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Rarity In Form: Top 5 Concerts of 2011

M83, Live, Black Cat DCWow. What a year this has been for live music. I’ve seen so many incredible shows throughout DC, Northern VA and Richmond. It’s not going to be an easy task getting this down to five. Just to give you an idea of how great this year was, Mumford & Sons, Fleet Foxes, Iron & Wine, among other great shows, didn’t make the cut. There have been a fair share of “damn, can’t believed I didn’t get tickets” and “shit, I missed them?” moments throughout the year. I only wish I could have seen every concert.

I have never rated anything like this before, so I don’t really know what I’m doing here. Just go with it, I guess. I’m such an amateur that I couldn’t narrow this thing down to my top five. So you get a bonus and we start at…

6.  The Black Keys @ Merriweather Post / Free Fest

The Black Keys were the sole reason I trekked to the shitty state of Maryland and the techno vomit that was Free Fest. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of great bands there (Cut Copy, Okkervil River, Two Door Cinema Club) but it seemed like all everybody wanted to see were the “press play-button” artists. I was there for the Keys. And man, did they deliver. It doesn’t matter where you are, the energy oozing from The Black Keys is enough to impregnate all within earshot. Closing with I Got Mine was one of the musical highlights of my life.

5.  Foals w/ The Naked And Famous @ 9:30 Club

I’m going to call #5 the upset of the year. I bought the tickets on a whim and went in with zero expectations. The Naked And Famous played the part of primer to perfection. Everyone was juiced, jazzed and ready to go by the time Foals came on. Unfortunately that wasn’t enough because I was very quickly gaping at the spectacle unfolding before me on 9:30 Club’s historic stage. Yannis Philippakis tore the rafters from the ceiling while leading a stage-diving, microphone-coptering, speaker-climbing all out rage. Once I finally got my mouth off the floor, I realized I was right in the middle of one hell of a show.

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Milo Greene – The Hello Sessions

Milo Green, The Hello Sessions

If you do one thing tonight/this week/this year, it should be to listen to Milo Greene. Their songs are draped with ever changing, layered harmonies that will leave you lost in the moment of sound. Milo Greene’s debut EP, The Hello Sessions,  is made up of four diverse songs that impact a still and deep feeling that lingers long after the songs are over. I am left wondering what I was doing for the past four minutes after each song.

1957 shows off the talents of female vocalist and guitarist, Marlana Sheetz, and is easily one my favorite indie folk songs of this year. Silent Way is laid out beautifully by the drooping banjo plucking and intermittent violin while the chorus repeats, longingly, “When we’re older can I still come over?“.

Milo Greene has the great privilege of touring with the infections Civil Wars this fall in what will be a must-see concert. And aren’t we so lucky that they will be hitting the area twice! I already have my tickets to the DC show so get yours fast because dates are quickly selling out

  •  Saturday Oct. 22 @ The Jefferson Theater; Charlottesville,VA
  • Sunday Oct. 23 @ The Lincoln Theater; Washington D.C.

The Main Event

Friends! This is it. La Pièce de Résistance! I’m making a damn blog. It has been somewhat of a struggle to pin down exactly what I am going to be writing about on here. I’m not doing anything cool, interesting, life-altering, profound, etc., and on top of that, I’m probably not even cool enough to produce a meaningful blog.

One thing I do have is a passion for music and discovering new and great artists to pump through my speakers. Musical talent waved bye-bye to me way back, so this is how I have decided to make my musical contribution to society. I want to share, with my readers, music that is good down to its core. I am not going to describe to you my listening leanings because, at first, we should be open to all music genres. Let’s just say, you probably won’t have heard of most of these bands.

Now, I realize that a 100% music-centric blog won’t appeal to my initial target audience so I will be throwing in splash anecdotes from my other interests: beer (always beer), food, style, higher living, etc. I really do hope you enjoy this project of mine, because, in the end, it’s all for you (Hi grandma!). COMMENT!! Please please provide your feedback on my posts. Like what you hear? Boring? Stimulating? I want to know. In addition, SHARE with your friends and help my little blog spread. Thanks people. Enjoy!

Post Playlist: Radiohead – Kid A (a classic); The Civil Wars  – Barton Hollow

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