As the sands in the hourglass run out here at DC9 HQ, and making year-end lists feels more like penance than pleasurable mental exercise, we thought we'd take a break from quantifying albums and concerts, and instead qualify some of our favorite posts from the last year with an, "Oh man, that was a good post" post.
The Mysterious Case of the Mysterious Musical Vibrator Way back in February, music editor Audra Schroeder received an anonymous gift, and decided to put it to work. Takeaways: Mind Spiders are good music for churning butter to; Randy Newman, eehhhhnot so much.
The Cool Ranch-ification of SXSW 2012 Audra and web editor Nick Rallo went down Austin way for SXSW, and had their eyeballs scrubbed with Jacked Doritos, Doritos Locos tacos, Doritos-flavored Mountain Dew and other assorted sponsor-a-bilia. Sixth Street turned into the scariest mall ever, and they saw things they couldn't un-see, like a child asking his mom for a picture with this Fleshlight.
An Old Person Goes to a Rave We'd heard about these Dayglow events, which were touted as "paint parties," but more closely resembled a scene from Jacob's Ladder. So we boldly went into the heart of darkness (Grand Prairie) to find out what the kids were all raving about:
As we venture farther toward the stage, one guy asks why we don't have any paint on us yet, and I know what's coming. "How old are you ladies?" He puts his arms around us. "28? 31?" I want to tell him to just get it over with, but then realize that choice of words in this environment is the wrong one.
"No old people here!" he suddenly screams, before dousing us both with globs of green paint. I'm officially too old for this rave. After that -- after we also had the mark -- everyone left us alone. I suppose the paint is the equalizer in this strange, fascinating, fucked-up, neon millennial version of Lord of the Flies.
Wayne Coyne Makes Us Do Manual Labor Actually, it was New Fumes' Daniel Huffman, and he didn't make us. He invited us, as well as many local musicians, writers and artists, to help pour vinyl for the Flaming Lips' Heady Fwends double album, over at A&R Records:
And you do get into a rhythm, where you know a bit more of this color and a little less of that color will possibly make a cool shade. Putting all the red, blue and yellow in together just makes for muddled vinyl, so the idea is to "shock" with different shades, all while keeping an eye on how much the machine needs. It was the most physical activity I've done in months.
My other "good one" looked like an exploded sun. It was all starting to make sense. Was Wayne Coyne in some mirrored second-floor room I couldn't see, observing all the work, handpicking only the most psychedelic to move on to the next round? Me, Wayne! Pick me! It's just like that Hunger Games movie! (Note: I have not seen The Hunger Games.)
Five Ways We Might Listen to Music in the Future Nick Rallo took on the task of envisioning the future of music-listening, and then also Photoshopping those concepts into semi-reality, like the Portable Portal:
Product opens a wormhole that leads to your favorite concert moment in time. Program the time card, toss on any flat surface, and step in!*
*Warning: The Portable Portal is incredibly dense. Opening near major cities or neighborhoods could result in spacial tearing, severe head trauma and disorientation. Do not open at midnight, or near light-weight objects.
The Story of Pinkish Black Ken Shimamoto took a long, hard look into the history of Fort Worth duo Pinkish Black, the bands they've played in, the deaths they've endured, and the excellent album they put out this year.
Before I play a concert, I like to practice the songs for 21 days. That way, when you get to the concert, there's a sense of anticipation, but you just do the same thing you've been doing every day, even though you might play the song differently every day. What I won't do is rehearse the day of the concert. When Paganini was getting ready to play a concert, he wouldn't practice; he'd lie in bed in the dark all day.
Making Our Kids Listen to Fugazi As part of some Very Important Musical Research, copy editor Jesse Hughey asked his kids (ages 10 and 14) to listen to Fugazi's Repeater, and recorded their reactions. It's something we did with a few other DC9 writers' kids, but Iris and Lyle's unfiltered responses were just so perfect:
I gave a little more background on Fugazi and their insistence on low record and concert prices.
Iris: That's so cool! It makes me like them more.
Lyle: That's cool, but I don't really care. I'm not paying for it.
A Drunken Dispatch From Untapped Festival Nick Rallo got increasingly drunk at September's Untapped beer festival in Trinity Groves and chronicled his musings, along with his blood alcohol level:
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3:11 p.m.- Avery's beer booth had no line, which is mildly criminal. Got the IPA. In front of Zhora, the crowd is doing that thing where they stand a solid ten yards form the stage, myself included. Except for the one tie-dyed shirt guy who's dancing like he's the only human on the planet. There's also a guy sitting in a plastic chair. Blood alcohol level: 13.5%
3:16 p.m. - Sarah Jaffe sighting. Man, she's dressed all cool. My clothes aren't that cool. I'm dressed like balding Michael Cera.
The Long, Strange Tale of Fart Dog and Pee Pee Cat After an extended, Looney Tunes-esque chase scene complete with an oversized mallet and net, clubs editor Rachel Watts finally got her hands on those wascally varmints known to the club bathrooms of Denton, Fort Worth and beyond as Fart Dog and Pee Pee Cat.
The Story of Denton Musician Richard Haskins Former Observer music intern Brian Rash wrote this heartfelt piece on his friend Richard Haskins, a Denton musician who attempted to rob a bank earlier this month. After the story ran, many commented on the fact that Austin has the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, an organization that helps musicians without access to insurance or mental health care. Perhaps it's time for DFW to start talking about why we don't have something comparable, and how that can be rectified.