I went out of my way to see a huge amount of live music in 2011. I've decided to pick my favorites in 3 main categories: favorite national acts, local favorites and new favorites. There aren't always ten winners, I only pick 7 national acts, 11 local favorites and eleven new favorites. I also pick 5 best songs and 4 additional accomplishments.
Best National Acts local favorites who've gone national and my favorite non-local big acts
Presidents of the USA - I saw them twice, at PUSA Fest and at Bumbershoot on the main stage. Both times I had Ben, Carina and Heather with me, and enjoyed the crap out of it. The Prez still rock out and get big crowds bouncing around to the beat and sweating all over each other. Having my kids along puts it over the top, the Presidents kept me and my kids rocking in 2011!
Das Racist played the Sasquatch Preview show, Sasquatch, the Capitol Hill Block Party and Bumbershoot, so they went from unknown to my favorite rappers. All tan everything indeed.
Two of my top national acts - Death Cab For Cutie and Maklemore & Ryan Lewis - get props for best live song (Where Soul Meets Body and Just Dance, respectively) below.
Decembrists added an additional voice, I think the original female vocalist left the band later in 2011 after this show.
Finally caught up with The Reverend Horton Heat live, the kids and I have some fond memories of his hits a decade or so back.
Foo Fighters did their bombastic rock show at the Gorge Friday night at Sasquatch.
Mad Rad always puts on a great show with standout songs like Life On Party Mountain and You Only Live Once (air keyboards!)
Kimya Dawson is an idiosyncratic performer who brings passion and creativity and thoughtful patter into a show like nobody else does!
The Thermals reliably kick my ass and this year I got multiple ass kickings at the Sasquatch kick-off show, at Sasquatch and Bumbershoot.
PWRFL Power made a rare appearance at Magma Fest doing thrashy guitar work, nice to see him again, it had been way too long.
Brite Futures matures into an arena rocking heavy weight. I remember seeing them as Natalie Portmans Shaved Head at the EMP Sound Off many years ago, they've made it almost to the top.
Land of Pines - saw them at least 3 times: at the Vera, CHBP, and Reverb.
Kinski always puts on a solid set of great music
Silicon Girls - got to know a nice kid in the band while he was volunteering for the All Ages Movement Project, I enjoy their shows.
Hey Marseilles has consistently brought it - I still remember a cover of Love Insurgent from a few Bumbershoots back that ruled. They were in prime form in 2011.
Bear Cove from Bellingham kicked it out
New Favorites - Bands that I immediately liked that I had never seen before, sometimes I'd never heard them either.
The Globes - listed in best song for "A Stitch Can't Save the World" and here's "Stay Awake" from Sasquatch:
Antlers - one of many excellent Sasquatch performances, need to see them again
The Smith and Westerns - another band I was unfamiliar with that played an excellent set at Sasquatch.
Other Lives were another discovery at Sasquatch
Tokyo Police Club - another unknown to me band that ruled. Sensing a trend?
Champagne Champagne did shows at the Vera Project and CHBP and Bumbershoot, I believe. Hip hop rap duo, excellent material and the two voices are different and play well together; every performance is an instance party, worth checking out if you ever get the opportunity. They've spent a fair amount of time touring with STRFKR recently.
Sol broke out some, I like the live lineup here with a drum set, bass, backing vocals, and a DJ who might have some keyboards.
TacocaT - palindromes and bright punk thrashing, gotta love it!
My Goodness packed quite a punch for a duo.
Best Live Song
I Like Giants by Kimya Dawson Kimya had another one about a friend dying that had me in tears, and Alphabut is the Stairway to Heaven of little kids songs
And We Danced by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. The Town, My Oh My, and Dark Side all hit it out of the park or is it the Key
Where Soul Meets Body by Death Cab For Cutie (I'll Follow You Into the Dark, Title and Registration, that one jealous one "Gotta spend some time love... I will posses your heart")Listening to Where Soul Meets body at Sasquatch as my Mom's soul was losing it's last tenuous hold on her body sure gave it a wallop.
A Stitch Can't Save the World by the Globes
The River Runs Deep by Knowmads
At 4,078 views Macklemore & Ryan Lewis playing "And We Danced" is my most popular video. I managed to post it a few weeks before they got the song out which drove traffic; their video came out a little later and it has 652 thousand views.
My blog on the Craft Spells show at the Vera Project was my most viewed blog. Every week multiple people were viewing it; I'm not sure why it had so much more staying power, I have to attribute it to the audience - the fans. I can't see that I did anything special that was different from my other blogs. If it was something I did, I'd do it more!
I saw Knowmads at the Vera Project right before my fiftieth birthday. Shortly after that I took a class in interviewing musicians and had to select somebody to interview so I contacted their agent and set up an interview. They were young and therefore less intimidating, I suppose. My first on camera interview was with Knowmads Tom Wilson and Tom Pepe.
My video of the interview got 567 views, and blackout3842 (who does media, social media and web wangling for the Knowmads) posted excerpts that got more than 2,300 views.
Sea Cats were my son's first local band crush. We saw them at a Veracity show and got an inexpensive CD that Ben enjoyed, then he randomly got to see them do an outdoor show at the Seattle Center when he and Carina were wandering around. They got a nice gig at the Vera Project and I interviewed Josh Davis before it.