Top Records for May 2016

So….., May sees the return of my favorite band and one of my favorite young solo artists, and they dropped a couple of the best records of the year thus far, and even after that, there’s several other great records out this month, as well as a few highly anticipated local records. By all means, let’s do this.

1 Radiohead “A Moon Shaped Pool” 9.1
2 James Blake “the Colour in Anything” 8.7
3 Car Seat Headrest “Teens of Denial” 8.6
4 Anohni “Hopelessness” 8.4
5 the Hotelier “Goodness” 8.4
6 Chance the Rapper “Coloring Book” 8.4
7 Modern Baseball “Holy Ghost” 8.3
8 Hard Working Americans “Rest in Chaos” 8.3
9 Karl Blau “Introducing Karl Blau” 8.3
10 Quaker City Night Hawks “El Astronauta” 8.2
11 Jessy Lanza “Oh No” 8.2
12 Trashcan Sinatras “Wild Pendulum” 8.1
13 Daniel Markham “Disintegrator” 8.1
14 Andy Shauf “the Party” 8.1
15 Mudcrutch “2” 8.1
16 Kvelertak “Nattesferd” 8.1
17 Gregory Porter “Take Me to the Alley” 8.1
18 the So So Glos “Kamikaze” 8.1
19 Yak “Alas Salvation” 8.1
20 Big Thief “Masterpiece” 8.1
21 Flume “Skin” 8.1
22 Against the Current “In Our Bones” 8.1
23 Death Grips “Bottomless Pit” 8.1
24 Marissa Nadler “Strangers” 8

25 Kaytranada “99.9%” 8

I’ll see you next month with some more highly anticipated local records, hopefully. Happy listening.




Top Records for March 2016

So, March had some really strong releases, including the surprise return of King Kendrick, the full maturation of one of the country’s top young songwriters, and a few strong returns from some of music’s biggest icons. Oh, and the excellent solo debut of what could be the newest country star. Also, like last month, I listened to a lot of stuff this month, so I think I’m going to expand the normal list to 25 this month.

1 Parker Millsap “the Very Last Day” 8.6
2 Kendrick Lamar “Untitled Unmastered” 8.5
3 Margo Price “Midwest Farmer’s Daughter” 8.4
4 Ray Lamontagne “Ouroboros” 8.4
5 Richmond Fontaine “You Can’t Go Back if There’s Nothing to Go Back To” 8.3
6 the Range “Potential” 8.3
7 Iggy Pop “Post Pop Depression” 8.2
8 Loretta Lynn “Full Circle “8.2
9 Esperanza Spalding “Emily’s D+Evolution” 8.2
10 Bob Mould “Patch the Sky” 8.2
11 Damien Jurado “Visions of Us on the Land” 8.1
12 Steven James Adams “Old Magick” 8.1
13 Anna Meredith “Varmints” 8.1
14 Meilyr Jones “2013” 8.0
15 Mmoths “Lunkeworks” 8.0
16 Grant-Lee Phillips “the Narrows” 7.9
17 Thao & the Get Down Stay Down “A Man Alive” 7.9
18 the Coral “Distance Inbetween” 7.9
19 Robert Pollard “Of Course You Are” 7.8
20 Domo Genesis “Genesis” 7.8
21 Matt Corby “Telluric” 7.8
22 Lapsley “Long Way Home” 7.8
23 Sam Lao “SPCTRM” 7.8
24 Hightower “Echo Springs” 7.8
25 Polica “United Crushers” 7.7


Top Records for February 2016

Alright, after a really weak start to the month of February, this week’s releases finally evened out the list a little bit. I listened to a lot of stuff this month, trying to find something to get way up there, so some decent ones that might have made other months lists won’t make this one. Also, new records from Lucinda Williams and the 1975 are not available on Spotify, and thus I haven’t heard them yet. They may get added in later. With no further ado, here are my top albums of February 2016.

1 Bonnie Raitt “Dig in Deep” 8.3
2 James Hunter Six “Hold On!” 8.2
3 School of Seven Bells “SVIIB” 8.1
4 Quilt “Plaza” 8.1
5 Mothers “When You Walk a Long Distance You Are Tired” 8.0
6 Steve Mason “Meet the Humans” 8.0
7 Elliott Smith “Heaven Adores You (Soundtrack)” 8.0
8 King “We Are King” 8.0
9 Basia Bulat “Good Advice” 7.8
10 Beacon “Escapements” 7.8
11 Mavis Staples “Livin’ On A High Note” 7.8
12 Field Music “Commontime” 7.8
13 Keegan McInroe “Uncouth Pilgrims” 7.8
14 Emma Pollock “In Search of Harperfield” 7.8
15 Waco Brothers “Going Down in History” 7.8
16 BJ the Chicago Kid “In My Mind” 7.8
17 Andrew Weatherall “Convenanza” 7.8
18 Wild Nothing “Life of Pause” 7.7
19 Mount Moriah “How to Dance” 7.7
20 Luke McGlathery “Life Ain’t Hard” 7.7


Top Shows Coming to Town for 7/3/15-7/9/15

It’s that time of year again, and the big annual 4th of July music event takes the top spot. If I were from a little further south, #3 would be #1, but as I’m not, #3 should probably be more like #8 or so.

1 4th of July Picnic @ Billy Bob’s (Fort Worth) Fri 7/3 and Sat 7/4/15

This year’s picnic doesn’t feature Willie (he’s in Austin this year), but it’s 2 days and 2 stages, and features Merle Haggard, Ryan Bingham, Turnpike Troubadours, Jerry Jeff Walker, Hayes Carll, Shinyribs, Green River Ordinance, the O’s, American Aquarium, Chris Stapleton, Rodney Parker + 50 Peso Reward, Corb Lund, and a few others.

2 Third Eye Blind/Dashboard Confessional @ South Side Ballrom (Dallas) Sat 7/4/15

This one takes me back to my high school/college years, and Third Eye Blind’s debut is still in the list amongst my favorite records. I probably would have gone to this, if I didn’t have new family traditions to hold up on the 4th.

3 Mana @ American Airlines Center (Dallas) Sun 7/5/15

the biggest band in Latin Rock. This is a really big deal for one group of people.

4 Widespread Panic @ Winspear Opera House (Dallas) Weds 7/8/15

A jam band with a huge following. Another one that’s a really big deal for a group of people that’s not me.

5 David Gray and Amos Lee @ Verizon Theatre (Grand Prairie) Fri 7/3/15

2 pretty big indie singer/songwriters on the same bill.

6 3 Doors Down/Seether @ the Bomb Factory (Deep Ellum) Sun 7/5/15

Speaking of the college years.

7 Alejandro Escovedo @ Shipping and Receiving (Fort Worth) Sat 7/4/15

Legendary Austin rocker hits Funkytown for the 4th.

8 Flyleaf @ Granada Theater (Lower Greenville) Weds 7/8/15

Again with the college years. Wifey and I saw them at ACL the first year we went together.

9 Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band @ Levitt Pavilion (Arlington) Fri 7/3/15

This is the City of Arlington’s official July 4th function. Not familiar with the group, but the material is right, and I like bluegrass alright, plus fireworks.

10 Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis @ the Kessler Theater (Oak Cliff) Fri 7/3/15

The Texas power couple hits the Kessler. I think they’re pretty frequent visitors.

Also in town this week: 7/4 38 Special @ Bakersfield Park (Flower Mound), 7/5 Band of Heathens @ Levitt Pavilion, Courtney Patton & Jason Eady @ Live Oak Music Hall, 7/8 Art of Dying @ Trees, 7/9 Matt the Electrician & Bettysoo @ Levitt Pavilion, Memory Tapes @ House of Blues

Anyways, that’s all for this week, so……

Get out there and see some shows!

How I Would Plan It: Free Press Summer Fest 2015

Free Press Summer Fest is a 2-day annual music festival in Houston, generally at Eleanor Tinsley Park. The fest started in 2009 and got my attention a few years back. I think this year’s lineup felt a little weaker than the last few years, but the schedule looked pretty good once I laid it all out. Due to the flooding in the South Texas area, the event has been moved to the NRG Field lots near Reliant Stadium, because everyone wants to party with 50,000 people in a parking lot. They also have a Fancy Pants Stage, exclusive to attendees with Fancy Pants passes, but I left those performances out of this schedule, for the little people. If you fancy, check it yourself. There are some good performance times for some solid acts there. Anyways:

Free Press Summer Fest 2015

Saturday, Jun 6
12:00-12:30 the Vanity (Mars Stage)
12:40-1:20 Twin Peaks (Saturn Stage)
1:20-2:10 Sarah Jaffe (Neptune Stage)
2:10-2:40 the Suffers (Saturn Stage)
2:40-3:10 Sturgill Simpson (Mars Stage)
3:10-3:50 Houndmouth (Venus Stage)
3:50-4:10 Portugal. The Man (Saturn Stage)

4:10-5:10 Gary Clark Jr. (Mars Stage)
5:10-6:00 the Bright Light Social Hour (Venus Stage)
6:00-7:00 Band of Horses (Mars Stage)
6:50-8:00 Tears for Fears (Neptune Stage)
7:50-8:20 Chance the Rapper (Mars Stage)
8:20-9:00 St Vincent (Saturn Stage)
9:00-9:40 Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires (Venus Stage)
9:50-11:00 R Kelly (Mars Stage)

Sunday, Jun 7
12:10-12:50 Buxton (Saturn Stage)
12:50-1:30 Futurebirds (Neptune Stage)
1:30-2:20 the Band of Heathens (Mars Stage)
2:30-3:20 Grizfolk (Venus Stage)
3:20-3:50 Diarrhea Planet (Jupiter Stage)
3:50-4:40 Future Islands (Neptune Stage)
4:40-5:00 ILoveMakonnen (Mercury Stage)
5:00-5:30 Flume (Mars Stage)
5:30-6:30 Flogging Molly (Neptune Stage)
6:30-7:30 the Decemberists (Saturn Stage)
7:40-8:10 Belle and Sebastian (Neptune Stage)
8:10-8:40 Benjamin Booker (Venus Stage)
8:50-10:05 Weezer (Saturn Stage)
Hope this helps.

Anyways, if you’re going, have a good one.

How I Would Plan It: Bunbury Music Festival 2015

Better Late than Never, they say. Bunbury Music Festival started in 2012 and takes place in Cincinnati, OH at Sawyer Point Yeatman’s Cove on the banks of the Ohio River. There are two main stages and 2 side stages. I don’t think I’m going to have time to give blurbs on artists for this one, so I’ll just post my schedule. If I get a chance later today, I’ll jump on and add some comments. Anyways, without any further ado (AKA me blabbering on more)

Bunbury Music Festival 2015
Friday, Jun 5
2:30-3:00 Markham (Sawyer Point Stage)
3:00-3:30 Indigo Wild (Pavilion Stage)
3:30-4:00 Mikky Ekko (River Stage)
4:00-5:00 Father John Misty (Yeatman’s Cove Stage)
5:00-5:30 Temples (Sawyer Point Stage)
5:30-6:15 Mini Mansions (Pavilion Stage)
6:15-6:45 Bleachers (Yeatman’s Cove Stage)
6:45-7:30 Matt & Kim (Sawyer Point Stage)
7:30-8:15 Royal Blood (Pavilion Stage)
8:15-8:45 Walk the Moon (Yeatman’s Cove Stage)
8:45-9:45 Tame Impala (Sawyer Point Stage)
9:45-11:00 the Black Keys (Yeatman’s Cove Stage)

Saturday, Jun 6
2:30-3:00 Playing to Vapors (Sawyer Point Stage)
3:00-3:30 Austin Plaine (Yeatman’s Cove Stage)
3:30-4:00 Bummers (River Stage)
4:00-4:30 Motherfolk (Pavilion Stage)
4:30-5:15 the Devil Makes Three (Sawyer Point Stage)
5:30-6:30 Lindsey Stirling (Yeatman’s Cove Stage)

6:30-7:15 the Decemberists (Sawyer Point Stage)
7:15-8:30 Kacey Musgraves (Yeatman’s Cove Stage)
8:30-9:30 Old Crow Medicine Show (Sawyer Point Stage)
9:45-11:00 the Avett Brothers (Yeatman’s Cove Stage)

Sunday, Jun 7
2:30-3:00 Pluto Revolts (Sawyer Point Stage)
3:00-3:45 the Front Bottoms (Yeatman’s Cove Stage)
3:45-4:30 Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band (River Stage)
4:30-5:30 Manchester Orchestra (Yeatman’s Cove Stage)
5:30-6:30 Shakey Graves (River Stage)
6:30-7:45 Brand New (Yeatman’s Cove Stage)
8:15-9:15 Twenty One Pilots (Sawyer Point Stage)
9:15-10:45 Snoop Dogg (Yeatman’s Cove Stage)
Editor’s Notes:
1) Sawyer Point apparently sounds like an Austin coffee shop to me as I kept trying to put Cafe, instead of Stage, as I was filling it out.
2) If it were me, I might have gone with a one day for Friday. Looks way better than the other days to me.
Hope this helps.

Anyways, if you’re going, have a good one.

Top Shows Coming to Town for 4/10/15-4/16/15

An interesting batch this week. I might have gone to either of the top shows if I could have gotten chairs. Again, I’m old. HA!

1 Sleater-Kinney @ Granada Theater (Lower Greenville) Thurs 4/16/15

The Riot Girl icons from Seattle recently returned with their first album in over a decade, one of the best of the year so far. Catch them in action while you can.

2 Nick Offerman & Megan Mullally @ Majestic Theatre (Dallas) Thurs 4/16/15

Ahhh, Ron Swanson, the manliest of manly men. Offerman’s dry delivery and ultra manly commentary proves quite hilarious, making him one of the most loved comedians in ‘Merica. He’s bringing his wife (Tammy 2) along for this one.

3 Punch Brothers @ House of Blues (Dallas) Sat 4/11/15

Chris Thile and his chamber pop group also have a record I’m quite fond of this year

4 Gabriel Iglesias @ Verizon Theatre (Grand Prairie) Sat 4/11/15

FLUFFY!!!! One of my wifey’s favorite comedians.

5 Smallpools @ House of Blues (Dallas) Tues 4/14/15

The LA indie pop group released their debut LP Lovetap! just a few weeks ago, featuring the hit single “Dreaming”

6 Umphrey’s McGee @ House of Blues (Dallas) Thurs 4/16/15

Popular jam band from South Bend, IN, but more influenced by metal and prog rock than say Phish or the Dead.

7 Aimee Mann @ Winspear Opera House (Dallas) Sat 4/11/15

An excellent veteran singer-songwriter from Richmond, VA. Also, the cleaning woman on #1 Carrie Brownstein’s Portlandia.

8 Yonder Mountain String Band @ Granada Theater (Lower Greenville) Fri 4/10/15

Lots of strings in town this week. YMSB are a progressive bluegrass band, with an enjoyable live show.

9 Nosaj Thing @ Dada (Deep Ellum) Thurs 4/16/15

Stage name of LA-based electronic producer Jason Chung, Nosaj Thing has produced tracks for the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Kid Cudi, and Chance the Rapper.

10 the English Beat @ Kessler Theater (Oak Cliff) Sat 4/4/15

Birmingham, UK group formed in 1978 and fuse ska, pop, soul, reggae and funk and cover a breadth of lyrical topics, from love to the sociopolitical.

Also in town this week: Atomic Fest at the Bomb Factory features Between the Buried and Me and some other bands to melt your face off, if that’s your thing. Bryan Adams stops by the Allen Event Center. Cory Morrow @ Billy Bob’s, Man Man @ Dada, Rick Springfield at Texan Theatre, Flyleaf @ Gas Monkey, Marty Stuart @ Sons of Herman Hall, Coal Chamber and Filter @ Gas Monkey, all in a pretty busy week in the Metroplex.

Anyways, that’s all for this week, so……

Get out there and see some shows!