Monday, December 9, 2013

Why 2013 Kicked Ass

This is not a "best of" list by any means.  You're tired of those.  I'm tired of those.  Trust me, writing them is just as boring as reading them.  No, my friends, this is simply a recap of why 2013 totally kicked ass.  And believe me, it did.  

I started out 2013 by seeing Matchbox Twenty at the Palace Theater in Louisville.  While this wasn't exactly a mind blowing show for me like the ones that would follow later in the year, it was very cool to finally see the MB20 guys live.  I've been a fan since they released their first album, Yourself or Someone Like You, in 1996 and it's always cool when you're finally in a room with people you've been a fan of for that long.

Then came a couple new releases from one of my all-time faves, Ryan Schmidt.  So far we just have two singles from his up coming album, but I'm super excited about the new direction he's taking.  In looking back, I've just realized that I've only told you about "Another Friend" but there is also "Next Mistake" (I'll have to rave about that one later...I can't believe I haven't already!)  As much as I completely adore my birthday present that was White Horse (and believe me, I do), I know that the work Ryan is doing now is going to make him a megastar one day and that's so exciting.  I just can't wait to see what happens for him next. 

Later in August, Matt Nathanson released Last of the Great Pretenders which is an absolute stroke of genius. Of course he toured to support this record (and because I'm pretty sure he'd shrivel up and blow away if he didn't do at least a little touring every year) and, of course, we went to see him.  This time we got to see him right here in Louisville at Headliner's Music Hall and it was fucking amazing because, well, it was a Matt show and I got to watch Aaron Tap play guitar for 2 hours - what's not to love?  Then, by some weird twist of fate, Matt actually read that blog post, which lead to my all time favorite moment of the year, which was this tweet: 
This was amazing because he actually read it, he got was I was saying, and it meant enough that he actually took a minute to say something about it.  It's been like 2 1/2 months ago and I still get a big stupid grin every time I read that tweet.  :-D

After that amazingness, we went to see Carbon Leaf for the first time ever at The High Watt in Nashville, TN while they were out supporting Ghost Dragon Attacks Castle and Constellation Prize (both really great records that have added to the fantastic soundtrack of 2013).  It was a great show and we even got to meet Barry and Terry after the show and got our copy of Ghost Dragon Attacks Castle signed.  The Carbon Leaf show was truly wonderful and we'll go see them again as soon and as often as possible.  While we were in Nashville we made time to stop at Grimey's, possibly the best record store east of the Mississippi, and I picked up a copy of Nevermind on vinyl while we were there.

We also got to see Dr. Dog again this year, this time at Headliner's in Louisville.  This tour was in support of their amazing newest release B-Room.  As usual, they completely blew my mind.  Any year that contains a Dr. Dog concert is a good year.  If you're not familiar with them, you really need to get that way, then you need to go see them live because they are the absolute epitome of what live music is supposed to be.

The last record that has made this year awesome for me was Jason Isbell's Southeastern. I'm still playing the shit out this thing, I just can't get enough of it.  His voice is perfect, the lyrics are perfect, the guitar parts are to die for.  The whole this is a complete work of art.  I've been directed to some other examples of his work and I plan to check them out as soon as I can tear myself away from this one.  And finally, the last thing that has made this year rock has been the community of Matt Nathanson fans on twitter.  I've found some awesome new people over the years through music, but have just recently met several cool folks just because of him and that's been fun.

Apparently a few amazing shows, a handful of mind blowing records and a small group of cool people are all it takes to make for a great year.  So, now that we know the formula, making 2014 even better should be a snap!

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