Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Lucky Thirteen: 2/28/10 - 3/6/10

Standard disclaimer: any artists, record labels, etc. who do not wish to be on the playlist for any reason whatsoever, email me at and I will gladly remove the track. And if you'd actually like to be on the playlist, you can use the same email addy to email me mp3's, and if I like the song then odds are it'll wind up on a playlist.

  1. "Your Virgo", Lovie
    If this track is any indication of the quality of the rest of the band's upcoming EP, Because of My Mattress, then this will be their best work to date. The song has a little more of an aggressive rock edge to it, but not so much that it kills the band's happy-go-lucky vibe. Think of it like a sweeter version of Sleater-Kinney. Very, very, very good stuff.

  2. "Austin's Birthday", The Burning Hotels
    What, one piece of nearly perfect rock ear candy isn't enough for you? Boy, you sure are greedy. Alright then, I'll throw you the new single from The Burning Hotels. This is a band that knows how to write some great pop hooks, as this song is proof. You think you'll listen and not be humming it to yourself the next day? Good luck with that one.

  3. "Back Is Broken", Oso Closo
    Alright, so I'm a little late notifying you about the Fort Worth Co-Op Outreach Benfit Show, happening as I type this entry. You've already missed Tony Ferraro playing with Ryan Thomas Becker, Titanmoon is playing at this moment, and Rivercrest Yacht Club goes on next. Fortunately, if you hurry over to Lola's Sixth, you can still catch Stella Rose, the cut*off, Whiskey Folk Ramblers, and this fine band playing known as Oso Closo.

  4. "Dreams of You and Elvis", Meredith Louise Miller
    Ah, the joys of Facebook. I discovered that Meredith will be celebrating her birthday this week, so it seemed like a good excuse to post one of her songs. Not that one needs an excuse to post a song from one of the best folk/acoustic performers to ever come out of Dallas.

  5. "Ramblin' Jack", Andrew Delaney & the Horse You Rode In On
    Thanks to Gregory Pierce, both for recommending Mr. Delaney's music to me, and for him persuading Andrew to email me and send me music. "Wine & Roses" may be the track getting airplay on The Range, but there's something about this Tom Waits style country number that made me take notice of him.

  6. "Move Along Folks...", Smile Smile
    The title seems very fitting of the band, which has been receiving more attention for the relationship woes of the duo than their music. It's a shame, because this album is a beautifully earnest piece of work with great melodies. And for some reason, the line "There is no problem/This is your evident lack of experience" seems to be playing on a repeat loop in my head.

  7. "Will You Be There", Pale Horse
    There's an amazing story behind this song, and a brief playlist style write up would not do the story or the band justice. I'll try to tell you the story soon, but if you can't wait, go ask the band Saturday at the Frisco Arts Festival. Yeah, I didn't know Frisco had an arts festival either, and I'm really impressed that they got a band as good as Pale Horse to play. They'll be the main support for 80's band The Romantics.

  8. "Same Old, Same Old", Hello Lover
    Great song, do I need to say more?

  9. "Fooling Vampires", Jayson Bales & The Charmers
    Mr. Bales will be busy the next few weekends. He plays acoustic this Saturday at the Billy Reid store at Northpark (yet another unlikely venue for good music), and the following Saturday the full band plays at Poor David's Pub with Trey Johnson. It's a nice alternative to those who didn't get NX35 tickets.

  10. "Bowling Green", The O's
    Ah, bon voyage to the O's, who will be heading to Europe for a tour. Before they go, you can catch them this Saturday at Sons of Hermann Hall. If you miss this show, you'll have to wait at least another month to see them, and just hope you don't get the shakes too bad.

  11. "Last Second", Record Hop
    Ah, proof that this Friday has at least one good show. Record Hop headlines at Double-Wide, with The Polycorns and Baruch the Scribe rounding out this nice bill.

  12. "Three", The Timeline Post
    I'm still working on the review of Slow Descent, but annoying things like getting sicked have sidetracked me. Here's one of my faves from the album.

  13. "Execution by X-Mas Lights", Flickerstick
    It was one year ago this day that Flickerstick played their final show, and this was the final song lead singer Brandin Lea played. It was a beautiful moment, and I still miss this band.

Finally, I leave you with a video of The Great Tyrant's "Candy Canes". Most of you have probably heard about the passing of their bassist, Tommy Atkins. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. There's a benefit show happening right now at The Kessler Theater featuring Nervous Curtains (among others), and I'll let you know about more fundraisers as they happen.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Lucky Thirteen: 2/22/10 - 2/27/10

Sure, it's a day late, but better late than never, right? I'm short on time, so forgive the briefer comments that usual.

Standard disclaimer: any artists, record labels, etc. who do not wish to be on the playlist for any reason whatsoever, email me at and I will gladly remove the track. And if you'd actually like to be on the playlist, you can use the same email addy to email me mp3's, and if I like the song then odds are it'll wind up on a playlist.

  1. "Caldera", The Timeline Post
    I'm working on a review for the band's new album, Slow Descent. No, I don't do a lot of album reviews, so when I do, that usually means something really significant. In the meantime, I leave you with this track from the album, which I think is the perfect introduction to the band. The song is almost split into two different parts: the harder rocking half, and the darker, more melancholy half. Both halves are amazing.

  2. "Need a Release", the cut*off
    Work has been busy lately to say the least, and I have been stressed out. Simply put, I have lately related to the idea of needing a release. Rarely do I select songs for playlists based on my personal life, but I decided to make an exception. Besides, it's a darn good song.

  3. "Young & Reckless", The Roomsounds
    The band will be opening for RTB2 this Saturday at Barley House. This is a band that I've wanted to see live for quite some time. This song has captivated me for quite awhile, and I'm hoping the live show cashes in on the potential shown in these two minutes of pop bliss.

  4. "Great American Trainwreck", Eleven Hundred Springs
    "Great American True Country Music" could just as easily be the name. It'd be truth in advertising.

  5. "I Can't Make You Happy", Ronnie Fauss
    Mr. Fauss has managed to get himself on a quite impressive bill this Thursday night. He'll be performing with Brent Best & Danny Balis at Allgood Cafe.

  6. "This Is Me", The Rocket Summer
    Bryce Avery has a new CD coming out, and the CD release show happens Friday at Granada. I may get flack for this, but I don't care. His early material, particularly his Calendar Days CD, is just really great pop music, and I don't care what the indie hipster kids say.

  7. "Sins of the Father", Course of Empire
    Fell in love with the song at first listen back in my junior year in high school. Still love the song.

  8. "Romance Tried to Kill Me", Cocky Americans
    Great song title.

  9. "All Yesterday's Parties", Nervous Curtains
    I don't know whether or not this track is on the band's upcoming debut album. I do know that the LP release show will take place at Good Records Thursday. What, no CD?

  10. "Little Bear", Elkhart
    The band will play Friday at Bryan Street Tavern, and the band will undoubtedly sound beautiful, as usual.

  11. "Infatuations Never Last", The Slack
    Mark from the EDGE, I'm jealous. You get to host these great shows at Trees, and this Thursday's show may be the best lineup to date. Andrew Tinker, Johnny Lloyd Rollins, Fate Lions, and The Slack on one bill, plus no cover. Why don't I get to host a lineup that cool? It's just not fair.

  12. "Sweetness", Toadies
    I'm not going to lie. There are lots of Toadies songs in the Hypster catalog, and that saved me the time of uploading my own music. Hey, cut me some slack. At least I didn't choose Vanilla Ice.

  13. "At the Switches", Air Review
    This track from Landmarks grows on me with each listen. For that matter, so does the entire album.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Lucky Thirteen 2/14/10 - 2/20/10

Alas, we have come to that time of year, Valentine's Day. For some, it's a day of joyous celebration filled with love. To others, it's a conspiracy of a holiday created by Hallmark and chocolate companies that depresses the lonely ones. To reflect those mixed opinions of the holiday, I have created a playlist showing both the happier and the sadder aspects of that thing we call love.

Oh, and of course, I can't start a playlist without the standard disclaimer: any artists, record labels, etc. who do not wish to be on the playlist for any reason whatsoever, email me at and I will gladly remove the track. And if you'd actually like to be on the playlist, you can use the same email addy to email me mp3's, and if I like the song then odds are it'll wind up on a playlist.

Get Your Own Free Playlist.

  1. "Get Used to Disappointment", Sara Radle
    Two years ago, I declared this track to be the best song about heartbreak to ever emerge from the metroplex. There's another song on this list that is now rivaling Ms. Radle's tune for the number one spot, but there's no denying the power of this story of a woman afraid of falling in love. And based on the ending of the song, those fears are well based. Any mixed tape of heartbreak songs is incomplete without this track.

  2. "Every Time I Get Close to You", Eleven Hundred Springs
    It's quite a stark contrast from "Get Used to Disappointment" to this track, a honky-tonk celebration of love. This is as certain to put a smile on your face as the previous track was likely to have you feeling down.

  3. "Beg You to Stay", Smile Smile
    It's hard to discuss the band's new CD, Truth on Tape, without going into the personal lives of Ryan Hamilton and Jencey Hirunrusme. Listening to the songs make you feel like you're eavesdropping into personal conversations between the former husband and wife. The tension between the two onstage is often very visible, yet musically the band is as solid as ever. This particular tune is a perfect blend of sweet pop melodies combined with Mr. Hamilton's earnest plea.

  4. "Salome", Old 97's
    I suppose I could do a Valentine's Day playlist of songs without any Old 97's. But really, what would be the fun in that? The band's success is due to their energetic delivery of their tales of heartbreak that are always authentic without ever being maudlin.

  5. "Romance Tried to Kill Me", Cocky Americans
    Have you checked out the video for the song? If not, do so now!

  6. "I Still Wait", The O's
    The opening line of this tune, "I broke my heart in Arizona waiting on a train/I stood alone for several hours but you never came" is so perfect that it almost seems archetypal of country music. And when the duo hits the chorus, well, it's pretty darn awesome.

  7. "Echo and the Pass", Hendrick
    If any song could dethrone Ms. Radle's track for best heartbreak song, this would be the one. Although the story is not as clearly laid out as it was by Sara, the vocal performance by Josh Hendrick is so powerful that I believe that the emotions are communicated far beyond what mere words can do. Also, more props to guitarist Hans Grubein, who is quite possibly the most underappreciated guitarist in the metroplex. Oh, and I'll bet they'll play this song Friday at House of Blues. Tickets are as cheap as $20 for a group of four (in advance).

  8. "Breaking up the Love Scene", Summer Ames
    I finally received her latest EP, Complicated Daydream, which was recently reviewed in the Dallas Observer by Alan Ayo. I agree with his statements that she is indeed "above average" in her vocal talent. I also think that she has yet to reach her full potential. Still, I never felt that the CD had the "customary coffeehouse sound", and in fact, in many tunes, she defiantly breaks that mold. Anyways, I figured this song fit in quite nicely on the playlist, as it's sweet sounding enough to appeal to the hopeless romantics, yet there's a definite feeling of frustration coming from the lyrics, which the cynics will enjoy.

  9. "It's Over", Danny Balis
    This song, unlike the previous, falls exclusively into the heartbreak category. I cannot think of another person in the metroplex with a voice suited better for country than Mr. Balis, and I love the steel guitars on this track. If you like your beer laced with tears, this track will do the trick.

  10. "Posterchild for Tragedy", Sugarbomb
    Back in the day, few bands had as energetic of a performance as Sugarbomb, with each show feeling like the perfect party. Yet strangely enough, the band never wrote a better song than this tale of a man who loses his lover - permanently. If only the band stayed together longer, it would have been interesting to see if the band would have explored this more introspective side.

  11. "Sun Rain Love", Rahim Quazi
    I wanted to place Mr. Quazi's "Coffeebreak" in last year's V-day playlist, but the song was not on his MySpace playlist (an example of why I prefer Hypster). Anyways, he suggested this track as a less depressing alternative, and I figured I'd use it this year. Next year, however, it's back to the downer of "Coffeebreak". You've been forewarned.

  12. "Lies", Fishing for Comets
    "Got lost on the drive home/It's useless I suppose to hold on to something that's not there." I don't think Ms. Cortinas has written a finer line than that.

  13. "The Ocean", Sara Donaldson
    There have been two times in my life where the sheer beauty of a vocal performance leaves me speechless and choked up. The first was when I heard Kate Bush's "This Woman's Work" the first time, and the second was when I heard this song. The story she tells is equally beautiful and, as risk of sounding corny, it's quite touching. By the way, I usually don't post MySpace links for the singers, but Ms. Donaldson has been sneaking underneath the radar for WAY too long. Listen to more of her stuff, or better yet, buy her newest album, Leaving Winter, on iTunes. ("The Ocean" is off her first CD, ...The Beginning, which isn't on iTunes yet.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Lucky Thirteen: 1/31/10 - 2/6/10

Standard playlist disclaimer: any artists, record labels, etc. who do not wish to be on the playlist for any reason whatsoever, email me at and I will gladly remove the track. And if you'd actually like to be on the playlist, you can use the same email addy to email me mp3's, and if I like the song then odds are it'll wind up on a playlist.

Now, on with the playlist:

  1. "Same Old, Same Old", Hello Lover
    The Hello Lover CD release party was an absolute blast. And as to Pete Freedman's comments that the shows can be hit or miss, the two shows I've attended have squarely fallen into the category of "hit".

  2. "Winter Dies", Midlake
    Pitchfork reviewed The Courage of Others and pretty much trashed the CD. I'm not going to comment about the CD as a whole, as my knowledge of the album is still limited to "Acts of Man", "Rulers Ruling All Things", and this now track. I will say that I think all three tracks are beautiful, albeit terribly melancholy. And while having a full album of such songs may prevent it from getting played at your next party, that does not make it a bad album. An album that you can't listen to every day? Perhaps. Still, I suspect this is the type of album that will grow with each listen, so I'm wondering if some of the criticisms may be premature.

  3. "Love Is War", Dovetail

  4. "What Turns Inside", Dove Hunter
    This Saturday brings a double serving of doves to the metroplex area. Dovetail plays that night at City Tavern, while over in Fort Worth, Dove Hunter rocks The Moon. Now all that's needed is a Prince cover band playing "When Doves Cry".

  5. "Robot at the Square Dance", American Werewolf Academy
    Shame on me. I have neglected my duties of letting my readers know that AWA is back in business. I made a brief mention of their Bryan Street Tavern show, but this band is so good at what they do, they deserved to have the red carpet extended for their return to Dallas. The band will take their show to Funkytown this weekend, opening for Reverse Cuomo (yes, it's a Weezer tribute band) Friday night at The Moon.

  6. "Everything Dies", Nicholas Altobelli
    I just discovered that this Thursday is Mr. Altobelli's birthday, and he'll be celebrating that evening at Dunn Bros Coffee in Addison, performing with Amber Farris (Somebody's Darling).

  7. "Slideshows", Rose County Fair
    This Friday at LaGrange is the second installment of the JC Experience. Here's the Cliff Notes version of The JC Experience: John Pedigo (The O's, Boys Named Sue, Rose County Fair) and Chad Stockslagger (The King Bucks) play music, and there will be interviews, performances, and whatnot by other special guests. It should be an interesting time.

  8. "We Will All Be Changed", Seryn
    I'm probably supposed to say that it was love at first listen for me with Seryn. To be honest, it wasn't. So if this track doesn't immediately grab you, it's okay. But please, give it more than one listen, because if you're like me, the song will worm its way into your head and your heart. I'm sure they'll perform this song Friday at Hailey's, along with performances by Western Giants and Baruch the Scribe.

  9. "The Great Escape", Damaged Good$
    Damaged Good$ has been steadily releasing a flow of free tracks to download (click here for the link). The most recent is "WeHateDamagedGood$Too", but I have to say that the best track released so far is "The Great Escape".

  10. "Duelist", True Widow
    I thought I'd heard that the Chat Room Pub had closed down, but apparently I'm wrong, because True Widow will be playing there Saturday night with The Great Tyrant and Darktown Strutters.

  11. "She Hides Golden Apples", Leaving Denton
    I posted this song a few weeks ago, and I can't stop thinking about this song. Between the nice harmonies, great vocals, and the breezily catchy melody, this song is like a breath of fresh air. My only complaint of the band: play some shows!!!

  12. "Give Me Back My Fleetwood Mac", The Tah-Dah's
    What do you do when you have the strange urge to post Fleetwood Mac music on your local music blog? Option 1: convince the members of Fleetwood Mac to move to the metroplex. Option 2: insert this song into the playlist, which not only invokes the name of the band, but sort of sounds like "Second Hand News" on steroids.

  13. "Your Life", Smile Smile
    This is a big, big week for Smile Smile. The band is celebrating the release of Truth on Tape with two shows on Saturday. First, there's a free show at Good Records kicking off at about 4 p.m. Later that night, Smile Smile headlines at double with Giggle Party and The O's opening. I would have posted a track from the new CD, but I don't have a copy yet, so I leave you with my favorite cut from Blue Roses.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Weekend Shows

I figured it was about time for me to post something other than a playlist. Okay, perhaps it's not the world's most ambitious posting, but it's still information worth passing on. I'm sure I'm missing plenty of good shows on this list, but hey, that's what the comments section is for. This is just a short list of some of the best weekend options.

Hello Lover/The Crash That Took Me (Double-Wide)
Yes, The Crash That Took Me performs far too infrequently in Dallas, and that is practically criminal. Still, Friday night is not about TCTTM. Friday night's Double Wide show is all about the high octane "sex rock" of Hello Lover as they celebrate the release of their self titled CD. What is "sex rock" exactly? I'm not going to try to define it, so I'll simply describe their sound as the sonics of early new wave mixed with the raw energy of punk, all the while maintaining a unique sound that prevents the band from falling into the "80's revival" category. Perhaps ten years from now, Hello Lover will be cited as pioneers of the "sex rock" movement. You never know...
RTB2/Cocky Americans/Orange Peel Sunshine (Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios)
I had the privilege of hosting RTB2 & Cocky Americans at one of my first few Lakewood Bar & Grill shows. Orange Peel Sunshine was not on the lineup, and while I still haven't heard their music yet, both of the other bands must have faith in OPS, otherwise they wouldn't duplicate this lineup tomorrow in Dallas. This show is also a CD release party for Orange Peel Sunshine. Ah, January is over and the CD releases just keep coming and coming. I love it.

Camille Cortinas/Morning Elephant (Barley House)
This show has been cancelled, and most likely replaced with something much more frat boy friendly. Boo!
Oso Closo/Goodwin/THe BAcksliders (The Moon)
I haven't been to a show in Fort Worth in eons since I'm not convinced my car could survive the trip. Normally I'm relatively okay with that since there are usually more than enough good shows here in Dallas. This lineup, however, is making me consider standing alongside I-30 to hitch a ride to Funkytown. THe BAcksliders remain one of Dallas' best live bands, Goodwin knows how to rock as well, and I'm desparately craving a chance to rewatch Oso Closo. If you're in Fort Worth, then this is the only gig you should be at.
Slider Pines/American Werewolf Academy (Bryan Street Tavern)
This is power-pop heaven.
Elkhart/Menkena/Little Black Dress (City Tavern)
I guess this show then would be "dream pop" heaven? Elkhart doesn't fit into the sonic mold of shoegaze, but there's an ethereal, dreamy musical essence that connects all three acts together. So do yourself a favor: turn off the cellphones, turn off the Blackberrys, turn off your mouths, and turn on your ears. The music may be quiet in nature, but the impact of the music from all three acts will be nothing less than a sonic boom.
Nicholas Altobelli (Buon Giorno)
Grapevine people need good shows too.