Wednesday, January 20, 2010

2010 Live Moments

Well, every time that I read peoples' year end lists, I sort of get freaked out. The idea of reducing a year of non-stop music listening - recorded and live - is daunting. So, instead of stressing myself out, I put some thought into what my most exciting, meaningful, and satisfying live performances were. And it did not take that much deliberation. These came to mind very clearly...

In no particular order:

Anatomy of Habit
July 12, 2009
The Empty Bottle
Chicago, IL
Sort of a no-brainer here. It might be at the true #1 spot. After over nine months of isolation, preparation, practice, and planning, we finally played our debut show. It felt so good to perform in front of an audience. And what fine company we were in: Locrian, The Human Quena Orchestra, and Pharmakon. None of the AoH shows have been anything short of IMPORTANT to me, but this being our first, it really meant a lot.

November 7, 2009
Northeast Noise & Power Electronics Festival
Boston, MA
Another obvious top choice. An over-the-top BLOODYMINDED set at an over-the-top festival. Exhibiting the type of poor judgment that I am so good at, I decided that we would perform "Trophy" in its entirety, minus the 20-minute track, "Overdrive." Good idea? Definitely. It was a challenging show on many levels. On my memory. On my body. On the crowd. Lots of blood and broken bones. And none of it was mine this time. The festival went by in a blur but I saw/heard tons of great stuff and I particularly enjoyed hanging out with so many great people. Hats off to the TDSOGF boys for such an amazing weekend!

August 29, 2009
Fairchild Chapel
Oberlin, OH
While this might have been a more sparsely attended show, compared to some others on the tour, the setting and the atmosphere could not be beat. And after a quick, desperate PA switch-out, the sound was as good as the vision - and we have the crystal-clear recording to prove it. I still get a smile on my face when I see how our red lights lit up the high stone wall at the back of the altar. The whole tour with Mr. Reed and Mr. Canady was easy-breezy and artistically satisfying, but this one was a notch above. Thanks again to Mr. Dilloway!

Brutal Truth
March 21, 2009
Double Door
Chicago, IL
Recording synth tracks for the latest Brutal Truth album, "Evolution Through Revolution," at Volume Recording with Sanford Parker and Kevin Sharp, in late 2008, was pretty damned cool, but getting to play live with the band - and with Bruce Lamont (who I have performed and DJ'd a lot with the last few years) in the mix too - was killer. I saw Brutal Truth play at the Marquee in NYC, shortly after I moved there in 1992, and I have been a fan ever since. This show was insane. Two Brutal Truth sets. One to play the entire new album and one to play the "hits." Fast, loud, and in your face. Yes!

June 5, 2009
Matchitehew Assembly
Co-Prosperity Sphere
Chicago, IL
Another pretty insane show - at a ridiculously fun - I mean grim - black metal and noise festival, with bands like Bone Awl, Sword Heaven, Air Conditioning, Marblebog, Burial Hex, Maledicere, etc. We had to follow an astounding Sword Heaven performance. Fuck. We played a marathon set. I fell off of a tower of speakers. Mr. Jason Schuler of Cadaver in Drag joined us on "Ten Suicides." Lots of great sets and lots of good hanging out with friends.

Consumer Electronics
November 8, 2009
Northeast Noise & Power Electronics Festival
Boston, MA
Having played a couple of shows in 2008 with Mr. Best, I knew what I needed and wanted to do, so things flowed really easily for me at this show, and I was able to watch the audience demolish itself. The sound and the energy were blistering and brutal. Excellent! My apologies to Mr. Sotos for blocking his projections for far too much of the performance.

The Fortieth Day + Sshe Retina Stimulants + Terence Hannum
November 29, 2009
"Something Else"
WLUW 88.7 FM
Chicago, IL
It is always a privilege and a pleasure to play with Paolo, and this radio session - the only live performance by The Fortieth Day in 2009 - was no exception. And while holiday travel kept Andre, thus Locrian, out of the picture, it was fantastic to still have Terence in the mix.

No doubt, the Locrian boys have played a big part in my music life over the last few years, and one show into 2010, they are already in the thick of things with me, with more to follow...

And just for the record, and in no particular order (except that the top two were probably the most frequent), the 2009 albums that I listened to the most were:

The Horrors "Primary Colours"
Alice in Chains "Black Gives Way To Blue"
Yoga “Megafauna”

Circle of Ouroborus
“Tree of Knowledge”
Envenomist "The Helix"

Klinikal Skum “Chosen Powerless”

Blacklist "Midnight Of The Century"
Halflings "Self Esteem"
Aluk Todolo “Finsternis”

Josh Hydeman
“Voice of Saturn”
Consumer Electronics
"Crowd Pleaser"
Locrian "Drenched Lands"
Sshe Retina Stimulants "Souls And Waltzes From The Telegraph Frontier"
Wolf Eyes "Always Wrong"
“The Coronation”
The Flaming Lips "Embryonic"
Sonic Youth "The Eternal"
The Human Quena Orchestra "The Politics Of The Irredeemable"
Xeno & Oaklander "Sentinelle"
Manic Street Preachers "Journal for Plague Lovers"
The Church "Untitled #23"
Slogun "Bloody Roots"
Sunn O))) "Monoliths And Dimensions"
The Warlocks "The Mirror Explodes"
A Place To Bury Strangers "Exploding Head"
Burning Image "Phantasma"
Led Er Est "Dust On Common"
Bear In Heaven "Beast Rest Forth Mouth"
Sunshine "MGKK Telepathy"
Slayer "World Panted Blood"
A Storm Of Light "Forgive Us Our Trespasses"

The top two live shows that I was in the audience at, which towered above everything else... and, no doubt, I saw a ton of shows:

March 12, 2009
Epiphany Church
Chicago, IL

May 29, 2009
Reggie's Rock Club
Chicago, IL

The two shows that I saw by The Horrors were damned good, too, especially with their album being the thing that I listened to the most last year.

I am sure that I have left out some things that should be included, and I am probably pissing someone off right away... so, sorry... that is part of why I dislike these lists in the first place.

So there, I have contradicted myself.