Year in Review: Top 40 Lubbock Songs of 2012: 40-31

picstitchOur rundown of music in the year 2012 starts off this week and continues through the rest of the year. We’re kicking things off this week with our Top 40 Songs of 2012 by Lubbock Associated Artists. Here’s the schedule for the remainder of the week.

Monday: 40-31
Tuesday: 30-21
Wednesday: 20-11
Thursday: 10-6
Friday: 5-1

Tangence40. “We Are the Earthquake Pt. I” Tangence
“We Are the Earthquake” EP

Go ahead and laugh at what I’m about to say, but it’s true. Tangences “We Are the Earthquake” EP has all the signs that there’s already a “post-dubstep” movement, or at least some individuals are more interested in what dubstep was meant to be versus the bastardizing of it my fraternities and sororities across the nation. It’s hard to call something that uses so many dubstep elements, but what makes Tangence’s “We Are the Earthquake” inviting and enticing is the subtleness. Don’t get me wrong though, we’re not trying to paint Tangence into a corner and strictly label it as a specific genre. There’s plenty of other elements at work. Ambient drone, electronica, and hip-hop have all had their hands on what’s being made. On something that’s meant to be listened as an entire piece rather than an individual track, it’s difficult to call one song on “We Are the Earthquake” better than the rest–especially when it’s so listenable as one piece since it comes in at just over 15 minutes.–THOMAS D. MOONEY

Dix Hat Band39. “Cliff Dance” Dix Hat Band
“Cliff Dance” EP

Dix Hat Band’s “Cliff Dance” feels like it’s off the beaten path. It’s “Texas Country,” but more eccentric than the usuals. It even feels different than the rest of the EP, which feels more Texas dancehall ready. “Cliff Dance” feels more personal and more out on a limb than the rest. It’s partly what makes it stand out. The other part is that it’s just a good song. Vocalist-guitarist Adam Inmon sounds more at ease, though he’s almost certainly more heartbroken here than at any other moment. His fiddle doesn’t feel paint by the numbers, but almost feels like another voice singing another couple lines that Inmon couldn’t find the words for in his desperation and agony filled ballad.–THOMAS D. MOONEY

Chaffin-Poelings38. “We’ll Take Flight/ “Across New Mexico into Arizona” Chaffin Poelings
“Songs for Magnolia”

“Songs for Magnolia” is one of Lubbock’s hidden gems of the year. It’s a collection of songs that were written by Steven Poeling, one half of Chaffin-Poelings (the other half being Poeling’s wife, Melanie) that are primarily for their daughter Magnolia–though thankfully we’ve all been invited to enjoy them as well. Many of the songs on the 10 track album have a lullaby texture. Had you told me Poeling didn’t actually write them, but rather his great-grandfather had, I’d have no problem believing you. They feel old, like some family heirlooms passed down each generation. Steven’s dust bowl croon–very Bonnie “Prince” Billy–is often balanced by Melanie’s gentle, whisper-like vocals, especially on the sparse Iron & Wine-like (think “The Creek Drank the Cradle”) “We’ll Take Flight.” Though it doesn’t necessarily run seamlessly into the next track, “Across New Mexico Into Arizona,” a southwestern guitar instrumental, it’d be a disservice to not mention the celestially woven waltz.-THOMAS D. MOONEY

Charles Moon Apollo's Creed37. “Apollo’s Creed” Charles Moon
“Apollo’s Creed” Single

Charles Moon is a busy figure in the Lubbock music scene already, but he influences it most profoundly here. You can detect Moon’s growing technical proficiency as a producer, running a simple chord structure through expansive and distantly-devastating synths. Its strength isn’t in details but in its sedative groove; there is room on the beat for someone’s heady verses, or in their absence an involuntary dark plunge of the listener’s imagination.–RYAN HEAPE

Tyler Hardy36. “Leave Me” The Dendrites
“The Dendrites” EP

Oh how short-lived The Dendrites were. Soon after their three-song, self-titled EP was released, the band disbanded. While they were around, they created something entirely different than what Lubbock’s been used to in recent years–and possibly ever actually had. In a town filled primarily with alternative country and punk bands, The Dendrites brought a classical-melodic indie band. The sound was primarily built on Tyler Hardy’s classical guitar and Torrie Atchison’s steel-string guitars intertwining and playing off each other, doing some what of a delicate dance. The overall project felt tasteful and attention grabbing in ways that Lubbock isn’t used to. “Leave Me” specifically made you listen and realize Lubbock’s flat plains could influence people in ways more than just the accustomed.–THOMAS D. MOONEY

Lindsay Boreing35. “Bury My Bones” Lindsay Boreing
“A Cautionary Tale” EP

We’ve not heard this kind of dark folk(the swampy, Spanish moss and voodoo variety) in Lubbock, possibly ever. Tom Waits would be proud of the jangly beat. Had it a children’s choir, it’d be eerily similar to Ryan Gosling’s (Yes, THAT Ryan Gosling) band Dead Man’s Bones. It’s the simple things in songs that can often set the tone, vibe, and atmosphere. In “Bury My Bone’s” case, the tambourine and up right bass line that lay the straightforward foundation for Boreing’s vocals. Is she playing the victim or setting you up to be one yourself? You’re really not sure if she’s toying with you innocently or if she’s got something more sinister up her sleeve.–THOMAS D. MOONEY

The Born to Kills34. “I Miss Rock & Roll” The Born To Kills
“Southern Lights” EP

There’s a certain amount of tongue-in-cheekiness with The Born to Kills–much in the same fashion as Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal, or Ted Leo & the Pharmacists. But it’s not like there isn’t substance with the band, it’s just done with some clever and telling lines. You can imagine a motorcycle gang of one-percenters inching their way across the the Southwestern map of the United States with the Born to Kills’ “Southern Lights.” somehow blaring as they cross the desert land. Desert rock aggression. It’s upfront and filled, but there’s growing space within the songs as well–a tell-tale sign that it’s birth place was the spacious desert with sun-soaked guitars, vast, never-ending skies, and relentless, pounding percussion. “I Miss Rock & Roll” is a criticism of music, that relates to Lubbock specifically as it does to the general music landscape. Simply put, “everybody’s singing a love song” and “humming a folk song,” but Wade Burden and Nat Long, the band’s founding members, just miss the simple life.–THOMAS D. MOONEY

Andrew Cotney33. “Alone” Andrew Cotney
“Cracked Hearts”

Who the fuck is Andrew Cotney? That’s a serious question. Has anyone seen him play? I highly doubt it. Cotney’s not a “relatively unknown” musician in Lubbock–he’s just unknown period. Yet when I received a couple of tracks in an e-mail a few months back, I was shockingly surprised by the quality. His debut, “Cracked Hearts” was released this year and is a mash up of what mid-twenties indie kids listen to: part Real Estate, lo-fied Brooklyn buzz, and a good helping of Beck (primarily “Odelay”). Cotney’s “Cracked Hearts” ends with him at his most personal track, “Alone,” a dream-pop song with fuzzed guitar and hangover ready vocals. It’s a song that caps off the night. A 4:30 a.m. song as you’re drifting off to sleep, alone. “Cracked Hearts”–and “Alone” in particular–asks more questions than it answers, namely: Is this a blip on the radar for Cotney, or is he here to stay? Hopefully 2013 answers them. –THOMAS D. MOONEY

The Mohicans32. “LPH” The Mohicans
LPH” Single

Tech students Kashus Klay (Devan Bernard) and (Dave) David Morgan comprise rap duo The Mohicans, and “LPH” (Love, Peace, Happiness) is probably the most sinister track on this list. From the time we heard “Start The Show” from last year’s stellar mixtape, Uncas, we knew Klay and Dave had a charismatic track presence and a natural ear for beats. “LPH” sounds like they’re stretching their legs. The weighty subject matter at hand–along with the hellish vocal effects–is something of a dark joke. That the track works speaks to their versatility of tone and more importantly, their devilish sense of humor.–RYAN HEAPE

Dry HeevesII31. “Lied & Cried” Dry Heeves
“Different Strokes for Different Folks”

Full disclosure: I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how much The Dry Heeves have grown. Honestly, I thought they were a little lost, played too loud, and put too much fuzz on the vocals (Picture me saying this waving my cane around about how kids are walking on my lawn for full effect). But truly, I think the surf-rock punks have finally found that perfect balance of being wild, yet in control. “Lied & Cried” is that perfect example of what their sound is and should be like. It strangely fits well within a Black Lips mixtape just as well as it does with The Ventures and The Champs. You may not know what vocalist-guitarist Dylan Davis is singing, but his energy certainly comes across. And sometimes that’s all that really counts. –THOMAS D. MOONEY


11 responses to “Year in Review: Top 40 Lubbock Songs of 2012: 40-31

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