DFWd Hype Project: Jake Paleschic “When It Is Played”

I’ve been meaning to do this one pretty much since I started posting these last week. Jake Paleschic is one of the more intriguing emerging artists in the DFW music scene. His sound blends the feel of traditional American folk music, country and indie rock for a textured, passioned and visceral sound. Today’s track “When It Is Played” is a stirringly beautiful track about the power of a song in a man. Give it a listen below. You can grab the full album (name your own price), Again, At Last, right here.



New Music: Joe Savage Band “No Fear”

So, Fort Worth has been producing a lot of great nods to old school country, like the other day’s featured artist, Vincent Neil Emerson. Joe Savage is another young man blending old school country and the blues. I haven’t gotten my hands on the full record yet, but what I’ve heard shows Joe’s fantastic songwriting skills and his hearty baritone will definitely bring you some Johnny Cash feels along with it. So, check out “No Fear” below, and look out for Joe around town.

Image Credit: Rattle Media

DFWd Hype Project: Vincent Neil Emerson “7 Come 11”

Vincent Neil Emerson was the artist whose show we were at the first time Asa told me “I like that song”, so he’s an artist I’m quite fond of. If he makes the kid happy, he makes me happy. Vincent walks a fine line between old school honky tonk country, western swing and the blues, and there’s no finer example of his sound than one of my favorites (and one of his), “7 Come 11”, named after an unreleased record by one of his idols, Townes Van Zandt. Vincent’s been laying down some recordings at Nile City Sound where Leon Bridges recorded Coming Home. I suspect you’ll be hearing a lot from this young man in the near future. For now, you can catch him playing somewhere most nights with his band, the Old Souls (which includes fellow Fort Worth songwriters Luke McGlathery and Denver Williams). Check out “7 Come 11” below or get the full album here.

You can read my Better Know an Artist interview with Vincent and find out more about “7 Come 11” here.

About the DFWd Hype Project series: Now that AsasRecords is a Hype Machine featured blog, I feel the need to drive some attention to some of the great artists in the metroplex that might be overlooked in the global scene. I decided to start the daily Hype Project series to feature those artists and help me fight the urge to just post a long stream of posts in one day. If you’re not a DFWd local and you dig the track, like it, share it, reblog it, get the word out. We’ve got some great talent here in our area and would love to get them out to your area.

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 April 2016

Sticking to the 25 number from last month. Note that I haven’t heard Lemonade because it’s not on Spotify, and I’m not going to pay for another service just to hear one album, so when it shows up on Spotify in a few weeks, it’ll probably occupy a spot towards the top of this list. That being said, here are my top picks for April.

1 Sturgill Simpson “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth” 8.6
2 the Gloaming “2” 8.4
3 Parquet Courts “Human Performance” 8.3
4 Lucy Dacus “No Burden” 8.3
5 Andrew Bird “Are You Serious” 8.3
6 Explosions in the Sky “the Wilderness” 8.2
7 Deakin “Sleep Cycle” 8.2
8 PJ Harvey “the Hope Six Demolition Project” 8.2
9 Sam Beam ft Jesca Hoop “Love Letter for Fire” 8.1
10 Robbie Fulks “Upland Stories” 8.1
11 Charles Bradley “Changes” 8.1
12 Black Mountain “IV” 8.1
13 the Jayhawks “Paging Mr Proust” 8
14 Peter Wolf “A Cure for Loneliness” 8
15 King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard “Nonagon Infinity” 8
16 John Doe “the Westerner” 8
17 Teleman “Brilliant Sanity” 7.9
18 Teen Suicide “It’s the Joyous Celebration, Let’s Stir the Honeypot” 7.9
19 Woods “City Sun Eater in the River of Light” 7.9
20 Kaitlin Aurelia Smith “EARS” 7.9
21 Niki and the Dove “Everybody’s Heart is Broken Now” 7.9
22 Wire “Nocturnal Koreans” 7.9
23 Bibio “A Mineral Love” 7.8
24 John Congleton and the Nighty Nite “Until the Horror Goes” 7.8
25 Bombino “Azel” 7.8


Better Know an Artist (Vol 24): Matthew McNeal

Matthew McNeal is one of those artists that seems to be more and more common in the Fort Worth scene, an artist who frequently gets tagged with the country tag, but rejects it, as his music, while rooted in retro country music, also has ties to the blues, rock music, and R&B. As one of the series’ strongest supporters, I thought it was time to get him in for his own round of questioning. You can check out his 2015 record, Compadre, and catch tour dates at the end. Alright, enough of the fanfare….

Me: For starters, tell us a little about yourself. How did you first get into music? And when did you know this is what you want to do for a living (money be damned)?

MM: I listened to my mom’s cassette decks religiously since I was a baby. I’ve always gravitated toward music-blame it on being an only child and being cripplingly anti-social as a young kid. I grew up in a small east Texas town and there was never much to do. I first picked up the guitar around 13 and started playing shows within a year or two. I was playing gospel tunes at the church pretty early on, but I jumped in a band at age 15 with some older guys from town and we started playing more and more across North Texas. I ended up starting my own band at 16 and we did pretty well for a few years, but I was writing and playing my own solo tunes that whole time as well. Though it may sound cliché, as soon as I found out that I could pick up a guitar and share music with people and make them feel the way that music made me feel, I knew that’s what I had to do with my life.

Me: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it before?

MM: Always a tough one. I tend to get thrown in with the country bunch since I reside in Fort Worth and often wear boots and a hat, but I wear my pants a little too tight for people to think that way too long (haha). The band and I always try to bring something unorthodox to the table. We always go under the genre of “Americana”, but that’s such a broad term. I’d call it alt-country rock and roll with some groove to it.

Me: Who are some of your biggest musical influences, and why?

MM: My earliest musical obsessions were with old Motown and funk tapes that my mom used to have. And I had an unhealthy (but platonic) obsession with Michael Jackson’s early hits. I think that’s where a lot of my groove comes from. I listen to just about everything out there and my musical obsessions change daily, but I draw a lot of inspiration from the lyrical depth of the Avett Brothers, the musicianship and vibe of groups like Rayland Baxter, Daniel Romano, and Ray Lamontagne, and the weirdness of early Kings of Leon.

Me: Which of your songs means the most ot you, and if you don’t mind me asking, why?

MM: There’s a song off of my studio debut Compadre called “Imaginary Friend”. It’s about dealing with depression/anxiety/doubt and personifying those thoughts and feelings into something like an imaginary friend. I’ve struggled with that stuff for a while and this song was my way of coping with it and deciding to ‘be bigger’ than those thoughts. I think it’s something that a lot of people deal with, so I want that song to be able to resonate within people and give them something to relate to since that topic isn’t often covered in modern music.

Me: If you could open for any act, dead or alive, who would it be, and why?

MM: I’ve had an obsession with the Avett Brothers for a long, long time and I think they put on the best live show in modern music. If I had to dig back into the past, opening for the Eagles or Bob Dylan when he was backed by the Band would be absolutely insane.

Me: Any favorite new musical acts, local or otherwise?

MM: Denver’s Nathaniel Rateliff has been around for a long time, but his new effort with his backing band the Night Sweats is killer. It’s awesome to watch him finally get the worldwide success he deserves.

Me: What’s your “stranded on an island” record?

MM: Aha Shake Heartbreak by Kings of Leon will always be my jam.

Me: Moving onto the home front, what are your favorite (and least favorite) things about the DFW music scene?

MM: North Texas is just a great place to be making music right now. There are so many insanely talented players up here. There have been so many killer releases in the past year and even more to be released within the next year – it seems like people are starting to recognize their hunger for good music in town. I really believe that people are starting to see how much great music is getting put out in their own backyard. There’s not much of a downside to it all. Since there are so many insane artists around here, it certainly pushes you to be better and better, but I see that as a strength rather than an intimidation or weakness.

Me: Favorite DFW venue to play (or see a show). Why?

MM: I’m a fan of Three Links in Dallas and Magnolia Motor Lounge in Fort Worth. both venues tend to curate killer shows consistently and both have great teams working there. Hard to beat a show at the Kessler though. Cal Quinn, the man behind the board over there, is the best in the business.

Me: Any favorite local acts people should be looking out for?

MM: There are so many. It’s an awesome time to be making music in North Texas. Daniel Markham and Birds of Night both melt my brain. Vincent Neil Emerson, Jacob Furr, and Bad Mountain are all insanely talented. The Quaker City Nighthawks dudes are burning venues down left and right. Kirby Brown (and his Texas Gentlemen Crew) is coming out with a game-changing record later this year. The Misteries are going to take over the world. Leon Bridges is on fire. The world should keep a close eye on what’s going on in DFWd.

Me: And for shits and giggle, what’s a fun fact that most people don’t know about you?

MM: I’m colorblind. Stoplights mixed with headlights/streetlights are tough. I have a history of wearing terribly unmatched outfits, so that’s why you’ll usually only see me in blue, black, or gray.

You can catch Matthew in a few spots coming up. He’ll be playing the Live Oak’s monthly Song Swap Soiree (4/13), opening for Aubrie Sellers (4/17) at Lola’s with Kevin Aldridge, performing at the EarthDayTexas (4/24) event in Fair Park, and opening for Moonlight Native (4/29) at Sundown at Granada. If you like to travel, he’ll be in Wichita Falls opening for the great Billie Joe Shaver (5/14) at the Iron Horse Saloon. So, he’s staying pretty busy, it seems. Get out and see some music.

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