Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The A to Z Playlists: An-Az

An-Az by Chris Mueller on Grooveshark
"Am I Still Loaded", Sparrows
When starting off a playlist, you can't go wrong with anything that features Carter Albrecht on lead vocals. It's just a fact.
"Am I Too Late", Old 97's
Early in the career of the 97's, the band fixated primarily on the topics of women and alcohol. When Satellite Rides was released, the band explored the topics of death and loss with tracks like "Weightless" and this song. In spite of the heavier lyrical content, the band manages to maintain a steady but energetic pace to the melody, keeping the song from getting too maudlin.
"Amarillo Sleeps on My Pillow", Fair to Midland
I'm usually not one for heavier rock bands, but Fair to Midland's live show is nothing less than captivating. In the one live show of theirs I witness, lead singer Andrew Darroh Sudderth starting out the set by casually strolling onto stage, looking bored while smoking his cigarette. Halfway through the song, Mr. Sudderth was screaming full blast into the mic with the wire wrapped around his neck. Regardless of what your musical leanings may be, I dare you to catch an FTM show and not walk away with a deep respect for the band's talent.
"Amazing", Mystery Skulls
Has anyone ever determined the identities of the members of Mystery Skulls? I know that this is a side project by another well known local musician, but I have not heard a single person mention who is in the band. If anyone has an answer for me, email me at and let me know. I can keep a secret if need be. Honest.
"America's Son", Air Review
In the beginning, Air Review received many a comparison to Muse. With this single, the band veered away from that style and into a more straight on indie pop sound. The result? The song has easily become the band's most recognized and loved track overall. And if anyone at Apple is listening, this song practically BEGS to be played in a commercial for the iPod or iPhone.
"Anastarsia", Happy Farmers
Happy Farmers was a band formed out of high school in the late 1980's. Normally, a high school band would not endure the test of time well enough to make such a playlist over two decades later. When that high school band features such members as David Garza and Clay Pendergrass, that helps. A lot.
"Angeline", Here, In Arms
In my weekend planner posts, when separating artist names on a lineup, I always use slashes instead of commas. Why slashes and not commas, you ask? It's this band's fault.
"Angry Girl", Funland
Will Johnson is represented twice in today's playlist. His band Centro-matic will come later in this list, but this band features Mr. Johnson behind the drumkit.
"Ann Arbor", Nicholas Altobelli
Mr. Altobelli claims that his album When Now Becomes Then will be his last acoustic album. He also has been making such claims since his after his full length debut. He did at least finally debut his full band show at the Big Folkin' Festival. We'll see if the electric album will follow later this year as he says it will.
"Another Try at Something New", Macavity
"Antarctica", Black Tie Dynasty
Here's a double dose of Idol Records releases for you.
"Any Given Saturday", Spitfire Tumbleweeds
I've always found it interesting how local musicians are often in bands that are so diametrically opposite in sound. Take for example Scott Porter. He not only played guitar in Denton noise rock act Record Hop, but he was the lead vocalist for the country act Spitfire Tumbleweeds. No one can accuse him of not having diverse musical taste.
"Any Life", Bedhead
I hadn't known until recently that slowcore was an actual musical movement. And while I always realized that Bedhead was quite popular in the metroplex area, I never realized that this slowcore band had a strong national following and remains one of the most popular bands of the slowcore movement.
"Anywhere I'm Loving You", Eleven Hundred Springs
Here's a nice little ballad from the band's debut, appropriately enough titled Welcome to Eleven Hundred Springs.
"Apocalypse (A Love Story)", Calhoun
Back in the days that Tim Locke was the lead singer of Grand Street Cryers, his band was one of the Dallas Observer's favorite bands to bash. It wasn't until about a decade later when his band Calhoun released Falter.Waver.Cultivate that Mr. Locke began to get the respect as a songwriter that he so richly deserves.
"Apple Pies and Alibis", the pAper chAse
while the bAnd gAve up this prActice lAter in its cAreer, the pAper chAse would routinely leAve most letters in lower cAse with the strAnge exception of hAving the A's remAin cApitAlized. fortunAtely, the bAnd finAlly decided to ceAse its errAtic cApitAlizAtion pAtterns. personAlly, i think this wAs A good ideA, considering thAt it looks reAlly freAky. But you AlreAdy noticed thAt, right?
"Apple Tree", Erykah Badu
So what's the fixation with apples by local musicians? Just wondering.
"Are You Listening?", Chris Holt
This is the song that opened my eyes to the talent that is Chris Holt.
"Are You Ready for the Shutdown?", Centro-matic
And here's that Centro-matic track I hinted at earlier.
"Astigmatism", Astronautalis
Time to get some hip-hop in the hizz-ouse, word to your mother. Okay, I'll shut up now.
"Astronaut", Fate Lions
Is it just me, or does the area need more power pop bands? At least we have Fate Lions.
"Astronauts", FLATWORLD
Shameless Crown and Harp plug: FLATWORLD will be playing there on Friday, May 25th along with The Gets.
"At the Public Dance", Doug Burr
Yesterday, I professed my love for Mr. Burr's On Promenade album. His official follow-up to that album, O Ye Devastator, didn't quite match the emotional intensity of Promenade. This is not meant as an insult to Devastator, but rather to say that sometimes when an album is as fabulous as On Promenade, even an excellent follow up may wind up standing in the shadows of the previous masterpiece. Still, there are plenty of great songs from this CD as well, and expect to hear more from this album as well.
"Atlas", Mildred
Back in 1991, WFAA broadcast a recording of that year's Dallas Observer Music Awards ceremony. I remember seeing it on TV, and that's where I first discovered Mildred. This was the song they played, and I instantly fell in love with the quirky pop melody. I regret that I never saw the band live, though I did finally discover a used copy of Whippersnapper at the Addison CD Warehouse, which of course I bought without hesitation.
"Athens, TX", Gaston Light
Have you ever had a song that it disturbed you that you really liked? I was first captivated by the gorgeous melody of the song before discovering that the song is about a man who picks up a woman at a bar and murders her. Yet Jason Corcoran, the man behind Gaston Light, is such the storyteller that you get sucked in to the dark tale.
"Austin's Birthday", The Burning Hotels
This is what Burning Hotels sounded like before they went new wave.
"Avenue", Salim Nourallah
This song was always one of my highlights of the live Salim shows back around 2004. The contributions of John Dufilho and Jason Garner (Deathray Davies) on drum and bass respectively really made this song pop live.
"Aw, the Humanity", Reverend Horton Heat
I don't know if the Rev is credited with developing psychobilly, but I had certainly never heard of that term until he rose to popularity.
"Awake and Lifeless", A Dozen Furies
I'm not going to lie. This isn't my cup of tea. Still, the band managed to get national attention for being the winner of the reality TV show Battle for Ozzfest. At the minimum, such an accomplishment has earned the band a spot on the playlist.
"Away", Toadies
I'm not sure if this song genuinely caught on with other alternative stations around the country. All I know is that almost two decades later, this song remains in constant rotation on KDGE.
"The Aztec God", The Deathray Davies
I was told the song was inspired by Del Perez, member of such acts as The Wurlitzer Prize, Pegasus Now!, and eyes wings and many other things. Yes, there is quite an interesting story behind the song. No, I will not tell the story on the blog. You're welcome, Mr. Perez. And that concludes the first letter of the alphabet. Tomorrow, we begin the B's.

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