My apologies for the lack of posts last week. Life obligations (translation: job) have not left me with enough time or energy to properly blog. I’m hoping this week will be a better return to Ghostly form for yours truly. Until then, here’s another sixteen songs for you. I mean, you do like songs, right?
- Rahim Quazi, “Ghost Hunting”
Not only is Mr. Quazi a super-talented individual, he’s one of the nicest people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing within the music community. He and Emmeline have so kindly (and perhaps foolishly) decided to organize my semi-surprise birthday party at Opening Bell Coffee this Saturday from 2-6 pm. I don’t know the lineup, though I do suspect Rahim will play a few songs, and probably this one. But I’m just guessing. After all, it’s going to all be a surprise.
- The Black Angels, “Bad Vibrations”
After my semi-suprise birthday party, I’ll be headed over to Gilley’s for the Lone Star Beer Texas Heritage Festival. Old 97’s are headlining the event, but the interesting that is that many people I’ve talked to are even more excited to see Austin’s Black Angels take the stage. I’ve yet to see the band perform live, but all the recordings have very much impressed me. I am curious to see how the live performance compares, and I strongly suspect I will be impressed.
- Telegraph Canyon, “Honey”
You From Before is the type of album that continues to grow on you with each listen. It’s the kind of album where you’re likely to have continually changing favorites with each listen. While the lead single “Why Let It Go” is still my favorite, the cool sound effects married with the cool organ line make “Honey” a close second for me. Well, at least for today. I may find a new favorite tomorrow.
- The Theater Fire, “Swimming”
For whatever reason, I’ve found myself going back and listening to a lot of songs from The Theater Fire lately. Maybe it’s nostalgia for the early 2000’s. Maybe it’s the lyrics of songs like this which are equal parts poetry, wit, and truth. Whatever the reason, it’s always a good idea to dig up some Theater Fire songs.
- These Machines Are Winning, “Your Chemicals”
I must say that Kuru was a bit of a curve ball for me. I was expecting more of the electronic, almost danceable music found on Defender 1. What I heard was largely very experimental, and felt like background music for a film. There are few obvious “single” options on the album, with “Moon 1” (featuring True Widow) and “Your Chemicals” being among the exceptions. The latter track features DND, a collaboration between TMAW’s Dylan Silvers and Pulsars member/producer Dave Trumfio. “Your Chemicals” is hard to classify, featuring elements of electronica, new wave, and rock. It’s an ambitious and intriguing song that is worth repeated listens.
- Alsace Carcione, “Been Grindin”
First off, let me say that Saturday’s Snow Tha Product at Trees show was an intense, energetic performance. Snow Tha Product clearly owned the night, giving the audience 110% of herself in spite of being ill. But while the night was about Snow Tha Product, Alsace Carcione’s far too short set showed her to be every bit as deserving of respect as STP. Her lyrics are razor sharp, her delivery is fiery and passionate, and her beats are impressive as well. But I’m going to nit pick for a second: Ms. Carcione, what happened to the apostrophe at the end of “Been Grindin”? I’m sorry, but the grammar freak can’t let it go. Maybe Alsace has been grinding so long that she forgot her apostrophes. Seriously though, she’s been grinding away, working hard in the local rap scene, and she has earned my respect as a performer, and I encourage you to listen and see why I’m so impressed.
- Jesse Vain, “Workin'”
Maybe Austinite Jesse Vain stole Ms. Carcione’s apostrophe. Anyways, my thanks to Jason Bonner for recommending Mr. Vain’s music to me. It’s a unique blend of country, soul, and gospel sounds that are found throughout the album Jesse Vain and the Happy Hour Holiness Movement. This is but only one of the cool tracks to be found.
- Signals and Alibis, “Sick Sea”
Just a reminder that S&A will be headlining a GOBL show Saturday, August 29th at Tradewinds Social Club. The debut performance of Paper Saints will kick off the show.
- Pink Smoke, “Weirdorama”
Friday at Three Links is the CD release party for Pink Smoke’s Weirdorama, an album that has propelled Pink Smoke to the front of the Dallas punk music scene, as far as I’m concerned. I haven’t felt this strongly about a Dallas punk act since Spector 45. Their vibes are completely different, but both acts represent the best that their punk sub-genres have to offer.
- The Demigs, “Sophisticates and Sedatives”
Tell me, is anyone else out there unable to play Welcome to Hard Times on Spotify? I can play anything from the other Demigs albums through Spotify, yet when I try to play their latest album, all I get is silence. Not that this song isn’t a delicious bit of indie pop candy, but I’d still like to share their newer music. If you like this song, check out “Melamine” off the new album.
- Brave Young Lion, “Girls”
Sometimes I just put a song on a playlist just because it’s cool. It’s not that I have some important news to share about the artist, or some deep musical insight worth sharing. Sometimes a good song just fits in a playlist for whatever reason. Such is the case with “Girls”, the latest from Brave Young Lion.
- Bosnian Rainbows, “Turtle Neck”
My knowledge of the Texas music scene beyond the DFW area is slowly growing. One city whose music scene I know precious little about is El Paso. The city’s most obvious act was late 90’s/early 2000’s heavy emoesque band At The Drive-In. Since then, I cannot think of any El Paso acts that have earned any major success outside of the city. I will say, however, that I have found two very intriguing psych rock bands out of the city: Holy Wave and Bosnian Rainbows. Since Holy Waves has a least made a few small waves in Dallas, I opted to spotlight Bosnian Rainbows on this week’s playlist.
- Ducado Vega & Zenya Vi, “Hella”
The duo has been relentless in promoting their shows, music, and videos. Their work is slowly but steadily paying off, with about twenty or so different media outlets taking note of the band. I congratulate Ducado and Zenya on this success, which frankly is way overdue.
- Pop Poppins, “I Like Love”
Too many Thursdays lately I have missed out on opportunities for Throwback Thursday posts. It may be Sunday and not Thursday, but any day ending in a Y is a good day to listen to Pop Poppins. This is from their Epitome of Simplicity EP, and I have to wonder if the EP’s name is in reference to this song title. After all, it’s a pretty simple, straight-forward song title.
- Ellen Once Again, “Another Chance to Live”
Much of Ellen’s music is happy. Very happy. Almost over the top happy. The intro to this song is surprisingly dark, especially compared to the rest of her discography. The song’s chorus is a true ray of light, offering hope against the backdrop of despair found in the intro. The contrast found in the song makes the joy of the chorus all the more distinct and powerful. All in all, my favorite song of Ellen’s to date.
- Annabelle Chairlegs, “Watermelon Summer”
Summer’s on the verge of coming to an end, so why not end the playlist with one of the best Texas summer jams of the year? Hey, it works for me.
That wraps up this week’s playlist, but I’d encourage you to start thinking about what you’d like to hear on next week’s playlist. I’m leaving the building of that list in your hands. I’ll share more details tomorrow, but put your thinking caps on.