Year in Review: Top 100 Lubbock Songs of 2013: 80-61

Printby: Thomas D. Mooney

We continue trekking through our Top 100 Lubbock Songs of the Year. We’re going 80-61 today. Check out 100-81 from yesterday here. You can find every song in the Spotify playlist below unless there’s a Soundcloud or Bandcamp link included.

DryHeevesDemo80. “Living Dead” Dry Heeves
How Long Have You Been Chasing the Dragon?

Word of advice. Move to Austin, LA, or NYC Dry Heeves. Give yourself a chance to be a legitimate buzz band. You can always come back and visit when you need more inspiration. You can’t help but see the definite improvement in the Dry Heeves style and direction. Remove all the reverb and fuzz and it’s strangely the closest thing to Buddy Holly in modern-day Lubbock. The bass line and guitar licks on “Living Dead” go hand in hand perfectly. It just sets up a day at the beach that anyone within an arm’s length of Kurt Vile or Ty Segall would dig.–THOMAS D. MOONEY, New Slang

MohicansLight79. “Presidents” The Mohicans

Just about everyone is familiar with Jay Z’s instant classics “Dead Presidents” and “Dead Presidents II.” Multiple artists have rapped over the Nas sampled beat. It’s a bit of an homage and acknowledgement. By no means does “Presidents” feel like a reinvention of the famed beat–but why should it? The Mohicans version that shows up on Light. is one of the best off the 2013 mixtape. Like the chorus goes, “I’m out for dead presidents to represent me.” Dave is also out for name dropping other hip-hop stars to represent him in a way–from ASAP Rocky to Lil B.–THOMAS D. MOONEY, New Slang

BrennenLeighNoelMcKay78. “Breaking Up Is Easy” Brennan Leigh & Noel McKay
Before the World Was Made

 “Breaking up is easy; staying together is hard.” So simple, but who can deny the truth in such a line? Here again we find Brennan Leigh & Noel McKay playing their brand of classic country. You can’t help but plug Leigh in as June Carter and McKay as Johnny Cash singing “Jackson” when you hear “Breaking Up Is Easy.” Just like with “Jackson,” there’s some humorous, playful lines between Leigh and McKay. They go back and forth besting one another time and time again.–THOMAS D. MOONEY, New Slang

HaydenHuseClairemontJail77. “Build Me a Cabin” Hayden Huse
Clairemont Jail

Hayden Huse’s “Build Me a Cabin” feels most like an updated version of the 1971 John Prine classic “Spanish Pipedream.” There’s bad news every where and it’d just about be better to go out and live off the fat of the land in a cabin equipped with a small garden of essentials–peppers, tomatoes, and marijuana. Like a lot of folks, Huse is longing for a time when Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson were radio norm.–THOMAS D. MOONEY, New Slang

GradySpencerSleep76. “Take It Slow” Grady Spencer & The Work

I think everyone wondered what Grady Spencer would end up doing when he moved to Ft. Worth last year. We knew he’d continue making music, but how would that move progress and change his sound and songs. He’d been gaining some serious steam up until then. Luckily, that’s slowly but surely transferred into his new band, The Work. As a whole, Sleep has been his most focused record. Deep cuts like “Take It Slow” prove so. –THOMAS D. MOONEY, New Slang 

DanPattersonSmoke75. “I’ll Let Her Go” Dan Patterson
Smoke In My Lungs

Dan Patterson hits his stride with “I’ll Let Her Go” off his early 2013 release Smoke In My Lungs. Patterson puts everything he has on the line for Jenny, the song’s female lead, as he lets his mind chase her across the state. Everything connects and works for the up-and-coming Patterson peaking in final run of choruses. It’s all working towards that moment. When you hear it, you begin hearing a combination of Brandon Adams and early Cross Canadian Ragweed. Lyrically, it’s a smooth whiskey shot where Patterson’s phrasing stand out.–THOMAS D. MOONEY, New Slang 

AndrewCotneyHeaddressed74. “Windbreaker” Headdress
Rain Dance

Grab your windbreaker. Go walk around down town for a while listening to this record. Headdress chief Andrew Cotney has a great sense of pop music. It’s not your typical bubble gum pop, but rather a chilling, often haunting affair. It sometimes takes multiple listening sessions to finally “get it,” but when it does, you’ll be glad you did. He has a knack of taking throw away sounds or lines and making them relevant to a song’s success.–THOMAS D. MOONEY, New Slang 

WilliamClarkGreen73. “Remedy” William Clark Green
Rose Queen

Heartbreak seems to be a running theme with singers. This one however by Texas country songwriter William Clark Green takes it in another direction. Instead of the overplayed slow, down and out, tear-in-your-beer country song, Green lets his troubles known in a not holding anything back, almost upbeat way with honest lines and a delivery comparable to Brandon Rhyder. This ballad is relatable to anyone who has lost love in their life, and feel as if they’d do anything to remedy the pain they’re going through, and what went wrong. Next time you’re drowning in whiskey at the O-bar, give this a listen. It makes even more sense knowing fellow singer-songwriter Brandon Adams co-wrote the Rose Queen tune.–JOE WAGGONER, Marfa Public Radio DJ

DanielMarkhamRuinedMyLife72. “I Came to Rock and Roll” Daniel Markham
Ruined My Life

Less is more. That’s Daniel Markham’s music. “I Came to Rock and Roll,” the opening track to Markham’s latest album, Ruined My Life, falls nothing short of this virtue. The driving two-chord anthem at the beginning foreshadows the aura of determination that’s evident throughout. One can only imagine the things that go through an artist’s mind right before they hit the stage. This tune paints a pretty clear picture that the artist who is about take the stage is determined to kick some ass. And does. It also reveals the anticipation of different experiences…new things, new places, and new people..and having faith that everything will be fine. The colors of bending and non-harmonic tones in the background tracks are a definite bonus leaving nothing but imagination to the listener to connect to their personal meaning and interpretation.–DANNY CADRA, singer-songwriter

TerryAllenBottom71. “Queenie’s Song” Terry Allen
Bottom of the World

“Queenie’s Song” is a bleak song about some son-of-a-bitch driving past Terry Allen’s house and shooting his dog.  The casual listener may not even pick up on the sorrow the words convey due to the steady, amble-along keyboard riff that has become a staple of Allen’s recordings lately–but do not be mistaken: this was a gut-punch to Terry and hearing him describe it at one of his shows is heartbreaking.  Allen and Guy Clark were hanging out at Allen’s house–maybe talking about art, listening to music (whatever creative guys do in their golden years)–when Allen’s son entered the studio to let his dad know there was a dead dog under the tree in his dad’s yard.  Allen walked out front to find his beloved dog Queenie dead, lying under a tree with a single bullet hole through her chest.  In the song, Allen and Clark form the narrative about the assailant’s senseless, cruel act: “Bet you got a gun for Christmas/That don’t make it right/What in the hell were you thinkin’/With little Queenie in your sights” lending a tone of parental frustration to a seemingly random act of white trash thuggery.  The death of the dog casts a chill over the new year a few months later and Allen, now an elder and wise artist, is left to reminisce with the words of Auld Lang Syne, his dog yet another acquaintance gone.–HOLLIS WEBB, singer-songwriter

AndyHedgesCowboy70. “Wild Buckaroo” Andy Hedges
Cowboy Songster

I’m not a cowboy. I probably wouldn’t even be considered ‘Texan’ by a lot of people’s standards. Andy Hedges doesn’t claim to be a cowboy either, but he is filled with the spirit of a cowboy. The spirit of the rambling ranch hand, the great hero of the plains, the untamed cowboy that has been made into a caricature by the mainstream. Hedges, however, takes it back to what it used to be. A time before radio, before social media, before marketing strategies. A time when a man with a guitar could tell you a story with a song. And even though, I’m not a cowboy, Hedges with his lyrics and guitar in “Wild Buckaroo” makes me long for that John Wayne, stand your ground, be your own man, live and work off the land lifestyle. I won’t be trading in my car for a horse any time soon, but every time I hear this song, the kid in me, with a cap gun, holsters and a cheap cowboy hat, comes alive for a moment. I’m thankful for those moments, when I can remember and I can dream. When I can be a part of a different, simpler time.–RONNIE EATON, singer-songwriter

ShaneRogersBetrayed69. “Tears That Never Fell” Shane Rogers

Shane Rogers’ “Tears That Never Fell” starts off like something he was just demoing before going full-blown country. It’s as though he was struck with a melody and a line and decided to record it right on his phone right then and there for later. It’s a little quite and faded before those guitars and drums crash in and give everything color. Rogers once again takes on the subject of heartbreak and uses one of his better hooks to date. Instead of the typical drowning one self in whiskey and beer, we find Rogers going under in his tears that never fell.–THOMAS D. MOONEY, New Slang

GradySpencerSleep68. “Streets of Gold” Grady Spencer & The Work

A nice groove mixed with a hell of a melody offset the ominous undertone that the lyrics portray in “Streets of Gold” by Grady Spencer and the Work. When the song starts, it almost sounds like it is going to be a bubbly love song. Once the first verse is finished however, the listener is brought into a world that makes one envision a labor force type that is pretty much living to die. The chorus has a time that makes it seem as if this man is welcoming death.The second verse paints a picture of a love this man wants with a woman, but the woman isn’t going to allow this to happen. This brings it back to the man welcoming death in the chorus. The third verse tells of this man, who has almost been wanting to die his whole life, as an old man. Wishing and welcoming death as an 85 -year-old man. As usual, Spencer keeps it simple and let’s his music speak more than his words.–TANNER CASTLE, singer-songwriter

ColinGilmoreWildHollow67. “Warm Days Love” Colin Gilmore
The Wild and Hollow

Colin Gilmore’s The Wild and Hollow has quietly been one of the 2013’s most solid records–and probably the most balanced and beautiful of Gilmore’s career for that matter. “Warm Days Love” is originally a song written by Gilmore friend John Matthew Walker and just feels as though it was written for Gilmore’s airy, West Texas draw vocals. Like most of the record, “Warm Days Love” has an elegant and graceful composition. And it doesn’t hurt when fellow Lubbockite Amanda Shires supplies fiddle and back up vocals throughout.–THOMAS D. MOONEY, New Slang

HighCotton66. “Love In The First Degree” Wade Bowen & Brandy Clark
High Cotton: A Tribute to Alabama

It’s not often that a tribute album comes along with songs that are able to depart from the original artist’s version while still doing it justice. High Cotton: A Tribute to Alabama is a true gem, and Wade Bowen and Brandy Clark’s dressed-down interpretation of “Love in the First Degree” is one of the standout tracks. Where the Alabama version is mid-tempo, lighthearted, and dominated by heavy drums and a synth line, Bowen and Clark take a minimalist approach. Their version sounds much more like a love song; it’s slow, sincere, and backed up with simple strings and steel guitar. It’s a lovely, respectful rendition that’s just enough of a departure to make it interesting while maintaining the integrity and overall feel of the original.–LESLIE HALE, New Slang

Outlier65. “Rattlesnake” Outlier

I can’t help but think this is a missing track from Robert Rodriquez’ From Dusk Til Dawn or Desperado soundtracks. Anthony Garcia’s Outlier is a strange mix of metal driven guitars, piercing violin, mariachi style rhythms, and sparse lyrics that seem like they could have only been sparked a place like Lubbock, Texas. It’s the most Queens of the Stone Age a mariachi band has ever gotten. Or maybe it’s the other way around. The quick whipping “Rattlesnake” comes in at just over two minutes, but makes a lasting impression and sets the stage for the rest of the self-titled release.–THOMAS D. MOONEY, New Slang

AmandaShiresDownFell64. “Wasted & Rollin'” Amanda Shires
Down Fell the Doves

“The world zig zagged and leaned, like a stepping out of a Gravitron still moving. Holding you holding on to me like the sidewalk was a tightrope or high wire.” I’m pretty sure that’s the first time anyone’s ever used Gravitron in a song, yet I’m sure everyone knows exactly what Shires is talking about. Even in songs that are built around strong, poppy choruses, Shires doesn’t mail in the verses. Hint, there’s probably more Down Fell the Doves songs on this list.–THOMAS D. MOONEY, New Slang

LacyJoDavisEP63. “Rain” Lacy Jo Davis
Lacy Jo Davis

Lacy Jo Davis’ “Rain” feels like one of those few and far between spring showers we receive in Lubbock. Not the hectic, streets flooding, thunder crashing, lightning flashing, do we need to build an ark, torrential downpours we encounter a few times a year, but the cool, refreshing light showers. Just like that how spring rain smell lingers, Davis’ mind and heart are continuously reminded of a lost love. For every happy memory making her blue, there’s Davis acknowledging that she’d be better off letting them go. But you’re all too familiar with why she can’t.–THOMAS D. MOONEY, New Slang  

RandallKingOldDirt62. “Don’t Ask Her Tonight” Randall King Band
Old Dirt Road

The lead single from Randall King’s Old Dirt Road once again shows what happens when things click for the up and coming Lubbock band. It’s radio friendly without selling its soul to be so. As stated previously, he’s found a comfortable soundscape to support his pure vocals. It’s without question King can sing. “Don’t Ask Her Tonight” clocks in at just over three minutes and feels most like a pick-up driving down those old dirt roads before letting you go.–THOMAS D. MOONEY, New Slang

BrennenLeighNoelMcKay61. “Before The World Was Made” Brennan Leigh & Noel McKay
Before The World Was Made

Move over Civil Wars, there’s a better duetting country tinged band out there. There’s a heavy dose of ’50s country nostalgia happening here, but it’s not cheesy or eye roll inducing. It feels as though Leigh and McKay went crate digging and picked out their favorite unknowns on all their favorite Patsy Cline, Conway Twitty, George Jones, Kitty Wells, and Hank Williams songs and decided to dust them off for Before The World Was Made. And there’s no denying the fact that these two could sing just about anything together. Hell, I’d go as far as to say, it’d sound weird if they ever sang anything with anyone else.–THOMAS D. MOONEY, New Slang


3 responses to “Year in Review: Top 100 Lubbock Songs of 2013: 80-61

  1. Pingback: Year in Review: Top 100 Lubbock Songs of 2013: 60-41 | New Slang·

  2. Pingback: Year in Review: Top 100 Lubbock Songs of 2013: 40-26 | New Slang·

  3. Pingback: Year in Review: Top 100 Lubbock Songs of 2013: 25-1 | New Slang·

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