It’s the last day of the year, and since things are closing up on the positive, I thought I’d do one of those year-end lists. I can’t say I listened to as much new music this year as I have in past years, but some albums and artists did catch my ear in a positive way. So let’s get to it. (Note: Spotify playlists included for albums and songs, hit play below and start reading!)
Recommended Album’s of 2013 (Playlist)
- The Lone Bellow – The Lone Bellow [Descendant Records]
- Dreamboats – Sleeping Bag & Rozwell Kid [Jurassic Pop Records] (HS Post: Oct. 15)
- Dig Thy Savage Soul – Barrence Whitfield & The Savages [Bloodshot Records] (HS Post: Sept. 18)
- Charlie Patton’s War – Charlie Patton’s War [Self-Released]
- Dream Cave – Cloud Control [Ivy League Records]
- Foreverly – Billie Joe & Norah [Reprise Records]
- The Reader – Cooked Books [Let’s Pretend Records] (HS Post: July 28)
- Warcries – Andy D [Rad Summer]
- The Weight of the Globe – Lily & Madeleine [Asthmatic Kitty] (HS Post: Jan. 17)
- Traces of You – Anoushka Shankar [Deutsche Grammophon]
- Purple Scissors – Dead Beach [Let’s Pretend Records]
Comments (Check the links of past posts for most):
- The Lone Bellow: I watched One Tree Hill when I was in high school (and okay, a little bit of college) so naturally, I was a fan of Bethany Joy Lenz’s blog. This is where I first caught listen of The Lone Bellow. That band is so deliciously beautiful. I can’t believe I missed seeing them at the Bluebird last month, but sometimes that’s how life goes.
- Charlie Patton’s War: In full disclosure, I manage the band Charlie Patton’s War, but even if I didn’t, this would still be my favorite local release of 2013, it’s got just the right blend of modern blues-rock with a big appreciation for everything it sprang from. They are heading on tour next month, please go see them, you won’t regret it, or get enough of it.
- Dream Cave: I love this band, I miss this band, but this album (which was recorded in a cave) brings their beautiful harmonies and rock-steady grooves back to my heart in all the best ways. They are touring the US again in January, and ACTUALLY COMING TO THE MIDWEST!!
- Foreverly: Unexpected and lovely. One of the qualities I love most about Norah Jones is how open she is to collaboration. That girl will try any style and sing with anyone if the opportunity is right. This combo of Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong and the jazzy-pop songstress is nothing short of lovely, focused, and inspired.
- Warcries: It’s an album about saving the world by teaching aliens to dance and party, plus I just can’t get enough of that “Nasty” song…
- The Weight of the Globe: Although I got pretty tired of hearing about this duo by the end of the year, I still find this little EP to be very enjoyable, and a lot of wonderful local musicians played on it. I loved it when it first came out, and in spite of the whirlwind year of Lily & Madeleine, it’s still a nice listen now. Those girls can carry harmonies very well.
- Traces of You: I love Norah Jones, but I knew nothing of her half-sister Anoushka Shankar, I had seen an album of hers years ago at a past job, but at the time I didn’t know the connection between Anoushka and Ravi Shankar and Norah Jones. This album introduced me to the talented musician and sitar player, and marked the first time I listened to a sitar album in full and didn’t get annoyed by the instrument. In fact, it made me want to learn more about the sitar. And the chemistry between the two ladies on the songs featuring Norah is magical.
- Purple Scissors: This album rocks so incredibly hard. Another great local release that deserves a good listen. This trio is a lot of rock, kind of hardcore, and a little bit of country, led by Dylan Sizemore’s constantly morphing vocal style.
Favorite Songs of 2013 (Playlist)
2013 was all across the board in terms of songs I like. Of course, included are stand out tracks from the albums above but a lot more songs rather than whole albums were buzzing in my head this year. I couldn’t get enough of “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons – it just has such an epic sound, plus Black Violin did a nice cover of it at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater last fall. Of course, I’m in love with Pharrell’s “Happy” and his feature on Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”. There were some sneak attack songs like Lavender Diamond’s “I Don’t Recall”, which I stumbled upon from an MOKB playlist of new tracks. And I nearly cried tears of joy for the week I spent listening to Justin Timberlake’s comeback track “Suit & Tie”. Here are the songs I loved in 2013:
*Least favorite song of 2013: “Royals” by Lorde
Favorite Live Concerts
- Charles Bradley @ The Bluebird
- Aimee Mann & Ted Leo @ Buskirk-Chumley Theater
- Wolf People @ The Bishop
- Ben Sollee @ The Suites at 118
- Kalispell, Busman’s Holiday & Vollmar @ The Bishop
- The Coke Dares @ The Bluebird (Jason Molina Memorial Show) and @ The Bishop Birthday Party
- The Impossible Shapes @ The Bishop Birthday Party
- Meat Puppets @ The Bishop
- White Denim @ The Bluebird
- Kenny Childers on WFHB Local Live at Russian Recording
- Cooked Books (EVERY SHOW)
- Maps & Atlases @ Schubas (New Years Eve)
- Apache Dropout and Dead Beach at WIUX Culture Shock
Favorite Music Videos
1. Kalispell “What For” (Live from DIT Sessions)
Comment: It’s just perfect. Kalispell’s Shane Leonard wrote this song based on a short story. This performance by he and Jess McIntosh is haunting, emotional, and absolutely captivating.
2. Cloud Control “Dojo Rising”
Comment: What’s not to love about this visual and storytelling delight?
3. Maps & Atlases “Old Ash”
Comment: Two lessons.
(1) We all have to shave at some point.
(2) It’s only hair.
4. Murder by Death “Lost River”
Comment: Read them here
5. Steve Kardynal’s Chat Roulette take on Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball”
Comment: This guy deserves an award.
Least Favorite Video of 2013: I wish I never saw “The Fox“. It was a terrifying experience for many reasons.