Good god, another year has zipped by already. Well, we’ve been really busy around Randomville, obvisously, since it took me until January 5th, 2010 to publish the 2009 Year in Review!
This time last year we were just getting used to our new skin as we had then recently re-designed the website. Well, we learned how to utilize the tools that allow readers to comment on articles, one of the biggest additions to the site. We also gave you well over a hundred songs, ranging from the old-school to the never-before-released, to sample in our music player.
Even though Randomville continues to grow at a rapid pace, we sadly have had a few more writers move on to other things. By all means we wish them the best of luck and our door is always open to them, but in brighter news, we gained about a half dozen new writers and even had some writers rejoin us from the past. Each month we profiled an artist for Absolutely Kosher Records, and later in the year we began to profile a charity each month. Look for us to profile bands from a different label next year, and for the charity profiling to continue.
We attended more festivals and conducted more interviews than ever before in our five year history, but by far our greatest achievement this year was being named among the Top Twenty Music Review Blogs on the web. Three things that were surprising about this: 1. We ranked number seven! 2. Music is not even our only focus on the site 3. They found us out of the blue. As always, I can only begin to thank our hard working, creative staff here at Randomville as this proves that we are growing and gaining recognition….one reader at a time! And of course we thank EACH AND EVERY reader who glanced our website this year!
Adding Quick Shots has made the site more interesting because you never know what unique thing we’ll post next. So let’s take a glance back at some of our highlights. Last year we broke it down by category, so let’s briefly look back at each month in 2009:
Matt Altieri gave game reviews for both Pure and Prince of Persia. Che was rather quiet at the box office, but we gave it a 4/5 review. The band Blind Pilot had a huge year, but not before we could get an interview with them. Evan Brown didn’t stop there as he also profiled the band +/-.
Even though they were eventually ripped off of the air for poor reasons, I did get to interview Al and Joanie, a couple of wonderful Seattle-area DJs who played old school jazz/swing. But as warming as that story was, it all turned into anger flames as I was forced to write a glowing review of Lady Gaga’s album The Fame since I lost a bet to fellow writer Evan Brown over those miserable, goddamn Pittsburgh Steelers! A true low point in my career.
In more cheerful news, we had some hilarious commentary as we live-blogged The Grammy Awards. We also traveled out to Cambridge, MA to see The Pains of Being Pure at Heart live in concert. And who says that WE can’t make our own Rock Hall of Fame nominations of only bands from the past ten years?
Not only is Joan Baez still alive, but she’s still performing. And in Pittsburgh! Does the potential Live Nation/Ticketbastard merger have you down? Then look to Brown Paper Tickets for both moral and financial relief. Then we topped off the month with album reviews of Mastodon and Doom.
We emerged out of the darkness of winter by going to see The Heartless Bastards twice in two different cities, as well as The Coachella Festival and the ultra-unique Honk!Fest. Up in Canada we got the chance to make our own album covers for a project. And Record Store Day came around again, which everyone loves, right? Well, not quite everyone…
Once again The Seattle International Film Festival invited us back for more coverage where we saw great films such as Yes Men Fix the World. We also sent Andrew Kottwitz out to Sasquatch! to see bands like Jane’s Addiction, NIN, and many more. Most memorable might be the burnt scalp he came back with….wear a hat next year, Andrew!! Allen Cooley gave us The Food Network Foray. We also interviewed the husband/wife duo of Post Honeymoon and reviewed an album by Jeanna Murphy.
This was the month that Michael Jackson passed away, and it also brought the end of the SIFF, as well as a lot of rear-ends riding through the streets of Seattle naked on bicycles. Evan Brown delivered a great interview with the eccentric Rory Dickenson, or OCDC as the name he goes by. Meanwhile, Mad Rad might be the wildest version of The Beastie Boys that hip hop has seen in many years. It was a big year for the band and we nabbed an interview.
This month brought the 20th anniversary of The Beastie Boys’ album Paul’s Boutique, which we featured in our music player for the whole month even though we also sadly reported about Beastie Adam Yauch getting cancer (full recovery expected). On a brighter note, July was also the beginning of our monthly Charity of the Month stories that we now post, and we welcomed Ken Grand-Pierre to the team when he gave us single reviews of Arctic Monkeys, Panama Kings and The Cribs. The first installment of the ongoing series The Hunt began also, where we follow the hilarious real-life tale of one man’s search for an album. And I got really pissed off…again.
For us, nothing was bigger than our interview with punk legend Mike Watt. Jonathan Hart reviewed the game Out of the Park Baseball 10, Pam Inglesby saw the film Paper Heart and I gave you my thoughts on the movie It Might Get Loud.
For me, September means Bumbershoot. And once again the mega-arts festival invited us back and we shared reviews, interviews and photos of De La Soul, Modest Mouse, Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears, Elvis Perkins, and TONS more! We also ventured out to New York to hit up the Virgin Mobile Freefest to see Jet, Mates of State, Weezer, and many more. We often give you a run down on newer songs out there, so in August we gave our opinions on songs by Radiohead, Pearl Jam, Phoenix, and Eels.
As you have likely noticed, we’re profiling each of Ash’s A-Z series of songs as they release a new song every few weeks, and we kicked it off with Single A. Randomville also welcomed several new writers this month: JB Bonaficio reviewed the film Black Dynamite; Lang Gito hit up Garagefest in Portland; Kayla Rakes saw Where The Wild Things Are and Nate Watters witnessed The Bouncing Souls live in concert. Welcome aboard, crew!
The Yellowbird Project attracts artists like Devendra Banhart, Bon Iver, Of Montreal, and Rilo Kiley, which is why we chose it as our Charity of the Month. Andrew went and saw The Pixies live in concert…remember when Nate did back in 2004?? The other Nate interviewed the band Propagandhi, while I visited not only The Couchfest Film Festival but also the guy who makes Jack White’s guitars.
December saw the end to a decade and we decided to reflect back on music, comics, pop culture and tons more from the past ten years. AIDS/HIV awareness is always a good thing, so we chose an Ohio charity to profile. We also squeezed in a couple more interviews with The Ruby Suns and Panama Kings.
What a year. While hardly an exhaustive list of what’s happened at Randomville, we wanted to treat readers to some of their favorite moments of 2009.