Has there been a shittier year than 2012? I can’t think of one. Fuck you 2012! What a complete waste of time. Really we should strike it from the calendar. We could call it 2011b or something. With that said, here are a few redeeming qualities from the year that should not be named:

2012 did grant me my first chance to see a show at the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur. Oh Big Sur, I love you. Oh Flaming Lips, thank you for bringing me back to Big Sur (and the show at Bimbo’s in February was pretty righteous as well). All hail the Flaming LIPS!!!!!!!!

Oakland’s White Horse Bar is slowly proving to be the greatest music venue in the universe. At an early Xmas party there last week, San Jose’s Legendary Stardust Cowboy became only 50% naked, but song after song he remained 100% insane. Opening and closing the show with his should-be mega-hit “Paralyzed”, the guy makes the words of Neil completely clear: rock and roll will never die.

L.A.’s El Vez, THE Mexican Elvis, made not one but two visits this year. He had a regular gig at The Independent, but what about the special treats he brought for us to the tiny yet powerful Stranded record store in Oakland? Dressed in a red, leather Santa getup, El Vez brought the little house down. Of course he celebrated Jesus’s birth with “Brown Christmas”, but he also did a full tribute to a birthday punk in the front row, Penelope Houston. Yes, thee Penelope Houston of The Avengers! Apparently she just finished art school after 35 years, and El Vez presented her with cake, a bottle of Tequila, and a rollickin’ cover of Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out”. If you haven’t seen El Vez, you should quit your job, buy all his albums, and have a very merry Mex-Mas. Hopefully El Vez will give us another 20 years of joy.

The Mallard played everywhere this year. They graced the small and mighty stage at Oakland’s amazing 1,2,3,4 Go! Records and they thrashed outdoors at our very own Rock Make Street Festival. They got it going on. See them soon before your only option is the nosebleed section of Oracle Arena.

As much as I loved King Tuff‘s December 1st show at The New Parish, what proved most beautiful and clear that night was Terry Malts. Sure, part of the reason was that my glasses were knocked off my face during the King’s first song. By the time we found them they were slammed into a wafer-thin, glasses-pancake. Regardless, Terry Malts kicked some serious ass. The ferocious energy, the catchy tunes, the you know…

The saddest news of course was the untimely demise of the great Uzi Rash. But fear not chillun, from their ashes rises Human Waste!

2013 cometh! Prepare for the revolution! We shall rid this country of guns, banks, and Mega Lo Marts! There will be live music everywhere! Fans will be devoted, respectful and iPod-less! Taxes will be diverted from war to music, art and education! Venues that charge $9 for a beer in a plastic cup will be shut down (hear me Regency Ballroom?).

War is over if you want it.