Sunday, December 28, 2008

MySpace Playlist: 12/28/08

Greetings and happy belated holiday wishes from "The Ghost".

Earlier this year, I created weekly playlists on as a means of exposing readers to local music I like. When changed the way they set up playlists, it made it less feasible to do weekly playlists. It also didn't help that their library of local artists was lacking at best. I'm going to try a new tradition by creating a weekly playlist on my personal MySpace page. Each week I will spotlight ten songs; sometimes there will be a theme for the songs, and other times not so much. Either way, it gives me opportunity to share music with my readers.

Speaking of sharing music, I'm going to try to create my first ever podcast. I make no promises how it will turn out, but I'm trying to do a year end countdown, Casey Kasem style. The following ten songs are songs that unfortunately did not make the countdown. Take a good listen, and think about this: if these are the songs that DIDN'T make the countdown, imagine how killer the actual podcast is gonna be.

So, here goes the playlist:

  1. "Dalton the Prophet", Nicholas Altobelli
    Thanks a lot, Nick. You send me your brilliant CD, Waiting for the Flowers to Bloom, after I made the list of songs. Actually, the truth is that it's difficult to pick a singular song off of this CD. The strength of the CD is how perfectly all the songs fit together; to take one song and isolate it seems to take away from the package. Still, "Dalton the Prophet" is an excellent song, but merely a small taste of how good this CD is.

  2. "Color of a Lonely Heart is Blue", Old 97's
    I, like many, found the band's previous CD, Drag It Up, to be a letdown. Rhett and the gang came back full force this year with Blame It on Gravity. This track is easily my favorite off of the CD, and quite possibly the best song Murry Hammond has ever done with the 97's. By the way, Mr. Hammond also released a solo CD this year, titled I Don't Know Where I'm Going, but I'm on My Way, and it's easily one of the best albums of the year.

  3. "Just Got Robbed", Greater Good
    This song just BARELY missed out from being in the podcast. I almost considered doing a top 14 instead of the top 13 that I plan to do just so I could include this song. Unfortunately, top 14 is kind of a weird number.

  4. "Summer Ship", American Werewolf Academy
    AWA was one of the many bands that I had the privilege of getting to play the blog's one year anniversary show. Although "Summer Ship" was really released in 2007 on the Zac Crain for Mayor benefit CD, the song found a more proper release on their new CD, Triceratops.

  5. "No Deliverance", Toadies
    Yay, Toadies are back, yay!

  6. "The Moon", Elkhart
    Much like Nicholas Altobelli's Waiting for the Flowers to Bloom, Elkhart fell victim to the same trap. Their CD was another where the entire disc was wonderful from start to finish, but there was not the one song that stood out from the rest. So I offer you the title track as a taste of Elkhart. Keep an eye on these guys in 2009; I think this is a band whose following will grow.

  7. "Stupid Girl", The Liking Strikes
    This is just such a fun and catchy song. Even the most pretentious indie hipster would have a hard time getting this tune dislodged from his or her head.

  8. "Honey", Erykah Badu
    Ms. Badu hasn't sounded this good since her debut album, in my opinion.

  9. "Bill Cosby", Shibboleth
    This is quite possibly the best instrumental song released all year. Runners up: everything else from Experiment in Error.

  10. "Feelin' the Wait", Menkena
    Okay, I have a confession to make. I added this song to my playlist because the band is allowing anyone who posts a Menkena song on their MySpace page to download the EP free of charge. With beautiful dreamy songs like this, you'll want to do the same thing.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Final Flicker of Sound

It may surprise some of my readers to know this, but I have always been a big fan of the band Flickerstick. I saw them for the first time in 1999 opening up for Grand Street Cryers (yet another band that never received the respect I felt they deserved). I don’t remember much about the set, except for the fact that I thought their songs were unusually catchy. It was about a year later when I got to see my second Flickerstick show, and the band had grown by leaps and bounds. One of the things that immediately caught my eye was the stage presence of lead vocalist Brandin Lea. With his Mick Jagger style strut and his ability to connect with the crowd, the band seemed destined for success.

That success almost happened. The band got the opportunity to star in VH1’s reality competition show Bands on the Run, and even went on to win the competition. Epic Records re-released their debut album, Welcoming Home the Astronauts, with some new tracks and some re-recorded tracks. The album failed to perform to expectations, and they were dropped from Epic Records. The band has maintained a highly loyal local following, almost always selling out any show they perform.

I was disappointed to learn that the band is now breaking up. Flickerstick has announced the dates for their final shows. The last Dallas show will be January 24th at House of Blues. The band will play two farewell shows on February 27th and the 28th at Aardvark, which I believe is the first venue the band ever played. The band will probably play for about two hours for each performance, which I hope will allow time for some cover songs (“Fade into You”, “Black Metallic”) and some more obscure favorites (“Execution by X-Mas Lights”). Tickets will go on sale for these shows this Friday, and I would count on all of these shows selling out. The band is known for their energetic live performances, and I think it is safe to say that Flickerstick will go out with a bang and not a whimper.