Single Track Mind (STM): 25 Years Jamming in Austin

As I was jogging last week on Town Lake, it occurred to me that 2017 marks my 25th year living in the best city in this wacky state (if it wasn’t for Austin, I wouldn’t live here). So, for my latest Single Track Mind blog, I thought it would be fun to highlight some of my favorite tracks since 1992. Now, I’ll have to admit that I was living the island life from 1996-1998. Still, even while I was there, my heart was always here. I hope you can overlook my brief tropical stint away from our Hill Country pearl. SRV statue

Picking a single song for each year was a tough task but it was also a ton of fun and I even found myself making ties out of a couple years. Anyway, laid out below are tunes emblematic of my history in this fantastic town.

  • 1992: “Sheela-Na-Gig,” by PJ Harvey from the Dry album
    • This was the first album I bought in my new hometown in what became my favorite music store, Waterloo Records
  • 1993: “Cherub Rock,” by the Smashing Pumpkins from Siamese Dreams
    • Butch Vig was one of the best music producers of the 1990s; excellent!
  • 1994: TIE
    • Beercan,” by Beck from Mellow Gold
    • Supersonic,” by Oasis from Definitely, Maybe
  • 1995: TIE (please no verbal stone throwing at these wildly opposite choices)
  • 1996: “Billy and Bonnie,” by Steve Earle from I Feel Alright
  • 1997: “Paranoid Android,” by Radiohead from OK Computer
  • 1998: “The Way,” by Fastball from All the Pain Money Can Buy
  • 1999: “Via Chicago,” by Wilco from Summerteeth
  • 2000: “When the Roses Bloom Again,” by Wilco from Mermaid Avenue, Vol. II
  • 2001: “New York New York,” by Ryan Adams from Gold
    • The video was recorded on September 7, 2001 with the Twin Towers prominently  featured
  • 2002: TIE
    • Heavy Metal Drummer,” by Wilco from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
      • I saw Tweedy play a solo acoustic show in 2001 at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco where he played this entire album before it was released!
    • The Seed 2.0,” by the Roots featuring Cody Chestnutt from Phrenology
  • 2003: “Go to Sleep,” by Radiohead from Hail to the Thief
  • 2004: “Sometimes You Can’t Make it on Your Own,” by U2 from How to Dismantle…
  • 2005: “Dirty Harry,” by The Gorillaz from Demon Days
  • 2006: “Broken,” by Jack Johnson from Sing-a-Longs and Lullabies
  • 2007: “Right Moves,” by Josh Ritter from the Historical Conquests of Josh Ritter
  • 2008: “Always a Friend,” by Alejandro Escovedo from Real Animal
  • 2009: “Kick Drum Heart,” by the Avett Brothers from I and Love and You
  • 2010: “High Road,” by Broken Bells from Broken Bells
    • Danger Mouse is the new Butch Vig
  • 2011: “The Other Side,” by the Roots from Undun
  • 2012: “American Land,” by Bruce Springsteen from Wrecking Ball
    • It’s the endless wave of immigrants that make me proud to say, I’m Mexican-American
  • 2013: “Modern Jesus,” by Portugal.the Man from Evil Friends
  • 2014: “That’s Love,” by Oddisee from the Good Fight
  • 2015: “Lampshades on Fire,” by Modest Mouse from Strangers to Ourselves
  • 2016: “Noise Pollution,” by Portugal.the Man from Woodstock
    • Emblematic of the low watermark in American politics

Since 2017 is only halfway done, it’s a toss up for me what will be the song most representative of this year and it is going to be tough to choose because there is some very, very, very good music being released this year. For now, the big contenders include new releases from BlonderJason Isbell and the 400 Unit, The War on Drugs, Portugal.the Man, The Mavericks, Benjamin Booker, Bomba Estereo, and Future Islands. Whew! Check back in December for the STM 2017 track.


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