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Sleater-Kinney

October 19, 2017

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7-inches for Planned Parenthood, which is a curated series of 7-inch records that benefits Planned Parenthood, has set some release dates.  A digital version is coming on October 20, and a physical box set will be out on November 17.  That’s neat.  What I also really like about this news is that it came with a an unreleased track from Sleater-Kinney’s No Cities To Love sessions.  Turn it up!  Enjoy.

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Filthy Friends

April 27, 2017

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While I would prefer that she churn out another album with Sleater Kinney, I am pumped to see that Corin Tucker has a new project.  It’s called Filthy Friends, and it also features R.E.M.‘s Peter Buck and Bill Rieflin, Minus 5′ Scott McCaughey, and Fastbacks’ Kurt Bloch.  Neat!  Today I’m sharing the indie rockers’ first handful of tracks – two are from a Record Store Day 7″, and one is from a political comp called 30 Days, 30 Songs.  Turn ‘em up.  Enjoy.

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2015 SOTO Staff Picks

December 30, 2015

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Hey!  Here’s what the SOTO staff dug this year.  Enjoy.

Here you go!

1. Tobias Gesso Jr. – Goon

2. Shamir – Ratchet

3. Tame Impala – Currents

4. Mild High Club – Timeline

5. Ultimate Painting – Green Lanes

Assembled from my list other list of Best Albums of 2015, I wanted to give the fine SOTO readers who may not be into metal a little taste of what some of the borderline metal albums this year achieved. These bands can be classified as metal, but in reality when the non-metalhead hears these records will think, “I can understand the words,” and “They are actually singing a melody,” so I call this list the Best Non-Metal Metal Albums of the Year … enjoy!

5. Clutch – Psychic Warfare (Weathermaker)

The decision to stick with a more rock based approach for Clutch worked on Earth Rocker, and Psychic Warfare presents more of that same powerful attitude and emphasis on their abilities to write strong hooks and lyrically profound jams. A balanced album that seamlessly continues the trajectory of the band gives us some great new singable tunes … and, of course, mentions Texas (so I have to love it even more).

4. Soilwork – The Ride Majestic (Nuclear Blast)

At some point Soilwork will write a terrible record – but The Ride Majestic is not that record. I am astounded by Soilwork’s ability to continually write albums that stretch what they do as a band, yet somehow fit perfectly into their catalog. This record has everything for the Euro-metalcore fan to celebrate.

3. Refused – Freedom (Epitaph)

While watching Refused on their reunion tour at Fun Fun Fun Fest, not one of their diehard fans could have possibly guessed that they could even put together another album, let alone a release as striking as Freedom. Almost two decades have passed since their ‘final’ album, The Shape of Punk to Come, and all we wanted was perfection. In many ways, Dennis Lyxzen and company have not only succeeded, but essentially created an album that did exactly what it needed to do: began the next era of punk to come.

2. Intronaut – The Direction of Last Things (Century Media)

The strange thing here is, whereas failing to pin down Paradise Lost made me move away from them, Intronaut’s similarly diverse catalog feels like a creative continuation, rather than a struggle to find a place amongst the ferns. The Direction of Last Things‘ breadth will surprise even the most hardened critic. If you aren’t BTBAM, prog metal is not an easy thing to make palatable – yet this record is undeniable.

1. Baroness – Purple (Abraxan Hymns)

Unlike the rest of the modern metal world, I did not hold Baroness’ last album in the highest regard. There were some great moments, but it was a double album that could have been boiled down to one spectacular album. So much has transpired for the band since then – setting aside the bus crash and the fallout of having to relearn how to do even menial tasks, rebuilding a band after two core members cannot continue must be daunting. After getting on the road and touring for a year with a new rhythm section, the iron seemed hot enough to get the recording going. As we hear the pieces of Purple, all that has transpired falls into the rear view. When consumed in full? Enlightened, transcendental, and mature beyond their years, Baroness’ Purple grows in stature with every listen. Heavier than the last two records, but with more subtle strides in structure, this is as close as we may get to a perfect album. Baroness tapped into something I hope they can channel for many years to come.

Enjoy!

1. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly

2. Vince Staples – Summertime ’06

3. Earl Sweatshirt – I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside

4. Fashawn – The Ecology

5. Lizzo – Big GRRRL, Small World

1. Kurt Vile – B’lieve I’m Goin Down (Matador)

I’ve jammed this more than any other 2015 release. Vile’s songs are intriguing, yet detached. BIGD manages to say a lot about us as people and our continued course towards ultimate self involvement/destruction. It’s Vile’s own cosmic navel gazing that somehow speaks for the mass of all lost human beings looking for recognition while yearning to be left alone.

2. Dean McPhee – Fatima’s Hand (Hood Faire)

Over the course of Fatima’s Hand and its five meditative (and fully improvised) tracks, you are offered a range of solar spirituals. The depth and variance guitarist Dean McPhee is able to achieve with just a Telecaster, some pedals, and an amp deserves serious accolades.

3. Sun City Girls – Torch of the Mystics (Abduction Records)

Richard Bishop, Alan Bishop, and Charles Gocher’s finest moment gets its first reissue since 1993! Whether you consider it an underground footnote or THE best album released in the 1990s (which this writer does,) it’s easy to be pumped to not have to pay $150 for the original 1990 Marjora release on vinyl. Now Space Prophet Dogon can be jammed on wax for $17 thanks to Abduction Records.

4. Joshua Abrams – Magnetoception (Eremite)

It’s not often that a double LP of extended ensemble performances can be so damned captivating. With his magical guimbri in tow, Abrams and crew are to put it mildly, fucking killing it. This side of music has not sounded this fresh and appealing in a long damned time. Abrams is proving that solar/fire music can and will last way beyond its original purveyors.

5. Jack DeJohnette – Made In Chicago

The best jazz release this year by a mile. Recorded in 2013 at Chicago’s Millennium Park, it features pieces by DeJohnette, Mitchell, and Threadgill as well as improvised group pieces – all of them stunning. Even as each of these players age, their work continues to be timeless and endlessly inventive.

With honorable mentions to Lithuania, Metz, Beach Slang, Mike Krol, OBN IIIs and Sweet Talk, I give you my five favorite albums of the year:

1. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit

2. Girl Band – Holding Hands With Jamie

3. Bop English – Constant Bop

4. Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love

5. Protomartyr – The Agent Intellect

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Top 25 Albums Of 2015: Part 2

December 11, 2015

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Here are the final 10 entries in my Top 25 Albums of 2015 list!  You can see the whole thing on one page here.  Also, a Spotify playlist of most of the albums can be found here.  Enjoy.

PS – Just in cased you missed my Top 50 Songs of 2015, that list can be found here.

10) Bop English – Constant Bop

Constant Bop is my favorite album to come out of Austin this year.  I adore White Denim and want frontman James Petralli to get things back underway there, but I hope he doesn’t take too long to roll out another Bob English effort.

:Bop English – Dani’s Blues (It Was Beyond Our Control):

09) Youth Lagoon – Savage Hills Ballroom

It took me a few months to get around to giving Youth Lagoon’s Savage Hills Ballroom my full attention, but once I did it pulled me in and refused to let go.  It’s a sprawling effort that’s best experienced via headphones.

:Youth Lagoon – The Knower:

08) FIDLAR – Too

FIDLAR’s Too is a worthy follow-up to their 2013 self titled debut.  I love how sloppy, scatterbrained and loud it is.

:FIDLAR – 40oz. On Repeat:

07) Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly

Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly has grown on me more and more as the year has gone on.  At first I liked about half of its songs, and now I think that from front to back it’s an experience that shouldn’t be missed.

:Kendrick Lamar – Alright:

06) Annabel – Having It All

Whether or not you’re a fan of emo music, you should give Annabel’s Having It All a shot.  It’s really well crafted and the songwriting is fantastic.

:Annabel – Having It All:

05) Tame Impala – Currents

Currents is another stellar set of tracks from Tame Impala.  Now if only I could decide whether it’s their weirdest album or their most accessible.  It might actually be both.

:Tame Impala – Let It Happen:

04) Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit

Courtney Barnett is a woman with a lot on her mind, and she shows it all throughout Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit.  It’s such a charming, interesting album.

:Courtney Barnett – Pedestrian At Best:

03) Screaming Females – Rose Mountain

Every single song on Rose Mountain is fantastic.  I really thought the album would serve as Screaming Females’ big break, but the band seems to still be flying under the radar.  That’s all wrong.  They deserve all the love!

:Screaming Females – Criminal Image:

02) Doomtree – All Hands

Doomtree really hit it out the park with All Hands.  If you like intense, anthemic, energetic, brainy hip hop, then you need to make sure that the Minneapolis collective’s latest effort is in your rotation.

:Doomtree – .38 Airweight:

01) Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love

I was packing totally unreasonable expectations for Sleater-Kinney’s No Cities To Love – their first album in a decade – and it not only managed to impress the hell out of me, but it kept me engaged for nearly the entire year (it came out in January).  That means every other album released in 2015 had the chance to dethrone No Cities To Love, and it never happened.  SK forever!

:Sleater-Kinney – A New Wave:

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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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Stream This

January 16, 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 ➡ Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love

Viet Cong – Self Titled
Menace Beach – Ratworld
The Decemberists – What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World
Amen Dunes – Cowboy Worship EP
Belle And Sebastian – Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance
The Suffers – Make Some Room EP
Ty Segall – Mr. Face EP
Genuine Leather – Barb Wire EP
Ryan Adams – No Shadow EP
Alex Calder – Strange Dreams
Cloakroom – Further Out
Fulton Read – You & I
Jack Name – Weird Moons
Meat Wave – Brother EP

MUSIC VIDEOS

⬆ VIDEO OF THE WEEK ⬆
Sleater-Kinney

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Quickdraw: While We Were Sleeping – Part 1

January 5, 2015

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SOTO is back!  Naturally, taking a month to engage in year-end lists and lengthy naps means I missed some stuff, so before I go all in on 2015 I’m sharing some interesting singles that were released in December.  There will be 10 tracks today and another 10 tomorrow.  Enjoy.

:Purity Ring – Push Pull:  I realize this is just one track off of Purity Ring’s impending sophomore effort, but it sure does seem as though they’ve dialed things back to sound more like Chvrches.  It could be a move that works for them.  This first single is certainly far from bad.  The band’s currently untitled LP is expected out later this year via 4AD.

:A Sunny Day In Glasgow – In Love With Useless (The Timeless Geometry In The Tradition Of Passing) (Fang Island Remix):  If the original version of this song (and it’s wildly blissful ways) has always proved to be a bit overwhelming for you, then Fang Island’s relaxed take on it will probably delight your ears.  This remix is a one-off, so grab it while you can.

:Twin Shadow – Turn Me Up:  George Lewis Jr. (aka Twin Shadow) has made the jump to Warner Bros and is now officially set to release a follow-up to 2012′s Confess.  My guess is that it will be a wonderfully dramatic effort that I listen to far too often.  Eclipse is due out March 17 via Warner Bros.

:Sleater-Kinney – Surface Envy:  The #1 album on my “must have immediately” list is Sleater-Kinney’s new one.  They’re an absolute favorite of mine, and I can’t wait to indulge in their reunion tunes.  No Cities To Love is due out January 20 via Sub Pop.

:Dan Deacon – Feel The Lightning:  The always interesting Dan Deacon is back with a new album.  This track is weirdly accessible, and I’m super impressed that it’s 100% Deacon (even the “lady” vocals are actually him).  Gliss Riffer is due out February 24 via Domino.

:Knifight – Young Lovers:  Knifight are one of my favorite Austin bands.  I love their big, intense post punk sound and the way that it aims to dominate you.  You’ll see what I mean when you hit play on this heavy tune.  V will be released on February 10.

:Doomtree – Gray Duck:  POS and his talented cohorts have rallied together for another Doomtree album, and I think it’s going to play well for those of you who fell in love with Run The Jewels-esque hip hop last year.  All Hands is due out January 27 via Doomtree Records.

:Menace Beach – Tastes Like Medicine:  The 90s lover in me is all about Menace Beach.  The band shares their name with an NES game, and their indie rock sound is definitely a fitting tribute to that decade.  Ratworld is due out January 27 via Memphis Industries.

:Metric – The Fatal Gift:  It doesn’t seem as though Emily Haines intends on putting out another solo effort, so we’re all just going to have to make due with this beautiful slow-burner from her main squeeze Metric.  By the way, Haines says this unfinished track “stands alone” so you should snatch it up while it’s readily available.

:Amen Dunes – Song To The Siren:  Here’s Amen Dunes covering This Mortal Coil’s cover of a Tim Buckley song.  Why the whole roundabout approach?  I have no clue.  I only care about it being a stunning track.  Share it with everyone.  The Cowboy Worship EP is due out January 20 via Sacred Bones.

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Top 50 Songs Of 2014: Part 1

December 1, 2014

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Hey there, let’s begin running down my Top 50 Songs of 2014 (there will be one part each day through this Friday).  As is always the case, the list is comprised of music I’ve shared here at SOTO throughout the year.  Enjoy.

PS – If you missed my 2014 Austin Essentials, all three of those volumes are now on one page right HERE.

50)  :Lana Del Rey – West Coast:  Yeah yeah, I know, Lana Del Rey has big lips and no one (publicly) likes her, but I don’t care, this Dan Auerbach-produced track is great.  Total smokey, moody goodness.  From Ultaviolence.

49)  :Slow Magic – Hold Still:  This one from Slow Magic features what’s probably my favorite “wait for it” moment of 2014.  If the final 30 seconds don’t make you want to move, then you might be dead.  From How To Run Away.

48)  :Joanna Gruesome – Psykick Espionage:  Noisy and infectious.  That’s definitely the best way to describe this track from the one and only Joanna Gruesome.  From the band’s split 7″ with Perfect Pussy.

47)  :White Reaper – Half Bad:  There’s so much energy and enthusiasm packed into this ripper from White Reaper that it’s become one of my go-tos for whenever I need a pick-me-up.  From the band’s self titled EP.

46)  :Sleater-Kinney – Bury Our Friends:  Sleater-Kinney are back and they’ve still got it!  Not that I’m in any way surprised, of course – Corin, Carrie and Janet are pure magic when they’re together.  From No Cities To Love.

45)  :Perfume Genius – Queen:  While I didn’t find Perfume Genius’ latest album to be for me, I do love this song.  It’s a powerful listen that grabs you and never lets go.  From Too Bright.

44)  :How To Dress Well – Repeat Pleasure:  This impeccably crafted track is no & It Was You, but I do think it’s the most accessible that Tom Krell (aka How To Dress Well) has ever been.  From What Is This Heart.

43)  :Sophie – Lemonade:  Of all the songs that will appear on my Top 50 list, this pop blip from Sophie is the one I expect to divide people the most.  It’s a weird and obnoxious earworm.  From the Lemonade/Hard single.

42)  :New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers:  There was a stretch this year where I just about wore out this gloriously upbeat track from New Pornographers.  Talk about power pop perfection.  From Brill Bruisers.

41)  :Terry Malts – Let You In:  Another year, another fuzzed out track from Terry Malts that’s really difficult to get out of my head.  Things could be worse, I suppose.  From the Insides EP.

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Sleater-Kinney

October 21, 2014

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As an enormous Sleater-Kinney fan, yesterday was a dream.  After spending the day at work listening to the band’s new single on repeat and excitedly chatting about their new album and tour, I came home to find that the Start Together box set had arrived from Sub Pop.  Even if you wanted, you couldn’t possibly convince me that things will ever get better for me.  This is it.  I have peaked, and I’m okay with it.

Anyhow, before I begin my slow slide from the top, let’s talk about Sleater-Kinney’s Bury Our Friends!  I swear it doesn’t sound like the ladies ever took any time off, and that is just thoroughly impressive.  It’s truly great to have them back.

:Sleater-Kinney – Bury Our Friends:

No Cities To Love is due out January 20 via Sub Pop.

Bonus Video:

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Throwback Thursday: Sleater-Kinney

September 4, 2014

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Sleater-Kinney will forever be a favorite of mine, so you can only imagine how excited I was when the band announced that they’ve remastered each of their seven albums and will release them (individually and in one big, rad box set) on vinyl in October.  This means I finally get to own The Woods on vinyl!  The damn thing is rare and wildly expensive, and while it’s one of those albums I’d like to be buried with, I just couldn’t ever get myself to spring for it on vinyl.

But alas, this problem of mine will soon come to an end, and I am excited.  Should you care?  Probably not, but at least use my silliness as an excuse to blast The Woods (or whichever Sleater-Kinney album is your favorite) all day.

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