The never-ending NX35 track-by-track: Week 2

26 Feb

So here’s the deal: we’ve been fairly light on the NX35 coverage due mainly to, well, some “involvement” with the festival. In an effort to provide some level of “countdown” coverage, we are going to go through 20 tracks from 20 bands at a time every Friday until the weekend of the conferette. (For those of you who are a little slow, there are three weeks left until NX35, which means we will be sharing 60 tracks with you.) Let’s hope this helps all of you have a better understanding of the music that is quickly approaching. If you like any of the bands, check out when/where they’re playing and possibly find out more info at NX35.com.

Note: This week the newest addition to the DBB staff, Nina Chantanapumma (aka The Neener), joins in on the fun.

Nina’s Picks

Smile Smile–Truth on Tape

I covered Smile Smile’s recent “break-up album” in last week’s Track-by-Track. My conclusion: this Dallas duo is good, folk-pop company for the heartbroken.

Mount Righteous–When the Child Awakes

Mount Righteous is like a singalong marching band. This “anti-orchestra” from Grapevine should be a fun set to catch. You know, if you like having fun.

New Science Projects–Poison Culture

I will never forget my first time to see New Science Projects. Madman Dale Jones, covered in fake blood and armed with his Dobro, commanded the little attic of the house show and won me over with his strange accent and blues-influenced indie rock. This song is one of the calmest songs he has in his current repertoire.

French Horn Rebellion–Up All Night

If French Horn Rebellion reminds you of MGMT, then you have good reason. David Perlick Molinari co-produced their Time to Pretend EP, but he has his own gig creating electro-pop with his brother, Robert. They are part of a great dance party lineup, on the festival’s final night, which includes Ishi and Neon Indian.

The Rocketboys –Like Ice in Water

Homer Hiccolm and the Rocketboys were formed by a few college friends in Abilene, Texas. Shortly after winning ACL’s The Sound and The Jury contest and a spot on stage at the festival in 2008, they moved to Austin and shortened their name but continue to bring a touch of West Texas to their big sound indie rock. “Like Ice in Water” is a solid song amongst many from their latest album, 20,000 Ghosts.

Jesseca’s Picks

Ryan Thomas Becker–Praying Matas

Ryan Thomas Becker is one of my favorite local musicians. He’s immensely talented, hardworking (I’ve lost count of the musical projects he’s involved in) and I’ve never seen him play a bad set. I went in-depth about this song a few months ago when I reviewed his newest record, Neighborhoof.

Bosque Brown–Went Walking

Mara Lee Miller has one of the best voices in DFW (and is always competing, in my heart, with Sarah Jaffe for favorite local chanteuse), and I have been a fan of hers since I first moved to the area. Her songs are vulnerable and dark (well, like Jaffe) and she has collaborated with the likes of Damien Jurado, David Bazan (Pedro the Lion). This track comes from last year’s Chris-Flemmons-produced (yeah, he’s theNX35 guy) album Baby.

Baruch the Scribe–Today I Circled the Room with Screams

The local folk scene has been getting flack from local music snobs lately, and this group has been on the receiving end a couple of times. But I still like them. Their music is unpretentious (lord knows how rare a lack of pretentiousness is these days) and charming and they are truly talented. This instrumental track particularly showcases their skills as musicians.

Record Hop–Slugworth

Speaking of favorite local bands, Record Hop was the first Denton band I saw live. They opened for The Fiery Furnaces and Deathray Davies at Rubber Gloves a couple of weeks after I turned 21. It’s one of my favorite concert experiences. Slugworth is one of the band’s best tracks. It starts off slow and quiet, then builds into a tough, raw (but still slow) ballad. I’m still in love with this band, after all these years.

Dear Human–Nomadic Music Box

I don’t know a lot about Dear Human, but I know I like this track. Instrumentals are really speaking to me today, and even though my post rock days are mostly behind me, I still dig it.

Midlake–Roscoe

This is arguably the most popular Midlake song from their biggest success to date, The Trials of Van Occupanther. It’s got Fleetwood Mac written all over it, but it also contains hints of their most recent record, the more restrained The Courage of Others.

The Angelus–Song of Self

Emil Rapstine, the man at the helm of The Angelus, comes from the same stock as singers like Morrissey and Nick Cave. His voice is deep and dark, like some beautiful angel (sorry … ) of death, spinning gothic tales with every note. Seeing the band live is a religious experience.

Shiny Around the Edges–This Apocalypse

I don’t know why it took me so long to catch this band live, but my first show was a couple of months ago. Now every time I see them on a lineup, I make a point of catching them. Their sound is ominous, gloomy and full of electricity.

Kaboom–We Hate This Town

Pure punk fun. Screaming guitars. Off-key, screechy vocals. Sure, there are several bands in Denton with a similar sound, but these guys do it right.

Jaime’s Picks

Follow That Bird- The Ghost That Wake You

Honestly, I’m tired and I’ve got nothing else to say, other than I keep blasting this song at least three times a day.

Old Snack- Dial M for Snack

Old Snack is better than your band.

Spooky Folk- My Niagra Heart

We talked about Spooky Folk earlier today, and yeah this album is gonna be pretty amazing.

The Laughing- Help Me

I’ve loved this band since I caught them at FFF fest back in November, and they were nice enough to play our SXSW show … needless to say I kinda love’em.

Jookabox- Phantom Don’t Go

We’re NX-bands-who’re-opening-for-The-Walkmen heavy today, and that’s because we love every last one of them.

Floating Action- To Connect

Ben never shuts up about this band, and that’s because he (and a few others) think their latest album is primed to cross over.

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