Archive | November, 2012

Top 50 Songs Of 2012: Part 5

November 30, 2012


It’s Friday, which means we have arrived at the end of my Top 50 Songs Of 2012 list!  I hope you’ve had a good time perusing the previous 40.  In case you somehow missed this little bit of info, I chose the songs from the 400+ tracks that I shared around here throughout the last 11 months.  Enjoy.

10)  :Icona Pop – I Love It:  Much of my 2012 was spent looking to this electropop number for a burst of fun.  I just kind of adore how obnoxious it is.  From the Nights Like This EP.

09)  :Japandroids – The House That Heaven Built:  I think it’s safe to say that with this song, Japandroids are now officially the band everyone looks to when they’re in need of an anthem.  From Celebration Rock.

08)  :David Byrne And St. Vincent – Who:  This track is focused pop madness, and to be honest, that’s exactly what I was hoping the David Byrne/St. Vincent collaboration would unleash onto the world.  From Love This Giant.

07)  :Ellie Goulding – High For This (The Weeknd Cover):  Every year there’s a cover that I can’t get enough of, and in 2012 it was Ellie’s sensual take on this Weeknd track.  I highly recommend headphones.  And booze.

06)  :TV Girl – I Wonder Who She’s Kissing Now:  There’s going to come a year where I don’t get an incredibly catchy and charming retro pop track from TV Girl, and then I’ll immediately become cranky and constantly reference the “good old days.”  From The Wild, The Innocent, The TV Shuffle.

05)  :Tame Impala – Elephant:  Of the 50 songs on this list, this is my favorite to try and ruin my speakers with.  It’s actually flaunting some attitude, which is something I didn’t think Tame Impala had in them.  From Lonerism.

04)  :MS MR – Hurricane:  2012 featured a ton of good music that was 90s-enthused, so you know it means something when I say that I found this MS MR song to be the best of the bunch.  From the Candy Bar Creep Show EP.

03)  :Dum Dum Girls – Lord Knows:  This band is so very good, and it’s all because Dee Dee continues to be one of the best songwriters around.  Just listen to the lyrics in this incredible song for proof.  From the End Of Daze EP.

02)  :Twin Shadow – Five Seconds:  I wanted to not use the word “infectious” anywhere in this list, but that’s just exactly what this 80s throwback is.  Good luck trying to ever escape its grasp.  From Confess.

01)  :Purity Ring – Fineshrine:  When I sat down to map out this year’s 50 songs, I already knew what would be in this spot.  That’s actually never happened before, and I give all the credit to Purity Ring, who created a song that’s as fantastic as can be on all fronts.  I will love this track forever.  From Shrines.

PS – You can check out the entire list on one page here, or the majority of the songs here on Spotify.

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Top 50 Songs Of 2012: Part 4

November 29, 2012


At least if the world ends in a few weeks, you’ll have some good music to go out to.  That’s sort of comforting, yeah?  Anyhow, below you’ll find the fourth part of my Top 50 Songs Of 2012.  In case you’re curious, I chose the songs from the 400+ tracks that I shared around here throughout the last 11 months.  Enjoy.

20)  :MIA – Bad Girls:  This single was supposed to be from a new album, but that has yet to materialize.  Oh well.  For now it simply serves as a nice reminder of how great MIA is when she’s having fun and not taking herself too seriously.

19)  :Action Bronson – A Simple Man:  I had a long list of Action Bronson songs to choose from for this spot, but I went with this one-off single because it’s what originally made me want to champion the guy.  It’s just stellar stuff.

18)  :Sky Ferreira – Everything Is Embarrassing:  I don’t know how many times I listened to this in 2012.  I just couldn’t seem to get it out of the part of my soul that wants to dance in a dark corner somewhere.  From the Ghost EP.

17)  :The Eastern Sea – Wasn’t For Love:  With this song, The Eastern Sea went from just being an Austin favorite of mine to being something much bigger and better.  Glad I hopped on the bandwagon early.  From Plague.

16)  :Dan Friel – Valedictorian:  For those that don’t know, Dan is the former frontman of Parts & Labor.  This song sees him being as noisy and wild as can be, and I’m not sure I’ll ever tire of it.  From Total Folklore (due in 2013).

15)  :Chvrches – The Mother We Share:  I’ve yet to come across anything else from this band, and that’s OK because I’m far from being done with this Purity Ring meets Cults combo of a single.

14)  :Yeasayer – Longevity:  My love for Yeasayer has always been in regards to their live show, so I was a little surprised to find myself so attached to one of their studio tracks.  I greatly dig the off-balance mix here.  From Fragrant World.

13)  :Fiona Apple – Every Single Night:  You have to appreciate that Fiona keeps coming up with ways to stay interesting.  This pop effort pulls no punches.  From The Idler Wheel.

12)  :POS – Fuck Your Stuff:  This is exactly what I always expect POS to deliver – it’s aggressive, playful, and smart.  From We Don’t Even Live Here.

11)  :San Cisco – Awkward:  I love this indie pop tune, but I do have to admit that I’m not so sure a song about stalking should be this enjoyable.  From the Awkward EP.

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Top 50 Songs Of 2012: Part 3

November 28, 2012


On the off-chance that you weren’t paying attention throughout any part of 2012, then know that I have you covered.  Below you’ll find the third part of my Top 50 Songs Of 2012.  In case you’re curious, I chose the songs from the 400+ tracks that I shared around here throughout the last 11 months.  Enjoy.

30)  :Lace Curtains – Bedroom Honesty:  For a song that sounds so wonderfully casual and inviting, it’s brutally upfront about quite a few things.  I love it.  From The Garden Of Joy And The Well Of Loneliness.

29)  :Three Mile Pilot – Long Way Up:  It doesn’t seem plausible for a band to take a decade-long break and then come back as good as ever, but 3MP are currently in the middle of doing just that.  For proof, give this indie rock effort a listen.  From the Maps EP.

28)  :Ceremony – Hysteria:  There isn’t anything about this punch to the soul that doesn’t make me want to set something on fire, and I appreciate that greatly.  From Zoo.

27)  :FIDLAR – Got No Money:  These guys have so many rad songs that make me want to thrash around, and yet it was this catchy little pop number that I couldn’t escape all year.  Variety is good, friends.  From the Don’t Try EP.

26)  :Yellow Ostrich – Marathon Runner:  Vocal loops, a good chorus, and just the right amount of rock – that’s the Yellow Ostrich formula, and in songs like this one, it works very well.  From Strange Land.

25)  :Rubblebucket – Oooh Wa:  This band’s name makes them sound like some sort of wild punk outfit, but as you’ll see in this shimmering track, they’re actually a really good indie pop act.  From the Oversaturated EP.

24)  :Felix – Oh Thee 73:  Listening to this duo snark their way through this intricate number has been one of my favorite parts of 2012.  From Oh Holy Motar.

23)  :How To Dress Well – & It Was U:  90s R&B isn’t something I can claim as my thing, but if it’s coming from How To Dress Well?  Well, then that is entirely me.  I wish I had a good dance move for whenever this comes on.  From Total Loss.

22)  :Reptar – Sebastian:  Reptar are a bizarre ray of sunshine for me.  The vocals live out in left field, but the music is gloriously upbeat.  I’ve been singing this one all year.  From Body Faucet.

21)  :Dan Deacon – Lots:  My favorite thing about Dan Deacon is that even if you can’t figure out what the hell he’s trying to do, he has songs like this one that you get into simply because they’re so kinetic.  If I ran, I’d totally run to this.  From America.

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Top 50 Songs Of 2012: Part 2

November 27, 2012


You know who loves a good list?  Every single one of you.  Now get on with checking out the second part of my Top 50 Songs Of 2012.  In case you’re curious, I chose the songs from the 400+ tracks that I shared around here throughout the last 11 months.  Enjoy.

40)  :Passion Pit – I’ll Be Alright:  I’m still not sure what Passion Pit were aiming for on their sophomore effort, but I dig this track a lot.  I think it shows how adventurous their sound can be.  From Gossamer.

39)  :Why? – Sod In The Seed:  Just when I thought that Yoni Wolf was done with his collage-like rambles, he provided nearly five minutes of lyric-heavy joy via this song.  That guy has a wonderful brain.  From the Sod In The Seed EP.

38)  :Beach House – Myth:  I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to this song just to listen to it.  Not much else in 2012 was as well crafted as this.  From Bloom.

37)  :Dana Falconberry – Lake Charlevoix:  I’ve long supported Austin’s Dana Falconberry, but this song put her on a different level for me.  Folk music is often not overly accessible, but it is when she does it.  From Leelanau.

36)  :Alabama Shakes – Hold On:  The year began with nothing but buzz for this band, and somehow it all actually ended up being warranted.  Way to go, taste-makers.  This song is an outright jam.  From Boys & Girls.

35)  :Dirty Projectors – Gun Has No Trigger:  I love that the Dirty Projectors just do whatever they please.  How many other bands could release such a challenging single and actually have it go well for them?  From Swing Lo Magellan.

34)  :Bobby Womack – Please Forgive Me Heart:  Bobby’s soulful voice thrown over a modern electronic arrangement?  Such a thing seems like it should be all wrong, but then there’s this gem screaming otherwise.  From The Bravest Man In The Universe.

33)  :Jack White – Love Interruption:  It was nice of Jack to finally go solo, and it was even nicer of him to make his first single such a quality piece of modern rock.  From Blunderbuss.

32)  :Social Studies – Terracur:  Social Studies was always one of those acts that I knew about and liked, but didn’t love.  This inspired tune changed that.  Forever.  From Developer.

31)  :The Tallest Man On Earth – 1904:  Kristian Matsson is a fantastic songwriter, and this inviting number is just further proof of that.  It’s only a matter of time before I just hang out with him all the time on a mountain.  From There’s No Leaving Now.

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Top 50 Songs Of 2012: Part 1

November 26, 2012


The end of 2012 is drawing close, and that means it’s time to start making “best of” lists.  Below you’ll find the first part of my Top 50 Songs Of 2012.  In case you’re curious, I chose the songs from the 400+ tracks that I shared around here throughout the last 11 months.  Enjoy.

50)  :White Wires – All Night Long:  Every time I hear this pop punk gem I have to listen to the rest of their album, which is full of songs that are just as catchy.  From WWIII.

49)  :The Corin Tucker Band – Groundhog Day:  You could try to find a better voice than Corin’s, but you’d just fail miserably.  The girl can wail like no other, and I’m happy she’s been staying busy post-Sleater Kinney.  From Kill My Blues.

48)  :Bryan Scary – Ziegfield Station:  This band has long been a wonder when it comes to one-off singles that I can’t get out my head, and they kept that streak rolling in 2012 with this retro-rock track.  From Daffy’s Elixir.

47)  :Dirty Ghosts – Ropes That Way:  There was a span of about two months where I couldn’t escape this song from Dirty Ghosts.  It has such a high level of energy that it just sucks up all your attention.  From Metal Moon.

46)  :Desaparecidos – MariKKKopa:  I love that this band was able to come roaring back.  Who would have thought that Conor Oberst still had some ferocity in him?  From the MariKKKopa/Backsell 7″.

45)  :Yuck – Chew:  I may not have gotten a new album from the awesome Yuck in 2012, but I did get this fantastic one-off single.  Toss on headphones to catch all of the rather nice guitar work.

44)  :Deep Time – Clouds:  This Austin-based act (formerly known as Yellow Fever) really caught my attention with this quirky pop tune.  Not sure they’ve ever done anything catchier.  From Deep Time.

43)  :Black Bananas – Rad Times:  There’s far too much going on in this track, but I dig it anyway since it’s one of those efforts that’s just endlessly entertaining.  From Rad Times Express IV.

42)  :Maps And Atlases – Fever:  This song always manages to slap a smile on my face.  I love how upbeat and fresh it sounds.  From Beware And Be Grateful.

41)  :Miike Snow – Paddling Out:  I’ve never been much of a Miike Snow fan, but I’ve been overly attached to this track since sharing it back in January.  Watch out, as it’ll instantly make you want to dance.  From Happy To You.

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The Faint

November 20, 2012


One of the things I’m most excited for right now is seeing the Faint at Emo’s East on November 28.  The band is currently out touring in support of their glorious Danse Macabre reissue, and I can’t wait to see them blast through it.  As it turns out, they’re also in the midst of slinging a four-track 12″ that features their first new tunes in four years.  Check out one below.  Enjoy.

:The Faint – Evil Voices:  These guys usually have a wealth of sounds going on, but this is a pretty straight forward dance jam.  As long as you crank the volume, you should dig it.

Bonus Video:

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Quickdraw: Madison, Guards, The Mary Onettes, Crushed Out, Beach Day

November 19, 2012


Today’s music makes up the last Quickdraw of 2012.  Enjoy.

:Madison – Sweet Life:  I like the direction that Madison is heading in.  She’s still doing what I consider guilty pleasure pop, but it’s got a particular focus to it that’s rather nice.  The We’ve Been Nothing EP is expected to be released on February 5.

:Guards – Coming True:  This reminds me a lot of 90s alt rock, and I think that’s why I find it to be a pretty great track.  I can’t wait to hear more of their new stuff.  In Guards We Trust is due out February 5 via Black Bell.

:The Mary Onettes – Evil Coast:  Here’s another wonderfully crafted pop song from the Mary Onettes.  I’m not sure these guys know how to make anything that doesn’t sound immaculate.  The band will release their third LP, Hit The Waves, in March via Labrador.

:Crushed Out – Push Down Twist:  Formerly known as Boom Chick, this act makes catchy garage rock.  I like it.  Want To Give is available now via Cool Clear Water Records.  The band plays Hotel Vegas this Friday.

:Beach Day – Walking On The Streets:  I really dig this little retro pop tune.  It makes me want to watch old movies.   The band just put out a 7″ via Kanine Records.  Pick it up!

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Weekly Movie News Rundown

November 18, 2012


Time for your weekly movie news update!  Below you’ll find a slew of sentences meant to provide a brief glimpse of what’s been going on over the past week in movieland.  If something leaves you desperate for more info, then my advice is to do a little extra research on one or all of the following fantastic sites:  Latino Review, Dark Horizons, Ain’t It Cool News, CHUD and/or JoBlo.  Read on!

Jamie Foxx is said to be playing Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Josh Gad (The Book Of Mormon) is set to write the script for the Twins sequel, Triplets.

Scott Derrickson (Sinister) has been hired to direct the adaptation of the game Deux Ex: Human Revolution.

Benicio Del Toro may play Colombian cocaine trafficker Pablo Escobar in a romantic thriller titled Paradise Lost.

Tom Hardy has landed the lead role in the upcoming adaptation of the game Splinter Cell.

Jack Nicholson may star opposite Robert Downey Jr. in The Judge.  The film is said to follow a lawyer investigating a judge who may have murdered his wife.

James Wan (Insidious) is said to be close to signing on direct a big screen version of MacGyver.

Aaron Sorkin’s upcoming Steve Jobs biopic will reportedly only contain three 30 minute, real time scenes.

Liam Neeson may star in The All-Nighter, which is said to be about an old contract killer who is on the run from his former boss.

Nine minutes of Star Trek: Into Darkness will screen before the IMAX version of The Hobbit.

Alexander Skarsgard will star in David Yates version of Tarzan.

This Week’s Notable Trailers

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That Time Of The Month (Mikela)

November 16, 2012

1 Comment

I’ll admit it – I’ve been a bit down lately. Everyone has their off days, but I’ve been in a funk, and not even music can shake it. But I’m sure as shit going to try.

Music has the ability to shape our moods. A depressing song during a breakup can cue tears; a poignant song during a time of mourning can do the same. So it makes complete sense that if we’re feeling blue, some of our favorite ditties will scoop us right out of those doldrums. I’ve got some old standby’s (Talking Heads, Old 97’s, The Strokes), some surprising jams (Born Ruffians, Mark Ronson), and far too many songs that are likely to depress the general population (The Replacements, The Smiths), all of which I turn to when I want to turn things around. Heck, I’ve even got two songs of the same name!

So on the off chance that you’re feeling out of sorts, here’s my musical prescription to shuffle you out from under that dark cloud. So put in those headphones and perk up, buttercup, because Eeyore’s pretty much got the sad sack angle covered.

:The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Take Five:
:The Head And The Heart – Down In The Valley:
:The Replacements – Can’t Hardly Wait:
:Wilco – Hummingbird:
:Elton John – Bennie And The Jets:
:Born Ruffians – Hummingbird:
:Mark Ronson – Valerie (Featuring Amy Winehouse):
:Phoenix – If I Ever Feel Better:
:The Smiths – This Charming Man:
:The Strokes – Hard To Explain:
:Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Zero:
:Old 97’s – Timebomb:

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Stream This

November 16, 2012


The SOTO inbox is always full of cool stuff that never gets to see the light of day on the actual site, and I’d like to change that.  So, every Friday I’ll be posting the best album streams and videos that were sent my way during the week.  Take a scroll and find something worth remembering.


Action Bronson – Rare Chandeliers
Plateaus – The District
Radical Face – Always Gold
Fort Lean – Change Your Name
IO Echo – Ministry Of Love
Lilac – No Exit
Sufjan Stevens – Silver & Gold: Songs For Christmas – Volumes 6-10
Bjork – Bastards


Earlier this year Black Bananas released Rad Times Xpress IV.

Menahan Street Band’s The Crossing is currently available.

Wild Cub released their debut back in August.

This new song from Alabama Shakes is on the Silver Linings Playbook soundtrack.

Moonface’s Heartbreaking Bravery is available now.

This is an alternate take on Rhye’s The Fall.

Yukon Blonde have an album out now titled Tiger Talk.

Naomi Punk will release The Feeling on November 20.

Icona Pop are expected to put out a full length next year.

Why? recently released Mumps, etc.

Peace’s The World Is Too Much With Us is out now.

DeVotchKa Live With The Colorado Symphony came out earlier this week.

Parakeet will release the Shonen Hearts EP on November 19.

Lymybc Systym’s Symbolyst is now available.

Double Vision by Win Win is out now.

A deluxe version of Metric’s Synthetica is due out November 20.

PVT have readied a new album titled Homosapien.

Only You have a 7″ out now titled Applying Myself.

Purity Ring’s Fineshrines is out now.  They play the Mohawk on January 22.

Shipla Ray will soon release an album titled Last Year’s Savage.

Best Coast’s The Only Place is out now.

Beach House put out Bloom earlier this year.

Biophilia by Bjork is out now.

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November 15, 2012


Widowspeak aren’t a band I’ve ever paid a ton of attention to, and that will now stop.  Their new single is stellar!  Consider me more than a little excited to check out their upcoming sophomore effort, Almanac, which is due out January 22 via Captured Tracks.  Enjoy.

:Widowspeak – Ballad Of The Golden Hour:  The work done here reminds me a lot of the great Land Of Talk – it’s all soft vocal work laid over a moody arrangement.  I love it, and you will too.

Bonus Video:

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Royal Forest, The Rocketboys, The Preservation (Jennifer)

November 14, 2012


In the latest episode of Hardly Sound, we get to follow Royal Forest on some of their recent adventures. The band literally ascends to new heights when they perform and record the song, John Denver, in a plane (a Piper Cherokee N246JB, to be precise) 5,000 feet above Austin. It takes a few viewings to accept the fact that the band committed to fit themselves into a tiny plane to record a song simply because they had the opportunity. I love the reactions of Cody Ground (vocals, keyboards) and Justin Douglas (guitar) toward the end of the episode with their giddy yet relieved expressions – “Can you believe that shit worked ?!?!” It makes the typical struggles that bands goes through seem trivial in comparison – such as barely over a dozen people showing up to your gigs. That last statement comes from personal experience. It was a Friday night show with an all local bill of bands. Royal Forest was on first, and pardon the overused expression, but they absolutely killed it. I looked around the venue during their set and thought “this band is great and I wish more people were here to see them.” Enough with the lecture from me. I encourage you to keep your eyes and ears open for this band. You never know when you might find yourselves on an unexpected adventure.

I can almost hear some of you say “But I can’t stay out late on a weeknight and I’m broke.”  I feel your pain.  For tonight, though, I do have a solution. If you’re in Austin, you can see The Rocketboys and The Preservation for FREE at Threadgill’s South. Doors open at 5:30, show starts at 7 pm, and it’s all ages. Both bands are playing as part of KGSR’s Discovery Series. You can indulge your love for Southern comfort food and “comfort music” … which I like to describe as music that satisfies and makes you happy.

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Bare Wires (Noah)

November 14, 2012


Bare Wires wasn’t ever a band I cared for. So immersed in the idea that they were just a part of fun lovin’ ‘rock ‘n’ roll’, they became more of a cover band than an actual band. Costumes, general attitude, “balls-to-the-walls” sound was all so finely aimed at imitating the glory days of glam rock, that it became just that, a hollow imitation that was good to look at for a moment, but in the long-run, well, empty. The band collapsed, quite dramatically if stories can be told, and Matthew Melton has moved on to Warm Soda, but in the waning days of the band, there was just enough time for a new record. Call it the emotional wreckage of a band up against the ropes, or perhaps just how good a final swan song can sound, but the final album of Bare Wires is, well, damn fine.

Melton and company are still playing in a similar sandbox, the glory days of 70s cheese rock, but some of the cheese has been pushed to the side, and, if Impossible Things has anything to say about the rest of the album, and buoyed by some serious existential pining. Impossible Things starts with the sort of up-beat rock ‘n’ roll you expect at the beginning of Back To The Future, but quickly asserts itself as a darker, moodier beast. Over a dark, bouncy bass-line, Melton uses jagged guitar riffs coupled with his growling near-falsetto, to pull the song out of the cheese-rock of Bare Wires past and in to a future that I think most BW fans are going to be sad they won’t be able to see.

:Bare Wires – Impossible Things:

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Veronica Falls

November 13, 2012


Veronica Falls is a name that I think will soon be known by everyone.  They put out a solid debut last year, and judging by their new single (check it out below), their sophomore effort seems like it will feature a rather nice jump in quality.  The new LP is titled Waiting For Something To Happen, and it’s due out February 12 via Slumberland.  Enjoy.

:Veronica Falls – Teenage:  This band definitely operates in the realm of Dum Dum Girls-esque retro pop, but I think there’s a bit of the Raveonettes thrown in, too.  In other words, it sounds pretty, but it’s also music that’s kind of sad (and perfect for fall weather, if you ask me).

Bonus Video:

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Quickdraw: El Perro Del Mar, The Little Ones, Mazes, The Blistering Speeds, Big Boi

November 12, 2012


Today’s music could use a little more time in the gym.  Enjoy.

:El Perro Del Mar – Hold Off The Dawn:  There are few things that are as pleasant as Sarah Assbring’s glorious voice.  It just swirls around like nothing else.  Do yourself a favor and turn this one up loud.  The Control Group will release Pale Fire tomorrow.

:The Little Ones – Argonauts:  To be honest, I thought this indie pop act had called it quits.  Here they are though, and sounding really good.  Nice to see that they’re still kicking.  The band will release The Dawn Sang Along on February 12 via Branches Recording Collective.

:Mazes – Bodies:  Considering that its runtime is nearly seven minutes, this track just flies by.  If you prefer your extended jams to be tight and focused, then I think you’ll find a lot to like in this psych-enthused effort.  You’ll be able to pick up Ores & Minerals on February 12 via Fat Cat Records.

:The Blistering Speeds – Travelers:  A few weeks back I got an email from the Midgetmen telling me to give this band a listen.  So, I did, and what I found was some really solid 90s style rock.  Prepare yourself, a need to dig up old indie rock albums is about to sweep over you.  Casablanca Is A State Of Mind is due out tomorrow via Star Dot Star Records.

:Big Boi – Lines (Featuring A$AP Rocky And Phantogram):  This song is all over the place, and I love it.  I think I’ll always be impressed with the way that Big Boi has chugged along doing his own thing for so long.  Def Jam will release Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors on December 11.

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