Sunday, December 21, 2014

2014: My Year in Review

With 2014 quickly coming to an end, I thought I would reflect on the year. I think for the most part, 2014 has been a great year for music. I certainly could have lived without some of the drama in the underground from bands who whine too much about the internet and why people aren't buying their music to bands hiring controversial singers and then give the public some half-assed explanation and getting all defensive about it when they get blowback from the public. I am so over that shit.

Local music-wise - I have seen and/or heard some great local bands coming out of the Twin Cities scene. My favorites include: Fort Wilson Riot, Tiny DeathsAstronomiqueEndif, Grrrl Prty, Orchyd, and Glean. For me 2014 I was all about Fort Wilson Riot and Grrrl Prty . Trilliun is my favorite local album I have heard this year. The music is super catchy and addictive to listen to. The hip hop group Grrl Prty totally kicked my ass big time especially when I saw them at the Bastille Day Party in August. They have so much energy. I am looking forward to when the day comes when the group puts out a full length album. Of course I attended a lot of great  DarkSide MN shows. BTW...they are now known as Dark Agents of Minnesota.

I saw a lot of concerts this year, I say 98% I enjoyed immensely. There were a couple that just didn't impress me so much, probably because I had seen the bands so many times and well to be honest watching paint dry would have been more interesting. That said this does not include bands like Skinny Puppy and the Dum Dum Girls whom I have seen twice this year which was a real treat for me. As far a industrial shows that I have seen this year, I say Skinny Puppy was my favorite (both back in February and the most recent show this month at Mill City Nights) with Unwoman right behind them and Hocico. The Dum Dum Girls were my favorite show outside of the scene. I also really dug the First Avenue performance by Phantograms in April. Maybe because I have seen bands like De/Vision, VNV Nation, and Aesthetic Perfection so many times, I found more enjoyment out of shows that wasn't part of the dark electro scene. This year was my first time I saw Tegan and Sara live at First Avenue (sold out as always). They were immensely entertaining. They really engaging with their fans on stage in between songs. They don't just stand there and perform. My personal fave? Veruca Salt. I was so crushed when Nina and Louise had an acrimonious falling out in the '90s and Nina left to start a solo career. To see them live on stage was a real treat. Still getting to see EBM acts like God Module, Grendel, and Hocico live was pretty freaking awesome in my book. Definitely a fantastic concert year for the local dark underground scene.

Like last year, I bought a shit load of music. What can I say? I'm a music junkie. For all the bitching people do about site like Spotify and Pandora (yes I do know they rip off artists), I have found them (well Spotify at least) quite useful. I found my current favorite synthpop artist Emmon via Spotify. I even bought  her music via google play (and her label Wonderland Records). I find that Spotify does save me money. Earlier this year I bought some J-Pop artist on a whim. It was not good. I should have listened to streamed it first. Thankfully Spotify saved me from wasting money on the new Lacuna Coil album which I felt was not good and same with the latest In This Moment album. Sure there are some people who stream who are too fucking lazy and cheap to buy music but I think most people who stream do buy music like me. I have calculated the other night that I spent $1,290.13 on music this year alone. I don't appreciate being accused of not buying music.To me, that is a personal attack towards me as a music blogger. Music fans like myself just hate losing money on bad music. Insulting us music fans is not very productive. Thankfully after next year, the band who had been bitching about the internet and people who stream music will go away like the Dodo bird. I for one won't miss them.

As for what the new year will bring, so far I will be attending the second Girl Germs tribute concert at the Turf Club in January and in April Nightwish with Sabaton and Delain. I am also looking forward to the classical album by VNV Nation. I am hoping that the recently reunited Babes in Toyland will play at First Avenue (or any venue in the Twin Cities) and L7 will officially reunite. There are plans but nothing official yet. I certainly  hope that Unter Null will put out a new album. I have been waiting for that for gawd knows how long. LOL! All I can really hope for the new year that it will be as good as it was this year and 2013.

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