Aug 31 2012

Ten Anticipated Albums of the Rest of 2012

Dwight Yoakam – 3 Pears (September 18)

Listen to “Heart Like Mine,” co-produced by Beck.

Ben Folds Five – The Sound of the Life of the Mind (September 18)

Ringo Deathstarr – Mauve (September 24)

Green Day Trilogy

Uno! (September 25)
Dos! (November 13)
Tre! (January 15)

Tame Impala – Lonerism (October 9)

Pinback – Information Retrieved (October 16)

Kendrick Lamar – good kid m.A.A.d. city (October 22)

Major Lazer – Free the Universe (November 6)

Deftones – Koi No Yokan (November 13)

Big Boi – Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors (November 13)


Jul 26 2012

New Ringo Deathstarr – “Rip”

On September 11, the single above, which you can hear at this locale, will be released by my favorite Austin group, the ever-so-loud Ringo Deathstarr. It’s from their second, crowdfunded album Mauve, which is set to drop on September 24th. If you’ll remember, their previous effort Colour Trip was one of my favorites of 2011, as well as several tracks off that debut. And from the sound of this first taste, they’re sure to repeat that two years in a row.


Apr 27 2012

Austin Psych Fest 2012 Picks

Psych Fest has been at a different location every year. From Mohawk to Seaholm to its new location at Beauty Ballroom/Emo’s East, the surreal atmosphere and excellent lineup has made for some legit party times, and this year looks to be no different. The shindig kicks off tonight and lasts through Sunday, so you can bet all that homework I need to do probably will have to wait. Here are some of my picks for must-see bands this weekend. You can find the full schedule here.

Lotus Plaza

Ringo Deathstarr

Psychic Ills

The Black Angels

Peaking Lights

Mind Spiders

Pink Mountaintops

Black Lips

Dead Confederate

Thee Oh Sees

Meat Puppets

Brian Jonestown Massacre


Apr 19 2012

Help Ringo Deathstarr Record Their Second Album

Longtime readers will know I am a devoted Ringo Deathstarr supporter. They are far and away my favorite Austin band, and their debut album Colour Trip was one of my picks for the Best of 2011. They recently toured with a little band called the Smashing Pumpkins, and are currently hard at work writing songs for their next album and planning to tour the world and visit even more places than previously.

But they need our help. The group must gather funds to record their second album, and they have set up a Pledge Music page for donations. The page has only been up two days, and the group has already accumulated 62% of their goal! You can help Ringo Deathstarr by visiting the page; additionally, the band has lined up some pretty sweet rewards for big spenders. While you’re donating, listen to a few of my favorites from Colour Trip.


Dec 28 2011

The Top 50 Albums of 2011 – 30-21

30. The Lonely Island – Turtleneck and Chain

I would like to say it was a long process determining whether or not this was one of my favorite albums of the year, but its placement pretty much nulls that. Cred be damned, this was a no-brainer for me. It’s smart, it’s funny, the production is pristine, and the comedic, cameo-filled results reveal these guys worked a lot harder on this sophomore release than we would guess.

29. The Black Keys – El Camino

I was admittedly worried our favorite Akron duo was releasing a follow-up to the huge hit Brothers too soon after their inevitable breakthrough. Would they pull a Kings of Leon and give us limelight-influenced, second-rate dreck? In hindsight, I feel stupid for thinking such a thing. The Black Keys have their shtick down, and they’re able to tweak it ever so slightly for an interesting effect, but never a disappointing experience.

28. Big Black Delta – LP1

Jonathan Bates has been the leader of Mellowdrone for years, but in 2010 he took some time off to experiment with an electronic-based project. He collaborated with M83, released some singles, and garnered enough hype for a full-length. The result is a spell-binding, futuristic take on the subdued, reticent sounds of his primary project.

27. Middle Brother – S/T

This Partisan Records supergroup turned heads at SXSW this year, and the group’s debut gives each each songwriter their fair share of time to shine. Deer Tick’s John McCauley, Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith, and Delta Spirit’s Matt Vasquez deliver a promising debut of collaborative songs and infectious melodies.

26. Gross Magic – Teen Jamz EP

The cover may give one an urge to watch Saved By the Bell reruns, but the EP itself is more of a distorted, lo-fi take on the dirtier works of bands like L7 and other early 90’s greats. Whooshing sounds, piano clinks, and loud-ass guitars envelop the listener on this introduction to a band to watch in 2012.

25. Ringo Deathstarr – Colour Trip

Austin’s very own delivered a more approachable take on the deafening sounds of My Bloody Valentine and other formidable shoegazers. The sound is here, but the mood is all too different; cacophonies of sound give way to catchy melodies and casual lyrics. Those wishing to mope might want to look elsewhere, because you might be more inclined to dance.

24. Sebastian – Total

Some would say Total is derivative of superior work, and it’s too little too late for a producer who had been hyped since 2007, when this sound was in full swing, but has just now released his first full-length. And I wouldn’t argue with any of that. But while Daft Punk scores Disney movies and Justice errs in creating prog rock, Sebastian gave me my French house fix I so desperately needed.

23. Jeff the Brotherhood – We Are the Champions

After a well-deserved amount of praise for Heavy Days, the Nashville guitar-and-drum duo churned out a victory lap. That’s not to suggest We Are the Champions is exactly the same album, though the raucous vibe we’ve come to adore is present. There are new ventures here, including a dynamite foray into new wave mixed in with good old fashioned garage punk.

22. Cold Cave – Cherish the Light Years

If you were looking for Love Comes Close Part 2, you were likely disappointed in this challenging follow up. More Bauhaus than “Bizarre Love Triangle,” Cold Cave have reinvented themselves by channeling their dark side to another great era of 80’s rock, and the results grow on you track by track.

21. Ford & Lopatin – Channel Pressure

One look at that awesome album cover should give you a sense of what you’re walking into – Channel Pressure is probably the strongest homage to the sounds of the 80’s in recent memory. But this isn’t merely a replication of the Miami Vice – subtle structure and hidden surprises lie within repeated listens. Dark instrumentals, upbeat synth pop, and total freak-outs galore, there’s never a dull moment here.


Dec 23 2011

The Top 200 Songs of 2011 – The Top Twenty

20. Wiz Khalifa – Roll Up

Delivering sing-song verses, that trademark stoner laugh, and a chorus you’ve memorized by the second time you’ve heard it, Wiz Khalifa might be one of the laziest rappers on Top 40 radio. But that’s exactly the point. He’s not some uptight, eccentric, crazy ambitious, domineering figure. He’s that pot-smoking friend who’s down for whatever, and if your down, he’s down. The most casual summer jam of the year.

Continue reading


Dec 21 2011

The Top 200 Songs of 2011 – 100-51

100. The Strokes – Under Cover of Darkness

When the band sticks to what they know, they sound great. Angles is a hot-and-cold album, but this is the first of two tracks that showcases the former.

99. Born Gold – Wrinklecarver

Originally released as former project Gobble Gobble, nothing has been done to this track in terms or re-mixing or mastering, but it just sounds better in context within the new album Bodysongs.

98. St. Vincent – Cheerleader

Another highlight from Strange Mercy – here Annie Clark shows off her knack for start-stop surprises around what sounds conventional at first, then grows to be beautifully unusual.

97. Drake – Lord Knows (featuring Rick Ross)

The snare hits, the booming bass, the background vocals, that “Just Blaze!” intro, the use of the phrase “Murdercedez Benz.” What’s not to love here?

96. Wiz Khalifa – The Race

One of the more down-tempo tracks on the fun Rolling Papers, Wiz drops a chill-out anthem for the end of the night when you just wanna light one up and take it easy.

Continue reading


Dec 20 2011

The Top 200 Songs of 2011 – 150-101

150. Drake feat. The Weeknd – Crew Love

This is the first of many times for both these artists on the list. Here the Weeknd provides his eerie tortured-party R&B before the beat drops and Drake laments.

149. Cass McCombs – County Line

McCombs brings another signature somber note in his trademark melancholy falsetto. One of my favorites from Wit’s End.

148. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues

The first verse of this track more or less describes my life right now – realizing we are not unique snowflakes but small cogs in a machine we don’t know about yet. Simple, yet poignant.

147. The Joy Formidable – Magnifying Glass

From the maniacal laughter to the thumping stomp of that chorus to those wailing guitars, Joy Formidable claim the throne as the loudest new band of 2011.

146. YACHT – Dystopia

A play on an old R-rated cheerleader chant becomes a boogie-worthy ode to the end of the world. In typical Yacht fashion, it makes you wanna dance around the flames.

Continue reading


Jul 16 2011

Culture Greyhound Podcast 7/16/11

Every Saturday, I post a 15-20 minute podcast featuring some tracks I’ve been jamming the previous week, as well as some commentary and random musings from yours truly. Enjoy!

Tracklist:

Ringo Deathstarr – Imagine Hearts
Jacuzzi Boys – Cool Vapors
Coldplay – Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall (Swedish House Mafia Remix) (BBC Radio 1 Rip)
Ty Segall – California Commercial
Wolfgang Gartner – Illmerica


Jul 12 2011

Five Overlooked Albums From the First Half of 2011

The Civil Wars – Barton Hollow

The Nashville duo of Joy Williams and John Paul White have delivered a stripped-down, beautiful debut LP most critics have ignored, with the exception of the always South-of-center Paste Magazine.

      1. The Civil Wars - I've Got This Friend

Ringo Deathstarr – Colour Trip

The Austin shoegazers have honed in on their songwriting knack to bring a pretty stellar, exciting new take on the Loveless-esque, 80’s craze that’s been all the rage these days, resembling a more lo-fi Pains of Being Pure At Heart.

      2. Ringo Deathstarr - Do It Every Time

Witches – Forever

The Athens group will likely receive a plethora of R.E.M. comparisons, and while the Buck/Mills influence is certainly heard, Witches prefer an even gloomier, simpler approach, and the results, eventually spellbinding, will grow on you.

      3. Witches - Creature of Nature

Dawes – Nothing Is Wrong

LA-based, ATO-repping Dawes continue their Laurel Canyon rock on this, their second album, a more polished, sonic production with simpler arrangements, focusing on sharp melody and a theme of being restless.

      4. Dawes - How Far We've Come

Not In the Face – Bikini

Emulating the finest traits of guitar/drum duos before them (Black Keys, the White Stripes), Austin’s Not In the Face (coolest band name ever) have concocted a lo-fi bluesy, punky, poppy ear assault.

      5. Not In the Face - Way To Go Baby