Does Missoula have break out artists? I dunno. I've been living here for three years and in that amount of time I've been privileged to see the evolution of a number of "bands" subvert the general consensus of what is and is not possible in a live act. It's refreshing. To put it another way: you might not be someone like me. If you are, you'll get ecstatic about a band when they do something really dumb to the audience. Maybe they're covering you guys in glitter. Maybe they're forcing you to watch a replay of some 60s NASA while playing one song in 45 minutes. It doesn't matter. They're fucking with you. It's the punkest you could possibly be. A couple bands really did this. I don't think you'd think they were punk at all.
If there was any trend I could pluck out of the music scene this year, if there was any one trend I could isolate and identify, it would be that 2012 was the year you guys started to make peace with the Weirdness. Punk should always be Weird. It's gotta stop being the place that drunk people go. Here's some Weird bands that make living feel strange.
Something happened to this band. I have no idea what it is. You'd think some nerds might settle you. They might. But then there's a movie off the side of the stage. Something kicks in like a soundtrack and 'en whoops, you just started listening to Modality. The movie starts shifting itself into other movies but you're still watching. You're still listening to Modality.
I don't think people really realize they're listening to this band even when they are. They've been geniuses at appearing innocuous while playing a ton of killer shows, insinuating that the scene is only a recent accident. Modality's been here the whole time.
Riley Flynn stopped sounding like other people and finally played himself. You might have enjoyed Germ Hunk. That was Riley too. Something has gotta be said for the kid that can stay home most every night and pull off such engaging feats of songwriting. Don't even worry about genre. If you like music. Plainly, you're going to enjoy Better Tennis.
I've yet to see a true noise band in Missoula. I'm beginning to feel like the art in that is a dead form. No matter. Every thing evolves and Burke Jam's one-man-guitar-onslaught is one of most engaging performances I've had the opportunity to witness in this town. While Missoula is lucky to have a Modality, we're even luckier that Winter's Forest sticks around, continues to quest, and keeps driving squares out the bar.
Divas on a mission to touch more butts.
There's more to come, Missoula. "Best of" posts are a plague that besets good blogs everywhere. Don't let the fever make you think 2013 isn't gonna be the coolest year in Montana. It's gonna start pretty soon.