Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Top 10 Songs of 2009

So would you like to know my favorite songs of 2009? I will be uploading podcast episodes where I count down my top 40 tracks of the year in a matter of days. But maybe you're just too curious to find out what my top 10 favorites are.

If you want to know, come to Allgood Cafe and hear me countdown my favorites of the year, going from #10 all the way to my favorite song of the year. Yes, I know this is short notice. But I wouldn't be surprised if many of you were already planning on going out tonight. After all, there are several shows worth seeing tonight. Old 97's are playing a sold out show at Sons of Hermann Hall, Toadies have added a second show tonight at Trees (NYE is sold out), and Sarah Jaffe is performing at Opening Bell Coffee. And if that isn't enough for you, a new club is opening in Deep Ellum tonight. La Grange will open its doors tonight with live performances from both The O's and The King Bucks.

So like I said, you have plenty of reasons to go out tonight. Before going to one of those destinations, I'd encourage you to drop by Allgood Cafe. I'll start around 6 or so, and the festivities should wrap up around 8:30. Hope to see some familiar faces out there. What the heck, unfamiliar faces are welcome as well.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 12/27/09

My Playlist Playlist by Ghost of Blind Lemon on MySpace Music - Play Playlist Songs & Download Tracks

Yes, readers, this is the final of the MySpace playlists. Don't get too sad, because I'm only switching formats. Next week's playlist will be courtesy of Hypster, and the only limitation on my playlists will be my CD/MP3 collection. It's not only time to bid adieu to the old playlist format, but the entire decade. By the way, what should we call the decade? The 00's? The 2000's? I've always wondered.

Anyways, back to the point. What better way to end the decade (and the MySpace playlist era) with a tribute to the decade that's almost over? Included in the playlists are ten songs, each released in a different year. In fact, the playlist goes in chronological order, starting with 2000 and 2009. I hope this playlist brings back as many good memories for you as it did for me.

  1. "Jack Never Crashes", The Deathray Davies (2000)
    My first local show was in 1996: Old 97's, Dead City Radio (who later became Grand Street Cryers and then Blue.Sky.Black), and Slobberbone. It was when I saw Deathray Davies open for Old 97's in 2000 that I went from casual local music fan to local music junkie. It only seems appropriate then that I should begin the list with this classic track from DRD. Best line: "All the best songs will remain misunderstood while the radio songs win awards in Hollywood".

  2. "Hello", Sugarbomb (2001)
    2001 was supposed to be the year that Sugarbomb turned big time. They had been signed to RCA records, their lead single "Hello" was getting radio play, and there was even chatter about the band opening a tour for Garbage or The Verve Pipe. Then 9/11 happened. The nation was thrown into a tailspin, as was the record industry. Sugarbomb was one of many bands that was dropped by their record label after 9/11. The band broke up less than two years later, and Sugarbomb was added to the way too long list of Dallas bands that almost made the big time. What a shame.

  3. "The Saint's Id", Hi-Fi Drowning (2002)
    There aren't a lot of releases from 2002 available thru MySpace. Fortunately, this track from Rounds the Rosa was available, and definitely one of my favorite tracks from that year.

  4. "Preacher's Words", Budapest One (2003)
    Before Chad Stockslagger and Keith Killoren were in The Drams and then The King Bucks, there was Budapest One. The band form in the late 90's (I believe), but it wasn't until Chad joined the band that they hit their creative peak. Keith did most of the vocals, but on this beautiful track, Chad does the honors.

  5. "Impossible", Pleasant Grove (2004)
    Pleasant Grove left their comfort zone on this track, which has almost an electronica feel to it. The experimentation paid off, as this track is simultaneously catchy and haunting. For the record, look for The Art of Leaving on my list of best CD's of the decade.

  6. "The Vice and Virtue Ministry", The Happy Bullets (2005)
    Wow... it's almost been five full years since the band release their CD of the same name. Josh McKibben from the band said the new CD would be out by year's end, but no sign of it yet. I'm not saying that it's taking the band a long time, but they're starting to band Boston and Guns N' Roses look quick in comparison.

  7. "New Hope PA", The Chemistry Set (2006)
    The Chemistry set managed a very unique balancing act of sorts. The band was definitely adventurous and even somewhat experimental in its sound, yet they never went off into the deep end of being what I call "indie for indie's sake." You know the type of band that I'm talking about: the band that focuses so much on sonic experimentation that it sacrifices the melody for the sake of weirdness. That was never an issue for Chemistry Set. This track, which seems like a melding of the best of what both U2 and The Who have to offer, remains my favorite track of theirs.

  8. "Mindreader", Lovie (2007)
    2007 marked the year of the debut of a little Dallas music blog called Ghost of Blind Lemon. About a month into running the blog, I was sent a CD by the band Lovie. I had heard of the band, but was not familiar with their music. Between the pop hooks and the Farfisa organ (props to Cari Weinberg), I was instantly hooked. Lovie is a very talented band, plus a really nice group of people that I have had the privilege of meeting through the blog.

  9. "Supernatural", Rahim Quazi (2008)
    I've made no secret of my love of this song, the album of the same name, and pretty much anything that Mr. Quazi creates. This was the one track that I couldn't get enough of in 2008, and I still listen to this song (and the album) on a regular basis.

  10. "I Love You So Much", The O's (2009)
    This past year, The O's were in inescapable force within the local music landscape. Fortunately, the band's charm and simple bluegrass styled melodies are not something one would want to escape. The band will tour Europe next year, so we'll see if they can make the upgrade from local domination to world domination.

Now if you're wanting more insight as to my favorite tracks of this year, keep an eye on the blog as I will be posting my first ever podcast, as I count down my top 40 favorite tracks of the year. For the record, I've been planning to do a top 40 long before Pete Freedman started his top 40 on DC9 at Night. Anyways, stay tuned for more details...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Post

Hello to all my readers!

I hope that you're having a fabulous Christmas and that Santa left you what you wanted under your tree. Don't forget about my gift to you. Have you downloaded Menkena's "Red in the Morning" yet? If you haven't, you need to do that immediately. Read my previous blog entry for the mp3 link.

Normally on a Friday, I'd tell you about all the shows taking place over the weekend. With this being the Christmas weekend, however, options are exceptionally slim. I'll update the blog tomorrow in case I learn about more Saturday shows, but I only know of one good show taking place tonight. Hello Lover and The American Fuse are playing a free show tonight at Double-Wide. Thanks, Chelsea Callahan, for the Christmas gift of a free Hello Lover show.

In the meantime, I leave you with Camille Cortinas and her puppet friends performing "The 12 Days of Christmas."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Christmas Gift to My Readers: Menkena MP3

As you may have noticed, I'm slightly obsessed with the band Menkena. Ever since I got their seven track EP at the beginning of the year, it's been in heavy rotation in my CD player. I've seen them perform countless times this year, including when they played the 2 year GOBL anniversary show at City Tavern. At that show, they performed several tracks that will be released on their first full length CD, which should be released early next year.

One track from the upcoming album is "Red in the Morning", an absolutely gorgeous song that also features Nikki Cage (True Widow) on backup vocals. I've frequently placed the track in the weekly MySpace playlists, and now I want to share the track with my readers. Consider it my Christmas gift to you, the faithful Ghost of Blind Lemon readers. Download now, because I take the track down after Christmas.

MP3: Red in the Morning - Menkena

Monday, December 21, 2009

Change Gon' Come

This article is more than just a promotion for Dem Southernfolkz and their song entitled “Change Gon’ Come”. Yes, I like them, and I’d encourage you to click here for your opportunity to download their new EP, Something to Hold on to, free of charge. Right now, however, I’d like to discuss a few changes that will take place on the blog soon. The mission of the blog has not change, nor will it. I’m still devoted to bringing you the best local music our metroplex has to offer, and as the above banner says, “keep the spirit of DFW music alive.” The changes that are coming are more cosmetic in nature, and I hope will make the blog more visually appealing and more user-friendly.

When I changed the layout the last time, I stored an image on Photobucket to use as my background. Due to inactivity in the Photobucket account, the old image was replaced with a message from the company, making the website unreadable. While I have temporarily changed the layout and look of the blog, I’m not content with the current template. Before I decide on a more permanent look for Ghost of Blind Lemon, I’d like the site to have something it has never had: a nicely designed banner. The truth is, I’m “artistically challenged” at best, so I would not be a good candidate for designing such a banner. So I’m looking to you, my readers, to help out. Please submit your banners to and the one I like the best will be used. There will be no financial reimbursement for use of the banner, though the creator will get credit on the site. I would, however, like to come up with some form of a prize for the winning banner, but I’m not certain of what that would be yet.

Also, next Sunday will mark my final MySpace playlist. I have found the selection of tracks to be somewhat limiting, and I do not like the fact that I cannot post the actual playlist directly on the blog. For those who are fans of my playlist, rest easy. This is not an end to my playlists, but more a change in format. I have recently discovered the website Hypster, which I think will allow more creative flexibility for me. Their selection of local tracks is rather limited at the moment, but uploading tracks is quite easy. For those musicians who are interested, I would encourage you to start uploading your music on their site.

Another change I’m considering is adding advertising to the site. I know that Blogger has the monetize feature which allows ads to be placed, and it might bring “The Ghost” some desperately needed income. There are certain concerns I have with this. First of all, I do not want the advertisements to be a distraction or an annoyance to the readers. Second of all, I would want any advertising to be of products, services, etc. that would be of interest to the average GOBL reader. Before I make any decision on this front, I need the input of my readers. Do you think this is a good idea, and if so, what kind of services would you like to see ads of on the site?

If you have any other suggestions, thoughts, comments for the blog, please share them. You can email me (I gave you the address earlier) or leave your thoughts in the comments section. I welcome and encourage the dialogue.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 12/20/09

I must say, I was relieved to find ten good local Christmas songs (or Christmas related songs) for the playlist. No need for any of the LeAnn Rimes Christmas songs that I warned I might have to play. Instead, I offer up ten fine songs that will hopefully bring you a little holiday cheer. And whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or Festivus, may your holiday season be filled with cheer, and most importantly, love.

  1. "That's How We Do Christmas", THe BAcksliders
    This band loves to write Christmas songs. Last month, they released "Christmas (Doesn't Have to Be So Bad)", and you've hopefully listened to it on one of my previous playlists. This time, I'm digging up their x-mas song from last year, which is my personal favorite of the two.

  2. "Must Be Santa (Live)", Brave Combo
    This song has gotten a bit of publicity lately, since Bob Dylan's cover of this song was based on Brave Combo's version. I never would have guessed Dylan to be a Brave Combo fan. Goes to show what I know.

  3. "Last Christmas", Hendrick
    Hendrick has had quite an amazing year, with the release of Exhale. The album reached #3 on The Local Edge's countdown of local releases, and you've heard me rave about the band on a regular basis. But what made them decide to cover Wham! is beyond me. Call me Scrooge if you will, but I just don't get it.

  4. "Feliz Navidad", Shibboleth
    Shiboboleth is over the top and cheesy, and it sounds like they used those $100 Casio keyboards from the mid 80's. And for all those reasons, I just love this track. Easily the funniest song on the playlist.

  5. "Christmas Eve", Salim Nourallah
    I'm not sure this is totally appropriate, but I've always thought that this song never got the attention it deserved from Salim's fans. Please, give it a listen. You may not feel holiday cheer when you listen, but it's beautiful nonetheless.

  6. "It's Christmas Time", PPT
    Thanks to Pikahsso for posting this on his MySpace page. Thanks to all in the now defunct trio for making Christmas a lot funkier.

  7. "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus", Sara Radle
    She started in San Antonio and now lives in Los Angeles, but for about five years, Dallas was lucky enough to call Sara Radle one of its own. Whether it be with her pop-punk band Lucy Loves Schroeder or her more Liz Phair/that dog style solo efforts, Ms. Radle always managed to combine intelligent lyrics with strong pop hooks. She's apparently working on another solo album, and I hopes she tours and stops by Dallas again.

  8. "Merry Christmas Now", Rahim Quazi
    Mr. Quazi's work never fails to warm my heart, so it's only appropriate he record a Christmas song to further spread the cheer.

  9. "I'll Be Home for Christmas", Old 97's
    Do you have your tickets yet for any of the four shows the band is playing at Sons of Hermann Hall? You might wanna buy them soon. REALLY soon. I don't know if any of the dates are sold out yet, but that's bound to happen each night.

  10. "The Christmas Tree", Stella Rose
    Okay, so this song does not even vaguely feel like a Christmas song, and the title is the only reason it can sorta fit the theme. Hey, it's a great rock song; what more do you want?

Finally, I leave you with one of my all time favorite local Christmas songs from Black Tie Dynasty. They don't have it on their MySpace, so instead I offer up this YouTube video featuring the song. Be patient when the timer hits 2:07, because for reason it stalls, but it will resume on its own.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A New Look... and Weekend Shows

Greetings, my GOBL readers. As you may have noticed, the blog is looking a little, well, different. My friend Brian Nesbitt alerted me to the fact that my old background was no longer coming up. In fact, it was replaced with a message from (who hosted the background) stating that my account was no longer active. Trust me, that made for an ugly background that made my text unreadable.

As a result, I opted to change the layout of my page with one of the predesigned blogger layouts. I'll be honest and say that I'm not enthusiastic about the current layout, but it beats the mess that my blog looked like with the photobucket notice. In the coming weeks, I plan to do an overhaul for the look of the blog, but for now, bear with me through this transitional period.

Now, onto some weekend shows:

Sarah Jaffe/Robert Gomez/Matthew Gray/Josh Mease (J&J's Pizza)
Ms. Jaffe seems to be playing less and less around the metroplex. That situation will only get worse once the new year arrives, as she will be opening for Midlake's upcoming tour of both the US and Europe.
Dem Southernfolkz/AwkQuarius/Dustin Cavanos (Good Records)
I know nothing about Mr. Cavanos, but the other two performers are among the finest rap acts in the metroplex. The show is hosted by one of my other favorite local rap acts, Damaged Good$, and it's a benefit for the North Texas Food Bank. So if you show up, please bring a canned food item. After all, you're not paying an actual cover charge.

Rev. Horton Heat/The Von Erichs (Longhorn Saloon)
Rev. Horton Heat has maintained a staying power that no other band in Dallas can match (or none that I can think of at least). Fans of hard rockin' rockabilly should check it out. Oh, who am I kidding? If that's your taste in music, surely you know about the Rev.
Cocky Americans/Burning Hotels/Electric Attitude (City Tavern)
I had the privilege of hosting Cocky Americans at one of my LBG showcases over the summer, and loved their performances. I hadn't listened to the band in awhile, and didn't even recognize their song "2012" when it was played on The Local Edge. I texted the host, Mark, to find out who the band was. When he told me who it was, I felt stupid for not recognize it, but it also reminded me of how good the band is.
Jacob Metcalf/Something in the Wheel/The Fox and the Bird (Good Records)
Dear Good Records, please give us more good free shows like this one. Thanks, "The Ghost".
Damaged Good$/Record Hop/Yeahdef/Dharma/Florene (Bee's Manor)
RTB2/Manned Missiles/Spooky Folk/Eaton Lake Tonics (Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio)
The Demigs/Zest of Yore/The Night (Hailey's)

I confess, I do not give enough attention to Denton shows. But with this trio of quality shows, I have no option but to pay respect to little D. I must confess that of the three shows, I find the pairing of Damaged Good$ and Record Hop most intriguing. Still, one can never go wrong with an RTB2 show, and it's been eons since I've seen The Demigs. Word has it that their sound has changed dramatically since the release of their Pixie-esque album Yardling.
The Marfalites/Pearl Street Riot (Bandera)
Here's all you need to know. The Marfalites are awesome on a normal night. This past Thursday was the birthday of lead singer Noah Caveny. This show will not be for the faint of heart, or for the faint of partying. You've been warned.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 12/13/09

Ghost of Blind Lemon's MySpace Playlist (12/13/09) on MySpace Music - Play Playlist Songs & Download Tracks

  1. "Section 1 (Have A Day/Celebratory)", The Polyphonic Spree
    Granted, I have missed the last few Polyphonic Spree Christmas shows. Still, it doesn't feel right that there isn't one this year. I placed this song on the playlist in hopes of it satisfying my craving to see them live. It isn't helping. If anything, I'm missing them more now.

  2. "Merry Christmas Now", Rahim Quazi
    Thanks to Mr. Quazi for uploading this holiday song. Next week's episode will (hopefully) all be songs of the season, or at least songs that somehow relate to the season. Please, start uploading your tracks now, because at this rate, I'm not going to have enough tracks to use unless I start borrowing from the LeAnn Rimes Christmas CD. Please, don't make me do that.

  3. "Mermaid of Virginia", The Naptime Shake
    This song still sounds to me like a county version of early Belle & Sebastian (particularly their song "Mayfly"). This may seem an usual comparison for the band, yet I mean that as a compliment.

  4. "This Crazy Life", Eleven Hundred Springs
    Sometimes it's easy for me to get behind on events, so thanks to DC9 at Night for letting me know about this new Eleven Hundred Springs track.

  5. "Change Gon' Come", Dem Southernfolkz
    This Saturday marks the 4th Annual Orphanage Christmas Benefit at Double-Wide. It's sponsored by 1310 The Ticket as usual, and the musical lineup is quite strong. Dove Hunter will headline, and other performers include Dem Southernfollkz (included in the playlist), The Orbans, Sparklepussy Barbie, and DJ Slim. All proceeds go toward the Gladney Center for Adoption.

  6. "City Lights", Hendrick
    This past Saturday, Hendrick opened up for Oso Closo for their annual Christmas show at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio. The two will perform together this Thursday at Granada Theater, but this time it is Hendrick that takes the top billing. Here's a track off the album other than "Echo and the Pass", which I hope my readers are not tired of. Heaven knows that I am incapable of tiring of that song.

  7. "Girl from the City", The King Bucks
    The band refers to themselves as the "hardest working band in the business", and heaven knows these guys keep busy. They'll perform Saturday Thursday night at Hank's in McKinney. What, only the one show this week? Slackers. (NOTE: Thanks to my friend Michelle who corrected me on the date, and is now being offered the position of official GOBL proofreader)

  8. "Sandman", Bonedome
    About a month ago, I met Allan Hayslip at Double-Wide. We chatted for awhile, and then he gave me a copy of his band's CD, Thinktankubator. I asked him to describe the sound of this project, and he told me he had heard several different comparisons, and he wasn't sure which ones were accurate. He mentioned comparison to Bowie, and the comparison seems fair for his vocals, but not so much in the melodies. I can't pinpoint the exact influences, but I will say that it strikes me as sounding like early 90's, pre Nirvana alternative. George Gimarc would've put this band on a Tales From the Edge CD in a heartbeat.

  9. "Stay With Me", Sarah Jaffe
    When I discovered Ms. Jaffe was playing this Friday at J&J's Pizza, I went to her MySpace to find a track to place on the playlist. Apparently I have not been visiting her site often enough, as there were many new songs available, including the track I chose. I'm predicting this is a track from her upcoming Kirtland Records release, Suburban Nature. I'll be anxiously awaiting that release next year.

  10. "Gimme Back My Fleetwood Mac", The Tah-Dah's
    Bands just don't stay broken up the way they used to. In the past couple of years, there have been too many reunions to count. Some have stayed together (Toadies, Deathray Davies), while others have only done a few shows (Chomsky, Macavity, Brutal Juice, The Tomorrowpeople). Now, The Tah-Dah's are reuniting. I'm not sure if this is a one time deal or something more permanent, although their MySpace consists almost totally of new songs. Perhaps there will be a new CD released soon. I don't have any answers to that question, but you can ask them Saturday when they play at Bryan Street Tavern with Happy Bullets and Drawn By Jaymz.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

MySpace Playlist: 12/6/09

My Playlist Playlist by Ghost of Blind Lemon on MySpace Music - Play Playlist Songs & Download Tracks

I've just learned how to post the actual playlist on the blog, so hopefully this will encourage more of you to listen to the songs. Also, two weeks from now, I'll be doing an all Christmas themed playlist, so I'd encourage any bands who have recorded songs for the holiday season to post them on MySpace.

Now, on with the playlist:

  1. "Reconnect It With a Curve", The Crash That Took Me
    Be a little patient with the song, as you might not hear anything until approximately twenty seconds into the song. Once you get past the intro, the song takes off with TCTTM's trademark blend of experimental sounds, unique rhythms, and solid hooks. I've always liked this band, but even I was taken aback by how amazing their new material is. You can catch the band perform this Saturday at Art Conspiracy 5, which takes place at The Prophet Bar. RTB2, Telegraph Canyon, and The Boom Boom Box will also perform.

  2. "Christmas (Doesn't Have to Be so Bad)", THe BAcksliders
    Not many artists have Christmas songs up yet, so I'm carrying over this tune from last week's playlist. Enjoy.

  3. "Barcelona", Luna Matto
    This track has been a favorite of mine at Luna Matto's live shows, so I'm thrilled that the band finally posted this on their MySpace. This is just my prediction, but I think this band is going to explode in 2010. If they don't, I just might lose my faith in the Dallas music fan, as they really are that incredible.

  4. "Miss Sugar Pie", Johnny Lloyd Rollins
    This track is for the anonymous idiot who dissed Mr. Rollins on the Dallas Observer (to see the war of words, click here). I'd suggest he/she come out to see Johnny at City Tavern along with Something in the Wheel and The Marfalites, but that would require anonymous to both reveal his/her identity and to also have musical taste. I'm not holding my breath on either happening.

  5. "Beg You to Stay", Smile Smile
    The duo of Smile Smile has been touring with Bowling for Soup, and the two acts perform Monday night at Granada Theater. I'd like to suggest a few equally sensible pairs of artists that could tour together. How about Fair to Midland and Camille Cortinas? Perhaps Old 97's would like Damaged Good$ as an opening act? And I'll bet Erykah Badu's sound would fit perfectly with Spector 45.

  6. "On a Mission", The Burgundys
    This is one strong lineup at Lakewood Bar & Grill this Thursday night. The Burgundys and The Monco Poncho will perform together that night. Both bands played at previous GOBL showcases at the venues, and both bands brought down the house. I predicted The Monco Poncho would do so, but The Burgundys pleasantly caught me by surprise. The only thing that surprises me now is that The Burgundys aren't selling out venues the size of Trees and The Prophet Bar's large room. The band's power-pop influence is undeniable, as are the hooks in these songs, guaranteed to work an audience into a frenzy. Just one warning: if you go to this show, have your excuse for why you won't make it to work Friday prepared beforehand.

  7. "I Can't Make You Happy", Ronnie Fauss
    I can't make this song leave my head. I couldn't make it leave my head, even if I tried.

  8. "You Just Got Sued!", Boys Named Sue
    The Boys are calling Adair's home this weekend. I'm sure you can catch them playing this song both Friday at Saturday night there. Even though the weekend may seem Light Beers Away, once it arrives it will be filled with plenty of Whiskey Talkin'. Alright, I'll lay off the alcohol related BNS references. But you know I'm right.

  9. "Straight Out the Gate", Oso Closo
    Several months ago, Sarah Crisman, music editor at Pegasus News, recommended that I give Oso Closo a second listen. I saw them at Cottonwood Arts Festival last year, hardly an ideal venue for most bands. I was also tired that day, and not in the ideal frame of mind to properly receive their music. I heard this a live version of this track on The Local Edge, and instantly realized that I have not given the band the credit that they are so due. I doubt I'll be able to make it to their 5th annual Christmas show at Rubber Gloves this Saturday, but I intend to see the band again VERY soon.

  10. "Maybe Heaven", The Slack
    If you've seen Chris Holt perform in the last two years, you've undoubtedly heard him sing this tribute to Carter Albrecht. The song will now be available for purchase, as it will be included on The Slack's upcoming CD, The Deep End. It will be available for download on itunes January 5, and the CD release show will happen January 22 at Sons of Hermann Hall. If you can't wait that long to see the band, however, you can see them this Friday at Bryan Street Tavern.

NOTE: I thought the playlist would be embedded in the blog entry, and obviously MySpace doesn't allow that. If you click on the link, however, it will post the playlist in a new window, allowing you to listen and read at the same time. Sorry, it's the best I can do for now.