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Show Of The Week

January 31, 2018

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In some ways, today’s recommendation is for all of February, as it’s the kick-off show for A Giant Dog’s residency that will happen at Beerland every Thursday throughout the month.  You need to hit one or all of the shows!  For tomorrow, the bill also includes Xetas, American Sharks, Nick Allison and the Players Lounge and DJ Apple Pie.  AGD are a blast on their own, but this really is one hell of a fun lineup.  Don’t miss it.

For fun, here are the rest of the shows set for the residency.

2/8 – A Giant Dog, Lola Tried, Flesh Lights, DJ Stee
2/15 – A Giant Dog, Trouble Boys, Pretty Shitty, DJ Tipton
2/22 – A Giant Dog, Missing Pages, Boss Eye, DJ Ali Ditto

BONUS Show Recommendations:

Thursday:
- Booher, Skyline, North by North, Teenage Cavegirl at Hotel Vegas
- They Might Be Giants at Stubb’s
- Chill Russell at Stubb’s

Friday:
- Bad Lovers, The Reputations, Blood Pumps at Hotel Vegas
- RG Lowe, Caroline Says, Taft, Batty Jr. at the Sahara Lounge

Saturday:
- Jose Gonzales, Bedouine at the Long Center
- Sleigh Bells, Sunflower Bean at the Mohawk
- Dan Grissom (Some Say Leland), Adam Hilton (Linen Closet) at The Lemon Lounge
- Tennis, Overcoats at Emo’s
- Shivery Shakes, PR Newman at Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.

Sunday:
- Daphne, Lomelda, New Holland at Barracuda
- Summer Swells, Mountain Time, Otis Wilkins at Cheer Up Charlies

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Show Of The Week

August 23, 2017

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This is a big week for A Giant Dog.  The band’s new album (and second for Merge), Toy, is out on Friday, their album release party is Saturday at Hotel Vegas, and then on Sunday they’ll be heading out on a tour that won’t have them back in Austin until they play Sound on Sound Fest in November.  Guess it’s good thing they have a song called Sleep When Dead.

Anyhow, the show this Saturday is can’t-miss.  A Giant Dog are a blast live and it’ll be a great chance for you to snatch up the new LP.  ALSO, the bill features Harlem, who haven’t played in an eternity, and Big Bill, who are always fun on stage.  Pre-sale tix for this one are sold out, but apparently more will be released on Saturday morning and then some will be available at the door.  Seriously, don’t miss this show.

PS – I did a piece on A Giant Dog and their new album for Time Out AustinFind one around town and read up on the band before the show!

BONUS Show Recommendations:

Tonight:
- Shabazz Palaces, Porter Ray at the Mohawk

Thursday:
- Mike & The Moonpies, JD Clark at Hotel Vegas
- Caroline Says, Knife in the Water, Alex Riegelman at Cheer Up Charlies
- The Stacks, Otis Wilkins, Batty Jr., Street Themes at the Mohawk

Friday:
- The Mammoths, Otis the Destroyer at Stubb’s
- Jai Malano, Los Coast at the Continental Club

Saturday:
- Ruby Fray, Cabin Man, Moonsicles, Suspirians at Beerland
- Major Grizz, The Midgetmen, The Blistering Speeds at Barrel O’ Fun
- The Jungle Rockers, Los Coast, Matt Gilmour at the Continental Club
- Lyle Lovett and His Large Band at ACL Live

Sunday:
- Lyle Lovett and His Large Band at ACL Live

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Top 25 Albums Of 2016

December 12, 2016

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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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20 Austin Essentials

May 9, 2016

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Now that I host both 101X Homegrown and KGSR’s Lone Star State of Mind, I don’t really post quite as many local mp3s.  This is mostly because I spend my Sunday evenings blabbering about all things Austin, so when it comes time to roll out content for SOTO, I often find myself on the hunt for something fresher.  I doubt this will change, so in an attempt to make sure that those of you who avoid me on the radio (but why!?) still get a good dose of Austin, I’m going to occasionally churn out a mix of select local tunes.  The first one is below, and it’s comprised of my top 20 Austin tracks from the first chunk of 2016.  Enjoy.

PS – I left off White Denim and Explosions In The Sky because I figured you guys were more than familiar with them.

PPS – It was surprisingly hard for me to cut this list to 20 songs. Maybe I should have done 30.  I should have done 30.  Next time I’ll do 30.

:Dumb – I Don’t Wanna Die On I-35:  From the Slack Capital compilation. FB
:A Giant Dog – Sex And Drugs:  From Pile. FB
:Basketball Shorts – Kevin McCallister:  From the Slack Capitol compilation. FB
:Otis The Destroyer – Cheetah:  From the Belushi EP. FB
:BOYFRNDZ – Going Under:  From Impulse. FB
:A. Sinclair – Liars in the State of New York:  From Get Out Of The City. FB
:My Jerusalem – Rabbit Rabbit:  From A Little Death. FB
:Emily Wolfe – Atta Blues:  From the Atta Blues single. FB
:Residual Kid – Scentless Princess:  From the Salsa EP. FB
:Mirror Travel – Yesca:  From Cruise Deal. FB
:Jared Leibowich – And You’re Always On:  From Welcome Late Bloomers. FB
:Walker Lukens – Lifted:  From Tell It To The Judge. FB
:Calliope Musicals – Echo Of The Whoos:  From Times Owes You Nothing. FB
:Slomo Drags – Going Out Of Business:  From the band’s self titled EP. FB
:Ramesh – Redemption:  From the Redemption single. FB
:Booher – Pick Up The Robot Put The Robot Down:  From Funny Tears. FB
:Rain Collectors – Lately:  From RCEP. FB
:Dana Falconberry & Medicine Bow – Cora Cora:  Off From The Forest Came The Fire. FB
:Blue Healer – Luminescent Eyes:  From the band’s debut album. FB
:Cross Record – Basket:  From Wabi-Sabi. FB

For the hell of it, here are some other Austin artists that I’ve been digging over the last few months: Alex Napping, Broken Gold, BLXPLTN, Pema, Bayonne, Big Bill, Buhu, Chipper Jones/Chris Lopez, Empty Markets, OBN IIIs, Golden Dawn Arkestra, Growl, Harvest Thieves, Holy Wave, Lowin, Megafauna, Migrant Kids, My Golden Calf, P.T. Banks, Star Parks, The Blind Pets, Ultraviolet.

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Show Of The Week

May 4, 2016

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Favs of mine A Giant Dog will be putting out their very anticipated third full length, Pile, this Friday via Merge, and then on Saturday they’ll be celebrating the release of it at Barracuda alongside Dikes of Holland, Flesh Lights and The Golden Boys.  You HAVE to be there.  Follow this link to grab a ticket/album combo.  See you at the show!

BONUS Show Recommendations:

Tonight:
- Ramesh, Baby Bleu at Barracuda
- Lowin, The Migrant, Molly Burch at the Mohawk
- John Wesley Coleman, Crocodile Tears, Honeyrude, Retina Trash, Foxmoor Express at Hotel Vegas

Thursday:
- Tia Carrera, Greenbeard at Barracuda
- Sturgill Simpson at ACL Live at the Moody Theater
- The Please Please Me, The Sour Notes, Grey Lakes at the Mohawk

Friday:
- The Octopus Project, Jarebear at Mueller
- Tortoise, Chris Brokaw at the Mohawk
- Lochness Mobsters, Pearl Earl, The Be Helds, Sister Rays at Hotel Vegas
- Stiletto Feels, Gloves INTL, Charlie Belle, Troller, UVH, Midriff at Cheer Up Charlies
- Edison Chair, Jam Therapy, The Halfways, Stun Guns, The Traveling Ones at the Spiderhouse Ballroom
- Alpha Rev, Tameca Jones at Threadgill’s
- Sturgill Simpson at ACL Live at the Moody Theater

Saturday:
- Loteria, Major Major Major, Borrisokane, Roses at Hotel Vegas
- The Black and White Years, Shark Rider, Madisons at Lamberts
- Mobley, Keeper, Missio at the Mohawk
- Money Chicha, Star Parks, The Sour Notes, Los Coast, Elijah Ford, Bantam Foxes, Hello Nomad, Bollywood Shake, Pong, Gourisankar & Indrajit Banajeree at the Whip In
- Pecan Street Festival with Ume, Think No Think, The Blind Pets, Knifight, Sip Sip and more on 6th Street

Sunday:
- Good Field, DJ Mixer Rogers at Uncle Billy’s
- Pecan Street Festival with Hikes, Lowin, Kay Odyssey and more on 6th Street

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Quickdraw: A Giant Dog, Future Of The Left, Pity Sex, St. Vincent, Dana Falconberry And Medicine Bow

February 18, 2016

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Music!  Enjoy.

:A Giant Dog – Sex And Drugs:  Austin’s own A Giant Dog will be putting out their new album via the mighty Merge Records, and that’s just snazzy as hell.  This first single is like all of their other tunes – fiery. Pile is due out May 6.

:Future Of The Left – The Limits Of Battleships:  Andrew Falkous and the gang have rallied up a new Future Of The Left album.  I’m really into how groovy and infectious this first single is.  The Peace & Truce Of Future Of The Left is due out April 8 via Prescriptions Music.

:Pity Sex – Burden You:  Pity Sex really caught my attention with this new song of theirs.  It’s a perfect little slice of 90s-enthused shoegaze.  White Hot Moon is due out April 29 via Run For Cover.

:St. Vincent – Emotional Rescue (Rolling Stones Cover):  This cover that St. Vincent did for Luca Guadagnino’s new film is slinky and weird (even for her), and I can’t stop listening to it.  The soundtrack for A Bigger Splash is due out tomorrow.

:Dana Falconberry and Medicine Bow – Dolomite:  Here’s a very headphone-worthy new one from Dana Falconberry And Medicine Bow, a long time Austin-based favorite of mine.  From The Forest Came The Fire is due out April 1 via Modern Outsider.  You’ll be able to see Dana at the Stateside Theater on April 2.

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Show Of The Week

August 26, 2015

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There are some big, attractive shows set for this week – 101X Homegrown Live tomorrow night, Belle And Sebastian and Mos Def on Friday, the Lonestar Beer Texas Heritage Festival on Saturday – but my main recommendation is that you focus on heading to Hotel Vegas on Saturday night.  There are five bands – FIVE! – that will be there rocking and sweating the night away.  A Giant Dog, Flesh Lights and Hundred Visions are all loud and fun and have been mentioned here at SOTO a ton of times, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes are a buzzy punk act that should have been on SOTO by now, and Negative Scanner (the only non-Austin act on the bill) are a band that SOTO’s own Noah Sanders recently fell in love with. Sounds like a can’t miss night to me.  Go and indulge.

:A Giant Dog – All I Wanted:
:Negative Scanner – Would You Rather:
:Flesh Lights – Just About Due:
:Hundred Visions – You’re Gonna Cut Me Loose:
:Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes – Hot Shoes:

It’s Austin, so there’s always more to see.  Here are some other recommendations.

Thursday:
- 101X Homegrown Live with Sphynx, Letting Up Despite Great Faults, Shivery Shakes, Alex Napping, Gold Beach, Slomo Drags, Young Tongue, Tamarron, Velo at Empire Control Room
- Carry Illinois, Lindsey Verrill, Marijuana Sweet Tooth, Rain Collectors at Holy Mountain

Friday:
- Red 7 Closing Party with Nashville Pussy, Riverboat Gamblers, Valient Thorr, Crimson Devils, Spray Paint, Sweet Talk
- Belle and Sebastian, Wild Moccasins at ACL Live
- Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def): Black on Both Sides (15 Year Anniversary Tour) at the Mohawk
- Birdcloud, Moving Panoramas at the Mohawk

Saturday:
- Lonestar Beer Texas Heritage Festival with Old 97s, Black Angels, Grupo Fantasma, Dale Watson, LaTasha Lee & the Black Ties at Fair Market
- BLXPLTN, Ease Them Pistols at the Hole in the Wall
- Ghost Wolves at ABGB

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A Giant Dog (Video Premiere)

June 15, 2015

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Late last week my new pals over at Sofar Los Angeles reached out about SOTO premiering a video of Austin’s own A Giant Dog performing a song called Jizzney.  To be honest, the title of the song and my love for A Giant Dog had me ready to say yes before I even watched anything, but the vid is actually really impressive and a lot different than I expected.  In place of the band’s normally explosive approach is a stripped down performance that features just two of its five members – Sabrina Ellis and Andrew Cashen.  You’re going to dig it.  Enjoy.

By the way, you catch see A Giant Dog at Cheer Up Charlie’s this Friday.

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Top 25 Albums Of 2013: Part 2

December 12, 2013

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Here’s another 10 of my favorite albums of 2013.  Jump back tomorrow for the top five on my list!  Enjoy.

15) Polica – Shulamith

If you’re pessimistic and happen to remember how high my expectations were for Polica’s Shulamith, then you might look at this “middle of the pack” placement and call the album a disappointment.  Believe me though, that would be silly.  Lots of great tracks to be had on this one.

:Polica – Chain My Name:

14) The Mantles – Long Enough To Leave

If I had things my way, everyone would start including the Mantles in the first wave of bands that roll out of their mouth whenever the Bay Area comes up in conversation.  Long Enough To Leave is loaded with very catchy retro pop tunes.

:The Mantles – Hello:

13) The Octopus Project – Fever Forms

The Octopus Project have long been a solid act, but I think Fever Forms is proof that they’re actually a great one.  I’m excited to see where they go from here.

:The Octopus Project – Whitby:

12) Diarrhea Planet – I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams

Only one album in 2013 actually made me want to throw up rock horns in a non-ironic way, and it was Diarrhea Planet’s I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams.  Listen loud.

:Diarrhea Planet – Separations:

11) Haim – Days Are Gone

The girls in Haim have been making music for most of their lives, so of course Days Are Gone is packed with some of 2013′s better crafted pop songs.  On another note, this album is a sing-a-long lovers dream.

:Haim – The Wire:

10) A Giant Dog – Bone

Pop punk is fun stuff, but I usually wear the albums out and then promptly shuffle on to something else.  This didn’t happen with A Giant Dog’s Bone though, the songs are too good to just let go of.

:A Giant Dog – All I Wanted:

09) Kanye West – Yeezus

Kanye West’s Yeezus is such an intense album that I can’t listen to it on a regular basis.  With that being said, I think it’s a stellar piece of work from one of the biggest, most interesting pop stars on the planet.

:Kanye West – New Slaves:

08) Thee Oh Sees – Floating Coffin

Thee Oh Sees release so much music that I always move on to whatever new thing they’re doing instead of allowing the “old” effort to settle.  Floating Coffin managed to hook me though, and I plan on jamming the gloriously kinetic album for years to come.

:Thee Oh Sees – Maze Francier:

07) FIDLAR – Self Titled

FIDLAR seem like an act that could fizzle out at any moment, so I’ve been loving them while I can.  Their self titled debut is as catchy and loud as I hoped it would be when the band first popped up on my radar last year.

:FIDLAR – Cheap Beer:

06) Sigur Ros – Kveikur

I didn’t think Sigur Ros had a bombastic post rock album in them at this point, but Kveikur is just that.  If their last few efforts were too far out in left field for you, then this one should win you back.

:Sigur Ros – Kveikur:

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Top 50 Songs Of 2013: Part 4

December 5, 2013

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We’re now down to the final 20 songs!  Ah!  Enjoy.

20)  :Minks – Margot:  I know some folks weren’t a fan of Minks cleaning up their sound, but I thought it was an alright move.  This song in particular is great and reminds me of early 2000s indie pop.  From Tides End.

19)  :Okkervil River – It Was My Season:  As I said when this made my Austin Essentials list, it’s that one song Okkervil River seem to have on every album that I can’t get enough of.  From The Silver Gymnasium.

18)  :Parquet Courts – You’ve Got Me Wonderin’ Now:  To be honest, I totally didn’t get all the love for Parquet Courts until this song came along.  I appreciate its adequate amount of snarl.  From the Tally All The Things That You Broke EP.

17)  :A Giant Dog – All I Wanted:  Austin’s finest pop punk band is A Giant Dog, and I think this is their best song.  It rocks and does well to show off Sabrina Ellis’ stellar voice.  From Bone.

16)  :Wavves – Demon To Lean On:  I didn’t at all think Wavves would ever turn into a 90s-esque alt-rock band, but here they are doing it and doing it well.  I approve.  From Afraid Of Heights.

15)  :White Denim – At Night In Dreams:  The heaviest song on White Denim’s 2013 effort is also my favorite from it.  I don’t know how many times I’ve tried to blow out my speakers via this track.  From Corsicana Lemonade.

14)  :Swearin’ – Watered Down:  I love any sort of indie rock that feels lifted out of the 90s, so I was hooked on this pretty much immediately.  Be warned, Swearin’ will make you want to dig up tons of old records.    From Surfing Strange.

13)  :Four Fists – MMMMMHMMMMM:  POS and Astronautalis as one act?  Yes.  Forever.  If we’re lucky, this rad track is just the beginning of something awesome.  From Four Fists’ self titled 7″ single.

12)  :Polica – Chain My Name:  Earlier this year I couldn’t wait to get a hold of Polica’s sophomore effort, and it was largely because of this track.  It’s super dancey and completely set on never leaving your head.  From Shulamith.

11)  :Courtney Barnett – Avant Gardener:  This wordy number from Courtney Barnett was a favorite of mine before I was even done listening to it for the first time.  She’s a fantastic storyteller.  From the A Sea Of Split Peas EP.

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2013 Austin Essentials: Volume 1

November 25, 2013

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A couple of weeks back I was thinking about my annual Top 50 Songs/Top 25 Albums lists (expect those to start on 12/2), and it dawned on me that I should do something separate specifically for Austin.  So, I did.  There’s no particular ranking to anything in Austin Essentials, I just wanted to share with you some local stuff that I liked a lot this year.  There’s 45 entries (culled from a group of about 70-80) that are spread out over three 15-track volumes, so look for a post tomorrow and then another on Wednesday.  Enjoy.

By the way, if I had one goal for SOTO this year, it was to try and include more mentions for Austin artists.  Overall, I think we did a solid job, but there’s definitely room to improve.  Hit me up if you have any suggestions for us as we head into 2014.

:A Giant Dog – All I Wanted:  Sabrina Ellis is one of Austin’s most dynamic singers, and there isn’t a single song on A Giant Dog’s Bone where her enthusiasm doesn’t shine through.  This pop punk gem is my favorite track on the album.  Find A Giant Dog on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Grape St – A Date With You:  Harlem’s indefinite hiatus has now formed three great bands – Lace Curtains, Daytona, and Grape St.  If you dig this song, then definitely pick up the album A Date With You.  All of the other tracks on it are just as catchy.   Find Grape St on FB here, and buy their music here.

:The Laughing – Disappear:  The Laughing kind of dropped off the planet for a while, but this year they made their return via Oscillation, a 10-track effort that features some really nice pop rock tunes.  Find The Laughing on FB here, and buy their music here.

:The Sour Notes – Do What May:  The Sour Notes may be great friends of mine, but I can honestly say they’re listed here because they earned it.  They’re one of Austin’s hardest working bands and their upcoming album, Do What May, is a really solid prog pop effort.  Find The Sour Notes on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Borrisokane – Amelia Fucking Earhart (A.F.E.):  For those of you who like your pop music to have an experimental side to it, there’s Borrisokane’s Murdering Teeth EP.  I think it’s one of the more quirky (in a good way, of course) listens to come out of Austin in 2013.  Find Borrisokane on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Love Inks – Time:  Love Inks are a quality act, but they don’t seem to have the biggest of followings in Austin.  We should figure out a way to change that.  The band’s album, Generation Club, is a must if you like minimalist pop.  Find Love Inks on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Whiite Walls – Easy Love:  When I wanted something dancey this summer I either tossed on Daft Punk’s Get Lucky or Whiite Walls’ Easy Love.  You can’t listen to it and not want to move.  Here’s hoping the band doesn’t take too long to put out an official effort.  Find Whiite Walls on FB here.

:Knifight – In The Fire:  Their name makes them sound like a punk band, but they’re actually more of a New Order/Future Islands type – dark and synthy.  Their debut, Dark Voices, is an intense but good listen.  Find Knifight on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Zorch – We All Die Young:  I love this track.  It’s wild and raw and should only be listened to at the sort of volume that makes your neighbors angry.  Find Zorch on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Boyfrndz – Water Weight:  Boyfrndz are one of Austin’s better experimental rock acts, and I thought they did a good job of proving that on their Natures EP.  Find Boyfrndz on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Major Major Major – Scream Queen:  I was a late adopter of this track, but once I did I couldn’t seem to get it out of my head.  Talk about infectious.  If we’re lucky, the duo will wrap their EP sooner rather than later.  Find Major Major Major on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Genuine Leather – Head Wound:  Chris Galis (from the Gorgeous Hands) heads up this breezy pop act.  Viper (Found A Good Place For My Love) is the other single that the band put out this year, and it’s also worth your time.  Find Genuine Leather on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Royal Forest – Goldwallpaper:  Over the years Royal Forest have really become a fine pop band.  If for some reason you didn’t check out Spillway, then seek it out.  It’s a nice listen.  Find Royal Forest on FB here, and buy their music here.

:Walker Lukens – Dear Someone:  Walker Lukens somewhat recently made the jump from NYC to Austin, and I’m happy that he did.  The guy knows how to write a good pop song.  Find Walker Lukens on FB here, and buy his music here.

:Yum – Take My Blue:  Yum just sort of popped onto my radar one day over the summer, and ever since then I’ve been a big fan.  Their album, Take My Blue, has a lot on it that plays like a lighter version of Warpaint.  Find Yum on FB here, and buy their music here.

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Who To See At SXSW 2013

March 4, 2013

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Previewing SXSW is such an odd task.  It would take a year’s worth of daily posts to cover just the great acts playing, and I think doing a mammoth playlist that contains every SXSW artist is a waste of time.  So, today I’m keeping things clean and providing five bands that are can’t miss this year, and then I’m tossing in five local acts for those of you that aren’t based in Austin.  Enjoy.

See These 5 Bands At SXSW

MS MR

For me, MS MR are the one band that I have to see at SXSW this year.  Their 90s-influenced sound is great, and I’ve yet to come across a song of theirs that hasn’t totally won me over.  By the way, I recommend getting in line early for wherever they’re playing, as their recent placement in the season three trailer for Game Of Thrones will certainly bring out the masses.

:MS MR – Bones:

Foxygen

Foxygen have put out one of the year’s best albums, which should be reason enough for you to seek them out.  I, however, want you to do it because their current live show is so odd.  They’re a young group that haven’t quite figured out how to keep their energy (or nerves) in check, so what ends up on stage is a really interesting watch.

:Foxygen – On Blue Mountain:

Chvrches

The first couple of singles from Chvrches were met with all sorts of buzz, and now they’re positioned to use SXSW to officially blow up.  I think their live show seems like something that could be a sweeping, joyous experience, and I can’t wait to see if that’s what they deliver.

:Chvrches – The Mother We Share:

Youth Lagoon

Youth Lagoon (Trevor Powers) will probably exit SXSW with a packed bandwagon.  Wondrous Bughouse, one of the year’s most anticipated albums, will be out before the festival starts, and I really think if there’s anyone that will be able to get the crowd to be quiet and pay attention, it’s him.

:Youth Lagoon – Dropla:

Haim

This trio is rolling into SXSW with a ton of buzz due to the overwhelmingly catchy Falling.  This could make for a situation where people just impatiently wait to hear the one track, but something tells me these ladies will avoid that by delivering one awesome dance party after another.

:Haim – Falling:

See These 5 Austin Bands At SXSW

Dana Falconberry

Dana has been one of Austin’s hardest working artists for quite a while, but it wasn’t until last year’s Leelanau that she finally got everyone to really start paying attention.  If you like your folk music to be intricate, yet accessible, then I highly recommend that you make some time to see her play.

:Dana Falconberry – Lake Charlevoix:

PS – Dana is playing SOTO’s day party, DC VS Austin, at Sidebar on March 15.  I would have mentioned her here regardless of this tidbit, but I figured you should know.

The Eastern Sea

The Eastern Sea certainly took their time to get to where they are now, and that patience has worked in their favor.  Plague turned out to be a great album, and the large lineup behind frontman Matt Hines allows for a rather expansive sound in a live setting.

:The Eastern Sea – Wasn’t For Love:

Sorne

An artist in all aspects of the word, Sorne is one of Austin’s most buzzed about acts.  For proof of how enthusiastic everyone is about this guy, take a look at his Kickstarter, where he just raised over $16,000 to fund his new album.

:Sorne – Ego Altar:

A Giant Dog

I know some of you are hoping to find a way for Austin to punch you in the face, and that’s why I made sure to include A Giant Dog.  They just released the very good Bone, and their live show was meant for the chaos that often comes with SXSW.

:A Giant Dog – Teasin’ Ass Bitch:

The Couch

The Couch have been one of my favorite local acts over the last three or four months.  Their live shows are a upbeat and fun, and I really dig the pop rock sound that makes up their self titled full length (released late last year).

:The Couch – Kick The Can:

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Crooked Bangs, A Giant Dog (Dan)

October 24, 2012

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Just when I think I’ve covered all notable garage rock bands in the Central Texas area, I realize I’ve totally overlooked some great ones.

Crooked Bangs’ self-titled album is a potent blend of post-punk and garage rock … which is to say it’s right up my alley. It was produced by Mike McCarthy (Spoon, Trail of Dead, Heartless Bastards) and released on his Western Medical Records label. It’s fast paced, full of power tracks, and one of the most impressive debuts of the year. Each member of this trio packs a wallop but they don’t ever overpower or cramp one another. Rather their combined force blends together to make one incredible superpower of rock. Layered on top of the stellar musicianship is the unique vocals of singer Leda Celeste Ginestra. She alternates between English and French while delivering her often dark lyrics. It all makes for a hell of a band and one you definitely need to see and listen to. Your next chance is Halloween night when Crooked Bangs play the 29th St. Ballroom.

:Crooked Bangs – Be Young – Sois Jeune (Et Tais Toi):
:Crooked Bangs – Halfway – Lucifer, Mon Amour:

When I was in Chicago this summer for the Pitchfork Musical Festival, I went to a Ty Segall after-show and met some random guy from Dallas. We got to talking about our favorite Texas garage rock bands and he mentioned A Giant Dog. When I confessed I wasn’t familiar with them, he looked at me incredulously. He then berated me for living in Austin and not seeing A Giant Dog at every possible opportunity. Well, I gave them a listen when I got home, and he was right. They’re pretty awesome and I should have known about them sooner. Thanks random dude!

The band features members of Bad Sports, OBN III’s, and Bobby Jealousy. Earlier this year they released an album, Fight, and they have just followed that up with a new 7” called Dammit Pomegranate. Like Crooked Bangs, A Giant Dog is fronted by a female singer and the music features a number of punk and garage elements. However, the tempo is slowed down a bit and the tracks have more pop appeal (especially on the new 7”).

A Giant Dog just finished playing a series of shows around Austin, so if you missed them, you lose. Just kidding! A Giant Dog plays November 5 at Beerland in support of the new record. In the meantime, hop on Spotify or iTunes and see why this band inspires fans to berate complete strangers over the greatness of A Giant Dog.

:A Giant Dog – Chatterteeth:
:A Giant Dog – To Put It Bluntly:

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