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 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 19 2011

The Top 200 Songs of 2011 – 200-151

There are quiet moments, but overall this year’s song countdown is crazy upbeat; you’ve gotta be an uptight jerk not to enjoy at least some of what’s here. For the most part, this collection of songs from 2011, while decidedly less diverse than in past years, still perfectly captures my mood and preference. I’ll be counting down until Friday – feel free to browse, listen, discover, disagree, etc. I’ll publish a Spotify playlist at the end with most of the tracks on there; the rest can be found via YouTube below and on subsequent posts.

Continue reading

Nov 2 2011

Fun Fun Fun Nites Picks

Don’t know if you’ve heard or anything, but this weekend is Fun Fun Fun Fest, and I am so pumped. And also swamped with work I’m trying to get done before the weekend arrives. So consider this a quick post. Tomorrow I will post survival tips, and Friday look for a picks playlist, as well as a themed podcast on Saturday. Told you guys I was stoked. In the meantime, today I’m delving into the FFF afterparties, or Fun Fun Fun Nites, as they’re calling them, and picking my recommendations. For the first time this year, the only way to get into these bad boys is with an FFF wristband, and if you got one of those, the admission is free. There’s so much to pick from it’s like another festival happening right after the one at the Shores. The hustle to Red River should be exciting each night; in the meantime, here are my picks for what you should do once curfew comes around.


I’m probably sitting this one out, I’ll likely be finishing up school work and waiting for traveling friends to arrive, and really the only pull here is at Mohawk, where the always awesome Ty Segall will be shredding. I would show up late, though, because the Coathangers are unbearable.


By far the best night in the afterparty lineup – go hard this evening if you go hard at all. I’m watching Cold Cave for sure at Mohawk, then skipping over to the Parish for a headlining set from the Thermals. Also, Dead Confederate is rocking Deville, which is time well spent. Dead Confed put on a loud, loud show – kind of wish they were playing the fest as well…


I’ll probably get dragged to Mates of State at Parish, which I won’t mind, but my preference is Emire Automotive for the hipster-tastic Gorilla Vs. Bear party – Keep Shelly In Athens, Purity Ring, and a Neon Indian DJ set. If I enjoy Purity Ring at the fest, I might insist on this one, but if not, it’s whatevs.


The fact that I have class and will probably be exhausted at this point likely won’t stop me from attending Dom and Royal Bangs at Red 7 – another possibility is Thee Oh Sees at Beerland, as I will likely miss them at the Fest. Sunday night’s where the Red Bull comes in handy, among other things….

So what are your afterparty picks? Taking part in the festivities? Get at me.

Oct 7 2011

FFF6 Playlist Series – Saturday’s Blue Stage

A friend of mine and I were discussing the awesome awesome lineup for Fun Fun Fun Fest this year, and recently, they announced their schedule for our viewing pleasure. My friend was excited, but admitted he knew only a few bands. Where, he wondered aloud, could he find a comprehensive rundown of each band, a sampling of their musical chops, so he could further educate himself before the finest weekend of his year? I assume the Fun Fun Fun website has such a playlist, and they do, and it’s cool, but I wanted to make my own. So every Friday, from now until the fest (that’s nine weeks), I will be posting a playlist for your educational purposes for each stage and day, excluding the Yellow stage, which is mostly comedy.

This week’s playlist covers the bands playing on the Blue (Hip-Hop/Dance) stage on Saturday – Cecil Otter, Purity Ring, T-Bird and the Breaks, Brandt Brauer Frick, Cold Cave, Childish Gambino, Rakim, Dan Deacon, Neon Indian, and Major Lazer.

Listen to the playlist on Spotify.

Missing From Playlist (not on Spotify yet): B-L-A-C-K-I-E, Wugazi

My Stage Pick: Purity Ring

After jamming to “Belispeak,” “Lofticries,” and “Ungirthed” this year, this group’s upcoming debut LP is one of my most anticipated albums currently. I am curious to see how this group’s ethereal synth-pop translates to the stage.

Aug 2 2011

My Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011 Picks

With yesterday’s lineup announcement from Transmission, my heart is still a-flutter.  Though I’m not crazy about the move to Auditorium Shores, this year’s roster of talent has eviscerated any worry I had that this year might not be so fun fun fun.  The lineup is crazy good; though I’m not familiar with the Black stage as some of you (as is the case every year), I do have some picks from the other stages that you will most likely find me at come November 4-6.


This is the one I’m flipping out over.  I’ve been dying to see an Anthony Gonzalez show for about three years and there’s no way I’m missing this one. Highest priority.


I’m a big fan of “Stars” and the rest of that seminal, yet somehow forgotten album You’d Prefer An Astronaut, and the kids at Transmission are like daytime talk shows for bands – they always can make a reunion happen.  I’m there expecting some spaced-out shoegaze rock.

Childish Gambino

Community might just be the best comedy on television, and Donald Glover’s Troy might be my favorite character.  But when Glover isn’t making me laugh (he’s also doing a stand-up routine on the Yellow stage), he’s wowing me with crazy wit rhymes.  Dude is a solid rapper, and this show should be nothing but fun.


All I keep hearing is how amazing this girl is live, and I finally have the chance to witness it for myself.  Fest-goers and critics called her the indisputable highlight of Pitchfork in Chicago this year, one to not sleep on.  And as awesome as that new album is, you can bet I won’t.

Cold Cave

I saw them in 2009, but since then they’ve dropped the Depeche Mode/New Order thing for the most part – now the vibe, at least on their latest album, is more of a Bauhaus feel, and I’m curious to see how it translates live.

Radio Dept. 

One of my favorite albums of last year – Clinging to a Scheme – had that sweet, jangly shoegaze electro that I love so much down to a high-minded science.  This group has been around for a while, but they’re finally getting the hipster love they deserve, and I’m pumped to see the show they put on.

Cloud Nothings

If you’ve never seen Cloud Nothings kick out the jams, you’re in for a treat.  Just be prepared – you will not be able to stand still. At all.  Show is a rapid-fire blast of percussion and sweet hooks.

The Joy Formidable

One album most people have slept on this year is the surprisingly rock’n’roll Big Roar – I’m curious to see if these newcomers can translate their loud studio sounds and big choruses to a big ol’ park in downtown Austin.  I’ve got high hopes.

Public Enemy

This is probably the festival’s entire highlight – the one for the newspapers and bloggers and whatnot.  Austinites, riddle me this: if you had the chance to see one of the most influential, seminal, and downright badass hip-hop groups of all time, you’d go, right? Of course you would. Believe the hype.


America’s Producer is gonna rock your world, along with his Major Lazer crew on the Blue stage.  And I thought I was getting spoiled when I saw A-Trak last year!

Neon Indian

I’m gonna hold off on this one until I hear the new album in October, but if it’s good, you can bet I’ll be wanting to hear those new tracks live.

Spank Rock

Fuck yes.  If any band can bring the fun x3, I’d place my bet on these guys. Sex jams and x-rated hip-hop.  Someone had to pick up where 2 Live Crew left off, and these guys do it properly.


One of the most legit producers I’ve seen in a long while, the beats and collages this guy cooks up just blow my mind, take a listen to Cerulean if you don’t believe me.

Purity Ring

I’ve been raving about this group for awhile – their music is encompassing of great pop and subtle sounds thrown in to create a pretty progressive, yet undeniably infectious, feel.  I’m very curious to see how they bring that studio texture to the stage.

WTF Award – Turquoise Jeep

I’ve slept on this, mainly because I’m not an Internet meme-chaser or whatever, but apparently these guys are a YouTube sensation and have been for a year or so.  Turquoise Jeep is a mysterious record label, headquarters location unknown, featuring a strange roster of artists that put out hilarious R&B/rap songs and post super-low-budget videos for them.  With a straight face…it’s hard to tell if these guys are in on their own joke or not, but I’m willing to bet they are.  Anyway, they’re booked for Fun Fun Fun, which is….well, it’s not the strangest thing Transmission has ever done, but it’s likely up there.

There are a ton of other bands on the lineup that I’m excited to see that I didn’t list here – these are just the ones that rank as high priorities for me (except for that last one, which I just thought was pretty damn funny.)  Once the schedule drops in September, there’s sure to be some nail-biting conflicts.  Like I said, I’m not too familiar with the Black stage roster, which is usually the case every year – not a big metal/punk/Danzig guy.  What are your picks for the fest?  What did I miss? What Black stage bands are you pumped about that I can’t miss? Educate me!

Jul 1 2011

Quarterly Review – April-June 2011

Once every three months I list the best of what I heard in albums/songs/remixes for the quarter. I do this to personally keep up with all the awesome music I hear, as it ultimately helps me at the end of the year when I do my overall listing for the previous twelve months. I also do it to introduce you cool cats to tunes you may have missed independently.

Continue reading

Jun 5 2011

Sunday Night Videos 6/5/11

Apr 1 2011

Quarterly Review – January-March 2011

Once every three months I list the best of what I heard in albums/songs/remixes for the quarter. I do this to personally keep up with all the awesome music I hear, as it ultimately helps me at the end of the year when I do my overall listing for the previous twelve months. I also do it to introduce you cool cats to tunes you may have missed independently.

Continue reading

Feb 5 2011

Culture Greyhound Podcast 2/5/11

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!


Das Racist – Swate
Cold Cave – The Great Pan is Dead
Dum Dum Girls – He Gets Me High
Lil Wayne – Green and Yellow