Normally, I write lists when looking back upon a year’s music. However, to rank the best in CoMusic this year would require me to rank my favorite friends. I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m giving you some local music entities that did enough this year to warrant attention in the new year.
The twindie trio released a full-length album this year and has been playing all over the state and south, honing their skills for another run at your hearts. Be prepared, because many good things will come from the sisters Rainey this year after what was a life-altering 2011. Besides the releases and touring, Dubb Nubb’s twins, Hannah and Delia, made the big move to Columbia as first-year MU students. Expect to see them play out in the coming months as their class schedules allow, especially as buskers at this year’s True-False fest. Check out their session at Daytrotter.
Special Passenger Records
It’s no coincidence that Dubb Nubb’s success over the last year is tied to the growth of their label, Special Passenger. Aside from the Dubb Nubb material and releases from CoMo local folkster Lizzie Wright, SP put out two of the more memorable compilations of the past year. The first was Cicada Summer, a collection of songs from Missouri bands commemorating the summer of cicadas. Highlights included Delia Rainey’s “Another State” (a song I loved so much that it made my top-20 tracks of the year) and Butterflies’ “Yummy! Pass the Sprinkles” which details the entire cicada ice cream phenomena at Sparky’s. The second compilation of note was the Feels Like Coming Home project where the SP folks asked 16 of their closest friends from all over the country to sing about their homes. Listen to Lizzie Wright Super Space Ship’s “JXN.MS”.
Shows there may be sporadic, but few venues have created the buzz and energy Hairhole has achieved in 2011. A highlight of the past year includes the Believers show where the band closed with a rousing albeit sloppy version of The Breeders’ classic “Cannonball”. Shows at Hairhole are not easy to keep track of, but persistence will reward.
Ptarmigan put out what may be the record of the year in CoMo. We covered The Forest Darling back in May, but the albums sounds just as fresh today. Keeping an eye open and an ear to the ground for the next Ptarmigan showing is highly recommended. Listen to and buy The Forest Darling.
I will avoid gushing. I promise. Here are the facts… Believers formed in time to make True/False theirs. Aside from providing music for the bumpers, the band made their debut at a secret party, blowing away those in attendance. Since, they’ve taken the town and state by storm with their energetic live show, a show they eventually took east. To close out the year, Believers started a Kickstarter in order to press their first EP. The fundraiser was a success and should mean good things for the band in the coming year. See them play Mojo’s on February 10th.
Richard the Lionhearted
Few bands have worked as hard as Richard. The band bought a van and have recorded a significant amount of music in a short time. Nearly every opening gig is awarded the alt.country band and for good reason. Richard plays a kind of music that just feels familiar. You swear that you’ve heard it before even if you actually haven’t. Of course, as often as they play out, you may have actually heard it before. Listen to and buy their album or check out the two new tracks released over the holidays.
Rising from the ashes of Nonreturner comes Enemy Airship. They’ve played live a few times, but it’s usually a secret only they know. Still, from the reports I’m getting, the mopiness that permeated through Nonreturner’s material seems to have given way to some energy a la Broken Social Scene. Added to the crew has been our own Ben Chlapek (who has his own Neatly Knotted project). So, expect some good things from this reincarnation of an old CoMo favorite.
There isn’t much known about this band except that former members Bald Eagle, Caterpillar Tracks, MTMQ, Corn Boss, The Foundry Field Recordings, Non Stop 3, The Confident Years, Amputee Set, The Carry On Killaway, Subscribe, etc. I suspect noisy, three-piece, Socialist rawk from this band. Look for them to play out later this month or next.
There’s loads of buzz surrounding this band. After playing Bitchfork this summer and opening for Cave and Jerusalem & the Starbaskets, the buzz is hitting the right circles to insure that Hott Lunch should have the connections necessary to make some real noise in 2012. Check out Hott Lunch on January 14th at Mojo’s.
The True/False Busker and Live Show Lineup
The music at True/False has always been excellent, but this year should have a new flavor as Billy Schuh (Foundry Field Recordings, Emergency Umbrella) and Amanda Rainey (Dubb Nubb, Special Passenger) are taking over for the 2012 fest.
Bonus: White Rabbits
Although they’re no longer residents here or haven’t really done much in 2011, CoMo’s favorite sons have a new album coming out and here’s a taste…