So, yeah, I finally remembered that I have a blog. Not that I forgot, exactly. But the past year has been difficult and I had trouble dragging myself out of the house, let alone writing about the shows I managed to attend. And I did get my shit together a few times for shows, although I skipped out on others that I really regret missing now. Such is the lot of a spastic fangirl with occasionally crippling depression. Fingers crossed that this year is slightly less of a downer. Anyway, for the sake of completeness, I'm going to catch up with my gig logging, picking up where I left off...
After seeing The Postal Service in April I caught Telekinesis at the Echo. I hadn't seen them since 2011, and although the show was brief due to Michael being ill, it was, as per usual, tons of fun. Seriously, if Telekinesis doesn't make you smile then there might be something wrong with you.
After TK I had a dearth of gigs due to being a sad bastard, but in July I pulled it together enough to see Shearwater in Seattle. Favorite band + favorite city = I'm going despite myself. And the fact that it was a doubleheader with them playing a headlining gig at the Columbia City Theater AND playing the Sub Pop Silver Jubilee made not going not an option. So I went.
Just seeing everyone and getting to hear great music made me feel like I might still be human and capable of being happy, however briefly. Lucas and Brass Bed opened, so that was an extra dose of feel-good and holy hell, Jonathan played a Blue Water White Death song! I tried not to shake when I got that video, which I'm glad I did because I screwed up and have no recording of the rest of their set. Not that I listen to my bootlegs often, but I like having the document of each show. So that was a bummer. But I had fun running from the balcony to the floor to take pictures. Which I wouldn't have done if the crowd had been less standoffish, but seeing as they were, I moved about freely throughout. I do hate it when crowds give the stage a wide fucking berth though. You're at an amazing show, don't be an apathetic asshole and hang back! It's okay to be into it! Fuck.
The next day was Jubilee day. Shearwater played early and I arrived earlier, like before everything was quite ready to go. So I wandered a bit, spent a lot of money when all the booths had finished setting up. I made sure to claim my spot up front because the crowd wasn't going to be so aloof as the night before. I wish their set could've been longer, but that's how festivals go. I was feeling pretty good with the sunshine and Shearwater, but before I knew it they were playing Star of the Age and then it was all over. Everyone went in different directions and when I was on my own I was back to feeling like shit. So it goes.
The rest of July was pretty full compared to the last few months. I got to see a screening of Mistaken for Strangers at the Grammy Museum in L.A. and met the brothers Berninger. A few days later I had a major scheduling conflict: The Postal Service at the Santa Barbara Bowl vs. Rogue Wave at the El Rey vs. Brass Bed at Hotel Cafe. I decided to try and make two shows in one night and saw Rogue Wave soundcheck then caught Brass Bed. It wasn't a fun decision to make, and I felt bad leaving Rogue Wave (especially since Zach is such a nice guy and he remembered me!) but I couldn't skip out on Brass Bed.
Luckily, I didn't feel too bad about missing The Postal Service because I had pit tickets for their second night at the Greek. And I'm glad I did, because it made that moment possible.
August and September had multiple National gigs. Yes. I had been (and still am) listening to Trouble Will Find Me a fucking lot since it came out. It was exactly the right album at the right time for me. And I hadn't seen the band since 2011, so I was really looking forward to those five shows, three in L.A. and two in Seattle. They played the Greek first and I spent over $200 on pit tickets because I'm happiest up front. And it was worth it. They played Baby We'll be Fine and Slipped back to back and I tried not to cry. And the next night at Hollywood Forever I finally got to hear All the Wine and tried not to cry over This is the Last Time. And the night after that I sang along with every word at the Jimmy Kimmel taping. And it felt awesome.
Then in September there were two nights at the Paramount in Seattle. I was front and center both nights and once again had a hard time maintaining my composure. Especially the first night because Matt got into the crowd during Terrible Love and decided my spot was where he was climbing in. I have never been so terrified/thrilled in my life. For a second I thought we were both going to fall and I almost lost my glasses but it all worked out and I even got pictures.
I skipped out on a few more shows before I got to Okkervil River at the Wiltern in October. I had to talk myself into it at the last minute, but I knew I'd hate myself extra if I missed them. Got there a little late (for me), but there was no line yet, got to chat with Patrick and Cully beforehand. The only misstep was me forgetting my camera. What the fuck. That should indicate how off my game I was last year. I always do the idiot check before I leave the house, but not that day. So I had to settle for iPhone pics. But I didn't forget my recorder. And they covered Dance Hall Days. And I got my copy of The Silver Gymnasium signed after the show. So not a total tragedy.
Now in November I missed three shows and I'm pretty sure I'm going to regret them forever. I bought tickets to Barsuk's 15th anniversary celebration in Seattle. Nada Surf, The Long Winters, Minor Alps, David Bazan, Rocky Votolato and surprise guests Death Cab for fucking Cutie and Ben goddamn Gibbard at some of my favorite venues in my favorite city. But at least I skipped that weekend of unadulterated awesome for a better reason than mere depression. I did it because I had to save up for other trips that are fast approaching. And I did catch Minor Alps (with Dan Wilson!) at the Echoplex. And Matthew Caws played Inside of Love so I got to hear that live at long last. I hope Nada Surf tours soon. Thirteen year old me is appalled that thirty year old still hasn't seen them do a proper show yet.
Also making me feel very slightly better about missing Barsuk's party is the fact that I got off my ass and went to see a full-on The Long Winters gig at the Bootleg in December. With Sean Nelson opening no less. So much radness.
And that covers 2013. We're almost up to date!
A few days ago I caught Colin Meloy on his long-overdue solo tour. And, superextraveryspecial bonus, Mr. John Roderick opened. I wish I could be at the Portland and Seattle shows coming up, but I'm content with this one. John played a bunch of wonderful songs and closed with the ever-amazing The Commander Thinks Aloud. And I almost lost it. Then Colin played another bunch of wonderful songs, old stuff, new stuff, covers, stuff I'd heard before and stuff I hadn't. He ended the main set with the whole Crane Wife suite. And I really did lose it. I just stood there trying not to fall completely apart, which I managed, just barely. And I'd fully recovered by the time I met Colin after the show, so yea for that.
And yea for being caught up!