Bloodshot's 2015: Our Opinions (Artists & Staff)

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December 29th, 2015 by bsradmin

We haven't heard a better relevant quotation in 2015, so we're gonna quote the wise Marc Maron again: "Ranking artists and making lists is a dead culture's version of intellectualism."

And once again, we're holding on to that dead culture with cold, lifeless fingers. We're a dying breed in a lot of ways. It’s time to look back on this past year and think about the things we didn’t find to be soiled, sycophantic shit and give thanks for the things that keep us from thinking our species may become extinct in 2016. Here is a digest of what our artists and staff say rounded out as their favorite music, movies, TV, food, trends, YouTube videos, and personal victories of this two thousand fifteenth year of our lord. This is mostly for our own amusement (or your bemusement), but you might just find something you like.

Thank you to Lydia Loveless, Murder By Death, Robbie Fulks, Cory Branan, Freakwater, Scott H. Biram, Banditos, Mekon Rico Bell, and the rest for their contributions.

Bloodshot Artist Picks

David Fountain, piano/percussion/mandolin/banjo/steel guitar/vocals, Murder By Death


[Photo by Carra Sykes]

Favorite show you played in 2015: July 20 in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Perfect weather in a Frank Gehry-designed outdoor bandshell. Just a great night.

Favorite show you saw in 2015: I saw The Baseball Project at The EARL in Atlanta. It’s Mike Mills of R.E.M. plus members of The Dream Syndicate and The Minus 5 playing songs about baseball. At my favorite venue. There were maybe 100 people there, but it was such a happy situation for all of us.

Favorite song of 2015: “Don’t Even Think” by Twin Limb. Close runner-up would be “Grey Tickles, Black Pressure” by John Gant.

Favorite 2015 movie: Mad Max: Fury Road. We saw it as a band during a particularly grueling stretch of a long tour. It’s beautiful while being dumb and loud and brilliant.

Favorite 2015 TV or web show: The Netflix reboot of Wet Hot American Summer. I watched the entire thing twice in a day.

Favorite book you read in 2015: The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. It’s not a new book, but I read it in 2015. 

Favorite YouTube video of 2015: Probably something involving a dog riding a Roomba. 

Favorite thing from yesteryear that you just got around to in 2015: Starship Troopers, which I’d never seen, and Kraftwerk.

Favorite trend from the past that reemerged in 2015: Succumbing to easily treatable diseases that we have vaccines for has seen a big rise this year. Oh, FAVORITE trend? Definitely flannels!

Best thing you ate in 2015: We got to play some shows in Greece this year, and my wife and I met up with Adam and Sarah at a fancy restaurant in Athens. It was all amazing, but the calf tail pasticcio was especially memorable.

Best thing you drank in 2015: A huge bottle of water the morning after the aforementioned night out in Athens.

Best bad decision you made in 2015: Buying a PS4.

Use an SAT word to describe 2015: Kummerspeck, which is German for “grief bacon," the weight one puts on while depressed. It doesn’t apply in any way to my 2015, I’m just trying to get it out in the zeitgeist.

What you are most looking forward to in 2016: Being recognized as the man who popularized the phrase “grief bacon."

You’re running for President of the United States in 2016. What’s your platform? Running on a platform of “literal fascism” and “be terrified of other people” seems to be an hot trend right now, so maybe that?

2016 New Year resolution and % chance of success: Dance like no one’s watching. 100%.

 

Robbie Fulks


[Photo by Andy Goodwin]

Favorite show you played in 2015: With TJ and Dave at Town Hall in NYC. They’re not very funny but they’re very nice gentlemen!

Favorite show you saw in 2015: Bill Burr at the Chicago Theater

Favorite song of 2015: I hear all the new hits over the PA at my gym but I have trouble telling one from another anymore. Nate Ruess? Kelsea Ballerina? Sam Smith? I dunno.

Favorite 2015 music album: I don’t think I bought anything released in 2015; however, Redd Volkaert gave me a little thing that plugged into my laptop and spat out files into my itunes library. I walked away from the laptop for a bit and came back. There was a message that said it’d be about 4 more hours of downloading. After it had finished I saw that he had given me 1,567 tunes. Holy cow! Lots of hard-to-find Wayne Kemp, Bonnie Owens, Thumbs Carllile, Leona Williams, Freddie Powers, and the like. That’s gonna keep me for a long time.

Favorite 2015 movie: I liked Best of Enemies. Also Spotlight, I saw it twice.

Favorite 2015 TV or web show: I don’t think I caught anything this year except the PBS Newshour. Shouldn’t you be asking young persons these impertinent and shallow questions? Oh, you didn’t ask about podcasts but I’ll tell you anyway: Gilbert Gottfried’s podcast is triple-A Awesome!

Favorite book you read in 2015: Too many to remember or to name, but for starters: The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener by Martin Gardiner; As A Man Grows Older by Italo Svevo; Native Son by Richard Wright; Lost Illusions by Honore de Balzac; All Souls by Javier Marias; On the Edge by Edward St. Aubyn; Dataclysm by Christian Rudder

Favorite YouTube video of 2015: 

My son Tennessee’s parody of the cat-cucumber megabit videos is called Boy Scared by Cucumber 

Favorite thing from yesteryear that you just got around to in 2015: See all of the above, and come back and see my answers to these dumb questions next year too.

Favorite trend from the past that reemerged in 2015: Yoga?

Best thing you ate in 2015: Oh! I can answer this. I was in this slummy area in Oakland and walking around, and I came to a place, a lunch counter really, called the Cook and Her Farmer. I figured I’d wolf down a sandwich and then go back to my depressing room and work on some music chores. The sandwich took 10 minutes to make, and I was thinking, What the hell are they doing all this time? No one else is here! What they were doing was slicing up cabbage and radicchio and scallions for my po boy, and frying up fresh croutons to put on the split pea soup I had also ordered. This was really the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten. I just couldn’t believe it was true.  

Best thing you drank in 2015: Everything tasted great!

Best bad decision you made in 2015: Again, young persons pretty much monopolize the “best bad” concept.

Top personal victory of 2015: Hm. I had a ton of fun travelling around with my buddy Redd Volkaert. “Victory” is maybe putting it too strongly...

Use an SAT word to describe 2015: Marmoreal!

What you are most looking forward to in 2016: More terrific orgasms, more Bulleit rye, more acclaim from the masses. A 3-way tie!

You’re running for President of the United States in 2016. What’s your platform? Close down the Berklee School of Music, require religious institutions to pay income and property tax, appoint Buddy Miller head of the NEA, cap CEO pay, radically simplify the tax code, make it easier to cross the Canadian border to play music in stupid bars, make it as hard to get a handgun as to get an abortion. 

2016 New Year resolution and % chance of success: Actually I’d like to lose some weight. But who am I trying to impress? Zero chance.

Lydia Loveless


[Photo credit: Columbus Alive]

Favorite show you played in 2015: Opening for the Drive-By Truckers in February at their hometown gig. A goal for like, the past 10 years for me.

Favorite show you saw in 2015: My friend Michael Casey is a magician and I got to see him perform several times. He seriously blows my fucking mind.

Favorite song of 2015: "I'm a Ruin" by Marina and the Diamonds

Favorite 2015 music album: John Moreland High on Tulsa Heat

Favorite 2015 movie: Me and Earle and the Dying Girl

Favorite 2015 TV or web show: With Bob and David

Favorite book you read in 2015: Hesitation Wounds by Amy Koppelman

Favorite YouTube video of 2015: 

Favorite thing from yesteryear that you just got around to in 2015: I've always loved baseball but never gotten into really watching MLB til this year. I decided if the band was going to have ESPN on 24/7, I was going to have to join them. 

Favorite trend from the past that reemerged in 2015: Well I like that lacy clothing became a lot more readily available but kinda sad that everyone jumped on the bandwagon.

Best thing you ate in 2015: Pulpo in Galicia

Best thing you drank in 2015: Anything my friend Dave Parsons made for me.

Best bad decision you made in 2015: Spending a weekend in Little Rock with my friends when I probably had better things to do...

Top personal victory of 2015: Making a great record and deciding to do what makes me happy instead of what's safe.

Use an SAT word to describe 2015: Achromatic

What you are most looking forward to in 2016: My record coming out.

You’re running for President of the United States in 2016. What’s your platform?  Ban heterosexual marriage, legalize drugs, and make cat calling punishable by public stoning.

2016 New Year resolution and % chance of success: Find freedom. 100%.

 

Adam Turla, Vocals/Guitar, Murder By Death


[Photo by Bill Dawers]

Favorite show you played in 2015: 3 shows in a cavern in Kentucky or Stanley Hotel weekend (The Shining hotel)

Favorite show you saw in 2015: Saint Seneca or Twin Limb

Favorite song of 2015: "Monolith" by Twin Limb (Editor's note: this song is not yet released)

Favorite 2015 movie: The time I watched Scrooged in 2015

Favorite 2015 TV or web show: Rick and Morty

Favorite book you read in 2015: The Goldfinch by Donna Tart

Favorite YouTube video of 2015: something funny

Favorite thing from yesteryear that you just got around to in 2015: Been watching Murder She Wrote. Love that lady.

Favorite trend from the past that reemerged in 2015: Feminism

Best thing you ate in 2015: so much

Best thing you drank in 2015: Many small batch bourbons

Best bad decision you made in 2015: Tour too much

Top personal victory of 2015: Still here, fuckers!

Use an SAT word to describe 2015: Splenditacular. Not a word.

What you are most looking forward to in 2016: Rest!

You’re running for President of the United States in 2016. What’s your platform? Don't be a dick.

2016 New Year resolution and % chance of success: More writing! Less touring! 50%

 

Cory Branan


[Photo by Dani Fresh]

Favorite show you played in 2015: Tie: Memphis July 4th at the Shell / Chattanooga at the Tivoli with Jason Isbell. Both shows because my son Clem came out and clowned around on stage. In Chattanooga he even "sang" Tequila by the Champs (which he just knows as Pee Wee's song) and then smashed the mic stand down to the howling laughter and applause of 1200 Tennesseeans. 

Favorite show you saw in 2015: Skyville live tribute to Kris Kristofferson. Kris was amazing. 

Favorite song of 2015: We will rock you. Again, cause of my boy Clem singing/beat boxing it all year. 

Favorite 2015 music album: Didn't listen to much new music other than my buddies' stuff. I liked Jason Isbell and John Moreland's new ones. And Kendrick Lamar's last was great. We're not buddies. Was that this year? (Editor's note: yes, it was this year.)

Favorite 2015 movie: Snowpiercer was fun 

Favorite book you read in 2015: 100 Years of Solitude but I read it every year so that shouldn't count I guess. I think I read Runaway by Alice Munro this year or late last year. Was great. 

Best thing you ate in 2015: Meal of Mussels and bone marrow my wife makes when I get to missing France. 

Best thing you drank in 2015: Recently enjoyed a cask strength Dark Horse rye from KC.

What you are most looking forward to in 2016: Hearing all the new weird crap my kids say. Recording the next record. 

2016 New Year resolution: Sing all the words of The Beatles' "getting better" and not just wait for Lennon's "can't get much worse" part. 
 

Scott H. Biram

Favorite show you played in 2015: Sweden Rock Fest w/ Motley Crüe and Judas Priest was awesome! I gotta say both tours with my buddy Jesse Dayton were a blast though! 

Favorite show you saw in 2015: It's a tie! Side stage Merle & Willie, Whitewater Amphitheater, New Braunfels TX; 3rd row center Billy F. Gibbons at Moody Theater, Austin TX; Kris Kristofferson rehearsing in his dressing room, Moody Theater, Austin TX! I had a great year of watching shows. Sorry, I could name 5 more at least! 

Favorite song of 2015: Shit, I dunno. I don't listen to new music! Heh. Probably, something by somebody that toured with me. 

Favorite 2015 music album: Same answer

Favorite 2015 movie: Mad Max: Fury Road. duh! But Whiplash was pretty good too!

Favorite 2015 TV or web show: Game of Thrones

Favorite book you read in 2015: Roll Me Up & Smoke Me by Willie Nelson

Favorite YouTube video of 2015: Key & Peele "Terries"

Favorite thing from yesteryear that you just got around to in 2015: Fixing up my house. I've owned it for 10 years and the first time I've been off the road long enough to do something to it, and I still toured about 8 out of 12 months! 

Favorite trend from the past that reemerged in 2015: I'm not much for trends. 

Best thing you ate in 2015: Heh heh. 

Best thing you drank in 2015: Guinness & Murphy's in Ireland / Heirloom Martini at Highball Austin, TX

Best bad decision you made in 2015: Buying an analog mixing console for my studio. Loving it! 

Top personal victory of 2015: Nominated for the 2nd time for Ameripolitan Music Awards. Selling out big shows in Seattle, Madrid, Lyon! 

Use an SAT word to describe 2015: I "SAT" in a tour van most of 2015! Ha ha! You don't want to know my SAT score. : (

What you are most looking forward to in 2016: Finishing the record I'm working on! 

You’re running for President of the United States in 2016. What’s your platform? The Toilet!

2016 New Year resolution and % chance of success: Put off making a New Year resolution again. 100%


Steve Pierce, banjo/vocals, Banditos

Favorite show you played in 2015: Playing In Nice, France for the Arnold/Jack Daniels party was a highlight, for sure. It was our first time overseas and gave us confidence we can travel to the next level like that. 

Favorite show you saw in 2015: Ramsay Midwood at the White Horse during this last SXSW. I've seen a lot of shows this year, but that one sticks out the most. 

Favorite song of 2015: Thin Lizzy "Cowboy Song"

Favorite 2015 music album: Innocence and Decadence by Graveyard 

Favorite 2015 movie: Star Wars: The Force Awakens 

Favorite 2015 TV or web show: Family Feud

Favorite book you read in 2015: This Wheel's On Fire by Levon Helm

Favorite YouTube video of 2015: "Don't Hug Me I'm Scared"

Favorite thing from yesteryear that you just got around to in 2015: The Eagles. I had a real breakthrough this year with "I Cant Tell You Why." (Editor's note: Steve might get his ass kicked next time he steps foot in Bloodshot HQ.)

Best thing you ate in 2015: I ate a burger in Örebro at Garaget that I still think about when I'm not hungry. It was a improvement on the animal style from In-N-Out. 

Best thing you drank in 2015: The Few Spirits Bloodshot Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey 

Top personal victory of 2015: I got a passport.

Use an SAT word to describe 2015: Boundaryless

What you are most looking forward to in 2016: Going back to Sweden 

You’re running for President of the United States in 2016. What’s your platform? I'm not sure, it'd have to be a really tall platform though. I'd hate to survive and be elected. 


Matt Armstrong, bass, Murder By Death


[Photo by Bill Dawers]

Favorite show you played in 2015: 3-way tie: Middle Of The Map Fest, KCMO, playing after our dear friend William Elliott Whitmore and before one of my mega-heroes, Peter Hook; The Bloodshot 21st Anniversary show in Millennium Park, Chicago; cavern shows in Louisville, KY

Favorite show you saw in 2015: Failure at The Vogue in Indianapolis

Favorite song of 2015: "Monolith" by Twin Limb

Favorite 2015 music album: Failure The Heart Is A Monster

Favorite 2015 movie: 3-way tie: Ex-Machina, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Black Mass

Favorite 2015 TV or web show: Ray Donovan

Favorite book you read in 2015: Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division by Peter Hook

Favorite YouTube video of 2015: Nick Offerman drinking Lagavulin Scotch in front of a fire for 45 minutes

Favorite thing from yesteryear that you just got around to in 2015: WTF podcast with Marc Maron

Favorite trend from the past that reemerged in 2015: Sock garters? I don't know.

Best thing you ate in 2015: My parents' cooking

Best thing you drank in 2015: Champagne at my brother's wedding

Best bad decision you made in 2015: Eating pizza rolls with Saintseneca and The Sidekicks

Top personal victory of 2015: Moving to a new apartment

Use an SAT word to describe 2015: Tumescent

What you are most looking forward to in 2016: The new My Jerusalem album

You’re running for President of the United States in 2016. What’s your platform? "At least he's not Donald Trump!"

2016 New Year resolution and % chance of success: Marry a supermodel who loves 90's alt-rock. 50/50

 

Rico Bell, accordion/vocals, The Mekons


[Photo by Uncle Buck]

Favorite show you played in 2015: Mekons @ Bowery Ballroom NYC

Favorite 2015 music album: Jura by Mini-Mekons & Robbie Fulks

Favorite 2015 movie: Love & Mercy

Favorite book you read in 2015: Clockers by Richard Price

Favorite YouTube video of 2015: My disappearing act on stage at Bowery Ballroom :-)

Best thing you ate in 2015: Probably whatever I ate at Ba restaurant in Highland Park, LA

Best thing you drank in 2015: Everything alcoholic

What you are most looking forward to in 2016: The whole year!

You’re running for President of the United States in 2016. What’s your platform? I'd have to have been born here to run.

2016 New Year resolution and % chance of success: Never make one hence no disappointment!


Janet Bean, vocals/guitar/mandola/melodica/etc, Freakwater


[Photo by Tony V. Martin]

Favorite show you played in 2015: I think our second show of the Pickathon weekend. It held that thrill of when a new band first seems like they are a single organism. 

Favorite show you saw in 2015: It's a tie. Both were house shows in my house that were so remarkably good and made better by the fact that I didn't have to leave my home. Steve Gunn with Michael Chapman, and the other is Xylouris White, the duo made up of Jim White from the Dirty Three and an astonishingly talented lute player from Crete, George Xylouris. Xylouris White offers a trip around the globe on a psychedelic ship. Now I just remembered how transcendent Nick Cave was in March at the Louisville Palace! 3 way tie it must be. 

Favorite song of 2015: The !MOXIE TUNG! classic, "A Hundred Fascists Must Die." I think Bernie Sanders needs to call !MOXIE TUNG! for some campaign theme music. Bernie...are you reading this? If so, Bloodshot knows how to reach them! (Editor's note: We couldn't find this song...but we're pretty sure it's Jon Langford related.)

Favorite 2015 music album: I have to be the proud mother here and say my son Matt Rizzo's project Horizon of Darkness. It's a 30-minute journey into a disarming, overwhelming, intensely personal world of poetry and sound. 

Favorite 2015 movie: Favorite movie watched this year is the 1966 masterpiece Au Hasard Balthasar, directed by Bresson. It's more soul-crushing than having Freakwater play your wedding.

Favorite 2015 TV or web show: Transparent. I've watched it all in 2 sittings. Jeffrey Tambor's portrayal of Maura is such a deep and beautifully rendered character that I had to sit in the dark for a long time after the last episode.

Favorite book you read in 2015: I have a chronic problem of reading about 10 books at a time so it takes me far too long to get through one. They all lay splayed out to whatever page I am on, one on top of the other beside my bed like a fancy ten-tiered cake. I'm giving 2666 by Roberto Bolano another chance. I've started it several times and get to about page 150 before I am convinced of how much I dislike it. I have cracked it this time and shall end it, if it kills me, by the last day of 2015. If it's not my favorite book it's the one I have spent the most time on this year and am relieved to finally have put behind me.

Favorite YouTube video of 2015: 

I love species being kind to other species videos. Wildebeest with crocodile, orangutan with a kitten, dog with bear...you name it. It's all love porn to me. Can't get enough of them. I think they will one day be the path to mankind's salvation. 

Favorite thing from yesteryear that you just got around to in 2015: Freakwater

Favorite trend from the past that reemerged in 2015: Caftans! My collection of them has now been validated!

Best thing you ate in 2015: Bacon and eggs

Best thing you drank in 2015: Anything brought to me while I am in a pool lounging on a floaty thing

Best bad decision you made in 2015: Results are not yet in

Top personal victory of 2015: Going on a long solo trip to wander the miracle that is Ciudad de Mexico

Use an SAT word to describe 2015: I'm a high school flunky so never took the thing.

What you are most looking forward to in 2016: That sometime in 2016 the media will stop talking about the red faced, pucker fish lipped, ginger hate monkey.

You’re running for President of the United States in 2016. What’s your platform? That Sally Timms will be my running mate. Need I say more?

2016 New Year resolution and % chance of success: To proceed with the Freakwater motto of "no goals, no hope." So far the success rate on follow through has been 100%!


Randy Wade, drums, Banditos


[Photo by Giles Clement]

Favorite show you played in 2015: Album release show at Saturn, Birmingham 

Favorite song of 2015: 2 Chainz "Watch Out"

Favorite 2015 music album: The Deslondes The Deslondes

Favorite 2015 TV or web show: Fargo

Favorite book you read in 2015: This Wheel's on Fire by Levon Helm

Favorite thing from yesteryear that you just got around to in 2015: Drake

Best thing you ate in 2015: Tuna+saltine+hot sauce

Best thing you drank in 2015: Bulleit 

Best bad decision you made in 2015: Any time I was awake past 4AM

Top personal victory of 2015: Getting free clothes for being a musician

What you are most looking forward to in 2016: Drones

You’re running for President of the United States in 2016. What’s your platform? Maybe partying will help?

2016 New Year resolution and % chance of success: Stop using my phone while in public restrooms, 30% success rate.


Catherine Irwin, vocals/guitar, Freakwater

[Photo by Sarah Lyons]

Favorite show you played in 2015: We got to play the moss-covered hobbit woodland stage at Pickathon in Portland, Oregon. giant ferns, compostable forks and a river of pear cider....

Favorite show you saw in 2015: Seven quiet people, one wildly enthusiastic crazy-drunk, and I saw the supremely cranky Daniel Knox in the tiny cellar bar at Decca in Louisville, Kentucky. It was perfect.

Favorite 2015 TV or web show: The Great British Baking Show on PBS. fucking awesome!

Favorite YouTube video of 2015: Hmmm... baby porcupine eating a pumpkin I think. It will be really freaky if Janet picks that one too.

Favorite thing from yesteryear that you just got around to in 2015: Fleetwood Mac

Favorite trend from the past that reemerged in 2015: The feudal system

Best thing you ate in 2015: VK8 at the Vietnam Kitchen in Louisville

Best thing you drank in 2015: Homemade Crème de Cassis out of a jar on a street corner in Millhiem, Pennsylvania.

Best bad decision you made in 2015: Put all that shit on a credit card.

Use an SAT word to describe 2015: Evanescent


Dagan Thogerson, drums, Murder By Death

[Photo: David B. Hall]

Favorite show you played in 2015: Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO

Favorite show you saw in 2015: GHOST at the Roseland in Portland, OR

Favorite 2015 music album: Such Things by Saintseneca

Favorite 2015 TV or web show: Broad City

Favorite book you read in 2015: Tiger Man by Nick Harkaway

Favorite thing from yesteryear that you just got around to in 2015: Getting a pro shave and a haircut.

Top personal victory of 2015: Bought a house!

What you are most looking forward to in 2016: Seeing Iron Maiden at the Tacoma Dome!


George Hondroulis, drums, Lydia Loveless



[Photo by Glenn Pine]

Favorite show you played in 2015: Tie between Rock and Roll Hotel in Washington DC and Rocksound in Barcelona. Both of the shows had amazing crowds. Everyone was into the show and the sound on stage was fantastic. Rocking good time was had by all. 

Favorite show you saw in 2015: Earwig at the Big Room Bar in Columbus. Oh. I left Earwig this year to tour and record with Lydia, and I'm glad to see that they are still kicking ass. Great show, as always. Can't wait for the Earwig record to come out in February. The mixes I've heard sound amazing. 

Favorite 2015 music album: Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Favorite 2015 movie: I'm gonna go with the nerd answer: Star Wars: Episode 7. Todd is gonna punch me in the face...

Favorite 2015 TV or web show: Jessica Jones

Favorite book you read in 2015: The Second Greatest Story Ever Told by Gorman Bechard 

Best thing you ate in 2015: Anything while on tour in Italy and Spain. Holy crap that was really good food.

Best thing you drank in 2015: Pappy Van Winkle. Birthday drinks. That's good stuff. Not sure it's worth all the money, but I will say it was delicious. (Thanks Jay, Todd, and Gorman)

Best bad decision you made in 2015: Too many best bad decisions.

Use an SAT word to describe 2015: Great. (Didn't take the SAT)

What you are most looking forward to in 2016: The new record. Touring. Playing as much as I can. 

2016 New Year resolution and % chance of success: Healthier living - 50%


Mary Richardson, vocals/percussion/kazoo, Banditos

[Photo by David A. Smith]

Favorite show you played in 2015: We had the opportunity to tour over seas this year. We got our feet wet in France, and then headed to Scandinavia awhile after for a month long tour. There was one particular show there that felt like a dream to me. It was in Falkoping Sweden. We pulled up on a rainy afternoon past the one of the oldest cemeteries I’ve ever seen; across the street there was a bed & breakfast and our venue for the night. It was a very quaint room, low ceilings, kitschy tables/chairs/tablecloths, and a very kind staff. I forget how old the building was, but it was very. They prepared us a meal made from the contents of the garden on the grounds, and served in a beautiful glass gazebo covered in plants. The room that night was packed with the local families-ages ranging from small kids, to their parents, to their parents. It was a very inviting, warm crowd. Something about playing a small town, out of the country and in such an environment was pretty powerful. We traded stories with some interesting people and laughed all night in that gazebo. It felt special. I loved that night.

Favorite show you saw in 2015: John Moreland at 5 spot in Nashville a few months back. He’s a very strong presence to silence a room of 200+ people in a place like Nashville. The entire room was hanging on every word. 

Favorite song of 2015: Kurt Vile Pretty Pimpin is pretty pimpin

Favorite 2015 music album: Our boys The Deslondes' self-titled. Best band of fellas in the world.

Favorite 2015 movie: I don’t know if favorite is the word, but check out this movie called Entertainment, a pretty dry, dark look into...you guessed it. You probably won’t like it. 

Favorite 2015 TV or web show: Fargo Season 2. That’s right, it’s my favorite AGAIN. Runner up is Wet Hot American Summer on Netflix - I laughed

Favorite book you read in 2015: I read this collection of several Terry Gross interviews. It was pretty interesting to read the candid remarks of artists.

Favorite YouTube video of 2015: That one of Joaquin Phoenix’s forehead turning into a comforting forehead spirit. Must watch:

Favorite thing from yesteryear that you just got around to in 2015: Overalls. Highly functional, highly silly, but most of all they are the most comfortable things. My great grandpa “Hot Shot” got it right, he wore a pair his whole life.

Best thing you ate in 2015: This might sound weird, but we got to eat reindeer heart and it was amazing.

Best thing you drank in 2015: Me and Randy were in invited into a liquor tasting in San Diego where we got to drink the fanciest scotch I’ve ever seen. That was pretty, pretty good.

Best bad decision you made in 2015: Bought a bottle of Rum at the Tax Free counter on a ferry to Finland. We drank it all on our last night in Sweden. The next day was rough, but that night was beautiful. Also, I smuggled cheese into the country-worth it.

Top personal victory of 2015: I think our entire band would agree going overseas was a dream come true.

Use an SAT word to describe 2015: Clairvoyant

What you are most looking forward to in 2016: Having a great time doing what we do.

You’re running for President of the United States in 2016. What’s your platform? In my country, I’d enforce hug breaks for the people who need to be touched, and space breaks for those who don’t. Think about it.

2016 New Year resolution and % chance of success: Do alright, 100%


Bloodshot Staff Picks

Rob Miller, Co-Chief

Favorite concert/show you attended in 2015: Our 20th anniversary bash at the Metro.   Now that it’s over, I can enjoy the memory of it.  If I could remember it.

Favorite song of 2015: I don’t listen to music anymore. I hear that Adele is good.

Favorite non-Bloodshot 2015 music album: Other people put out music?  Why?

Favorite 2015 movie:  St. Vincent  Bill Murray at his best. Documenatry: Best of Enemies.

Special mention for the Quaalude scene in Wolf Of Wall Street.  I have not laughed that hard in a LONG time.

Favorite 2015 TV or web show: 

Orange Is The New Black  (except for that fucking annoying lead character…ugh)

Favorite book you read in 2015: 

Fiction:  If On A Winter’s Night Traveler by Italo Calvino.  

A gem I re-read every few years

Non-Fiction:  Long Road to Freedom by Nelson Mandela  

We should only hope to have a tiny fraction of the stones this man possessed.  A pox on any blowhard pundit who besmirched his name when he died last year.  

Favorite YouTube video of 2015: 

I dunno, I’m too busy at work for YouTube.  I’m sure it’s a baby panda snoring or some such shit.  Maybe a Sham 69 live video from 1978, like this.

Favorite thing from yesteryear that you just got around to in 2015: The Leftovers.  Binge watched whilst we had free cable for a coupla months. Oh, and Fight Club.  That was fucked up!  Why didn’t anyone tell me it was good?

Favorite trend from the past that reemerged from the dead in 2015: Blood-chilling Trumpian/McCarthyist demagoguery.

Best thing you ate in 2015: I went to both Italy AND New Orleans this year, so tough to pick one---or even list a few, without sounding snotty.  Given recent sad events in Chicago, though, I will go with a sentimental favorite and say the Asado de Puerco at, sniff, sniff, Neuvo Leon.

Best thing you drank in 2015: Tie: The Pimms ginger julep at the Napoleon House in New Orleans/ Mango Habanero Margarita at Hello Taco in Chicago  (or perhaps the homemade limoncino on my birthday at the trattoria in Civitella Val di Chiano---ok, sorry, couldn’t help being snotty there)

Best bad decision you made in 2015: Not leaving the cramped and stupid SXSW shithole day party full of jello shots and weapons grade dickheads before The Yawpers hit the stage and made me proverbially wet my pants.  Or wet my proverbial pants. Whichever.

Top personal victory of 2015: Keeping this loony bin afloat another year.

Use an SAT word to describe 2015: Do the SATs still use words?  They haven’t shifted to emojis yet? Ok, how about: stygian! Or kardashtastic.

What you are most looking forward to in 2016: Honing my origami skills and/or teaching my damn dog to bring his tired ol’ daddy a beer.

You’re running for President of the United States in 2016. What’s your platform? Castigate and pillory anyone who doesn't think exactly like me.  It seems to be the winning formula right now.  Bring back the public stockades for people who use their phones while driving.  And, as always, NO MAN SANDALS or FLIP FLOPS more than 100 yards from a body of water.  Hear that, Wrigleyville Bro-hams? We live in a society here and your aggro-casual footwear sickens the rest of us.

2016 New Year resolution and % chance of success: Less talk, more ROCK! 100%

 

Nan Warshaw, Co-Chief

Favorite concert/show you attended in 2015: Bloodshot 20th Anniversary show at Metro with Yard Dog pop-up at G-Man on Jan 10th which featured Ben Kweller, Rhett Miller, Lydia Loveless, Bobby Bare, Jr., JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound, Banditos, and Danny Black
 
Favorite non-Bloodshot 2015 music album: Father John Misty I Love You Honeybear
 
Favorite podcast:
My favorite podcast episode: WTF with Marc Maron in June with President Obama
My favorite podcast: Science Friday – I like the content so much I’m more than willing to put tolerate the hosts annoying voice.
 
Favorite 2015 TV or web show: Don’t Hug Me, I’m Scared
 
Favorite YouTube video of 2015: The Making of Jura - Mekons & Robbie Fulks

Favorite thing from yesteryear that you just got around to in 2015: Planting my own vegetable and native wild flower garden.
 
Best thing you ate in 2015: Dinner at Schwa. Amazing.
 
Best thing you drank in 2015: Bloodshot Few Bourbon. Have me a wee nip, many a night. Will be very sad when it’s all gone.
 
Best bad decision you made in 2015: The Bloodshot partnerships with Few Spirits, Lagunitas, and City Winery.
 
Top personal victory of 2015: Receiving an honorary Doctorate from Columbia College, albeit an honorary victory.
 
Use an SAT word to describe 2015: Unalterable
 
What you are most looking forward to in 2016: The future. OK, truly some exciting new albums from Freakwater, Waco Brothers, Robbie Fulks, Al Scorch, Lydia Loveless, and more.
 
You’re running for President of the United States in 2016. What’s your platform?
A)     God help me if I run for President.  I don’t want to be under that (hot, continuous) spotlight, I’m better designed to cause change from the ground up.
B)      Running a record label is chock full of enough pitfalls for me, thank you. 
C)      Against all odds, I’ve been part of running this indie record label for more than two decades, so why would I taunt fate further?
 
2016 New Year resolution and % chance of success: To have no New Year resolution; 100%.


Josh Zanger, Publicity Pirate

Favorite concert/show you attended in 2015: Foo Fighters at Wrigley Field. Despite what you think or don’t think about this band, they put on an amazing live show.
 
Runners up: Daniel Knox at Constellation; Kamasi Washington at Bottle Lounge; Man or Astro-Man? at Empty Bottle
 
Favorite song of 2015: Daniel Knox "Don't Touch Me"

 
Favorite non-Bloodshot 2015 music album: Kamasi Washington – The Epic; Daniel Romano – If I’ve Only One Time Askin’; Torche – Restarter; Daniel Knox – s/t
 
Favorite 2015 movie: It’s from last year, but Whiplash is great. As a drummer, I had anxiety for the next week straight. But that ending… 
 
Favorite 2015 TV or web show: Mr. Robot, W/ Bob and David, Master of None, Fargo. I swear I don’t watch Netflix at my desk.
 
Favorite book you read in 2015: Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. That shit is 1000 pages. One thousand.
 
Favorite YouTube video of 2015: Everything is Terrible finds some ridiculous gems, and this is one is so great.

 
Favorite thing from yesteryear that you just got around to in 2015: Staying in and doing nothing.
 
Best thing you ate in 2015: Steak tacos from Nuevo Leon, any number of dishes from Paprika
 
Best thing you drank in 2015: Last Christmas, the girlfriend’s dad bought us a nice small-batch bottle of whiskey from a Nashville-area store, Frugal McDougal’s. Oh, and that crazy Bloodshot Few bourbon!
 
Best bad decision you made in 2015: Partaking in the tasting for our Bloodshot Few bourbon at their barrel house. 
 
Top personal victory of 2015: Planting and growing my own vegetables, eating said vegetables, and then not dying.
 
Use an SAT word to describe 2015: Incendiary – 2015 has been dubbed by me as the Year of the Fire in Chicago (Abbey Pub, the bowling alley down the block, my place, Second City, Nuevo Leon, etc.). 
 
You’re running for President of the United States in 2016. What’s your platform? I’m not crazy. I swear I’m not crazy.

2016 New Year resolution and % chance of success: To make it happen, 78%
 

Pete Klockau, Retail Rebel

Favorite concert/show you attended in 2014: Fifteen year old me was resucitated to life by Man or Astroman’s absolutely killer set at Tiki Oasis in San Diego in August…. I was jumping around and screaming like a wee lass when they set the theramin on fire. I’d seen them before but I hadn’t seen ‘em like THAT in probably 15 years. So, so great… Also, Swami John Reis & the Blind Shake at the Empty Bottle… those dudes were just god damned explosive. It was a surf-y year, I’d say...

Favorite song of 2015: None of these songs came out in 2015, but none the less all three have kinda alternated as 2015 “theme song,” thematically speaking...

Dann Penn “Far From the Maddening Crowds”

Eels “Where I’m From”

Tim Fite “A Little Bit”

Favorite non-Bloodshot 2015 music album: I enjoyed these and many other records this year…

Charlie Parr’s Stumpjumper (Red House Records)

Jaill’s Brain Cream (Burger)

John Carpenter’s Lost Themes (Sacred Bones)

Swami John Reis & the Blind Shake’s Modern Surf Classics (Swami)

Various Artists - Hulaland: The Golden Age of Hawaiian Musc (Rock Beat)

JD McPherson Let the Good Times Roll (Rounder)

Favorite 2015 movie: Outside of the Found Footage Festival, I don’t think I actually watched a movie in the theater this year, but I probably watched the fantastic documentary Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea a billion times. I first saw it probably 5 years ago and it’s been a favorite since, but as I only recently finally bought a DVD of it (I’m one of those guys) I’m counting it for 2015. Fascinating subject matter, incredible history, eccentric old people, a pervasive air of despair and sadness, narrated by John Waters and soundtrack by Friends of Dean Martinez… it feels as though it was made just for me. 

My wife and I also found out we appear for about 6 seconds in the also-fun documentary Plastic Paradise: A Swingin’ Trip Through America’s Polynesian Obsession. So that’s a thing I guess.

Favorite 2015 TV or web show: We discovered the joys of both Better Call Saul and Last Man On Earth this year.

Favorite book you read in 2015: Jeff Berry’s Cocktails of the Carribbean was as insightful, interesting, and enjoyable to read as his last book, Sippin’ Safari.

Arthur Dong’s Forbidden City USA: Chinese American Nightclubs 1936-1970 was a super interesting in-depth look at a sub genre of entertainment I never really even knew existed (and that certainly doesn’t exist anymore).

I’ve also been re-reading a favorite of mine, David J. Skal’s The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror which I first read many moons ago as an impressionable youth; it was the first book that helped me connect the dots between classic horror movies and bunch of other obsessions I’ve always had.

Favorite thing from yesteryear that you just got around to in 2015: Dan Penn… 

Of course I’d known about Dan Penn for years - all the music he wrote and his contribution to music over the years - but I’d never actually bought any of his original music as performed by the man himself. Then I discovered Ace Records’ The Fame Recordings and holy MOLY… I absolutely played that record more than anything else in 2015… when all the other records were packed and ready to move, The Fame Recordings was still out and on the turn table. I’m surprised it isn’t already worn out… SO SO good. Such an amazing catalog… 

Favorite trend from the past that reemerged from the dead in 2015: Apparently, there are Tiki bars with actually good drinks everywhere now. Since most of the ones I’ve been fortunate enough to visit seem to be doing things right, I support it. We used to have to GO to the Tiki… now the Tiki has come to us, in a sense.

Best thing you ate in 2015: We’ve just barely started to scratch the surface of all the fantastic restaurants in Milwaukee, new and old, but Honeypie on KK was an incredible recent surprise. We’re also mere minutes from the Packing House’s phenomenal fish fry (and the fish fry at Sheridan’s on Lake Drive is a close contender for “best” as well.) We’ve found so many truly great restaurants so far, I think I will need to also find a gym soon...

Best thing you drank in 2015: Few’s Bloodshot bourbon… I’m so glad I opted to drive to Evanston and buy a case from the source before it was all gone. As we work our way through those delicious, delicious bottles, I am highly suspicious I will wish we had bought more.

Best bad decision you made in 2015: Uprooting our whole lives and moving out of Chicago.

Top personal victory of 2015: Uprooting our whole lives and moving out of Chicago… for all the planning, scheduling craziness, chaos, and rejiggering that pretty much swallowed half-to-two-thirds of 2015, waking up in our wonderfully weird old house and seeing Lake Michigan out of our dining room window every morning (instead of a vacant lot and a drug/gang house), even if we aren’t close to settled yet, is one helluva great feeling and really makes it all worth it.  Somehow, we found a little slice o’ heaven here and I can’t wait to grow into it.

Use an SAT word to describe 2015: Upheaval

What you are most looking forward to in 2016: Settling into the new homestead and our new routines and getting very very closely acquainted with the great city of Milwaukee

You’re running for President of the United States in 2016. What’s your platform? I’m awesome and of high quality and everyone else stinks and is a big loser and lying to you… wait I think somebody is already using that platform…

2016 New Year resolution and % chance of success: Getting our house in showable and functional condition before 2017… we’re well on our way already, so I gotta think the odds are good we’ll be sittin’ pretty by this time next year. I also want to get back into a regular daily drawing regimen… something that fell out of habit in the craziness of the last couple years.
 

Mike Sosin, Radio Raider

Favorite concert/show you attended in 2014: Foo Fighters/ Cheap Trick/ Naked Raygun/ Urge Overkill - Wrigley Field 

Favorite song of 2015: Kamasi Washington “The Rhythm Changes"

Favorite non-Bloodshot 2015 music album: Phil Cook - Southland Mission

Favorite 2015 movie: Spectre (It might be the only 2015 movie I saw)

Favorite 2015 TV or web show: Master of None

Favorite book you read in 2015: Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring by Alexander Rose

Favorite YouTube video of 2015: "I Do No Sex” 

Favorite thing from yesteryear that you just got around to in 2015: This is going to make me sound like an asshole but I kind of got really into jazz. Oh well, I’m an asshole. 

Favorite trend from the past that reemerged from the dead in 2015: Beanie Babies! Wait, was that not a thing that came back this year? I think I may have made some financial mistakes. 

Best thing you ate in 2015: Hot Chicken at Hattie B’s in Nashville

Best thing you drank in 2015: The time we went to Few to pick our barrels for the Bloodshot Bourbon and we got to drink out of 14 barrels - those things. 

Best bad decision you made in 2015: I rekindled my love of Taco Bell. Not Sorry. 

Top personal victory of 2015: Eating Lots of Taco Bell. Not Sorry. 

Use an SAT word to describe 2015: Harangue 

What you are most looking forward to in 2016: The end of this election. 

You’re running for President of the United States in 2016. What’s your platform? End the war on drugs, judicial reform, state funded higher education for all, huge taxes on the wealthy only and mandatory military service for the children of anyone that makes more than $250,000 a year, raise the minimum wage, isolationism, no more Republican party - yes, I mean I will abolish it, free puppies and whiskey for everyone. 

2016 New Year resolution and % chance of success: Eat more Taco Bell. 100%

 

Mike Smith, New Media Miser

Favorite concert/show you attended in 2014: Man or Astro-Man? at The Empty Bottle. My first time seeing them. The crowd was going apeshit, bassist Coco the Monkey left the stage during an argument with drummer Brian Causey and played billiards with fans while the band continued to play, and Josh and Sosin got to wear the space helmet.

Runner-up: Murder By Death & Banditos at Millennium Park. Two bands at the top of their game bringing the house down on a gorgeous July night on the lake in front of thousands of folks boozing on the lawn. What's not to like?

Favorite song of 2015: Mew "Satellites"

and Courtney Barnett "Nobody Really Cares If You Don't Go to the Party"

 

Favorite non-Bloodshot 2015 music album: Can't pick one. In no particular order...

Diamond Rugs Cosmetics
Daniel Romano If I've Only One Time Askin'
Meat Wave Delusion Moon
Beach Slang The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us
Two Gallants We Are Undone
Big Boi & Phantogram Big Grams
Swami John Reis & the Blind Shake Modern Surf Classics

Favorite 2015 movie: Tie: Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens and Dope (It's like Friday and Boyz N the Hood for the internet age. Fantastic.)

Favorite 2015 TV or web show: TV show:Veep Web show: Master of None

Favorite book you read in 2015: Bossypants by Tina Fey. I'm halfway through Kim Gordon's Girl in a Band, and if I'd finished that this year, it would likely be my favorite. I really only read autobiographies these days.

Favorite YouTube video of 2015: Conan O'Brien and Dave Franco join Tinder

Favorite thing from yesteryear that you just got around to in 2015: Merle Haggard. I can't tell you why, but I never listened closely until this year. "Sidewalks of Chicago" is something else.

Favorite trend from the past that reemerged from the dead in 2015: Guitar music.

Best thing you ate in 2015: Stateside: hot chicken at Hattie B's in Nashville. Abroad: "Anna's Pie" - a hot honey, cheese, and filo treat at Good Heart Cafe in Santorini, Greece.

Best thing you drank in 2015: Few Spirits bourbon straight from the barrel. I couldn't feel my lips by the end of the tasting. 

Best bad decision you made in 2015: Every time I ate giardiniera on pizza.

Top personal victory of 2015: Surviving a five-hour kayak trip in the choppy Mediterranean. The most athletically challenging thing I've ever done,

Use an SAT word to describe 2015: Interrobang?!

What you are most looking forward to in 2016: Convincing you to listen to many excellent upcoming Bloodshot releases. 

You’re running for President of the United States in 2016. What’s your platform? Fix our roads and bridges, invest the rest in education.

2016 New Year resolution and % chance of success: Don't move to a new apartment. Don't fall off my skateboard. 40%

 

Justin Hertner, Warehouse Warlock

Favorite concert/show you attended in 2014: Norma Jean Oh God, the Aftermath: 10 Year Anniversary

Favorite song of 2015: Meatwave “Sunlight"

Favorite non-Bloodshot 2015 music album: Meatwave Delusion Moon

Favorite 2015 movie: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Favorite 2015 TV or web show: Fargo Season 2

Favorite book you read in 2015: Not one book was read.

Favorite YouTube video of 2015: Backstage video of Stevie Nicks singing “Wild Heart” 

Favorite thing from yesteryear that you just got around to in 2015: I finally started watching Gotham.

Favorite trend from the past that reemerged from the dead in 2015: Star Wars, Star Wars, Star Wars.

Best thing you ate in 2015: Beef Panang Curry from Thai-Kun Truck in Austin, TX

Best thing you drank in 2015: Harmless Harvest Coconut Water

Best bad decision you made in 2015: Moving back to the Midwest. Where seasons exist.

Top personal victory of 2015: Becoming a part of the Bloodshot family.

Use an SAT word to describe 2015: Jubilant 

What you are most looking forward to in 2016: Every single superhero movie. 

You’re running for President of the United States in 2016. What’s your platform? First Order

2016 New Year resolution and % chance of success: I’m going to try jogging. There’s a 100% chance I’ll do it for one day.

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