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TOP 10 DAYS OF 2014
Plus a Lucinda Williams cover
by Sam Cook-Parrott

I heard a lot of great albums but this feels like a more comprehensive year end list. Please excuse the diary style. I had many other good days and many other bad ones but these are ones that stand out.

1. 1/18: In the middle of a tour where I was travelling alone, and hadn't seen anyone I knew for a few days, I ended up in St. Louis at the City Museum. Wandered around for hours, got picked up by Mike who set up the show, played at Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, met some nice sisters who I went on to see several times later in the year, in their respective new cities (they separated for college.)

2. 4/15: A few months before as I watched the Frankie Cosmos record release show, I got a call from Jon that on our upcoming tour, we were going to play a show in Cleveland with one of our favorite songwriters, Bill Fox. It wasn't until we showed up and saw it for real, almost home from 3 weeks of touring that included a week or so with (homies and fellow BF fans) Waxahatchee, that we knew it was real.

3. 5/6: Day 2 of tracking Torch Song, after finishing Cynthia's guitar parts at Golden Tea, we went to the skate park under the Greys Ferry bridge and played a show with Big Eyes and Tony Molina. I lost my favorite sweater. A few days later was my 23rd birthday.

4. 6/9: Rode down with the Ambulars to DC for their show with Delay and Martha. I had seen them at Golden Tea a couple days before so I knew I needed to see it again. Afterwards the crew went and got jumbo slices.

5. 8/4: Last minute show at the end of an abandoned pier. Acid Fast/Pigeon Island crew brings the party everywhere they go. Constant Insult from MN ruled. Ended up partying with Pigeon Island for 3 days straight in the Bay about a month later, where Jeff ate the longest burrito I have ever seen.

6. 9/20: Stuck in a traffic jam just outside of San Jose we listened to the Hey Hallways cassette that Jason had just slyly given to Cynthia. We all marvel at the first side and sit pensively in contemplation for the b-side. Get to Rogie's right as him and his friends are moving cars out of the driveway for the show. Girlpool has me nodding silently in pure awe as they shut up a driveway of 200 kids waiting to mosh. Party Tim got me too high so in the moment I was hella scared but looking back it was the coolest show I've maybe ever played. Watched Utopia at Ali and Eloy's after.

7. 10/4: End of 5 week US tour with the band, last of 4 days with eternal besties Places To Hide. Not the first time this year that crew has saved my life through song. Museum Mouth kills it and Karl made an amazing poster using a still from the "Shake It Off" video. Reminisce with Allen about the show he had set up for me in January where about 10 people half-watched me and the juxtaposition of this packed record store show. Talked to Chelsea on the phone and made plans for me and Allison to party with her and Ali D in New Hampshire a week later.

8. 10/11: In Burlington, the day after partying with Ali and Chelsea, me and Allison fucked up and don't have a place to stay. We remember the nice girl who left a note at the merch table, through a series of sleuth work we get her number from Katie Bennett. Claire gets saved as "Claire Miracle" in my phone after saving us. The next several days are a roller coaster for us, we are very emotional people and touring is hard. We cry and yell at each other but ultimately bond over the weird trajectories our lives have taken in the past year, our frustrations with our families and friends, our future. On Canadian Thanksgiving, we had dinner at Denny's.

9. 11/15: Last day of a 2 week tour with Waxahatchee and last day of the better part of 3 months of touring for me. We are in Nashville where Waxahatchee is opening for Jenny Lewis. My sister came to the show, and quickly managed to become best friends with several different famous people attending the after party. Not naming names but I will say a kid from Step by Step was there. Sad when Keith and Katie drop me off at home the next day.

10. 11/20: Finally back at the coffee shop I work at, looking back on my year. Marissa from Mannequin Pussy pops in while running errands. I make her a hot chocolate while we discuss the tours we just got back from. We had seen each other a month earlier in New York, where we went to the Natural History Museum with Girlpool and Slutever. I'm in that special post-tour funk where you only want to listen to alt-country. Whiskeytown, Old 97's and Lucinda Williams. Me and Al had been covering "Something About What Happens When We Talk" on the Waxahatchee tour. Go home and start talking with Mikey about Goodbye Party practice starting soon.

Come on 2015, the last one is now a faded dream...

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