Monday, January 30, 2012

Help for Pleasant Grove

Those who were around in the local music scene in the late 90's into the 2000's are sure to remember the band Pleasant Grove. With songs like "Nothing This Beautiful", "Only a Mountain", and my personal favorite "Commander Whatever", the group managed to tell beautifully heartbreaking tales to a gorgeous country backdrop. The band's two vocalists, Marcus Striplin and Bret Egner, managed to convey a simple and sincere tone of sadness in the vast majority of their songs. These are not the songs you want when holding a house party. If, however, you need songs that speak to a broken heart, you'd be hard pressed to find many local bands that have the emotional punch of Pleasant Grove.

It came to my attention today that member Bret Egner was recently hospitalized for injuries from a recent bicycling accident (you can click here to read more details). He had surgery today in order for his collarbone to heal properly. Like most musicians, Mr. Egner is without health insurance, so he has acquired a mountain of medical debt.

This is where you come in. Bret's friends have set up an account on ChipIn where people can contribute and help him with these expenses. I've embedded a widget below through which you can donate. I've also added a video of the band playing the never released "Canopy" at the Kessler Theater in 2010.



Saturday, January 7, 2012

While You Were Sleeping...

Last night at about midnight, the band Siren Sea posted their new song, “Lies”, on YouTube. To debut a song on so late on a night where most local music fans might be asleep might seem like an unusual move, considering that it might seem to increase the likelihood of the song going unnoticed. Especially since, on top of it all, it seems much of the local music community has not taken noticed of Siren Sea.

Folks, that’s gotta change, starting right now.

Just take a few minutes and listen to this track below. The haunting and exotic vocals of Reema Hamdan are sure to make any music lover stop to take notice. The melody does start out slowly, but give the song time. Between the beautiful melody and Ms. Hamdan’s vocals, it will not take long for you to get caught up in “Lies”.

The song also serves as the theme song to the upcoming film, Blissful Lies, staring Leann Hunley. The band was specifically asked to compose a song for the film. It took the band a mere three hours to compose this gorgeous track. But if you’re looking to see the band perform live, you have several opportunities coming in the near future. Siren Sea will open for Tiger Darrow this Thursday at Club Dada. A few weeks later, the band will perform at Liquid Lounge on Friday, January 27th. Last, but certainly not least, you can catch them Friday, February 17th at The Crown and Harp, with Tweed EQ and Alex Allred rounding out that lineup.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Top 40 of 2011

What a crazy year 2011 has been. Fortunately, there has been an abundance of great music to be found in the metroplex this past year. I have compiled my forty favorite tracks of the year, and counted them down yesterday on Deep Ellum Radio. The show will rebroadcast tonight at about 6 pm 8 pm or so, but now you can follow along with the official list. And let's hope that 2012 brings us as much quality local music as this past year did!



  1. "Get It on the Floor", LehtMoJoe
  2. "Space Blanket", Darstar
  3. "Good to Hear Your Voice", Homespun Remedies
  4. "16 Candles", Morning Elephant
  5. "Wired to Make Waves", Nervous Curtains
  6. "Bonnie & Clyde", Goodnight Ned
  7. "San Francisco", Dead Beat Poetry
  8. "Fake Museum", Raised by Tigers
  9. "Someone Else's Blues", Greg Schroeder
  10. "Steampunk Jetpack", Sealion
  11. "Daylight", El Cento
  12. "Eyes Get Bigger", Oil Boom
  13. "So, Within", Seryn
  14. "Tight Wound Gears", Camille Cortinas
  15. "Wimbledon", Soviet
  16. "I Know a Thing or Two (About You)", Tweed EQ
  17. "Girl Watchin'", The King Bucks
  18. "Dial M for Snack", Old Snack
  19. "Open the Night", One Red Martian
  20. "Nazarene", Madison King
  21. "I'm Goin' Nowhere", The Chloes
  22. "On the Ground", Rude King
  23. "When You Rest", Sarah Jaffe
  24. "Fortune Teller", Jessie Frye
  25. "to the 9's", hormones
  26. "Mine", Emmeline
  27. "Low Wishes", Air Review
  28. "Like a Charm", Here Holy Spain
  29. "Father Abraham", Analog Rebellion
  30. "German Chocolate Cake", Bravo, Max!
  31. "Red Palomino", The Demigs
  32. "Tryin' to Have a Good Time", The O's
  33. "Turn on Your Radio", THe BAcksliders
  34. "Schoolboy", Kirby Brown
  35. "Skull Eyes", True Widow
  36. "Set Me Free", The Red 100's
  37. "You Pressed the Crash Button", Novaak
  38. "Never Too Late", The Electro-Magnetics
  39. "With You I'll Travel", Menkena
  40. "Indian Melody", Calhoun


Finally, as a bonus, I leave you a video of Calhoun performing "Indian Melody" last June at the Kessler Theater. Enjoy!