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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.

*Push play to cycle through the songs without having to click on each one

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 BleedWhite 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.

*Push play to cycle through the songs without having to click on each one

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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Top 50 Songs Of 2016: Part 3

November 30, 2016


I was going to stop at #31, but I figured that was silly.  So, the list continues on!  Enjoy.

Part 1 is HERE.
Part 2 is HERE.

*Push play to cycle through the songs without having to click on each one

30)  :Mystery Lights – Follow Me Home:  Daptone launched a rock imprint – WICK – in 2016, and this Mystery Lights single was its first release.  I dig how loud and sloppy it is.

29)  :Weaves – Coo Coo:  If you like things that are clever and quirky, then this song from Weaves will delight you.

28)  :Twin Peaks – Walk To The One You Love:  This might be my favorite Twin Peaks track.  It’s such a breezy slice of garage pop.

27)  :Frankie Cosmos – On The Lips:  I’m all about Greta Kline (aka Frankie Cosmos) and her rather sincere voice here.  Also, I appreciate that this song mentions David Blaine.

26)  :The Tallest Man On Earth – Time Of The Blue:  Kristian Matsson (aka The Tallest Man On Earth) cut this late one night while out on the road.  I think it’s one of his better songs.

25)  :Field Mouse – The Mirror:  Mostly 90s, sort of emo, entirely great.  That’s probably the best way to describe this one from Field Mouse.

24)  :The Hotelier – Piano PlayerThe Hotelier offer up a lot of song here (roughly six swirling minutes worth), but thankfully it’s a great ride that’s totally worth the time and attention it requires.

23)  :Tancred – Control Me:  Here’s one of my favorite 90s-inspired tracks of 2016.  It’s just about perfect.  Good work, Tancred.

22)  :LIV – Wings of Love:  This is a fantastic Fleetwood Mac-like effort from LIV, a “supergroup” that features Lykke Li, Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt and Pontus Winnberg, Peter Bjorn & John’s Björn Yttling and producer Jeff Bhasker.

21)  :Priests – JJ:  Frontwoman Katie Alice Greer destroys in this Priests track.  That voice of hers is just so very rad.

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Top 50 Songs Of 2016: Part 2

November 29, 2016


Here are more songs I liked in 2016.  Enjoy.

Part 1 of this list is HERE.

*Push play to cycle through the songs without having to click on each one

40)  :The xx – On Hold:  I know this track from The xx is only a few weeks old, but I’ve been obsessed with it and I just had to include it on my year-list.  It’s intoxicating.

39)  :Charli XCX – Vroom VroomCharli XCX cranked this out in conjunction with Sophie, and it’s just the most goddamn ridiculous thing.  Please be sure to listen to it as loud as possible.

38)  :Tobacco – Gods in Heat:  I’ve had this Tobacco song on repeat for months.  It’s fairly weird and oddly sexy (it is called Gods in Heat, after all), and I just love it.

37)  :Chaos Emeralds – Animal Kingdom:  I’m not sure why this song from Chaos Emeralds isn’t all over the radio.  Talk about accessible and catchy.

36)  :Thao And The Get Down Stay Down – Nobody Dies:  Here’s one from Thao that I revisited a lot this year.  It’s an attention-grabber.

35)  :Bleached – Keep on Keepin’ On:  This song from Bleached really makes me want to get up and move and because of this it’s what I’m going to hit play on if someone ever starts chasing me.

34)  :The Julie Ruin – I Decide:  If you ask me, this is the best track off of The Julie Ruin’s 2016 release, Hit Reset.  On another note, Kathleen Hanna’s voice is still rad.

33)  :Phantogram – Cruel WorldPhantogram went for (and achieved) bigger and better things in 2016, but this track sounds like the old them and it’s what stuck with me.  Go figure.

32)  :The Range – FloridaThe Range really nailed it here.  I advise that you slap on headphones before you hit play.

31)  :Sheer Mag – Can’t Stop Fighting:  I’m starting to feel like it’s no longer possible for me to do a year-end song list that doesn’t include Sheer Mag.  Here’s hoping they keep on killing it.

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Top 50 Songs Of 2016: Part 1

November 28, 2016


Hey there!  It’s time to start running down my favorite songs and albums (look for this list next week) of the year.  Below you’ll find Part 1 of my Top 50 Songs of 2016 list.  It (and every part that’s coming after today) consists of tracks that I found myself frequently revisiting throughout the year.  Simple!  Enjoy.

PS – One thing is a little different this year – I will not be including any Austin acts in this singles list.  I’m going to be doing a two-part year-ender via 101X Homegrown (my radio show) that will detail my favorite Austin tracks.  Look for Part 1 to air on 12/11, and then Part 2 on 12/18.

*Push play to cycle through the songs without having to click on each one

50)  :Sia – Waving Goodbye (Produced by Diplo):  When I saw (and loved) The Neon Demon, I found myself really digging this anthemic number as it blasted over the credits.  Oddly enough, I didn’t even realize it was by Sia until I got home and looked it up.

49)  :Big Baby D.R.A.M. – Cute:  This is such a silly song by D.R.A.M., but it’s so damn catchy that I’ve been unable to escape it for most of 2016.  Just let it take you.

48)  :Polica – Lately:  If you ask me, this is the best song off of Polica’s latest album, United Crushers.  It’s hazy and sparse and the line “seems like we’re too comfortable in love” is a sharp one.

47)  :Father John Misty – Real Love Baby:  Whether you’ve ever fully boarded the Father John Misty hype train or not, it’s hard to deny just how charming this track is on all fronts.

46)  :Pity Sex – Bonhomie:  The boy/girl vocals in this Pity Sex track are so on point.  As is the 90s-lean it carries.  And well, everything else about it.

45)  :Screaming Females – Skeleton:  I sure do love me some Screaming Females.  This track was rightfully cut from 2015′s Rose Mountain, but I’m glad to have it now – it’s unhinged and great.

44)  :LVL UP – Hidden Driver:  You could criticize this LVL UP effort as being too Neutral Milk Hotel-esque, but that would be silly.  It’s just a great song.  Turn it up.

43)  :Forth Wanderers – Slop:  This one from Forth Wanderers has a meandering arrangement and lyrics loaded with obviously-youthful musings – “I love too much/Too hurt this bad” – but I dig it.

42)  :Frightened Rabbit – Death Dream:  I loved Frightened Rabbit, then I veered away, and now this song has brought me back to them.  That’s how stellar it is.

41)  :The Blow – Think About Me:  There’s an early-era Rilo Kiley vibe on display here that I’ve been caught up since I first heard this song.  Thanks for that, The Blow.

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Ty Segall

November 17, 2016


Just a heads up, this is my last “regular” music post (there will still be film reviews) of 2016.  The site will be on break next week, and then it will be year-end list time.  Woo!  Now, about today’s Ty Segall track – it’s super rad.  Here’s hoping the rest of his upcoming album is as chill as the new tune.  Enjoy.

:Ty Segall – Orange Color Queen:

The self titled album will be out January 27 via Drag City.

Bonus Video:

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November 15, 2016

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Lykke Li, Miike Snow’s Andrew Wyatt and Pontus Winnberg, Peter Bjorn & John’s Björn Yttling and producer Jeff Bhasker make up LIV.  I was hoping that their second single would come with word on when the world can expect their debut full length, but it didn’t.  Bummer.  On the bright side, the act’s new track is nearly six minutes of slow-burning prettiness.  So there’s that.  Enjoy.

:LIV – Dream Awake:

Bonus Video:

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Los Campesinos!

November 14, 2016


I haven’t thought about Los Campesinos! in so long that I totally forgot they’re a great band.  How silly of me.  Anyhow, here’s to the return of the Welsh act (their last album was 2013′s No Blues) and their anthemic ways.  Enjoy.

:Los Campesinos! – I Broke Up In Amarante:

Sick Scene is due our February 24 via Wichita.

Bonus Videos:

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Raised Eyebrows: Top Albums Of 2016 So Far – Part 2 (Randy)

November 11, 2016

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2016 may be a bad year for many things but music is not one of them. It’s now confirmed (by me) that 2016 has been the best year for music this century! We haven’t even hit December yet and the amount of quality releases put out in 2016 is just GONZO. Back in August, I put together Part 1 of great 2016 releases and now here’s Part 2.

1. JH Guraj – Underrated Glances at the Edge of Town

This record is pure heat. These are guitar explorations to help you go way in or way out.

2. Shabaka and The Ancestors – Wisdom of Elders

The best spiritual jazz record so far this century.

3. Terry Allen – Lubbock (on everything)

A reissued TRUE classic from 1979 by Texan genius Terry Allen

4. Big Star – Complete Third

This record means the world to me. Some of what is revealed is truly terrible and some of it is what I’ve hoped to hear my whole adult life.

5. Hiss Golden Messenger – Heart Like A Levee

They did it. If this doesn’t put them on top, I do not know what will.

6. Jack Rose – Dr Ragtime & His Pals

This is THE entry point for the highly influential Philadelphian picker named Jack Rose. Three cheers for Three Lobed!

7. Fennesz & Jim O’Rourke – It’s Hard For Me To Say I’m Sorry

A truly moving ambient work by the best dudes.

8. Nathan Bowles – Whole & Cloven

A really personal record that takes the banjo into wholly new territories.

9. Mary Lattimore – At The Dam

A powerful record that requires some attention and multiple spins with continued payoff.

10. Nels Cline – Lovers

The artistry and attention to guitar tone and sound is totally sick on this record.

11. Jerry Garcia – Garcialive Volume 7

‘76 Jerry is the best Jerry.

12. Scientists – A Place Called Bad

Bout damned time this band got their due. Highly influential and killer slop rock.

13. Cavern of Anti-Matter – I’m The Unknown (Single/EP)

Tim Gane is on fire and bringing more kraut-inspired heat!

14. Indoor Voices – Auratic (EP)

The best Nu Gaze release this year BY FAR! Their LP that also came out this year does not touch the deep magic they hit on this EP. A must for those who love on Loveless.

15. Ultimate Painting – Dusk

A slightly darker record compared to Green Lanes. These dudes haven’t disappointed yet have they?

16. Phil Cook – Old Hwy D (EP)

This EP of instrumentals from HGM sideman and ex-Megafaun member is just wonderful.

17. Kacy & Clayton – Strange Country

This Canadian duo channels brit-folk and appalachian influences effortlessly.

18. Roy Montgomery – RMHQ

4 Discs of guitar explorations from ex-Pin Group leader.

19. Califone – Roomsound (Deluxe Edition)

This record informed so much that would come after. The band in their heyday creating high level hypnagogia country music.

20. Health & Beauty – NO SCARE

Radically strange mix of emo and indie with some truly BURNT guitar workouts.

21. Koen Holtkamp – Voice Model

Holtkamp makes up half of Mountains and collabs with folks here and there but seems to save the further reaches of his art for his solo records. This one goes deep.

22. Vanishing Twin – Choose Your Own Adventure

Really fun record full of twists and turns in the throwback dream-pop department. (See; Broadcast, Death and Vanilla)


Worth it to hear Wells Fargo’s song Watch Out! alone.

24. Federico Durand – Jardin in invierno

This is Durand’s second release this year and he continues to slay.

25. Daniel Lanois – Goodbye To Language

Lanois returns to his beginnings in ambient.

26. Kate & Anna McGarrigle – Pronto Monto (Reissue)

This one flew under the radar. SO GLAD it’s back in print.

27. Daniel Bachman – Daniel Bachman

This one will be is gonna blow minds everywhere.

28. V/A – Imaginational Anthem Vol 8 – The Private Press

Tompkins Square digs deep and pulls out some true next level finds.

29. Game Theory – Lolita Nation

A 1986 classic is now back in print with a complete reissue.

30. Yussef Kamaal – Black Focus

Out of this world beat oriented jazz

31. Ulrika Spacek – The Album Paranoia

To the letter indie rock that will scratch an itch for anyone already into that kinda thing.

32. Flyying Colours – Mindfullness

Another GREAT Nu Gaze record out this year that leans more toward psych than most.

33.  Jon Keliehor – The Beginning of Time

Superb end-of-the-world ambient release

34. Botany – Deepak Verbera

This one is beautiful. Just Beautiful.

35. XAM Duo – XAM Duo

Ambient music is the best it may ever be right now. New heights are being reached. This one is killer.

36. The Early Years – II

10 years after their first album, we get II. It achieves what every Here We Go Magic release promised but never delivered on.

37. Wye Oak – Tween

This band came out of nowhere for me. This record sucks you in.

38. The Comet is Coming – Channel The Spirits

Shabaka Hutchings’ is quickly grabbing the torch being passed by Sun Ra and his Arkestra.

39. Imarhan – Imarhan

Desert rock that is as close to funky as Tuareg music’s ever gotten.

40. Philippe Edison – Bad Decisions

Houston’s own jazz/beat originator turns in an inspired LP that embraces Soul and RnB in unorthodox ways.


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The xx

November 10, 2016


The xx just released the first single off of their upcoming album.  It’s pretty great.  I advise that you put on headphones, turn up the volume and then use the track’s chill and totally wonderful sound to wash away (for at least a moment) all that stress and despair caused by the election.  Enjoy.

:The xx – On Hold:

I See You is due out January 13 via Young Turks.

Bonus Videos:

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Show Of The Week

November 9, 2016


The world may be a wonky place today, but at least post-rockers This Will Destroy You (how relevant is that name right now!?) will be performing at Barracuda this Saturday.  They won’t just be there though, there’s a purpose!  It’s the 10th Anniversary of two of the band’s albums – Young Mountain and This Will Destroy You – and they’ll be playing them both from front to back.  I think it’s going to be rad.  Don’t miss it.

BONUS Show Recommendations:

- Jess Williamson at End of an Ear
- King Khan BBQ Show, Paint Fumes, The Bolos at Barracuda
- Annabelle Chairlegs, Vedett, San Carol at Barracuda
- Pale Dian, She Sir, Wildcat Apollo, Common Velvet at the Mohawk
- Que Pasa?, Topo Chica, Grupo Frackaso at The Swan Dive

- Quin Galavais, Mannequin Pussy, Lung Letters at Beerland
- Robyn Hitchcock, Emma Swift at 3ten ACL Live
- The Anniversary, Grand Champeen, The Single Issues at The Sidewinder
- Lee Fields and the Expressions, Amasa Hines, Mama K and the Shades at the Mohawk
- Gogol Bordello at Stubb’s

- Orthy, Lou Rebecca at the Mohawk
- Peter Hook and the Light – Substance: Joy Division & New Order at the Mohawk
- Part Time, Shana Falana, Hidden Ritual, The Diamond Center, Krista Van Liew at Cheer Up Charlies

- Trash Talk, Antwon, Black Noise at Barracuda
- Rotten Mangos, Divino Nino, Siamese, Soaked at Hotel Vegas
- Mannequin Pussy, Leather Girls, Naked Pictures, Alex Napping at Cheer Up Charlies

Show Of The Week Media:

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November 8, 2016


SOHN let slip a new single today, and it inspired me to check out the one that he put out before it (both await you down below).  Now I’m hooked!  He’s got a super slick sound, and I’m thinking that his upcoming LP will be a great way to start 2017.  Enjoy.

:SOHN – Conrad:

Rennen is due out January 13 via 4AD.

Bonus Video:

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November 7, 2016


Believe it or not, Lemuria’s Get Better is nearly ten-years old.  As I always say when these sort of notifications pop up – where the hell did all the time go?!  Anyhow, below you’ll find an emo-but-catchy effort from a 7″ of Get Better outtakes that’s set to come with the impending reissue of the band’s debut.  Enjoy.

:Lemuria – Big Gold Adults:

The Get Better reissue is due out on December 16.  You’ll be able to see the band at the Mohawk on January 20.

Bonus Video:

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Happy Metal Fun Time (Chuck)

November 4, 2016


Since I did a holiday thing last month for Halloween, it would just be freaking lazy to do the same thing for this month, especially due to the limited landscape of heavy metal Christmas songs (actually there are a ton, but we’ve done that before), and there only being a single Thanksgiving related one (e-mail me for it!). So, I figured a way to nod to some of you who are the true believers and celebrate the holiday season for the right reason, and not the pagan tradition that decided that they also liked to have a feast around this time, let’s do a Christian metal playlist for you.

I think I have done one for Easter maybe in the past, I don’t remember because I don’t separate bands by their religiosity most of the time, unless it’s Stryper. So have yourself a merry little whatever and all that stuff, I may pop in next month with some advice on the Best of 2016, otherwise don’t call me till January 2nd.

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November 3, 2016


Oh boy.  I’ve really been in need of some anthemic rock and roll, so I am more than pumped that Japandroids have returned to action.  They’re the best.  By the way, after you give their rad new track a listen, you should check out the enormous interview that the band did with Stereogum.  Enjoy.

:Japandroids – Near To The Wild Heart Of Life:

Near To The Wild Heart Of Life is due out January 27 via Anti-.

Bonus Video:

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