The Black Angels at KUTX Live at the Four Seasons 2017/ Gabriel Perez
Thanks to everyone who participated in our inaugural Listener’s Choice Music Poll! We’ve tallied the votes to find your favorites and read through the write-ins to get some new music on our radar for 2018. Now, without further ado here are KUTX listener’s favorite Austin artist or band and favorite Austin song.
2017 was year that seemed more like three, full of senseless violence, apocalyptic weather and an inane 24 hour news cycle. Yet, somehow, good music was still made, and we can all be thankful for that. So we lift a glass to some of the most memorable songs of 2017. Here’s a sampling of seventeen favorites picked by our staff. Still want more? Really? We aim to please. Find the top five picks from each of our staff members by following the links below.
Happy holidays from all of us at KUTX! Thanks for listening!
– Jeff McCord, Music Director, KUTX
- A Giant Dog – “Bendover” – Sweet Spirit’s evil twin does it again. The shape and momentum of this punk rock crusher are congruent with its naughty nature. Slow, randy builds peppered with quick flashes of lustful intensity that eventually….explode. – Taylor Wallace, Host Th 8p-11p, Sat 2p-6p
- alt-J – “In Cold Blood” – Very dark and so catchy it’s just addictive. – John Aielli, Host Eklektikos M-Th 6a-9a
- Black Pistol Fire – “Lost Cause” – More noise than 2 dudes should be able to make on their own. A big step forward for the Canadian Austinites that are criminally underrated. Criminally I tell ya! – Matt Reilly, Program Director
- Broken Social Scene – “Hug of Thunder” – So much going on…intriguing lyrics…exhilarating crescendos…Feist’s superb vocals intermingled with the cool sonics of the instrumentation…then there’s the harmonies and the curious coda. My favorite song of the year. – Susan Castle, Host M-F 9a-12p
- David Ramirez – “Watching from a Distance” – A very thoughtful and beautiful song, beautifully sung. – John Aielli, Host Eklektikos
- Gurf Morlix – “Deeper Down” – Austin’s Gurf Morlix is perhaps best known as producer for the likes of Lucinda, Slaid Cleaves, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Robert Earl Keen and countless others, but all the while he has been releasing strong solo albums. This song this is from “The Soul And The Heal” but any song on it could have made my year-end list. – Jody Denberg, Host M-Th 5p-8p, Fri 12p-4p
- Jake Lloyd – “Str8ge Frute” – Austin’s own came with a record that has caught steam and showed that he is a true crooner. As we impatiently wait for his much anticipated self-titled album this record is steady holding strong as a favorite of The Breaks. – Aaron “Fresh” Knight, Host The Breaks
- Jidenna – “Bambi” – Sounds like a nursery rhyme set to a rattling hip-hop beat. In other words, insanely catchy. – Art Levy, Host Sun 10a-2p
- Juana Molina – “Cosoco” – The Argentinian singer wrote a super cool loopy song that is basically about how secrets can screw up a relationship. – Deidre Gott, Live Music Producer
- Leti Garza – “Mis Ojos Sobre Ti” – Austin singer Leticia Rodriguez Garza spars playfully with Grupo Fantasma percussionist and singer José Galeano on this Latin Rock track from her new album El Unico Para Mi. – Michael Crockett, Host Horizontes
- Matthew Logan Vasquez – “Same” – With a string arrangement straight out of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” and what sounds like the amen corner of The Raelettes threading throughout the song, I can’t get enough of this sweet stuff. Vasquez puts his prodigious lungs to good use. And I swear there’s a wonky Moog synth! – Rick McNulty, Host Left Of The Dial & Uptown Saturday Night
- Shabazz Palaces ft. Thaddillac – “Shine a Light” – Thanks to my older sister I was turned on to Digable Planets as a wee lad. I’m thankful that now as an adult I can hear fresh material from Ishmael Butler every couple of years. Although Shabazz Palaces has generally withheld from sample-heavy beats, they picked a good one in Dee Dee Sharp’s “I Really Love You” as the main loop in “Shine a Light.” – Ryan Wen, Host Fri 11p-3a
- Sneaks – “Look Like That” – There’s nothing to it, really – bass, drum machine, vocals, no chorus, no real hook. Yet this became a song you could not stop playing. Clocking in at 3:15, it’s easily twice as long as most of the DC songwriter’s recordings. Hypnotic doesn’t begin to describe it. – Jeff McCord, Music Director, Host Friday 6-9am
- Spoon – “Do I Have to Talk You Into It?” – Okay, so yes, this is sort of “The Beast and Dragon Adored” funked-up a bit, but Spoon could just recycle all their old songs from here on out and I’d keep paying my hard-earned money for them. So the answer is: no, duh, you don’t, never. – Jacquie Fuller, Assistant Program Director
- Thievery Corporation ft. Raquel Jones – “Letter to the Editor” – A political song that slinks as it stirs. – Susan Castle, Host M-F 9a-12p
- Ty Richards – “Going Out For a Cigarette” – This local-yet-intergalactic modern day Steve Miller kills it with laid back vocals on this one. – Jack Anderson, Host M-W 8p-11p, Sat 6a-10a
- Walker Lukens – “Don’t Wanna Be Lonely” – I love a song with cool sounds and a good hook, and this song is filled to the brim with both. Plus, I feel the lyrics without understanding them, which I always like. – Elizabeth McQueen, Host Sat 10a-2p
photo by Mengwen Cao
We shared our favorite songs of 2017 and now we want to hear from you! Cast your vote for your favorite Austin band or artist and favorite Austin song in the form below. When you do, you’ll be entered to win a $100 gift card from Waterloo Records. Voting is open now and runs through noon on Wednesday, December 13.
Jack Anderson is music host Monday through Wednesday 8 – 11 p.m. and Saturday 6 – 10 a.m. Here are his top 5 songs of the year:
1) !!! – NRGQ
High intensity digital disco dancer complete with !!!’s signature “dance-punk” mid-song call and response breakdown.
2) Cilantro Boombox – Living in a Box
Get funked up with a message about putting the phone down and living more in the moment. Perfect for today’s social media superficialities.
3) Washed Out – Hard to Say Goodbye
Sample-based deep house. Toro Y Moi-esque vocals. What’s not to like?
4) RoyBoy – Fall Back
Sade & Bobby Caldwell-influenced R&B from this Austin-based up-and-comer.
5) Ty Richards – Going Out For a Cigarette
This local-yet-intergalactic modern day Steve Miller kills it with laid back vocals on this one.
Jacquie Fuller is our Assistant Program Director. Here are her top 5 songs of the year:
1) Broken Social Scene – Hug of Thunder
This song is an exercise in duality – it’s heavy and weightless; it restrains and explodes. Milan Kundera would probably dig it. Also, I love that Feist and the band wrote it while Kevin Drew was in another room – it feels a little subversive.
2) Walker Lukens – Don’t Wanna Be Lonely
I’ve always liked Walker Lukens, but of course Jim Eno would be the one to take me from like to love. This song is 100% groove. I want to say something deep and intellectual about it, but I only feel it in my body.
3) Spoon – Do I Have to Talk You Into It?
Okay, so yes, this is sort of “The Beast and Dragon Adored” funked-up a bit, and I want you to know that Spoon could just recycle all their old songs from here on out and I’d keep paying my hard-earned money for them. So the answer is: no, duh, you don’t, never.
4) Juana Molina – Cosoco
Locomotive, playful, weird. I just want to get high and listen to this song all day while watching back-to-back episodes of The Discovery Channel’s How It’s Made.
5) Sweet Spirit – The Power
Gary Glitter was a perv and, starting right now, this song shall replace every one of his songs at every sporting event ever. “The Power” is a feminist jock jam.