1) No Meaning- Terrible Feelings: I'm noticing already that a lot of bands on my list this year are bands Alexis had on hers last year. It's not surprising at all that Alexis is way ahead of me on this since I generally don't have a clue what's going on but we could also see this as evidence that the songtrade blog WORKS. Anyway I listened to Terrible Feelings a ton this year and saw them when they came around. They really know how to deliver the despair but in a package that seems deceptively cheerful initially.
2) Fast and Frightening- L7: I'm getting to that point where I'll occasionally revisit something from my past to try and determine if it holds up or if it's something purely nostalgic for me. Like a lot of people in my age group I accidentally ended up buying Bricks are Heavy from Colombia House, taped "Andres" off WDRE in the middle of the night, and bought "L7" on cassette from a dollar bin, but I never really paid "Smell the Magic" any mind. Turns out it still has a lot of appeal and I got pretty stuck on this song as an on- repeat- morning- coffee- chugging- jam. You know, something to get me really stoked before I left the house to do something lame like ride my bicycle to the post office.
3) Sombras Ocultas- Criaturas: One of the best bands I saw this year. You can actually watch that specific show here on youtube.
4)The Hunt- Sepultura: Mike and I made a playlist of metal bands covering punk bands earlier this year and I ended up frequently listening to this cover of New Model Army over and over and over and over again while I do dumb shit at work.
5) A Dangerous Meeting- Mercyful Fate: Sometimes I REALLY want to like a band and I just can't. I've actually been making a concerted effort over the past couple of years to learn to deal with King Diamond's singing style because I really appreciate what he has going on. It's been slow going but I'm getting there.
6) Black Caped Carnivore- Wooden Stake: I like this because it sounds like it was recorded in a tomb.
7) Sanctuary- Crimson Scarlet: So while I liked what I'd heard before I saw them the experience of seeing them barrel through their set in a red lit smokey living room at a Halloween show packed with weirdos in costumes really sealed the deal. I felt like sound-wise and aesthetically we all could have walked right onto the set of Return of the Living Dead or something.
8) In my Head- Belgrado: Similarly the night I saw Belgrado I was absolutely content with the perfect weirdness of my surroundings. A ramshackle goth "club" in the dilapidated upper floor of an Italian restaurant? With perfect haunted house ceiling holes and chipped plaster and just the right smattering of old Halloween decorations? With a weird ass DJ mc-ing like he was at a roller rink? yes yes yes. Perfect.
9) Creeping Symmetry- Infinite Void: I did some artwork for a previous band these folks were in but missed my chance to see them play so I wanted to make sure to check out their new band while they were here from Australia. SO glad I did.
10) There's a Ghost in My House- R. Dean Taylor: I feel like the haunted or empty house is a great tangible metaphor for heartbreak and I think this song would pair perfectly with one of my other miserable favorites, Seven Rooms of Gloom by the Four Tops. The Fall also do a great but pretty straightforward cover of this song.