I appreciated Todd’s recent post: Happy Memories of 2011. He was spot on about Deerhoof. Though I hadn’t seen them in years, I caught their show at SFMOMA and it was crazy good. And like Todd, I’m sick of the top ten. Fuck the top ten.

This year pissed me off more than most and that deserves some recognition. My aunt is dying. We assumed she would live to a 100 like her father, but NO – some untreatable cancer has to come along and fuck that up. Our family is also dealing with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and multiple friends with multiple sclerosis. And don’t get me started on all the healthy money-grubbing liars I encountered in 2011.

As usual, music did present an escape. Besides cursing, alcohol and drugs, what else is there?

12/6/2011 – no amount of therapy could aid my rage this year the way Iggy did. At 74 the guy still rocks twice as hard as any performer alive today. Screaming along to “Search and Destroy” in a sweaty cyclone of a slam pit, I nearly passed out. At the same moment I felt myself floating above the crowd like I was about to die. Powerful fucking shit. With original Stooges James Williamson and Steve Mackay on stage plus incendiary bass via Mike Watt (of the Minutemen – my favorite band of all time) the tunes exploded. By the end of the show Iggy was covered in sweat, saliva and a small amount of blood. His pants were barely covering his pelvis and he had destroyed all the mic stands in his wake. He dove into the crowd repeatedly and was pulled back in by the nervous stage crew. Remember this show was postponed (only 3 months) as Iggy recovered from a broken ankle after a very wild show in Romania. Did I mention I was standing next to the one and only Dead Kennedy burgermeister Jello Biafra?

Please note: as usual there was no reason to pay any of the absurd Ticketsheister fees for this overpriced show. Our group of 5 had no problem scoring tickets below face value just before the show. Really how do those bastards get away with that bullshit? Didya know Roger Waters tickets are $255 but don’t worry that includes the $26 “convenience fee”. How convenient! Who wants to see that worn out asshole anyway?

11/9/11 – it was less than a month earlier that I had the noble honor of purchasing a beer for Jello Biafra. I shit you not. It was Jello and I standing at the bar at Thee Parkside. I was already giddy awaiting my cult hero Tav Falco and his majestic panther burns. Tav spoke at City Lights bookstore a few hours before (with Jello as a sort of MC). Tav was promoting his first book “Mondo Memphis”. If anyone gives a shit about Memphis this book is fantastic. Tav travels back in time with Elvis Presley, Alex Chilton, Jim Dickenson and tells tales of yellow fever and Howlin Wolf. His performance that night at Thee Parkside was another rare pick me up of 2011. Pleasingly unrehearsed the band unleashed all the classics including “Tina the Go Go Queen” in all its raw, pimply beauty. I could go on for awhile here about pissing with Times New Viking, backstage with Public Enemy, and passing out in my car after the Bay Brewed, but let’s tip the hat to the locals already. I musta seen Greg Ashley, Shannon and the Clams and Uzi Rash a dozen times in 2011 and if you haven’t had the chance yet, do not blow it again this year. If any of them are doing a tribute show, make it a top priority. Call in sick, take some speed and get ye’ asses out of the house.

I close with 2 simple suggestions for the new year. Howe Gelb at the New Parish 1/19 and Roky Erickson at the Great American 3/3. Do it.