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Top 50 Songs Of 2016: Part 1

November 28, 2016

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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.

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

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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Show Of The Week

October 12, 2016

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If you were under the impression that things would scale back after the conclusion of ACLx2, you were wrong.  There are a ton of shows this week!  So many in fact that I’m tossing out two main recommendations.  Enjoy.

Local Pick of the Week:  Walker Lukens will be celebrating the arrival of his new EP, Never Understood, this Friday at 3TEN.  With him will be local gems The Eastern Sea and Slomo Drags.  If you’re looking for an indie pop-enthused good time, then this is the show for you.

Non-Local Pick of the Week:  On Saturday my favs Screaming Females will be at Sidewinder.  They rip it up like no other and should not be missed.  Hope to see you there.

BONUS Show Recommendations:

Tonight:
- La Sera, Springtime Carnivore at The Sidewinder
- Carry Illinois, Lowin, Go Fever at the Mohawk
- Rooney, Royal Teeth, Swimming With Bears at Barracuda
- Leslie Sisson & Glad Girls, Plantation, Daisy O’Connor at Cheer Up Charlies
- Rachael Yamagata, Pressing Strings at Antone’s

Thursday:
- Yonatan Gat, American Sharks, The Rotten Mangos, The Harms at Barracuda
- Foreign Mothers, Pleasure Venom, Space Battle, Mamis at Beerland
- Leo Rondeau, Ramsay Midwood, Banditos, The Bad Lovers at Hotel Vegas
- My Education at Stubb’s
- Echo and the Bunnymen at Stubb’s
- The Temper Trap, Coast Modern, Walking Shapes at Emo’s
- Elvis Costello, Larkin Poe at ACL Live

Friday:
- Walker Lukens at Waterloo Records
- Telepods, Summer Salt, Deep Cuts, Tamarron at Hotel Vegas
- Islands, Alex Cameron at The Sidewinder
- Sweet Spirit, Calliope Musicals, Tinnarose at Barracuda
- Taking Back Sunday, You Blew It! at the Mohawk
- Opeth, The Sword at Emo’s
- The Dandy Warhols, Savoy Motel at the Scoot Inn
- Busdriver, Mindz of a Different Kind, DJ Notion at Flamingo Cantina

Saturday:
- Moving Panoramas, Dead Leaf Echo, Pale Dian, The Veldt, All in the Golden Afternoon, Twin Studies at Cheer Up Charlies
- Gooch Palms, The Lochness Mobsters, Teenage Cavegirl at Hotel Vegas
- The Gentlemen Rogues, Broken Gold, The First Part, Later Days, Far Out at Beerland
- The Dear Hunter, Eisley, Gavin Castleton at the Mohawk
- Golden Bear, Feverbones, Brothers LTD at the Mohawk
- The Faint, Gang of Four, Pictureplane at Emo’s
- Peanut Butter Wolf, J Rocc at Empire Control Room
- Magic Sword, NGHT HCKLRS at Empire Control Room
- The Dandy Warhols, Savoy Motel at the Scoot Inn
- Shivery Shakes, Signy, Bravo Zulu, DJ Lambda at The Swan Dive
- The Midnight Stroll at the Cactus Cafe

Sunday:
- She Sir, Raquel Ball, Marine Kimono, Molybden at Hotel Vegas
- The Lovely Sparrows, Chris Johnson, Mike Sempert at Radio Coffee & Beer
- Heart, She Devils at ACL Live at the Moody Theater

Show Of The Week Media:

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Screaming Females

July 25, 2016

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If you’re in Australia or New Zealand, then today’s news should slap a smile on your face.  Not only are Screaming Females heading your way to play some shows, but they’re bringing along a deluxe edition of last year’s mega-excellent Rose Mountain.  Boy am I jealous – I love that album so much.  Somebody has to send me a copy!  Please!  Anyhow, one of the b-sides from the new version awaits you down below.  It rips.  Enjoy.

:Screaming Females – Skeleton:

Bonus Videos:

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Top 50 Songs Of 2015: Part 4

December 3, 2015

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We’re nearing the end of my Top 50 Songs of 2015 list!  Ah!  Check out entries 20-11 down below.  Enjoy.

- 50-41
- 40-31
- 30-21

20)  :FIDLAR – 40oz. On Repeat:  There’s a pretty solid chance that this FIDLAR track is the year’s most relatable song.  Now, let’s have drink some alcohol, it’ll make us who we really want to be.  From Too.

19)  :Screaming Females – Criminal Image:  This is one of my favorite Screaming Females tunes.  It’s got a big, meaty riff and frontwoman Marissa Paternoster sounds indestructible.  From Rose Mountain.

18)  :Modest Mouse – Lampshades On Fire:  Out of all the quality songs on Modest Mouse’s latest album, this one is my favorite.  For whatever reason, I dig that it essentially sounds like Dashboard: Part 2.  From Strangers To Ourselves.

17)  :Conner Youngblood – Stockholm:  This track from Conner Youngblood is hypnotizing.  You just have to love the way he uses the harp here.  From The Generation Of Lift EP.

16)  :Leon Bridges – River:  Leon Bridges absolutely blew up this year, and I like to think it was largely because of this stunning slow burner.  What a song.  From Coming Home.

15)  :Bop English – Dani’s Blues (It Was Beyond Our Control):  James Petralli (of White Denim fame) is Bop English.  There’s a playful, retro pop sound on display here that’s really great.  From Constant Bop.

14)  :Diet Cig – Harvard:  Diet Cig’s front-lady Alex Luciano is in full-on bitter mode throughout this track, and it’s fantastic.  I hope she never loses that sarcastic edge of hers.  From the Over Easy EP.

13)  :Titus Andronicus – Dimed Out:  Whenever I want to jump around like a madman in my living room, I put on this sloppy jam from Titus Andronicus.  It’s such a raucous good time.  From The Most Lamentable Tragedy.

12)  :Mos Def – Sensei On The Block (Featuring Ski Beatz):  This song is vintage Mos Def (in the best of ways), and it totally makes me yearn for his pre-Yasiin Bey days.  From the land of one-off tracks.

11)  :Purity Ring – Push Pull:  I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about Purity Ring’s sophomore album – some of it works for me, some of it doesn’t.  This beautiful number is definitely the best track on it.  From Another Eternity.

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Show Of The Week

August 19, 2015

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You have to go to Red 7 this Friday to see Screaming Females.  The band’s latest LP, Rose Mountain, is one of the best rock (and overall) albums to come out in 2015, and they really rip it up live.  Also on the bill is Vacation (labelmates with Screaming Females), Ghost Knife (Mike Wiebe of Riverboat Gamblers) and Kitten Crisis.  The show will be all kinds of loud.  Don’t miss it.

Doors at 9pm. Tickets are $12.

By the way, if you’d like to win a pair of guest list spots for the show, just leave a comment here or shoot me an email.  I’ll pick a winner Friday morning!

Other shows worth checking out …

Friday:
- Mother Falcon, RF Shannon, Quintessential Clarinet Quintet at The North Door
- Super Thief, Tunic, Xetas, Back Legs at Beerland
- Chipper Jones, Hovvdy, Bent Denim at the Scoot Inn

Saturday:
- Daniel Johnston at the Mohawk
- Pageantry, Feverbones, Royal Forest, Telegraph Canyon at the Mohawk
- Ramesh, Roses, The Sour Notes, Moving Panoramas at Hotel Vegas
- Mother Falcon, Taft, Monte at Empire Control Room
- Tera Melos, Future Death at the Parish
- East Cameron Folkcore, Town Hall Devils, Micah Schnabel, Foul Mouth Evangelists at Red 7
- The Black and White Years, The Cover Letter, Sons of Santos, Canvas People, Mattresses at Cheer Up Charlies

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Stream This

February 20, 2015

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From the depths of the SOTO inbox, I present to you your weekly serving of the latest and greatest album streams and videos.  Enjoy.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

Please note that the majority of the streams expire as soon as the albums are released, so don’t wait too long to check them out.

ALBUM OF THE WEEK ➡ Screaming Females – Rose Mountain

Colleen Green – I Want To Grow Up
Dan Deacon – Gliss Riffer
Radical Dads – Universal Coolers
The King Khan And BBQ Show – Bad News Boys
Gal Pals – Velvet Rut
Diet Cig – Over Easy EP
THEESatisfaction – EarthEE
Torche – Restarter
Diamond Rugs – Cosmetics
Iron And Wine – Archive Series: Volume 1
Pearls – Pretend You’re Mine
Keath Mead – Sunday Dinner
Tall Tales And The Silver Lining – Tightropes
Hundred Waters – The Moon Rang Like A Bell (Remixed)
Public Service Broadcasting – The Race For Space

MUSIC VIDEOS

⬆ VIDEO OF THE WEEK ⬆
Sleater-Kinney

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Quickdraw: The King Khan And BBQ Show, Viet Cong, Screaming Females, The Dodos, Twerps

January 12, 2015

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Music!  Enjoy.

:The King Khan And BBQ Show – Alone Again:  It took an eternity, but The King Khan And BBQ Show have officially reunited and readied a new album.  If we’re lucky, all of the songs it will be as good as this jangly retro rocker.  Bad News Boys is due out February 24 via In The Red Records.

:Viet Cong – Silhouettes:  As of right now, my money is on Viet Cong to deliver the first great album of 2015.  They’ve got a really fantastic Wolf Parade-esque thing going on.  Look for the band’s self titled full length on January 20 via Jagjaguwar.

:Screaming Females – Criminal Image:  Here’s a meaty single from Screaming Females.  I’ll be really surprised if their upcoming album doesn’t bring in an enormous amount of new fans for them.  Rose Mountain is due out February 24 via Don Giovanni.

:The Dodos – Retriever:  San Francisco’s The Dodos will soon put out their sixth full length.  SIXTH.  Where did all the time go?  In any case, this track is a more than solid slice of indie rock.  The band will release Individ on January 27 via Polyvinyl.  See them at the Parish on February 18.

:Twerps – I Don’t Mind:  I love this 90s slacker rock throwback from Twerps.  Their upcoming LP wasn’t really on my radar, but it’s definitely there now.  Range Anxiety is due out January 27 via Merge.

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Top 50 Songs Of 2014: Part 3

December 3, 2014

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We’ve now arrived at the middle section of my Top 50 Songs of 2014.  Check out Part ONE & TWO if you haven’t already.  Otherwise, get on with cruising today’s list!  Enjoy.

30)  :The Dead Space – Behind The Wall:  Pretty much all of my dark-corner-brooding in 2014 was done while listening to this stellar piece of post-punk from Austin’s own The Dead Space.  From Faker.

29)  :We Were Promised Jetpacks – I Keep It Composed:  This swirling song reinvigorated my love for We Were Promised Jetpacks.  I’m honestly not sure they’ve ever sounded as good as they do here.  From Unraveling.

28)  :Angel Olsen – Forgiven-Forgotten:  While I like Angel Olsen’s slower and more intimate material, I found myself coming back to this little rocker of hers the most.  From Burn Your Fire For No Witness.

27)  :Shannon And The Clams – Mama:  This Shannon And The Clams song is splendid and permanently on my go-to list for whenever I’m in the mood for soul/doo-wop-enthused music.  From the band’s split with Guantanamo Baywatch.

26)  :Saint Pepsi – Fiona Coyne:  My “song of the summer” this year was definitely this Saint Pepsi track.  It’s immensely catchy.  And danceable.  And super fun.  From the Fiona Coyne single.

25)  :Tennis – I’m Callin’:  I love this song for two reasons.  1) It’s wonderfully easy on the ears.  2) It fully completes Tennis‘ transition from lo-fi indie band to full on pop act.  Not sure they could have done it any smoother.  From Ritual In Repeat.

24)  :Screaming Females – Wishing Well:  Screaming Females usually go right after your face, but for this track they decided to dial things back a bit.  It worked.  In fact, I think this is probably their best song.  From the Wishing Well single.

23)  :Phantogram – Fall In Love:  Phantogram blew up in 2014, and it was partly because of this single.  To be honest, I think it ranks a little lower than some of their older songs, but I still love it.  From Voices.

22)  :The War On Drugs – Red Eyes:  The War On Drugs really got me with this track.  I had only ever just appreciated them and their Springsteen-ish ways, but this is so damn good that they’re now a favorite of mine.  From Lost In The Dream.

21)  :Future Islands – Seasons (Waiting On You):  This fantastic synth-pop song totally helped Future Islands wrangle in just under a bazillion new fans.  Good for them.  They deserve it.  From Singles.

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Quickdraw: Screaming Females, Twist, Cotillon, Porcelain Raft, Christopher Owens

November 17, 2014

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Music!  Enjoy.

:Screaming Females – Ripe:  Damn.  This new one from Screaming Females totally shreds.  Crank the volume all the way up and then make a note to seek out their six full length, Rose Mountain, when it gets released on February 24 via Don Giovanni.

:Twist – Slums And Seaports:  Twist is Laura Hermiston (a Toronto-based musician) and Brian Borcherdt (from Holy Fuck).  There’s a lot of interesting things going on in this rather lo-fi tune of theirs, and I’m curious to hear whatever else they’ve crafted.  Supposedly, an EP is on the way.

:Cotillon – Before:  If you’re already compiling possible 2015 breakthrough acts, it might be wise to add Jordan Corso (aka Cotillon) to the list.  This is a moody, hazy gem, and I think his upcoming album could be a great one.  The self titled effort will be released on January 26 via Burger Records.

:Porcelain Raft – Closed Eye Vision:  Porcelain Raft want you to know they’re still out there, so they’ve released this spacious track.  It’s a quick one at just a minute and 35 seconds, so you’ll have to make sure you’re paying attention or it’ll pass you by before you know it.  This song appears to be a one-off effort.

:Christopher Owens – America:  I can’t seem to decide exactly where I stand in regards to Christopher Owens’ solo work, but I can at least for sure say I love this song.  I think it’s as intimate and sincere as can be.  No word yet on if this track will end up on some sort of official release.

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Screaming Females

October 7, 2014

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In my post-ACL fogginess yesterday there was one ray of light that slipped through, and it was in the form of a new Screaming Females song.  Now, I imagine you’re thinking it’s just another face melter from the trio, but Wishing Well is actually a totally 90s-esque alt-rock effort that’s more accessible than the band has ever been.  I love it.  Maybe there’s more of the same to come?  I sort of hope so.  Enjoy.

:Screaming Females – Wishing Well:

The Wishing Well/Let Me In 7″ is out now on Don Giovanni.  See the band at Red 7 on October 23.

Bonus Video:

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Screaming Females

October 15, 2013

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The best thing about Screaming Females is that no matter what you write, it’s hilarious and true.  “The world needs more Screaming Females.”  “If I could have anything, it would be more Screaming Females in my life.”  “Nothing is better for your ears than Screaming Females.”  See what I mean?  It’s just awesome no matter how you scribble it out.  In any case, the band just released a split 7″ (with Tenement) via Recess Records.  They play Red 7 on November 29.  Enjoy.

:Screaming Females – Ancient Civilization:  I’m not sure I can say I ever figured that Screaming Females had this much snarl in them. This track is thunderous and easily the most attention commanding thing they’ve ever put out.  Consider me highly impressed.

Bonus Video:

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Stream This

February 22, 2013

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

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

How To Destroy Angels – Welcome Oblivion
Sally Shapiro – Somewhere Else
The M Machine – Metropolis Pt. II
Sin Fang – Flowers
Doldrums – Lesser Evil
Mister Lies – Mowgli
Mount Moriah – Miracle Temple

VIDEOS

Sorne will release Ego Altar later this year.

Stornoway will release Tales From Terra Firma on March 19 via 4AD.

Field Report’s self titled album is out now.

Efterklang’s Piramidea is out now.  They play the Mohawk on March 6.

GRMLN put out this track as a one-off single.

DWNTWN’s The Red Room EP is out now.

Junip will put out a self titled effort on April 23 via Mute.

Warm Soda will release Someone For You on March 26 via Castle Face Records.

Beware Of Darkness will release Orthodox on May 7 via Bright Antenna.

Pony Time released Go Find Your Own earlier this week via Per Se Records.

Eat Skull released Ill this week on Woodsist.

The Aprons released Sound Stains last year.

The Gossip put out a A Joyful Noise last year.

Decades will release a self titled album on April 30 via White Girl Records.

Bat For Lashes put out The Haunted Man last year.

Screaming Females just put out the Chalk Tape EP.

The ACB’s will release Little Leaves on March 5 via High Dive Records.

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Stream This

February 8, 2013

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

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

Maston – Shadows
Texas Is The Reason – Do You Know Who We Are?
Lisa Germano – No Elephants
Screaming Females – Chalk Tape
Jacco Gardner – Cabinet Of Curiosities
KXP – II

VIDEOS

Unknown Mortal Orchestra play the Mohawk on February 20.  II is out now.

Frightened Rabbit just released Pedestrian Verse.  This song is the b-side off the Woodpile single.

Odesza’s Summer’s Gone is available now.

Cadence Weapon put out Hope In Dirty City last year.

Liars released WIXIW last year.

Ex-Cops just released True Hallucinations.

Hundred Waters have a self titled album that’s currently available.

Mazes will put out Ores & Minerals on February 12 via FatCat Records.

Black Books will release the Aquarena EP on February 11.

Rhye is expected to release Woman on March 4 via Polydor.

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds will put out Push The Sky Away on February 19.

Sweet Baboo will release Ships on April 23 via Moshi Moshi.

Little Tybee are set to release  For Distant Viewing on April 9 via Paper Garden Records.

The Little Ones will put out The Dawn Sang Along on February 12 via the Branches Recording Collective.

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Quickdraw: Dan Friel, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, MS MR, Sorne, Screaming Females

January 28, 2013

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Today’s music can’t be stopped.  Enjoy.

:Dan Friel – Thumper:  Dan (formerly of Parts & Labor) put out one of my favorite songs last year, so I was pretty pumped to finally see him release something new.  This is a great track, especially if you dig stuff that’s noisy and kinetic.  Thrill Jockey will release Total Folklore on February 19.

:Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Let The Day Begin:  I’ve never been an overly huge fan of BRMC, but I certainly recognize that they’ve been a solid band for a long time.  On March 19 they’ll put out their six full length, Specter At The Feast, on Abstract Dragon/Vagrant.

:MS MR – Fantasy:  I’m very much looking forward to hearing this band’s debut full length.  I really liked the EP they put out last year, and now there’s this pop number, which is just fantastic.  Second Hand Rapture is due out in May, but you’ll be able to pick up the Fantasy single on March 10.

:Sorne – Ego Altar:  If you want to know who currently has the most experimental and interesting sound in Austin, it’s Sorne.  This guy has the potential to really blow up this year, so you should take this intense, soulful track and use it as your excuse to jump on the bandwagon now.  Ego Altar is due out April 9.

:Screaming Females – Poison Arrow:  Some health issues may have sidelined the Screaming Females’ touring plans, but they’re staying busy.  This garage rock tune is off a collection of home recordings that’s only being put on on a cassette.  Chalk Tape is due out February 10 via Don Giovanni.

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