Todd Beene of Lucero’s Top 10 of ’12 (LPs, underwear & more)
Lucero at Brooklyn Bowl, Dec 2012 (more by Andrew St. Clair)
Lucero‘s upcoming shows at Brooklyn Bowl (tickets for 12/28 & 12/29, or both) and New Year’s Eve gig at Wellmont Theater with The Hold Steady (tickets) will be here before you know it. We cornered pedal steel whiz Todd Beene to ask him about his favorite things form 2012. His top 10 for the year (which includes other stuff besides music, like, um, underwear) is below along with his very entertaining commentary.
Todd Beene’s Top 10 list for 2012
Preface: This is my first top 10 list ever. It’s mostly because I am lazy, however it is also because I don’t really seek out new music when I’m travelling, I usually do that at home. 2012 was, without a doubt, my craziest year of all-time, freak-out, never-go-home type of year (and still is). Unfortunately, I didn’t come across much new music except for the bands I saw that were playing the same shows as I was or stuff that I got from close friends and bandmates. So my list is light, but there are things I discovered this year that are of equal importance to me as music due to the nature of my transitional existence and I’d like to share those with you as well. The first three are quality-of-life things that have had an impact on my day to day situation, then we get to the music meat.
1) North Face Base Camp Duffel – This thing has been my constant companion for most of the year. In fact, I haven’t fully unpacked it in about 6 months. It was a little pricey, but not when I think about how much I paid for the 5-7 other cheap, shitty bags that I destroyed over the years. This thing is hard as nails, has huge ass zippers, and is water resistant so I regularly throw it in the back of my truck even when it’s raining and zero fucks are given. For somebody that travels constantly, having a bag like this means the world.
2) ExOfficio Give-N-Go Boxer Briefs – My approach to underwear until now has been – “whatever, I don’t have time.” I buy one kind of black socks because I think it’s a stupid waste of time to sit around matching socks when you do laundry. I’m that kind of weirdo. Ben Nichols says I have negated any time savings by talking about my sock strategy to anyone who will listen. The same used to hold true for underwear in that I would always buy the exact same 3-pack from Sam’s. They just weren’t doing it anymore so, as any rational human being would do, I turned to Reddit and Amazon reviews. This time, it worked. Everything good you read about these babies is true. They’ve changed my freaking life. I take 3 pairs of underwear with me on every trip, no matter how long, yet I wear clean underwear EVERY FUCKING DAY. Look into it.
3) Kershaw Onion Scallion Knife – I carry a pocket knife which, I have recently learned, freaks some folks out for some reason. It takes all kinds. My buddy Jimmy turned me on to Kershaws and I picked this one out for it’s size and non-serratedness (serrated is for chumps, I like a clean cut on them fools). Best pocket knife I’ve ever owned. When it’s not in my right pocket, I feel a little out of balance.
4) Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires (live) – Now don’t get me wrong, their record is great. But to wrap your head around it, you have to see this band all up in your face-holes. It’s precisely what I want MY Southern rock to sound like. Skronkish, James Burton inspired guitar licks, loud as shit, and with the only male singer out there who is doing the damn thing when it comes to music writer labels like “country soul.”
5) Rodney Crowell – I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with Rodney Crowell when Lucero did the Mountain Stage Radio program with him. Watching him from the wings alone out there on the stage just doing what he do, it was really inspiring and gave me a cold chill up the back of my neck-feathers. He’s so damn good.
6) Kelvin Holly – Kelvin is a family friend and a member of the Decoys (Muscle Shoals) and Little Richard’s band. Before a recent Lucero show, I got to catch up with him and Spooner Oldham before they played a set with Pegi Young at the House of Blues in Dallas. The stories were great, but it was so cool watching Kelvin play. He’s the kind of guitar player that stitches together thoughts and ideas so effortlessly it sounds like voodoo. When I’ve had a little too much to drink, or am distracted, or not feeling well or are lost in a song, there’s like 4 or 5 things I know I can sort of fall back on musically to get me through a song. Watching him, Kelvin probably has thousands and no-one would ever know because he’s like, that good.
7) Nude Beach – II – Joey Kneiser turned me on to these guys. It’s pretty simple really, when shit rocks and grabs you, it rules. Springsteen/Petty/Costello three piece from Long Island plays unassumingly and unabashedly. I liked it so much that I petitioned for them to support Lucero on one of our Brooklyn Bowl shows in December. I can’t wait to see them and see what they’re really about. My only gripe is that I wish the record sounded just a little bit better. I’m all for lo-fi and shit, but this is a little off my personal scale. Oh well, it still kills.
8) Air – Le voyage dans la lune – I’m an absolute freak about Air. I wouldn’t even call it a guilty pleasure because I don’t feel guilty at all about it. I think those two artsy fartsy French dudes are fully badass. So, Air did the soundtrack for the newly discovered/restored/released original, hand colored print of “Trip to the Moon.” The record is an extended “inspired by” version of all the songs and more. I threw down the serious cash at Grimey’s records in Nashville to obtain the limited LP that included the DVD with the score. Totally worth it. Later, a very sweet and generous fan brought me a fantastic book from the Telluride Film Festival showing of the movie. It’s all in French so I have no idea what the hell it says, but it is still one of the coolest gifts anyone has ever given me on the road.
9) Beach House – Bloom – Joey Kneiser put “Teen Dream” in my hands and I was hooked on this candy. I listened to “Bloom” almost every night going to sleep on the bus for months. I finally got the chance to see them at the Forecastle Festival in Louisville and I just haven’t listened to the record once since then. I wasn’t bummed out or anything it’s just, I guess, like when you get an earworm and once you listen to the song it’s gone. I guess maybe it was a weird two year earworm. A “Two Yearworm.” Also, I absolutely punished the two of them backstage trying to talk to them. They weren’t having it.
10) Alabama Shakes – Boys & Girls – So this record came out in 2012. Bam! As in, BAMA.
Now check out what albums the Alabama Shakes loved in 2012.
Lucero — Tour Dates
12/21/12 Little Rock, Arkansas Revolution Music Room (The Rev Room) United States
12/22/12 Memphis, TN Minglewood Hall United States
12/28/12 Brooklyn, NY Brooklyn Bowl United States
12/29/12 Brooklyn, NY Brooklyn Bowl United States
12/30/12 Revere, MA Wonderland Ballroom United States
12/31/12 Montclair, NJ Wellmont Theatre United States
01/18/13 Bowling Green, KY The Warehouse at Mt. Victor United States
01/19/13 Chicago, IL TNK 2013 @ The Metro United States
01/20/13 Bloomington, IN The Bluebird United States
02/08/13 Fayetteville, AR George’s Majestic United States
02/09/13 Fayetteville, AR George’s Majestic United States
02/23/13 Brisbane Soundwave Festival Australia
02/24/13 Sydney Soundwave Festival Australia
03/01/13 Melbourne Soundwave Festival Australia
03/02/13 Adelaide Soundwave Festival Australia