Thursday, December 17, 2009

2009: The Year in Numbers (Posts 3-4)

The next list I've compiled are of the most life threatening shows of the year - shows that could have easily been in my list of heartbreaking shows, but the reasoning would have been literal. I kid you not when I say i could have died at these shows, and I don't mean I could have died of happiness (because I certainly was NOT happy), but that my life was actually in danger. There are only two shows that have made this list, which I should be thankful for, as I never want to relive these experiences ever again. But really, the endangerment of my life was due to the faulty barricades, shitty summer show security, and i suppose the nature of the music, as it generally attracts crowds of overactive hipsters who have one goal, and that goal is to injure you as much as possible.

The number two spot goes to...

2. Black Lips, Health @ Williamsburg Waterfront (7/26/09)

- Based on the time I saw them at Maxwell's in the summer of 2008 (which won most life threatening show of last year), I knew that this show would be at least a little bit painful. It started out just fine, not that many people, a little light dancing, whatever, so I figured, how bad could this possibly get? I obviously jumped too far ahead, as I had no idea what was coming later on. Black Lips started, and the crowd exploded. I was immediately pressed against those less than sturdy barricades, and instantly, the photo pit had disappeared. There was no space between us and the stage; absolute mayhem had broken out, and there was no way to stop it. Shirts were flying, beer bottles smashed, people stormed the stage, but again, that's what's to be expected of Black Lips.

What could POSSIBLY be more dangerous that that?

Oh, you don't even know...

1. Matt and Kim, Team Robespierre, Flosstradamus @ Pier 54 (7/9/09)

- And you thought Black Lips sounded bad?! I don't even want to think about how horrendous this show was. I have never been in so much pain in my entire life. I was dead center against the barricade, being squashed by five thousand d-bags, twelve year olds, and a bunch of drunk a-holes who only came to the show because it was free, and oh, they "like that one song where they get naked in the video".....ugh. The barricade was so close to toppling over, which would have meant me being stampeded by every person in the crowd. What fun is there in that? Also, it didn't help that the girl behind me was searing my skin with her cigarette ashes.

(Thanks to ma gurl Natalia for this photo ... how she managed to even take photos baffles me)

Next List: Best Free Shows (and no, these two are not included on that list, which is actually kind of sad, because the lineups were fantastic)

So, I've done the most heartbreaking shows, and the most life threatening shows, but what about good ones? No, it's not time for the best shows of the year, because that's being saved for close to last. But, this year has brought a lot of good free shows, mostly thanks to all of the summer waterfront series, and performances at the apple store. I was tempted to put All Points West on my list, but then I realized that the great majority actually had to pay ... oops!

On with the list already...

The Best FREE Shows of 2009

10. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart @ South Street Seaport (7/10/09)

- So, I'll admit, I went to this show with no expectations, as the day of the show, Jay Reatard posted that tweet calling them "The Pains of Being Boring at Heart." Up to that day, I convinced myself I hated TPOBPAH, when in reality, it was just the fact that Peggy Wang is incredibly annoying that made me think I hate them. But i don't! I actually quite enjoy them now. I mean, i wouldn't pay more than $10 to see them, but I sincerely take back anything mean I've said about them in the past. And now I can say that I wasn't lying in that New York Noise bit I got filmed for.

9. Man Man @ East River Park Bandshell (7/16/09)

- Okay, so it was hot as hell, and it took about fifty years to get to the stupid bandshell, but this was still a good show. They seemed kind of tired and lacked energy in the beginning, but they brought it for the encore, which lasted like a half hour, I might add. Hello, colored feathers.

8. The XX, School of Seven Bells @ South Street Seaport (8/14/09)

- The XX was great, definitely won me over that night (too bad it was kind of a snooze fest the second time I saw them, also for free). School of Seven Bells were also quite good. I wasn't sure what to expect of them, considering I just knew that one song, "Half Asleep." I enjoyed them for the most part, I could have done without that song that seemed to last a billion years though. I timed it. It was eleven minutes.

7. Casiokids, Slow Club @ South Street Seaport (8/7/09)

- I. LOVE. SCANDINAVIANS. Oh, and Slow Club is just adorable.

6. Camera Obscura @ Other Music (11/22/09)

- They only played five songs, but they were lovely nonetheless. Bummed I didn't get to see them at Music Hall later that night, but I guess this made up for something, right?

5. AfroPunk Festival (featuring Janelle Monae and Elevator Fight) @ BAM (7/6/09)

- We got there just in time for Elevator Fight, which is Lenny Kravitz's daughter, Zoe's band. They were cute and entertaining. And as usual, Janelle killed it. She only got a 30 minute set, but whatever, she tore up that stage. I love her.

4. Portugal. The Man @ The Apple Store (10/23/09)

- Such a nice acoustic set, and the perfect way to end my less than eventful CMJ week. And oh my goodness, the violinist they had was great. She should play with them all the time.

3. Phoenix @ The Apple Store (9/24/09)

- So, this show was thrown in right before their shows at Central Park, which I had no interest in because tickets were $40. But this was really great. They had just great energy, and luckily, I got there early enough to get a good seat.

2. Regina Spektor @ The Apple Store (7/24/09)

- I waited for close to five house for this show, seated comfortably under a table at the apple store. Not only did I get to see one of my favorite musicians for free that day, but I also made a bunch of new friends on line. I also realized that I'm horrible at charades.

1. Lily Allen, Matt and Kim, Trouble Andrew (2/10/09)

- Another one I waited five hours in the cold for this show. Pretty much perfect lineup, but i could've done without the part where we were herded like cows up the stairs, but ya know, it was free, i kept my crowd expectations low. This was probably the last time Lily Allen would play at a venue that small, considering a couple months later, she headlined at Roseland Ballroom.

Next list is up in the air right now... there are so many choices!

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