So, remember when I had that awesome plan where I’d count down the Top 500 Texas songs of the 21st Century over the Memorial Day weekend? Yeah, that’s not happening. Maybe it’ll happen for Labor Day, but I didn’t do all the necessary research and all the labor needed for a good Top 500 countdown.
So instead of the Top 500 Memorial Day Weekend countdown, I opted for another cliche associated with the weekend. Many consider this weekend the unofficial start of summer, and when summer begins, most of the network TV shows end. It becomes rerun season. So to celebrate the beginning of rerun season, I give to you a Sunday Spotify Sixteen consisting of nothing but reruns. Not only have all sixteen tracks been featured in previous playlists, I’m even recycling my commentary. That’s right, there’s absolutely nothing new about this playlist.
So if you’ve missed some of my playlists throughout the fall and spring, now is your opportunity to do some catching up. Each song also mentions the date of the original playlist that the commentary came from. So enjoy this Sunday Spotify Sixteen of rehashed commentary. And not to worry: unlike network TV, I’ll be providing all original playlists throughout the season.
- Quaker City Night Hawks, “Liberty Bell 7” (5/22/16)
So, you might have heard that QCNH have a new album out called El Astronauta. It seems like much of my Facebook feed has been centered around this piece of information. This would be really annoying if it wasn’t for the fact that this is such a damn good album. In fact, I’d personally have to say this is their most enjoyable album to date. “Liberty Bell 7” is a great track and all, but really you could just put the CD on shuffle and you’d wind up on a great song. I predict this CD will make a LOT of Best of 2016 lists. A whole lot of lists.
- Boss Battle, “Jolt” (11/15/15)
Austin based Boss Battle is still proving something of a conundrum for me. Usually, I can easily peg a band’s sound, and other bands they’d “fit” with, so to speak, in terms of style. Boss Battle, however, are so unique that one could argue they’d fit in both anywhere and nowhere. Few bands nowadays have a sound that’s so hard to classify, and yet Boss Battle has continued to boggle my mind. I’m not sure that repeated listens to songs like “Jolt” will help the classification process. I guess I’ll just have to keep listening because their songs are damn good.
- Daniel Markham, “Slayer Tapes & AM Radio” (5/15/16)
I’m not going to say that “Slayer Tapes & AM Radio” is the best song so far this year (even though it’s damn awesome). I will say that it’d be hard to come up with a cooler song title though.
- The Disappearing Act, “Failure Complete” (11/1/15)
For those not familiar with The Disappearing Act, it’s a collaboration between El Paso musician Bob Blumenfeld and Dallas’ own Salim Nourallah. Mr. Nourallah said of this album that it’s some of his most personal songs to date, and I’d easily rate it in the Top 5 of albums that Salim has been involved with.
- Mind Spiders, “Split in Two” (3/20/16)
Mind Spiders are often classified as a punk band, but I’m not convinced that’s an accurate description of their style. At most, I could agree that it’s post-punk. On this particular track, I’d say the band is venturing into New Wave territory, with hooks reminiscent of Devo.
- The Ramonalisas, “Teleconnect” (1/17/16)
My friend Tania Rivas has been making music for well over fifteen years know, and she recently released a new EP with her band The Ramonalisas. Ms. Rivas’ voice remains as beautiful a presence as after, and I’m really digging this track. My only regret is that become Houston based and no longer Dallas based. Perhaps we can at least convince the band to come up to the metroplex for a show or two.
- The Deathray Davies, “Valentine” (3/20/16)
The Old 97’s tribute album, Desperate Times, has finally been released. There’s plenty of great covers on the album, such as the melancholy “Salome” performed by Old 97’s (UPDATE: should have read The O’s), and Slobberbone’s spot on cover of “Melt Show.” Whereas Slobberbone’s cover was an obvious fit, the most surprising interpretation comes courtesy of The Deathray Davies. The verses feel pretty straight forward, though still more rocking. When the band hits the chorus, however, that’s when the song takes you for a real loop.
- Sad Cops, “Liam Murphy Holt” (4/24/16)
Central Track went crazy over this band last year, particularly with their “Best Friends” track, which they declared the best local song of 2015. I liked the band, though not nearly to the extent that Central Track did. With what I’m hearing off the Liam Murphy Holt album, I’m considering a change of perspective on the band.
- Reddening West, “All You Need” (5/1/16)
It would not be fair for The Ghost to say that the whole reason for my recent love affair with Austin music is because of Reddening West. It also wouldn’t be fair for me to minimize the role this band has played into spotlighting the talent in Austin. It’s not often that The Ghost has love at first listen with music, but that’s the exact right description of my reaction to their songs from the Where We Started EP. There is an intense, almost primal beauty in this music. Just listen, and you should get it.
- Parallel Play, “When She Says She Can’t” (3/6/16)
Parallel Play is not a band that I would expect an overtly political album from. So the Bucket of Lies EP has come as something of a surprise to me. The other surprise: it’s easily the strongest release of the band’s to date.
- Iris Noir, “The Night Terrors” (3/27/16)
The Austin band creates some amazing sonic landscapes with their unique style. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of shoegaze or the darker side of new wave, because fans of either will likely fall under a trance like spell by Iris Noir’s songs.
- Gaston Light, “Make Up Your Mind” (12/6/15)
Sometimes a singer’s greatest skill is not in the technical ability to hit the notes perfectly. Sometimes what makes a singer great is the ability to take simple, straight forward lyrics, and add an emotional depth to the words that would not exist in the mere words alone. Jason Corcoran of Gaston Light has that skill, and “Make Up Your Mind” is perfect evidence of my point.
- Francine Thirteen, “Lady Mary, The Fire. Pars Una” (11/29/15)
Francine Thirteen as artist number thirteen on the playlist? Not the most original idea I’ve had, but it still works.
- Loyal Sally, “Whiskey Woman” (4/3/16)
I’m thinking about doing a personals ad. How does the headline “Blind Ghost seeks Whiskey Woman” sound to you?
- That Dog Don’t Hunt, “Soho Hurry” (5/15/16)
If I were to give out an award to the most overlooked band thus far in 2016, hands down it goes to That Dog Don’t Hunt. Part soul, part indie, part new wave, all fun. I hope you all listen carefully and spread the word. This music is too damn good to go overlooked.
- Hell Texas, “If She Leaves It Alone” (12/13/15)
Not only is the melody stunning beautiful, the lyrics prove Taz Bentley to be a fabulous storyteller. And if that isn’t enough for you, Mr. Bentley’s vocals towards the close of the song are damn powerful.