The Best of BoCoMo live music 2008

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 17 years ago, I met a guy named Aaron. He was one of–if not the very first–person I spoke to on the University of Missouri college campus. He was not only responsible for helping me move into my dorm room. More importantly, he was the guy who introduced me to Uncle Tupelo and a genre of music I didn’t even know existed. Safe to say, Aaron shaped a lot of my permanent musical tastes. Although I had to move away from Boone County, Missouri and the Blue Note, Aaron’s work keeps him in the area. Since that time, Aaron has become damned good at recording (I was going to say “taping”…do we still say “taping?”) shows. Every year, he shares the best of his shows with a close circle of friends. This year, the lineup and quality were fantastic. I asked Aaron if I could share his collection with all of you and he said sure. You can download Aaron’s collection HERE. The download speed is a little slow, but it’s worth it. If you’d like to say something to Aaron, he reads here, or you can visit his occasionally-updated site at Livin’ Live in the Midwest.

Here are the liner notes from Aaron’s 2008 collection.


Well it has been another great year of live music here in BOCOMO, and I have the music to prove it. As always thanks go to my wife for accommodating this silly hobby of mine, and putting up with the time I spend going to shows and editing my recordings. I would also like to thank Richard, Dylan, Pete, Jared, and the rest of the Blue Note and Mojo’s staff for being just great people. It was a great year of music, and I have to say it appears that the trend in new bands is alternative percussion schemes. I saw more bands with multiple drummers and spilt kits than any year before. I also saw many great opening acts that blew me way, including The Pomegranates, Gentleman Auction House, The Felice Brothers, and the Builders and The Butchers. I took some risks on a few headliners that paid off, including Macon Greyson (Thanks to Postcard), Langhorne Slim, Bon Iver (not recorded sadly), and the one man band spectacular of Possessed by Paul James, Scott H Biram, and Bob Log III. Perennial favorites The Drive By Truckers, Built To Spill, Blue Mountain, Old97’s, The Gourds, Cracker, and Yonder Mountain String Band all came back to town much to my delight. I was able to catch a lot of local acts including The Foundry Field Recordings, Casey Reeves, Molly Trull, the Hipnecks, and two of the last three shows by Witch’s Hat. I only have a few regrets this year (1) that I didn’t try harder to record the Death Cab For Cutie show (2) that I didn’t get in the soundboard for The Avett Brothers (3) that Bon Iver didn’t let me record the show (4) that I didn’t get my ass to the Blitzen Trapper and Stephen Malkmus show. After all the shows here are my picks for best songs of the year in no real particular order.

1) 03/16/08 Built To Spill-Time Trap “It’s barely yours on loan, what you think you own, place that you call home” This opening line is one of the best for describing 2008, add the power guitars and you have a great song.
2) 02/26/08 The Drive By Truckers- Putting People On The Moon I debated between this song and sink hole here, but the message of unemployment, questionable priorities for government spending, and health care all seemed to hit the other side of the coin better for 2008.
3) 10/15/08 Old97’s-The New Kid This is the last song for 2008, the rest are just in an order that I felt sounded good. I know this is a streach, but this is my song to represent the election this year.
4) 03/18/08 Man Man-Mister Jung Stuffed These guys are crazy on stage, and it is a show you just can’t miss if you get the chance to see it. It is actually hard to capture the energy of the performance on stage, and since they do a sold set of music without much between song breaks, you lose a little when you only hear one, but the music does stand on its own.
5) 02/26/08 The Felice Brothers- Frankie’s Gun The first big surprise opening act of the year. These guys are sloppy, but in a good way. If you can’t have fun at a Felice Brothers show you are either old or lame.
6) 09/13/08 The Builders and The Butchers- Down In This Hole Another big surprise opener, and a band with a couple of percussionist. They used the Piano at Mojo’s for this song.
7) 06/06/08 The Gourds- Burn The Honeysuckle How can you not love the Gourds.
8) 04/19/08 Big Smith-Burn Down The House The big boys from Springfield came to town, and brought Blue Mountain with them. For me they were the cool down act, but they are great live and this song had a great audience participation moment.
9) 10/22/08 Yonder Mountain String Band- Two Hits & The Joint Turned Brown I know it’s a shocker, but this was a crowd favorite at the show.
10) 09/17/08 The Avett Brothers- Distraction #47 The Avett Brothers have at least one great amazing line in every song. For me it hits at the end of this song.
11) Casey Reeves & The Goldbugs-Carolina Casey is still one of my favorite local artists, and this is one of my favorites done better than ever.
12) Molly Trull-Get Your Way Molly is a new up and coming local artist. To give an idea of her style, the name of her band is Anodyne. For this show she was solo, so it is a little more intimate. I find she has a great style and voice.
13) The Spring Standards-Trouble Here is another great surprise opening act. Sadly I had recording problems, or there would be more songs. However, with a split drum kit played by all three members of the band, and a great there part harmonies, this is a band that will make you hum.
14) 12/03/08 Gentleman Auction House- The Rules were Handed Down One of the best St. Louis bands I have heard in a while. This is actually the second time I got to see these guys and they are great live. They pack the Mojo’s stage and put on a high energy set of music.
15) Dr. Dog- The Way The Lazy Do I was so excited to have Dr. Dog in town for a headliner, because they were one of my favorite openers. Sadly I did not get the full Dr. Dog show as one of the singers had injured his voice. While the show was still great, it could have been epic. They opened with this song, and it was actually my favorite of the night.
16) Ha Ha Tonka- ? Southwest MO is putting out some good bands as of late, and this is another great one.
17) 09/13/08 Langhorne Slim- Cut It Down This guy was a risk, because I didn’t know anything about him when I went to the show. However, from the proclamation of this opening song he had me hooked. Be warned, he has rabid (and very drunk) fans that sing and dance the entire time, so don’t go expecting a low key night.
18) 02/19/08 Macon Greyson-Fine Line (Between Lovin’ You and Suicide) This was another leap of faith show. I didn’t know anything about these guys, but Postcard pimped them pretty hard and I gave it a shot. These guys were great and worth the trip out on a cold night.
19) 04/19/08 Blue Mountain-Skinny Dippin’ Of all the Cary Hudson solo songs they reworked, I liked this one the best.
20) 09/17/08 Back Yard Tire Fire-Jimmy and Bobby and Jack I was not a huge fan of this band, but I love story songs about crimes gone bad.
21) 05/09/08 Witch’s Hat-Glodyany 1972 This band is what Jack Black’s band would be if he had any true talent. This is a song about a Vampire, and it represents this now defunct band well.
22) 07/30/08 Cracker-Movie Star Cracker is a great band that I have not seen live for years. Playing on 9th street under the star was a great way to meet this band again.
23) 07/15/08 Bob Log III-Goddamn That Sounds Good The motorcycle helmet wearing one man band with a show that is a spectacle.
24) 06/26/08 Colourmusic- The Gospel Song This was another what the hell show. I went in expecting a pop band and ran smack dab into a sonic blast. While the pop was there it was layered in clockwork orange all white jump suits and an assault on the senses that shattered everything I thought I knew about this band.
25) 07/29/08 The Foundry Field Recordings- Holding The Pilots/Holding The Facts This is another local group that I just love. It is the vehicle for Billy Schuh and it is the best pop band playing in Columbia right now.
26) 03/18/08 The Pomegranates- Nursery Magic This band has the sweetest sounding music I heard all year. It dripped with sugar, but not all of it was happy. The cool thing about this group was that they kept switching instruments.
27) 05/09/08 Ryan Groff- Lines It is hard to believe that this is just one guy on the stage, amazing what you can do with a little looping and sampling. His band is call Elsinor, and I hope to be able to catch them live in 2009.
28) 07/15/08 Possessed By Paul James- ? This was the first act for a night of one man bands. The music was quieter and purer than the acts that followed, but had an intensity that drew me in, and is the show from the night that I listen to most front to back.
29) 07/15/08 Scott H Biram- Still Drunk etc. Ok, so this was most likely not the title, but I am not sure if the song has a title yet. It was the quietest song of the night from the Dirty Old One Man Band, and when I say dirty I mean filthy, and my favorite of the night.
30) 09/17/08 The Avett Brothers- The Weight Of Lies The opener for the night. Talk about starting on a high note.
31) 02/26/08 The Drive By Truckers-You and Your Crystal Meth My favorite new DBT song
32) 02/26/08 The Felice Brothers-Rockefeller Drug law Blues (gap in song) It’s a shame that I lost a part of this song, but it is one of their best
33) 09/13/08 The Builders and The Butchers- Bottom Of The Lake
34) 06/06/08 The Gourds- Do 4 U (midnight Rider Middle)
35) 04/19/08 Big Smith-Brady and Duncan
36) 10/22/08 Yonder Mountain String Band- Let Me Fall
37) 07/30/08 The Hipnecks- Takin’ Out The Trash Another local band that has that jam band feel and enough musicians on stage to fill out the sound.
38) 09/17/08 Ha Ha Tonka- ?
39) 03/16/08 Built To Spill- Mess With Time
40) 07/15/08 Scott H Biram- Get Me Religion
41) 03/18/08 Man Man-Easy Eats or Dirty Doctor Galapagos>Zebra Yes this is two songs, but they go well together and give and idea of how they transition from song to song live
42) 06/26/08 Colourmusic- Circles This is the song that got me to go to the show.
43) 03/18/08 The Pomegranates- Whom Who
44) 07/29/08 Dr. Dog- The Old Days
45) 12/03/08 Gentlemen Auction House- Call It Casual
46) 09/13/08 Langhorne Slim- Love To Dance During this song some women actually got on stage and danced. Sadly one of them decided that she could keep going up on stage and annoyed the singer.
47) 12/03/08 Billy Shuh- ? A solo acoustic show from a guy that I normally hear play complex songs with his band The Foundry Field Recordings.
48) 02/19/08 Macon Greyson- One Week
49) 07/30/08 Dirtfoot- Give Your Life To Jesus This was a fun band from Louisiana. They passed out can filled with beans to the crowd, and you actually hear people shaking them during the song.
50) 09/13/08 The Builders and The Butchers- The Coal Mine Fall
51) 02/26/08 The Felice Brothers- Whiskey In My Whiskey
52) 07/15/08 Bob Log III- Boob Scotch Yes, a woman got on stage and put her boob in his scotch.
53) 02/26/08 The Drive By Truckers- Sink Hole
54) 07/30/08 Cracker- 100 Flower Power Maximum
55) 04/19/08 Blue Mountain Midnight In Mississippi
56) 07/30/08 The Hipnecks- Mighty Mississippi
57) 09/17/08 The Avett Brothers- Die Die Die
58) 06/06/08 The Gourds- Motherless Children
59) 10/22/08 Yonder Mountain String Band- What You’re Selling
60) 07/15/08 Possessed By Paul James- ? Part of why I love this song is that he has technical difficulties during the song and rolls with it great.
61) 04/19/08 Big Smith- No Sir
62) 03/16/08 Built To Spill- Car A quite song amidst the onslaught
63) 12/03/08 Billy Schuh- ?
64) 05/09/08 Casey Reeves & Wes Wingate- Radio King (Golden Smog)
65) 10/17/08 Molly Trull- Melt Down (Slobberbone) That’s right, a Slobberbone cover
66) 05/09/08 Ryan Groff-Wooden Houses
67) 09/17/08 Ha Ha Tonka-Hangman An accapella version of a traditional song that was done by Led Zeppelin.
68) 03/18/08 The Pomegranates- Osidius The Emphatic
69) 07/29/08 Dr. Dog- The Breeze
70) 07/30/08 Cracker- Euro-Trash Girl
71) 10/15/08 Old97’s- Question The ladies love this song.
72) 10/15/08 The Spring Standards- Premonition
73) 02/26/08 The Drive By Truckers- Margo and Harold
74) 02/19/08 Macon Greyson- Beams
75) 12/03/08 Gentlemen Auction House- The Match Book
76) 03/18/08 Man Man- Big Trouble
77) 07/15/08 Bob Log III- Mr. Sis Boom Bah
78) 07/15/08 Scott H Biram- You Better Run Son
79) 03/16/08 Built To Spill- Third Uncle (Brian Eno)
80) 06/26/08 Colourmusic- You Can Call Me By My Name
81) 10/22/08 Yonder Mountain String Band- East Nashville Easter>Follow Me Down The River>East Nashville Easter The classing YMSB show ender of starting a song, playing another song, and then ending the first song.
82) 09/13/08 The Builders and The Butchers- In The Branches They had the audience sing and hold that initial note for the song. You can hear the crowd singing if you listen closely in parts.
83) 02/26/08 The Felice Brothers- Run Chicken Run
84) 06/06/08 The Gourds-Ant On The Melon
85) 09/17/08 The Avett Brothers- Pretty Girl From Raleigh
86) 10/17/08 Molly Trull- Before The Bombs Came Down
87) 12/03/08 Billy Schuh- Millitary Madness (Graham Nash)
88) 04/19/08 Big Smith- Backwater
89) 09/13/08 Langhorne Slim- Hello Sunshine
90) 07/30/08 Cracker- Take The Skin Heads Bowling
91) 10/15/08 Old97’s- Niteclub
92) 12/03/08 Gentlemen Auction House- Abcdefgraveyard I love when the whole band yells the lyrics of during this song.
93) 07/29/08 Dr. Dog-My Old Ways
94) 09/17/08 The Avett Brothers- Paranoia In B Major
95) 03/18/08 Man Man- Top Drawer
96) 03/18/08 The Pomegranates- Thunder Meadow
97) 09/13/08 The Builders and The Butchers- Black Dress
98) 07/15/08 Bob Log III- Bubble Strut
99) 06/06/08 The Gourds- Gin & Juice (Everyday People and Dirty Deeds Middle)

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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1 Response

  1. Aaron says:

    Hey All in Rapid world, what you have access to is my friends mix, not the mix I put on my site. Can you figure out the two things that are different?

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