Thanks to those who took the time to vote for the songs on this week’s playlist. There were some interesting surprises as to who you chose, though more importantly, you showed that there were no significant glitches in the Google Forms for voting. What does that mean, you ask? That means come Monday morning, voting can begin on the 1st Annual Ghosty Awards! But for now, take a moment to enjoy the songs you selected.
- Emmeline, “Down”
If I told you only one artist got over 50% of the votes in their slot, who would you guess? Old 97’s? Sarah Jaffe? Seryn? The Polyphonic Spree? Wrong on all counts. Emmeline is the only artist to pull off such a feat. And it’s not like she was up against four lightweights. Her challengers included indie country darlings The Orbans, Austin singer-songwriter extraordinaire David Ramirez, the talented rap-rock fusion act Grades of Absolute Truth, and the now legendary greaser punk group Spector 45. Emmeline has a loyal and growing fan base, not to mention a wonderful arsenal of songs. The defiant optimism that drives “Down” makes it a powerful way to start this playlist.
- Nicholas Altobelli, “Sarah”
I’m pleasantly surprised to see that Mr. Altobelli made it on the list. I guess he’s not the only sad bastard out there.
- Uneasy Pilgrim, “Where Were You?”
If you’ve been to an Uneasy Pilgrim show, you’re aware that the band has outgrown the songs off of their debut album, …And the Red Tape. Their newer songs display a tremendous artist growth on behalf of the band. Alas, none of those songs are available on Spotify (or anywhere else, for that matter). Still, even early Uneasy Pilgrim tracks prove strong enough to earn a slot on the playlist.
- Black Tie Dynasty, “Once Around”
Almost a decade after the release of Movements, the BTD fan base is still strong enough to earn the group a place on this list, earning more votes than Jessie Frye or Jonathan Tyler, both of which are among the stronger (and more popular) acts in the area at the moment. Score one for nostalgia.
- Dead Flowers, “His Blues”
Because Rock. That’s why.
- The Deathray Davies, “Plan to Stay Awake”
Selecting just one DRD song to nominate was a difficult decision for me. In the end, I opted for the high energy “Plan to Stay Awake”. It’s a song that I would imagine to be difficult to sing for John Dufilho, not because of the melody, but the speed at which the lyrics come out with very few pause points. It’s one of the more fun songs to watch the band perform live, and that’s saying something.
- The Demigs, “High Co.”
I’ve asked this before, but does anyone else have trouble playing tracks from The Demigs’ Welcome to Hard Times on Spotify? Every time I try playing songs from that album, all I hear is silence. I would’ve preferred to put “Melamine” or “Pluto” on the list, but instead I had to opt for this track from Cities Can Wait. It’s still a good song, but it’s not as strong as the tracks off their latest album.
- Sarah Jaffe, “Glorified High”
Sarah Jaffe got enough votes to make it on the playlist? What a shocker. Really.
- Nervous Curtains, “Wired to Make Waves”
The anticipation for the band’s new album, Con, might have people more eager to listen to their older songs. Then again, maybe people just realize that “Wired to Make Waves” is a great strong song that manages to be simultaneously catchy and defying the typical rules of what makes a catchy song. It’s an interesting paradox that Nervous Curtains have somehow managed to pull off.
- Seryn, “We Will All Be Changed”
The band decided to re-record this song, arguably their most popular track to date. I’ll be honest, I think I like the original version better. Feel free to let me know if you agree or disagree.
- The Polyphonic Spree, “Running Away”
It’s been fifteen The Beginning Stages of..., the album that marked the beginning of the Spree. You’ll be able to catch the band play the album in its entirety October 16 at Granada Theater. Well, hopefully not ALL of the album. Most fans would be happy if they excluded the half hour long “A Long Time”, a track that I find far more grating than The Beatles’ “Revolution 9” could ever fathom being. Perhaps they’ll skip “A Long Time” in favor of songs from other albums, such as this track from The Fragile Army.
- These Machines Are Winning, “Your Chemicals”
It seems that any project involving Dylan Silvers turns into a production. It was that way for [DARYL] and The Crash That Took Me, and Mr. Silvers has taken it to a new level with TMAW and the Kuru album/graphic novel/videos/etc. He’s a man with a vision, and it’s obviously a vision appreciated by GOBL readers.
- Old 97’s, “Big Brown Eyes”
Easily my favorite songs by the 97’s. And for the record, the Wreck Your Life version is superior to the Too Far to Care version.
- The O’s, “In Numbers We Survive”
Fun fact: Idol Records has four songs on this week’s playlist, more than any other record label. Here’s the fourth and final of the Idol songs.
- The Black Angels, “Entrance Song”
Non-Dallas bands did not fare well in this survey, with The Black Angels being the lone exception to the rule.
- Hawk vs. Dove, “Old News”
It was a tight competition between Chris Holt and HvD, but in the end, the win went to the progressive sludge of Hawk vs. Dove. The band’s latest effort, Divided States, isn’t available on Spotify unfortunately. It’s the band’s most challenging (and intriguing) work to date, taking elements of older songs like “Old News” and upping the musical drama by about 500% or so. BTW, the band is up for more than a few Ghosty awards, so check back very soon for your opportunity to vote!