The millennial decade bites the dust; here's what I remember
2001: In January, I interviewed James Williamson, ex-Stooges guitarist and current Sony exec, for the I-94 Bar. I'd been chasing him for two years. Greg Shaw from Bomp told me, "Forget about it, kid." But one day Ron Asheton, whom I'd interviewed a couple of years earlier, called and said, "I saw James last weekend. He's nostalgic about the past and wants to talk." After 9/11, James sent me information about how to talk to my kids about the disaster -- a kind gesture I appreciated. At SXSW, I got to see Ron play twice with J. Mascis and Mike Watt. The I-94 Barman got me accredited as a videographer. My "equipment" consisted of two nine-dollar disposable cameras I bought at the supermarket. My first granddaughter was born in May. Rekkid o' the Year: The Nomads' Up-Tight.
2002: In the spring, I finally got to meet my buddy Geoff in person for the first time, and saw two shows by Scott Morgan's Powertrane with Deniz Tek (Cleveland and Ann Arbor; Ron Asheton also played at the second show). I was so high from the experience that it didn't even bother me that I got shitcanned from RadioShack a week later. My oldest daughter got married right after that, and I went back to Long Island to help my sister move our parents to New Jersey. I scuffled, sold records and musical equipment and played a few pickup blues gigs for money before a friend's wife suggested I try writing about music for pay instead. I pitched resumes to several publications; the Fort Worth Weekly was the only one that responded. Years later, the Italian kid told me, "I never read any of those clips you sent. I just read the first paragraph of your cover letter." My middle daughter graduated from high school, and I got to play with Lady Pearl Johnson for a few gigs at the Swing Club at Evans and Allen before she passed away in December. Rekkid o' the Year: Ann Arbor Revival Meeting, the document of one of the Powertrane shows Geoff and I witnessed, which he released on his Real o Mind label.
2003: I spent most of the year in bars six nights a week "researching," and wrote an awful lot of horrible spec bullshit, as well as getting to write about local bands I liked and admired, including Dead Sexy, Goodwin, the Gospel Swingers, the Hochimen, the Me-Thinks, Sub Oslo, Woodeye, and Yeti. At a Goodwin show at the old Black Dog Tavern (R.I.P. the room and its owner, the cantankerous old Yank Tad Gaither), I met my future wife, who was putting on a benefit to help send a disabled athlete to the Paralympics and wanted some free press. Not long after, I went on the road with Nathan Brown for a week, playing and writing a story for the Weekly. Rekkid o' the Year: Woodeye's Such Sweet Sorrow. Carey Wolff has more great songs than any other songwriter I know personally, and has the power to make strong men weep. Seriously.
2004: I stopped writing for the Weekly and started this blog. What a good idea. Went on the road with Nathan Brown again. Moved into a house with my future wife in May and wrote a bio of Bindle, an obscure local band, in the same style as some of the epics I'd been writing about obscure Detroit bands. Worked for an online ad agency and spent six months playing with a band that fired me via e-mail. After Dubya's re-election, I was so depressed I didn't want to do anything for a month. Rekkid o' the Year: Goodwin's self-titled debut, which made it fun to be a fan again.
2005: Got married on 3.18.2005. Never say never again. In May, started playing with Lee Allen at the Wreck Room every Wednesday night for the next two years and change. Rekkid o' the Year: Bright Eyes' I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning, which was actually my middle daughter's but contains the song I heard Conor Oberst sing the night before we invaded Iraq.
2006: Formed Stoogeaphilia with Ray Liberio, Matt Hembree, and Jon Teague. Easy Action Records released their Sonic's Rendezvous Band box set with liner notes abridged from a piece I'd written for the I-94 Bar in 1999. (Thanks, Dave Champion!) Quit the ad agency in the fall. Rekkid o' the Year (tie): the Hochimen's Tierra del Gato (Reggie Rueffer is the only musical genius I know personally) and M. Ward's Post-War (mainly because it reminds me of my kids).
2007: Worked as a researcher on a documentary for a month, then gave my car to my middle daughter and got a job at Central Market. Still there today. Collaborated with my sweetie on Wreck Room Stories (my blather and interviews, her photos), a project we'd talked about since we met. Celebrated my 50th birthday by playing a Stoogeshow at the Wreck Room, which closed in September. My dad got sick two weeks after my birthday. Rekkid o' the Year: the Me-Thinks' Make Mine A Double E.P. Silliness and great rock 'n' roll are not mutually exclusive.
2008: Collaborated with my sweetie on Haltom City Nights. Formed PFFFFT! with Matt Hembree, Clay Stinnett, and Tony Chapman. Saw Boris at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio in Denton the day before my birthday, standing 15 feet in front of Michio Kurihara's chained Twins. Rekkid o' the Year: Boris' Smile. Everything I like about them, and lots of it (in marginally different US and Japanese CD and vinyl versions).
2009: Formed Hentai Improvising Orchestra with Terry Horn and Matt Hickey. Wrote an oral history of Suiciety, my last shot at Fort Worth-centric fan blather. Briefly resumed writing for the Weekly. My father died in August. Rekkid o' the Year (tie): Nels Cline's Coward (the best record by my favorite guitarist o' the moment) and the Flaming Lips' Embryonic (which I listened to less when it was new, but has since grown in my estimation to psych-masterpiece status).
2010: My middle daughter graduated from TCU, and her older sister started working at the market, so we actually get to see each other once a week or so. Started writing some stuff about family, probably not for publication. Tending my garden. This is the first year I've been conscious of some age-related health issues. Sucks getting old, but still better than the alternative. Rekkid o' the Year: Mark Growden's Saint Judas, the best work yet from my favorite performer, who played a show at our house for a friend's birthday in October.