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Whitney

October 2, 2017

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Whitney are looking to dominate my week.  Not only am I seeing them at Antone’s this Thursday, but they just announced Light Upon The Lake: Demo Recordings.  The release (due November 10) will feature Light Upon The Lake songs in their earliest incarnations, an Alan Toussaint cover, and an unreleased track called You and Me.  You can check out that last bit down below.  Enjoy.

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Whitney

April 3, 2017

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Over the weekend I spent my time oscillating between Kendrick Lamar’s latest single and a Dolly Parton cover from Whitney.  I’d share the former, but there’s no real “need” since it’s everywhere, so instead you’re getting the latter.  I’m also going to use this moment to remind you to listen to Whitney’s 2016 debut, Light Upon The Lake, because it’s awesome.  Enjoy.

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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 5

December 2, 2016

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Here’s the end of my “songs I liked a whole lot this year” list.  Enjoy.

PS – Just a reminder that there are no Austin acts to be found in any part of this list.  I’m going to be doing a two-part year-ender via 101X Homegrown (my radio show) that will detail my favorite local tracks.  Look for Part 1 to air on 12/11, and then Part 2 on 12/18.

Part 1 is HERE.
Part 2 is HERE.
Part 3 is HERE.
Part 4 is HERE.

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

10)  :P.O.S. – Wave (Featuring Moncelas Boston And Sophia Eris):  P.O.S. didn’t put out an album this year, but he did release a handful of singles.  This slick-sounding effort finished the year as my favorite of the bunch.

09)  :White Lung – Kiss Me When I Bleed:  White Lung’s Mish Barber-Way commands all with her vocal work in this heavy track that aims to pummel.  Turn it up.

08)  :Chance The Rapper – Angels (Featuring Saba):  Chance The Rapper and Saba are as pleasant as can be in this joyous track – it’s infectious stuff.

07)  :Whitney – Golden Days:  This song from Whitney was a big go-to for me every time I needed a breather in 2016.  It’s so damn accessible and laid back.

06)  :Coathangers – Squeeki Tiki:  Admittedly, a part of me couldn’t pass up the opportunity to put a squeaky toy-enhanced track in the top 10 of my year-end song list.  Also, it’s scuzzy and creative and perfect and deserving of everyone’s love.  Thanks for the jam, Coathangers!

05)  :Shura – What’s It Gonna Be?:  This one from Shura is easily my favorite straight up pop tune of 2016.  It may also be the winner of this year’s “song that John poorly sang-a-long to the most” award.

04)  :Cymbals Eat Guitars – Have a Heart:  If I were to rank out every Cymbals Eat Guitars song, I’d be tempted to put this one in the top spot.  What a track.

03)  :Frank Ocean – Solo:  This is one seriously hypnotic effort from Frank Ocean.  That fella is a hell of a crooner.

02)  :Angel Olsen – Shut Up Kiss Me:  Every time I hear this song I just want to high five Angel Olsen and go rollerskating.  I love the way she pulls no punches here.

01)  :Kanye West – Ultralight Beam:  Is this song absolutely ridiculous?  Yes.  I mean, it’s Kanye West, so of course it’s ridiculous.  It also happens to be amazing though, and I love it.  Definitely the song I blasted the most in 2016 … probably because it was the most ridiculous year ever and I needed the right song to accompany me through it.

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Show Of The Week

July 20, 2016

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My favorite night for live music this week is actually one I’m going to miss because I’ll be out of town.  Oh well.  At any rate, on Friday I recommend that you head to the Oasis for a show I booked for 93.7 KLBJ that features locals Summer Salt, The Bad Lovers, Migrant Kids and Emily Wolfe.  All four are big favorites of mine, and I love that I managed to get them all on one bill.  Music will start at 6 (that’s way early), and it’s FREE to attend.  Once that’s all done, I advise that you then head to Sidewinder to watch Whitney.  The band, which is led by former Smith Westerns guitarist Max Kakacek and former Unknown Mortal Orchestra drummer Julien Ehrlich, just put out a really solid album, Light Upon The Lake, and it would be wise to catch them in a small space like Sidewinder while you still can.  Have fun out there!

BONUS Show Recommendations:

Tonight:
- Kitten, Clean Spill, Sizzy Rocket at The Sidewinder
- Emily Herring, Plantation Band, Ruby Fray at Cheer Up Charlies
- Violent Femmes, Lost Bayou Ramblers at Stubb’s

Thursday:
- Red Bull Sound Select Presents Juvenile, Martin $ky, The Outfit, TX at the Parish
- American Sharks, The Lochness Mobsters, Pleasers at Hotel Vegas
- Tia Carrera, Flyin’ Lion, Cabra at Beerland
- Pollen Rx, The Shivery Shakes, Que Pasa at Cheer Up Charlies
- Think No Think, The Baffles, On Delay, Trying Science at Stubb’s

Friday:
- Broken Gold, Despero, Easy Prey at Beerland
- Ringo Deathstarr, Pale Dian, The Stargazer Lilies, Ultraviolet at Empire Control Room
- Wildfires at The Sidewinder
- Naughty By Nature, En Vogue, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Color Me Badd, Tone Loc, Sisqo, 2 Live Crew at Cedar Park Center

Saturday:
- Whitney (2pm) at End of an Ear
- Rhye, Baio at the Mohawk
- Boogarins, Hundred Visions, Annabelle Chairlegs, The Rotten Mangos at Hotel Vegas
- Suspirians, Deleted Scenes, Evil Triplet, The Weird at Beerland
- Big Bill, Popper Burns, Rattlesnake Milk, Lake of Fire, Tres Oui at Cheer Up Charlies
- Modest Mouse, Brand New at Austin360 Amphitheater
- Lawrence at 3ten ACL Live

Sunday:
- Fitz & The Tantrums, Zella Day at Stubb’s
- Loteria, Mitch Fraizer and His Radiation, Crocodile Tears, Leather Pants at Cheer Up Charlies
- The Wild Now (5pm), Baio (1pm) at Waterloo Records

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Quickdraw: Autolux, Car Seat Headrest, Whitney, Tancred, The Hotelier

March 28, 2016

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Music!  Enjoy.

:Autolux – Brainwasher:  The return of Autolux (their last LP was 2010′s Transit Transit) has had me feeling buzzy for the last couple of months.  They’re one of my favorite art rock acts ever.  Pussy’s Dead is due out April 1 via 30th Century Records.

:Car Seat Headrest – Drunk Drivers-Killer Whales:  These days I’m totally hung up on Car Seat Headrest.  I saw Will Toledo and his band a couple of times at SXSW, and I thought they were great.  Next level indie rock.  Teens Of Denial is due out May 20 via Matador.

:Whitney – Golden Days:  Former Smith Westerns guitarist Max Kakacek has joined up with former Unknown Mortal Orchestra drummer Julien Ehrlich to form Whitney.  I think this track is an immensely enjoyable pop effort.  Light Upon The Lake is due out June 3 via Secretly Canadian.

:Tancred – Control Me:  It would appear that the next great 90s indie rock throwback album will be coming from Tancred.  This song makes me want to listen to the Breeders or Plumtree.  Out Of The Garden is due out April 1 via Polyvinyl.

:The Hotelier – Piano Player:  While I’ve seen lot of people in my various feeds buzzing about The Hotelier, this is the first song of theirs that I’ve listened to.  I’m into it.  They have an anthemic edge that’s hard not to get caught up in.  Goodness is due out in May via Tiny Engines.

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