Denton Jukebox: the Dentonite Staff Edition
Welcome to the first edition of Denton Jukebox, where we explore who and what real Dentonites are listening to. For the first installment of this series, six staffers at The Dentonite share with you the albums they've been listening to as of late - so if you've been craving new music, read on.
Various Artists – The Rhinestone Hillbilly: A Tribute to Little Jimmy Dickens (2017)
The Rhinestone Hillbilly is the tribute record. It's a well-deserved nod to Little Jimmy Dickens, the "little but loud" hero of Old Americana (if there is such a thing), who hails from my other home: West Virginia. His songwriting is as sharp as dawn light off the lake and as plucky as a church banjo. The album brings out many proud members of their mountain home to relate these songs to us, including my buddy Todd Burge, who clued me in to this little gem in the first place via the Facebook. I'm enjoying just putting the whole thing on while I'm sorting cards or writing, and feeling the twang and heart bounce off a my sun-soaked cats and hardwood floors.
Shooter Jennings – Black Ribbons (2010)
The Yin in my other ears is Black Ribbons, a concept album by Shooter Jennings and his band-at-the-time, Hierophant. Now, hearing "concept album" and "Shooter Jennings" (who once sang about the C-U-N-T in "country") may put a nervous dance in your head akin to hearing a Kid Rock campaign speech, but nothing could be further from fact. The album absolutely destroys genre distinctions, weaving from Slobberbone to Roger Waters and over to Trent Reznor without cliche or noise. It's twangy, it's a bit Felt & Fur, and it's as bright and dark as The Stand. And it's saturated in the ethos and ennui of a man who is the son of Waylon Jennings. The record ends, somewhat predictably, in gunfire. America.Oh, America. That's what I'm listening to. And thanks for asking.
Kanye West - The College Dropout (2004)
It goes without saying that this record is an undisputed hip hop monument. Kanye’s debut album marks the preliminary stages of one of hip hop's most illustrious and prolific careers, sporting masterful sampling, production, and an all-star cast of some of the genre’s greatest talents of the time. Like every Kanye release, this album completely changed the game and set the standard for maximalist hip hop production. The album is as dense and rich as it is accessible and intoxicatingly fresh, having a seemingly endless amount of replay value. Just pop in "Jesus Walks" and count the layers.
Ulver - Bergtatt (1995)
This was the debut album for the multi-genre Norwegian group Ulver, and it is as bone-chillingly ethereal and ghostly as you would imagine a Norwegian winter to be. Incorporating hauntingly beautiful choral sections and blending them with savage, misanthropic traditional black metal battering, this album never ceases to amaze me for its folky yet visceral feel. This is one of the albums that pioneered the atmospheric black metal sound and I believe it is executed perfectly. Pairs well with mountains and sub-freezing temperatures.
All Time Low – Last Young Renegade (2017)
All Time Low is my favorite band and has been since high school. When I say favorite band, I do not mean that I like a few albums or a few songs; they are MY FAVORITE. I love every album they put out and every song they release. This album in particular is high up there in most liked for me. A few songs are unlike any other they have written, but there are also a few that are like their old stuff. "Life of the Party" is unique and challenges Alex’s (lead singer) voice, while "Last Young Renegade" is similar to what people love.
firekid – firekid (2015)
I recently discovered this artist through a Spotify playlist, and I was hooked instantly. "Die for Alabama" was the song on the playlist, and I did not take it off repeat. I decided to check out the album later on and I did not listen to anything else for a week. "Movin’ On" is another song that I just jam to from that album, along with "Magic Mountain." It’s very rare for me to find an album that I absolutely LOVE, and I’m very happy to have found this one.
Banes World – Drowsy (2016)
I’ve been in love with this album since early summer, but something about the mix of lo-fi production and melty 80s synths makes me want to hold onto it well into fall. Mac Demarco meets Toro y Moi’s Boo Boo (2017), if you will. Drowsy is definitely the most popular track on this album, but every track here deserves some extra love. My only complaint is that it’s not longer — the longest song clocks in at only 3 minutes and 31 seconds.
Tears For Fears – Songs from the Big Chair (Deluxe) (1985)
Apparently to Tears for Fears circa 1985, “deluxe” meant “double the songs of the original album.” But on the deluxe edition of this 80s classic, there are the bangers “Head Over Heels” (as heard in Donnie Darko) and my personal favorite, “I Believe (A Soulful Re-Recording).” I listen to this album exclusively when I drive up I-45 from my family’s home in Houston, and there’s nothing quite like listening to the track “Pharaohs” at night.
Marina and the Diamonds - Electra Heart (2012)
I used to have a weakness for only listening to one song on an album and overplaying it to death. "Bubblegum Bitch" was that particular song for Electra Heart, and then I realized what a fucking idiot I was when I finally got around to letting the album play on repeat. It's mainstream, but this is a premier piece of electro-pop fueled by identity reconfiguration. You dance to it, but you can also dig deep into what's a personal concept album for Marina Diamondis.
Sad Cops - Liam Murphy Holt (2016)
So that fucking weakness came back when I heard "Dirty Sheets." Sad Cops are a more grown up version of emo. Imagine you went back to check out your super-selfish high school poetry and then realized that life gets shitty for everyone. Anyway, I'm getting a little better with my condition and I only listen to "Magnetic Silence" twice before moving on to the next track.
Motion City Soundtrack - A Dinosaur Life (2010)
Whenever I go through significant transitions in my life, I find myself listening to the music I was obsessed with in my early 20’s. It’s the nostalgia of going to live shows every week, the night not even starting til 10pm (which is about the time I go to bed now), and raising a glass to youth every Wednesday at The Garage while singing along to Bohemian Rhapsody. I’ll never forget the last time I saw MCS, it was at The Door and I crowd surfed in a penguin costume to the stage.
The Gaslight Anthem - Get Hurt (2014)
I remember seeing them on a whim at The Granada back in 2013 with my best friend before this album came out, but “Get Hurt” had been released as single. The venue was so full, and the performance so raw with constant waves of emotion that seemed to crash over the crowd. I left a little buzzed, but so high off the experience of seeing Gaslight Anthem live. “Stray Paper” is another favorite, I love the singers scratchy baritone voice and the ghostly sounds created by the instruments. The album sounds like the end of Summer and the beginning of Fall.
Header image designed by Christopher Rodgers