In this week's issue, a number of people in the Portland music scene chimed in on their favorite shows, songs, and musical moments of the past year. However, we got far too many great responses to fit into the measly little paper, so before the clock on 2012 runs out, I'm posting the rest of those favorite moments in music here on End Hits: It includes concerts, songs, funny anecdotes, and more, all of which add up to, hopefully, a shared account of the past 12 months in music.
I kicked it off yesterday, and have a bunch more today (with more to come!). Click the jump for more of what made 2012 a year worth remembering.
My favorite live experience of 2012 was definitely discovering Janka Nabay and the Bubu Gang at SXSW. A truly ferocious take on polyrhythmic and multicultural musical possibilities, Sierra Leonean powerhouse vocalist Janka Nabay plays a frenetic type of dance music from his home country called Bubu, and has assembled a backing band of American art-rockers (culled from groups in the upper experimental pop echelon like Gang Gang Dance, Chairlift and Zs) to flesh out the sound. Highlife meets psychedelia meets Afrobeat, all wrapped together with a pervasive warmth and notably inviting energy. I caught them at a True Panther day party, and in that glorious Austin sunshine I was immediately compelled to dance to this extraordinarily joyful and exuberant music. Better still, we were able to bring them out to Holocene in July, for what proved to be one of our most memorable shows of the year.
—Gina Altamura (Holocene)
It wasn't much past the noon hour and I found myself taking in the inescapable fresh air, sun and beauty of Orcas Island (in the San Juans) at the Doe Bay Music Fest, watching Radiation City perform on a tiny stage tucked up under some tall pine trees, only a stone's throw from ice cold Pacific Ocean water spraying up on some rocks. About half of the crowd of around 300 people were standing, while the others lounged on picnic blankets or sat in camping chairs, while applying sunblock and sipping on a cup of coffee or maybe a beer. I held my coffee in one hand and my one-year-old little girl, Eleanor, in the other, standing up towards the front, in awe of the five artists on stage and the way they were making that little, open-air PA sound so damned good. I occasionally looked around, watching people gradually stand up and move in closer as the set went on, knowing that most of them were probably hearing the Portland band for the first time. The setting couldn't have been better. It was a moment.
—Ryan Wines (Marmoset Music)
Rihanna's performance of "Diamonds" on SNL, and Rob Walmart's Everybody Hurts 3-lp... AMAZING.
—R. Jared White (Clinton Street Record & Stereo, 2510 Records, DJ Maxx Bass)
Watching White Denim in the Galaxy Barn at Pickathon.
—Julie Vitells (What Hearts)
Eminem guesting with 50 Cent at SXSW.
—Arya Imig (OPBmusic, Backspace, Someday Lounge)
A$AP Rocky with A$AP Mob, Schoolboy Q, Danny Brown, Roseland Theater, October 22.
—Nathan Detroit (Booty Bassment)
Musical Moments that changed who I am:
Thee Oh Sees - Galaxy Barn at 2012 Pickathon
Leonard Cohen - Fox Theater in Detroit
Random question for the universe: Will we ever hear from Tom Heinl again? [I sure hope so—Ed.]
—Terry Groves (Pickathon)
Last September Eric D. Johnson played an intimate set of Fruit Bats originals and folk/country covers for a crowd at digital ad agency, Instrument's Teepee Sessions. I think I actually reached a level of folk pop-induced euphoria in that airplane hanger at Instrument.
—Brandon Day (Marmoset Music)
Fav song: Dark Time Sunshine, "Can't Wait"
Fav local song: Radiation City, "Winter Blind"
Fav show: Kid Koala at Holocene
Fav musical moment of 2012: Discovering Spotify Premium
—Jon Ragel (Boy Eats Drum Machine)
An unforgettable day would certainly be this summer's incarnation of Anarchy Beach, an annual generator show on the banks of the Willamette. Things were looking precarious as rain clouds moved their way down the river and threatened to cancel the show. Bands were scrambling to hoist their gear further up the beach and get it under tree-cover. The showers passed, however, and once things were reassembled, the outrageousness that is Anarchy Beach commenced, eventually concluding with a ridiculously volatile performance from Bi-Marks that featured a 'sand war' and acrobatics only possible at beach! Check it out.
—David Rose (the Know, Bulkhead Records)
My Morning Jacket's You Who kid's show at the Kennedy School.
Getting my socks blown off by one of the baby boomers' most jaded rockers: Roger Fucking Waters played The Wall at the Rose Garden. Best arena show I have ever seen.
—Jonathan Kreitler (Mustard Revolution)
My favorite musical moment lasted two days, actually, when I got to see Psychic TV play with a bunch of my friends' bands in Seattle and the next day in Portland.
My favorite song of the year is this hilarious dubstep remix of an Enya song. I don't know or care who does it, but it is like the second thing on Youtube that pops up if you search "enya dubstep." It's a remix of "Only Time." It's amazing.
—Arian Jalali (Concrete Floor, Onuinu, Dubais)
NOT the Portland Police's Gang Task Force profiling and shutting down all hiphop parties in Chinatown, I know that much!!!
—Kenny Fresh (FRSH SLCTS)
Hot Snakes at Doug Fir, April 1. In these times of sissy'esque, nincompoop pop meanderings, it was a fresh reminder that bad ass rock still rings true.
Tim Connolly (the Suicide Notes)
The final montage of "The Phantom" (Mad Men, Season 5, Episode 13): "You Only Live Twice" (the Nancy Sinatra Bond song) plays while Don Draper walks off a Beauty and the Beast set, Peggy Olson watches dogs hump, Roger Sterling stands spread eagle, naked and glassy eyed, and then Don drinks an old fashioned.
Guilty pleasure song of the year: "Hell Yeah, I Like Beer" by Kevin Fowler. (It came out in 2011, oops, but I discovered it on tour in 2012.) Jon Neufeld, my bandmate in Black Prairie, discovered this song by putting in a random first name ("Kevin") into Spotify and playing whatever came up first. I kinda love this song and how completely Texas it is, but I couldn't even get through the rest of this guy's record. It was fun in the van, anyway.
—Nate Query (Black Prairie, the Decemberists)
Favorite Show: Watching Bombino and his crew delve into a trance as they played their drifty, desert blues beneath the green canopy at the Woods Stage at Pickathon. We couldn't really have been farther away from the climate, both political and earthly, than the one about which those songs were written. But it somehow seemed to fit out there in those peaceful woods.
Favorite Moments: What is a moment? For me, it's a happening. An experience that won't occur again in that same way. Little things, these moments, might last just a second, like the time Martha Sanlon smiled at my son while she was in the middle of song on the main stage at Pickathon. Or they might be little longer, like these listed below:
1. Seeing Kitty, Daisy and Lewis and their father enjoy the circus area, meant to entertain kids—or I guess the kids at heart—at Pickathon.
2. Listening to a spontaneous late night couple of tunes from the Cactus Blossoms singer at Pickathon.
3. Stumbling upon old-time guru Bruce Molsky leading a group of folks through a few tunes at Pickathon.
I could go on and on in this department. But I won't drag it out.
—Tim LaBarge (photographer)
April 1, being lifted into the air while playing a show in Sendai, Japan.
—Geoff Soule (Sad Horse)
Witnessing saxophone titan Timothy McAllister sitting in with the Oregon Symphony to deliver a fucking stunner: City Noir by American composer John Adams.
—Angry Symphony Guy
Jamie Stillway at Secret Society Ballroom. Maybe the most charming person in Portland. And a great fingerstyle guitarist w/ a lovely melodic sensibility.
—Rachel Taylor Brown
Touring the country for five months and then opening up for Dick Dale!!! IT'S BEEN A CRAZY YEAR Y'ALL!!!!
—Christopher Michael (Boom!)
It's a tie between Rigsketball Summer 2012 and the We Shared Milk's Portland-produced record The History of Voyager and Legend Tripping. Both brought the music scene together and had that classic DIY feel all over it.
—Michael Rowan, Andrew Clyde, and Josh Smith (Charts)
We rang in this year with a fantastic midnight show at the Kenton Club, where the members of Blood Beach and my wife (and bandmate) Rachael Renee' and I all raised a glass to the year to come, which has actually turned out to be one of the best we've ever had, musically. Blood Beach melted minds that night and it has stuck with me, prodding me to push harder, feel more, and keep rocking like it's all going to catch fire any minute.
—Michael G. Levasseur (Michael the Blind and the Els)
My mom’s dissection of "Call Me Maybe": “I really like the part where there’s a lot of words, right before the ‘call me maybe’ part.”
—Heather Larimer (Eux Autres)
It was terribly disappointing to see the Woods go at the beginning of 2012, but it's been exciting to watch the Piano Fort rise up as an incredibly unique, underground, community-oriented venue.
—Chris Young (Oregon Music News)
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