A whole lot of music: Tom’s 2014

When I started attending Savannah live music shows regularly, I didn’t realize a lot of things. I certainly didn’t think that somehow I would end up writing and taking photos of what has been a lifelong hobby for me and people would actually check it out. I had no clue that I would end up seeing more acts this year than I had any other year of my life (and to say I went to a lot of shows in college would be an understatement). Most surprising, though, is that I didn’t even consider that I would meet so many genuinely interesting people and new friends. Artists, fellow fans, bartenders, musicians, weirdos, and everything in between. The people are my favorite part of the scene now.

I’m happy to see these people performing, receiving well deserved awards, proud of their new art or recording, fall in love, plan new ventures, come together to help friends or do whatever it is that makes them happy. So cool. Unfortunately, there’s another side to it. I truly did not expect to feel so much grief over the loss of someone I knew only through the music scene. I will miss talking to Athon about carpentry, or his motorcycle, or the new recording, or him coming in second in a beard contest, or a weird night in Europe or….whatever. Damn. Someone inherited one hell of a heart.

But mostly 2014 was awesome. I saw a few hundred sets of live music, including some bucket list bands, attended a bunch of festivals, talked to countless people about music, took a several thousand pictures and drank more than a few PBR’s. Here’s some random lists and a bunch of pictures to go with them.

10 Favorite sets of 2014, in no order.

Perfect Pussy at Hangfire: Quickly rising, super hyped, noise punk. Hell yeah.
Perfect Pussy-1

Lucero at the Jinx: Awesome every time.

Blitzen Trapper at The Jinx: I hadn’t listened to them for a few years, stellar show.
Blitzen Trapper-1

Peelander Z at Savannah Stopover: Umm, you kind of had to be there.
Peelander Z-1

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires at Bragg Jam: Whoa! Stoked to see them again at Stopover.
Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires-1

Ex Mortus at The Dollhouse: AMAZING. One of those “metal fests” with WAY too many acts on it, Ex Mortus went on a little after 1 a.m., I figured I would check out a song or two before heading home to catch a little sleep before work. Halfway through the first song I knew I was staying for the entire set. Not my favorite kind of music, but FREAKING AMAZING and quite possibly my favorite set of the year. AMAZING. Seriously.
Ex Mortus-1

Man or Astroman? at The Wormhole: Really, really great show, emphasis on “show”.

Agalloch at The Jinx: Also a “show”. Incense, smoke machine, great stage presence, moody dark metal, the whole deal. Fun to attend, fun to photograph.

Superchunk at The Jam Room Festival: I have driven all over the Southeast to see Superchunk, I will continue to drive to see Superchunk.

Screaming Females at The FEST: Wow, Marissa Paternoster ROCKS. Very highly recommended.
Screaming Females-2

5 Underattended Savannah sets. Maybe some of these were not my favorite shows of the year, but I thought more people would have/should have showed up.

Iron Reagan at The Jinx: Really thought the metal heads would show up. I was wrong.
Iron Reagan-1

Drag the River/Chris Wollard and the Ship Thieves at The Jinx: Excellent show. You missed it.
Chris Wollard and the Ship Thieves-1

Fuck the Neighbors mini metal fest/ Eyehategod/Ringworm/Enabler/6 other bands mess at The Dollhouse: Too many bands, middle of the day, but at the end of it all, some fantastic sets.

Shonen Knife at The Dollhouse: Great show, enthusiastic crowd, just not as big a crowd as they deserved.
Shonen Knife-1

Dope Body, Roomrunner at Graveface: Yeah, it was a Sunday, but one hell of a bill. Went to see Roomrunner, was floored by Dope Body.
Dope Body-1

Other 2014 ephemera.

Creepoid is a fantastic addition to the city’s music scene. You’ll see.

Does anyone get the Savannah crowd moving as much as Wet Socks? Spoiler. The answer is no.
Wet Socks-1

Band of Horses acoustic at The Trustees’s Theatre? That was pretty cool.
Band of Horses-2

“Life is a Carnival: A Tribute to The Band” at the Lucas? Even cooler, verging on magical.
Life is a Carnival-1

Descendents at FEST may have been the tightest I have been crushed at a show since Fugazi upstairs at The Zoo, Savannah. Once I had my hand up to take a picture, I couldn’t get it back down. Dangerous? Yep. Fun? Absolutely.

Speaking of upstairs, did you know that Sweet Melissa’s had an upstairs, and that Norma Jean played there this year? Feet and fists in the air are fun to photograph.
Norma Jean-1

Without counting I’m going to say the bands I saw the most times this year are Crazy Bag Lady followed closely by COEDS.

Crazy Bag Lady-1

Are you still reading? Really? Wow. Okay, because absolutely no one asked, here’s my favorite non local releases of the year.

Ex Hex, Rips. Who’s stoked for the Hang Fire show? This guy.
Floor, Oblation. Super heavy, super hooky.
Jenny Lewis, The Voyager. Catchy as all get out.
Run The Jewels, 2. I’m not much of a hip hop dude, but this is awesome.
$wingin’ Utter$, Fistfull of Hollow. Still making records, still great.
Beck, Morning Phase. I’m a Sea Change fan and this seems to be the sequel.
Kim Deal 7″ series. Current Breeders vs. current Pixies? No contest. Breeders. Couldn’t be cooler.
Shellac, Dude Incredible. My favorite live band on the planet.

Also releases by: King Tuff, Ty Segall, Bob Mould, Sun Kil Moon, The New Pornographers, Parquet Courts, Thee Oh Sees, Fu Manchu, Fucked Up, Lagwagon, Cloud Nothings, Melvins, Dope Body, Lazer/Wulf, Spoon, Against Me!, OFF!, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks and a ton of stuff I’m forgetting.

Shut off the TV. Go to shows, listen to music, do stuff. Unlike this post, life is short.