Year in Review: Top 100 Lubbock Songs of 2013: 60-41

Printby: Thomas D. Mooney
Editor-in-Chief

After today, we’ll be over half way done with our Top 100 Lubbock Songs of 2013 list. Find parts one and two below. As previously mentioned, listen along with the Spotify playlist below. Otherwise, there will be an ebbed Soundcloud, Bandcamp, etc player attached to the given song.

Day I: 100-81
Day II: 80-61
Day II: Today

CharlieStoutFirstHundred60. “Greater Than Gold” Charlie Stout
The First Hundred Don’t Count

The nice thing about Charlie Stout’s songs is his empathy for his subjects–no matter how evil, desperate, or pathetic they may be.  Nowhere is this more true than in “Greater Than Gold” where Stout’s solo acoustic/vocal jaunt ponders three characters (four, if you count Stout himself, who identifies with each figure): a regular guy caught up in overly ambitious financial schemes, a girl who gives a heavy cost for the price of every day life, and a religious zealot who forces Stout to consider things beyond the terrestrial.  Each person stands on a street corner (perhaps at a metaphorical crossroad asking “how much further should I go?”) considering past decisions and personal weakness as well as what they have left to sell of themselves.  Stout concludes in the refrain that “We’re bought with a price far greater than gold.”  How appropriate the true cost be compared to a warm and valuable substance such as gold.  Whereas silver imparts a sense of betrayal and an exact dollar figure cannot be ascribed to what these people have paid throughout their lives—gold remains as the “standard” for what these folks have, and continue to sell of themselves.–HOLLIS WEBB, singer-songwriter

RattlesnakeMilk59. “Got No Home” Rattlesnake Milk
Snake, Rattle, & Roll

Made up of members of some of my favorite Lubbock bands, Rattlesnake Milk continues the sound that I think of when I think of Lubbock music. There’s the country side and there’s the pure rock & roll thing that just seems to happen naturally. I really love the spaghetti western Ennio Morricone vibe. At one point I wanted to make music that sounded very similar to this. I always really admired Andrew Chavez’s guitar playing and wanted to rip it off as much as possible. When Sean Lewis told me he had written an entire rockabilly album on a visit to Plainview I was both jealous and excited. When I got to hear it live I was blown away. This is a true road song that takes me through towns in which I have very distinct memories. This is also the sound of West Texas. I think Buddy Holly and Hank Williams would both party to this band. Maybe that’s why I love it so much.–DANIEL MARKHAM, singer-songwriter

BrennenLeighNoelMcKay58. “Great Big Oldsmobile” Brennan Leigh & Noel McKay
Before The World Was Made

The closing track if Brennan Leigh & Noel McKay’s collective debut album, Before The World Was Made is honest, subtle and intricately more than meets the ear at first listen. The acute and simple writing is so well paired with the melody that it’s easy to graze over without digging into. Produced by the legendary Gurf Morlix, the arrangement is barebones and elegant giving the story room to unveil itself. Sophisticated and incisive, I can almost hear John Prine cutting it on his next record. It’s that good. The steel ride makes you sway while it thaws your bones and eases your worries like a good fire after a bad day in the freezing snow. But there’s more here than just a hopeless romantic’s lullaby and great phrasing. There’s uncertainty looming in the distance and it’s terrifying. The fear of growing old, being forgotten, and overall becoming a casualty of time and morality is too much to shoulder alone. It takes someone promising to still want to hold your hand (The Beatles said it best) and “drive you around this little town in our great big Oldsmobile / even when they say I’m too old to sit behind the wheel.” If you weren’t in love before hearing this tune you’ll be looking for someone soon after.–STERLING J. BOWERS, singer-songwriter

AndrewCotneyHeaddressed57. “Cover It Up” Headdress
Rain Dance

There’s a reason why there’s multiple Headdress (Andrew Cotney) songs on this list. There’s also a reason why this is the highest peaking off Rain Dance. It’s not leaps and bounds better than everything else on the record, but it’s definitely a few steps in front. It’s solid a solid ear worm tune with a subtle sense of grandness. Cotney also returns to some real distorted guitars that aren’t too far off from his previous album Cracked Hearts.–THOMAS D. MOONEY, NS 

DanielMarkhamRuinedMyLife56. “Killers They Will Creep” Daniel Markham
Ruined My Life

The first ring of fuzz tone in Daniel Markham’s “Killers will Creep” instantly transports you back to a time when guitars full of true angst ran headlong into dark passionate lyrics. Markham has shown the unique ability to hone his inner grunge and create a brand new sound with the masterful “Ruined my Life”, his first full length solo album. Knowing Markham’s love of horror and setting it against a wall of distortion, “Killers will Creep” drums march the audience blindly down a path of pure spookiness. The song is extremely catchy, yet defers from the polished pop that so often bombards our ears in mainstream radio. Daniel Markham has found the perfect blend of thoughtful lyrics and brutal guitars, with a pinch of pop that indeed, may have ruined my life.–DANIEL FLUITT, Thrift Store Cowboys

WadeBowenAnotherSong55. “Another Song Nobody Will Hear” Wade Bowen & Will Hoge
Single

There isn’t a song out right now that I wish I had written more than “Another Song Nobody Will Hear.” As as songwriter, it’s hard to put into words the relationship and emotional attachment between yourself and your own song. It is even harder to describe the frustration we as writers have towards what’s played on the radio versus what could be. Country music was once the voice of the working man who stood for something, but that was yesterday. The same genre that could once produce a song that captured heartache in its purest form has been reduced to nothing but an overwhelming amount of songs with hollow lyrics about “back roads, tractors, trucks and beers.” Country music is currently in its darkest days and there isn’t a songwriter in the world who will disagree. This song evokes a feeling of hope that things might get better, it makes me believe that it all isn’t lost just yet. There isn’t a song in circulation right now that calls out Nashville on their bullshit better than this one.–DALTON DOMINO, Front Porch Family Band

RandallKingOldDirt54. “Into Me” Randall King Band
Old Dirt Road

Like we’ve stated previously, Randall King sounds best somewhere in between neo-traditional country and today’s Texas country landscapes. If the song has a little edge to it, all the better. “Into Me” is one of the best on his Old Dirt Road because it checks off all those boxes. Chorus lines like “You’re running off like an old movie scene” give the song better imagery than a lot of mundane choruses on the radio. And like in song, “Into Me” is a bit of its’ own “400 horse power getaway.” The simple guitar chords give the song a great pulse while King does some of his best singing yet.–THOMAS D. MOONEY

David Ramirez The Rooster53. “Fire of Time” David Ramirez
The Rooster

In “Fire of Time” Dave Ramirez takes us deep into a personal place that few are able to venture themselves. Using a guitar as merely a necessary vehicle to paint a picture, Ramirez places his regret in your hands to read like a picture book. As a listener, the story like some butterfly effect, violently recalls visions of one’s own past and forces you to view the parts of your life you would leave off a resume. Just when you notice yourself teetering on the edge of self-hatred, Ramirez presents all the redeeming qualities of a woman who sees your most revolting traits and refuses to let them define you. There are many songwriters who have discovered they are far from a patron saint. However, Ramirez has the ability to deliver his story with a bitter texture that is tangible. With a raspy and sometimes quivering voice, Ramirez gives us a realistic love story without mentioning skinny dipping or fireworks. Thanks Dave.–TRENT LANGFORD, No Dry County

RonnieEatonMoth52. “Dashboard” Ronnie Eaton
The Moth Complex

I’ve not heard many people sound so comfortable and sure about being unsure as Ronnie Eaton on “Dashboard.” Usually, that’s a bad place to be, but There’s a strange sense of confidence needed to say that you don’t know or that you’re not sure about something. Eaton’s “Dashboard” has that. Eaton has some interesting word play with lines like “I’m riding in the dust on the dashboard, broken words that I found on the floorboard” and “I’m wide awake in the front seat. look way because these memories are killing me” on this ’80s era John Mellancamp-esque guitar jangling heartland rock tune.–THOMAS D. MOONEY, NS

TerryAllenBottom51. “Angels of the Wind” Terry Allen
Bottom of the World

You can’t help but hang on to every word an artist like Terry Allen sings in a song. The genuine artist Allen is, you can’t help but feel inferior in general. Every time I put an Allen record on, I think “Why am I not just listening to Terry Allen? Why do I listen to anyone else?” When it comes to phrasing, no one does it better. He says so much often by not saying much at all. The stark, rich, and bare bones “Angels of the Wind” leaves you pondering the questions he asks: Angels of the wind. Do they fly by desire? Or do they fall like a stone through the dust to the fire?; Why do angels have wings if they can’t fly away?–THOMAS D. MOONEY, NS

AndyHedgesCowboy50. “West Texas Blues” Andy Hedges
Cowboy Songster

From the obscure vault of old timey folk, cowboy and blues music that is Andy Hedges’ immense song catalogue, “West Texas Blues” gives us something real to chew on.  Before the watered down commercialization of folk music and its’ infusion with the “singer-songwriter,” songs like this were the backbone of the American music tradition, which is why this song sounds older than rust on a railroad track.  The only other known recording of “West Texas Blues” is on Bob Dylan’s Live at the Gaslight 1962.  Whether or not Dylan penned the song is unknown.  What’s important is that Hedges has dug up a killer song from the ancient archives of folk music and made it relevant today.  Hedges’ West Texas drawl and flawless flat-picking give this song new life and bring it to the ears of an audience that probably would have never heard the song otherwise.  Keeping this kind of music alive and relevant is no easy task, but Hedges does it in a way that honors an age-old tradition yet makes “West Texas Blues” distinctly his very own.  I’m not sure where or how Hedges finds this stuff; I’m just thankful he does.–KENNETH O’MEARA, singer-songwriter

DelbertMcClintonBlind49. “Good As I Feel Today” Delbert McClinton & Glen Clark
Blind, Crazy, and Crippled

I feel a topic that’s often overlooked when it comes to songwriting is age. Obviously the older an artist gets, the more wise and worldly they come across. Your words aren’t taken with a grain of salt. You can say things that a 25 year-old could never get away with. Sometimes that means getting away with lines that seem so simple, you’d be surprised if it took them more than thirty minutes to write up. But that’s where you’re wrong. They took decades to. Sometimes timing is more important than what you’re actually saying. For the criminally underrated Delbert McClinton and Glen Clark, that moment comes on the mid-tempo blues rocking “Good As I Feel Today.”–THOMAS D. MOONEY, NS

AlexSanchezEmotionControl48. “Free” Alex Sanchez
Emotion Control

It’s cliché to say that an artist has a sound all his same, but I think it’s safe to say Alex Sanchez’ debut record Emotion Control is nothing like anything else on this list. It’s strange to believe that this was all created in The Pandhandle and not by someone in Brooklyn. The guitar play on EC as a whole is pretty phenomenal, but “Free” is certainly at the top of the class. There’s an underlying jazz element throughout as well. You’d be convinced that a saxophone or trumpet replacing those crunchy guitars would be just as great.–THOMAS D. MOONEY, NS 

GradySpencerSleep47. “Things To Do” Grady Spencer & The Work
Sleep

If we’re giving out awards for being the coolest dude in the room, Grady Spencer gets my vote every time! If you don’t agree, just listen to the man. Spencer and his band, the Work, have created something special with their latest record, Sleep. Simply put, it rocks. A standout track for me–“Things to Do”–captures the mood of the entire album; smooth and mellow on the surface, but underneath it is gritty and mean, hopeful, melancholy and unapologetic all rolled up in that Grady Spencer style. If you close your eyes while you listen, you feel like you are standing in an empty afternoon Blue Light during the most perfect sound check performance. The stripped-down arrangement and big-empty-room sound give the track a feeling of simplicity that belies the depth of the lyrics. I very much agree with Spencer when he sings, “I guess I’ve got things to do,” and I can’t wait to see what he’s going to come up with next.–LACY JO DAVIS, singer-songwriter

ColinGilmoreWildHollow46. “Into My Future” Colin Gilmore
The Wild and Hollow

Last year, Colin Gilmore covered “You Make Me” for the wonderful tribute Lowe Country: The Songs of Nick Lowe. The Gilmore and Lowe comparisons come pretty natural. Gilmore went on again for this record and recorded the Lowe song “Raging Eyes” for the album’s closer, but it’s bookended by an even more Lowe-esque track with “Into My Future.” Everything about this song just jumps out with vibrant colors. Those guitar tones are piercing and sharp. Gilmore’s voice has never sounded sweeter as he sings lines like “sunlight in your eyes and a hurricane in your hair,” and “go where you want to, cut through the moment like an arrow in flight.” Gilmore’s always been one of Lubbock’s underrated voices, but with songs like “Into My Future,” he’s proving he’s just simply underrated in general.–THOMAS D. MOONEY, NS

LacyJoDavisEP45. Comfort” Lacy Jo Davis & Brandon Adams
Lacy Jo Davis

I’m a fool for a good duet. “Comfort” from Lacy Jo Davis’ self-titled EP features a more reserved Brandon Adams. The first time listening, you’re actually a little shocked that Adams is on there for more than back up harmonies, since that’s where begins to sing until taking over second verse. In the song, I can’t help but think Davis and Adams are talking about some Southern Comfort comfort just as much as they are about finding one another. You can only hope that these have a few more of these lined up in the immediate future.–THOMAS D. MOONEY, NS  

TerryAllenBottom44. “The Gift” Terry Allen
Bottom of the World

When we spoke back in July, Terry Allen and I discussed “The Gift.” As Allen described, it “The Gift” became something of a news reel kind of song. He wrote it around the Bernard Madoff scandal was dominating the news. And though it’s about Madoff’s son committing suicide, it goes further into “the gifts” people leave their children and their lasting impacts. I honestly don’t think you’re going to find a sadder song subject on this list than Allen’s “The Gift.” Lloyd Maines’ pedal steel fills in the gaps left my Allen’s piano blueprint. It’s going to take you a while to fully digest the images of someone hanging themselves with a dog leash. It’s eerily calm for such a dark matter.–THOMAS D. MOONEY, NS

AmandaShiresDownFell43. “The Garden Song” Amanda Shires
Down Fell the Doves

Amanda Shires’ vocals are nothing less than gut-wrenchingly beautiful. The pain, sorrow, and betrayal that tinge the words to “The Garden Song” are felt. The vision of a lover who let’s a man into her heart, that she has lovingly and painstakingly taken care of, and tended to making ready for the one. But only to find it destroyed and ransacked by a careless lover and leaving behind the shambles and wreckage to deal with. The heartbreak resounds deeply in the song and conveys its message flawlessly. Shires continues to prove exactly how powerful of a singer-songwriter she is with each release. It takes a very special palette of colors to paint pictures like she has been able to. When a song can make you feel the intent in which it was written is an amazing and rare feat in music these days. This is a song that is worthy of that recognition.–CHRIS RICHBURG, Fuck Yeah Alt. Country Boys Music Blog

DryHeevesWhatsYourName42. “What’s Your Name?” Dry Heeves
Single

“What’s Your Name” pretty much represents the latest from the Dry Heeves. It was released roughly a month ago, which for those of you keeping count at home, is some 10 months after the band’s previous official release How Long Have You Been Chasing The Dragon? It’s probably the most straightforward and clear the band’s ever been. Refined. Where in the past you may have leaned towards copying a plethora of garage rock acts or lost somewhere trying to define themselves with a specific style and sound, this past year–and specifically here on “What’s Your Name?”–there’s no denying they’re finding their sweet spot. It’s T. Rex by Richie Valens. It’s dirty three-chord garage rock without a doubt, but you can’t help but think of what they’d do to something like “Let Her Dance” by Bobby Fuller Four and a number of other ’50s and ’60s early rock gems.–THOMAS D. MOONEY, NS

NatalieMainesMother41. “Come Cryin’ To Me” Natalie Maines
Mother

Mother is surprisingly Natalie Maines first solo endeavor–and the first music she’s released since The Dixie Chicks’ 2006 Grammy winning monster record Taking the Long Way. It shouldn’t come to no one’s surprise that “Come Cryin’ To Me” feel as though it should have been a Dixie Chicks song. Mainly, well because, it was meant for Taking the Long Way. As Maines has stated, they felt it was too rock oriented for the record but it was always something she loved. Better late than never.–THOMAS D. MOONEY, NS

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2 responses to “Year in Review: Top 100 Lubbock Songs of 2013: 60-41

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

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

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