I typically create a year end list. You know, top 10 albums. But with album leaks providing new music months prior to street dates and my slow adoption of new stuff anyway, I decided this year I’m just going to do a “best of stuff” list. Here goes…

Best Shows (I played):

  1. Feb. 23rd – MTU Wadsworth Annex (Houghton, MI)
    This is the first time we met The Mighty Narwhale. It’s also the first time we were ever provided hotel rooms and an after party. Not only was the show well attended with enthusiastic show-goers but every band on the bill was humble and gracious. This was certainly a highlight of the year (too bad it happened so early in the calendar).
  2. Apr. 19th – Rubbles (Mt. Pleasant, MI)
    Another Narwhale show, also the first time we played with Great Lakes Myth Society. This show was fair in attendance, but still great. The combination of a great, hard-working promoter (Corey Densmore) plus Narwhale and GLMS making us feel like we’ve been friends for years made the night a great one. Rubbles’ staff was also welcoming and just, plain, nice (a change of pace from Detroit).
  3. Jul. 5th – Dreamland Theater (Ypsilanti, MI)
    The venue is a puppet theater, need I say more? This was Night Shall Eat These Girls and Boys CD release and they’re fans gave us a warm reception. It started off potentially disastrous (no PA). but someone managed to round up one speaker cab’ (yes, one), a powered mixer, a bass amp, and mics. Though the night wasn’t hitch free, it turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

Best shows (I didn’t play):

  1. May 3rd – GLMS w/ Matt Jones (Leopold Brothers – Ann Arbor, MI)
    A farewell to Leopold Brothers (popular Microbrewery). Both Jones and GLMS gave the packed crowd stellar sets and Leopold’s kept the brews flowing. Basic formula that works every time. Plus, Tim Monger gave me gushy compliments on my posters and illustrations.
  2. Mar. 7th – Metro Times Blowout (Hamtramck, MI)
    Highlights were Mick Bassett at New Dodge and (the tail end of) His Name is Alive at Small’s. Due to terrible “Blowout trolly” timing, we walked between the two venues, in the snow, and next to a house fire. Audra Kubat and her friend gave us (and some random drunk guy) a ride back to our car (located by Atlas). It was a cold wet evening but makes for a good story.

Best Local Releases:

  1. Alan ScheurmanOld Patterns
  2. JavelinsHeavy Meadows
  3. Sea of JapanBlack Out the Stars
  4. Chris BathgateWait, Skeleton

Best News:

  1. Bernie Madoff’s last name is “Made off”
  2. Privatizing profit + Socializing risk = Capitalism “working”
  3. Congress prefers financial sector fat-cats to unionized workers 3-to-1

Best Discoveries:

  1. The combination of feta cheese, olives, and jalapenos on pizza
  2. Bell’s Hell Hath No Fury Ale
  3. The Byrds – Sweetheart of the Rodeo
  4. CalifoneQuicksand/Cradlesnakes
  5. MXR M169 Carbon Copy
  6. LR Baggs Para Acoustic DI