Best Live Shows of 2010

taking a departure from the usual music monday…

the end of the year is almost upon us and i have been thinking about this incredible year of music. there have been amazing albums releases by beach house, arcade fire and janelle monáe just off the top of my head. but even more memorable are the live shows i attended in 2010. and yes, i am kicking myself for missing freelance whales on several occasions and i know they would definitely be on this list. it is a toughie to choose the best of the best live performances, but here goes it…

9. dan black @ sxsw shiner party (austin)

prior to this sxsw day party, i was only aware of dan black’s hit, symphonies. he is a bit pop-dance for my taste but after seeing his energetic performance live, i am a dan black fan. he kept me so entertained, i had forgotten the temperature dropped to 40 degrees that day! more dan black…

8. the middle east @ sxsw – galaxy room (austin)

these australians were one of the most talked about bands at sxsw and after seeing them at the paste party, i understood why. their set was cut short to only three songs, but they were lovely. more middle east…

7. seabear @ showbox at the market (seattle)

i have been lucky to see this icelandic band three times this year and each time was better than the last. they are easily my favorite band of 2010. ♥ sindri ♥  more seabear…

6. octopus project @ whole foods (austin)

waiting in line a few hours prior to the first hexadecagon show (a sixteen-sided audiovisual panorama of awesomeness) was completely worth it! miss yvonne was adorable as ever with her flipped up hair and mad theremin skills. see the VIDEO!

5. le loup @ sxsw day partay – epoch coffee shop  (austin)

wow! go see this band! more le loup…

4. balmorhea @ granada theater (dallas)

it seems that balmorhea is always on tour and i am more than ok with that! they create the perfect blend of classical, post-rock and experimental for a truly beautiful sound. each performance is more lovely than the last. i get goose bumps in the presence of this gorgeous music. balmorhea makes me happy…

3. flaming lips @ denton fairgrounds (denton tx)

who doesn’t love the flaming lips??? i’d pay a pretty penny to see a live performance by wayne coyne and steven drozd. compliments of the nx35 festival, this show was made completely free and was one of the biggest shows ever in this kinda small college town. i miss denton!

2. yann tiersen @ granada theater (dallas)

absolutely incredible! this show was promoted as being very amelie-esque (as tiersen composed the soundtrack). everyone was in for a surprise and a real treat when he played experimental non-amelie music. i was completely mesmerized. i had a cold that day and called in sick for work so i would feel good enough to see him because it is rare for him to tour the US. but i hear he might be coming stateside again early in 2011. here’s hoping! more yann and new album is out…

1. sufjan stevens @ paramount theater (seattle)

this show was both visually and musically amazing. sadly, my photos were limited with my two cameras in the shop and just an iphone in hand. the show length was about two hours, but i argue it was not nearly enough. the sound was perfecto as i had never heard a live show to be that clear. kudos to the sound guys and sufjan’s band. i was in awe the entire show. about halfway through the video you can see sufjan bust a move with his signature wings flopping around (not the best video, i know, but i had to). this show was by far one of the most unique live shows i have seen yet. this one will be difficult to top! love it, love it, love it! yes, more sufjan…

Music Monday: Clever Girl

exposing unsigned or lesser known bands to the masses…or to the three people that actually read this. today’s band:

clever girl

local band to: midlands uk

riyl: american football, this town needs guns, saxophones, jammin jazz bands

take a listen to this unsigned band from the uk. they have offered free downloads from the album no drum and bass in the jazz room. enjoy!

listen

music is my morning coffee

music makes me happy. it wakes me up in the morning. it accompanies me when i cook and clean and drive near or far. it goes great with a few beers. it goes great with friends who like it too.

this tune is still one of my absolute favorites…. tilly and the wall ♥♥♥♥♥

plastic man

art is all around us. can you see it? look in the trash can or at that pile of junk mail. can you imagine all of the things you can create? i love when people can make trash into something beautiful. these make me want to dig through all of the recycle bins on the street and see what goodies i can find. i prefer to work with glass and paper, but these plastic masterpieces are incredibly clever.

i want to hang these jellyfish all over my house!

 

stunning recycled art by aurora robson. her paper art is gorgeous as well.

 

plastic bag pinwheels by virginia fleck

 

plastic starburst. love it!

 

flower curtain perhaps?

 

don’t forget about the bottle caps!

Music Monday: Pétur Ben

exposing unsigned or lesser known bands to the masses…or to the three people that actually read this. today’s artist:

pétur ben

local artist  to: reykjavík iceland

riyl: folk rock, singer-songwriter, nick cave, jeff buckley, little bits of thom yorke

etc: pleasant discovery from the reykjavik calling kexp showcase

stylespion

pétur Þór benediktsson is a singer and guitar player from iceland who regularly performs his own material. he was one of the highlights at the last iceland airwaves festival, and he will be playing various festivals in other countries this year. recently, he completed the arrangement of nick cave’s score for the production of woyzeck, which debuted at the barbican center in london this month. he has also arranged music for and performed with mugison, slowblow and other icelandic artists. he is working diligently on his first solo album which is due for release this coming january. last.fm

listen