Local Musicians Pick the Best and Worst Of 2015

Local Musicians Pick The Best And Worst Shows Of 2015
Photo by Tony Romero

Alyson Alonzo of Sugar Skulls/Alyson Alonzo/Ghetto Prom

BEST: "The YOSA thang [Radiohead's OK Computer as done by local artists with the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio]."

WORST: "Whitney Houston's daughter dying the same way she did."

click to enlarge Osita Anusi, Jr.
Osita Anusi, Jr.

Osita Anusi Jr. of The Bolos/Fuzzland Productions

BEST: "Opening for the Black Lips."

WORST: "DS2 by Future."

Jim Beal Jr. of Miss Neesie & the Earfood Orchestra/Retired Express-News music columnist/Bro. Dave & the Barrio Blasters/KSYM Third Coast Music Network host

BEST: "East LA's Los Fabulocos October gig at Sam's Burger Joint was a real-deal, rollicking Cal-Mex party — and a fine Casbeers reunion."

WORST: "Food and craft cocktails supplanting rock 'n' roll in the hearts and minds of the going-out public."

click to enlarge Josh Borchardt
Josh Borchardt

Josh Borchardt of Crown/Mockingbird Express

BEST: "Transmission booking the Paper Tiger. Finally getting more national acts that appeal to adults rather than 14-year-olds. Pretty big game changer for the San Antonio scene in general."


Bob Catlin of S.A. Slayer/Pigface/Martyrhead

BEST: "Robert Rich's Filaments was my fave."

WORST: "Social networking is the worst thing to happen to anything in 2015."

click to enlarge Girl in a Coma
Girl in a Coma

Nina Diaz of Girl in a Coma/Nina Diaz

BEST: "I'm super excited that Alyson Alonzo is taking the solo route as well. She's blooming as a writer, great things to be heard from her next year. I'm bummed that Lonely Horse will no longer be a band but respect the decision. Nick Long is another amazing writer and my ears are excited to hear what comes out of him next."

WORST: "First thing that comes to mind on a national sense is the death of Scott Weiland. His music and voice had a big impact on me growing up."

Phanie Diaz of Fea/Girl in a Coma

BEST: "The revival of vinyl and the fact that it keeps growing."

WORST: "Musically, fashion-wise, [kids] looking like they listen to punk/new wave/goth but they have no idea that L7 reunited because they just downloaded Young Thug's new single."

click to enlarge Hyperbubble

Jeff and Jess DeCuir of Hyperbubble

BEST: "'When I Was a Boy' music video by the Electric Light Orchestra. The video is similar to the Beatles' 'Free as a Bird' and follows [singer/songwriter Jeff] Lynne's journey from Beatle-ized dreamer to pop music legend. The lyrics speak to and for every artist who has followed a similar vision. If that describes you, then try ... just TRY to look and listen without welling up. Actually, the song is a lot like 'Beautiful Ride' by Dewey Cox, from the movie Walk Hard, which, however tongue in cheek, also made us weep like Hyperbabies."

WORST: "Facebook holding fans hostage. If you become a fan of a band on Facebook, you may not be seeing all of their posts. Facebook posts by artist accounts are only seen by a small percentage of their fans, and that percentage got even smaller in 2015. To guarantee views, bands have to pay a ransom. Now, think about those friends of yours in local bands. Not exactly swimming in money, right? Still, Facebook is where the eyes are, so bands continue to deal with the devil. Simply put, Facebook isn't punk at all."

click to enlarge Lonely Horse
Lonely Horse

Travis Hild of Lonely Horse

BEST: "I would say the best thing was Lonely Horse's album coming out."

WORST: "The worst was our album coming out."

Pink Leche

BEST: "Sleater-Kinney reuniting."

WORST: "'CoCo' by O.T. Genasis"

Nick Long of Lonely Horse/Nothing Chief

BEST: "Getting to play on stage at the Tobin Center with, like, a 60-piece orchestra."

WORST: "The worst thing is that [Lonely Horse] never made the cover of the Current, haha."

Phil Luna of Royal Punisher/The Please Help

BEST: "The release of the Royal Punisher Bullets for Breakfast album."

WORST: "The release of the Royal Punisher Bullets for Breakfast album."

click to enlarge Cody Mauser
Cody Mauser

Cody Mauser of The Rich Hands

BEST: "The best was definitely seeing Cheap Trick."

WORST: "When the Spurs lost to the Clippers in the first round of the playoffs."

Alvaro Del Norte of Piñata Protest/Los Callejeros de San Anto

BEST: "San Antonio getting Paper Tiger. I think it represents a new era of the music scene for San Antonio."

WORST: "The loss of Jaime at Hogwild, Davy of Hickoids, and Jason (DJ Shabby Tiger) were definitely the worst for me."

Joe Reyes of Buttercup/Demitasse

BEST: "One of my favorite things about 2015 was the Two Ten Empire Series, which gives local music acts the chance to perform in a beautiful old theater."

WORST: "The cancer that took the lives of several of our music friends before their old age, including Shawn Terry and Davy Jones."

Tony Romero of The Spiders Jazz Quintet

BEST: "My band! I want my brand of jazz to represent the young local music scene."

WORST: "I think San Antonio needs to capitalize on its local music scene. It's good and can only get better if the better bands and musicians set the standard."

Sarah Ann Roork of Cursus

BEST: "My favorite thing this year in music is the song 'Sparrow' from Windhand. I've probably watched this video 30 times since it came out, I can't get enough."

WORST: "Most of San Antonio's all ages DIY spots like Tofu House, Cafe Rev, Poorcore HQ and Ritual Art Gallery all closed down or stopped doing shows. It makes it difficult for younger fans to see our band when we're limited to mostly 21+ places, and the younger folks are usually a lot more enthusiastic about the shows."

Saakred of Saakred/Visual Artist

BEST: "Desert Sons by Lonely Horse."


Erik Sanden of Buttercup/Demitasse

BEST: "Nothing good or bad happened in 2015. However, the last few months of 2014 were significant. On November 14, 2014, Father John Misty appeared on David Letterman to perform his song "Bored in the USA." His routine was pure performance art and should be framed somewhere in a museum.  He used a player piano and a laugh track to deliver a cutting cultural critique of how Americans can't even slouch into death with dignity. His straight-faced belting of the tragic couplet "They gave me useless education and a sub-prime loan on a craftsman home" was immediately answered with the incongruous laugh track. It took me back to 8th grade when I really knew firsthand how cruel laughter can be." 

WORST: "Oh, and this very same month (Nov. 2014), contributors at Slate, Rolling Stone and NPR tried to gushingly convince me that Taylor Swift's new record 1989 was 1) a great work of art 2) original 3) something I would like.  1) no 2) no 3) no.  If you are 40+ and you really groove on Taylor Swift, there is something deeply amiss. I'm not begrudging Taylor Swift's success — she's talented and kind of sunny and fresh in the way that she is lifting entire melodies and her complete vibe from Lorde. There is plenty of room in Musicland for everybody, but critics in there 40s and 50s ... should know better." 

Chris Smart of Chrysta Bell/DJ Smarty Pants

BEST: "13th Floor Elevators reunion at Psychfest."

WORST: "S.A. losing DJ Bart Koch, Jaime Gonzalez (Hogwild) and Shawn Terry (Robot Monster)."

Ryan Smith of Yippee Ki Yay Records/DJ Proper Yarn

BEST:"La Luz (band), or Marathon by Mujeres."


Cameron Taylor of Ghost Police/Killer Kill/Blithe

BEST: "The Epic by Kamasi Washington or Head Wound City reuniting."

WORST: "Everything on pop radio, currently."

James Woodard of The Grasshopper Lies Heavy/Mega Man

BEST: "Shape Shift by Zombi. Progressive synth rock from the deepest reaches of Alpha Centauri. Synth/bassist Steve Moore and synth/drummer Tony Paterra decided to finally get back together and smoke a bunch of pot in Steve's basement for a few weekends and bless the human race with this fantastic slab of Ancient Space Monolith Rock."

WORST: "Fucking 'Hotline Bling.' This motherfucker, fucking Drake, cursed us all with this steaming load of elephant shit that permeated my Facebook feed with unfunny memes for months."


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