Outside of San Diego, is there a better place to see Hot Snakes (above) and Night Marchers (below) than Alex’s Bar in Long Beach? Two world-class rippers in one world-class dive bar. We arrived at the unusual, awesome, and sold-out matinee on Sunday just in time to see Night Marchers (1/2 or 3/4 of Hot Snakes, depending on who’s drumming for the latter) finish setting up their gear and start their set at the ungodly hour of 4:37. Lots of simmering new stuff from the upcoming album and some fave older roots-garage rockers (“I wanna deadbeat you!“). Everyone’s obsessing over the RFTC reunion happening around Easter, but don’t sleep on the January release featuring the hard-rocking pipes of Swami John Reis.
2012 was a pretty great year for shows, but of course, some are way better than others. Here are my top 10! Psychedelic Furs play tiny Maxwell’s in Hoboken, recapturing some of the magic from the first two awesome albums (at least until they play “Heartbreak Beat”). Bruce Springsteen! At Madison Square Garden! My first time seeing Bruce live. Everybody should go at least once and soon. He’s the hardest-working man in showbiz. Swervedriver at Bowery Ballroom. The juggernaut returns! Frontman Adam Franklin is awesome singing in this band and solo. Asobi Seksu at Highline Ballroom. Yeah, man! The coolest band in the world keeps smokin’! Agnostic Front at Warsaw. Three decades along, the veterans show the whippersnappers also on the Power of the Riff bill how it’s done. Asobi Seksu at Brooklyn Bowl. They count again because Yuki sang through a cold for this show. She is like so great! Grimes at Hudson River Park. The show almost didn’t happen due to warnings for a thunderstorm, but Grimes could not be denied. Not my sort of music at all, but from the standpoint of delivering a live show — she killed it! Ringo Deathstarr at Cake Shop. My favorite new band will go on to rule the fucking universe! Public Image Limited at The Music Hall of Williamsburg. John Lydon has a never-ending supply of bile. Corrosion of Conformity at St. Vitus. The Animosity-era lineup is having the time of their lives playing shows, judging by the smiles and jokes. “How’s the weather?” asked singer/bassist Mike Dean. This was about a week after Hurricane Sandy. “Too soon!” yelled back an unflappable audience member. New York. You gotta love it.Continue reading