Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My Top 50 Songs of the Last 5 Years

Back in June, I began a project where I was going to recap my 50 favorite local tunes released since the blog began.  Each day, I would reveal a new song on the countdown until today, where I would reveal the number one song.  Unfortunately, I was not able to keep up with the project as I would have liked.  But today would be the perfect day to catch up, right?  So here is the complete Top 50 list, with comments beginning at number 8.
  1. "Who's That Girl", PPT
  2. "Same Old, Same Old", Hello Lover
  3. "All Inside", The Felons
  4. "German Chocolate Cake", Bravo, Max!
  5. "The Message", Dem Southernfolkz
  6. "Nip/Tuck", The Orange
  7. "Icarus", Arielle
  8. "We Will All Be Changed", Seryn
  9. "Virtue And Vice", The Virgin Wolves
  10. "Little Bear", Elkhart
  11. "Love Bomb", Rude King
  12. "The Great Escape", Damaged Good$
  13. "Need a Release", the cut*off
  14. "Were Her", The Orbans
  15. "Young & Reckless", The Roomsounds
  16. "Three", The Timeline Post
  17. "Dalton the Prophet", Nicholas Altobelli
  18. "You Pressed the Crash Button", Novaak
  19. "Paper Girl", Katie Carroll
  20. "Move Along", Blue Petal
  21. "Pastel Lights", Ishi
  22. "Seven", Ducado Vega
  23. "Love That Leaves", Somebody's Darling
  24. "Black Light", Macon Greyson
  25. "Aim High", Chris Holt
  26. "Set Me Free", The Red 100's
  27. "Truth on Tape", Smile Smile
  28. "Mindreader", Lovie
  29. "Wire to the Walls", RTB2
  30. "All Because You're Mine", Air Review
  31. "Just Wanna Try", Luna Matto
  32. "Burning Pictures", The Monco Poncho
  33. "Hang On", Salim Nourallah
  34. "Swelling", Sarah Jaffe
  35. "Try Try Try", Spector 45
  36. "Bleeder", True Widow
  37. "For Keeps", Iris Leu
  38. "What Turns Inside", Dove Hunter
  39. "I Still Wait", The O's
  40. "Gypsy Woman", Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights
  41. "Indian Melody", Pale Horse
  42. "You're No Good", Pale Horse
  43. "Where the Light Is", Emmeline
  44. Back in the summer of 2009 when I was booking shows at Lakewood Bar & Grill, assistant manager John Keener recommend I come out one night to watch Emmeline play.  My first impression was quite positive, but over the years, I have watched her develop into one of the best entertainers in the metroplex.  Emmeline always manages to balance the humor with the heartbreak, although this track is firmly in the heartbreak camp.
  45. "Slow Southern Home", Doug Burr
  46. Mr. Burr's On Promenade was released almost at the same time as the blog.  It was as if my blog was created to gush about how wonderful an album Doug released.  Not really, but it'd be an easy argument to make.  It's hard to select just one track from the album, but "Slow Southern Home" is such a perfectly paced song that slowly and steadily worms its way into your consciousness.  While the word pop seems a weird choice to describe this song, it's catchy, melodic, and memorable.  So in a sense, Mr. Burr has created a great pop song with "Slow Southern Home".
  47. "Red in the Morning", Menkena
  48. Who would've thought that my favorite shoegaze band in Dallas would have been formed by a punk rocker?  And yet Jimmy Menkena, former lead singer of NYC punk band INDK, has created some of the most gorgeous sonic landscapes I've heard these past five years.  Even more impressive is his ability to write heartfelt and thought provoking lyrics to these songs.  Most shoegaze acts tend to neglect the lyrical aspect, but Jimmy embraces it 110%.
  49. "Afraid of the Dark", Sorta
  50. It's interesting that Sorta, a band that primarily existed before the birth of Ghost of Blind Lemon, made it into the Top 5.  But Sorta's final eponymous album ranks as one of their strongest works, with no song stronger in my opinion that this one.  This songs breaks my heart a little each time I listen to it.  And the ending line, "Oh, it's over" sends chills every time.  In fact, the part of the song where the background vocalists sing that line was recorded shortly after Carter Albrecht's death.  That only makes the line more chilling.
  51. "Fat Girls", THe BAcksliders
  52. It's a shame that THe BAcksliders broke up just weeks ago.  The band was arguably the best, most consistent live band over these five years.  Between Kim Bonner's soulful vocals and Chris Bonner's underrated work on guitar, the shows were always electric.  Plus, having Taylor Young recording with the band in the early days (including this track), you can't go wrong.
  53. "Rivers Into Rum", Carter Albrecht
  54. One can't help but wonder what music would have come out of Mr. Albrecht over these years if he was still with us.  If this song is any indication, we've missed out on a goldmine of potential material.  I'm not sure what else to say, except that I never tire of this song.
  55. "Supernatural", Rahim Quazi
  56. If this list was about the top 50 artists over the past five years, Rahim would for me take the top spot.  His performances are ever evolving, and his lyrics are always spot on.  I've included him on countless Ghost of Blind Lemon showcases, and have loved every time he has graced the stage with his presence.  And while the title track of his 2008 CD only takes the silver, it is nevertheless one of the best written songs I've heard, local or otherwise.  Personally, I believe that this track could have even been a true hit single given the right chance.  Even had I not known Mr. Quazi personally, I can tell you that the opening hook would have grabbed me and forced me to take notice.
  57. "Echo and the Pass", Hendrick
  58. I knew Gregory Pierce from performing with Iris Leu (see song #14).  When his other project, Hendrick, released Exhale, he sent me a copy.  I sampled the album, liking all the songs, but when it came to this track, I knew this song would be my favorite from the CD.  Only a week after hearing this track, I predicted that it would likely be by number one track of 2009.  Sometimes songs that are defining for a year eventually get dated, but that has yet to be the case for me with this song.  Every time I listen to "Echo and the Pass", it is a deeply moving personal experience.  There's something almost symphonic in the structure of the song, and once the song reaches its climax, words cannot do justice.  I must, however, give props to Hans Grumbein and his phenomenal guitar work in this song.  And Joshua Hendrick's vocal performance is so perfect and chilling, I believe that the heartbreak in his voice translates, no matter what language you speak.  This is one of my all time favorite songs, local or otherwise.  Simply put, the best of the best.
And that concludes the countdown.  For those who want to listen, I've included all the songs in this below playlist, starting with song 50 and ending with "Echo and the Pass".  Listen, and enjoy.

50-1 by Chris Mueller on Grooveshark

Five Years

Five years ago on this day, I finally took a friend’s piece of advice and started a music blog.  My only concern at the time was that the market might be oversaturated with local music blogs.  Back then, we had The Fine Line, Boca Tina, and We Shot JR each providing their unique twist on the local music scene.  Five years later, I’m the only one of those sites still running and posting on a (somewhat) regular basis.  Why I'm the last man (or Ghost) standing, I do not know.  Some might say it's my persistence, others would say my stubbornness.  Either way, it seems this is the last of the truly LOCAL music blogs in the area.

These five years have been filled with everything from joy to disappointment, hope to frustration, optimism to cynicism, and just about every sentiment in between.  I’ve seen the best sides of the music scene, as well as the... uh, other sides.  Through that time, the one thing that has never disappointed me is the music coming from our area.  I could run through a laundry list of flaws with the scene: fickle fans who only support their friend’s bands, venues that don’t pay bands fairly, bands who don’t promote and have unrealistic expectations of payment.  Sadly, all of those problems are all too real and common.  Still, the music remains, and it remains strong as ever.

As for the scene, it is certainly stronger than when the blog began.  My biggest motivation for starting the blog was seeing what a hit the music scene (particularly Deep Ellum) had taken.  At that time, the neighborhood was all but a ghost town.  Now, people are returning to the area on a regular basis.  It’s not what it was in the 1990’s; parts of me doubt it may ever reach that level again.  Still, Deep Ellum is alive and well now.  People are walking the streets, going from club to club, making it a destination neighborhood again.

My only hope is that I can continue to help the musicians and the community, Deep Ellum and beyond, continue to grow.  Between booking and my other job, I often feel that this blog is way underutilized.  There are too many bands, shows, and events that it seems I do not have the time to write about.  That has become too frequent of a problem over these five years, and for that, I sincerely apologize.  I won’t promise that it will get better, simply because I fear that it would be a broken promise.  The only thing I can do is try to do more.

Other than that, there’s not much more to say other than this: thank you.  I have a long list of people to thank, so bear with me.  First off, I have to thank Cindy Chaffin of The Fine Line.  When I decided to start the blog, she was the first one I talked to about the idea.  She has always been extremely supportive of all my endeavors, and considering what a strong advocate of local music she has been, that has meant a lot to me.  Thanks to Neil Connell, owner of The Crown and Harp, for giving me the opportunity to become a regular booker for his venue.  I look forward to bringing bigger and better shows to your place in the coming months.  To Chad Lovell and Kim Keebler, thanks for letting me be a part of the dysfunctional family unit known as Deep Ellum Radio.  Ever since I was young, I’d always hoped to have my own radio show.  You’ve given me an opportunity I was thought would merely be a dream for me.  I owe an additional thanks to Kim for allowing me to book shows at her store, In Accord.   I cannot wait to see what the store looks like after the remodel!  To all the wonderful musicians I’ve met over the past few years, thank you for your support.  There are too many of you to name each and every one of you that has enriched my life over these years.  Just know that you are what keep me going in my journey of local music.  Finally, to all of my readers and all fans of local music, thank you.  Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts, and more than that, thank you for supporting local music.  Without you, nothing happens.

And as my way of saying thank you, expect a very major show announcement in the coming days.  I’ll give more details soon, but I’ll tell you to mark August 24th on your calendars as the celebration of the five year anniversary of Ghost of Blind Lemon.

In the meantime, enjoy this Polyphonic Spree cover of Bowie’s classic “Five Years”.  I mean, what else would I play today?

Five Years by The Polyphonic Spree on Grooveshark

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

GOBL's Top 50: #10 & #9

I must confess, I'm one to enjoy a good list. So needless to say, I always look forward to December, when I get to compile my list of the top 40 songs of each year. It's a difficult process to order the song for the most part. But with few exceptions, the easy part is determining the number one song of a given year. The next two songs had the distinction of reaching the top slot in my countdown. For the first time last year, my top 40 countdown was broadcast over Deep Ellum Radio. And for those who listened regularly to my shows, rare was the episode where Calhoun was not played. Their album Heavy Sugar returned lead singer Tim Locke to a more pop sounding style, making it perfect radio ear candy.  At least that is what one first notices upon first listen.  But Tim Locke's other strength besides melodies is his ability to craft lyrics that tell a story.  No song better exemplifies that strength of Tim Locke's than "Indian Melody", with imagery so vivid it's as if he has transported you into his story.

Indian Melody by Calhoun on Grooveshark

For song number nine on the countdown, rewind one year to 2010.  That was the year when Pale Horse emerged from the ashes of Greater Good.  It was quite a transformation for the band, moving from 60's style pop-soul to the darker southern vibe that was Pale Horse.  Equally as dark as the melodic mood of the band were the lyrics, ranging in topic from life after war ("Will You Be There") to religion ("Don't Lose Your Soul").  Religion plays a role in "You're No Good", the story of a preacher who uses religion to excuse the sins he commits against his family.  It's an intense story, with an equally intense vocal performance by lead singer J.R. Denson.  His gritty, deeply emotional delivery fits the song perfectly.

While the EP was good, Pale Horse's strength was in its live shows.  Unfortunately, the band is no longer together.  My understanding is that Mr. Denson has a new band he's working on.  I look forward to whatever music he puts out in the future.  Until then, check out song number nine on the countdown.

You're No Good by Pale Horse on Grooveshark

Friday, July 20, 2012

GOBL's Top 50: #50-11

It's funny how whenever I try to take on a project like the Top 50 or the A-Z playlists, life somehow gets in the way. I'm taking a moment to get the countdown back on track. The bad news is that a number of artists will not get the level of a write up that is deserved. And for that, I apologize. I'll try to write a little something about each artist that has been neglected for the past week.

The one bright side is that doing this should have everything on track for next week, when we finally enter my picks for the top 10 local tunes of the past year.

So let's do a full recap, complete with a playlist at the end.

  1. "Who's That Girl", PPT
  2. "Same Old, Same Old", Hello Lover
  3. "All Inside", The Felons
  4. "German Chocolate Cake", Bravo, Max!
  5. "The Message", Dem Southernfolkz
  6. "Nip/Tuck", The Orange
  7. "Icarus", Arielle
  8. "We Will All Be Changed", Seryn
  9. "Virtue And Vice", The Virgin Wolves
  10. "Little Bear", Elkhart
  11. "Love Bomb", Rude King
  12. "The Great Escape", Damaged Good$
  13. "Need a Release", the cut*off
  14. "Were Her", The Orbans
  15. "Young & Reckless", The Roomsounds
  16. "Three", The Timeline Post
  17. "Dalton the Prophet", Nicholas Altobelli
  18. "You Pressed the Crash Button", Novaak
  19. "Paper Girl", Katie Carroll
  20. "Move Along", Blue Petal
  21. "Pastel Lights", Ishi
  22. "Seven", Ducado Vega
  23. "Love That Leaves", Somebody's Darling
  24. "Black Light", Macon Greyson
  25. "Aim High", Chris Holt
  26. "Set Me Free", The Red 100's
  27. "Truth on Tape", Smile Smile
  28. "Mindreader", Lovie
  29. Harshmellow waso the first CD mailed for review by The Ghost.  While it was never formally reviewed (which happens rarely on here), the band received plenty of mentions for their super catchy tunes.  Plus, you can't beat lyrics like "Oh yeah, he loves me, he loves me not/Blah blah blah blah blah".
  30. "Wire to the Walls", RTB2
  31. Ryan Thomas Becker is arguably the best musician in Dallas right now.  While known mostly for his guitar work, this song proves that he is capable of writing an incredibly catchy tune in under 100 seconds.
  32. "All Because You're Mine", Air Review
  33. In the fall of 2009, I was at a show at Trees, chatting with John Solis.  I asked him what bands he recommend I check out.  In a separate conversation that night, I asked Pete Freedman the same question.  Both had the same response: Air Review.  My curiousity was piqued, and I was not disappointed.
  34. "Just Wanna Try", Luna Matto
  35. Luna, I know you're busy with Polyphonic Spree and the like, but Dallas needs more of your music.
  36. "Burning Pictures", The Monco Poncho
  37. I remember the first time that I heard this band, I instantly fell in love and became a fan. Yes, what a lovely story.  There's only one problem with the story; it isn't true.  I must confess, it took me a few shows to understand the campy goodness that is Monco Poncho.  But underneath the western shtick, there are some really well crafted pop tunes.  And of that group of tunes, none demands repeated listens quite like "Burning Pictures".
  38. "Hang On", Salim Nourallah
  39. Mr. Nourallah usually specializes in sweet pop melodies that hide a darker story.  In this case, it's almost the reverse.  While the lyrics are hardly joyous, there is a certain level of hope mixed with the sadness, as exemplified by lyrics like, "You've gotta love this life, even when it has you beat."  NOTE: had Hit Parade been out longer, the title track might be right here instead.  Yes, it's that good.
  40. "Swelling", Sarah Jaffe
  41. When I got to attend the 2007 Wall of Sound Festival, I made a point of arriving early, mostly to see an artist I'd heard such good things about, Sarah Jaffe.  Not only was I not disappointed, the performance left me with speechless and with goosebumps.  The latter symptom is one I have experienced at every performance of hers I've attended.  And while "Vulnerable", "Clementine", and "Glorified High" are her biggest hits, I remember continually playing this track on her MySpace back in the days.  For that reason, "Swelling" gets the #17 slot.
  42. "Try Try Try", Spector 45
  43. There's no doubt that there is still a hole left in the local music world from the deaths of Frankie 45 and Adam Carter.  In fact, when you mention the band nowadays, there's a certain sadness felt when thinking about the loss of these two young men.  Yet if you listen to the music, what you hear is a band that was raw, energetic, and, well, alive.  That's the way I like to remember Spector 45.
  44. "Bleeder", True Widow
  45. It was the 2009 Dallas Observer Music Awards Showcase, and I was trying to figure out which bands to see.  Unfortunately, many artists I like were scheduled against each other.  Such was the case with Doug Burr and True Widow.  I walked into The Cavern, planning on catching a few TW songs before checking out Mr. Burr.  I never made it to see Doug's set that night because I was hyptonized by True Widow's performance.  That set of theirs just might rank as my favorite performance of the past five years.
  46. "For Keeps", Iris Leu
  47. "What Turns Inside", Dove Hunter
  48. "I Still Wait", The O's
  49. "Gypsy Woman", Jonathan Tyler & The Northern Lights
You'll have to forgive me for not commenting on the last four songs.  I seem to be experiencing writer's block.  Perhaps to be more accurate, I'm starting to have a hard time discussing these songs in such a way that does them justice.  I simply hope to start finding the words again for the songs in the Top 10.  In the meantime, here's the playlist I promised.

50-11 by Chris Mueller on Grooveshark T

Monday, July 9, 2012

Opening Act, and Opening Bell Coffee

By now, you've probably seen the commercials for the reality TV show Opening Act.  In the show, relatively unknown musicians get the opportunity to open for a well known national artist.  The show debuts tonight at 9 p.m. CST on E!, and Dallas's own Arielle is a part of the premiere episode.  As you know, I've been a convinced fan for well over a year, and apparently the producers of the show are as convinced as I am.  And the artist she'll be opening for?  None other than Rod Stewart.

You can watch the show at home.  If you're feeling more social, then you might want to head out to Opening Bell Coffee.  Opening Bell Coffee is a fitting site for the watching party, considering the fact that it's where Arielle discovered that she would be on the show.  In fact, some of the clips used in the commercials were shot at OBC.  If you plan on going to Opening Bell, get there early.  An open mic starts at 7, and then Arielle herself will perform at 8. Here's a little sneak preview of what's to come tonight.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Weekend Plans: 7/6/12

I'll reveal #23 on the countdown later, but I wanted to clue you in on what's happening around town this weekend.  Note that a majority of the options are tonight, so you might want to start plotting your weekend strategy pretty quickly...


Hello Lover/Idler/Nerdface (The Prophet Bar – Big Room)
The Phuss/Ghosts of Industry/Icarus the Owl (The Prophet Bar – Side Stage)
I presume that with how The Prophet Bar has the Big Room set up, the rock just won't stop all night long.  And with Hello Lover and The Phuss being the two big draws, there will be rock.  And a lot of it.  It's also worth noting that I've heard strong recommendations on Nerdface from Ducado Vega, so that would be reason enough to arrive early.
Midnight Empire/The Gypsy Bravado/Black Kennedy (The Boiler Room)
Midnight Empire is celebrating their one year anniversary, and for fans of 80's style rock, this band will be right up your alley.  Get there in time for Gypsy Bravado, who know how to put on a tight rock show.
Reinventing Jude (Opening Bell Coffee)
The band has just released their album, Shoulder Season, which I suspect should be available at tonight's show.  I got to see the band earlier this year, and there was something in the set that reminded me of both Kristy Kruger and Sarah Jaffe.  For fans of acoustic music, this is a must see, as I suspect this band is about to become huge in those musical circles.
Dove Hunter/Stumptone (Lola’s)
Dove Hunter and Stumptone together?  Is my calendar wrong?  Is it really 2007?  Seriously though, this is an all too rare chance to see either band play.
Uneasy Pilgrim/The Frisky Disco/Kyle Brooks (The Crown and Harp)
Of course I've got to plug my own show.  BTW, no cover.  And all three acts are cool.  Of course they are. I booked them, right?

The Roomsounds (The Foundry)
Nothing fancy with The Roomsounds, just fun rock and roll.  And that's enough.
Mora Collective/UBoat (The Cellar)
I don't go to many jazz shows, but I must say that Mora Collective puts on one heck of a show.  Jazz fans and even non-jazz fans will probably be entertained by their performance.
The Angelus/Le Leek Electrique/Clint Niosi (Dan’s Silverleaf)
Denton, I didn't forget about you.  This is where I'd recommend all the Denton people hang out tomorrow night.

That's it for shows this weekend, I think.  If I'm wrong, let me know in the comments section.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

GOBL's Top 50: #24 "Truth on Tape", Smile Smile

When a band has members that are romantically involved, a breakup in that relationship can lead to the end of the musical career of the band.  When Jencey Hirunrusme and Ryan Hamilton ended their romantic relationship, the band could have easily called it quits.  Instead, the band remained together, and wrote one of the best albums on heartbreak that has ever emerged from the metroplex.

Truth on Tape explores just about every emotion and thought that one goes through after the end of a relationship.  From desperation to reunite ("Beg You to Stay") to anger at your former partner ("Labor of Love"), this album covers it all.  And of course, there's denial.  That's the topic tackled in the album's title track.  "You can't escape when the truth is put on tape", Ryan Hamilton sings in the chorus.  It's a desperate plea to hang on to what once was in a relationship, while ignoring the present status of the ended relationship.    Denial has never sound catchier.  And the harmonies of Ryan and Jencey sound sweet as ever, showing that their musical relationship is as rock solid, even if the two are no longer romantically involved.

Their musical union is still going strong, with the CD release show for Marry a Stranger happening August 11th at Granada Theater.  Jaret & Erik from Bowling for Soup open the show.  But for now, enjoy the title track of the previous disc.

Truth On Tape by Smile Smile on Grooveshark

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

GOBL's Top 50: #25 "Set Me Free", The Red 100's

You often hear about famous musicians having larger than life personas.  That tends to happen far less in the local music scene.  One notable exception to that rule would have to be Robbie D. Love, of the band Red 100's.  Both onstage and off, Mr. Love is a charismatic, personable, but over the top individual.

This might come off as being a bit much if Robbie did not have the talent to back up such a persona. Fortunately, this is not an issue.  Robbie and his band The Red 100's are raw, energetic, and everything that rock and roll was meant to be.  I'm not going to wax too poetic about the band, as I feel doing so misses the essence of the band.  The band is not meant to be pondered in an intellectual capacity, but to be felt on a visceral level.  Songs like "Set Me Free" may be enjoyable over your stereo speakers, but it's truly meant to be experienced live.  Such live shows are all too rare now, as The Red 100's currently call Austin their home.  But for the time that the band resided in Dallas, they gave local music a well needed swift kick in the rear.

Crank it up, and feel this song...

Set Me Free by The Red 100's on Grooveshark

And for those keeping score at home, here's the first half of the Top 50 countdown...

  1. "Who's That Girl", PPT
  2. "Same Old, Same Old", Hello Lover
  3. "All Inside", The Felons
  4. "German Chocolate Cake", Bravo, Max!
  5. "The Message", Dem Southernfolkz
  6. "Nip/Tuck", The Orange
  7. "Icarus", Arielle
  8. "We Will All Be Changed", Seryn
  9. "Virtue And Vice", The Virgin Wolves
  10. "Little Bear", Elkhart
  11. "Love Bomb", Rude King
  12. "The Great Escape", Damaged Good$
  13. "Need a Release", the cut*off
  14. "Were Her", The Orbans
  15. "Young & Reckless", The Roomsounds
  16. "Three", The Timeline Post
  17. "Dalton the Prophet", Nicholas Altobelli
  18. "You Pressed the Crash Button", Novaak
  19. "Paper Girl", Katie Carroll
  20. "Move Along", Blue Petal
  21. "Pastel Lights", Ishi
  22. "Seven", Ducado Vega
  23. "Love That Leaves", Somebody's Darling
  24. "Black Light", Macon Greyson
  25. "Aim High", Chris Holt

And of course, you can now add "Set Me Free", as #25 on the list. Come back tomorrow for song #24.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

GOBL's Top 50: #26 "Aim High", Chris Holt

When local music fans think of Chris Holt, the first thing likely to come to mind is his skill on the guitar.  If I had to choose one individual as the best guitar player in Dallas, it would have to be Mr. Holt.  Through past bands of his like Olospo and The Slack, the biggest draw with both was the opportunity to watch him play guitar.  I've watched him perform, wondering how the man is physically capable of playing so fast and so skillfully.

Because of his reputation as one of the area's finest guitar players, A Cosmic Joke was more than a bit of a risk for Mr. Holt.  Gone were the elaborate guitar solos and the riffs that had brought Mr. Holt such attention.  Instead, A Cosmic Joke focused much more on simple melodies and storytelling.  This was definitely not a safe move on Mr. Holt's part.

It was a move, however, that paid off artistically.  A Cosmic Joke stands as Chris Holt's strongest work to date.  The album is not as instantly catchy in the same way as his previous works, but rather is a thoughtful CD that grows on you with each listen.  Much of the CD leans on the more acoustic side, with tracks like "The Wind Has Left My Sail" and "Medication", the latter being highly reminiscent of Bryter Layter period Nick Drake.

The closest thing to a "rock" song on the album is "Aim High".  At first listen, the groove of the melody is what will suck you in.  It's the lyrics, however, that make the song a compelling, if somewhat uncomfortable, listen.  This song, like many others on the CD, was Mr. Holt's way through music of working through the death of his friend and bandmate, Carter Albrecht.  While most of the album is more melancholy, this song is an angry ode to the man who fired the gun shot that ended Mr. Albrecht's life.

Take a listen...

Aim High by Chris Holt on Grooveshark

GOBL's Top 50: #27 "Black Light", Macon Greyson

On a regular basis, I'll see updates and press releases for bands that are promoting a song being featured in a TV show or even film.  Sometimes the songs are featured in reasonably successful TV shows or movies, though most of the time not.  In 2008, Macon Greyson mentioned that their song "Black Light" was included in an upcoming Mickey Rourke film.  I immediately wrote this off as a rather insignificant event, seeing that Mickey Rourke hadn't starred in anything even vaguely successful in eons.

Wow, was I wrong.

The Mickey Rourke film in question was The Wrestler, a film that reinvigorated Rourke's career and even earned him an Academy Award nomination.  I was thrilled for the film's success, more because I hoped it would bring Macon Greyson some well deserved attention.  I'd been a fan of the band for years.  While the alt-country label gets tossed around a lot these days (a bit too carelessly for my taste), Macon Greyson was one of the few that I felt carried on the tradition established in the mid 1990's by artists like Son Volt, Bottle Rockets, and hometown heroes Old 97's.  With the band's authentically alt-country sound, combined with their energetic live shows and razor sharp lyrics (courtesy of lead singer Buddy Huffman), it seemed that the band was destined for bigger and better things.  Alas, those bigger and better things never came.  In fact, when the band broke up last year, there was no announcement;  Macon Greyson quietly faded away.  It was a shame to see such a talented band disappear.

Still, if you get an opportunity, I'd recommend you pick up one of their CD's, with Translate and 20th Century Accidents being my two favorites.  The latter album features the song below, #27 in the countdown.

Black Light by Macon Greyson on Grooveshark

Monday, July 2, 2012

GOBL's Top 50: #28 "Love That Leaves", Somebody's Darling

I saw Somebody's Darling perform for the first time back in November 2007 at The Cavern.  I raved about their performance, saying about lead singer Amber Farris that "if [her] vocals don't move you, check your pulse to see if you're still alive."  Ms. Farris and her Janis Joplin meets country style have always been part of the band's signature style.

Yet my favorite track of theirs is "Love That Leaves", a song that somewhat breaks the typical mold of the Somebody's Darling song.  Although Amber's vocals are as passionate as ever, the song leans more towards  a straight ahead rock approach than their other songs.  And in the vocals, there are times where Ms. Farris's vocal mannerisms remind me of a 10,000 Maniacs period Natalie Merchant.  Their former bass player, the late Adam Carter, had many a discussion on this track.  He cited this as his favorite song of the band's, and I have to full heartedly agree.

The track is available on the Ultraviolet compilation CD released in 2008.  All proceeds from the purchase of the CD go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  If you don't already own the CD, I'd encourage you to click here and purchase it.  But before you buy, go ahead and give Somebody's Darling's contribution to the disc a listen.

Love That Leaves by Somebody's Darling on Grooveshark

Friday, June 29, 2012

Weekend Plans: 6/29/12


Jonathan Tyler & Northern Lights/The Orbans/Quaker City Nighthawks (Granada Theater)
Performance by Mr. Tyler have become rarer and rarer these days.  For that matter, The Orbans seem to be laying low these days as well.  Here's an all too rare chance to see both.
Dead Beat Poetry/The Black Frames/The Klanks (Crown & Harp)
The Black Frames' indie-pop style is sandwiched in between the more straight ahead rock styles of both The Klanks and Dead Beat Poetry.  The one thing all three bands seem to have in common is that not enough people know about these bands.  Do yourself a favor, and if you're needing some new bands to check out, go to Crown & Harp and discover these hidden musical gems.  And yes, I booked this show, so feel free to say I'm biased.  But maybe you should go to the show to see WHY I booked these bands.
Hares on the Mountain (The Free Man)
The band has Ryan Thomas Becker in it.  Enough said.

The Colony Block Party (7112 Elliot Court, The Colony)
This is an outdoor event with a lineup overloaded with good bands.  Ducado Vega, The Gypsy Bravado, The Neckties, Sayonara, The Klanks, and Dead Beat Poetry are all part of this event.  For more details, click here.
Goodnight Ned/The Roomsounds/Dead Mockingbirds (Bryan Street Tavern)
Word is that Goodnight Ned is working on their first full length, to be released in the next few months.  This is a band has has grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years, so if you haven't seen them recently, you should remedy that situation.
Case in Theory/Gray the New Black/Always the Alibi/The Demigs (City Tavern)
Case in Theory is a good band from California, but do yourself a favor and get there early enough to catch Chris Demiglio and his band The Demigs bust out their Pixies/Pavement style rock anthems.  And Gray the New Black puts on an excellent show as well.
Emmeline (Two Corks and a Bottle)
Because an Emmeline show is always a fun thing.

And don't forget to post any shows I've omitted in the comments section.

GOBL's Top 50: #31-#29

First off, I hope you're enjoying this series of my top local picks of the past five years.  In an attempt to catch up and keep the countdown on track, I'm bundling the last three songs into one post.

Song #31 on the list comes courtesy of the now defunct Blue Petal.  The band had not been together for long when I started the blog, and was not on most people's radar.  One person who had taken notice of the band, however, was Carter Albrecht.  He put the song "Move Along" on his MySpace page (back when people used it).  When Mr. Albrecht's life was cut short, people went to his page, and along with all the comments from the mourners, people heard the music of Blue Petal.  Through that tragedy, people came to take notice of the band's music, and the band later played several of the memorial shows for Mr. Albrecht.  Leave it to Carter, even in his death, to come to the aid of a fellow deserving musician.

Move Along by Blue Petal on Grooveshark

Now for a complete change of pace for song #30 on the countdown.  When thinking of popular bands in Dallas in the past few years, Ishi is definitely on the short list.  Undoubtedly, the band's campy live shows and excellent danceable melodies have endeared them to the local music community.  If you want to see what makes them popular, check them out tomorrow night at the Prophet Bar.  The band will be celebrating the release of the "Disco Queen" EP, and the show will also double as a for  And I feel rather safe in saying that before the night is over, the band will perform "Pastel Lights", the song that charts at #30.

Pastel Lights by Ishi on Grooveshark

Technically, the song at #29 should not be eligible for the countdown.  After all, this is a celebration of songs released since the debut of my blog.  Ducado Vega's track, "Seven",  was released in 2005, two years before the beginning of the blog.  It wasn't until 2011, however, when The Local Edge with Mark started playing the track, that most of the local music community took note of Mr. Vega.  While the song was already close to six years old, the song did not feel dated.  In fact, during a period where the two main local music movements were blues/roots rock and electronica/dance, Ducado Vega's music was getting attention at just the right moment.  "Seven" successfully combined elements of funk, rock, and a dance beat that only the squarest of squares would not want to dance to.  Take a listen to the song below, and check Ducado Vega out tomorrow at The Colony Block Party.

sEVEN by Ducado VeGA on Grooveshark

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

GOBL's Top 50: #32 "Paper Girl", Katie Carroll

As a blogger, part of my job is to keep on top of what good local music is emerging in the area.  That means checking all the different social media sites and music sites.  But never underestimate the importance of radio, especially when that radio is tuned to 102.1 KDGE Sunday nights from 11 to midnight (CST, of course).  The Local Edge With Mark has proven to be a goldmine for discovering what's good in local music.  Take, for example, the song that charts at #32 in my local music countdown.  When the song "Paper Girl" hit the airwaves, I tweeted Mark right in the middle of the song to discover who did this song.

The artist, of course, is Katie Carroll, and in the past two years, she has gone from being a virtual unknown in the local music scene to a well respected singer-songwriter than a sizable following.  That's no surprise, considering the strength of all the songs on her debut album, Paper Girl.  The songs range from joyous ("So in Love with You") to dark and tragic ("Abort").  But it's the title track that made me an instantaneous fan of Ms. Carroll's.  She manages to maintain the right level of sweetness in her vocal delivery, which creates an interesting juxtaposition with the melody and lyrics.

But enough of me talking.  If you haven't heard the track yet, give it a listen and see why I got so excited over it with my first listen.

Paper Girl by Katie Carroll on Grooveshark

Monday, June 25, 2012

GOBL Top 50: #33 "You Pressed the Crash Button", Novaak

I've seen many a band come and go in the five years I've been blogging.  During that time, I cannot think of a band that had as powerful of an impact with as brief of a career as Novaak.  Within the first half of 2011, the band burst onto the scene with I Am, You Are, an album filled with some of the most gorgeous electronic soundscapes to come out of the metroplex area.  And unlike many electronic based bands that seem to value either repetition or unusual sound effects over melody, Novaak always understood the importance of strong melodies and lyrics.  It also didn't hurt to have a dreamy vocalist of the caliber of Jessi James delivering these lyrics.

The band managed to create a tremendous buzz in a matter of months, only to disband in May of the same year.  Jessi James has since gone on to another musical project, Bethan.  Her musical partner in crime, Blake Panter, is currently focusing more on writing for Central Track as opposed to a musical career.  It's a shame that Novaak only left us with one full length album.  Still, it was an incredible album, and no track better captures the beautiful essence of their sound than the opening track, "You Pressed the Crash Button".  Give it a listen below.

You Pressed the Crash Button by Novaak on Grooveshark

The Lucky Thirteen: 6/25/12

As the halfway mark of this year comes close, many music critics seem to be doing their list of favorite albums of 2012 thus far.  I suppose I should jump on this bandwagon, but I'm not one to usually do lengthy album reviews.  Plus, EP's and singles are now making up a bigger portion of the local music output, especially since producing an album can be cost prohibitive.

Instead of a list of this year's best albums so far, I'm opting to dedicate this week's Lucky Thirteen to a number of the finest songs I've heard this year.  This is by no means a fully comprehensive list of the area's best contributions, but rather a small sampling of some of the best well known acts, as well as some deserving of more attention.

And since ordering this list is a bigger headache than I want, I've simply arranged the tracks in alphabetical order by artist.

My Widget by Chris Mueller on Grooveshark

  1. "Knockout Rose", Bad Design
  2. "White Chocolate", The Boom Boom Box
  3. "The Road", Dovetail
  4. "When Your Hope Dies at Your Feet", The Farstar
  5. "Married to the Sea", John Singer Sergeant (performed by Marcus Striplin & Sarah Jaffe)
  6. "One Loaded Gun", Lara Parker
  7. "After the Politics", Low Dark Hills
  8. "Something We Need", Quincy Forte
  9. "Break My Spirit", The Roomsounds
  10. "Unstoppable", Salim Nourallah
  11. "Glorified High", Sarah Jaffe
  12. "Save Me", Siren Sea
  13. "Take It Back", To Coda

Sunday, June 24, 2012

GOBL's Top 50: #35 & #34

In order to keep my Top 50 countdown on track, I bring you not one, but two songs today.

The first is from a band that when I was sent a download link to their album Slow Descent, I almost did not open it.  I always thought of The Timeline Post as metal, and I'll be the first to admit I'm not much of a metal fan.  Fortunately for me, I gave the album a listen, and it proved to be one of the most surprising listens in my five years of blogging.  Yes, there are some heavy influences found on the album, most notably on "Wedding Bell Murders", "Success", and the title track, which borders on fitting in on a KDGE playlist from the mid 2000's or so.  But even when the band leans on the heavy side, the strong melodies and haunting lyrics prevent the band from sounding cliched.  The standout song on the album, however, is clearly "Three".  This dark waltz (done in 3/4 time, presumably why they call the track "Three") possesses such a beautiful melody and harmony that it hides the darker content in the lyrics.  Take a listen to track #35 in the countdown.

Three by The Timeline Post on Grooveshark

Up next is an artist who sent me his first EP, Streetcar Visions, back in 2008.  The EP did have a certain charm, but it was Nicholas Altobelli's follow-up fell length, Waiting for the Flowers to Bloom, that truly delivered on the promise hinted at on the EP.  Since 2008, Mr. Altobelli has released a total of six albums and EP's, proving to be one of the most prolific singer-songwriters in the area.  He even had the privilege of recording a duet with Caitlin Cary, formerly of Whiskeytown, on Radio Waves and Telephone Wires.  Still, my favorite track of his is "Dalton the Prophet", featured on Waiting for the Flowers to Bloom.  For the record, it also contains my favorite line of Mr. Altobelli's, "When the war ends it'll be the death of me".  You can hear that line, as well as the rest of song #34 in the countdown, below.

Dalton the Prophet by Nicholas Altobelli on Grooveshark

Stay tuned tomorrow for song #33, as I continue to count down my favorite local tunes of the past five years.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Weekend Plans: 6/22/12

I plan on getting to the Deep Ellum Food Truck Rally early, which doesn't allow for much writing time.  That's ok, as I feel these shows speak for themselves.  Find a show or two (or more) to go see.


  • Deep Ellum Food Truck Rally with The Roomsounds/Ducado Vega/Home by Hovercraft
  • Whiskey Folk Ramblers/Sealion/RTB2 (LaGrange)
  • Dovetail/East Cameron Folklore/Parallel Play/Playtime Rabbit (The Prophet Bar)
  • The Cush/Menkena (Lola's Saloon)
  • Telegraph Canyon/Calhoun (The Live Oak)
  • The Monco Poncho/Aristoscat/The P-Town Skanks (Double-Wide)
  • The Vliets/Early Morning Creatures/O Conqueror (Dada)
  • Agent Ribbons/My Kickdrum Heart (The Crown and Harp)

  • John Lefler EP Release/Salim & The Treefort 5/Dovetail/Doug O' Rourke (Sons of Hermann Hall)
  • The Demigs/The Boom Bang/The Birds of Night/La Panther Happens (Andy's Bar)
  • Art of Mistrust/Signals & Alibis/Sink or Swim (The Cellar)
I'm sure I missed something.  Be sure to post it in the comments section and chide me for my error.

GOBL's Top 50: #37 & #36

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  If that's the case, a video must be worth way more than a picture.  After all, a video is a series of changing photos, is it not?  So then for me to write miniature essays on top of these videos would simply be overkill.  After all, I don't want to be accused of being overly wordy.

With that in mind, I present you the overdue #37 song, courtesy of The Orbans, with directing credits to the video going to Jon Collins.

The Orbans "Were Her" music video from Jon Todd Collins on Vimeo.

Now on to song #36, courtesy of The Roomsounds. The band finally released their self titled debut album this year, making it the newest entry on the countdown. Or is it really the newest entry? While the song was re-recorded for the debut album, I discovered the song in 2009 courtesy of Mark of the Local Edge. The version I'm sharing here, however, is neither the original or the new version. The video below was a live performance recorded in 2010 at the ScatFest in Paris, Texas. Speaking of live performances of The Roomsounds, they'll be playing tonight outside of the Deep Ellum Food Truck Rally. Set time is 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Icarus, Icarus, Icarus!!!

A little over a year, John Keener of Lakewood Bar and Grill urged that I give a listen to an up and coming singer-songwriter by the name of Arielle.  I believe the first song I listened to was the track "Icarus", and I found the song so beautiful that I posted the YouTube video of the song and wrote this about her.  The song even managed to chart at #44 in my countdown of my top local songs of the past five years (stay tuned for #37 later today).

As she has performed more, her live shows have continued to grow stronger.  Her show at Liquid Lounge earlier this month had her most enthusiastic audience to date, and one of the most enthusiastic audiences I've seen at any show for awhile.  That's pretty impressive, considering that Arielle only relies on a keyboard and a loop machine for her live performances.

Last night, Arielle finally debuted the official music video for the song "Icarus", directed by Brian Scott Hunt. The video is rather simple, even minimalistic in its story line.  With a song of such simplistic beauty as "Icarus", however, that makes the video perfectly fit the melody.  Plus, the cinematography in the video is quite lovely.  Even more importantly, Arielle's on-camera presence only add to the highly emotional content of the lyrics.  Check out the video below:

Speaking of the lyrics, Arielle herself made this lyrical video for the song a few weeks ago. While many YouTube videos post song lyrics, Arielle raised the bar by her creative and artistic manner that she displayed the lyrics. Don't believe me? Watch this and then try to argue that.

Finally, this is the original demo version of the song, the one through which I discovered Arielle. Consider this like the Triple Shot Thursdays back in the days of Q102. Except that this isn't classic rock, and it's three shots of the same shot, but you get the idea.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

GOBL's Top 50: #38 "Need a Release", the cut*off

Dear cut*off,

Before I became "The Ghost", you knew me under a different name.  I was a regular at all your shows, always in the front row singing all the words to your songs.  Yes, those were the good days.

I know the band has since dispersed.  One member is in California, and at least one other member has joined another band (Chad Sones, now of Bravo Zulu).  Still, I feel a cut*off reunion is longer overdue.  Everyone else is jumping on the reunion show bandwagon.  Even Chemistry Set is reuniting.  Let's made the cut*off part of this trend.  That way we can hear more of the great lyrics of Kyle Barnhill, featured in the below track "Need a Release".

But don't do it for "The Ghost".  Do it for your old friend.

Yours truly,

Fast Eddie

Better Living Through Chemistry... Set

Before the blog, I had a tradition of holding my birthday shows at Barley House.  I'm proud to say that I managed to gather many a fabulous act for these shows.  The alumni list includes The Deathray Davies, Salim Nourallah, Sorta, The Happy Bullets, the cut*off (I'll be discussing them later today), and Rahim Quazi, just to name a few.  Some acts, like Rahim Quazi, played multiple years.  Yet only one band holds the distinction of playing every one of the Barley House birthday shows: The Chemistry Set.

Alas, The Chemistry Set disbanded in 2008.  That year was the first year that I did not hold a birthday show at Barley House.  And while there were other circumstances that distracted me from booking a show that summer, somehow it seemed fitting to end them.  After all, it just wouldn't feel right to do a show without The Chemistry Set.

You could only imagine my surprise when I saw the Facebook invite for a reunion show with Chemistry Set. Even more amazing is the fact that the show is being held on my birthday, August 25th.  Also on the lineup are Sunward and Tabula Rasa.  The latter band, featuring Steve Duncan of Chemistry Set and Doug Kershaw of Sunward, are also performing for the first time since... well, a super long time.

The fact that The Chemistry Set is performing on my birthday may just be coincidence, but whatever it is, I could not have asked for a better birthday gift than this show.  For those who saw the band play live, you know what an exhilarating experience their shows were.  Those who were not fortunate enough to experience the band live, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to scratch this off your bucket list.

I leave you with this video of "Why Don't You?" from Blue Monsters, directed by another huge Chemistry Set fan, Digant Kasundra.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

GOBL's Top 50: #39 "The Great Escape", Damaged Good$

One of the most surprising parts of my local music journey of the past five years was discovering the amount of great hip-hop/rap in the area.  I discovered an energy and level of excitement in many of the live hip-hop acts that is sometimes lacking in the world of rock.  The late 2000's were an exciting time for local hip-hop.  PPT opened the door for me with hip-hop, and Dem Southernfolkz skillfully demonstrated how to perfectly blend hip-hop and rock.  But for me, no rap act has matched the level of energy demonstrated by Damaged Good$.

I saw them live for the first time at the 2009 Quick Music Awards.  I know they were not the only performers of that night, but off the top of my head, they're the only ones I remember.  Why is that?  Simply put, Damaged Good$ is fun.  Sure, the act's lyrical skills are impressive, and the beats are definitely cool, but the band puts on a show that entertains both the devoted hip-hop fans and converts new fans.

It was hard to select one specific song.  I'm partial to the Spread Love Not Germs era work, although their latest EP has several killer tracks, most notably "KID$(ueatyryung)" and "Everybody Wanna Ball" (click here to listen and/or buy the EP).  And in the end, I opted for "The Great Escape".  The Dallas Observer offered up the single as a free download a few years back, so attached is the link to the track.  Listen and enjoy!

Damaged Good$ - "The Great Escape"

Monday, June 18, 2012

GOBL's Top 50: #40 "Love Bomb", Rude King

It's rare for me to do profiles of bands these days.  And for me to cover a ska band, well, that was completely unheard of.  That was, until Rude King came along.  I knew of the band's lead singer, Jon Bravo, from his time in the short lived Hi-Fi Collective.  The band even performed at one of my shows at Lakewood Bar & Grill during the summer of 2009.  While I liked the band, I honestly did not feel that Mr. Bravo's voice was quite as well suited for singing the band's style of alternative rock.

Perhaps that's because Mr. Bravo's voice is so perfectly suited to sing ska.  Because in Rude King, his vocals are a key part of the band's charm.  And while it would easy for me to fixate on Jon's role in the band, he is backed by a more than capable group of musicians.  Rob Tovar keeps the energy going with his drums, the brass section (consisting of Houston Bogus on trombone and Mason Neeley on trumpet) is first rate, and Vicki Tovar (Rob's wife) adds an extra dimension to the band with her vocals.

Alas, Ms. Tovar will not be heard on the track featured at #40 on the countdown.  The version of "Love Bomb" that charts was recorded before she joined the band.  The song does also appear on the band's most recent album, Ruder, Better, Faster, Stronger, but I felt the energy of the original recording (from Rude to the Last Drop) does the song better justice.  Give it a listen, and feel free to skank along!

Love Bomb by Rude King on Grooveshark

Ghost of Blind Lemon Presents The Top 50 of the Last 5 Years

First of all, for those wondering about the A-Z Project, I do intend to restart the project, though most likely it will resume in September.  For now, I have a different list of sorts to get to.

It was a little over five years ago when a friend suggested I start a local music blog.  I initially gave the idea little thought.  After seeing how the music scene was declining at the time, I gave more serious consideration to the concept of the blog.  From that concept, Ghost of Blind Lemon was born.  And what a long, crazy, five years it has been.

In honor of the upcoming five year anniversary of GOBL, I decided to do a countdown of my Top 50 local songs of the past five years.  Each day, I will reveal a song in the countdown (minus all Saturdays except this one) complete with a write-up and a means to either hear or download the song.  I will continue to do this until August 1, the official five year anniversary of the blog.  On that date, I will reveal my pick for the number one local tune of the past five years.

For those of you keeping score, you may have noticed that there are less than fifty days until August 1.  In order to save time, I have made a playlist of songs 50-41 on the countdown.  Later today, I will reveal song number 40.  Until then, enjoy these ten tracks.

50-41 by Chris Mueller on Grooveshark
  1. "Who's That Girl", PPT
  2. "Same Old, Same Old", Hello Lover
  3. "All Inside", The Felons
  4. "German Chocolate Cake", Bravo, Max!
  5. "The Message", Dem Southernfolkz
  6. "Nip/Tuck", The Orange
  7. "Icarus", Arielle
  8. "We Will All Be Changed", Seryn
  9. "Virtue And Vice", The Virgin Wolves
  10. "Little Bear", Elkhart

Friday, May 25, 2012

Weekend Plans: Memorial Day Edition

Just going to jump into the shows right now...

The Virgin Wolves/Public Love Affair/White Elephant/The Klanks (The Boiler Room)
The Klanks are definitely one of the better young bands in the metroplex right now, and there are more than a few good young bands around right now.  And then there's the Virgin Wolves, who consistently rock the house.  On a separate note, is there a website for The Boiler Room?  I rarely hear about events happening there.  Just curious.
Descender/Here Holy Spain/The West Windows (Double-Wide)
Based on this and the previously mentioned show, this seems to be a good weekend for hard rock shows.  Anyways, I don't know much about The West Windows, other than the fact that this is their first show.  Still, the fact that they wound up on such a solid lineup suggests good things.
RTB2/The Blurries/Dim Locator (The Free Man)
If you're looking for something a little spicy and plenty flavorful, go to the Free Man.  Oh yeah, the food is good too.
The Monco Poncho/Ben Tapia & The Seahorse Chronicle (City Tavern)
Mr. Tapia sent me some of his new material, and I'd have to say it's his strongest work to date.  Still, The Monco Poncho will likely steal the show.
Camille Cortinas/Becky Middleton (Opening Bell Coffee)
Ms. Middleton takes a rest from her duties in Ishi tonight and performs her solo material, with Camille headlining the bill.  Fans of female singer-songwriters will definitely want to check this show out.
Summerfield/FLATWORLD/The Gets (The Crown & Harp)
What, you thought I wasn't going to plug my own show?

Brent Best/Gaston Light (Nouveau 47 Theater)
This show was originally to be held at In Accord, and I must say I'm quite disappointed that the store will not get to host this.  In Accord is in the midst of remodeling, and I am super excited about the changings happening there.  But more on that another time.  Thanks to the folks at Nouveau 47, who stepped in and provided a venue for us.  Jason Corcoran, aka Gaston Light, has proven himself to be one of the more intruiging singer-songwriters in the area in recent years.  As for Brent Best, well, he's Brent Best.  If you don't know who that is, your life is more incomplete than you can fathom.
Playtime Rabbit/Goodnight Ned/Tweed EQ (The Aardvark)
Easily the best show in Funkytown this weekend.

Dallas Does the Beatles (Opening Bell Coffee)
A lot of great names on the bill, like Emmeline, Jaimee Harris, Kyle Brooks, Temple Diver, and Karyna Michaela to name a few.  I just hope they can find a few good songs to play.  And yes, that was sarcasm
There are a lot of big names on the bill, but I must say that I wish there were a few more big name local acts on the lineup.  Still, it does feature the now Austin based centro-matic, along with Mystery Skulls and Low Dark Hills, both of which are locally based.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The A to Z Playlists: Fl-Ge

It was bound to happen.  I have gotten behind on the playlists.  By putting my effort into writing about what your Weekend Plans should be, it left me without enough time to compile, create, and write about the playlist.  The latter part is still not going to happen today.  I promise, I will get back on track and catch up, but for now, let's give the playlist you were expecting yesterday.

Fl-Gh by Chris Mueller on Grooveshark

More coming... soon. That's all I'm promising at the moment.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Weekend Plans: 5/11/12

For those wondering, there will be a playlist posted later today, even if it's nothing more than the playlist widget.  I felt it more important to update you on what local bands are playing this weekend.  So here it goes...

To Coda/Phoenix Hart/Velvet Guard (The Crown and Harp)
Phoenix kicks off the night at 10 PM with an acoustic set, and she has an intensely powerful set of pipes on her.    Her entire album, Save Love, is quite good, and the acoustic version of the title track really showcases what a great vocalist she is.  To Coda follows at 11, and as I've said about them before, the band is more talented than what might think for a teen rock group.  And their lead vocalist, Heather Darwin, is also a very powerful vocalist.  Velvet Guard ends the evening with their very intriguing blends of new wave (a la Joy Division) with more recent alt/indie bands (think Muse or The Killers), and in my opinion, this is the most under appreciated band in the metroplex right now.  Let's change that, okay?

Holy Moly/800 Mile Monday/Parallel Play/One Red Cent (LaGrange)
Is it or me, or does it seem that country music is figuring into the local music scene less prominently at the moment?  Perhaps it's just that Boys Named Sue aren't playing around as much anymore, and Eleven Hundred Springs is laying low until their next album is released.  For those craving country with a bawdy sense of humor, then you really need to check out Holy Moly.  Also, Parallel Play sports quite a sense of humor, though less bawdy, and more folk-rock.  Don't let that phrase fool you, as it's definitely high octane folk.
The Manifesto/The Wake of Man/They Cried Apollo/Altered States/Caterpillars (Liquid Lounge)
The real draws of this lineup are the first two acts on the lineup.  Caterpillars, featuring Christopher Robinson of Menkena, produce moody yet entrancing songs blending elements of psychedelia, new wave, and indie.  Whereas Caterpillars dabble in psychedelia, Altered States immerse themselves much deeper in the style, all while incorporating elements of progressive rock in the songs.

The Ultraviolet Rock Show For Cystic Fibrosis (Dada)
I believe this is their sixth year for doing this, and the fifth year I've attended.  For the first time ever, neither Lovie nor El Gato are on the lineup, although The Oxen (featuring Rebecca Dixon of Lovie and Kirk Dixon of El Gato) will perform.  Also on the lineup are Fate Lions, Salim Nourallah, Ryan Thomas Becker, and Dis Posable Music.  And of course there's the silent auction of art and other merchandise, with the night's profits from everything going towards the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Eleven Hundred Springs (Dan’s Silverleaf)
Okay, so maybe I spoke to soon about the band laying low...
The King Bucks (Adair’s)
The King Bucks play Adair's?  Wow, that never happens.

I've probably forgotten something.  Remind me in the comments section.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The A to Z Playlists:

Before I present today's playlist, I'd like to give a word of thanks to Chris Mayes (Pleasant Grove, The Boom Boom Box, The Deathray Davies). He posted on Facebook that "you should give Ghost of Blind Lemon's A to Z playlist a look if you haven't." He also said it reminded him about several tracks and records that he hadn't listened to in a while that he should "dust off", so to speak. The process of compiling daily has been a beast, and in many cases I have not had the time to adequately discuss the tracks as I would like. Today is another such day. Still, I hope that this playlist brings back some memories, and even encourages you to discover some newer artists from the area.

Anyways, enough talk. Music time...

Es-Fi by Chris Mueller on Grooveshark

More songs tomorrow...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The A to Z Playlists: Do-Er

Nine of these down, 22 left to go.  If I ever get the insane idea to do this again, I'll try to write my segments before hand, because I'm just not finding enough time to do this day by day.  Enough complaining for now, though.  Let's finish those D's and start some E's.

Do-Er by Chris Mueller on Grooveshark

"Do You Feel", The Rocket Summer
"Do You Hear Wedding Bells", Doug Burr
"Do You Love Me?", The Bat Mastersons
"Do You Remember", Tiger Darrow
(Yes, I know, the version on Grooveshark is misspelled)
"Do You Sleep?", Lisa Loeb
"Doctor's Not Gonna Cure Our Ills", The Beaten Sea
"Dog's Light", Bravo, Max!
"Done", Deep Blue Something
"Done", The Weekend Project
"Doreen", Old 97's
"Down Like Anyone", Black Tie Dynasty
"Dragon Lady", Lucy Loves Schroeder
"Drinkin' on the Job", The Happy Bullets
"Driving Through Memphis", Ronnie Fauss
"Drop Down", Spot
"Duelist", True Widow
"Duke & Duchess", Mazinga Phaser
"Dunk You in the River", Slobberbone
"Early Morning Phone Call", Zac Maloy
"Easy Rider Blues", Blind Lemon Jefferson
"Eat Steak", Reverend Horton Heat
"Eat Your Wife and Kiss the Barbecue", Mount Righteous
"Echo and the Pass", Hendrick
"Edge of the Earth", Calhoun
"Electric Gypsy", Andy Timmons
"Elephant", The Vliets
"Emulate", Spector 45
"End Film", Little Black Dress
"Endlessly", Green River Ordinance
"Enjoy the New Planet", The Deathray Davies
"Erased", Salim Nourallah

Will the E's be completed tomorrow?
Will the fate of the F's hang in the balance?
Can "The Ghost" save tomorrow's playlist before it's too late?
The answer to these questions... tomorrow
Same Bat-Time, Same Bat-Channel!