There are two different sides to NAMM. The 8 a.m.-6 p.m. side. Mostly all business. Interviews. Making contacts. Selling. Buying. Sponsoring musicians. Getting sponsored by an endorser. Trust me though this “job” is too much fun.
When the doors close at the Convention center a whole new atmosphere erupts every day. Exclusive parties, concerts, after parties, after after parties. The entire city is buzzing with the same idea in mind… Kick back, have a few drinks and mingle among people that have the same mindset. Now I put down my camera and let the work Charlie off. For me it was time to talk to people, drink those aforementioned drinks and let loose a bit. This is how I “work”. I don’t care much for the stuffiness of the other way. Friday night we headed over to Malone’s http://malonesbarandgrill.com/ to catch a few bands and some dear friends of ours http://www.eddiesmates.com/. As you will see, or have seen, my co-hort James never let the camera go. James snapped about a billion pics between Heretic, Death Alley Motor Cult, and Phantom-X. I caught most of each set as I wandered to and fro. chatting with locals and out- of- towners alike. This is the fun way to make contacts and “work”. Shout out to Steve Wadleigh of Music Scene Magazine.
So my editor and brother The Hellion asked me to do a write-up of MY album of 2012. Well if you know me at all, you know it’s impossible for me to pick a favorite anything.
So instead this is what you’re gonna get. My top 4 (In no particular order) albums and bands that made a massive impact on me in 2012.
First up — Ragdoll
5 Track EP
One of my favorite things happening today is the EP. If the formula is right, it is a wonderful thing to hear. Ragdoll got the formula just right! They come right out of the gate with “Here Today” and get the listener stuck in the grove right along with the band. The song “Heaven Above” is probably on of my favorite songs. It’s not what you’re thinking though. This is all original. I also had the chance to hang out a bit with these guys in May. Was fortunate to catch a very exclusive and intimate show while they were at a friend’s house (Michael d’Avignon) in Oklahoma. That included some of their tunes, then things just got silly, with requests from us and everyone singing along. That was very cool. Fun times! Then later that weekend Preformances at Rocklahoma. WOW! They had already blown us away, and to get to see them do the same thing to a bunch of crazy fans was
a treat itself. This 3 piece, Rydash, Leon, and Cam has won me over instantly. Like it says on their website…” Rock N Roll like it should be”. Here’s Leon and Ryan gettin’ down with us as backup singers.
Next up — Babyjane
MAKE IT SICK
11 Track album
After these guys hit my radar with their first album “Are you listening?” It’s been a love affair with the tunes they are putting out. I swear the first album was the ONLY album I listened to for an entire 2 months after first receiving it. Looks like the sophomore effort is following suit. I’m not gonna name every song here and go through them. Couple of my favorites though, “Make It Sick” (featuring John Corabi on vox) Just comes fucking screaming through the door! “She’s just a liar” This song is very catchy and just has a great Rock n Roll feeling to it. This album is amazing from start to finish. I haven’t seen Babyjane live yet, but I am hoping to change that in 2013. Highly recommend “Make It Sick”!! You will not be disappointed.
Next up is The Last Vegas
12 Track album
I have been knowing about these dudes for a few years now, so it was safe to say that when I caught a show of theirs here in Albuquerque I would not be disappointed. I was right. So would the same be said if I bought their new album? Yeah most definitely! This thing is ripping. Chock full of sleazy, groovy, bluesy, and intense straight up Rock n Roll. ” She’s my confusion” is hands down my favorite on this album. BUT THERE ARE SO MANY TO CHOOSE FROM!! This band has outdone themselves with this outing for sure. Get this album or miss out sucker!
Last but certainly not least — Sunset Riot
6 Track EP
I guess it’s no secret to anyone that pays any attention to anything I have to say that Sunset Riot has been one of my favorite bands to come along in the last 10 years. Well I can honestly say they brought an inspiration back into my life that I thought was gone. Over the last couple of years we have grown from strangers meeting in a Wal-Mart parking lot, to friends, and now to family. But that is NOT why “Uprising” is on my list. It’s here because the music got it here. It is just true blue Rock n Roll any way ya look at it. Nothing fancy, no bells and whistles. Just down and dirty Rock.
I have seen these boys play several times in 2012 and I know from experience that the awesome feeling that comes trough when they are on stage also exudes from the album when you hit play. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it agin… These guys know what they are doing. “Uprising” Takes you on a little trip of things that are common to us all, from “Somethings gotta give” to “Mama Said” and to the beautiful “Stir Crazy”. Even My sister loves this album! (and she is not a rocker) LOL!
So in closing. The reason I picked these bands and these albums is simple. Each one has me singing along, pumping my fists, and makes me feel like I did when I was that 14-year-old kid in my room with the stereo cranked. Playing air guitar and practicing my moves in the mirror. And maybe I still do that from time to time because of bands like the above. Thank you Ragdoll, Babyjane, The Last Vegas, and Sunset Riot.
Cheers! Charlie M.F. Owens
IS THE MIC ON?