i only did six last year, but i've seen sixty-seven bands so far this year (not counting the five bands i saw multiple times) and i felt like ten shows had to be represented. let's count backwards, shall we...
first, some props to beach house, hatcham social, here we go magic, andrew bird, and japandroids for putting on excellent shows this year that didn't make the cut.
10. WARPAINT 10.16 @ PEARL STREET NIGHTCLUB
having only heard elephants i expected good but not great and then there were three beautiful girls on this tiny stage who proceeded to make some of the most haunting, powerful, and gorgeous music i'd heard all year - well played, ladies.
9. DIRTY PROJECTORS 7.19 @ WILLIAMSBURG WATERFRONT
the sun set behind their heads: i see that my silhouette is golden, yeah; dancing, sunlight - dave and amber and angel and brian broke out some tracks from rise above and new attitude, "gimme i need some more don't ask what for."
8. RA RA RIOT 4.4 @ WEBSTER HALL
what i said then: "no one in this cavernous room stands still, and everything jitters electrically." this band deliver, constantly, without fail.
7. YEASAYER 8.13 @ A PIER ON THE LOWER WEST SIDE
ambling alp before we knew what it was, tightrope, sunrise, 2080 - all well and good, but what still sticks with me is wait for the wintertime, this intense sensual onslaught.
6, 5, 4.
at ALL POINTS DAMP 2009
fleet foxes played, the gathering clouds eerily visible, an extraordinary and otherworldly cold breeze coming out of nowhere, and at the end of their set as if by magic it began to rain; the national came on and it started to pour and matt berninger sang with his eyes closed standing very still until mr. november when he came down with us and the crowd wrapped him up in open wet arms; vampire weekend came on and it was raining so hard they had to stop using half the cameras and toward the end of oxford comma one of the cameramen on stage snuck up behind ezra's back and the picture on the screen was that plaid shirt and that huge crowd and new york city behind us and this black black terrible beautiful sky. i knew vampire weekend could bring in the rain, and bring it they did - but the national and fleet foxes surprised me.
3. THE WALKMEN 9.20 @ PEARL STREET NIGHTCLUB
a foot off the floor on a low stage in a dark room hamilton leithauser screamed a song about someone named angela the way he yells everything, that fantastic and breathtaking and incredible yell, from somewhere i can't see in a skinny tall blonde guy, and the drums and the drums and the drums and the reverb on the guitar and the horns. the walkmen know what they are doing.
2. FOOL'S GOLD 11.21 @ PEARL STREET NIGHTCLUB
jamming out a song of seven minutes in length into possibly fifteen ecstatic sweaty minutes of dancing with three afro-pop guitars and saxophone and countless means of percussion and melismatic hebrew vocals - does this sound like the most amazing fifteen minutes of your life, or does this sound like the most amazing fifteen minutes of your life.
1. GRIZZLY BEAR 5.29 @ TOWN HALL
this is summed up by a text i sent to my father while i was walking down the stairs out to the street with nicole afterwards. "gb just blew my mind off my face"
still coming: favorite songs, what i'm looking forward to in 2010, and a LIST SUMMARY of 2009 :)