Friday, December 28, 2007
Before I get to writing about my own favorite music of 2007, I've invited Chris Marstall, proprietor of the excellent Tourfilter, to sit in for the first-ever Almanac guest post. It's only fitting, as my own year was made better by DJing at Cambridge's River Gods as part of his TF-sponsored DJ nights. Chris uses this opportunity to reflect on his 2007 show-going experience, and offers up some pretty cool Tourfilter statistics as well. For those not in-the-know, Tourfilter provides live music listings for almost two dozen metropolitan areas, and allows you the ability to not only preview music by many of the cataloged bands, but to track your faves and be alerted when they come to town. It's ace.
Handing over the microphone...
Hey 'Nac readers! Chris Marstall from Tourfilter.com here with a special holiday guest post for ya. You all know about Tourfilter DJ Night at River Gods in Cambridge, which Brad has been kind enough to guest DJ for a bunch of times.
Well the night's been going on most of the year and has become a regular thing (third Thursday of every month, 9PM-1AM, free), with Brad spinning every other month.
Thought late December might be a good time for a look at what shows I actually attended this year, and and whether/how much Tourfilter actually actually helped me personally in my show-going. After that I have a couple of "top" lists that I guarantee you won't see anywhere else (or your money back). Without further ado, here are the ...
shows that I actually attended this year...
28 Degrees Taurus, Middle East, January 7
Keith Fullerton Whitman, PA's Lounge, January 13
Charlene, PA's Lounge, February 11
Sparklehorse, Paradise Rock Club, February 26
Sebadoh, Paradise Rock Club, March 30
Sunburned, PA's Lounge, April 25
Charlene, TT the Bear's, May 30
Jandek, ICA, June 8
The Long Blondes, Great Scott, June 8
Janovitz, Lizard Lounge, July 17
Great Northern, Middle East, June 13
Miss Tess, Toad, June 24
Acid Mothers Guru, Middle East, August 31
Buffalo Tom, Somerville Theatre, October 26
Sidewalk Driver (as Ziggy Stardust), TT the Bear's, October 31
Yo La Tengo, MFA, November 15
Shonen Knife, Middle East, November 25
Fiery Furnaces, Great Scott, December 10
...plus a few others i can't exactly remember at toad, lizard lounge, etc. Being generous to myself, call it a couple dozen.
So did Tourfilter help? Well, being absolutely honest about my show-going habits, I'd say going to 24 shows makes for a banner year. Pre-Tourfilter, I think I would be lucky to go to one a month. I often have said that using Tourfilter will double the number of concerts you go to, and that seemed to hold true for me, for 2007 at least. The prime example is probably the Sparklehorse show back in February. Despite the fact that they're one of my ultra faves, I was formerly such a lazy bastard that I probably never would have found out they were in town were it not for the 'filter. Thanks, me.
Now let's compare that number (24) to another - 329. That's the number of Boston shows Tourfilter emailed me about this year - the number of shows by bands I track. The ideal number of shows for Chris. So how should I feel about those 304 shows i didn't go to (hello and goodbye to TV on the Radio, Rickie Lee Jones, Holy Fuck, Hella, and Girl Talk)? I think I feel a little guilty, but on balance, I'm glad just to "know", even if I don't "go".
Next number: 8415. That's the total number of individual shows in Boston this year, according to Tourfilter. That's bands performing, so there can be more than one "show" per venue per night if there are multiple bands on a bill. But still, yowza, that's a lot of live music.
Sometimes I like to geek out on the Mysql command line, cooking up different ways of looking at all the information in the Tourfilter database. One interesting stat that's easy to come up with is who's playing the most in town. Call it The Hardest Working Bands In (Boston) Show Business. Excluding "house" bands that play mostly at a single venue, here's the list for 2007:
Top Ten Hardest Working Bands in Boston (2007)
1. David Johnston, 20 shows
2. 28 Degrees Taurus, 19 shows
3. Geoff Farina, 16 shows
4. Mark Lind, 15 shows
Andrea gillis, 15 shows
Self-Righteous Brothers, 15 shows
7. This Car Up, 14 shows
Age Rings, 14 shows
9. Okay Thursday, 13 shows
Guillermo Sexo, 13 shows
Another thing I get to ponder on quite often while editing Tourfilter every night is band names, and trends thereof. I have my favorite band names (Drag The River + Coach Said Not To are two that are like 3-word short stories) and some less favorite that I won't mention here. There are a lot of ways to slice the pie in terms of thinking about band names, but one that I thought would be particularly interesting is to look at the most popular words in band names this year. Mysql to the rescue. Here's the top ten, excluding obvious words like a, the, of, and, band, trio, etc., plus people's first names (which are very popular, John being #1)...
Most Popular Words In Band Names In 2007
(# of band names this word appears in in parentheses, click on word to see list of bands)
1. black (145)
2. big (113)
3. new (89)
4. red (76)
5. hot (73)
6. love (71)
7. blue (63)
8. white (62)
9. dead (57)
10. club (56)
And, finally, to round out the post, some other band-name-word statistical curiosities, which tickle me and hopefully not only me:
# of bands with "wolf" or "wolves" in their title: 35
# of these added in 2007: 11
# of bands with "broken" in their title: 15
# of these added in 2007: 10
# of bands with "dog" in their title: 32
# of these added in 2007: 12
# bands with "cat" in their title: 60
# of these added in 2007: 34
# bands with "south" in their title: 20
# of these added in 2007: 2
# bands with "north" in their title: 23
# of these added in 2007: 6
# bands with "west" in their title: 34
# of these added in 2007: 10
# bands with "east" in their title: 38
# of these added in 2007: 17
Peace, thanks to Brad, and see you all at River Gods (the next DJ night is Thursday, Jan. 18, + Brad + I will be spinning).
As Chris said, the next Tourfilter DJ Night is at River Gods on Thursday, January 18th. I'll be hitting the booth at 9pm sharp, and playing only songs by bands coming to the Boston area within the following month or so. And once again, thanks go out to Chris for the words above, and for the chance to play more songs at my favorite bar.
live in cambridge, ma
on november 14th, 2008
previously: joy formidable - boston 2011
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