This was a great year for local music. Since 2004, when I arrived to San Antonio, I haven’t seen so many strong albums, songs and new bands coming out. While in our annual Music Issue the winners are picked via a write-in readers’ poll, now it’s my turn to pick the highlights of a great year.
She managed to do it all in 2013: Release a superb album she recorded in the middle of a pregnancy (Within the Shifting Shade), celebrate with a kick-ass party at 502, continue playing solo and with her band, perform on local TV and close the year off with a terrifically creepy version of “Frosty the Snowman,” turning even me into a Christmas carol believer.
Buzz band Lonely Horse controlled the first half of the year with solid performances led by charismatic Nick Long; Crown appeared on my radar midway; and the year’s late surprise was Creatura, arguably the band most concerned with arranging a song until it explodes with transitions not heard since Aqualung-era Jethro Tull (OK, I’m a little out of control here, but you get the idea). Yet, what Josh Borchardt (bass, vocals), Venezuela’s Carlos Zubillaga (guitar, vocals) and Mexico’s Oscar Webber (drums) did was turn three different musical worlds into a psychedelic blues powerhouse that takes no prisoners live and makes me anxious to hear their first properly recorded full-length due out (cross your fingers) sometime
1 Bekah Kelso Within the Shifting Shade(self-released)
2 Fiction Fiction (self-released)
3 Matt Adler The Sound (Splendid)
Honorable Mention: Austin/SA band Gleeson’s II and Michigan piano man (and recent SA transplant) Lucas Jack and his excellent, pop-leaning Sun City
1 Wild Party All Nighter (self-released)
2 Feuding Fathers Kid Tested, Father Approved (self-released)
3 Garrett T. Capps Hope & Doubt & Freeway Birds (Hasty Suburban)
Honorable Mention: Ghost Police’s Dead Soul Noise and Bad Breaks’ Carry On (bandleader Chuck Kerr now lives in Seattle, but the rest of the Breaks are still in SA)
“Stop It, You’re Killing Me” (Hickoids)
“Volver, Volver” (Piñata Protest)
“Smoke and Mirrors” (Fiction)
“Please Be My Strength” (Matt Adler)
“A Thousand Little Words” (Bekah Kelso)
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