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bad banana makes a cold day feel like spring

What is it about this sound that always make it into my “yes” list? Maybe its that its so damn catchy or maybe its that I’ll never get over the scratchy mic thing. Suddenly, it’s spring and my girl loves me and we drive around town with the sunroof open and she holds my hand. Intoxicating, I’m already hoping for these kids to come to Austin.

bad banana
Bad Banana

saturday morning punk

Stumbled upon Hot Mess this morning, some *new* angry grrrl music out of dc. Knowing that someones out there is still making music for the pissed off, ready to kick some ass me always pleasently suprsies me

Check out the demo at the Hot Mess bandcamp page

Songs for the Year

I don’t tend to have “top 10’s for whatever year”, no matter what the format. The below tracks though, listed in no particular order, are all ones which…

– I played more than once
– Made it onto my iPod
– I played in my car
– Made me, in no specific order a) pound my steering wheel b) tear up c) want to rip my heart from my chest and hold it up to the sun
– Made me look up the bands touring schedule so I could try to catch it live

Deer Tick – 20 Miles

Fanfarlo – I’m a Pilot

Beach House – Silver Soul

Lissie – Cover of Pursuit of Happiness

Frightened Rabbit – The Loneliness and the Scream

Follow that Bird – Ghosts that Wake you

National – Bloodbuzz Ohio

The XX – Basic Space

Sleigh Bells – Infinity Guitars

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros – Home

Mumford and Sons – Little Lion Man

Arcade Fire – Ready to Start

Girls – Hellhole Ratrace

The Low Anthem – Charlie Darwin


Back in December Julianna Barwick announced her upcoming album “The Magic Place”, due out in February. I was drawn in to Barwick’s ambient web earlier this year and found myself just as enthralled with her new material. Something about this makes me pause, close my eyes and drift right out to sea. Everything just suddenly…gives way.

Here’s hoping she makes a stop in Texas soon :

Julianna Barwick “Envelop”

SXSW Showcasing Acts Round 1

Earlier this week SXSW released their second round of invited/showcasing acts over on the SXSW main site. Though still 5 months away, I’ve started prepping for a monster year. Much to my darling wife’s disbelief, I sorted through all of the first round picks and pulled out my yes, no’s and maybes. Who am I most stoked about?

Wild Flag!

So incredibly excited for the chance to see the all-grrrl supergroup, I have not shut up about it. I can only hope that they’ll play more than one showcase and *crosses fingers* maybe just one little free one.

The Head and the Heart

Thanks to Heather Browne’s superb Fuel Friends blog, I got turned on to The Head and the Heart back in June and have been itching to get a chance to hear them live. I literally yelped with joy when I saw their name on the first round invited acts.

Below are the rest of my yes’s, maybes and sure’s :


Candy Claws – great, all over the place mashups, yes
Capsula – magnetic brain, builds, experimental, pretty good, female vocals, bells, yes
clock opera – expansive landscapes, vibrato vocals, yes
GypsyBlood – yes, garage-esque,
jezabels — yes
Jon Quil – good, yes
Klaxons – – yes
Le Butcherettes – YES
Light pollution — nice opening, good bass line, YES
ps i love you –yes
sun airway — yah
suuns – yes
telekinesis – yes
The head and the heart – YES
Thiago Pethit — yes
tie — s likes it, cute, spanish regina? yes
rosie and me – cute, from brazil, squeaking kittens and heartache, yep
toro y moi –yep


Alcohol Faith Mission – meh, My eyes to see seems to have some building moments, previous album is too quirky lyrics for me
Appleseed Cast – mb verterans, new album any good? could get lost in it
Babe Rainbow – meh atmospheric, clanging, canadian, sounds good but would make for a boring day show
Calder Quartet – classical, good
Chapel Club – All the eastern girls, good vocal timing, mb
Chico Trullio – sounds like a good time
Chikita Volentra – gargey sound, yes, i like the claps in all i nees a little more
Cloud Nothings – gargey pop, catchy but not grabbing, mb
Cool Runnings – reggae beat, beach sound, mb
Dam Mantle – electronica, organic, pretty good stuff for electorica
Designer Drugs – Drop Down –more electronica
Ebony Bones – WARRIOR – caught me with the hand claps at the beginning, building, more fun electronic
Ed Harcourt – your lustre is unbecoming
El Hijo de la Cumbia – fun , cumbia dancy sure
FM Belfast – Frequency, stuck with it, pretty good
Frankie and the heart strings — popping, fun sure
fujiya and miyagi — soft vocals, dishwasher feels good, sure
Get people — electronica, good, meh
Giana Factory — girl band, metric-ish, sure
Givers — pretty goodcabriolets – female front, clean indie pop, doesn’t really going anywhere
High Rankin – more electronica, gooood
ia Ices – meh, girl, sorta like olga
john vanderslice — sounds pretty good, mb
KAMP! — electornica –pretty good
Kids of 88 — layers of sound, pretty good
Liam Finn – pretty good for a boy..somewhat beatle-esque for plane crash, next song though is totally different
Marcus Foster – good voice, boy folk, dark, london mb
Micachu and The Shapes – small, spring, fun, interesting other stuff
mstrkrft – mb
MUJERES – jangly, mb
Sol Pereyra – fun, sure
The Luyas — strange..might be interesting, female fronted
the naked and the famous – new zealand, female vocals, kinda feels like girl version of yesayer, sure
the war on drugs — sure
Those Dancing Days — sure
Wye Oak – sure
yuck — sure

Drinking Lipstick, Tipping Bookshelves or Music to Survive By pt1

Recently the guys over at NPR’s All Songs Considered program put out a call to it’s readers to post or record stories about the songs that go them through their adolescence and teens. The concept was brought about by a friend asking Bob Boilen for a list of songs or album that got Bob through his teens. The friend, who is also an insightful father, had decided for his daughters 13th birthday, he was going to purchase her 25 albums to get her through her teens. I was blown away by the idea and thought “Good God! What if my father had done that? What if anyone around me had done that?” Regardless of outside forces though, we all come out of our teens with badges of honor in the shape of small, circular discs, whether they be black or metallic.

Below are the bands that got me through middle school

Geralidine Fibbers – Dragon Lady
geraldine fibber

I was in 5th grade when I received my first stereo system as a Christmas gift. It came with a Joe Diffie CD, an album chock full of country goodness and absolutely appropriate for the whole family to enjoy on Christmas morning. I used the stereo to listen to the usual Top 40 radio shows. Soon afterward, my dad came home with a sampler CD put out by Camelot that a coworker’s son had decided he didn’t like. I was over the moon to have another CD to play and couldn’t wait to put the disc on. The first song was Stress is Best by Menthol which to this day I still know all the words to and was probably the first time I heard someone use the word fuck in a song. Then Geraldine Fibbers came on. I remember listening to the song and being taken aback by the whole thing. Why was the singer lifting up someones dress? What are the family jewels? Where did this utter power of sound come from and why hadn’t I heard anything like it before? That first stereo didn’t have a “repeat track” button but I listened to it over and over, hitting the back button just as the guitar started to drown out. At a time when my whole world was falling to pieces and I was coming to the awful conclusion that I was nowhere near as interested in the things my friends were (boys, lipstick, kissing for the first time), this song gave a voice to the utter anguish I felt inside. When no one was home I’d turn it up and yell along, singing loudest at the “Everything I say is a stupid lie I wont tell the truth even when I die”. It wasn’t until college when I finally looked up the band on the internet that I discovered what I thought was a front man was really Carla Bozulich. I can only imagine what the song would have done to my mind if I had realized this back then.

Tori Amos : Boys for Pele album
tori amos boys for pele

By the time I hit late middle school I had discovered a college radio station feed I could pick up out of Bryan College Station and was promptly turned on to a myriad of 90’s alternative. The first time I heard Tori Amos was when this station played Caught a Lite Sneeze. To this day I’m not sure what it was that drew me to her. Maybe it was the stark contrast between her and the all boy brigade of grunge I was hearing. Perhaps it was the weird drums, the obscure and vague lyrics or Tori’s cracking, pushing, breathy voice. I was transfixed. I promptly convinced my parents to drive me 20 minutes into town to check if the album was at the used CD store. What luck I had to find the album in that small town! I listened to this album non-stop, before school, on the bus to and from school, even while waiting to start basketball games. No one else around me had any idea who I was trying to talk about but I wasn’t swayed. Tori Amos was my new religion and I, in all my adolescent glory, fixated on her with sheer and utter abandon. While songs like Professional Widow, Caught a Lite Sneeze, Blood Roses and Father Lucifer lifted me up and garnished new ideas, others like Hey Jupiter, Marianne, Horses and Twinkle held me close when no one else was there. At my lowest points, these were, and in some cases still are, the songs I turned to for a source of solace, of companionship, of a safe place to let go. I spent years at the base of my altar to Tori and sometimes, I’m not so certain that I’m not still there, sitting in the back row.

Nirvana : From the Muddy Banks of Wishkah
nirvana from the muddy banks of wishkah
Kurt Cobain was already dead by the time I found Nirvana, thanks to goading by the boy with a bowl cut haircut who was a year behind in math and sat next to me up front so he could try to sniff the markers. I had heard Smells Like Teen Spirit somewhere along the line and convinced my otherwise incredibly Baptist Aunt & Uncle to purchase me a Nirvana album for my birthday. After a birthday dinner at Casa O’le we went to the CD store in the mall (cause thats what you do in Temple Texas friends) and I set out to find In Utereo but ended up with only Wishkah. Looking back, I couldn’t have ended up with a better choice. The pure raw power captured in the live album would never find its way onto a session album and I was utterly blown away by Negative Creep, Tourette & School. I found a voice to fall opposite Tori, on those days when I thought I would lose my mind in a flood of anger and boredom. I played this CD for years to come until it finally broke in my backpack under the weight of books and ten discs shoved into a 2 disc case.