had seen the Lips many times before but this was different, Wayne was coming off the dissolution of his 25 year relationship with his wife, Steven Drozd had re-lapsed over the past year and the new album reflected the dark times, the stage show reflected it, the songs reflected it and Wayne stood there and told us that you had to take the good with the bad, that sometimes it was good that the songs made you cry but you had to get them out, and it was one of those rare times when the crowd seemed to push the band and the band responded, they played some great old songs from the Soft Bulletin, they played new songs from The Terror, it was one of the best shows i'd ever seen and both the band and the crowd knew it, when Wayne came out for the encore and started talking he actually choked up, he said it was one of the best nights he had ever had on stage and thanked us, he said no bullshit, we talked with the guys from Spiritualized during the break and you guys have been one of the best crowds we've ever seen, and as the place roared even louder you could see Wayne standing atop his crazy podium saying thank you, visibly moved by the response, i'm sure it sounds corny but if you've ever seen something like this happen you know what i'm talking about, in short a great fucking gig...

and now we're off to 2014, Happy New Year kids and Happy Hogmanay! See you on the flip side when we get things back to the usual no good around the lounge...

7 comments:

Diary of Why said...

Three posts in a row from the King ONO? It's like a little belated Christmas gift to us all. As for movies, I think you would like Rust and Bone, if you can deal with the subtitles. I did.

Happy new year.

Chef Files said...

Happy Hogmanay sir!

daisyfae said...

i need to get the new Bowie. i adore the way that man can re-invent himself at the drop of a hat...

gave away all my vinyl this year to a few friends with special requests, but most of it went to a guy who is mad for vinyl. i wanted it to be loved. were there treasures in there? if there were, they were from my ex-husbands collection (he didn't want it either - i was nice and offered).

maurcheen said...

Happy New Year Kono, keep on keeping on! :¬)

kid said...

another fine year, boss - sucks I had to blow town again sooner than expected. i saw the photograph of you at the Flag show - youre fuckin unstoppable.

Kono said...

DofW- why thank you Miss R., hope all is well in the nation's capital and that you've grabbed a ticket to see Neutral Milk Hotel...

Chef- and to you as well Sir...

Maurcheen- I'll try and all the best to you and yours my singing friend...

Daisy- you know what kind of favors you could have gotten out of me to get first crack at that vinyl?

Kid- things got a bit out of hand there for a bit Kid... and i'd like to see that photo someday...

Diary of Why said...

You'd better believe it. I'm so excited!