Entries tagged with: Best of 2013
by Bill Pearis
The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop critics poll was published this week, surveying a whole mess of music writers and tallying up the vote. As with anything where it's a collective list, the winners won't be surprising to anyone who's perused 2013 Best Of lists. Kanye West, Vampire Weekend and Daft Punk top the LPs list; Daft Punk, Haim and Kanye have the top three singles. The late deadline for voting did, however, allow for the inclusion of Beyoncé's self-titled LP, which came in at #4.
You can check out the Top 20 LPs and Tracks in this post and peruse the whole lists at the Village Voice. You can also check out individual ballots and read essays on Kanye, Miley, R Kelly, the emo revival, and others, not to mention loads of pithy blurbs and pie charts.
Pazz & Jop Top 20 LP & Singles lists below..
photos by Greg Cristman
2013 has come and gone but we still have a couple year-end posts to go. Greg Cristman shot a whole lot for us last year -- everything from metal to synthpop and all points in between -- and he picked his 25 favorites from '13 which are in this post.
by Bill Pearis
Having broken up Sic Alps, Mike Donovan released his first solo album, Wot, which took his typical sludgy blues style and wiped a bit of the mud off it. As he was the only constant member of the band, it's not that different than the last Sic Alps record. Mike just made a video for Wot's opening track, "New Fieldhand Bop," which takes a close look at our dependence on mobile devices. You can check that out below.
Mike also gave us a 2013 Top 10, which is more a chance to shout out inspirational people in his life than a list of records he digs, though some of the folks are indeed musicians -- all in his quintessential type-speak. That is below as well. No word on any North American tour dates -- he was here back in October -- but we're keeping our eyes out.
Video and Top 10 below...
Amanda Hatfield was one of the most prolific BrooklynVegan music photographers of 2013, but somehow she managed to pick just thirteen shots that she loved the most.
Head to RDIO to listen to a playlist of her favorite songs of 2013. Check out the rest of her favorite pictures and her top 20 albums of 2013, below...
BrooklynVegan is about to go in Holiday mode, eating too many cookies, looking for things to watch that aren't A Christmas Story (though who can resist watching it at least once) and generally chilling out. We'll still have our daily "What's Going On" posts covering notable shows each night, plus a few other posts, and any notable news but it will be on the quiet side around here till after New Year's.
We've been in summation mode lately, so let's sum all those up while we have your attention. BV writers Andrew Sacher and Bill Pearis offered up their individual (and quite different) lists of their favorite 20 favorite LPs of 2013.
We got Top 10 lists from Queens of the Stone Age, Dum Dum Girls, Speedy Ortiz, a bunch of Don Giovanni bands (Screaming Females, California X and more) Cheap Time's Jeffrey Novak, Mood Rings, Sonny & the Sunsets, TV Ghost, Factory Floor, Front Bottoms, Feathers, Quilt, White Lung, and both Wax Idols and No Joy gave us lists about our comments section.
For those still looking for New Year's Eve plans, we've posted NYC New Year's Eve Concert Options, plus some dancier options. There's more here, and even more if you browse our "New Year's Eve" tag. There are holiday shows in NYC coming up too.
Happy holidays everybody!
by Doug Moore
Triptykon at Inferno Festival 2012 (more by Fred Pessaro)
First things first: for those of you who haven't fled town for the holidays already, there are some noteworthy shows this weekend. Tonight, tour-happy USBMers Vattnet Viskar tops a strong local bill that includes So Hideous, Alekhine's Gun, & Imperial Triumphant at the Acheron (12/20). (Tix here.) Saturday night offers one of the year's most notable death metal lineups -- Gorguts, Origin, & Nero Di Marte at Saint Vitus (12/21). The new Gorguts record topped a lot of metal year-end lists, including my own. That show is sold out, unfortunately; if you didn't nab tickets or if blastbeats and growling aren't really your speed, you can always catch Martin Rev (of Suicide) at the Bowery Electric, along with brutal prog bangers Child Abuse and Timo Ellis's new noise rock unit Netherlands. (Tix here.) Don't forget to keep an eye on our NYC Metal calendar for the latest.
It's been a predictably scant news week otherwise. Russian Circles/Inter Arma/KEN mode, Dying Fetus, and Lord Dying all announced tours or NYC appearances, while Cult of Luna won't be back here any time soon. Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward is stoked on modern metal, while Celtic Frost/Triptykon frontman Tom G. Warrior evidently isn't:
"I gave up on watching heavy music a long time ago. I really don't give a shit about the state of heavy music nowadays. I'm not really a friend of being conservative in art, and I'm not really a friend of repetition. I'm not really a friend of people copying themselves and others. By necessity I've given up assessing or following the scene I'm part of...It's been so frustrating how utterly listless the creative forces in some bands are. How unimaginative. That bothers me. Number one - music for me is art, and art is anarchy, art is reinventing yourself, art is taking a risk. Art is not being repetitious."One wonders how he'll react to the rest of the Maryland Deathfest lineup when Triptykon plays there next year.
We wrapped up our year-end coverage over at Invisible Oranges this week -- we discussed some notable album anniversaries that we missed, some great independent/self-released albums, and some interesting album covers of both the good and horrendous variety. We also ran personal best-ofs by Richard Street-Jammer, Brad Sanders, Joseph Schafer, and Wyatt Marshall. And, as ever, we ran down all the new metal releases fit to buy.
Oh, and one more bit of IO-related news: we're giving away prize packs from Season of Mist Records, Deathwish Inc., Relapse Records, Willowtip Records, and Prosthetic Records. It's not too late to enter (and win). Happy Festivus.
by Andrew Sacher and Bill Pearis
We've done some year-end lists in the past at BrooklynVegan, though you might notice that we're not the most consistent with them. This is for a few reasons, one being that with the varying tastes of our current group of contributors, we could never in a million years agree on a top 10, let alone an Album of the Year. So in an attempt to get around that obstacle, this year two BV writers, Bill Pearis and Andrew Sacher, have made individual lists of the albums they loved most which we think each represent different parts of 2013 here at BrooklynVegan. They both made top 20s (and only had two albums in common), with commentary on the top 10, and you can check out both lists below...
British newspaper The Guardian just finished publishing its Best Albums of 2013 list, after having rolled it out over the past couple weeks. It's got a lot of the albums most likely to show up on British lists, like These New Puritans, John Grant, Hookworms, and Arctic Monkeys, but its #1 is more in common with the US publications. Find out what it is, along with their other 39 picks, below...
We already posted BV contributor David Andrako's favorite live photos (that he took) of 2013, and now here's another from longtime BV contributor Dominick Mastrangelo. The one of Palma Violets above is one of his "13 for 13" pics picks, and you can check out the rest, along with a list of his favorite songs of the year, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Pitchfork is back with its much-anticipated Top 50 Albums of 2013 list. The list has many of the albums you'd expect to see on Pitchfork's list, though there's still some surprises. If you thought M.I.A got snubbed, you'll be happy to see her here, and if you thought James Blake deserved the Best New Music he didn't get, you'll be happy to see how high he ranks. The biggest surprise to me is that Majical Cloudz makes the top 10, and for those keeping score, Yeezus is NOT #1. Can you guess what is?
Head here to see individual writers' lists, and head below to see Pitchfork's full Top 50 Albums of 2013 list...
The Blow @ MHOW, November 2013 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
While not as unexpected as My Bloody Valentine or Mazzy Star, The Blow released their first new full-length in seven years, which NPR's Bob Boilen just named his #1 album of 2013. One of the songs off The Blow, ""You're My Light," just got a remix by Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij and you can stream that below.
Meanwhile, singer Khaela Maricich just gave us her Top 10 of 2013. Most of it is music related, but there are art and TV choices in there too, and she provides commentary as well. You can check out that list below.
In other news, The Blow wrapped up their tour not too long ago and are already looking towards the next record:
We are in the west, taking a bit of a break. Soon, we will be even farther west, as far as one can go, and recording a new album. We won't stay west forever, the east will pull us back, we will just be here long enough to pretend that we are living in the seventies with a sailboat and a hammock and a lot of good parties in the hills.Let's hope we don't have to wait seven years for the next one.
Check out Khaela's Top 10 list and that remix below...
people outside Other Music on Record Store Day 2013 (more by PSquared)
Other Music, the NYC record store (15 E 4th St) and record label (home to Nude Beach, Mutual Benefit, and others), has published its top 30 albums of 2013 list. The multi-genre list has a lot of cool, generally smaller releases in the electronic, hip hop, garage rock, folk, jazz, and other genres, steering clear of the big names that end up on a lot of these lists.
Check out the whole list in alphabetical order below, and read commentary on each one, plus take a look at Other Music's favorite reissues here.
Pitchfork just posted their Honorable Mention Albums of 2013, which they say is "not #51 through #70 in our albums poll, but rather, records we thought were exceptional this year and deserved to be highlighted regardless of where they wound up." It includes a number of albums that did get Best New Music throughout the year (like the Burial EP that got a 9.0 last week), a certain inescapable young New Zealand pop star (who just announced two Roseland Ballroom shows), some metal representation, a couple indie legends, and the raw noise punk demo of Perfect Pussy, who also made Pitchfork's Top 100 Tracks.
Check out the full list in alphabetical order below...
intro by Bill Pearis
Nashville's Jeffrey Novak has had a busy year. His band Cheap Time released their new album, Exit Smiles via In the Red, and he made time for a solo album The Lemon Kid which came out last month on Trouble in Mind (stream it via Rdio). And when he wasn't releasing records he was touring. The dude never stops. For example, Cheap Time start their next tour in about a month, which hits NYC twice: February 22 at Union Pool (tickets) and February 23 at Mercury Lounge (tickets).
Novak is also a rabid musicologist who seemingly eats rock n' roll for breakfast and really, really knows his stuff. We've been asking artists for their 2013 Top 10 lists and, instead of a list of new albums, Jeffrey gave us "The Top Ten things about Lou Reed that everyone else seems to be overlooking after he died," complete with informative/entertaining commentary. Check that out -- with related streams and video -- below.
by Andrew Sacher
Pitchfork just posted their Top 100 Tracks of 2013. It's got what some people might call the worst song ever, the song with the most talked-about rap verse of the year, some surprises, and some of the year's most undeniable songs. Their #1 pick is certainly one of those undeniable songs, whether or not you're a fan of the artist who made it. What do you think of their list? Did your favorite song make it? Any glaring omissions?
Check out the full top 100 below...
Screaming Females at Bowery Ballroom in September (more by Amanda Hatfield)
We've been asking around for artists to tell us their favorite albums of 2013, and the people at NJ punk/indie rock label Don Giovanni Records sent over some lists from a few of their artists. At the bottom of this post, you can browse the lists from label co-founder Joe Steinhardt (also an artist on the label as Modern Hut), DC post-punks Priests, eclectic Brooklyn duo Shellshag, Amherst sludge rockers California X, Wisconsin punk rippers Tenement, Hilly Eye, Lauren Measure's new pop punk band Worriers, and Marissa Paternoster, the shredder/vocalist of Screaming Females (and also the brains behind Noun). One major trend on the lists is that the self-titled debut from Radioactivity (the new band of The Marked Men's Jeff Burke and Mark Ryan) appears more than any other album. If you haven't heard that one yet, you can stream it below.
As discussed, most of the bands mentioned will be playing the Don Giovanni showcases happening in Brooklyn on February 6 at 285 Kent and February 7 and 8 at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tickets for 285 Kent and MHOW (including a 2-day pass option) are still available.
Lists and streams below...
by Andrew Sacher
I always look forward to FACT's year-end list, which you can count on to be chock full of (but not limited to) forward-thinking electronic music, pop, R&B and rap, and it's one of the lists where I'm usually guaranteed to find something new. They just put out their 50 Best Albums of 2013 list, and it has all of those things, from one of the biggest name pop stars of the year to some of the most obscure stuff. It's also got one of the least obvious #1s I've seen on lists this year.
Check out the whole thing below...
Dan Deacon @ Horseshoe Tavern/NXNE Toronto 6/13/2013
Longtime BV photographer David Andrako shot quite a few shows for us this year and, while 2013 isn't over yet, he was nice enough to submit his 10 favorites...so far. We may have to update come January 1, but for now check out the rest of what he chose (with links to the full sets above each picture) -- plus his favorite songs of the year -- below...
intro by Bill Pearis
Sonny & the Sunsets released Antenna to the Afterworld last spring, a concept album about an alien visiting earth that took the band's usually folk-leaning sound in new directions. While the prolific Smith is no doubt nearing completion on a new album, he does have a song on a brand new compilation titled I Need You Bad, which collects new songs from "a buncha bands from Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Portland." The record, out now on Polyvinyl, also features Warm Soda, Jessica Pratt, Tim Cohen's Magic Trick and lots more. (The whole thing is pretty good.) Sonny & the Sunsets contribute "Those Drawings I Told You About" which you can stream below.
The band were last in NYC for the Northside Festival and while they haven't announced any new East Coast shows, Sonny & the Sunsets will open for Thao & the Get Down Stay Down on a few West Coast dates and those are listed below. Meanwhile, Sonny Smith sent us his "favorite stuff and events of 2013." Some of it is musically oriented, but there's also some current events in there too. You can read his list below.
Queens of the Stone Age at ACL 2013 (more by Tim Griffin)
Queens of the Stone Age made a solid comeback this year with ...Like Clockwork, an album which has ended up on many year-end lists, including NME, Rolling Stone, Paste, SPIN, Q, Mojo, Amazon and Rough Trade. We asked them to send a list of their favorite albums of the year. They're a big band, and their list mostly includes other big bands (and big solo artists), but it's also got a certain Jack White-approved compilation, and two relatively smaller artists, Earthless and Kurt Vile, so kudos to those guys for being QOTSA-approved. You can check out the full list below.
QOTSA's best of 2013 list below...
intro by Bill Pearis
After four years of teasing us with singles and EPs, UK trio Factory Floor finally released their self-titled debut album this year. Like their other work, it's rooted in Detroit techno and acid, but with a stark, post-punk outlook. The band just released "Turn it Up" as a 12" and you can stream Laurel Halo's remix from it below.
Factory Floor are in the US this week for a few shows, including two in Brooklyn at 285 Kent. Don't expect an exact representation of the album -- the band rip up their songs live, with live drums and electronics played on the fly. Friday (12/13) with Cities Aviv and Yvette is sold out, but you can still get tickets for Thursday (12/12) which is with Bookworms and DFA artist Peter Gordon. Flyer for Thursday's show below.
Meanwhile, FF members Nik Colk, Gabriel Gurnsey and Dominic Butler contributed Best of 2013 lists to us, which feature records, food, gear, pets and more. Read those, perhaps while listening to Laurel Halo's remix of "Turn it Up," below...
intro by Andrew Sacher
The Front Bottoms at Mercury Lounge in 2011 (more by Chris La Putt)
The Front Bottoms' Talon of the Hawk (out now on Bar/None) was one of the more fun records of the year, mixing folk punk and indie pop in a way that was pretty easy to get stuck in your head. We asked them for their top albums of 2013, and drummer Mat Uychich sent a list that pretty much sounds like what you'd imagine they listen to. It also includes both 2013 albums by Kevin Devine (whose band Bad Books the Front Bottoms opened for in July) and the newest from Tiny Moving Parts (who open the Front Bottoms' upcoming show at Shea). You can check out the full list below.
The Front Bottoms also have other upcoming dates, including another sold-out NYC show a day earlier at Bowery Ballroom (12/27), and a tour with You Blew It! that hits Long Island on January 30 at 89 North (tickets).
All of their dates are listed, along with a video and the top 10 list, below...
by Bill Pearis
Dum Dum Girls' third album, Too True, is out January 28. If you're heard the slinky first single "Lost Boys & Girls Club" you know this record takes the band in new directions. There are still a few typical DDG rockers, but there are also forays into suave Britpop and a few just straight-up killer pop songs, like the bouncy "In the Wake of You." It's a terrific record. Says Dee Dee of the album, "Do you hear Suede? Siouxie? Cold-wave Patti? Madonna? Cure? Velvet and Paisley Undergrounds? Stone Roses? Cuz I did."
The band's NYC record release show at Mercury Lounge on 1/30 is sold out but Dum Dum Girls (now a five-piece live) just announced a full tour starting in March, with two NYC dates: March 25 at Bowery Ballroom and March 26 at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tickets for both NYC shows go on sale Friday (12/13) at noon with an AmEx presale beginning Wednesday (12/11) at noon. Opening for the whole tour are kindred spirits, Blouse. All dates -- which include a stop in Austin for SXSW -- are listed below.
Meanwhile, Dee Dee also gave us her Top Ten of 2013 which includes records, books, cocktails and more. You can check that out below.
NPR Music posted their 50 Favorite Albums of 2013, and as usual it included a lot of classical, jazz, world music, but also many of the indie/pop/rap/metal that shows up on these lists like Bill Callahan, Blood Orange, Chance the Rapper, Deafheaven, Flaming Lips, Haim, James Blake, Kanye West, Laura Marling, Run the Jewels, Sky Ferreira, Waxahatchee and more. Their list is in alphabetical order, and you can browse the full thing below.
Austin's Feathers have had a busy year. They released their debut album, If All Here Now, have toured the country (they played NYC in May) and opened for Depeche Mode during SXSW. 2014 looks to be exciting for them as well, with a new EP, Only One, and a trip across the Atlantic next month where they'll be opening up for Depeche Mode again, this time on a few European dates. On their way there, they'll stop in NYC for a warm-up show, playing Mercury Lounge on January 7. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
This tour will mark a new line-up for the band, with Christine Aprile (ex-Sleep Over, Silent Diane), Su Swann (Hussle Club), Jon Minor and Destiny Montague (Midnight Masses, Carl Sagan). All tour dates are listed below.
Feathers frontperson Anastasia Dimou was nice enough to give us her Top 10 Records of 2013, including commentary on some of them. Her list doesn't stray to far from the style of music she makes, which means if you like Feathers, you may want to check some of these out. Read her list below....