Top Records for January 2015

My rankings and scores for my top 20 records I listened to in January 2015

1. Sleater Kinney “No Cities to Love” 8.6
2. Viet Cong “Viet Cong” 8.5
3. Natalie Prass “Natalie Prass” 8.4
4. Panda Bear “Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper” 8.3
5. Dawn Richard “Blackheart” 8.3
6. Mark Ronson “Uptown Special” 8.2
7. Jake Fussell “Jake Xerxes Fussell”8.1
8. Belle & Sebastian “Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance” 8.0
9. PinkShinyUltraBlast “Everything Else Matters” 8.0
10. the Punch Brothers “the Phosphorescent Blues” 8.0
11. Justin Townes Earle “Absent Fathers”7.9
12. BC Camplight “How to Die in the North” 7.8
13. Ghost Culture “Ghost Culture”7.6
14. Dengue Fever “the Deepest Lake”7.6
15. Twerps “Range Anxiety” 7.6
16. Dan Mangan + Blacksmith “Club Meds” 7.6
17. Dodos “Individ” 7.6
18. Young Ejecta “the Planet” 7.5
19. Zun Zun Egui “Shackles Gift” 7.4
20. the Decemberists “What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World” 7.4

Happy listening!

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Top Record for the Week of 1/27/15

Half of my top 20 picks for the month were among this week’s releases, partly because there were a lot of releases, and some of the early weeks every year are a little light on releases, but there’s a few pretty solid ones this week, starting with….
This week’s record of the week……

Natalie Prass “Natalie Prass”


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Prass, a former attendee of Berklee School of Music and backing vocalist for Jenny Lewis, paired up with former high school classmate Matthew E White (arranger) and Trey Pollard (producer) to produce this lovely record. Prass isn’t the strongest vocalist, but her soft and emotional voice recalls Dolly Parton or Dusty Springfield and layers spectacularly over the Spacebomb backing band of strings and horns, arranged by White. Below, enjoy “Violently”.
Score: 8.4
Recommended Track(s):
“My Baby Don’t Understand Me”, “Violently”


Natalie Prass “Violently”

Other Recommended Records

Jake Fussell “Jake Xerxes Fussell”

Get It On Vinyl
Score: 8.1
Recommended Track(s): “Raggy Levy”

PinkShinyUltraBlast “Everything Else Matters”

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Score: 8.0
Recommended Track(s):
“Umi”, “Land’s End”

Punch Brothers “the Phosphorescent Blues”

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Score: 8.0
Recommended Track(s):
“I Blew It Off”, “Magnet”

Dengue Fever “the Deepest Lake”

Get It On Vinyl
Score: 7.6
Recommended Track(s):
“Tokay”, “Rom Say Sok”

Twerps “Range Anxiety”

Get It On Vinyl
Score: 7.6
Recommended Track(s):
“I Don’t Mind”, “New Moves”

Dodos “Individ”

Get It On Vinyl
Score: 7.6
Recommended Track(s):
“Competition”, “Bastard”

Zun Zun Egui “Shackles Gift”

Get It On Vinyl
Score: 7.4
Recommended Track(s):
“Ruby”, “I Want You to Know”

Enjoy and have a great weekend.

Top Shows Coming to Town for the Week of 1/30/15-2/5/15

One of the slower weeks coming up as far as I can tell. Anyways, here goes

1 Zola Jesus @ Trees (Deep Ellum)
Russian-American singer-songwriter Nika Roza Danilova fuses goth, industrial and experimental rock into lovely arrangements.

2 Gregory Alan Isakov @ the Loft (Dallas)
Indie-folk artists writes lovely songs inspired by a life of travel.

3 Wale @ House of Blues (Dallas)Nigerian-American rapper from DC crafts floor-filling go-go-infused tracks

4 Vacationer @ Dada (Deep Ellum)
Up and coming Nu-Hula act infuses tropical feels into their electronic music.

5 Christopher Titus @ the Texas Theatre (Oak Cliff)
Dark comic was star of “Titus” back in the day.

6 the Rocketboys @ Dada (Deep Ellum)
Austin indie-rock act come to Big D in support of their new EP “Left|Right”

7 Seether/Papa Roach @ South Side Ballroom (Dallas)
Devil horns aplenty at this one. Rock on!

8 Lily & Madeleine @ AllGood Cafe (Deep Ellum)
Sisters Lily & Madeleine Jurkiewicz began singing together in high school in Indianapolis, and we’re quickly discovered after a series of popular YouTube videos.

9 Jukebox the Ghost @ Trees (Deep Ellum)
A power-pop trio from DC tour in support of their 2014 self-titled record.

10 Israel Nash @ Three Links (Deep Ellum)
Dripping Springs based artist brings old-school flair and an Americana sound.

Now, get out there and see some shows.

Top Record for the Week of 1/20/15

I think there are a couple moderately acclaimed records I haven’t gotten through this week (big week for releases), but I got through 8 this week, I think, and 3 of my top 4 records so far this year are in this week’s releases. Also, my spreadsheet where I had saved my notes messed up, so I lost my recommended tracks, so I’ll be guessing at those. This week’s Album of the Week pick is:

Sleater-Kinney “No Cities to Love”


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“No Cities to Love” marks the Riot Girl icons’ first new record since 2005’s the Woods. The girls pummel through 10 tracks of leftist and feminist angst. And while there are a few songs on the record that kinda sound like something a band from Carrie’s show Portlandia would play, the album as a whole manages to deliver the punch that a Sleater-Kinney always has. It pounds your brain and delivers all the angst and attitude you can fit into a ten track record.

Score: 8.6
Recommended Track(s):
“Bury Our Friends”, “Price Tag”, “No Cities to Love”

Sleater-Kinney “Bury Our Friends”

Other Top Releases for the Week:

Viet Cong “Viet Cong”

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Score: 8.5
Recommended Track(s):
“Newspaper Spoons”, “March of Progress”

Belle & Sebastian “Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance”

Get It On Vinyl

Score: 8.0
Recommended Track(s):
“the Party Line”, “the Everlasting Muse”

BC Camplight “How to Die in the North”

Get It On Vinyl
Score: 7.8
Recommended Track(s):
“You Should’ve Gone to School”

Decemberists “What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World”

Get It On Vinyl

Score: 7.4
Recommended Track(s):
“Calvary Captain”, “Make You Better”

Top Shows Coming to Town for the Week of 1/16/15-1/22/15

Everybody loves lists, and lots of people like going out to see shows, so if you love lists and love going out to see shows, here’s a list of shows you might like to go out to. 🙂

1 Billy Joel (American Airlines Center, Dallas)

The Piano Man is the obvious number 1 this week.

2 Have a Heart Benefit for John feat. Beach Fossils, the Outfit, TX, Appleseed Cast, Matthew and the Arrogant Sea, Son of Stan, Telegraph Canyon, Beach Fossils, Dead Mockingbirds, Leon Bridges, Ronnie Heart, and Madison King (Trees, Dallas)

It’s for a good cause, it’s affordable, has a few solid National acts, but most of all, it features 2 of my absolute favorite D/FW acts, Telegraph Canyon and Leon Bridges. Get out there.

3 Eric Johnson and Mike Stern (Granada Theater, Dallas)

the G3 and Blood, Sweat and Tears guitarists unite for their “Electric Guitar Tour” and proceed to melt your face off.

4 John Mulaney (Majestic Theatre, Dallas)

An up and coming comedian, former SNL writer, and now star of the sitcom “Mulaney”, John’s a pretty funny guy.

5 the Dirty River Boys (Granada Theater, Dallas)

I saw this El Paso band recently at a festival, and they put on a rollickin’ good show. Get out there and support them, because “TEXAS”

6 Russell Peters (Verizon Theatre, Grand Prairie)

John’s so funny, I put him ahead of the world’s 2nd funniest comedian of Indian descent and judge on Last Comic Standing, Russell Peters, but I mean, I guess he’s kinda funny too.

7 Travis Tritt (Eisemann Center for Performing Arts, Richardson)

This show spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E (Sorry, couldn’t resist)

8 “Bricks in the Wall” the Sight and Sound of Pink Floyd (House of Blues, Dallas)

It’s cover band weekend at HOB, and David Gilmour hasn’t announced US Tour dates to go with his 2015 album (or the recent Pink Floyd album) yet, so I guess this’ll work for now.

9 Led Zeppelin 2 (House of Blues, Dallas)

Did I mention it’s cover band weekend at HOB? Jason Bonham’s not in town, so I guess this one’s just gonna have to do as well.

10 Bahamas (Kessler Theatre, Oak Cliff)

Canadian guitarist plays an intimate show at one of my favorite D/FW venues

Anyways, have fun out there, and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!

Top Record for the Week of 1/13/15

I’m back, y’all. New years bring fresh starts, I guess. I got a bit behind last year, so we’ll see how long I can keep up this year. Anyways, I’m going to try and make a weekly review post every Friday for that week’s releases. I skipped last week, as there were only 2 releases that I found to check out (Ghost Culture’s “Ghost Culture” was my top pick, but scored below 4 albums in this week’s release). So, with no further ado, my first Record of the Week pick for 2015 is:

Panda Bear “Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper”


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“Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper” is the latest release from Noah Lennox, the creative leader of Animal Collective. Lennox’s efforts as Panda Bear are a little more accessible to a normal listener than most of his associated group’s releases. They’re full of relaxed, swirling textures and some solid beat-crafting. The lead single “Mr Noah” is getting a lot of play on indie radio, but I’m choosing a different track to share, the dreamy, lilting “Lonely Wanderer”

Score: 8.3
Recommended T
rack(s): “Mr. Noah”, “Come to Your Senses”, “Tropic of Cancer”, “Lonely Wanderer”

Other Top Releases for the Week of 1/13/15

Dawn Richard “Blackheart”

Score: 8.3
Recommended Track(s):
“Calypso”, “Billie Jean”

Mark Ronson “Uptown Special”


Get It On Vinyl
Score:
8.2
Recommended Track(s): “Uptown Funk”, “Daffodils”

Justin Townes Earle “Absent Fathers”


Get It On Vinyl

Score: 7.9
Recommended Track(s):
“Least I Got the Blues”

Dan Mangan + Blacksmith “Club Meds”

Get It On Vinyl

Score: 7.6
Recommended Track(s):
“Vessel”, “Club Meds”