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Conor Oberst

January 19, 2017


I’ve long been a big fan of Conor Oberst.  Bright Eyes!  So good.  Desparecidos!  So good.  Monsters of Folk!  Pretty good.  Conor’s work under his actual name!  Eh.  That’s actually where I sort of draw the line with him.  For whatever reason I just have never been totally into his “solo” releases, and I can’t say I cheered when I received an email about his upcoming LP, Salutations (due March 17 via Nonesuch).  However, the first single, A Little Uncanny, is good.  Really good, actually.  He cut it with The Felice Brothers and drummer Jim Keltner (Neil Young, Jackson Browne, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and more) as his backing band, and I love it.  Enjoy.

PS – Conor will be playing ACL Live on May 19.

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Show Of The Week

January 18, 2017


I was going to lay low all weekend, but I’m thinking I should rally up and go see the Seratones on the inside stage at Stubb’s this Saturday.  I was introduced to them about eight or nine months ago when they opened for Thao And The Get Down Stay Down at the Mohawk, and they really impressed me – that AJ Haynes can wail.  After that show I spent a lot of time with their 2016 release, Get Gone, and I found to be a super solid rock effort.  So, it’s a good band with good songs at a good venue, which I believe sounds like a good time.  Let’s go.

Tix are $15.  Austin’s own Tamarron will open.

BONUS Show Recommendations:

- Feverbones, The Dan Ryan, Ben Millburn, Patch at Cheer Up Charlies
- Wild Child at 3ten ACL Live

- Still Corners, Dougie Poole at Stubb’s
- Loteria, Terry/Giddens/Roth Trio, Boodan and His Swamp Thing at Barracuda

- Lemuria, Cayetana, Mikey Erg at The Sidewinder
- Knifight, Psalm Zero, Street Sects, Breakdancing Ronald Reagan at The Lemon Lounge
- Atmosphere, Brother Ali, deM atlas, Plain Ole Bill and Last Word at Emo’s
- Boyfrndz, Otis the Destroyer, Booty Control, Little Father at The Swan Dive
- Tameca Jones, DJ Kay Cali at Stubb’s
- Scott H. Biram at the Continental Club

- Dark Blue, LACE, Xetas, Krista Van Liew, Quin Galavais, The Gospel Truth at Barracuda
- Third Root, Tele Novella, James Hand at Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.
- Matthew Logan Vasquez, Mean Jolene at the Continental Club
- Dylan LeBlanc, Motel Radio at 3ten ACL Live

- Annabelle Chairlegs, Las Robertas, Hidden Ritual, Lake of Fire at Hotel Vegas
- A Tribute to Leonard Cohen with Moving Panoramas, Star Parks, Grace Park, Alison Copeland, She Sir, Matthew Squires, Boonesboro, Summer Swells, Dan Grissom & Friends at Cheer Up Charlies
- Golden Boys, Quin Galavis, David Israel at Barracuda

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Diet Cig

January 17, 2017


On April 7 the great Diet Cig will be rolling out their debut album, Swear I’m Good At This, and I’m really excited for it.  The band has done nothing but put out stellar emo/pop/punk tracks for the last two years, so there’s no way they fail me now!  Well, not really, plenty of bands have faltered when it comes full length time, but I have faith that Diet Cig will deliver the goods.  Below is the first single off of the album.  It is, of course, particularly spunky.  Enjoy.

PS – Be sure to catch the band at SXSW.

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101X Homegrown Podcast

January 16, 2017


Here’s the podcast my most recent 101x Homegrown.  New tracks are marked.  Enjoy.

Tres Oui – Prince Of Pop
Wild Child – Fools
(NEW) Wiretree – Let Me In
(NEW) Black Books – Golden OK
Pollen RX – Sunbelt Emptiness
Tele Novella – Even Steven
The Dizzease – Sticky Hand
Kay Odyssey – Palms To The Sky
Ty Richards – Going Out For A Cigarette
(NEW) Hours Quiet – Bring You Down
Letting Up Despite Great Faults – In Steps
Solid State Dream Suit – Nervous
(NEW) Buhu – Coastareka
Knifight – Black Daggers

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Quin Galavis (Dan)

January 13, 2017


To be a good music blogger, you have to be ahead of the trends and highlight great music before anyone else. It takes persistence, hard work, and passion. On the other hand, if you’re a shitty music blogger, like me, you discover amazing albums months after they are released.

Well, I might be late to the game, but I’m thankful I finally learned about Quin Galavis’ fantastic album, My Life in Steel and Concrete. Quin is a veteran of the Austin music scene having played in False Idol and Nazi Gold while also releasing under his own name. He also was a member of The Dead Space, whose album Faker landed at #2 on my list of the Top Albums of 2014. The band went on an indefinite hiatus in early 2015 and I lost track of what Quin was doing. He obviously was busy because his latest work is his most impressive to date.

Released in late August of 2016, My Life in Steel and Concrete is a 20-song double LP with staggering range. While the tone of all the songs possess the same raw honesty, musically the tracks are all over the place. The diversity is demonstrated in the experimental folk of Vile and Disgusting and A Disturbing Face, the pummeling industrial punk sound of Hate and the solemn melody of the album’s closing track, Wake Up. From start to finish, the record puts Quin’s considerable talents on display. You owe it to yourself to check out this incredible work. Just listen to it once and I promise it will stay with you.

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Happy Metal Fun Time (Chuck)

January 13, 2017


Something I have been doing while interviewing bands for my podcast, The Metal Podcast with Chuck and Godless, is asking artists about one song. A song, any song that represents a time in your life that has a story, it could be metal, it could be pop, it could potentially be anything that gives you a visceral memory of something specific. It is a tough question when you are put on the spot, but what it has done for me is made me start to think about the music that represents change in my life and movement – positive, negative or otherwise.

For instance, the song Informer by Snow, terrible song, but it reminds me of spring break 1992, the last one of high school for me, and the first time I went to South Padre Island to party with a bunch of friends, rolling at 3am screaming that dumb ass song while hanging out the sun roof of my buddies car … see what I mean? So I put together a playlist of songs that mean something to me, now I won’t be including the stories that go with them, but if you really want to know then tweet me @beardedape and I will elaborate, some of them are pretty strange. Enjoy!

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The Rural Alberta Advantage

January 12, 2017


Once I make my year-end album list I like to load up the iPod with all of my selections from previous years and explore what does or doesn’t still work for me.  Just recently, I revisited The Rural Alberta Advantage’s Hometowns (it’s still great, by the way), and now the band has rolled out a new single and announced that their fourth full length is on the way.  I think I may have willed it into existence?  Anyhow, the song is great and I’m looking forward to their impending LP, which will supposedly be out later this year via Saddle Creek.  Enjoy.

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Show Of The Week

January 11, 2017


There are quite a few local shows happening this week that are either free or very cheap, and that’s awesome.  You should go to as many as you can!  If, however, you’d like to see a different set of faces, then I say jump to Sidewinder on Saturday for American Wrestlers, who are out of St. Louis.  The band just recently released their sophomore effort, Goodbye Terrible Youth, and it’s a totally solid set of indie pop/rock tunes.  Should be a good show!  Be there.

Tix are $12NE-HI and Commander Keen will open.

BONUS Show Recommendations:

- Growl, Chancellor, Plastique, The Midgetmen, Dream Home at Barracuda
- Sailor Poon, Giant Kitty, Party Girl at Hotel Vegas
- Lord Buffalo, The Lonesome Heroes, Go Fever, Children of Pop, Ooni, Jerk at Cheer Up Charlies

- Hardproof at Waterloo Records
- Flesh Lights, Otis the Destroyer, Stilleto Feels, Midriff at Barracuda
- Dillo Milk, Basketball Shorts, Prom Threat, Oozer, Super Thief at Hotel Vegas
- Black Books, Megafauna, Residual Kid, Zettajoule, Hours Quiet, Count Nebula at Empire Control Room
- Mama K and the Shades, Kev Bev & The Woodlawn Creatures, Lowin, Girling at Stubb’s

- Riverboat Gamblers, Peelander Z, Eastside Suicides, City Life at Barracuda
- Annabelle Chairlegs, Deep Time, Mean Jolene, Ttotals, Diamond Center at Hotel Vegas
- The Devil Makes Three, Lost Dog Street Band, Ditrani Brothers at Emo’s
- Hard Proof at Antone’s

- Scorpion Child, Eagle Claw, OMGWTFBBQ, Megafauna, Suckling at Barracuda
- Summer Salt, Big Bill, Upper Deck Pets, The Villas at Hotel Vegas
- The Midnight Stroll, Tinnarose, Slomo Drags, The Halfways at Stubb’s
- Shivery Shakes, Go Fever at Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.
- Eric Tessmer, Quaker City Nighthawks at the Continental Club

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January 10, 2017


Today I’m hopping backwards a bit to share a song I missed while the site was in holiday mode.  It’s from Why?, an act I’ve loved for a good decade or so, and it’s off of their upcoming album, Moh Llean, that’s due out on March 3 via Joyful Noise.  In classic Why? fashion, it’s full of interesting lyrics and sounds.  Enjoy.

Side note, the band will be performing at the Mohawk on April 5.

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101X Homegrown Podcast

January 9, 2017


So, I’ve been hosting 101X Homegrown for a while, but I’ve left the podcast posts to just the 101x page.  Figured I’d also put them here in 2017.  For those of you that don’t know, 101X Homegrown is a show I host every Sunday at 9pm CST on 101.5.  It largely covers Austin-based acts (and a tinge of those from other parts in Texas).  Here’s the first show of 2017!  It’s got some new tunes and plenty of gig recommendations for this week.  Enjoy.

Black Books – Favorite Place
My Jerusalem – Rabbit Rabbit
Fort Never – Don’t Push Me Away
Letting Up Despite Great Faults – Wrapped
The Midnight Stroll – Heartbreak Bugaloo
(NEW) Ty Richards – Going Out For A Cigarette
(NEW) Solid State Dream Suit – Nervous
Black Joe Lewis – PTP
Hard Proof – Stinger
Shivery Shakes – Hold On
(NEW) Tres Oui – Prince Of Pop
(NEW) Pollen RX – Sunbelt Emptiness
Growl – Won’t You
The Dizzease – Sticky Hand

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Julien Baker

January 9, 2017


Hey all!  SOTO is back!  Just one particular thing to note here as the year gets going – I’m not going to be posting mp3s anymore.  After I put up my Top 50 Songs of 2016 list I received double digit DMCA takedown notices, and it was rather alarming.  So, I’m just going to stick to whatever streaming service is initially used by the artists, and then you guys can rip the songs yourselves (it is very very easy).  Word?

Alright, time for some Julien Baker.  This super talented young lady put out a great album, Sprained Ankle, in 2015 (one that I somewhat slept on and didn’t really get into until last year because I’m silly), and now she’s found her way to Matador’s roster.  The label will be reissuing the album for international audiences on March 17, and then for the US on that day they’ll be putting out a 7″ with an official version of Funeral Pyre, which is a great track that Julien has been playing live for a while.  Check it out below.  Enjoy.

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2016 SOTO Staff Picks

December 16, 2016


Hey friends, as you surely know, I’m not the only one around these parts. Check out what the SOTO staff dug in 2016!  Enjoy.

2016 saw hitmakers make political statements, long rumored records finally drop, and legendary artists leave us with one last music statement before dying. From the grief-laden laments of Touche Amore’s epic Stage Four to the gospel-hop of Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book, these are the five records that stuck with me the most in 2016.

1. Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
2. Frank Ocean – Blond
3. Bon Iver – 22, A Million
4. Various Artists – Day of The Dead
5. Touche Amore – Stage Four

Metal. Get some.

1. Astronoid – Air
2. Nails – You Will Never Be One Of Us
3. Protest The Hero – Pacific Myth
4. Devin Townsend Project – Transcendence
5. Fleshgod Apocalypse – King

Hip hop is changing A LOT. 2016 saw those artists that play with other genres – EDM most notably, Afro-Caribbean rhythms, R&B, and gospel – come out with some great albums. Here are my favorites:

1. Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
2. A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here … Thank You 4 Your Service
3. Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book
4. Young Thug – No, My Name Is Jeffery
5. Noname – Telefone

If you don’t agree Teens of Denial is the greatest album of the year … I will fight you. That’s no lie.

1. Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Denial
2. Our Fertile Forever – WOMPS
3. David Bowie – Blackstar
4. Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – A Man Alive
5. Angry Angles – Angry Angles

I could name 100 great records out this year. It really has been maybe the best year for records this century. These 5 have stayed highest in rotation throughout 2016.

1. 75 Dollar Bill – Wood/Metal/Plastic/Pattern/Rhythm/Rock
2. Steve Gunn – Eyes On The Lines
3. William Tyler-  Modern Country
4. Terry Allen – Lubbock (On Everything)
5. Shabaka And The Ancestors – Wisdom Of Elder

Ah, Jesus H. Christ, is it that time of year again?

Is it time for me to start trying to think back on everything I’ve listened to (and everything I haven’t) and try and discern some minute list of favorites so John Laird doesn’t fly to San Francisco and hit me with a stick?

So, it seems.

You know how when you’re young (i.e. under 30) and you listen to everything that comes out and when you look at your befuddled, grey-haired 30+ friends who’ve settled into arguing about which Rolling Stones’ album is the best, you think, “I’m never going to be like that, I’m going to listen to whatever’s on the radio because regardless of changing music trends, I’m always going to be hip enough to connect”? You know, that feeling? I’m going to pass along some bad news to you, idealistic, youthful music lover: you will become that salt-and-pepper elder, barely clinging to the music everybody once thought was cool.

Or, at least, I have become that person. I don’t know, blame it on the unending options presented by streaming services, blame it on the fact that for long portions of the year I actually appreciated silence, or just blame it on me running into a brick wall of not giving a shit, but, I didn’t spend a whole lot time this year digging through the new stuff. I listened to new music, but almost all of it was old to everyone else. I dug deep, but I went down instead of up. And though, yes, I’m sitting here struggling both to think of 5 albums I listened to on repeat and struggling while looking at my list of 5 Best Albums of the Year and not thinking, “Jesus, how boring have I become?”

But hey, the music I liked this year, I loved, and the process of going backwards into what came before was as enjoyable a listening experience as any I’ve ever had. So, well, I guess I’ll put on my sweater vest and lean back with piping hot cup of chamomile and maybe put on a Dylan album. The Nobel Prize Committee liked him. I’m sure he’ll be right up my dilapidated alley.

Oh, also, here’s 4 albums and a mixtape series that rattled my cobwebs this year.

Happy Holidays folks. Fuck Donald Trump.

The Best Albums of 2016:

5. The Life of Pablo / Kanye West

As much as I hate giving anything to Ye after he spent 15-minutes canoodling with President-Elect Donald Trump, this album is amazing. As a singular piece of music, it’s well, it’s all the genre-pushing, somehow-still-Billboard-friendly rap music he’s been doing all along. Kanye West defines what we listen to as hip-hop fans, and if he’s not defining it, he’s popularizing the genres he’s ripping off. Ultralight Beam featuring Chance the Rapper is the catchiest song of the year and features a verse from Chance better than anything off Coloring Book. Fade is like the soundtrack to the sexiest cross-fit class you’ve ever been in. Famous is a bigger, better song than the celebrity fist-fight it encouraged. This is the evolution of Kanye West, and as different as it sounds, the threads of everything that have come before it still lingers in its bloodstream. Beyond this though, Kanye’s seemingly bizarre release schedule of The Life of Pablo redefined the way a rap album, or any album can be released. He turned a chart-topping release into his own personal sonic playground, tweaking songs with each consecutive release on a different platform, turning it into a living, breathing piece of art unlike any album we’ve ever seen. Kanye, you’re a mess, but shit-on-a-stick, you’re still the most innovative thing rap’s got.

4. 22, A Milion / Bon Iver

If you, like me, fell hard for Bon Iver with the release of For Emma, Forever Ago and then found that his subsequent releases got further and further away from what you loved about the purity and sheer emotional beauty of that album, well, 22, A Million might be the salve for your wounded heart. Bon Iver, or Justin Vernon, isn’t an artist who’s going to linger around what made him famous, seeking to strike gold a second time. He’s going to push forward, out of need or out of curiosity, and continuing composing tracks that veer far and wide from what came before. That said, 22, A Million is an album that contains the through line of his first album – the sweeping yet intimate sonic landscape, the essential sadness haunting its core – but meshes it with a turn towards progress. What emerges is Bon Iver’s most complicated album to date, a churning collision of sounds and samples and Vernon’s crystalline voice that manages to be both jarring and beautiful in the same song. It isn’t an album to judge on a first listen, or even a second. It’s an album to play on repeat in the background, each song finding its way out of the noise and deep into the folds of your brain. It’s as exciting as For Emma was beautiful.

3. Singing Saw / Kevin Morby

Kevin Morby’s music is deceptively simple. This is a musician playing in a traditional sandbox, pulling from classic country and the folksier side of rock ‘n’ roll. Yet, his songs, his voice, the gentle play of his acoustic guitar pull deep at the listener’s emotional core. Singing Saw is a propulsively somber album, a collection of low-key songs that feels best suited to the cracked plains of the high desert. It is also an immensely catchy album, with Morby pulling on horns and choral arrangements (think Cohen’s Diamonds In The Mine but less gravelly) to ascend the musical worlds who’s shoulders he stands on. All of Morby’s stuff is great, but this is downright fantastic.

2. The Sun’s Tirade / Isaiah Rashad

It takes a while for things to click sometimes for a musician, regardless of talent. Singers have to find their voices, instrumentalists have to improve and gel and understand their role as musicians. Isaiah Rashad is one of these performers, a rapper who’s albums have always hinted at greatness, but never hit that elusive nail on the head. The Sun’s Tirade is his announcement that he has, finally, arrived. There’s a hint of Outkast in the smoothed out beats on this album, a touch of Andre 3000′s snarling pitch in Rashad’s delivery. But this is Rashad’s album, a collection of songs that straddles the line of street and art, an album that rambles and dead-ends, but always finds its way back to the laid-back flow of Rashad, and the jazz-flecked production found throughout. Step up to the podium, Isaiah, let people see how good you are.

1. Reverberation Radio

Sometime at the end of 2015, a friend introduced me to a mixtape series (purportedly compiled by members of The Allah-Lahs) called Reverberation Radio. I’m always looking out for ways to be introduced to older music outside of my own biases – twangy country – and I was immediately sucked in. The first mixtape featured staples of the art – Skip Spence, Link Wray – and artists I’d never knew even existed – Heron – and mind-bending tracks by artists I’d entirely forgotten – Norman Greenbaum! I spend the next year trying and failing to listen to every mixtape these crate-digging fools had put together. Stumbling in my quest, as I became obsessed with certain tracks, certain playlists, certain sounds, new pathways of musical enjoyment being discovered in my head. These aren’t mixtapes, they’re works of art, treasure maps leading you to previously undiscovered treasures. I’ve spent more time listening to Reverberation Radio then I have anything else this year, and every moment has been worth it. Spend some time sifting through the mixtapes (260 and rising) on your holiday break, it’s a rabbit-hole you’ll be ecstatic to have fallen into.

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Top 25 Albums Of 2016

December 12, 2016


Alright friends, here’s my full album list.  Unlike my Top 50 Songs of 2016, there are Austin acts here. As always, this isn’t some sort of “critical” list, it’s just the albums that I jammed the most this year.  Enjoy.

PS – Here’s a playlist of all the albums on Spotify!

25) Deftones – Gore

While I’ve always liked the Deftones, I haven’t legit loved an album of theirs since 2000′s PonyGore wrapped me up though – it’s really well crafted and features some great songs.  I went back to it often in 2016.

24) Nothing – Tired Of Tomorrow

At first I was slightly let down by Nothing’s sophomore effort, but after I spent some quality time with it I became pretty damn attached.  If you’re into shoegaze, then you need to listen to Tired Of Tomorrow.

23) Explosions In The Sky – The Wilderness

I love me some Explosions In The Sky.  By the way, my instrumental album rankings for 2016 go like this: 1) EITS’ The Wilderness, 2) Russian Circles’ Guidance and then 3) Mono’s Requiem For Hell.

22) Tancred – Out Of The Garden

There isn’t a song on Tancred’s Out Of The Garden that isn’t infectious.  Definitely a must-listen for fans of 90s indie/pop rock.

21) Thao And The Get Down Stay Down – A Man Alive

Thao continues to be one of my favorite singer/songwriters of all time.  I just connect with everything she churns out.

20) Bleached – Welcome The Worms

Bleached took a step away from surf rock on Welcome The Worms and it turned out to be a great move for them.  This album is so energetic.

19) Yung – A Youthful Dream

This kid – 22-year-old Mikkel Holm Silkjær – out of Denmark really impressed me with his debut as YungA Youthful Dream is noisy in all of the right ways.

18) A Giant Dog – Pile

Austin’s very own A Giant Dog have long been a favorite of mine, so I love that they totally crushed it on Pile, their debut for Merge Records.

17) Savages – Adore Life

I was obsessed with Savages’ Adore Life for the first few months of the year.  Eventually I was able to wiggle myself out of its intense pull, mostly.

16) Preoccupations – Self Titled

Just in case you forgot, Viet Cong is now Preoccupations.  In regards to their self titled effort, I love that the majority of it sounds like Interpol on artsy steroids.

15) Cross Record – Wabi Sabi

Wabi Sabi is a rather ethereal effort from Cross Record, a newer band out of Austin.  The whole thing is really damn good and it totally turned me into a big fan of theirs.

14) The Hotelier – Goodness

For those of you that love anthemic rock (with a dash of emo on top), here’s Goodness from The Hotelier.  I passionately rocked this album a lot in my car.

13) Frankie Cosmos – Next Thing

There isn’t a single song on Frankie Cosmos’ Next Thing that isn’t soaked in sincerity.  She has one of those voices that makes everything feel so very genuine.

12) Terry Malts – Lost At The Party

Any time Terry Malts put out an album, you can count on it being high up on my list.  They write super catchy stuff and in general are reliably awesome.

11) Cymbals Eat Guitars – Pretty Years

Pretty Years is one hell of an album.  At one point will the masses open up to Cymbals Eat Guitars?  Those guys should be playing huge rooms.

10) White Denim – Stiff

Stiff is another high quality set of jams from White Denim.  They remain a really big favorite of mine.

09) Whitney – Light Upon The Lake

Light Upon The Lake is quite possibly the most accessible album that I came across this year.  Seriously, there’s not a single track on Whitney’s debut that isn’t instantly likeable.

08) Basketball Shorts – Hot And Ready

Hot And Ready from Austin’s Basketball Shorts was a big go-to for me in 2016.  It’s 20-ish minutes of pop punk perfection.

07) Angel Olsen – My Woman

My Woman made me go from liking Angel Olsen to loving her.  What a next level effort.

06) Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book

For a while there, I only listened to Chance The Rapper’s Coloring Book.  It’s an inspired, energetic effort that features a lot of great songwriting.  It’ll be interesting to see where he goes from here.

05) Kanye West – The Life Of Pablo

Kanye’s The Life Of Pablo is a manic listen with a lot of layers.  He sure does have a lot going on in his head.

04) The Coathangers – Nosebleed Weekend

The Coathangers really hit a home run with Nosebleed Weekend.  It has a ton of great hooks and just the right amount of snarl.

03) Frank Ocean – Blonde

Frank Ocean’s Blonde is a hypnotic experience.  I’m not even sure how often I’ve listened to the entire thing after only intending to revisit one particular song.

02) Car Seat Headrest – Teens In Denial

They may not sound alike at all, but Car Seat Headrest’s Teens In Denials is like Frank Ocean’s Blonde – they’re both really hypnotic listens.  That Will Toledo is one hell of a songwriter.

01) White Lung – Paradise

Of all the EPs and LPs I listened to 2016, White Lung’s Paradise is the one that I jammed the most.  It’s loud and heavy and the best modern rock album I’ve come across in years. Congrats to the band for nailing it and grabbing the top spot on my list.

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Top 50 Songs Of 2016: Part 5

December 2, 2016


Here’s the end of my “songs I liked a whole lot this year” list.  Enjoy.

PS – Just a reminder that there are no Austin acts to be found in any part of this list.  I’m going to be doing a two-part year-ender via 101X Homegrown (my radio show) that will detail my favorite local tracks.  Look for Part 1 to air on 12/11, and then Part 2 on 12/18.

Part 1 is HERE.
Part 2 is HERE.
Part 3 is HERE.
Part 4 is HERE.

PPS – I got a ton of take down notices, so you’ll have to listen via Spotify.

10)  :P.O.S. – Wave (Featuring Moncelas Boston And Sophia Eris):  P.O.S. didn’t put out an album this year, but he did release a handful of singles.  This slick-sounding effort finished the year as my favorite of the bunch.

09)  :White Lung – Kiss Me When I Bleed:  White Lung’s Mish Barber-Way commands all with her vocal work in this heavy track that aims to pummel.  Turn it up.

08)  :Chance The Rapper – Angels (Featuring Saba):  Chance The Rapper and Saba are as pleasant as can be in this joyous track – it’s infectious stuff.

07)  :Whitney – Golden Days:  This song from Whitney was a big go-to for me every time I needed a breather in 2016.  It’s so damn accessible and laid back.

06)  :Coathangers – Squeeki Tiki:  Admittedly, a part of me couldn’t pass up the opportunity to put a squeaky toy-enhanced track in the top 10 of my year-end song list.  Also, it’s scuzzy and creative and perfect and deserving of everyone’s love.  Thanks for the jam, Coathangers!

05)  :Shura – What’s It Gonna Be?:  This one from Shura is easily my favorite straight up pop tune of 2016.  It may also be the winner of this year’s “song that John poorly sang-a-long to the most” award.

04)  :Cymbals Eat Guitars – Have a Heart:  If I were to rank out every Cymbals Eat Guitars song, I’d be tempted to put this one in the top spot.  What a track.

03)  :Frank Ocean – Solo:  This is one seriously hypnotic effort from Frank Ocean.  That fella is a hell of a crooner.

02)  :Angel Olsen – Shut Up Kiss Me:  Every time I hear this song I just want to high five Angel Olsen and go rollerskating.  I love the way she pulls no punches here.

01)  :Kanye West – Ultralight Beam:  Is this song absolutely ridiculous?  Yes.  I mean, it’s Kanye West, so of course it’s ridiculous.  It also happens to be amazing though, and I love it.  Definitely the song I blasted the most in 2016 … probably because it was the most ridiculous year ever and I needed the right song to accompany me through it.

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Top 50 Songs Of 2016: Part 4

December 1, 2016


And the list continues on.  Enjoy.

Part 1 is HERE.
Part 2 is HERE.
Part 3 is HERE.

PS – I got a ton of take down notices, so you’ll have to listen via Spotify.

20)  :Thee Oh Seees – Plastic Plant:  Out of all the music that Thee Oh Sees released in 2016 (two albums worth, to be exact), this track is my favorite.  Total jam.

19)  :King Khan – Never Hold On:  The normally noisy King Khan contributed this gem to the soundtrack for The Invaders.  He should do more slow burners.

18)  :Hazel English – Make It Better:  Here’s one that I’ve been glued to since I first heart it.  There’s just something hypnotic about Hazel English.

17)  :Chook Race – Sometimes:  If you’re all about jangly pop, then this one from Chook Race is a must-listen for you.

16)  :Tangerine – Sunset:  This infectious pop tune from Tangerine is totally something that more people should have been yammering about in 2016.

15)  :Terry Malts – Used To Be:  I’ve jammed the hell out of this Terry Malts song.  Those guys sure know how to write a hook.

14)  :Lucy Dacus – I Don’t Wanna Be Funny Anymore:  I believe this one from Lucy Dacus was actually put out in late 2015, but I didn’t catch it until the re-release this year.  So it counts!  Anyhow, it’s a stellar track that drips with sincerity.

13)  :Car Seat Headrest – Does It Feel Good (To Say Goodbye):  This song by Car Seat Headrest is from the soundtrack for a short film called Loudini.  It makes me want so sit on a porch somewhere with a bottle of whiskey.

12)  :Nothing – ACD (Abscessive Compulsive Disorder):  If you still need to get in some quality shoegazing before 2016 fully comes to a close, I highly recommend doing it with this Nothing song blasting in your headphones.

11)  :Fujiya And Miyagi – Serotonin Rushes:  You’re dead if you can listen to this Fujiya And Miyagi track and not want to dance or at least smile.

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