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The Best Songs in Dallas Music, 2009: Red Monroe's "Pat Mayse Lake" Grunts Its Way Into The Top 25.

[Editor's Note: Over the next 25 days, I'll be presenting my favorite local songs of the year, counting down from No. 25 to No. 1, one track a day. Today, we take an in-depth look at song No. 25 on the list--and click after the jump for a free download of the track. Lastly, keep checking back to see how the list pans out, and, also after the jump, check out songs No. 40-26 in the Top 40 list that will update as it grows...]

No. 25: Red Monroe -- "Pat Mayse Lake"

Quietly, in late March, one of Dallas' most innovative indie rock outfits, Red Monroe, released its ode to Pat Mayse Lake--the water mass located just a short three-hour drive northwest of the city--via a song called, simply enough, "Pat Mayse Lake." The free, downloadable, three-track EP from whence it came was similarly of simple name: Three Songs by Red Monroe.

Bonus mp3:

Red Monroe -- "Pat Mayse Lake"


True to this same form, pretty much everything about the song is simple--and in the best way too. Just two minutes long, it starts off hokily enough with a group chant that serves to imply that its remaining parts aren't to be taken too seriously. Good thing, too, because, in the wrong context, the background grunts that provide this song its backbone might not come off as charmingly as they do here. Instead, on this track, they provide a much-needed punctuation to the song's otherwise repetitive guitar arrangement.

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Lyrically, simplicity's the key here, too, as frontman Eric Steele runs down a laundry list of the highs and lows and lessons learned from a camping trip gone not-so-bad-and-actually-kind-of-enjoyable: "Take my shirt and leave it on the lawn. / Don't wear a hat if you can't keep it on. / Always have a ball, and go and take a hike. / Never strike a match if you know you've got a light."

And then there's the refrain--"You don't know me, but I can't wait for the other shoe to drop"--a non sequitur in a song filled with non sequiturs, and the final nail in the coffin that turns song into such an incessant earworm.

The Top 40 Local Songs of 2009 (Links to music videos and free song downloads available where applicable; links to streams where neither a download nor video exists.)
40. The Wax Museums -- "Safety in Numbers"
39. Macon Greyson -- "Pushing Strings"
38. The Burning Hotels -- "Austin's Birthday" (video)
37. The Riverboat Gamblers -- "DissDissDissKissKissKiss" (video)
36. Salim Nourallah -- "Endless Dream Days"
35. The Phuss -- "Preacher, Preacher"
34. The Southern Sea -- "These Things Always End Badly"
33. Fungi Girls -- "Pacifica Nostalgia"
32. Giggle Party -- "Jason Bought a Hatchet" (video)
31. Carter Albrecht -- "Country Living" (stream)
30. This Old House -- "At Risk"
29. Occult Detective Club -- "You'll Follow Me" 
28. Bad Sports -- "Nothing But Agitation"
27. Darktown Strutters -- "Quakertown"
26. The Crash That Took Me -- "Patricia Lynn" (stream)
25. Red Monroe -- "Pat Mayse Lake"
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...and be sure to keep checking back, as this list will update daily.

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