For so many more year-end music lists, click here and pick up this week's paper.
Dirty Cupcakes' Laura Gravander presents a totally nepotistic list of the top 10 live bands of 2011:
1. ELECTRO: This is the band of 8-year-old girls I mentored this summer as a volunteer at Bay Area Girls Rock Camp. After learning two chords from scratch, they wrote a droney, unintentionally avant-garde five-minute anti-bullying opus with a rap breakdown that blew my mind at their July showcase at the Oakland Metro. This is the future.
2. Uzi Rash: Swamp reptile Max Nordile and his band of trashy weirdos play music that is both grating and catchy, and deceptively complex. See them live and they will freak you out, and possibly hit you in the eye socket with an empty 40 oz. (it happened to me).
3. Shannon and the Clams: Seeing the Clams live feels like being magically reunited with your childhood dog — happy and nostalgic, a little bit sad. This metaphor is especially apt if you and your childhood dog loved to DANCE! 4. Younger Lovers: Killer guitar parts, dance-crazy beats, and singer-drummer-songwriter Brontez's onstage bitching makes Younger Lovers' shows unpredictable and exciting. Plus, their guitarist is super-cute!
5. King Lollipop: Elfin hillbilly plays bubblegum rockabilly (or something like that!) backed by six drummers who sound like a marching band meets drum circle, minus the lame.
6. Human Waste: Freaky spacesuited dystopian moog-punk from the Moon. Rumored to consist of members of Uzi Rash, Shannon and the Clams, and Dirty Cupcakes. More space waste to come in 2012.
7. Glitter Wizard: Intricate, impressive glam rock. And once, mid-song, I saw frontman Wendy Stonehenge light his hand on fire!
8. PIGS: This three-piece plays metal for people who love metal. Ripping it up soon in a scummy warehouse near you.
9. Knifey Spoony: Oakland punk rockers with impressive live show and unexpectedly melodic hooks. Singer-guitarist Steve Oriolo studied music in college but uses his powers for good (rock), not evil (anything that doesn't rock).
10. Sweet Nothing: I'm a sucker for two-piece bands and girl drummers, and Ian and Melissa always rock my face off.
Shannon and the Clams bring it live: