Well here it is…2016 is about to end. It has truly been a beautiful and trying year this year. I have had many amazing experiences with some wonderful friends and family.
I started the year off with one of my favorite electronic acts, Infected Mushroom, coming to town at Vulcan Gas company. It was a really great night as they always put on an awesome show and there is nothing that compares to an Infected Mushroom dance party! These guys are just awesome!
I played a series of shows at a place called Tellers in downtown Austin with my guitar. Six weeks of shows that eventually led up to my only live electronic performance this year with an event called Mindshifting Rabbits Called Nothing that featured my close friends Something Called Nothing and Rabbit Fist. Many thanks to my buddy Jevon for booking me to play this pretty sweet venue!
A new single came out on Valentines Day this past year called “Many Kisses”. It was good to get this one out there as it is a bit of an older track that I had been wanting to release for some time now.
I took the whole week off this past year and bought a wristband for SXSW which was a first for me. It was an awesome experience as I was able to hang out with some amazing musicians and friends. It helped that I had paid parking downtown as that can get pretty expensive. I was able to provide logistical support for Metal Mother during her time here in Austin by renting the keyboard she uses and provide local support for both of her shows that took place during this time and also had a great time getting to hang out with Mr.Kitty again. I was also able to attend both the MTV Woodies Awards and the Spin party at Stubb’s which were both amazing events! This marked the first time I ever saw The Chainsmokers, whom I would get to see 3 times this year!
I was able to see Ellie Goulding again which was definitely a highlight show of the year! Thanks Rebecca for inviting me to the show as she truly is one of my favorite artists of all time! Turns out Rebecca would become one of my best dancing show companions as she attended most of the big shows that I was at this year and we danced and had a blast at all of the ones that were to come! I can’t help it, but when Ellie is on, all I want to do is dance and sing…her music makes me happy!
The company I work for moved from our location in downtown Austin, to a little outside of downtown. This proved to be the most stressful time this year as from the moment I set foot in the new building, everything went kind of all sorts of crazy. My computer died and I lost a ton of pics from the first half of the year, plus my dad got really sick (he is doing better now), and I lost a few friends around this time (guess they weren’t really “friends” to begin with). There are people that will be a part of your life, and there are those that just are never going to fit…no matter how hard you try. I really think that this time of the year was the worst as I remember holding on to my desk at work thinking, “I just need to hold on tight as this scary ride is going to end at some point…hopefully soon.” I have never been one to have a panic attack, but I do believe that this was probably the closest I have ever gotten to a full breakdown. Glad that time has passed and the lessons learned will remain with me forever.
The Cure came to town and I took my friend Rachel who is another one of my awesome musician friends! This would be the fourth time I have been able to see them in my lifetime!
My endless love affair with the best pizza in town continues with the Austin Onion. Even though I am unable to have it as often as I would like as I no longer work downtown, I still swing by to tell the wonderful people that run the joint hello and pick up a slice of locally owned Austin awesomeness whenever I am downtown!
I let go of an old friend this year. It was time to trade out the Mustang…and picked up a Renegade!
My cousins also came to town around this time for a convention at the convention center downtown and I was able to show them around some. We even hit up “Dirty 6th” when it was starting to get hopping on a Saturday night!
I have been able to play my guitar for this little guy this year quite a bit. Every time I visit Mary and Sam, he just loves it and I’m pretty sure he will want to play one eventually. I have a new student in my future!
I lost one of my main keyboards this year as I literally saw it spark out in a burst of light and smoke. My Korg M3 which I had written my first two albums on and that had so many other unreleased songs was gone. I was pretty devastated, but thanks to my friend Sal, I was able to be reunited with this gem not even a week later as he sold me his. Talk about feeling empty and then feeling whole again!
I was able to catch local Austin producers Tritonal at Stubb’s for the first time this past year who put on a pretty amazing set. I would definitely catch them again when they return to the ATX.
I decided pretty quickly after seeing the lineup for ACL this year that I was going to go. It would mark my return to the festival since 2013 when The Cure and Depeche Mode headlined. ACL is now two weekends and I purchased a wristband for the second weekend, but my ACL experience started this year with an ACL afterparty that took place the first weekend which was a sold out show at Emo’s that featured The Chainsmokers. This year brought Radiohead, Kygo, and LCD Soundsystem as the headliners that I was able to catch among many other great artists and I really have to say that LCD Soundsystem really blew me away with their performance at the festival. It was nice to be able to run into so many of my friends at the festival as I went alone again this year and really have gotten accustomed to buying a ticket for one (me) for these types of events. Again my friend Rebecca was there and introduced me to the artist called Flume who had an epic set Friday evening of the festival and then we caught Major Lazer after. I made sure to meetup with her before these acts as I knew Friday night was going to be an epic dance party! Saturday’s highlights included Kygo and an epic ACL afterparty at Vulcan Gas Company that featured Bob Moses. Sunday was a more chill day, but the fest ended for me with LCD Soundsystem’s dance party blowing my mind and then I ran over to catch Radiohead’s last song of the night which was one of my all time favorite songs “Fake Plastic Trees”.
My colleague Matthew invited to perform my classical flamenco guitar set for the Austin chapter of the United Nations. The show took place at The Oasis here in Austin in their Sunset Room and I have to say that it was one of the most intimate and elegant performances I have ever given and an excellent experience.
A second single was released on Halloween this year called “My Ghosts” which was inspired by my favorite set of lights that I own that only come out during this time.
Facebook’s new live streaming feature to capture some live jams in the studio became a new resource for me to be able to share the music I create with the world. I also added a few new pieces of gear this past year with the Roland MX1 performance mixer and the Korg Minilogue rounding out the year. Definitely has been a very productive year musically as I would develop the setup and current sound that I am now writing and performing with. I have also made a whole bunch of new musician friends here, most notably my buddies in The Nimbus.
Even my Dad was able to participate in a few live broadcasts this year as I was able to live stream playing my guitar for him.
My friend Ashley invited me to catch the Pet Shop Boys at the Long Center this past year. I had no idea that I would see these electronic dance music legends this year! Their performance was amazing and another dance party added to the list!
I also was able to catch Mr. Kitty again live in San Antonio with my sister and Christina during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. His music is so good and his live set is always fun to dance to. I highly recommend checking him out if he comes to a city near you as you’ll be dancing all night!
My year of epic dance parties came to a close with Day for Night in Houston Texas! I had seen the pics from last year’s event and when the lineup came out this year with ODESZA and Aphex Twin headlining, plus Bjork, Little Dragon, Kaskade and many others, and after learning that my sister and her best friend Christina who we grew up with together were going, it was an easy decision to get a ticket for what turned out to be one of the coolest events I have ever been to. My buddy Sam joined us once he found out I was going as he had always wanted to see Aphex Twin. Christina got a room at the JW Marriott in downtown Houston which was about 5 blocks from the venue, so we were able to walk to the venue. Again so many of my really close friends were there that included Tahna, Virginia, Rebecca, Jessica, AJ, Jared, Sebastian and Tona. I also made a new friend, Micah, at the festival while getting our dance on to Banks. ODESZA was my favorite performance of the festival and pretty much the reason I bought my ticket.
Aphex Twin tore into the soundsystem like I have never heard anyone do before in legendary fashion. His set was pretty epic because a cold front came in during the opening third of the set and the temperature literally dropped about 20 degrees in about 10 minutes. Then the rain came, and I mean it wasn’t just a little rain, it was a hard rain and freezing cold! Good thing Sam and I were prepared and had our ponchos with us, but being second from the rail, we found ourselves trapped within a mosh pit as the crowd went pretty wild due to the rain! Anything goes at festivals and this definitely was a “festival moment”!
My little companion is as cute and amazing as ever. Even though she is no longer a kitten anymore, her personality just continues to grow and she is as sweet as ever!
Well…that’s pretty much 2016 all nicely packaged up for reflection and ready to go out the door. I’m truly thankful for all of the wonderful experiences this year and for all of my friend and family’s support and am looking forward to seeing, laughing, creating and dancing with all of you all again in 2017!