Perhaps it’s just as well that Deep Ellum Radio is on hiatus this week. It’s giving The Ghost a nice opportunity to sit down and put pen to paper regarding these tracks. Okay, so it’s more like finger strokes to keyboard, but the principle is the same. This allows you, the readers, to access the music whenever you feel like listening.
Normally I try to get a theme to a playlist, but I could not bring myself to decide on an appropriate theme for today’s Monday Mixteen. Instead, I’m choosing to reflect on tracks that have not been featured on my radio show (which will resume next Wednesday 7-9 PM). Some of these tracks haven’t been featured because I haven’t found the time or appropriate spot for the song. In other cases, I simply don’t have the mp3, which prevents me from playing it on my show. If you’re one of the artists in the playlist and wonder what the case is, you can always Talk to the Ghost and find out.
- Bobby Sessions, “Like Me”
I’ve come to a certain realization about some of my phases where I quit writing. Often there’s a topic or piece of work that I feel the need to write about, but feel intimidated by the daunting task of finding the appropriate words for the issue at hand. This track by Bobby Sessions definitely falls into the category. The song is a raw and chilling examination of race in America. If the song feels like receiving a thousand paper cuts, then the song’s video is the equivalent of diving into a pool of rubbing alcohol after those cuts. Uncomfortable? Most definitely. One of the most profound songs and videos of the year? Undoubtedly.
- Cut Throat Finches, “You Don’t Write”
I liked Sean Russell as a solo act, but it’s his work with Cut Throat Finches where Mr. Russell has reached his peak as a songwriter. Reality was one of the best local albums of 2016, and Polite Conversation is certainly bound to make a strong mark on 2018.
- Sammy Strittmatter, “I Pray for You”
Another album I foresee spending lots of time with this year is Get Out of the City by Mr. Strittmatter. This is an album where it’s hard to select a “single” not because the songs are weak, but it is a consistently even and engaging listen. That’s a nice first world problem to have.
- Chilldren of Indigo, “Keepers of the Fire”
What is Chilldren of Indigo? Is it a hip-hop act? That’s a somewhat fair statement, based on the heavy beats and solid flow of the members. Is it soulful? I’d say so. So what is the ultimate appropriate classification for their music? File it under damn good, I’d say.
- Daniel Markham, “Velvet Elvis”
Will Daniel Markham’s sound ever become cliched and tired? All I can say is that it hasn’t happened yet, and I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for it to happen.
- Big Red Ants, “Teenage Angst”
This track has no relation to the Cracker song of the same name. The only thing they have in common is that they both rock.
- The Soap Boxers, “Sleepwalker”
Confession: sometimes I go on Spotify and do a search for Jaimee Harris, hoping that she will have quietly released her full-length debut quietly in the middle of the night a la Beyonce. No such luck yet, but this last attempt did lead me to this song by The Soap Boxers featuring her on background vocals. I’ll take it.
- Samantha Clemons, “No Room”
I’ve listened to many of the songs by Ms. Clemons. On one hand, I feel she’s a strong songwriter with an intriguing presence. My only frustration is that I feel like in many of the songs, her voice gets lost in the mix. Fortunately, that is not the case on “No Room”, where her voice is allowed to shine in all its glory. The soulful pleas at the end of the track are equal parts exhilarating and chill-inducing.
- BBQT, “Golden Twenty”
Yes, I could analyze the stylistic similarities between Gabbie Bam Bam and Joan Jett. I could talk about how this feels like a revival of both 70’s and punk and blah blah blah who cares? Let’s just crank this up and rock out, K?
- Charley Crockett, “Lonesome as a Shadow”
Because Charley Crockett.
- Dead Beat Poetry, “It’s All Been Done Before”
It was a shock to finally see DBP on Spotify. What’s even more shocking, however, is the sound of this particular tune off of Thanks for the Inspiration…, their new album. It’s not to say that the guitar work on this song isn’t strong or that the band has lost their rock edge, because they haven’t. But there’s a new found beauty and soulfulness in this track that evokes the best of 70’s pop radio. This is how to do artistic growth without being boring or losing your edge.
- The Hope Trust, “Passengers”
I don’t know why I’m not hearing any tracks of the latest album by The Hope Trust on KXT. This album has plenty of tracks off of their new album that are every bit as compelling of a listen as “Throw Me Overboard” and “Campaign Button”. Case in point is the album’s title track heard here.
- The Daybreak Hits, “The Daybreak Hits”
The Ghost’s pal Mike Keller will likely be thrilled to hear two of his favorite current local acts, Big Red Ants and The Daybreak Hits, on this playlist. All that he’ll say is missing is The Bombs.
- Christine Hand, “You’re Not Alone”
The Ghost will always have a soft spot for a good singer-songwriter with a beautiful voice, so it should be no surprise that I’m liking the new tunes off of Ms. Hand’s album, The Book of the World.
- Sleepspent, “Stars”
The Ghost also always has room for good shoegaze music. El Paso’s Sleepspent definitely fits that bill.
- David Joshua, “Come Closer”
The Ghost was supposed to rebroadcast Wednesday’s episode of Ghost of Blind Lemon Radio today, but that did not happen since the station is on hiatus. If the rebroadcast had occurred, perhaps you would have caught the work of Mr. Joshua in the Musician Spotlight. Instead, I’ll close off this playlist with this beautiful track off of his last album, These Handwritten Letters.