Yeppers... those crazy swing-blues-country revivalist kids have their very own Daytrotter session. Check it out and get some insight into how they drunkenly recorded their version of "Goin' Up The Country" and you even download it. You can download an exclusive track "The Ska Song" that is an unreleased song they recorded.
Besides that, I'm constantly impressed how awesome their harp player is, that girl can blow!
It's that time once again when to good folks over at Stereogum unleash their bastard pop hell on the rest of the world. Mysplice 4 is once again helmed by team9 as he mashes up the best indie from 09 with the best songs of days gone by. Right now, I'm diggin' the Doors vs. Bat For Lashes "Riders Sleep Alone" and Phoenix vs. The Cure "Phoenix Get Cured." Denton ex-pat Alan Palomo gets in on the action as his Neon Indian project gets mashed with the Pixies.
Danger Mouse has continued his trend as the new Rick Rubin. His work with James Mercer under the moniker Broken Bells is impressive and shows the produce/musician has skills beyond the world of R&B and Hip-Hop.
"The High Road" is a cross between Shinsian dour-pop and psychedelia... which is to say it's a really good track.
While our list of favorite '09 singles may have been dominated by the females, the list of our favorite albums is a little more diverse, but, definitely twangy. It was a great year for local music on our end with Naptime Shake, 100 Damned Guns, Ronnie Fauss and Bosque Brown making our list. But, there was also good stuff out there that isn't really covered on other blogs either, but, we like it.
15. Girl In A Coma - Trio B.C. These three girls from San Antonio really know what pop-punk should taste like. Throughout this album they wear their influences on their sleeves as they move through punk, rockabilly and pop-punk not giving in to sex kitten kitch, a la The Donnas, this trio prove that they can hand with, and rock just as hard as the boys can.
14. The Low Anthem - Oh My God, Charlie Darwin Soft spoken, folky and haunting. This album kinda snuck up on me this year.Combining harmony with dark sounds the record sounds like Fleet Foxes singing a bunch of Appalachian death songs.
13. The Naptime Shake - Blood And Panic Noah Baily's band take twang to another place all together with the Shakes debut album. It's not often that you hear twang mixed in with ragtime and New Orleans flavor as well as classic country elements. The mixture of styles and excellent songwriting make this album a real local gem for the year.
12. Ryan Thomas Becker - Neighborhoof Lo-fi and gritty, this album from Denton's Ryan Thomas Becker continues to show of his impressive musicianship as well as his songwriting. A bit of a step away from his side band RTB2.
11. Justin Townes Earle - Midnight At The Movies Absolutely nothing like his dad would do, this soft-spoken album harkens back to the days of classic country before Music Row got their hooks firmly planted in country music.
10. Trouble Andrew - Trouble Andrew Snot-nosed, electro-punk. If you have a problem with authority of any kind, then you will probably love this album. If you like your electronic music with a little bit of bad attitude, then you will probably like this album. If you already hate skaters or anyone of their ilk because they are too arrogant and assholish... you will probably hate this album.
9. Pretty Lights - Passing Behind Your Eyes Prolly the artist I've obsessed about the most this year. His style is on par with DJ Shadow during his creative best. Samples layered over original instrumentation that is good to get any party started.
8. Ronnie Fauss - New Music For The Old Frontier, Vol. 1 Fauss combines tear jerking ballads and a bit of honky tonk into a big mash of goodness with this one. Songs about drinkin', lost love and everything in between... what else would you expect?
7. Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career 60's girl group pop completely reimagined by a group of pouty Scots. For fans of Chamber Pop like Belle & Sebastian, there isn't anything better. It's awesome to put on an album and your parents ask you who it is... and they like it. 'Cause everything else is just noise, ya know?
6. Great Lake Swimmers - Lost Channels Hushed and gentle folk, there really isn't a better way to explain this album. Tony Dekker and crew put together a great album.
5. Jaydiohead - Jaydiohead Are mashups getting played out? No. What about Jay-Z mash-ups? Not when they are done right... and this album has been completely done right. "Wrong Prayer" gives Jay's "Pray" a big dose of urgency when fused with Radiohead guitars.
4. Neko Case - Middle Cyclone Like Mara Lee Miller Neko has one of the best voices in music, period. She's indie, she's twangy, she's rock all mixed up into a big bag of badassness.
3. Metric - Fantasies Although this album came out in April, it didn't get on my radar until the last few weeks. In those few, precious weeks I have only listened to this album. Emily Haines has one of the best voices in female-fronted rock. And, their songs are hella catchy to boot. "Help, I'm Alive," "Sick Muse," "Satellite Mind" are some of the catchiest, rockin' songs of the year. I dare you to listen to them and get them out of your mind anytime soon.
1. 100 Damned Guns - Musica de Tormento Cowtown's 100 Damned Guns are a treasure for the DFWd music scene. Sure, the scene is dominated with twang bands of one sort or another. But, the Guns blend of bluegrass, outlaw and classic country set them apart from the rest of the twang-infused brethren. I can see this band, more than any other, breaking out of the local scene and making a name for themselves either regionally or nationally... they have that much talent.
1. Bosque Brown - Baby
Mara Lee Miller probably has one of the purest singing voices on the planet. She doesn't need autotune, multi-tracked vocals... just sweet, sweet harmonies. At first listen I liked the album, particularly the three parts of "On and Off" are what really piqued my interest. Then upon further listenings I was completely in love with this album... all killer, no filler.
I've been rather infatuated with Metric's Fantasies album the last few weeks. I found a great 8-bit cover of "Help, I'm Alive" from said album. I can't help but be reminded of the Christmas when my brother and I got the NES when I listen to this song.
Hello, boys and girls. Today we get to peek inside the mind of graphic designer Steve St. Pierre. I first took notice of Steve when designed all the great posters you use to see for the gigs sponsored by My Old Kentucky Blog.
Bona Fide Darling: What inspires you for a gig poster design? Band, music or venue?
Steve St. Pierre: It's usually the music that puts me in the mindset. Once I'm assigned a project, I won't sit down right away and hash it out, even if I think I've got an idea that hits the nail on the head. I'll put the music on and go about some other business - but it design-related or cleaning out my refrigerator. I'll keep the poster in the back of my mind, then eventually hunker down and sketch out some ideas, still with the music playing.
BFD: What tools do you use to create your designs?
SSP: Always starts with a pen and paper. Just lightly sketching out some ideas. Then, depending on the style of poster I've got, I'll either open Photoshop and Illustrator and go to town. No tablet for me - I'm all mouse, baby. For now, at least.
BFD: What skills do you think a good graphic designer should have?
SSP: An eye for the small things. It's those that count. You can have the big idea, but I find it's usually a bunch of really small great ideas that make up the big one, you know? This is also a curse, because you'll never be able to look at the world the same way again. You'll notice every nook and cranny and their shapes and how things fit together. It's kind of nice, actually.
BFD: You were, at one time, doing gig posters for My Old Kentucky Blog... how did that come about?
SSP: Dodge, the head honcho for MOKB, put (essentially) an open casting call looking for designers. I was a fan of his blog, so I wrote him and he asked for some work. The first piece I did was for the Rosebuds, and then another for Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. He dug the work, so he kept sending projects my way - which was pretty great because that work got me some jobs with some pretty decent clients (like the Monolith Music Festival). Dodge is a good dude.
BFD: You are web designer by trade, how do you think those skills translate into graphic design?
SSP: I actually studied advertising in school and started out doing small print projects for family and friends (usually how most people get going). Only recently was I scooped up by a web design firm as their lead designer. But as much as people say the two mediums are completely different, I don't like to treat them as such. I'm all about simplicity and grids and such. I love type, I love colour, I love shapes - and all those things appear on both sides of the spectrum.
BFD: What bands or artist do you most want work with?
SSP: In all honesty, as much as I would love to do pieces for my favourite artists and bands (like Bon Iver), I'm more excited about working with my pals in the local scene here in Ottawa like the Love Machine and Amos the Transparent and Paramedics. There's so much great talent and if I'm able to create designs and packaging and posters and such for them that'll help get them noticed, I'm all for it. It may not pay as well, but that's what the day job is for, right?
BFD: Are your designs based on something you've previously sketched out or are they based on the project?
SSP: Sometimes I'll have some ideas that I lock away for the perfect project. But I usually feel more accomplished if I think of an idea after the project lands on my desk. I don't know why that is - maybe it sort of feels like I'm cheating the other way? I don't know. Maybe I'm just an idiot.
BFD: Do you have designers that inspire you?
SSP: First and foremost, I'm a huge Charley Harper fan. It may not reflect in my work, but let me tell you - that man's work is something else. As for contemporaries, I love the guys at Doublenaut, Invisible Creature, Frank Chimero, Aaron Draplin, Aesthetic Apparatus, and Jason Munn. I've sent all of these guys emails along the line and all of them have been kind enough to shoot back words of encouragement. I really hope I get the chance to do the same.
As you take a look through the list of my favorite singles from this past year, you may notice something a little off. Yep, my favorite songs this past year have been dominated by a lot of female artists or female fronted bands. But, the men also represent this year... just not as strongly as last year.
16. Trouble Andrew - Chase Money
Snowboarder turned electro-punk Trevor Andrew turned in one of the best songs of the year with "Chase Money." It keeps the punk philosophy, adds some electronics into them mix and comes out with awesome, snot-nosed electro-punk.
This band of Scots take an approach to pop music that hasn't been seen since The Supremes went out of style. Their girl-group pop sound is a delight to my ears. They take the girl-group, 60s style pop and create something that should sound like a copy and make it sound fresh.
A very, very late addition to my list. One of the best power-pop songs to come out this year from a band not fronted by a dude. Poppy and catchy as hell, a song with a killer hook that won't easily get out of your head.
Sure, KXT is a great way to hear good local music... so is actually going out to shows. But, now we have another way to hear some really great bands and listen to insightful banter between the hosts. Well, maybe not insightful, but funny.
What started off as a music night at The Libertine has transitioned into a podcast. So far the boys have 8 episodes up. The format is basically, if you and I were sitting around drinkin' some cold beer, talkin' about local music and the goings on around Dallas... then you have it.
While sonically, at least, "Chasing The Tear" is more upbeat than the majority of Portishead's catalogue... it's still lacking a lil' something.
Beth Gibbons vocals don't seem to instantly engaging as they once were. While the production and instrumentation is infinitely better and more approachable than on last year's "Machine Gun," it's hard to instantly like the song. But, I'm sure after a few more spins it will stick in my head anyway.
You can get a download of the song here, the proceeds go to Amnesty International. So, do your good deed for the year... it's almost over.
It's hard to explain to someone who lives outside of the DFWd area exactly how great the music scene is around here... particularly in Denton. Now the explaining can get a little bit of help with the Gutterth Compilation 2.
It features tons of local artists like our SubEx buddy Cory Graves band Mount Righteous, a favorite of ours Sarah Jaffe, RTB2, Ryan Thomas Becker, Shiny Around The Edges and literally dozens more.
Doug Burr's bring-you-to-tears excellence of "Mirror Ball" is an instant goldmine find for me. But, I've got to give it up that my favorite Jaffe song "Black Hoax Lie" is featured on the comp as well. Good choice fellas.
You can download the sprawling two album set right here... tomorrow. However, if you would like a hard copy of the compilation you can get it at Good Records.
Vermont's Jer Coons gives his sensetive singer-songwriter spin to the Jackson 5's classic "I Want You Back."
It's not bad, actually a nice sensative interpretation. But, I can't help but see the fans of this song wearing mom jeans or stuck in their dorm room/bedroom fretting over a failed relationship and they will never find anyone else like them again.
One of the most gratifying things about college was my group of musically minded friends. We would always ask each other "Have you heard..." and turn each other onto new music. Since then, I've turned to a few blogs and this here blog to find new, great music.
But, sometimes things fall in between the cracks and I miss out on something that is fantastic... like Metric. I've been listening to their newest album Fantasies non-stop this weekend. Such a great, wonderfully produced record. Electronic/synthesized/rock music with a great sound.
I've been a fan of the Spoon for a while now. However, when I heard the first plunky piano strikes of "Written In Reverse," the first single off it's new album Transference... I was not... to... excited. I knew the band produced it themselves which made me a little scared. Because, isn't that when most bands go all out with their most bizarre shit? Yes.
But, after my initial listenings the song has grown on me and I see the error in my ways. I just hope Transference keeps the bands streak of fantastic albums alive. It's pretty hard for most bands to come out with six straight fantastico albums... Spoon is at five... and counting? You tell me.
As I started this post I noticed that it's number 1,000 in our long illustrious blogging career. So, tip that Lone Star back celebrate peoples.
Back to our regularly scheduled program...
Kite In The Air have release their second EP, Magic Marker, and their second single "Stretch It On." It's a spacey chilled out, blissed-out, baby electro track that is perfect for... well, anything. But, alas, there is better news kids-- Magic Marker is available for free. Yep, as in you don't have to pay for it and it's not stealing! Just go here and you can listen to individual tracks or download the whole album.
Thanks for checking out Bona Fide Darling. Our goal is to offer up the best local Dallas music you can find. All the music posted is for sampling purposes only. If you like what you hear, do like I do and go out and buy the record.