Rearview Mirror is our annual look back at the year in music from our friends in and around the business. Musicians, managers, roadies, superfans, bloggers etc..
This 2011 recap comes to us from Jeremy Brightbill of Panic Strikes a Chord, and reminds us of how the real value of the arts is that it can help us trudge through slog that is our daily lives. Also kittens. Kittens help too.
I’m not sure if 2011 was a worse year than 2010, but it came close if it wasn’t. However, in accordance with the Theory of Silver Linings, I present the things that made it worth my having survived it:
- 1. The Obligatory Music List (in no real order):
Apparat The Devil’s Walk
PJ Harvey Let England Shake
Red Fang Murder The Mountains
Young Widows In and Out of Youth and Lightness
Parts & Labor Constant Future
Memory Map Holiday Band
Jean Grae Cookies Or Comas
Pharoahe Monch W.A.R.
Bon Iver Bon Iver
Talib Kweli Gutter Rainbows
- 2. The Continuing Existence of the Comedy Attic:
Not because I’ve been fortunate enough to play there twice, but because I’ve seen some incredible talent there in the past year, as evidenced by this incomplete list (off the top of my dome):
Maria Bamford, Moshe Kasher, Jackie Kashian, Brendon Walsh, Kyle Kinane, Ted Alexandro, Glenn Wool, Tommy Johnagin, Tig Notaro, Morgan Murphy, Nikki Glaser, Judah Friedlander, and personal heroes Bobcat Goldthwait and Marc Maron. I’m sure there are a dozen others I’m spacing on.
This place is about an 8 minute walk from my house. For real. In a related note…
2.1 Seeing Sarah Silverman perform twice in one night
I don’t even know how to write about this. She’s in my pantheon. I saw her official concert at IU Auditorium with my good friend @macroneurotic, then later she did a surprise 10 minutes at Russian Recording. Swooooon.
- 3. IU Cinema
First off, I’d like to thank the “1%” of IU for freezing the salaries of us lowlife day-to-day workers WITHOUT WHOM YOU STUPID COMB-OVER-HAVING CORPORATE FATASSES WOULD BE UP SHIT’S CREEK. You know, we weren’t gonna use any of our measly 1.5% annual raise for anything other than making extra babies so we could suck on the teat of “welfare” (wingnut myth #54,632).
Whoa. I digress… Fortunately, for us poor folk who happen to not be able to survive without art, etc., most of the showings at IU Cinema are free. Some are next to free, especially if you consider going to AMC (or whatever it is now) will run you a hot $16 if you so much as look at the concession stand while waiting in line for whatever horrible superhero sequel is being crammed down our fast-food craving, toy-obsessed faces.
But seriously, I saw the Illusionist, Bluebeard, Biutiful, and A Woman, A Gun, & A Noodle Shop. Maybe some other furren films nobody cares about. That place is sublime. Not that it makes up for the salary-freeze, but it’s pretty bomb.
- 4. So I got this new kitten…
I could go on and on, but nobody wants to hear that. I could gush about how amazing Red Fang and Mastodon were at the Egyptian Room in Indianapolis, but most everyone was at that show. I could jabber on about how WTFpod has been the best thing to go into my earholes in a very long time, but everyone has heard me sing its praises countless times (well… about 237 times).
Instead, I refer you, dear reader, to Panic Strikes A Chord’s 2011 release Accidents in a Very Busy Place. This experience alone, specifically with THOSE GUYS, made 2011 worth surviving. I’ve already pontificated profusely about it previously, and I’m pretty sure those remarks are available somewhere online.
Thanks for playing.