it’s the end of one year, and the beginning of another, and the end of the first decade past the year 2000, and the beginning of the next. now is the time for list upon list from anybody and everybody to laud the music that moved them, left them speechless, blew their mind and turned them on in general. yours truly, am no different, so here’s my take on the practice. but first, a brief prologue:
10 years ago i was 18, fresh out of high school as the saying goes, and no clue as to what i was going to do with myself. all i knew was that i loved music, and needed to know more of it, and be more involved with it. i worked at a record store, hosted a college radio show, saw a ton of shows, bought a ton of cds, read biographies, read all manner and quality of magazines, spent hours on the allmusic website, and in general gulped down anything musical i could. 5 years ago i started playing with the one and only red china, and met and played with all sorts of awesome folks. this year, my three favorite local bands ceased to be for one reason or another, this is a tribute to them, the best of the past decade for me.
having a myspace for a band leads you to getting numerous messages from other groups of varying quality asking about shows. most of them, suck. one evening before practice, all the members of red china were huddled around the ‘puter checking out this weird band that was tight and repetitive that asked us to play with them at the lager house. being of a mind to never turn down any show, at that point in time, we took it. we didn’t know what to think about the name though, wildcatting. anyways, we played the show (with the also amazing heroes and villains), and became fast friends. countless more shows were played, everybody in detroit fell in love with them, they released a cd, everybody else in detroit fell in love with them, etc.
i could easily write a book about the fun i’ve had with wildcatting, and half of it would be praise for their mind melting performances. seriously, these guys were pure energy; each song had the tightest riffs that they would rail into your skull until it blew apart into free-form glee, and back again. and it wouldn’t be the same thing twice, ever. brandon moss kills it on drums, always. fucking period. watching him is like watching ten acrobats juggling rabid tigers on ecstasy. on dueling guitars were scotty iulianelli, laying down riff after riff, and ben audette, with leads that danced around them. both would twirl around and flail away, stopping only to mess with their pedals and lay into those. then there’s nick jones, the most understated part of the equation. he quietly drinks a beer and holds the whole thing together while puffing on a cig (until he hits the distortion pedal). of course he can rip it up on the bass as much as anyone else in the band, he’s just the cool cucumber in the patch. the best part is they are a bunch of sweethearts, strait-up dudes with nothing but smiles and positivity.
brandon eventually brought in his friend marc paffi (both having played together in bear vs. shark) to try adding some keys and mess around with vocals. things gelled, and the new band became ‘bars of gold.’ it’s a logical extension of wildcatting, all that energy focused into tightly wound songs that explode into huge choruses, whilst marc climbs onto anything he can and confronts everyone in the audience. it’s a new religion for young and old. their album is getting ready for release in the next couple of months; meanwhile brandon and his family have relocated to virginia, due to the poor state of michigan’s economy. he vows to return though, and will be back visiting and playing as often as he can.