Last year, I asked readers for their opinion on the greatest artists of all time to emerge from the metroplex area, and I presented it as a top ten playlist. Let's face it, all time countdowns are one of the staples of holiday weekends, and it was quite fun to compile. This year, I'm following the path of another radio cliche: the A-Z list. For obvious reasons, I cannot do that thorough of a list. What I have done instead is chosen a song title that begins with each letter of the alphabet, starting at A and ending at Z. No letter, not even Q or X, has been left out.
I alphabetized my local music iTunes playlist, and this was the first song on the list. It seemed appropriate that I should begin the playlist with the song. Plus, you can't go wrong with RTB2. Really.
I've always had a soft spot for songs that on the surface sound cheerful and update, but upon further listening the lyrics expose the darker side of the song. "Bridges" is definitely a prime example of the song. The melody seems quite laid back, and the verse starts out sweetly enough. By the chorus, however, it becomes apparent that this song is anything but a happy pop song. This is one of my favorite Sorta songs, and it can be found on their Little Bay CD, which is one of my all time favorite albums.
"Chasing Corporate", Air Review
There's a certain irony to the line in the song "This could be our only chance". Not only is this track a strong and commercially viable single, their album Landmarks is filled with plenty of tracks that are great ear candy.
"D Street", Luna Matto
Two things you should know. First, the band plays Kessler Theater this Saturday along with Sarah Renfro and Young and Brave. Second, this band is still beyond awesome. That is all.
"Echo and the Pass", Hendrick
In case you haven't heard, Hendrick is calling it quits. The band plays its farewell show June 26th at Trees, and I have no doubt that the band will play this song.
"Fat Girls", THe BAcksliders
When the band recorded You're Welcome, I was lucky enough to be the first non-band member to get a copy of the CD. That remains my favorite CD of theirs, and this track in particular got many repeat listens.
I have nothing witty to say here. It's Chomsky. That's reason enough to put it on the list.
"Honky Tonk Angels (Don't Happen Overnight)", Eleven Hundred Springs
The list seemed to be very light on country music, and you can't get much more country than Eleven Hundred Springs.
"I Regret The Day I Tried to Steal Daniel's Ego", The Deathray Davies
If ever there's a Guitar Hero: Dallas Edition, this song would need to be on there. The intro alone is just a perfect opening riff.
"Jesus Light", Carter Albrecht
I know my friend Jayson Bales will argue that I should have selected "Jesus is Alive... and Living In London" instead. Both are fine songs indeed, but I'm slightly more partial to this song that could be taken as either a spiritual message or a song about a night light. I suspect it's the latter, but Mr. Albrecht definitely squeezed maximum mileage out of the double-entendre.
"Knock on a Nail", Mildred
Hearing this song takes me back to high school and listening to this song on KDGE (94.5, not 102.1). If you're reading this, Mark, maybe you could resurrect the Tales from the Edge series. Think about it...
"Lush Life", Baboon
Toadies may be my favorite local noise rock band, but "Lush Life" would have to be my favorite local noise rock song. And does anyone use the phrase "noise rock" anymore, or that just too 1996?
"My Umbrella", Tripping Daisy
I've tried to include more of what I would classify as "classic" local artists on this list, and Tripping Daisy would have to be near the front of any list of major local acts from the past twenty years. How their album Bill never became a bigger hit is still beyond me.
"Never Say Never", Salim Nourallah
Every time I hear this song, I think of my friend Anju Gill. Anju, you're still missed.
"Only a Mountain", Pleasant Grove
Mark your calendars: Pleasant Grove is not only playing August 7th at Kessler Theater, they will perform Auscultation of the Heart in its entirety, front to back.
"Possum Kingdom", Toadies
As I said earlier, I'm highlighting many local classics, and few songs by metroplex artists have been as big as this song.
"Quarterlife Crisis", Jayson Bales
I'm sure people will wonder why I didn't select "Question" by Old 97's to represent the letter Q. Here's my reasoning. First of all, while I like the song, it's definitely not what I'd call one of my favorites by the band. Second, by the time the band recorded the song, half the members weren't even residing in Dallas. Perhaps I'm being too picky, I don't know. Most importantly, I feel that Jayson Bales' music does not get the attention it deserves, and this song is clever, catchy, insightful, and simply put, everything that a song should be.
"Rulers Ruling All Things", Midlake
This list has been heavy on Big D artists, now here's a little something for all you little D fans.
"Supernatural", Rahim Quazi
I'm excited that Mr. Quazi is returning to the studio and recording his follow up to Supernatural. In the meantime, listen to the title track.
"Tender", Black Tie Dynasty
And representing the letter T is the band Joy Division. No, wait... I mean Interpol. Alright, alright, perhaps Black Tie Dynasty wasn't breaking any new ground with this song, but anyone with a soft spot for the darker side of new wave will certainly find this song very pleasing to the ears.
"Undercover", Bridges & Blinking Lights
It was a tough call between this track and Airline's "Ulysses", and B&BL won out in the end. Sadly enough, both bands recently broke up, and unless I'm mistaken, neither had a proper farewell show. Hey, maybe the two could do a joint farewell show.
"Victoria", Old 97's
You didn't think I'd let this list go by without an Old 97's tune, did you? So while I passed on "Question" earlier, I absolutely love this song, and there aren't many songs beginning with V either.
"When We Was Kool", PPT
I love Damaged Good$ and Dem Southernfolkz, but I'd have to say that during my time as "The Ghost", I'm not sure I've ever enjoyed a rap act as much as the now defunct PPT.
"X-Ray Vision", The Wurlitzer Prize
I'll bet you were wondering what I'd use for a song beginning with X. I don't think this band lasted more than about two years (2002-2004 I believe), and they released only one EP, Square One, on Sara Radle's Jeez Louise label. Although their fan base was relatively small, those who remember the band recall lead singer Del Perez's knack for sharp lyrics and straight ahead rock hooks.
"You've Got Your Heart", The O's
"Zermatt", Lucy Loves Schroeder
Forgive me, I'm out of comments, so just enjoy the last two tracks.