New Year’s was spent playing some kids’ living room in Savannah, Georgia. I was pretty toasty the whole freakin’ tour and New Year’s was no time to slow down on the original Coors we’d been throwing back from dusk ‘til dawn on the trek to Florida for a hardcore smoochfest whose flyer had our band’s name on it. I talked to some 20-year old ex-Marines about my cousin being dishonorably discharged and made a pretty damn good impression considering all of the people skills I’d developed venting about my British Lit professor’s James Joyce reading circle that’d been going on for seven years whilst they’re only in the 500s of Finnigan’s Wake when bums would creep from their Orlando cesspools and try yanking my chain the days prior with some story about their daughter needing medication for a dog bite and thinking the 35 cents left over from a granola bar is gonna help. I don’t want to hear their problems and they didn’t want to hear mine. Freaked out the freaks. When the Spring semester started I sank into that Neil Young biography and never crawled out, listening to nothing but the ditch trilogy and not leaving my bedroom. Nice weather hit and the season of the rust belt fests was upon us – all of which my hard rock band was supposed to play; one of which we did. Cheater Slicks were totally wired and ready to go at 2am. Shucks. I’m positively smitten with Shoot It Up and Homostupids after our romantic getaway. Terrible Twos were incredible even with a turnout that probably meant a pain in the big wallets of a lot of bands. We brought Masshysteri to Buffalo’s finest citywide chain of borderline-food called Mighty Taco on St. Paddy’s Day and this guy Biff who’s in my gay band orders not one, not two, but THREE huge burritos thus finishing all the beans left in the restaurant and so the vegan supermodels relocate to Denny’s. Sheesh! Americans! I saw the Screaming Females and am convinced they’re the closest thing to Butthole Surfing we’re to get these days and didn’t want the purchase of one of their records to tarnish how fucking great their set was. And Pissed Jeans are as good live as everyone says. Too bad there was approximately two other awesome shows in drag queen city the whole fricken year. Fricken heck. (Oh wait, I’m forgetting the Municipal Waste show we played, RAUGH OUT ROUD)


Jeeze, what a fuckin’ blur. I moved into a poor prince’s castle in a charmingly debilitated neighborhood here in Buffalo with some major dudes and was subjected to tequila and hamburgers, Jodorowsky films (garbage) and Mongolian throat singing (even worse). The summer was full of testing the limits of personal freedom as white kids living in a slumping ‘hood in a city already resembling the Wild West. We burned couches in our parking lot and drove around on the hoods of cars and other real cool-guy stuff. I worked at a shithouse thrift store and rode my bike 12 miles a day. I yelled “PLAY DEVO” at Tyvek like five times. My roomie Jim and I drank a twelver of Old Milwaukee and recorded a Sugar Ray cover under the moniker Malted Mylk and then he moved to California to work on a weed farm or something. Excited yet? Bone Awl played my fucking house, which happens to be, very fittingly, an old funeral home. I feel like The Hunches may know a thing or two about Franz Kafka, and hadn’t copious amounts of alcohol numbed my psyche these warm months, I reckon I’d of had anxiety attacks every few sentences of The Judgment and paranoid epiphanies every section of The Country Doctor while listening to “Exit Dreams” in the early hours of the morn – the best album of the year. Truly the only band that can sound like the Electric Eels when they feel like it, assuming the ‘Eels had the ability to go indie when they felt like it. My hair was long and my polo white, until the fateful Drunkdriver show where my shirt was left caked in body plasma. Broken mic stands and shattered sensibilities. We wait for Plates’ return and mourn the ostracizing of our fill-in wailer Mr. Brett from the Buffalo old-man-music scene. Best show of the year.


Spits should actually be spelled s-p-e-d-s because the barbaric yawp these old-timers spew is grade-A caveman roar. Great fucking show, especially since it was in Rochester, and those little peeners are so punk they flail through their wardrobes deciding whether to look like Christian Death or Johnny Ramone today. I wore a yellow-black plaid golfer’s jacket that I took from the thrift store and literally got called a “square.” Oof! Thee Oh Sees won me back after that slew of unremarkable singles and “Help” milking the last drop from the proverbial utter that is their perfect sound. Not that the one trick ain’t a good one, but at least we know the pony’s got a few more up its sleeve. I saw ‘em in Toronto one chilly night, and if someone told me that these San Fran wieners are a live band a year ago, when “Master’s Bedroom” was thee most exciting record of recent vintage, I’d have eloped with their mom. Sister too. Very engaging band. Thank you for putting out “Dog Poison.” Their friends the Fresh & Onlys ruled live as well, and their two albums were in constant rotation all year. I don’t dig Iron Lung much, but would have rather seen them nowhere but my house. BR00TAL. And Reigning fucking Sound. AND FOLDED FUCKIN SHIRT! That’s about it. Seeya next time losers.

THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2010: Scratch & Sniff fanzine; Rotcore bands’ balls dropping in accord with their debut records; Son of Dinosaurs being kicked out of Buffalo.(BG)