What an incredible game last night! Perfectly timed to watch the outcome and to be able to catch an amazing show in Oakland. Here are some photos from my one (and hopefully not only) Steelers game with an official photo pass. Let’s go JETS! More here.

Ah…it’s that time of year/decade when the musicphiles gather their collective wit and post long ruminations of their favorite sounds that has formed who they are as authorities on all things audio. Like anyone really cares. The only reason I will bother with reading them is that if I find many albums I dig and a couple I never heard of in a list, I will probably track them down. So in that spirit, I will dive into the fold over the next month because I know that the 50 or so people who visit this blog daily (yeah, 50!!… can you believe it?) just cannot sleep without knowing what I like.

Starting off, I took a cue from my man at the excellent Pittsburgh blog Songs in the Key of Touche and added a player to the left side of the page. These are mainly songs that have defined my tastes over the last ten years and you may listen at your leisure. If you discover something you really like, well, you are very welcome. Let me point out that the first ten are in order and the first songs for a reason. I have listened to these particular tunes far more times than any other music. The rest of the tracks are solid as well but the top 10 are gold, baby!

What I did discover in building the player was that some of my all-time favorite songs weren’t available. Coincidence that they were all Pittsburgh bands? I dunno but I felt that since they mean more to me than most of the tracks in the player, they deserve a nice little list of their own. There are so many great bands in Pittsburgh now and I could go on and on about all of them but these tunes are extra special to my ears. In no particular order:

Fainting Goats-Lohio Of all the many, many times I’ve seen them play, amazingly I only caught this song once. There is a super sweet acoustic version streaming on the band’s website here that is almost as good as the studio one. This would easily be in my top ten play list. If Greg never wrote another song again he would still be considered one of my favorite songwriters ever for this one alone. Just perfect.

GLORE-Local Honey This song turned me on to the band initially which, in turn, made me want to discover more local music. I found out later that the bassist Rob Loveclutch actually wrote it but cannot imagine anyone else singing it except for Becky. She to me defines this song.

Weekend Tongue-Donora I always find it strange that on all the songs on their incredible album, I always jones for this one when I see them play. Maybe because they don’t play it as often due to the fact that it’s a virtual workout for them. Such a fun song.

List-Show-Meeting Of Important People Again, why this song out of all the others that are just as excellent? Again, maybe because they don’t play it often and I take a bizarre satisfaction as they always reject my request? C’mon fellas! No kidding, this song is my ring tone!

Stones In My Passway-The Harlan Twins There is a live version on their myspace page here. This song is an absolute barn burner live and you have to see it to believe it. Just SMOKING!!

Neighborhood Roofs-Good Night, States If I am hammered enough, this literally makes me weep. Not that I have to be loaded to just love it. This is a rare song where I can play it on repeat and never get tired of it. Bummer that I have only seen them play it once. In fact, I think they dedicated it to me once when I couldn’t make the show. In due time.

These guys were good. I didn’t get a chance to really enjoy the set due to the fact that I HAD to take a breather outside. The room was an oven by the time they played. I will definately check them out again soon.

A last minute addition to the nights line-up, Hallie and Co. played a handful of new tunes that will be on her upcoming release.

I got an e-mail from Mariage Blanc’s Josh letting me know that there was a party they were having and if I wanted to come. Yeah, sure. He also mentioned that his band, Lohio, The Harlan Twins, Meeting Of Important People, Horse Or Cycle, and Donora were playing too. Um…HECK YEAH! Unfortunately, I couldn’t hang late and with nights like this being loose and all, I missed some of the bands. The setup was way cool with a recording studio adjacent to the practice space under their apartment. The lighting was minimal at best so the photos aren’t that great but still, a killer place they have there. Thanks so much fellas.

‘I Know Every Street’
Meeting Of Important People
Donora CD Release Party
Friday December 18, 2008
Rex Theater
I haven’t seen a group in a long time that had me floored as these guys did the other night. I had seen Josh play in Lohio for a couple years now, and knew he fronted his own band, but they really knocked me out. I don’t have many pictures of them because I was too busy enjoying the music. In 45 minutes they changed my entire outlook as far as Pittsburgh music goes. Our city is soon going to emerge as a powerhouse of indie rock! I cannot wait to see them play again many, many more times. ‘Street’ is by far my favorite song of the year.
‘Weekend Tongue’
Rock The Vote Drive
Sunday September 21, 2008
Bigelow Lawn William Pitt Student Union
Even though I saw them play in the summer, and not counting their fun as hell release party, I loved this set for the fact that I was able to finally meet the band. Super cool and talented people. I love this album and I am so proud to say that I was THE very first person to buy a copy!
‘Fainting Goats’
Key Party Compilation Release Show
Friday August 8, 2008
Brewhouse Gallery
I am not 100% sure they actually played ‘Ghosts’ that night but seeing them several times during the year, I kinda lose count. My favorite Pittsburgh band puts on a party for a killer comp of local music. I saw Greg a few times handing out the comp for people to hear. My man!

‘Sleigh Ride’
Silver & Gold
WYEP Holiday Hootenanny
Thursday December 18, 2008
WYEP-FM Studios
What a way to end my concert year! Discovering that Pittsburgh has some incredibly talented musicians who are just starting out and are the nicest people you will ever meet. I can probably be content with just seeing local bands during the next year and I am seriously considering it. I personally would like to thank all the bands in town, all the supporters of local music, and all the fans of music who support this wonderful scene. Oh yeah, Jeff, you rule bro’!
Happy New Year everyone!