This past Thursday night I had the distinct pleasure of playing with Gary Wilson and the Blind Dates at a private party for Cleopatra Records and Manifesto Records at the subterranean Hollywood venue Dirty Laundry. The event, which also featured performances by Shuggie Otis and Puro Instinct, and a surprise appearance by Ariel Pink, was a fitting way to cap off what has been another wonderfully weird year with the the legendary Outsider/DIY pioneer.
Besides the Cleopatra Records show, highlights of 2015 included opening twice for Ariel Pink and Black Lips, and playing alongside Jerry Solomon, Old King Cole Younger, Shags, and Ariel and Don Bolles at the special event Ariel Pink presents Cuckoo's Nest. As if that weren't enough, we also had the privilege of opening for acts like Dan Deacon. I am including footage I captured while enjoying the eclectic (and yet strikingly cohesive) performances from the Cuckoo's Nest event, which went down at Basic Flowers in downtown L.A.
The venues themselves were special this year as well. We had the pleasure of rolling on the floor in creative and inspiring spaces, including LUX Art Institute, San Diego Art Institute, Pappy & Harriet's in Pioneertown, Basic Flowers, the Observatory (North Park), and Gym Standard. 2015 also saw another milestone with the first Mexico show ever by Gary Wilson and the Blind Dates when we performed at Mouse Tache in Tijuana this past October.
Gary's most visible moment was thrilling for his fans (including Yours Truly) all over the globe, and came in the form of an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live this past May. Earlier in the year, Earl Sweatshirt sampled Gary's "You Were Too Good to be True" for his new track, "Grief". Gary shared the stage with Earl for the latter part of the song on the late-night show, to the delight of his admirers everywhere. I sat down with the master himself as he offered context to the collaboration, and I am including it here. Thanks to the 10,000 plus people who have already watched this interview as of this writing.
Gary also released not one but two new albums this year: First, he released "Alone with Gary Wilson" on Cleopatra Records. Second, he released "Music for Piano" on Feeding Tube Records. Admittedly biased, I nonetheless heartily recommend both installments from the Wilson canon. Gary spoke to be a little bit about "Alone with Gary Wilson", and I'm including the context from the master himself here.
The media were dialed in this year as well, with Gary write-ups, reviews, and appearances in Vice Magazine's Noisey, the SA Current, Central Track, and the Great Northern Radio Show in the UK. It was especially rewarding for me to see the photography of Ashley Montoya and Galina Betker featured in these write-ups.
So what awaits Gary Wilson and the Blind Dates in 2016? Like most things Gary-related, that answer remains shrouded in mystery. This is certain though: it's going to be wild, weird, and amazing. Thanks for staying tuned in, weirdos.