It’s happening again: time to reflect on the good, bad and ugly of the past 365 days. For me, I must admit, things have been pretty decent. I’ve managed to get a handle on a new language (two if you include Bayerisch, which is totally in a class of its own), and began to forge a new existence, with a level of success, here in Munich. I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Musically, this year I seem to have fallen behind those in the forefront of the blogosphere, as illustrated in my top 7 of 2011. While reading the best-of lists of many of my colleagues in the music writing/blog world I was Who-TFing my way through most of their roundups. NO idea. I have a lot of catching up to do, that’s for sure.
While I didn’t buy the normal amount of records (for me) this year, I did have an opportunity to see some great bands over the last 360 days: Mogwai, The Radio Dept., Radical Face, Deus, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and This Will Destroy You to name a few. On a whole, the crowds were well-behaved (i.e. didn’t invade my personal space or break too many of my rules), all but for my last show of 2011: Soulwaxmas. Oh, the Soulwaxmas. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…
Let me preface this tirade by saying that the music was awesome. I am no technohead but I do like my bloops, bleeps and electro-discopunk, especially when done by the Dewaele’s. Their remixes can’t be beat. And besides, I flew to Paris for less than 24 hours to see some renowned DJs. Christ. How many people get to do that?? So yes…the crowd.
From the get-go we prepared ourselves for hoards of kids on drugs. This was a no-brainer given the genre and the festival feel of the event. If this had been 2 decades ago I may have considered a not-so-legal way of making it to the 2:50am start of the 2manydjs set. I’m too old (and smart) for such nonsense and I kept it clean with good ol’ B12 (and champagne). Things began to spiral downward when a dude dressed in a full-blown cow costume danced into me. Seriously. I turned to Albert, who I’ve seen agitated maybe twice in 4 years, and his furrowed brow and look of angry confusion spoke for itself. When the rest of the MDMA barnyard traipsed by (a dog and, I think, a giraffe-ish looking creature) I knew things were going from bad to worse. The question we all fear crossed my mind: “Am I too old for this?”
Sadly, in some ways I am. If I allow kids who are having the time of their lives get under my skin, then yes, I am. Then again, if the pleasure of the music outweighs the somewhat meddlesome fans around me, then no. You see, this Soulwaxmas extravaganza also included DJs/acts I could give a shit about and herein lies the problem. The crossroads I’ve reached is a catalyst. I am doing something I haven’t done since I quit smoking successfully on 1/1/09 (go me!) – making a resolution. Festivals: if I am a fan of more than ½ of the acts, then it’s a go, otherwise, I think it’s safer for me (and those who’d be around me) to just sit it out. I’ve got to be committed to the sounds. Feels good. Silly, yes, but feels good.: I’m not too old, just older (and wiser). Thanks Soulwaxmas.
So, with this I am wishing all of you musicphiles out there the loveliest 2012. Resolution or no resolution, enjoy yourself and thoroughly enjoy your music. It’s special and essential. Until next year.
[Abby’s Road is a Knox Road feature published every other Friday.]