drbeeper

The first rule of day drinking is that once you start, you don’t stop or else you’ll crash.

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Fave shows of 2005

01-13 The Arcade Fire/Final Fantasy/Tycho B
01-28 Kings of Leon/The Features
04-08 Kings of Leon/The Court & Spark
05-12 The Ponys/The Gris Gris
05-13 Spoon
06-20 Spoon/The Clientele
08-12 White Stripes/The Greenhornes
09-24 Green Day
10-24 Heavy Trash/The Sadies
11-05 The Detroit Cobras/Reigning Sound

03-23 The Bloc Party
03-22 The Decemberists/Okkervil River
02-05 Luna/Midnight Movies
06-02 Of Montreal/Tilly and the Wall
07-18 Beck/Le Tigre
09-02 Brian Wilson

01-25 The Soundrack of Our Lives/Inouk
03-09 The Futureheads
03-28 Death From Above 1979/Controller.Controller
04-03 The Soundrack of Our Lives/The Dears
04-06 The BoDeans/Aslyn
04-19 The Ditty Bops
05-03 The Raveonettes
05-05 Two Gallants/Damien Jurado
05-08 Better Than Ezra/Ingram Hill
05-25 Architecture In Helsinki/Still Flyin’
06-03 Jackpot
06-19 Better Than Ezra/Jem
07-22 Bugs Bunny on Broadway

08-28 Black Mountain/Parchment Farm
09-04 Ringling Bros. & Barnum Bailey Circus
10-25 The Tyde/Orange Peels

DrBeeper saw a lot of live music (40+ events) in 2004, these were his favorite shows…

Twilight Singers – Great American Music Hall – April 17
I went expecting a relatively cool and serene experience, owing to the understatedness of their latest album, Blackberry Belle. What I got was an all-out, mind-blowing, rock-n-roll assault. Greg Dulli had his arena rocker attitude at full-tilt, and the band absolutely killed; awesome guest appearance by Mark Lanegan. After 2.5+ hours, the crowd was 100% INTO IT!, they could have played all night long. Ears were ringing for days after. [Saw the Singers again later in the year (10/26), but the GAMH is just the best vernue in SF. Special props to The Gris Gris for an awesome head-turning set at The Independent, just when I wasn't expecting it.]

The Decemberists/Long Winters – Great American Music Hall – June 27
Awesome double-bill. The Long Winters latest, When I Pretend to Fall, is in heavy DrBeeper rotation, and they combined great songs with just enough geeky-ness to make a great live show. The highlight of The Decemberists‘ set was an astonishing 20+ minute version of The Tain. Both bands played to the lit-geek-heavy crowd in a playful way, which added some extra fun to the proceedings. [Saw The Decemberists earlier in the year as well (1/15), an event somewhat tempered by my persistent doubts about leaving the new Mom and 4-week-old baby at home alone (I got over it...)]

Green Day – Bill Graham Civic – Nov. 24
The capper on an awesome 7-days of shows (The Waifs, Blues Explosion, Nellie McKay and then Green Day) Billie Joe and Co. took over the big venue and filled it to the rafters with arena-power-pop. They played the majority of (the fantastic) American Idiot, but added some great renditions of their older songs as well, highlighted (for me) by great versions of Knowledge and Basket Case. The band expanded to as many as 11 musicians for the newer songs, but kept it to the original 3-piece for the older stuff, which I though was a great touch. Definitely a very young crowd, but this geezer was loving the “don’t let anyone tell you how to live your life (especially not idiot politicians)” message.

The Kills – Bottom of the Hill – Dec. 1
A super-nova of intensity, The Kills definitely put on a memorable show, with a lot (most?) of the show being new material. With absolutely no between song banter, every note is played with reckless abandon, and while I’d normally consider “no drummer” to be a major drawback, it really, really works for them. Shows at the BOTH typically end very late, which can be tough on weeknights; I combatted that by getting raging drunk and pretending to be some punk-rock maniac 10 years my junior. Hands down the most crowded show of the year.

Calexico/Neko Case – Fillmore – July 16
From the minute I saw Calexico taking the stage to be the backing band for Ms. Case, I knew we were in for a treat. I was so right. Despite neither band having any new material out since I’d last seen them, the sets were far from predictable (or god-forbid, dull). Between that amazing voice (Case) and the stunning musicianship (Calexico), this show was a real treat. As for Neko, well, she leaves me weak in the knees.

The Shins – Fillmore – Feb. 4
All hopped-up on Chutes Too Narrow, and reeling a bit from too little sleep, I arrive late, proceed to the bar for a drink, and espy my friends holding a spot for me about 25 feet from the stage. The Shins then proceed to run through their excellent songs, highlighted by a lot more personality and quirkiness than I expected. James Mercer is truly a remarkable songsmith, and in concert that really shines through, but in a very fun and ‘not-too-damn serious’ way.

The Waifs – Fillmore – Nov. 18
Another band I saw twice this year (5/23). A style of music I’d generally term ‘not-quite-my-thing’, the strength of the storytelling and the loveliness of the folkie sister harmonies has turned me into a full-on desciple. Extended jammy breakdowns featuring stompin’ harmonica solos and fun guitar work coupled with offbeat personal story-tales really highlight their obvious (and infectuous) love of performing. In May, younger-sister Vikki was 6 months pregnant, which made her 3-months popped for this show. I am still amazed by (and thankful for) her energy at both shows.

Franz Ferdinand/The Tyde – Slim’s – March 20
We were just ahead of the overbearing-hype of the Franz Ferdinand album (it had only been out for a week or two), and thus came to the show not quite knowing what to expect. What we got was a great, great band playing extremely well to a rabid crowd. That said, The Tyde were the hit of the night in my eyes. They bombed through most of Twice in their Cali-psych-pop style. I highly recommend seeing any band with the fab Ric Menck pounding the skins.

The Dirtbombs/The Ponys – Great American Music Hall – Oct. 11
Ahhh, THE Detroit rock gods return. DrBeeper says: ‘Never, never, never miss The Dirtbombs‘. Two drummers and two bass players to go along with the legendary Mick Collins came to party and definitely delivered the goods. Saw them earlier in the year (1/26) as well, but The Ponys put this show over the top. The Ponys brought their straight-ahead guitar-rock, and the crowd ate it up. Add them to the list of ‘don’t miss’ acts. [don't take this as a slight toward either The Sights or Killers Kiss, both of whom were also excellent openers]

The Pixies – Greek Theatre – Sept. 25
Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there was a revolutionary, genre-defining band from Boston. Virtually every sound associated with ‘indie rock’ began here. Fast forward 10+ years, and you get an older, bulging group of middle-aged rockers ready to bring their show back on the road. This was as vibrant and energetic as it gets, with an adoring crowd roaring down the tracks right beside the band. This made every Who and Rolling Stones tour from the last 10 years look like a travelling antique roadshow. And the songs are fucking amazingly great!.

Other highlights

The dumbfoundingly talented (or, when your jaw goes slack):

  • Robin Williams 3/12
  • Lambchop 6/4
  • Calexico 7/16
  • David Byrne 8/24
  • Lyle Lovett 9/14
  • Asylum Street Spankers 9/18 & 12/17
  • Nellie McKay 11/23

    The double-dip (or, run it back):

  • The Decemberists 1/15 & 6/27
  • The Dirtbombs 1/26 & 10/11
  • Von Bondies 3/26 & 6/10
  • Twilight Singers 4/17 & 10/26
  • The Waifs 5/23 & 11/18
  • Jackpot 8/14 & 12/4
  • Asylum Street Spankers 9/18 & 12/17

    The super crowded (or, one eye on the emerg. exit):

  • Franz Ferdinand/The Tyde 3/20

  • Britt Daniel 4/19
  • The Black Keys 9/9

  • The Kills 12/1