the year in ears (2014 edition)

Ten years on is high time to resuscitate a fine tradition at House of Zoka: engaging in three-day knife fights about which live shows of the past year were the most rewarding to experience. Let it be said all live music is rewarding to experience. No I mean that. It’s a time-based art form that transcends ordinary reality with such consistent effectiveness, that the idea of ranking individual instances, even when one or two of them go horribly wrong, seems to indicate one might be missing the point.

However, I grew up in a tradition of negative analysis. There you have it. And here you have this: a top ten of 2014 with no fewer than 14 entries.

  1. Best Show to See After You Just Played an 8-hour Show With a Shamanic Korean Performance Artist
  2. Best Show You Did Not Expect But You Deserved
  3. Best Cover Band
  4. (5. and 6.) Best Investigations of Sound and Vision
  5. (and 8.) Best Downtown Shows In One’s Own Backyard
  6. Best Backyard Show in One’s (Burning) Downtown
  7. Best Front Yard Show At The End of One’s Backroad
  8. (and 12.) Best Drones
  9. Best Double Act of Relentless Churning To Completely Different Effects
  10. Biggest God Damn Surprise

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