In fact, it may have been my most fallow year ever for attending shows held by nationally known acts: Adam Cohen/Rufus Wainwright at the Iroquois Amphitheater and Noel Gallagher/Snow Patrol at the Palace, and that was all.
What about Ben Sollee, nationally known instrumentalist and singer, live at the Carnegie Center in December? He may be getting bigger, but the venue was about as intimate as it gets, so he can count as local.
In May, there was RiverRoots in Madison, with many local and regional acts playing alongside the better known headliners like Bands of Heathens and Hayes Carll.
In July, there was our own NABC 25th anniversary "Beer & Loathing" party on the riverfront, with a great lineup of purely local talent: Roz Tate, Ben Traughber, Five Foot Fish, Beeler Attic, Jed and the NoiseMakers, Porch Possums, Dust Radio, Whiskey Riders and Toledo Bend.
In October, many of these same artists also played NABC's Fringe Fest in October, in addition to Artificially Flavored, Broke Bandit, Squeezebot, Temple of the Golden Dawn, Thunder Wrane and She Might Bite.
Also in October, and perhaps the most memorable sets I witnessed during the year, was the Heritage Festival in Cannelton, with the Troubadours of Divine Bliss and local favorite Jeremy Luecke, the latter a ridiculously skilled singer and songwriter.
There was a nostalgic get-together by Digby at the Indie Fest in September, and the many bands that played throughout the summer during the mayor's Live @ Five concert series. Andy "Thunder Wrane" Hunter played several times at Bank Street Brewhouse, and old friend John Woodard and the Rashers performed a wonderful evening set of Celtic music at Mt. St. Francis in August at a lakeside benefit for the Mary Anderson Center.
I'll close this recitation with a few links to Houndmouth, the front half of which I believe once was known as St. James Hotel (Fringe Fest 2011). Bluegill wrote about Houndmouth (and Toledo Bend) one year ago, on January 1, 2012.
"Get over it. Get used to it."I've sent the year heeding Bluegill's advice. Here are the links.
Given the overly familiar, often overbearing cast of characters, it's no surprise that some of the folks involved with the Bicentennial Commission are struggling when it comes to making traditional forms relevant in a modern world. Thankfully, a younger, more knowledgeable set is doing it just fine with an urgency and grace long missing from their better-known elders. It's theirs and similar names that will ultimately matter as we move into the post-historic now.
Paying attention to them? The sooner the better.
"Penitentiary" music video.