For Your Disapproval ’18 Style

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Another year has come to pass. Another year crammed full of great new music, and I continue to hear about how all music sucks. 2019 was a very fruitful year for new music, established artists and new acts alike making interesting, intriguing and exciting records across all genres. Why did I stop at 24 you ask? Well, it just seemed like the right number. Good records that didn’t make the list included upcoming tourmates Yob and Voivod, I enjoyed both records but didn’t spend enough time with them. Also not making the cut were the new PrincePiano And A Microphone 1983 and St VincentMasseducation. Both are stellar works, fantastic, but to me both seemed to represent an artifact, a document rather than an album, Prince moreso than St Vincent’s sparsely reworked version of Masseduction (which was near the top of last year’s list, btw). Making the list were Synaptic Empire stalwarts Okkervil River, Kacey Musgraves, and Will Johnson in the form of one half of Marie/Lepanto, Fave Raves Esben and the Witch, Windhand, High On Fire and The Soft Moon, metal titans Sleep quietly released The Sciences on 4/20 unknown to most of even their own fans,  Behemoth released a monster of an album and Atlanta’s Dead Register returned with a set of doomwave tracks that should take them to another level. Legacy act Judas Priest shocked fans with a surprisingly strong, solid outing this year with Firepower, while members of The Big 15 Guided By Voices, The Damned and Elvis Costello continued their winning ways, and another Big 15 act, the Melvins released the biggest dud of their career for me, then followed it up with an outstanding collaboration with Sleep’s Al Cisneros for the Sabbath single. But honestly the year wouldn’t have been anything without our local D/FW talent. Leon BridgesGood Thing expanded his sound from his charming debut, The Cush received recognition for their wonderful Isle of Man EP, and I played Motorcade on the podcast more than any other band this year from their incredible self titled release.

But for me the year was owned by a very young Goth quartet from Dallas, Rosegarden Funeral Party. I am simply stunned by this barely 2 year old band, The Chopping Block EP was a staple in my ears from the first moment I heard it. The lead track, the blistering “Blitzkrieg In Holland” was my favorite song of the year without hesitation. The closer, “Eden” a close second. Both songs haunted my headspace for most of 2018, and I never once minded. Their new record coming out in 2019, The Martyr, is going to be a monster. Mark my words and get in on them now DFW music fans before they leave us behind for bigger and greater things. It’s absolutely inevitable.

  1. Rosegarden Funeral Party – The Chopping Block EP
  2. Sleep – The Sciences
  3. The Damned – Evil Spirits
  4. Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour
  5. Motorcade – Motorcade
  6. Esben and the Witch – Nowhere
  7. The Cush – Isle of Man EP
  8. Behemoth – I Loved You At Your Darkest
  9. Dead Register – Captive
  10. Leon Bridges – Good Thing
  11. Elvis Costello – Look Now
  12. Shannon Shaw – Shannon In Nashville
  13. Wooden Shjips – V.
  14. Kamasi Washington – Heaven And Earth
  15. The Soft Moon – Criminal
  16. Judas Priest – Firepower
  17. Guided By Voices – Spacegun
  18. High On Fire – Electric Messiah
  19. Marie/Lepanto – Tenkiller
  20. Okkervil River – In The Rainbow Rain
  21. Windhand – Eternal Return
  22. Melvins – Sabbath (With Al Cisneros)
  23. . Hop Along – Bark Your Head Off, Dog
  24. . The Beths – Future Me Hates Me

Live the year belonged to U2. I went up to Tulsa for the kickoff date of the tour and not only was it the best U2 show I’ve seen, not only was it the best show of the year, it was the best show of my life. Caught Big 15 members Slayer and Guided By Voices IN THE SAME NIGHT and walked out of the Melvins show at Trees 20 minutes early. I loathe the 2 bassist thing. It’s horrible to me. Got to see Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds again, and if you’re not a fan or are unfamiliar, this is a show you need to see. His charisma oozes all the way out through the front door, it’s astounding. Neurosis came back to Dallas for the first time since 2000 and leveled Canton Hall, while Sleep took out the Bomb Factory next door just a few months later. Club shows included incredible sets from Pleasure Club, playing a second show after opening for the Toadies and Helmet at Bomb Factory, and speaking of Slayer before, Testament and Behemoth had fantastic sets on the front end of that night. Lord Buffalo surprised me a bit at Ridglea Room, and I finally took the lovely Ms. Leah Vahrenkamp to see one of the all time favorites, The Moody Blues back in January. We also crossed a bucket list act off for her with Simple Minds in November, who were just as vibrant as the last time they played Dallas in 1994. Again, we had locals, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a couple of shows we put on this past year, Quiet Company/Rocketboys at The Tin Panther with Picnic Lightning and Ansley was quite a rock show, and we celebrated The Synaptic Empire’s 8th Birthday Party at MASS with The Cush, Rosegarden Funeral Party, Dagger Club, The Speedlights and Rei Clone. Look for all five of those bands to have incredible success in 2019, they all deserve it for sure.


  1. U2 – 05/02/2018 Bok Center, Tulsa Ok
  2. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – 10/23/2018 Bomb Factory, Dallas, TX
  3. Neurosis – 07/20/2018 Canton Hall, Dallas, TX
  4. Simple Minds – 11/03/2018 Toyota Music Pavilion, Irving, TX
  5. Sleep/Pinkish Black – 12/16/2018 Bomb Factory, Dallas, TX
  6. Slayer/Behemoth/Testament – 06/19/2018 Bomb Factory, Dallas TX
  7. Guided By Voices – 06/19/2018 Trees, Dallas, TX
  8. The Cush/Rosegarden Funeral Party/Dagger Club/The Speedlights/Rei Clone – 11/10/2018 MASS FW, TX
  9. Quiet Company/Rocketboys/Ansley/Picnic Lightning – 06/16/2018 The Tin Panther, Fort Worth, TX
  10. Pleasure Club – 03/02/2018 Three Links, Dallas, TX
  11. The Moody Blues – 01/22/2018 Toyota Music Pavillion, Irving, TX
  12. Lord Buffalo – 09/08/2018 Ridglea Lounge, Fort Worth, TX

~ by thesynaptic on January 9, 2019.

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