First up is Legs from Vancouver, BC (that's in Canada, ya'll) who went from being my show-booking contact to a fast friend and excellent roadie. She knows where to get the best samosas and always has a good story to tell. She also plays guitar and sings in the wonderful band, SIREN SONGS, who I once saw play to 100 wasted freaks in a smokey room at 4am.
LEGS' TOP TEN OF 2012
1. DTES Ladies Rock Camp, a community event that involved women from the neighborhood spending a week learning an instrument (piano, bass, guitar, vocals, percussion), forming a band and writing a song. At the end of the week, there was showcase for all the bands to perform their songs. I got to teach a bass workshop. It was the first workshop I've ever taught in my life! It was super frightening but super amazing and rewarding and rad.
2. FLESHIES at Awesome Fest in San Diego. It was a fucking whirlwind of drinking 40 ozs and stumbling between El Cajon Blvd and University Ave. I don't really remember a lot of the sets I saw, but FLESHIES was a highlight for sure. SIREN SONGS weren't allowed to play the pre-fest show because the bouncers were on a power trip and some of our band members were "too drunk" to be in the bar. Nathan lost his voice completely from screaming. We got kicked out of out hotel room for being over-capacity (by like 25 people) and we lost a hubcap in the drunk-driving getaway. BUT, watching John spend 3/4's of his set carried through the air by people screaming along to the words was super awesome. For a brief second during the set, there was a guy beside me who had the exact same crossword tattoo in the same spot on his arm, but he didn't understand my emphatic gesturing at the time. Where did you go, crossword guy?!
3. AYE NAKO at Ladyfest Boston. I'd never been to Ladyfest before, let alone a three day fest where most of the attendees and performers weren't consuming alcohol before, during and after the show. It was refreshing and renewed my faith in punks and punk itself. It was refreshing that everything didn't have to be wasted moshing to D-beat (don't get me wrong. I'm a strong supporter of that too) or figuring out how to sneak in half a can of warm swill or getting caught at it and having it TOTALLY ruin your night . I got to walk around the Harvard and MIT campuses, which made me feel like I was possibly part of a Ben Affleck movie. AYE NAKO blew me away! I bought a bunch of their tapes and developed a minor guitar-crush on the guitar player. I still listen to their demo back to back for days at a time. Honourable mention goes to SICK FIX, who fucking ripped it....lady fronted local hardcore. Sick as fuck. (ed note: AYE NAKO just recorded a bunch of new songs at a studio in Massachusetts. Updates here)
4. A recent stint of sobriety which started after my 26th birthday and continues as I type this. I've been drinking pretty constantly for most of my adult life, so it feels nice to take a break. What is even nicer is that it hasn't been that hard, and despite the moments of loneliness, depression and isolation, the craving for alcohol has been non-existent. Unfortunately, I'm left with tons of headspace to over think shit and let my anxiety gang up on me and worry about what I'm "going to do for the rest of my life." Other than that, it's been great.
5. Riding shotgun in the van and smoking out the window. SIREN SONGS...getting to tour with my best friends and breaking down mechanically, emotionally and musically at every interval.
7. Poutine pizza!! I tried it. I liked it. I don't know if I will eat it again, but it was there for a single moment on a front stoop at 1 or 2 in the salty, salty morning.
8. The end of my first real relationship of more than a year. . Not exactly a super happy top ten point, but I learned from it and am still learning how to be better to the people I choose to have in my life...and who choose to have me in theirs.
10. The NW punk scene, spending time in Olympia (so much love) along with Seattle and Tacoma. I have a super big crush on Washington right now, but it feels like the whole NW area has a lot going on in terms of bands and people getting shit done.
I will be posting these sporadically throughout the month of January.