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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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Show Of The Week

May 18, 2016

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Do yourself a favor and head to 3TEN, the slick new spot underneath ACL Live, on Friday for Cross Record.  The duo’s sophomore effort, Wabi Sabi, is one of the year’s best albums, and now that they’ve had a few months to tour with it, I’m excited to see how those songs have developed live.  Also, SOTO favs Tele Novella are opening!  Be there.

BONUS Show Recommendations:

Tonight:
- Spray Paint, Total Abuse, Dope Dungeon at the Mohawk
- Night Moves, Alex Napping at The Sidewinder
- Leon Bridges, Solo Woods at Stubb’s

Thursday:
- The Ghost Wolves, The Harms, Tusk Her at Empire Control Room
- Leon Bridges, Solo Woods at Stubb’s
- Florence & the Machine, Grimes at Austin360 Amphitheater

Friday:
- Hard Proof, The Que Pastas at Mueller
- Ought, Priests, US Weekly at The Sidewinder
- Big Coat at The Sidewinder
- We Are Scientists, The Sour Notes at Barracuda
- Soak at The North Door
- A Celebration of Music by Bjork with Botany, Illustrations, Black Books, Hard Proof, Little Brave, Young Tongue, Francine Thirteen, Obsolete Machines, Sparrow, Tambourine Dream at Cheer Up Charlies
- Mother Falcon, Sometimes a Legend at the Spiderhouse Ballroom
- Black Pistol Fire, Not In The Face, Emily Wolfe at Emo’s

Saturday:
- Modern English at Elysium
- Flesh Lights, Growl, Summer Salt, Femignome at Cheer Up Charlies
- Eagles of Death Metal, Thelma and the Sleaze, Paul Cauthen at Stubb’s
- Orthy, Big Coat, Shareef, Learning Secrets, Flying Turns, Business Man at the Spiderhouse Ballroom
- Star Parks, Alabama Deathwalk, El Campo at Stay Gold

Sunday:
- Holy Wave, Laser Background, Children of Pop, Michael Parallax at Cheer Up Charlies
- Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes, Ghetto Ghouls, Dryspell, Grivo, Smith+Robot, Smile, Bango Skank, Eerily Similar Beings, Schilling, Cumwave, Mamalarky at the Hole in the Wall

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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

February 3, 2016

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This weekend features the first Homegrown Live that I get to host (I just took over the radio show 101X Homegrown), and I’m really excited about it.  So, if you love me, you’ll head over to the inside stage at the Mohawk on Saturday to watch Cross Record celebrate the release of their album Wabi-Sabi (out now on Ba Da Bing Records).  I’ve been pouring over the atmospheric LP throughout the last couple of weeks, and I’m totally in love with it.  Adam Torres and Nadia will open the evening.

BONUS Show Recommendations:

Tonight:
- Shearwater, Marmalakes at The North Door
- Big Eyes, Flesh Lights, Old Soul, Crocodile at Cheer Up Charlies

Thursday:
- Protextor, Secret Levels, Crew54, KB at Barracuda
- Lochness Mobsters, Hidden Ritual, Lake of Fire, The Be Helds at Hotel Vegas
- Matt Hines (of The Eastern Sea), Rain Collectors, Twin Brother, Old Earth at the Mohawk
- Tele Novella at The Badlands
- Bully, Diet Cig at the Parish
- Canvas People, The Cover Letter, Taylor & the Wild Now at Stubb’s
- Reservations, Grey Lakes, Darkbird, Wildcat Apollo at Stay Gold

Friday:
- The Zoltars, Faux Ferocious, Soda, Major Major Major at Hotel Vegas
- Tele Novella, Lowin, Devin Jake at Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.
- I Love the 90′s with Salt-N-Pepa with Spinderella, Vanilla Ice, Coolio, Kid ‘n Play, All 4 One, Young MC at Cedar Park Center

Saturday:
- Yo La Tengo, Dave Schramm at Hogg Auditorium
- Christian Bland and the Revelators, Annabelle Chairlegs, Kay Odyssey, Two Lips at Hotel Vegas
- Riverboat Gamblers, Sweet Talk, Bad Sports, Easy Prey, Drakulas, Gentlemen Rogues, Broken Gold at The Sidewinder
- Jukebox the Ghost, The Family Crest at the Mohawk
- P.T. Banks, Tinnarose, Lomelda at Stubb’s
- The Sour Notes, Borrisokane at Indian Roller Boutique Roadhouse

Sunday:
- Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Lower Dens at Emo’s

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Quickdraw: Tacocat, Yuck, Woods, Shearwater, Cross Record

January 14, 2016

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Music!  Enjoy.

:Tacocat – I Hate the Weekend:  I can’t fully get behind Tacocat in regards to hating weekends, but I can give this infectious song a big thumbs up.  Lost Time is due out April 1 via Hardly Art.

:Yuck – Hearts In Motion:  Good on Yuck for not letting Daniel Blumberg’s departure in 2013 slow them down at all.  As for this track, I’m not sure vocalist Max Bloom has ever sounded better.  Stranger Things is due out February 26 via Mame Records.

:Woods – Sun City Creeps:  I’m really into this slinky new single from Woods.  On another note, I can’t believe the band is about to put out their ninth full length (their first came out in 2006).  So prolific!  City Sun Eater In The River Of Light is due out April 8 via Woodsist.

:Shearwater – Only Child:  This is a really pretty number from Shearwater.  I’m starting to feel like their upcoming album may end up being one of their best.  Jet Plane And Oxbow is due out January 22 via Sub Pop.  See the band at the North Door on February 3.

:Cross Record – Basket:  Over the break I totally went from liking to loving Austin’s own Cross Record.  You should make sure to put on headphones before you hit play on this atmospheric song.  Wabi Sabi is due out January 29 via Ba Da Bing Records.  See the band at the Mohawk on February 6.

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