by Andrew Osborne
2015 Theme Song: “I Love You All” by Soronprfbs
My Favorite Live Shows of the Year:
1.The Pixies, T.T. the Bear’s (Boston, MA), which I discussed at length here.
2. The Decemberists, House of Blues (Boston, MA), in which the band was awesomely devoured by a whale about an hour after the following clip.
3. El Vez, Johnny D’s (Somerville, MA), with a Christmas show nearly joyful enough to drown out the death rattle of yet another local institution.
4. Robert Plant, Blue Hills Bank Pavilion or whatever the hell it’s called this week (Boston, MA), which briefly transformed into the cave of a groovy old Celtic space wizard.
5. Andrew Goldfarb/The Slow Poisoner, Michael Allen Rose, John Wayne Comunale, Sister Laura & Sister Beth (and apologies to any of the other musicians I’m forgetting) at Bizarro Con 2015 (Portland, OR)
6. Yacht Rock Revue, Royale (Boston), the most reliably joyful party band this side of the Carter Administration. It’s got to be smooth!
7. Shoulders, The Continental Club (Austin, TX) – and let’s just pretend the clip below is from 2015, since it so accurately captures the vibe of one of the most consistently entertaining house bands in the United States of Booze.
8. Todd Rundgren, The Wilbur Theatre (Boston, MA) – Even though the clip below’s not from the Wilbur (and I was almost too sick to rock on the night of the Boston leg of his 2015 tour), I still could’ve watched Todd bang on his drum all night.
9. Sweet Spirit, SXSW (Austin, TX) – The band I most enjoyed stumbling across somewhere in the madness of South by Southwest 2015 (though I’m pretty sure it wasn’t in this laundromat).
10. Jonathan Richman, The Somerville Theatre (Somerville, MA) – a bittersweet, bilingual show that was very similaire à la the following…
Honorable Mention: All the great performers I saw at this year’s Newport Jazz Festival (who, unfortunately, I forgot to write down)!
Top Audio, Non-Music:
1. DoubleToasted.com (and Soundcloud.com/kcoolman) – I’ve enjoyed the riotous chemistry and camaraderie of Korey Coleman & Martin Thomas since their earliest days on Austin cable access TV, and it’s been great to see/hear them (along with their new, ever-expanding cast of regulars) conquering the internet on their own terms during the past year, one movie review at a time.
2. WTF Podcast with Marc Maron – The garage-bound comedian’s interviews have always been good, but he topped himself this year thanks to his fascinating sit-downs with President Obama and America’s de facto pop culture president, Lorne Michaels.
3. Howard Stern, Sirius XM – With Letterman gone, Stern’s become the elder statesman of the airwaves, and while he hasn’t yet outgrown an over-reliance on Whack Pack shenanigans, his satiric insights are as biting (and infuriating) as ever, and his interviews just keep getting better now that even A-listers are willing to be seen (or, rather, heard) in the same room with him.
Honorable Mention: Tom & Lorenzo’s Pop Style Opinionfest – the audio equivalent of a snarky style and fashion magazine, with great content surrounded by way too many ads.
Video Games: I’m still working my way through the awesome, fully realized worlds of Grand Theft Auto V and Skyrim — though my friends’ screenshots of post-apocalyptic Boston may be enough to finally push me towards a PS4 for Fallout 4 in 2016!