Sunday, December 20, 2009

Charlie T's Best of 09 | Live Shows

The live show is an essential part to the Year in Music. More often than not, the live show makes or breaks an albums inclusion on the Top Ten list of that year, and really good shows can influence decision making for years to come. For example, Andrew Bird and his latest album Noble Beast would have been nowhere near my radar if I hadn't seen an inspiring performance out of him last year. And Wilco's failure to tour anywhere accessible to me this year undoubtedly led to their first even exclusion from my year-end praise.

On the other side of the argument, a disappointing album will keep me away fro seeing an artist perform. Case in point, Great Lake Swimmers. Their latest effort didn't grab ahold of me like their previous album did leading to me not making the effort to attend their show on their way across the country. Attending that show may have renewed hope in Lost Channels, but it wasn't going to happen.

In a related note, after watching the Kings play a time or two on TV this season, I am starting to look forward to our unavoidable date with them in the lower bowl. Spike, having fallen under the same spell, has already purchased an Omar Casspi jersey in anticipation for that game and a subsequent playoff run.

Having spelled that out, here is a rundown of the best and most important shows of 2009 and included is some of their video performances that compliment the live show. Show are in some kind of an order, from first of the year to end of the year.

*Irrelevant to this years Top Ten list, but still a good show

Delta Spirit*

Laura Gibson

Laura Gibson - Where Have All Your Good Words Gone from playgrrround on Vimeo.

The Hold Steady*

Josh Ritter*

Bon Iver/Jenny Lewis - Poor Jonathan Rice. He has to play the Elvis Costello part and the Roy Orbison part in the same set. In a way this show has no bearing on the list, but at the same time it has so much bearing. Bon Iver contributed heavily to the Dark Was The Night compilation, songs that he played at this show and killed.

Dark Was The Night - I didn't see this show but these Vincent Moon videos are in some ways better than a live show.

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears - Maybe it was the extended amount of time I spent in New Orleans or maybe its the cross between Chris Rock and James Brown, either way the music is great.

Shawn Smith* reissues don't count

Megafaun/Bowerbirds - This show was interesting because had I not attended, Bowerbirds could have made the top ten and Megafaun would have been nowhere on my radar, instead it was the other way around. There was something off putting from the Bowerbrids. Likewise, there was something incredibly amazing about Megafaun.

The Avett Brothers/Heartless Bastards - This show brought Heartless Bastards into the race and cemented the Avetts near the top. Anyone who has seen either band knows why.

Frightened Rabbit*

The Get Up Kids* re-issues don't count.

Over The Rhine*

Fanfarlo - Possibly show of the year and because of that, possibly album of the year. They started out with a recreation of their video for The Walls Are Coming Down, complete with an escape artist hanging overhead in a straight jacket and then nearly brought down the house at the end of the show with I'm A Pilot. That doesn't even include covering Low's It Was Just Like Christmas in the encore.

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