So much music, so little time…Tom’s Best of 2015

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

That’s how I finished my wrap up at the end of last year, and, well, I tried. I don’t really watch much TV to start, so that was kind of easy. I saw 250+ sets of live music, shot a ton of photos (some are even not terrible), listened to music pretty much incessantly (more on that in a bit), and generally did stuff. Life is still short, but is amazing if you let it be. Oh, and this post is pretty long, too.

Thanks to anyone who read this blog (and voted us Savannah’s best, seriously, that kicks ass), went to shows, had a nerdy music conversation with me, promoted bands, played music, danced, bought me a beer, served me a beer, rode along, high fived, head banged, recommended tunes, “liked” my status, made me laugh, or just generally kicked ass in your own way.

Here’s a vaguely chronological photo journal of 2015. Check it out, or, you know, don’t….but it would be cooler if you did.

Bane, yes, freaking Bane, played the Guild Hall early in the year. The Guild Hall ended up sort of a bust as a venue, charging too much to really work for promoters, but boy, was this show fun. Seriously, Bane?

King Tuff/Ex Hex/Creepoid at Hangfire was probably my favorite show of the year. Killer, rad, awesome, stellar, pick your adjective.
King Tuff-1

I’m not sure which Cusses show this was from, as I saw them a few times (always great). I sure hope everything works out and they make a triumphant return.

Asheville’s Old Flings, also at the Guild Hall, was underattended and really great. Catch them if you can, good guys, awesome rock.
Old Flings-1

Trophy Wives, now on hiatus, played a ton of shows I saw this year. Definitely looking forward to their future projects.
Anxiety Junkies-1

BJ Barham and American Aquarium made another stop at the Jinx during yet another of their endless tours. Pretty much a can’t miss show for me.
American Aquarium-1

Ummm, I just like this picture from Hang Fire.

Trinity United Methodist Church has become a jewel of a venue. Savannah Stopover shows there were amazing. I’m really going to try to catch more stuff there this year.

The Savannah Stopover, as always, was a blast. Crazy Bag Lady shows? Also a blast.

More Stopover. How the hell does this even happen?

Dawes at The Savannah Music Festival. A friend wanted to go, it’s not exactly my thing, but I came away super impressed.

Wow, just wow. Natalie Prass at Hang Fire. AWESOME.
Natalie Prass-1

Stopover alum Peelander Z at The Jinx. So. Much. Fun.
peelander z-1

I attended the Atlanta Mess Around basically because Pissed Jeans were playing. It was not a mistake, Pissed Jeans were devastating, and the festival ruled. Two days of gnarly punk and garage. Count on me going back this year.
pissed jeans-1


Speaking of killer punk shows, Crazy Bag Lady’s CD release party was just that, a party.

This pic I took outside Hang Fire started making the rounds as news of its closure came up. Here’s hoping the new place(s?) kicks ass.Hang Fire-1

We’re lucky to get to see Black Tusk on a regular basis. The spreading of Athon’s ashes throughout the year was, by far, one of the coolest things this year.
bottled violence-1

Musicfile Productions gifted us with a Man Man show. Infectious fun, to say the least.
man man-1

I never thought I’d see it, but Fucked Up played Savannah. I’m still not at all happy about the curfew.
fucked up-1

I saw Creepoid 4 times this year (or was it 5?). They definitely seem at home at Hang Fire.
Creepoid -2

Sulfur Studios emerged as a vital and important venue over the course of the year, with some stupid good shows, including an awesome Downtown Boys show. COEDS killed it all year, at what seemed like every venue in the city.

Downtown Boys-1

I wish I had 1/10 of the confidence of the dude from Valient Thorr. Awesome? Yep. Hilarious? Kind of.
Valient Thorr-1

Mac from Superchunk played the Tin Roof in Charleston. You KNOW I was there.

Whores. pummeled The Jinx. Really hoping for new tunes this year.

West End Motel at The Jinx?!? An underrated gem of a show.
West End Motel-1

Are four guitars really necessary? Only if you like fun. Diarrhea Planet shredded The Jinx.
D Planet-1

Bear Fight! debuted their new 3 piece lineup at Stattsfest, I enjoyed both the band and the event immensely. Bear Fight!-1

I’ve seen Kylesa a lot, but there was something about this show in support of the fantastic new album that really grabbed me. Again, we’re lucky we get to see them on the regs.

Graveface. I dig the store. I dig the label. I really dig the record club. It should come as little surprise, then, that I, ummm, dug the anniversary event. Weird? Yep. Cool? Yep. Very Gravefacey.

A photo I took at Atlanta Mess Around was used for a full inner sleeve of a record by Obnox. Who would have guessed? Not me.


The singer from Barb Wire Dolls was a force of nature.
Barb Wire Dolls-1

The World is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die played The Dollhouse on the way to The FEST. It was great, but what is really amazing is that I got all 10 people on stage in one photo. Seriously, 10 people? Holy crap.

Speaking of FEST, it was an adventure again. 300+ bands over 1 weekend an easy 4 hour drive away? Okay, I’m in.

Modern Life is War at FEST. I’d read the name a lot, but didn’t know a ton about them. The energy of this show was insane.
Modern Life is War-1

Dad Joke put on a bunch of really interesting shows this year, the highlight being the first 2 day Punk Mess. Excellent lineup all around, but holy shit, Golden Pelicans were amazing. Beer swilling punk at its best.
Golden Pelicans-1

This was a weird one. David Bazan, formerly of Pedro the Lion, kind of snuck through town, playing a super intimate show for about 60 people at a yoga studio. Very, very, very, engaging guy singing achingly beautiful songs. A highlight of the year, for sure.
David Bazan-1

Speaking of highlights, Baroness played the way-too-small-for-them Jinx in a homecoming show that was magical. It was a year of Georgia metal heavy hitters for me, having seen Mastodon, Baroness, Kylesa and Black Tusk.

T. Hardy Morris is a damn Southern treasure. His sets at both Bragg Jam and The Jinx were fantastic.
T. Hardy Morris-1


Still scrolling? Huh. Okay. Thanks. You might have noticed that I’m a music nerd, and as such I listen to A LOT of music. Probably at least 6 hours a day, often much more. Here’s the artists that got the most play at home, in the truck, and at work. I’m not going to link to everything, but in my opinion the latest releases by these acts are worth your time.

Top of the heap, 2015:
Pile‘s new one, You’re Better Than This, got by far more plays than anything else this year. Same with their back catalog. Late 80’s, early 90’s indebted college rock. Weird song structures, the LOUD/quiet/LOUD thing, interwoven guitars, strange lyrics. So far up my alley that they may as well be knocking on my door. Not only do I understand the language they’re speaking, I’m in love with the accent. You get the picture. I love this.

Screaming Females– Shredding modern guitar rock
Worriers– catchy as hell poppy punk
T. Hardy Morris– southern grunge
Christian Fitness-smarty pants noise rock
High on Fire– actual heavy metal
Desaparecidos– Bright Eyes rocking out
Torche– doom pop
Courtney Barnett– fantastic lyrics, laid back delivery, over Nevermindish songs
Wet Socks– garage fuzz that I often mistake for Thee Oh Sees
Baroness– heavy rock done well
Kylesa– exploring the boundaries of metal

The rest:

Car Seat Headrest, Protomartyr, Beach Slang, Fidlar, Deafheaven, Golden Pelicans, Blacklisters, American Aquarium, Pigs, Cherubs, Lucero, Slutever, Fight Amp, Deerhunter, Craig Finn, Kowloon Walled City, Title Fight, Father John Misty, Metz, Battles, Salad Boys, Thee Oh Sees, Sleater Kinney, Ex Breathers, Wavves x Cloud Nothings, El Vy, Jason Isbell, Wilco, Joey Cape, Ken Mode, Warm Soda, Teenage Bottlerocket, Bully, Crazy Bag Lady, Hop Along, Motherfucker

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