It’s coming in right under the wire but here is my list of the top 10 bands (with comments) and concerts of 2013 (in no particular order). Keep in mind these choices are based mostly on my taste. Feel free to debate it all in the comments section. That’s what it’s there for.
BANDS 1.)American Sharks
Technically, I discovered this Austin band in 2012, but I started following them in 2013 and their album wasn’t released until September, so I’m counting it. Takes the doom of stoner-rock and add a in some punk-rock punch.
Most recent discovery and I am late to jump on the bandwagon, but whatever. I should hate this band, what with the screeching black metal vocals, but I don’t. I don’t hate them at all.
Another band I “technically” discovered in 2012. But it was late 2012 and it was 2013 by the time I was listening to the album (on repeat).
It’s been awhile since I’ve seen/heard a local band that made me jealous. The moment I heard “Night of the Werebear,” I wished I’d written it.
The AV club‘s LOUD feature was good for finding new bands. Sadly, they had the final installment in April. But not before I found Baltimore band Dope Body, which is what Henry Rollins would song like if he did noisy math-rock.
Pro tip for those in the information biz. Don’t get sick. A lot can happen in a day. Here’s some stuff that y’all may have missed on Monday, because I’m getting caught up.
Spanspek Music and Arts Festival announced its 2013 date. The annual festival has been held out in Orosi since 2006 and is curated by a couple of local music aficionados. So it has cache for having an eclectic lineup of up-and-coming local bands like Achievement House, Basura, Collecto, Sahab, Strange Vine, Tokyo Death March and Tyrannosaurus Zebra. The festival is booking bands now with updates as soon as they come. Save the date Oct. 4.
In case it hasn’t been stated emphatically on this site yet, Light Thieves is good. Like, really good. The band, which does psychedelic space-rock indie dance jams, has a new album all recorded and ready to be pressed to vinyl. Now they need to the money to get it done. They had the money, but it got stolen from the practice space, so now they’re asking for y’alls help. Because that’s what we do these days and it’s nice. See the band’s Indiegogo campaign to learn how to help. For some audio incentive, here is a single from the album. It’s called “Crystal Maps” and it comes with a video you can see on the jump.
The California Mid State Fair announced it has booked Van Halen to play July 24 as part of this year’s festivities. This is the original Van Halen (or as original as its been in some time): Eddie and Alex, with David Lee Roth and Wolfgang Van Halen on the bass. Surely, there are plenty of VH fans who will happily make the drive, after the band’s last Fresno show was postponed cancelled. Ticket are on sale Friday.
You can check out the full schedule bands the fair has confirmed on its website, but it includes John Mayer, Tim McGraw and Huey Lewis and the News. Granted, The Fresno Fair has only confirmed three acts, so far, but I wonder how you think the lineups are looking in comparison?
One of the benefits of being a touring band is connecting with awesome musicians from other cities and then “hooking” them up with shows in your home town. Strange Vine has always done great job of this, which is a benefit for local fans. I discovered American Sharks through a show the guys in Strange Vine pulled together last year and my life is better for it.
Tomorrow night, they bring their friends Sleepy Sun to Audie’s Olympic. The San Francisco band plays psychedelic rock, which will fit perfectly with Strange Vine and openers Light Thieves. My sense is, this will be one of those slipped-under-the-radar-but-damn-awesome-if-you-were-there shows.
Luckily, you won’t miss it, because 1.) I just told you about it. And 2.) We have tickets to give away.
Just leave a comment below. Tell us what was the best local-show-you-almost missed. We’ll pick winners at random. Contest closes at noon tomorrow (Thursday) and winners will be notified by email. No repeat entries, please. Complete rules and a video of Sleepy Sun are on the jump.
1. MAKE YOURSELF EXPENDABLE
Laid-back reggae/rockers The Expendables are playing what’s probably the biggest gig of the weekend, tonight at Fulton 55. If you like Slightly Stoopid, you’ll like them. We hear it’s closed to selling out. So don’t slack. [More]
If you’re looking for cool live music tonight, the place to be is Audie’s Olympic in the Tower, which hosts Austin rock band Ume, whom I’ve heard a lot of good things about. Two strong local bands back them up — Light Thieves, the new cool-indie-rockers-of-the-moment in Fresno and Style Like Revelators, a quality bluesy-rock band.
1. SEE TWIN SHADOW You know how The Cellar Door in Visalia gets all those cool concerts? Well, organizers are saying tonight’s is the biggest one of the year. It’s with ’80s-inspired dance-pop act (and critical darling) Twin Shadow and the very groovy Poolside. In fact, I’ve heard people from L.A. and S.F. have been buying most of the advance tickets. Don’t miss out, local hipsters! Read this interview I did with Twin Shadow to get you ready. [Tickets]
Do you remember when Tuesdays used to the day to go see a band in this city? I do. And I can’t help but notice that tonight’s Tuesday night entertainment harkens back to those days. Some good stuff ahead of you, Fresno. So go see a show.
AT TOKYO GARDEN: Another Oregon group, Wintertime Carousel, stops in town to share its indie/folks sounds. Let’s hope the carousel doesn’t melt in the Fresno heat. [More]
AT BABYLON: Itchy-O — a 32-piece masked (!!) marching band from Denver stops at Babylon. It sounds a bit like a concert and the Royal Rumble all in one. With pulsing percussion and electronica fun. [More]
AT ALDO’S: For the club crowd, Aldo’s hosts “Gotham City,” a Batman-themed party with all the usual club flair, plus a costume contest. I hope someone goes as Alfred — or, I suppose, the more probable, Slutty Alfred. [More]
1. SEE THIS SHOW
I’m hyped for tonight’s show at Fulton 55, which features two of the best bands on our local scene — Strange Vine and Poor Man’s Poison — and SoCal funky folksters He’s My Brother She’s My Sister, who have won over crowds here before. They’re playing the Austin City Limits festival in September too. Anyhow, it’s gonna be a great show and if you don’t go that blue creature on the flier will eat you. [Tickets]