2015 has been a year full of music, from January to December, non-stop. While preparing a full photo retrospective, I'm listening to a playlist that covers just some of my wishlist for 2016. Take a listen, read why below!
My Jerusalem: about time for a new album, and a new tour. I think both will happen in the new year, too. Check out Preachers if you haven't heard it yet. It's one of those that you listen to over, and over, again.
Heat of Damage: local Sacramento metal band, who have their first Bay Area date on January 3rd at Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco. You like metal and any form of rock, you need to hear these guys. Check out their first album. Go see them play live. Wiggle your fingers. Magic.
Hozier: possibly the best lit, best sounding, best protected and managed show at the Ace of Spades this year. I'm looking forwards to the next step from Hozier. Really hoping that he's allowed to develop that incredible voice, presence and those songwriting skills in the direction that he wants to go musically, rather than having to play Take Me To Church a million times because it's such a moneymaker. It's a wonderful song, and it's worth hearing a million times. It's the beginning of a great career--it's not everything Hozier has to offer. So I'm looking forwards to what he produces next year... and what already might be on its way.
The Temperance Movement: new album coming soon, and this is another British band that folks in the USA need to take a listen to. Check them out. I'm hoping that a trip to the UK coincides with a concert... or that maybe they take a trip across the big pond? Who knows! It's a whole new year tonight!
Blind Guardian: a band that I now wish I had grown up listening to. How did I miss so many years? Gloriously over-the-top. In 2016, I'll be listening to them, a lot. Join me.
Five Finger Death Punch: it's never enough. We need more Five Finger Death Punch, always. Will they be back at Aftershock next year? And/or performing at a venue close enough for a roadtrip? One way or another, we'll see them again in 2016.
The Soft White Sixties: I'm hoping for a new album, the follow-up to Get Right, their 2014 debut album... and I'm really hoping to catch a show and not be out-of-town that day (that happened, twice, in 2015). Have you listened to them yet??? You might catch a show in San Francisco early in the year!
Marillion: of course. Not only is Marillion 18 being prepared (that's the working name for the new album, expected to be released in 2016, and there's a presale campaign), there's a whole lot of touring being planned too. See you at (at least) one of the shows. Did you buy your tickets yet?
Festivals, like Aftershock (which is always, always awesome!!!) plus hopefully a few more. TBD Fest? Who knows what will happen there... am keeping an eye on the news, and hoping that all the issues are sorted, and sorted well, in time for a 2016 festival, because it's brought a lot of new music and art to this city. BUT there is also an art to organizing festivals, and that's why the majority of successful and repeatable festivals are organized by folks such as Danny Wimmer and team, or have the involvement of people like Corey Taylor of Slipknot, etc. etc. Another example: Download, at Donnington Park in England, UK, has been happening in one form or another for around 25 years. Festivals can be, and should be, successful. And by successful, I mean not only a fun event, but one where all performers and workers are paid on time, and where local people and businesses benefit too.
And I'm looking forwards to discovering even more new music. (And refinding more older music too, in the form of vinyl treasures. Exploring the record shops in Old Sac and on Broadway and elsewhere.) Going to the Ace of Spades and the Boardwalk and Harlows and other venues, just to hear something new. You go only when it's someone you know, you're missing out.
Explore the music. Find the soundtrack to your life.
I wish you love, life, laughter, health and music for 2016. For you, your families, and for everyone.