A Top Ten, or What I Did on My Bummer Vacation

This year held such promise on Jan. 1, 2014.

This year held such promise on Jan. 1, 2014. The prospect of a crap year behind and a fresh calendar ahead seemed like not only a reasonable consideration but a real possibility. And as the year draws to a close, I sit typing this list in the Bunker while horking up a functional lung and gazing upon 12 months of personal detritus in my mind’s rearview mirror; my wife’s ghastly foot surgery, a blown furnace, a totaled car (and resultant charges and fines) … as a tragic musical genius once sang in counterpoint, it can’t get no worse.

And yet, we are hopeful anew as we stand on the front stoop of 2015 and knock once again on the door of a new year. At least it was (mostly) a good year for music.

1. Best albums out there:

The Hold Steady

’s Teeth Dreams;

eels

The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett;

The Black Keys

Turn Blue;

U2

’s Songs of Innocence (if for no other reason than its epic shit-stirring launch);

Bryan Ferry

’s Avonmore;

Bob Mould

’s Beauty & Ruin;

Sturgill Simpson

’s Metamodern Sounds in Country Music;

Marianne Faithfull

’s Give My Love to London;

The New

Pornographers

Brill Bruisers;

Nikki Lane

’s All or Nothin’;

The Both

’s The Both;

John Hiatt

’s Terms of My Surrender;

Guided By Voice

s’ Motivational Jumpsuit. And I was just getting warmed up. 

2. Best albums around here, destined for out there:

Wussy

’s Attica!;

Rob

Fetters

Saint Ain’t;

500 Miles to

Memphis

Stand There and Bleed;

Mad Anthony

’s Sank for Days;

The Hiders

Totem;

Jody Stapelton

’s Wolf Angel;

Tweens

Tweens;

Let It Happen

’s Cause + Effect;

Old City

’s Old City;

Electric Citizen

’s Sateen. The awesome was everywhere this year.

3. Bunbury Music Festival 2014 highlights:

Aaron Lee Tasjan

,

Lydia Loveless

,

Black Owls

,

psychodots

,

Veruca Salt

,

Modoc

,

Foxy Shazam

,

Molly Sullivan

,

The Yugos

,

Kim Taylor

,

The Flaming Lips

.

4. MidPoint Music Festival 2014 highlights:

Pike 27

,

Black Owls

,

Steelism

,

Nikki Lane

,

Wussy

,

The Afghan Whigs

,

The Ready Stance

,

Bailiff

,

Low Cut Connie

,

Kid Congo

and the Pink Monkey Birds

.

5. Wussy

being featured on CBS This Morning. A great piece, interviewed by Anthony Mason, no less. Nice to see one of our greatest local exports getting the attention they so richly deserve.

6.

What a drag it is not getting up:

RIP

Jack Bruce

,

Nash

the Slash

,

Bobby Keys

,

Ian McLagan

,

Jimmy Ruffin

,

Robin Williams

,

Paul Revere

,

Dick Wagner

,

Johnny Winter

,

Tommy

Ramone

,

Bobby Womack

,

Jesse Winchester

,

Bob Casale

,

Doc Neeson

,

Jerry Lacroix

,

Paco de Lucia

,

Pete Seeger

,

Gerry

Goffin

,

Scott Asheton

,

Phil Everly

,

Joe Cocker

and way too many others. 

7. Say it ain’t so:

The Pinstripes

and

Black Owls

break up (last minute reprieves from the governor would be welcomed) and

Foxy Shazam

goes on hiatus. My heart will reluctantly go on.

8. Nick Petricca dry humping Seth Myers after

Walk the Moon

’s performance of “Shut Up and Dance” on Late Night. A bold move, but who do you do for an encore?

9. Blacking out after a coughing jag (this is breaking news).

10. Waking up. Can it please be 2015 now?

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