Crate Diggers Dallas, Staff Picks

With 2017 only days away we felt we would share some of our Crate Diggers staff favorite albums, concerts and much more from 2016.

Austin James, Creative Director

Best concert you saw this year:
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweat at South Side Ballroom. The crowd chanted the chorus to "S.O.B" to get him to reappear for an encore, which to everyones surprise included a guest appearance from Leon Bridges.  Nathaniel and Leon performed one of my favorite Sam Cooke songs "Having a Party".

Album you listened to the most this year:
Sturgill Simpson - A Sailor's Guide to Earth. This album was a middle finger to everyone who tries to label him only as a traditional country artist.  His horn section rivals a 70’s Elvis Las Vegas concert and his cover of Nirvana’s "In Bloom" was genre bending genius.

Favorite Crate Diggers Moment in 2016:
Live music and covering concerts is great but I love getting to witness a song come together in the studio.  We got the opportunity twice this year to witness some of our favorite local bands (Rise & Shine and Northern National) in the studio recording new material due out next year.

Favorite album you bought on vinyl in 2016:
This isn't even close to a new album but one that I added to my collection this year that I was most excited about was The Zombies, Odessey And Oracle.  Such a classic album from one of the most underrated bands of the 60's. 

Favorite local album release in 2016:
Charley Crockett, In The Night.  We had the pleasure of interviewing Charley and see him perform a lot this year.  This album was definitely on repeat for a month straight this summer.

2017 event or album you’re most looking forward to:
I have tickets to see Don Henley and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers in 2017…can’t think of anything more exciting than that.

 

AMY JOHNSON, DIRECTOR OF CONTENT

Best concert you saw this year:
Charley Crockett at the Continental Club — Austin, TX. This is by far the hardest question, so many great concerts in 2016! Though Cage the Elephant and Phantogram were close contenders, Charley's lively performance in the intimate venue had the entire crowd dancing the night away. The Continental Club felt like it had turned into a 60's blues/swing hall, filled with electric, contagious energy. (Not to mention, I was surprised with a proposal the next day!)

Album you listened to the most this year:
Rayland Baxter, Imaginary Man. While this is a tough one, the spot goes to Rayland! He's a go-to in my library, especially in anticipation of his two shows I saw this year, and simply just loving his rock & folk music.

Favorite Crate Diggers Moment in 2016:
Petty Fest at Oaktopia Music Festival. Seeing so many local and national legends sing Tom Petty songs for hours is easily the highlight of the year! So much talent on one stage. It was an honor to cover and be a part of such a memorable night!  

Favorite album you bought on vinyl in 2016:
Car Seat Headrest, Teens of Denial — Okay, this might have been a gift, but someone bought it and I now own it. After seeing the band at Sound on Sound Fest this year, I grew a new appreciation for them that can only be expressed through now listening to their record on repeat.

Favorite local album release in 2016:
Jonas Martin, The Color Scheme. From the incredibly entertaining album release show at Double Wide, to the hilarious & insightful interview with Jonas, and my personal favorite song, "Wannabe", The Color Scheme has definitely been a favorite local release of mine this year!

2017 event or album you’re most looking forward to:
The Warbly Jets first album. Their single "Alive" is so addicting, and after hearing them live and interviewing them, I know I'm going to be listening to their full album on repeat the second it's released. 

MATT CARLIN, CONTENT INTERN

Best concert you saw this year:
Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals at House of Blues Dallas.  The venue wasn’t overcrowded so there was plenty of room to dance and enjoy the show. Anderson performed while playing on a drum kit for about half of the show going through the majority of his hits from his grammy nominated album, Malibu. The whole night it felt as if you were just hanging out with your really talented friend as he performed and took time to talk to the crowd. It was very intimate but also an amazing performance.

Album you listened to the most this year:
Flume, “Skin” – Flume really proved himself to be a force in the music industry by creating an album with the most diverse list of collaborators in recent memory. From Vic Mensa to ToveLo, every track on this release had the energy to fill an arena. Depending on what kind of genre you’re into the most, chances are Skin had a track for you. I had this album on repeat all year and got the opportunity to see him at Austin City Limits Music Festival where he blew my mind with his set.

Favorite Crate Diggers Moment in 2016:
Untapped Festival: Dallas – Because who doesn’t like seeing todays top artists while surrounded by an endless amount of craft beer? You could sample a rare beer from a town you’ve never heard of then turn around and see Gogol Bordello tearing up the stage. The atmosphere was incredible; there’s no way you could attend this event and have a bad time. Up and coming artists paired with national acts and local brews made for a great night.

Favorite album you bought on vinyl in 2016:
Local Natives, Sunlit Youth. The first time I heard the track “Coins” off of Local Natives new record, it changed my life and I swore an allegiance to the band for the rest of my days. Very few artists can create a truly unique 3rd album without borrowing too much from their previous releases. Local Natives had one of the best and creative albums of the year, truly pushing their limits and coming up with gold in 2016.

 Favorite local album release in 2016:
Alejandro Escovedo, Burn Something Beautiful – The long time Austin based musician now calls Dallas home where he resides with his family. Having an Austin legend choose to live in Dallas is a bragging right in itself. Escovedo released his new album this October proving he’s far from done with Rock n’ Roll.

2017 event or album you’re most looking forward to:
Lorde’s sophomore release. It’s been nearly four years since the world was blessed with Pure Heroin, the debut album from the then unknown New Zealand sensation. Having given recent details on the album and saying it’s coming soon, 2017 should be the year we all get to hear what’s been kept under wraps for such a long time.

Austin James