Browsing all 39 posts in Best of Lists.

Coachella 2015 Overview

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Coachella 2015 Overview

Overall, this wasn’t my favorite edition of Coachella. That was my experience. Someone else could have gone to different sets with a different mindset and had the best year in a decade. Hell, someone else could have gone to the same sets. It’s all subjective, right?

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Stuff I Liked in 2014

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Stuff I Liked in 2014

There was a time when end of the year lists on blogs meant something. No, really! People actually wanted to see how their favorite self-crowned tastemakers accounted for the debts and revenues of the year’s culture ledger. God, the internet once seemed so small, when its potential seemed so limitless. Hashtag. Or something.

I liked a lot of stuff this year. Here it is. In rough (but not definitive) ranking order. Your mileage will vary.

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2013 Year In Review

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2013 Year In Review

Strange wind blows. A cloud of dust. Unsettling mist. The stench of brimstone? A mud-caked ruin rises up from the bog, and but for a few days, there stands Classical Geek Theatre, in all her horrid glory. Doth not the sun shine?

2013 was a whirlwind for me. Not chronicled on these ancient digital parchments was the purchase of a house. I felt the weight of 30 years debt the moment my pen rose from the mortgage. It’s a strange thing. My wife and I have been living in it since October, but there is ongoing construction all the time. We’ll be done, I hope, in March. Cats are everywhere.

Last year my live music consumption took a hit, this year movies fell back. I think I’ve seen 15 all year. Just a few years ago, I probably saw close to 40. I actually listened to more new music this year than last.

Anyways, on with the list-ing

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Coachella 2013 Overview

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Coachella 2013 Overview

Overview

This was one of the stronger Coachellas I can remember. All sensory experiences for me become more muted as I get older, so it comes down to Happy Moments vs. Annoyed Moments. I was seldom annoyed compared to past years.

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2012 Year In Review

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2012 Year In Review

This post is three months late, but I wrote most of it back in December. I just never got around to finishing. For the twenty of you still reading… may it be said I always follow through. (Eventually.)

I just didn’t catalogue my consumption this year. There were but 21 measly posts on CGT in 2012.

What new music did I listen to? I’m not sure. That probably says more about me than new music. I know Morrissey, The Cure, Oingo Boingo, Madness, Against Me!, The Buzzcocks, GBV, R.E.M., The Vaccines, Yuck, and Refused got a lot of play off my ‘pod this year. I wasn’t interested in new music for whatever reason. I listened to a lot of podcasts, though.

I probably went out to see local music five times, and four of those (at least) were The Henry Clay People. I didn’t even bother to see touring bands outside that Thing Out In the Desert that I love to go to every year.

I thought it was a pretty great year for movies, a terrific mix of good dramas (Lincoln, The Master) and nerd fare (The Avengers, Skyfall).

The big news in 2012 for me was that I got engaged and married. What the what? This blog used to be a chronicle a young, drunken single man’s late night exploits through the dark and twisted corridors of underground indie rock. If I still blogged about my nightly exploits, it would involve a lot of Seinfeld rerun recaps.

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Coachella 2012 Overview

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Coachella 2012 Overview

Overview

Usually my annual trip to Coachella, the Pop-Up Utopia, is rife with meaning and self-discovery. This year I just packed-up my shit, drove out to the desert, and had a great weekend. It was my eighth Coachella. So strange.

It was my third year covering Coachella for Buzz Bands and the first time in four years (I think) that I’ve not had my chummer Travis Woods at my side. (Missed you, pookie!) In fact, I only ran into people I knew twice all weekend. I wasn’t lonely, though. There are lots of people at Coachella.

I was too lazy to book a hotel months in advance and settled on dropping $85 to camp-onsite. It went better than expected. There’s a decent chance I camp next year, too.

The big story of Coachella this year was, of course, that the same festival was put-on two consecutive weekends. I’m an OG and went to Week 1. The big story of that week was the weather. It was the most temperate Coachella in my experience by about 15 degrees, and easily 25 degrees cooler than the average I expect.

The lineup lived up to its billing. Last year, reunions were weak. This year they were formidable. I didn’t see many buzzy-bands, but the ones I did see batted about .500. Coachella’s identity used to shift year to year (some years gothy, others rave-y, others brotacular) but in recent years they’ve hit an equilibrium. Something for everyone, truly.

After eight years of attendance, Coachella feels to me less like a hot new girlfriend and more like an old love. That suits my disposition just fine. More after the jump.

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CGT End of Year Lists 2011

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CGT End of Year Lists 2011

Another year spent mostly looking back. I got caught-up on Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, and The Wire (one disc into season 4 as of this writing). My favorite movie experience was watching Il Grande Silenzio, an Italian film that is almost 45 years old. I don’t think I went to go see local music but six or so times, while I reveled at veteran artist sets at Coachella.

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Podcastin’

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Podcastin’

I love rocking out in my car on the drive to and from work, but I hate listening to music in stop-and-go traffic. I hate being stuck on the 405 parking lot going nowhere while Superhchunk flies at 75 mph. It irritates me. And the Rampture on the 405 has exacerbated the problem. Subjecting myself to NPR muzak, that douchey French art guy, or worse (Petros Papadakis) isn’t an option.

My hangup with podcasts has been that I hate syncing my phone. I store my iTunes library on an external drive (out of necessity due to size), it takes too long for the iPhone to be recognized by iTunes, and I’m always accidentally making it sync all the data, which takes forever. But my commute can be upwards of 1.5 hours right now. Something had to give.

After the break, the podcasts I’ve been digging into this past month.

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CGT on the Echo Park Patch

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CGT on the Echo Park Patch

Besides running the most knowledgeable music blog on the internet, supplemented with a Sirius XMU radio show and a record label, Justin Gage edits the Echo Park Patch. Last week he invited me to submit a Five Echo Park Things. What was he thinking?!

Here it is. Thanks, Justin! That was fun.



Here Is A List

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Here Is A List

Here is a list. If I were to encounter my wayward 15 year old self, I would give him this stack of records. It’s not a greatest or essential list. (Not even the best album by some of the artists.) It’s a list about establishing an attitude toward music that would have been useful; I wish these albums had been the bulk of my music listening when I was a teenager. (Only a few of them were.) I wish this had been my starting point.

  1. Marquee Moon, Television
  2. Daydream Nation, Sonic Youth
  3. Alien Lanes, Guided by Voices
  4. Loveless, My Bloody Valentine
  5. Remain in Light, Talking Heads
  6. Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, Devo
  7. London Calling, The Clash
  8. Psychocandy, The Jesus and Mary Chain
  9. No Pocky for Kitty, Superchunk
  10. Syncronicity, The Police
  11. Double Nickels on the Dime, Minutemen
  12. Ocean Rain, Echo and the Bunnymen
  13. Pink Flag, Wire
  14. Slanted and Enchanted, Pavement
  15. Bossa Nova, Pixies
  16. The Boatman’s Call, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  17. Siamese Dream, Smashing Pumpkins
  18. Vee Vee, Archers of Loaf
  19. Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, The Cure
  20. Monster, R.E.M.