The Best Songs in Dallas Music, 2010: Doug Burr Goes Electric at No. 23

[Over the next few weeks we'll be presenting our 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. 23 on the list -- and, please, feel free to click after the jump for a stream of the track. Keep checking back to see how the list pans out as we move closer to No. 1. And, after the jump, check out songs No. 50-24 in the Top 50 list that will update as it grows...]

In 2007, Doug Burr fully established himself as a major player in the local folk music scene thanks to the album that still remains his sophomore record and magnum opus, On Promenade, which fully introduced him as a writer of songs with great depth, fascinating detail and heart-wrenching arrangement.

Three years later, he finally got around to releasing his proper follow-up to that album. And though this year's O Ye Devastator isn't quite on On Promenade's level -- few albums are, let's be honest -- it's no less a testament to Burr's overwhelming talent, a disc that, unlike so many released locally this year, is a complete album, and one that finds Burr expanding on his previous repertoire. Yep, like Dylan before him, Burr's gone electric.

Doug Burr - "At The Public Dance"

Burr's wheelhouse remains, as ever, in the acoustic realm. But a few times over the course of O Ye Devastator, Burr steps outside of that comfort zone, beefing up his instrumentation by plugging in. And nowhere else on his latest album is that change more prevalent than on the album's third track, "At The Public Dance," which elicits chills with its reverberated slow build.

Coupled with Burr's weary vocals, the song's build is a perfect complement to its storyline, which finds Burr falling in love across a dancefloor and, later, bitterly out of love. Both the song and story elicit emotional swells of the most basic form -- which may sound like an easily accomplished feat, but is anything but.

For years now, Burr's been the regional king when it comes to crafting songs that draw visceral emotion responses within his listeners. "At The Public Dance" reaches that same end, albeit on a path. And for that much, his timeless music should forever reign.

The Top 50 Local Songs of 2010 (Links to music videos and free song downloads available where applicable; links to streams where neither a download nor video exists.)
50. Dear Human - "Waiting"
Nervous Curtains - "All Yesterday's Parties"
Spector 45 - "Try Try Try"
Smile Smile - "Beg You To Stay"
Robert Gomez - "A Natural State"
45. Florene - "Parc Bitch"
44. Mount Righteous - "Eat Your Wife and Kiss The Barbecue"
43. The Strange Boys - "Be Brave"
Soft Environmental Collapse - "A Horse & Buggy Complex"
41. Deepspace5 - "Killing With Kindness"
Sextape -- "Lubricated Intimacy"
Museum Creatures - "Song ABC"
38. Ocelot - "Beating Hears"
37. Sir Silky - "The Squeeze (The Answer)"
Bone - "Homegurl"
35. Ishi - "Come Closer"
34. Hoyotoho - "Born Black"
33. Dorrough - "Get Big"
Katie Carroll - "Paper Girl"
31. Final Club - "Ruded"
30. Treal Lee & Prince Rick - "Throwed Off (Fuck Errbody)"
South San Gabriel - "All Night Long"
The Rocket Summer - "Walls"
Darktown Strutters - "Lucifer Rising"
School of Seven Bells - "Windstorm"
24. The Burning Hotels -- "Austin's Birthday"
Doug Burr - "At The Public Dance"
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Pete Freedman
Contact: Pete Freedman

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