By Carolina de Busto
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
Grandpa's Ghost, Il Bacio (Upland). Grandpa's Ghost created the only regional rock release in recent memory that could honestly be called a work of art. They find the beauty in chaos and in calm, in clamor and in quiet. A masterpiece.
Best live shows:
Guided by Voices at the Rocket Bar. The short-notice, word-of-mouth nature of this show made it feel like a private party with the world's greatest garage band. And they played "Baba O'Reilly"!
Patti Smith at Mississippi Nights. This was probably a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience one of the ones who started it all, amazingly still at the top of her game.
Star Death, anywhere and everywhere. Go see this band. Just do it.