Top 3 Albums of 2010:
- Heroes – Moneta
- Odd Blood – Yeasayer
- Great Danger – The Audition
- Vagabonds - The Classic Crime
- Trans-Continental Hustle – Gogol Bordello
- We Stitch These Wounds – Black Veil Brides
- Teenage Dream – Katy Perry
- Year of the Black Rainbow – Coheed and Cambria
Best Show of 2010:
I guess this is a three way tie for me…
- Anberlin @ Showbox Sodo: Seeing Anberlin never ceases to blow me away. But this show, fueled by the energy of their recent release Dark is a Way, Light is a Place, literally took my breath away. The new lighting systems they were using, the spectacular sound at a venue that usually has CRAP sound, and the general ambiance of the show was PERFECT. Their cover of “Mother” by Danzig was pretty superb, and frankly, the whole darn set list was put together incredibly well. All members played to their full potential and played their hearts out, making this one of top 10 shows of all time, easily.
- Switchfoot @ Showbox at the Market: This was an exceptionally amazing show. Playing all of their 2009 release Hello Hurricane, plus older tracks, including “Chem 6a,” one of my all time favorites from them had the room singing at the top of their lungs. They played an exceptional show, the crowd was into it, and I had a BLAST.
- Soundgarden @ Showbox at the Market: Does this really even need an explanation? This 2 hour set from local Seattle legends seriously floored me. I was seriously lucky enough to be one of few people who got to order a ticket in the 2.4 minutes before it sold out, and goddess, the show was SO worth it. Being one of the first shows in over a decade, and being able to experience that, was seriously awesome.
Most Anticipated in 2011:
- Innerpartysystem: So super excited about the new album coming out in early 2011. “American Trash” and its remixes have been rockin’ my 2010, but it’s definitely time for some new material. Stoked to see what these guys come up with. Their live show is phenomenal and after 3 years of being a fan, it’s time for them to set the standard for themselves, and for live mixed dance across the board.
- Cake – Showroom of Compassion: I’ve been a Cake fan for YEARS now and from what I have heard of the album so far, it won’t disappoint. Been waiting for this for awhile now and I am really hoping that it goes back to their roots and brings out some of the older signature sound (hopefully something ala “Never There”).
- Blaqk Audio – Bright Black Heaven: Although a release date hasn’t officially been announced yet, I’ve been keeping an eye on these guys since their freshman release, Cexcells. Being a big AFI fan, Davey Havok’s side project has entranced me pretty thoroughly and has set the bar high for themselves before their sophomore album, Bright Black Heaven, was even in the planning stages. The teaser tracks are blatantly brilliant and promise more of the general industrial/dance that they brought to the table before.
- VNV – Nation Crossing the Divide: I’ve recently been reintroduced to VNV and frankly, I couldn’t be more excited for the upcoming EP. It’s not often I fall this hard for industrial/trance, and not usually get this hyped until I have at least heard a sampling of the album. With VNV, it’s guaranteed to be amazing, full of sick dance beats, some dirty bass, and captivating lyrics. Kudos to this band from across the pond for also hinting at a US tour for the first time in 2 years- both announcements have fans eagerly awaiting more.
- Aiden: During the show last Friday, wiL Francis mentioned that they would have a new album out in 2011. The guys have been tweeting about recording for the past few months and Seattle needs these guys to come back and rock ourselves out of the general indie funk we have been in lately. Seattle rock has its place, and frankly, Aiden has been at the heart of it for awhile now. With Knives out in 2009, it’s definitely time for some new material from them (as well as William Control), especially since reinforcing their sound with their most recent album after their hiatus into more mellow tracks with Conviction. We need more Seattle punk rock, and badly guys.
Most Overrated in 2010:
- Arcade Fire- The album was good, but not THAT good. Really. I promise.
- MGMT- Congrtulations was great, but their live show now SUCKS. What happened guys?
Favorite Musical Memory of the Year:
Shooting Capitol Hill Block Party and Bumbershoot:
There was an insane amount of people crammed into the middle of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood for CHBP and it was AMAZING. Great music, great photographer friends, fantastic memories. Seeing !!! play the KEXP Bean Room at Café Vita and turning the room into a giant dance party was pretty rad, and frankly, so quintessentially Seattle that it could only happen right here in the Emerald City. My first time at CHBP was wonderful and the people who make it all happen are GREAT. Kudos for bringing this fantastic event to a great neighborhood and having a blast doing it. Highlights for me included !!!, Holy Fuck, Yeasayer, and Black Breath.
The 40th anniversary of Bumbershoot was both fun and rewarding. Shooting for Seattle Center and the five stages that I managed to cover was seriously taxing on me as a photographer and a writer. I had a blast covering the 30+ bands over Labor Day weekend (giving up PAX to do so, which was SERIOUSLY hard to do) and danced, sang, and filled up SD cards with memories that will last forever. Balkan Beat Box, the Thermals, the Redwood Plan, and Fences were definitely highlights and I came across a lot of local stuff to look out for in the future.