HERE at The Misread City, we saw a lot of great shows this year -- from a roaring Ted Leo and the Pharmacists to a funky Belle & Sebastian to a spooky Esa-Pekka Salonen returning to lead the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
But the concert that stands out the most for us is one with a lot of history and symbolism behind it, as well as plenty of kickass guitar playing: The first North American show by Pavement in more than a decade. Held at Pomona's Fox Theater, the gig took a few songs to get going. But by the end, the Stockton-to-Brooklyn quintet had shredded much of its catalog, including most of Slanted and Enchanted. They sounded far better, more focussed and committed, than they had during their original run in the '90s.
Even the wonderful Hollywood Bowl concert, with Sonic Youth and No Age along for the ride, couldn't quite equal it.
Wishing everyone a great holiday. My readership has given me some solace during these very tough times.
I'm a former LA Times arts and culture writer, sometime New York Times, GQ and Salon contributor, the co-editor of "The Misread City: New Literary Los Angeles," and an enthusiast of film, wine, indie rock, retro culture, archtop guitars and California history.