- Becky Middleton, “I’m Still Here”
Some might argue that’s it’s cliche for The Ghost to begin this playlist with “I’m Still Here”, as if it’s a grand declaration that the blog has weathered the storm. Yes, this has been a lean year in terms of posts, to say the least. And Ms. Middleton did write herself quite the powerful anthem with this song. So yes, it’s cliched, yet it feels like the right way to begin. Oh, and if you want to see her perform this song, odds are it will be on her set list this Saturday night (8:45 PM) when she performs at the Artist Court Songwriter Stage at the Deep Ellum Arts Festival. I also wouldn’t be surprised if she sings this song Friday morning when she sings on Fox 4 Good Day (about 8 AM CST).
- The Motel Pines, “Circadanism”
Because straight forward, well-constructed rock songs never go out of style.
- Jane Ellen Bryant, “All in My Head”
I really liked her song “Twenties” and all, but there’s a subtle yet even stronger hook to Jane Ellen Bryant’s latest single. It’s easily one of the songs I’ve listened to the most over the past month or so. I’m obviously not her only fan, considering that Ms. Bryant won Austin Chronicle Music Awards for both Best New Artist and Best Female Vocalist.
- Wall of Orange, “Small Hour Crimes”
The band will make its debut performance Saturday, April 29th at The Kessler Theater. Do not let this fool you into thinking, however, that Wall of Orange is the work of an inexperienced rookie. The project is masterminded by Gary Parks, formerly of The Tomorrowpeople, and I suspect Parks will be making as many musical waves with Wall of Orange as he did nearly two decades ago with Tomorrowpeople.
- Andrew Delaney, “Ruby, Don’t Go”
Do not misunderstand me; I’ve always liked Delaney’s music. Having said that, his latest effort, The Escape Artist, is leaps ahead of his previous material. I’ve developed a new level of respect for Delaney as a songwriter after sampling his latest album.
- The Cover Letter, “Risky Moonshine”
It used to be that the Deep Ellum Arts Festival booked DFW based bands exclusively. Of course, there was a time when The Ghost covered local bands exclusively. Times change. And it just so happens that The Cover Letter, one of The Ghost’s favorite Austin acts, will grace the Texas Lone Star Stage next Sunday at 4:30 pm. Their live set is so energetic and charismatic that the band is bound to find itself with lots of new fans after their set at the festival.
- Kinsley August, “Smokey Lovers”
Sure, the Kinsley August Trio will be playing the DEAF twice this coming weekend (Saturday at 1:30 PM, and Sunday at 1 PM). The show of Kinsley’s that The Ghost is most excited about, however, is his show Saturday, May 6th at the Art Centre Theatre in Plano. Kinsley August will headline the evening, with Silas Nello and Glass Canons rounding out the bill. Oh, and yours truly shall emcee the evening. It’s not a large performance space, therefore I’d recommend purchasing tickets ASAP. Or, better yet, right now.
- As The City Sleeps, “Goodbye”
El Paso band As the City Sleeps describes itself as “a kaleidoscopic project that transcends different art forms involving music, photography, poetry, and paint, into one volatile, yet cohesive result.” I cannot vouch for the latter three of the four art forms, but their music is alternative rock of the most gorgeous variety. The harmonies and melodies of this band pack an emotional punch guaranteed to give you the feels. The Ghost can only hope that ATCS may make the trek to Dallas one day.
- BNQT, “Unlikely Force”
While this is not literally a “Midlake” song, it feels as if “Unlikely Force” is the long-awaited follow up single to The Trials of Van Occupanther. You hear it too, don’t you?
- The Angelus, “Thunderbolts I Scatter”
In case you needed another reason to check out the previously mentioned Wall of Orange show, The Angelus are the main support on the bill. If you haven’t listened to their latest album, There Will Be No Peace, you’re missing out on a challenging yet exhiliarating dark rock album.
- Atlantis Aquarius, “Morning Star”
If you’re needing a hippified southern rock fix, I doubt you could do much better than Atlantis Aquarius. The musical resumes of all the band members is impressive to say the least, and it’s not too far a leap to suggest this may be the dawning of the age of Atlantis Aquarius. I’m sorry, but it was too easy.
- Emily Scott Robinson, “Traveling Mercies”
The Ghost’s Austin connections are still not as strong as I’d like them to be. Fortunately, I know a few Austinites whose musical tastes I absolutely trust. One such person is Jaimee Harris. If she recommends an Austin act, I make a point to listen. She certainly did me a favor when she posted about Emily Scott Robinson. Her song “Traveling Mercies” is simple, stark, and stunningly beautiful. She is equally amazing at both parts of the “singer-songwriter” title.
- Ryan Hamilton & The Traitors, “We Never Should Have Moved to L.A.”
Mr. Hamilton is back, and he now has his own backup band, The Traitors. This track does feature a slightly more rock edge than is more reminiscent of People on Vacation than either his last solo album or his work with Smile Smile. The one thing that has not changed, however, is Hamilton’s ability to write solid hooks and witty lyrics.
- Vandoliers, “Runaway Sons”
If you want to see Vandoliers in action, get yourself a ticket to the Old 97’s County Fair. The band starts at 1:40 PM sharp.
- Un Chien, “Where We Belong”
Lots of changes in the Un Chien world. For one thing, the band now calls Austin home instead of Fort Worth. More significantly, the band is veering further away from the hard rock roots found in Stephen Beatty’s previous band, Stella Rose, and deeper into psychedelia. In the title track to the band’s latest effort, the hints of the hard rock are still present, but the psychedelic influences give the track a dreamier feel. It’s a good fit for the band, and dare I say, it’s where they belong musically.
- Power Trip, “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe)”The Ghost has never been much of a metal fan. So it came as a surprise to myself how much I really like Power Trip. The band avoids many of the tired cliches that lesser metal bands use (too much screaming, overly chaotic drumming, etc.) No, Power Trip doesn’t clutter its sound with such gimmicks. Instead, the band sticks with straight-forward well played riffs, and drumming that is forceful without ever going into overkill mode. My hats off to Power Trip, for making this indie kid wanna mosh.
Sunday Spotify 16: 4/2/17
- Monday Mixteen: 8/26/19 — This has been a fabulous weekend for The Ghost. I got to celebrate my birthday weekend with family and friends, and of course, I got to see some great live music courtesy of Pleasant Grove. Me thinks The Ghost has been partied out, however, so there will be no commentary from me today. Instead, I [...]
- Monday Mixteen: 8/19/19 — Last week, I announced on Facebook that I would be taking a break from recording episodes of Ghost of Blind Lemon Radio. As the station’s Program Director, I want to help in developing some new shows. I also want to spend more time contributing to the blog. New episodes of the radio show will return [...]
- Monday Mixteen: 7/29/19 — This Thursday will mark the twelve year anniversary of the blog, and with that anniversary comes twelve years of the second identity I took on: The Ghost. I certainly chose the name Ghost of Blind Lemon in part as a tribute to Dallas’ first major blues musician to take residence here, Blind Lemon Jefferson. But [...]
- Monday Mixteen: 7/22/19 — Politics are an area that I’ve always been reluctant to discuss on the blog. After all, this is a music blog, not a political one. With the level of vitriol being spread in our country right now, however, I feel that I cannot continue to stay silent. The level of racism and hate being spouted [...]
- Monday Mixteen: 7/8/19 — I once received advice on the Monday Mixteen that it’s good to have a theme for the playlist. Most of the time, I try to heed that advice. In recent playlists, I have focused on musical genres (such as country), promoting events (like my Acoustiganza), or promoting shows happening on a given weekend. To be [...]