I can't remember ever getting to see so much inspiring music made by so many creative, energetic, and completely fun people.
• Weasel Walter, solo, duos, trios, and on and on
No matter what the setting, he pushes the situation further with his drive, talent, and humor (all of which are refreshing and needed in the improvised music scene).
Nominated for the best act of commitment that didn't involve self-mutilation. All in unison, shaving their heads onstage and then revealing perfect Marine dress uniforms under their smocks. They looked so good it inadvertently might have been the best recruiting campaign since Kid Rock and NASCAR teamed up to con kids across the US.
• Death Sentence: Panda! and ...
I went to every show of both these bands over the year whenever I was in town. Without fail I would be deaf, destroyed, and smiling, or dancing, laughing, and smiling. Check them out to match those descriptions to the correct band!
• Earth, Wind and Fire: In Concert DVD (Geneon, 2000)
I work at Lost Weekend Video, so I watch more new music DVDs more often than I get new CDs. But maybe you'll do the same after watching this bass player do high kicks for an hour and not miss a note.
• Touring with old friends KIT and Hawnay Troof. Watching Vice Cooler get a bunch of crossed-armed kids dancing, cause bartenders to leave their posts to run to the stage and move, and VC almost break his neck jumping off monitors all in single-digit minutes. With KIT, add in the insane attack of Steve, the bouncing energy of Kristy, and the apologetic guitar soloing of George Chen, and try not to beam.
• Joining Deerhoof! Getting to spend so much time of 2008 with John, Greg, and Satomi has made this year feel like no other.