The DVD edition of The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story was a gift for my dad, one of the most important and easily the earliest of my musical influences. A few years ago, I asked him what Springsteen album I should get, and he suggested this one. When I listened to it, I was struck by the vague familiarity of most of the songs, which of course I had heard on our stereo (along with Born to Run and especially Greetings From Asbury Park) when I was a little kid. Thanks to Angela for convincing me I should get this for him; I’m not sure why I had any doubts about it.
Angela heard about this one on NPR. We decided to pick it up for my stepdad, who is a big fan of Johnny Clegg. I don’t know that he’s into African music in general- but after he makes it through this gargantuan set, he damn well ought to be.
This classic thrash-metal double LP was a gift from my brother. Since I don’t know much about metal, I had no idea that this was the band that Kirk Hammett was in before Metallica. Oops! Anyway, listening to this album, it’s hard to understand why anyone of the thrash revival bands are worth bothering with, since the bands that did it the first time around clearly got it absolutely right. You wouldn’t know it to look at the cover, but this band actually has a conscience, an element that is sorely lacking from modern thrash. And by the way, could metal fans of the ’00s have any more of a chip on their collective shoulders about “copycats” and “hipsters?” It seems like every metal critic I read these days feels like they have to tell off the haters. Shut up, nobody cares.
A gift for a friend. One of my favorite records of the year, and a strong challenger to Hatred Surge for the title of Danny’s Favorite Austin Band. Garage rock with the introspection of R.E.M., the power of Husker Du, and the ingeniously economical guitar leads of Dean Wareham or Andy Summers.
Another gift for another friend. This record showed up on a lot of Maximum Rock and Roll’s staff top 10s this year. It’s good but I haven’t listened to it too many times, so I don’t have much to say.
Only solo release from this much-heralded Austin power trio. This might be a gift or I might keep it for myself, haven’t decided
Another punk rock power trio from Austin. Reminds me of the Groovie Ghoulies and other bands with silly names from the glory days of pop-punk.
Austin math-rock. Comments from Trailer Space proprietor Spot: “I saw them like five or six times. I can’t say I was really a fan. I’ve been told this is one of the better records.” Surprise: this one has vocals!
Me: “Haven’t heard this yet- is it good?”
Spot: “Yeah. Do you like Motorhead?”
Unbelievable how long it took this band to put out an album. Satin Hooks, there’s hope for you yet!
And last, but not least:
A Merry Freakin’ Christmas and a solemn, dignified Ramadan to all.
. . . and if you’d like to hear some of these records, you can hear me doing a guest spot on KTRU with fellow former DJ Ray Shea on the Mutant Hardcore Flower Hour tonight from 10PM-1AM Central. Tune in at 91.7 FM, 91.5 in the Rice vicinity, or online at ktru.org. I’m missing the Energy show in Austin for this, so I expect you all to listen. You bet your ass I’m playing that Axiom record!