Basketball, Total Fest and Acid Mothers Temple Just Show Up, Apparently — 2013 In Missoula Shows
(harbingers of the season)
Looking back, I’m pleasantly surprised that this year was so in the black with good shows. It also being so near the end of 2013, we decided to jump on the list-season bandwagon and compile a ranking of some of our favorites.
Here they be:
1. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Purple Pilgrims, Shahs @ The Badlander: I’d seen Ariel Pink perform in a bunch of different incarnations before, solo, with a pretty wild band featuring John Maus, solo again, etc. This was the first opportunity I’d had to see the latest version of Haunted Graffiti and dude, this blew everything straight-out-tha-water. Random Notes: Tim Koh is one of the best bassists I’ve ever seen; Purple Pilgrims was boring; Ariel Pink was wearing pajamas.
2. Street Gnar, Bacon & Egg, J. Sherri, Shahs @ The Ole Beck VFW Post #209: There was almost nobody at this show. Or, maybe there were, they were just all in the other room or something. I’m guilty of that sometimes too, I know, but it was really such a bummer. Street Gnar is one of those bands we don’t get coming through Missoula very often. It was fucking magic. Random Notes: the Street Gnar dude had amazing hair; we totally left before Bacon & Egg went on, sorry guys.
3. Punishment, Mega Bog, Boys @ The Zoo Arts Community Center (below): Yeah, we put this show on and yeah, it’s on this list but dude, we only book stuff we really believe in and we booked one show the entire year. Punishment stole the whole thing. Somewhere between a comedy routine, performance art, and some bizarro recasting of 1990’s sitcom theme songs, the set barely managed to contain pure joy in a way I haven’t seen in a very, very long time. Random Notes: A duet with yourself while-on-salvia; Punishment’s basketball dribbling; Mega Bog and Boys ruled too, don’t wanna sideline anyone.
4. Total Fest XII feat. 40+ bands but specifically Seawhores @ a ton of venues around town: Total Fest makes our list every year and for good reason, it’s the only weekend all year long we feel that the whole city is alive with complete and utter awesomeness. The squares disappear for three days and everything just, I dunno, rules. Though there were plenty of moments during the Fest that we remember, Seawhores’ set in The Palace Lounge on the second day really stood out. Jesus. Other favorite Total Fest performances: Animal Lover, Benny and the Jet Rodriguez, Mordecai, Mr. Dad, Brain Tumors, Is/Is, Slut River, Guantanamo Baywatch
(AMT&FPUFO at the VFW, photo courtesy John Yingling)
5. Stacian, Samantha Glass, J. Sherri, Skin Flowers, and special guests Acid Mothers Temple and Floating Paraiso U.F.O. @ The Ole Beck VFW Post #209: So…this show was already gonna be killer, we really like Stacian and Samantha Glass, J. Sherri is always bizarre fun if not bizarrely good but whoa…I got a call earlier the day-of-the-show from Acid Mothers Temple’s tour manager about getting them a show. They said they’d do it for no money, just wanted to jam. It happened, guys. Japanese psych-out legend Acid Mothers Temple and Floating Paraiso U.F.O. jumped on this bill and, well, psyched out. This was totally a once-in-a-blue-moon kinda deal. So so so so fun. Random Notes: Samantha Glass’ set was unbelievable as well if you’re into pretty esoteric electronic brood music; apparently spontaneity does exist.
6. Shannon & The Clams, Mikal Cronin, Needlecraft @ The Ole Beck VFW Post #209: Missoula loves its glammy surf rock and dude, Shannon’s clams are the best of the “wave.” They packed the VFW well beyond capacity in a swirl of glitter, sways, sweat, and ooo ahhh ooos. Random Notes: Cody’s (guitarist in the clams) bow tie is always epic; I think this is the show Needlecraft covered the VFW in baby oil & scantily-clad hunks.
7. Quintron & Miss Pussycat, zZz, Shahs @ The Ole Beck VFW Post #209: One of the best things about this show was the puppet show. No, it was the drum buddy. Or the disembodied Cadillac grill affixed to an organ, or the music, or I dunno. This show was one big blur for us, one whirlwind of un-sober fun. Random Notes: I took acid at this show, told Mr. Quintron, and he said in all seriousness that that had been a pretty good idea.
8. Needlecraft’s Last Show, Modality, Skin Flowers @ The Top Hat: This could’ve possibly been an even better show than it was; Minneapolis’ American Cream got caught in a freak Arctic storm and were unable to make it. Modality rose to the occasion, however, and all was saved. And Needlecraft…dude…I’m pretty sure I’ve said elsewhere that this has always been my favorite Needlecraft lineup but this show was their best by a long shot. Something about final shows can bring out this doomed triumphant-ness but I’m not really even sure that that’s the reason. The Top Hat’s PA, maybe? I dunno. It’s always sad to see a band like Needlecraft call it (for the foreseeable future) but they ended on such a fantastic high note. Way to go, friends. Random Notes: Yeah, I’m in Skin Flowers but I thought that was one of our best shows to date, so there; Mikki (of Needlecraft) is consistently one of the more interesting singers in local rock n roll; here’s Gonzo Chicago’s recording of the show:
9. Chastity Belt, Pony Time, Born Yesterday, Chemical Lawns, J. Sherri @ The Doll House: The lone house show on the list, I seem to remember multiple notices deterring people from drinking? Whatever, I got there and was promptly offered beer out of the refrigerator. So goes rules. Born Yesterday, the newest project of former Needlecraft drummer and current Oakland resident Hana MT, played and yeah, it was pretty good. Chemical Lawns, the latest incarnation of Holt (of Mordecai) and Bryan (of Monster With 21 Faces, Ex-Cocaine) were awesome as well. Pretty sure those were either first or second shows for both those bands. Chastity Belt and Pony Time, the two Seattle groups, kinda ruled in a way I totally wasn’t expecting. Dunno, it was a house party. Lots of fun. Random Notes: The drummer in Chastity Belt was super friendly and pretty cool; Isaiah Lara is a good drummer; left before J. Sherri played, sorry guys.
10. Priests, LA Font, Copilot Eyedrops, Shahs, Death Moth @ The Ole Beck VFW Post #209: Former songstress with Julie & the Wolves and Magic City Boys, June West popped back into town a little this summer and we had the fortune of catching her new group Death Moth. They rule. I think they only performed a handful of times before she took off again. Priests really stole this one for me. I remember hearing the dude in LA Font was a hometown hero or something but I never knew the guy. They were great but like I said, Priests was what really stood out to these ears. Total Jesus & Mary Chain vibe. Random Notes: Check out Death Moth if you get a chance; that yellow Priests 7” is killer, too.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we didn’t include Thee Oh Sees or Kylesa. That was one packed October Saturday amiright? Well, I decided to do absolutely nothing that evening because A) I’ve seen Thee Oh Sees too many times to count and hey, they’ll be back next year. They’re great but we really don’t feel like we missed much and B) I’m not a huge fan of Kylesa. Their version of metal is a little more in our ballpark than most but still, it’s nothing we get all excited about. Sorry, bros.