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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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Top 50 Songs Of 2016: Part 2

November 29, 2016

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Here are more songs I liked in 2016.  Enjoy.

Part 1 of this list is HERE.

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

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 Vroom:  Charli 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 World:  Phantogram 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 – Florida:  The 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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Show Of The Week

April 20, 2016

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One of my favorite artists, Thao And The Get Down Stay Down, is in town this week!  I only got to see the act for a brief bit at SXSW, and I need my fix.  All of you should come join me at the Mohawk on Saturday.  By the way, if you do decide to come out, be sure to show up early for Seratones.  They’re out of Louisiana and look as though they put on a fun show.

BONUS Show Recommendations:

Tonight:
- Growl, Dream Version, Good Talk, Dryspell at the Mohawk

Thursday:
- Foreigner at ACL Live at the Moody Theater
- Nic Armstrong & The Thieves at Stubb’s
- RF Shannon, Christy Hays, Jesse Woods at Hotel Vegas
- Calliope Musicals at Waterloo Records
- Brass Bed, Moving Panoramas, Tele Novella at the Scoot Inn

Friday:
- Laura Stevenson, Chris Farren, Crying at the Mohawk
- The Sour Notes, Lou Rebecca, El Campo, Wild Toast at The Sidewinder
- Silver Apples, Alex Maas, Ringo Deathstarr, Al Lover at Space 24 Twenty
- Megafauna, Magic Rockers of Texas, Ben Ballinger, T0MA, Malandros, B.R. Lively at the Scoot Inn
- Keeper at Independence Brewery
- Antwon, Fat Tony, Think No Think at Barracuda
- Duran Duran, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, Bag Raiders at Austin360 Amphitheater

Saturday:
- Audacity, Grape St, Borzoi, Loteria, Leather Girls at Barracuda
- Eleanor Friedberger, Icewater, Molly Burch at The Sidewinder

Sunday:
- Chipper Jones, US Weekly, Woozy, Hola Beach, Chris Lopez at Hotel Vegas
- Har Mar Superstar, Butcher Bear and the Blades, Neil Z at The Sidewinder

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Quickdraw: The Thermals, White Denim, Thao And The Get Down Stay Down, Autolux, Explosions In The Sky

January 11, 2016

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Music!  Enjoy.

:The Thermals – Hey You:  Even though they’re about to release their seventh full length, The Thermals still sound as energetic and anthemic as ever.  Hard not to appreciate that kind of stamina.  We Disappear is due out March 25 via Saddle Creek.

:White Denim – Holda You (I’m Psycho):  I adore White Denim, so I’m more than a little excited that they’ve put together a new album.  This first single is a real jam.  Stiff is due out March 25 via Downtow Records.

:Thao And The Get Down Stay Down – Nobody Dies:  My love for Thao is pretty much entirely based on her fantastic lyrics.  However, with this track it’s actually the arrangement that has me hooked.  It moves really well.  I A Man Alive is due out March 4 via Ribbon Music.  See her at the Mohawk on April 23.

:Autolux – Change My Head:  If you found the previous Autolux single to be a bit out there, this one might bring you back around on them.  It’s essentially a lighter, more accessible version of their older stuff.  The band is expected to put out an album sometime in the spring.

:Explosions In the Sky – Disintegration Anxiety:  I spent a good chunk of time over the break lovingly revisiting Explosions In The Sky’s previous releases, so I’m going to go ahead and say I willed a new album to happen.  How nice of me, right?  Now excuse me while I wear this track out.  The Wilderness is due out April 1 via Temporary Residence LTD.

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Top 25 Albums Of 2013: Part 1

December 11, 2013

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Because I want to makes sure you know I listen to too much music, here’s another year-end list.  This time it covers the albums I couldn’t take off repeat when I wasn’t pouring over various singles.  The countdown will come to a conclusion on Friday!  Enjoy.

25) Chelsea Light Moving – Self Titled

Thurston Moore’s new band put out their self titled debut in the first part of 2013, and I’ve been listening to it fairly often ever since.  It’s a meaty, noisy indie rock effort that gets better the more time you spend with it.

:Chelsea Light Moving – Burroughs:

24) Thao And The Get Down Stay Down – We The Common

We The Common didn’t resonate with me as much as Thao’s previous two albums, but I still find it to be a really good effort.  She continues to be one of my favorite songwriters.

:Thao And The Get Down Stay Down – We The Common:

23) Marnie Stern – The Chronicles Of Marnia

Despite being a long-time fan of Marnie Stern, The Chronicles Of Marnia is the first album of hers that I’ve fully liked.  Probably because it’s easily her most focused effort to date.

Check out the album here.

22) The Men – New Moon

I know everyone prefers the Men’s heavier efforts, but I adore the almost folkish indie rock sound that makes up New Moon.  Don’t be afraid to toss on headphones for this one.

:The Men – The Seeds:

21) Grape St. – A Date With You

A good chunk of my 2013 was spent singing-a-long with Grape St’s A Date With You.  The Austin act sure knows how to put together a catchy garage rock tune.

:Grape St – A Date With You:

20) Terry Malts – Nobody Realizes This Is Nowhere

Terry Malts’ Nobody Realizes This Is Nowhere took a few listens for me to completely warm up to it, but once I did I never wanted to let go.  If you like fuzzed-out pop punk, then you need this album.

:Terry Malts – I Was Not There:

19) White Denim – Corsicana Lemonade

Even if you’re not a big fan of White Denim, you have to appreciate how hard they work to constantly expand their sound.  Corsicana Lemonade is really nice step forward for them.

:White Denim – At Night In Dreams:

18) Joanna Gruesome – Weird Sister

Weird Sister is one of the more scatterbrained, largely crazy indie pop efforts of 2013, but it works.  Here’s hoping Joanna Gruesome never change.

:Joanna Gruesome – Sugarcrush:

17) Foxygen – We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And Magic

Foxygen’s poor/bizarre live showings seem to have soured most people’s opinion of the band, and that’s just too bad.  We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace And Magic is a really good album that proudly showcases the band’s various influences.

:Foxygen – On Blue Mountain:

16) Bosnian Rainbows – Self Titled

Omar Rodriquez-Lopez (The Mars Volta) and Teri Gender Bender (Le Butcherettes) are at the center of Bosnian Rainbows, and their self titled debut is full of well crafted alt-rock gems.  Still not sure how I feel about their name, though.

:Bosnian Rainbows – Morning Sickness:

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Stream This

November 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

David Bowie – The Next Day Extra
M.I.A. – Matangi
Latryx – The Second Album
Mount Eerie – Pre-Human Ideas
Eminem – The Marshal Mathers LP 2
Lady Gaga – Artpop
Songs: Ohia – Magnolia Electric Co. (10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
Flume – Self Titled
Cate Le Bon – Mug Museum
Nguzunguzu – Skycell
Vaura – The Missing
Eraas – Initiation
Chris Garneau – Winter Games
Cold Beat – Worms EP
Caspian – Hymn For The Greatest Generation EP
ILLS – Hideout From The Feeders
Vaadat Charigim – The World Is Well Lost

VIDEOS

Thao And The Get Down Stay Down just put out The Feeling Kind EP on Ribbon Music.

Chvrches’ The Bones Of What You Believe is out now.  They play Stubb’s on November 22.

Ty Segall’s Sleeper is out now on Drag City.

Yuck’s Glow And Behold is out now on Fat Possum.

Frightened Rabbit’s Pedestrian Verse is out now on Atlantic Records.

JD Samson & MEN’s Labor is out now.  They play Cheer Up Charlie’s tomorrow night.

These New Puritans put out Field Of Reeds this week via Infectious/PIAS.

White Sea recently released the They Don’t Know single.

Tim Kasher recently released Adult Film.

The HairsCall Me Mista is out now.

Owen’s L’Ami du Peuple is out now on Polyvinyl.

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin’s Fly By Wire is out now on Polyvinyl.  They play Holy Mountain on December 7.

Night Beds’ Country Sleep is out now on Dead Oceans.

Califone’s Stitches is out now on Dead Oceans.

Weekend put out Jinx earlier this year via Slumberland.

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