10. Tv On The Radio- Nine Types of Light
This record is super sexy. "Will do" is a slow dance into a make out session waiting to happen. Wait. What? Oh. It happened.
9. Cut Copy- Zonoscope
When these guys played at Turner Hall last I probably lost about 5 pounds. It was one of those shows where you block out everything around you and dance the entire time. I danced on the balcony while lights flashed past me. You're not dancing alone when Cut Copy is playing. When I was leaving for the night I asked Dan, the singer, how he liked playing the show. "The energy in the room was awesome! There was this girl dancing on the balcony the whole time, it was great!"
8. St. Vincent- Strange Mercy
She is beautiful, talented, and was a tour manager at one point. I have to sing along to "Cruel". I like to close my eyes, turn the volume all the way up, and pretend that the the vibrations I feel coming from my throat are making the sounds that I'm hearing. Not only does she have an amazing voice she shreds on the guitar. We need Annie to move to Milwaukee. I heard that the man of her dreams lives here.
7. Maritime- Human Hearts
Maritime will forever remind me of being 16. I would drive to Milwaukee to take some pre-college art classes every Saturday morning. I would listen to Maritime, sing all the words, and stop by Comet Cafe to get a cup of coffee before my class started. The only things that's changed over the years is that I don't go to school. "Paraphernalia" is the highlight of the album. Dan is one of the best drummers I have ever seen. I'm a sucker for a disco beat.
6. Memory Map- Holiday Band
High fives and hugs forever to my dear friend, Dixie, for introducing me to this band by opening up for them one night at a local bar. I have a really hard time picking the instrument to air play when listening to this record. The song "Sew it up" is part math rock and part country twang with a couple random bass disco beats. I LOVE IT.
5. Milagres- Glowing Mouth
I've been making a point to check out as many live shows as possible on my days off. I had never even heard of this band until I saw a show listing for them at a local club. My friend, Tracee, was in from out of town and I thought I would take her to a show. I had no idea I would end up standing in the front, with my eyes closed, listening to some of the best vocals I have heard, ever. The quiet synth and haunting guitar tones in the song "Gentle Beast" took the money out of my pocket to buy the record. Top 10 best purchases of 2011.
4. Charles Bradley- No Time for Dreaming
"Have you ever seen Charles Bradley. You HAVE to check him out. Come on, just watch one song..." This was the tour manager of the Budos Band convincing me to put down the dirty dishes and check out Charles Bradley. On stage he acted out a story through song, sweat, and tears. The emotion that he spilled out was raw and real, there is no doubting that. This "screaming eagle of soul" turned me on....to funk and soul. I look forward to his return.
3. Generationals- Actor-Caster
These are the kind of guys you want to hang out with. Totally nerdy and super polite. They get on stage and they totally kill it! Lock me in a room and make me listen to this record on repeat for days. Thank you.
2. Bon Iver- Bon Iver
I had never listened to Bon Iver until they decided to take over the Riverside Theater as their practice spot before their tour. I decided that I would make the theater my office for the week so I could both get work done and have some live entertainment. I went to the second floor, the furthest seat away from the stage, and set up my laptop. As the band set up their equipment and made small inside jokes I caught myself giggling along with them. I was immediately tuned in to every noise that came from the stage at that point. I'll never forget the first time I heard the song "Michicant". I fell in love with everything. Sitting through their practices and having the pleasure of hanging out with them the week while they were here, is something I will never forget. I walked away from their last live performance at The Riverside Theater a calmer person, a person filled with love and joy, a Bon Iver fan.
1. Middle Brother- Middle Brother
Every day I walk backstage at Turner Hall I have a series of things I do to prepare myself for my evening. I turn on and dim the lights perfectly. I light all the candles in the dining room. I brew a fresh pot of coffee and have hot water ready for tea. I tidy up and make sure everything looks presentable. I turn on "Blue Eyes" by Middle Brother and stand at the entrance to the backstage, looking in as if it's my first time seeing the space. "Perfect", I tell myself. "Perfect".