So, without further ado, but with the greatest of pleasure, here are the Catfish Vegas Spring 13:
Wye Oak - Civilian
This stripped-down simplicity of this acoustic version shows what a powerful song "Civilian" is, mesmerizing and mysterious straight through.
DOWNLOAD: Wye Oak - Civilian
Those Darlins - Be Your Bro
Equal parts spunky and infectious, this tune throws a garage rock feel into the Patsy Cline meets the Runaways vibe of the band's debut.
Akron/Family - So It Goes
After the band's show last night at Club Congress, I'm sure the strange and sprawling Akron/Family II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT will be on my short list of the year's best albums. It's folk music at its core, but it also bleeds over the edges into any number of imaginative areas.
DOWNLOAD: Akron/Family - So It Goes
Amos Lee - Flower
I interviewed Amos Lee five days after the Tucson shooting - and since he recorded Mission Bell here, we talked about the city and its artistic community and how music is a force of healing and love. And then diving into the album over the next days and weeks, I found exactly what I needed.
Papercuts - Do You Really Wanna Know?
DOWNLOAD: Papercuts - Do You Really Wanna Know?
The Go! Team - Back Like 8 Track
The Go! Team - Back Like 8 Track by thegoteam
The strongest track on Rolling Blackouts, an album that's blissfully frenetic.
Iron & Wine - Your Fake Name Is Good Enough For Me
This is Iron & Wine taking a journey into the weird, but what a captivating tune. It's an epic, circling, widening-gyre type of song, with the chanted “we will become, become” growing bigger and wilder with each repetition.
Rural Alberta Advantage - Two Lovers
Haunting, in the Neutral Milk Hotel tradition.
Smith Westerns - All Die Young
Smith Westerns - "All Die Young" by forcefieldpr
Woozy indie-rock at its finest.
Social Distortion - Still Alive
It's a Story of a Life, another two decades down the road. Pure Mike Ness.
Wanda Jackson - Thunder on the Mountain
A neo-Dylan classic turned into barnburning rockabilly by the Queen, with a little help from Jack White.
Baseball Project - Panda & The Freak
The Baseball Project was a delight at the Barrio Viejo Festival and this song is pure fun. Since the last baseball game I saw was in the Giants park, I had to support them on the Series run last year, and it's great to hear Sandoval and Lincecum immortalized in song.
Low Anthem - Ghost Woman Blues
Probably the album I've listened to most this year. I just can't get enough of The Low Anthem, especially after the band's performance at the End of the Road Festival last summer in Dorset, England. The band hits Tucson on May 8.
And the song is so good, you get two videos!
And a download:
Oh hell, and Letterman too...