Top 10 Things That Made 2011 Awesome | Nicole Madden

misc record-store-dayIt was hard to narrow down the list of radical stuff that happened in 2011 since there was so much greatness that came out of this year.

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It’s especially tricky since I run a marketing/PR company and a record label (Number Six Media and Throwing Things Records—holla, shameless self promotion!) and am constantly surrounded by talented musicians and artists. But I’ve finally compiled a list that I find to be a good representation of the year. I now present to you the Top 10 Things That Made 2011 Awesome (conveniently written in chronological order).

1. April 15-17 | Record Store Day Weekend
all over St. Louis

Record Store Day, founded in 2007 and held on the third Saturday of April, is a day observed around the world as a celebration of independent record stores and music. St. Louis’ RSD ’11 was turned into an entire weekend. Our little clan hosted four shows at four venues that weekend, with tons of other bands and DJs playing all over the city. There was a total sense of community and support at every show and store that weekend, from the musicians to the store owners to the promoters to the fans. It embodied the spirit of RSD perfectly.

2. May 20-22 | KrazyFest
Louisville, Ky.

You’ll just have to look up videos and blogs about this because it was pretty indescribable. Cheap drinks and food, clean bathrooms, awesome bands, great weather (except the weird monsoon that briefly delayed Hot Water Music and the Bouncing Souls), and the best of friends made for one hell of a weekend.

3. May 26 | T-Model Ford
Off Broadway, St. Louis

This dude was born in 1920 and didn’t start making music until he was in his 70s. He sits on stage, drinks whiskey, and smiles at pretty girls while he plays his unique brand of American blues. His show and banter will bring a smile to any face. Definitely check him out next time around.

4. June 4 | RFT Music Showcase
Washington Ave., St. Louis

The Haddonfields played the midnight slot of an all-day booze-filled festival and passed out 24 cans of silly string. Enough said.

5. August 24 | Steely Dan
The Fox Theatre, St. Louis

Legendary.

6. October 2 | Helmet
The Firebird, St. Louis

My dad gave me Betty on cassette tape when I was 12 or 13 and I’d missed every chance to see them until this year. Page Hamilton would have made a great St. Louisan.

7. October 6 | My Birthday Show
Cicero’s, St. Louis

This year, Cicero’s teamed up with local charity Lift for Life for a weeklong fundraising event. I was offered the chance to book a show on that Thursday, October 6, which happens to be my birthday. I put together a lineup of my favorite people, bands, and musical styles that featured first shows by Boom Tops (folky bluegrass) and the Jungle Fire (low-key funk/blues) and to-be-expected amazing sets from Ensain James (hip-hop) and Black for a Second (punk rock). Everyone graciously donated their time and talent with 100% of the proceeds going to LFL, and I got to dance all night, so the show was a smashing success!

8. October 28 | St. Louis Cardinals win the 2011 World Series

Incredible season + unbelievable post-season + quality time with friends and family = an abundance of flasks and high-fives.

9. November 15 | Tegan & Sara release Get Along

One of my favorite recordings by the Canadian duo to date. I’m not even going to tell you about it. Go listen.

10. December 10-11 | Chatty Crafty Art Show
Chattanooga, Tenn.

My first experience in the professional crafter/artist world came thanks to my roommate and her company, Made by Lauren B. She needed help with her booth over the weekend so we made our way to Chatty for both of our first times. That city is super cute, and the crafters were wonderful and fun; I learned a lot about the world of being a vendor. My favorite thing was everyone’s communal and supportive nature. Go, crafters!

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