Entries tagged with: Best of 2013
by Andrew Sacher
We've been seeing a lot of lists of what people thought the best music of 2013 was, including Rolling Stone, and now the magazine's Rob Sheffield has weighed in on his "Worst Song of This or Any Other Year": "Blurred Lines." Throughout the song's life, it's been sued by Marvin Gaye's family for plagiarizing Marvin Gaye, and it's been called "rapey" for its "I know you want it" lyric and other themes in the song and its video. Some may call it one of the most annoying songs ever, and others may call it "The Album That Justin Timberlake Is Too Famous To Make in 2013." In the Rolling Stone article, Sheffield writes:
Congratulations, Robin Thicke! "Blurred Lines" is the worst song of this or any other year. I can't remember the last time there was a hit song this ghastly - the sound of Adam Sandler taking a falsetto hate-whizz on Marvin Gaye's grave. I guess the year's not over yet so it's theoretically possible a worse contender could emerge, but I don't see it happening. Let me put it this way: Christina Aguilera and Mariah Carey could pay their holiday respects to Lou Reed with a duet medley of "The Black Angel's Death Song"/"O Little Town of Bethlehem" and it would still be a distant second.He continues with multiple paragraphs of well thought-out hatred, and finally concludes:
So will "Blurred Lines" stand the test of time? Will it go on sucking for years like "Wild World"? Is this feeling an eternal flame? Or will it vanish, like "Save The Best For Last"? Well, in the words of a band who sucked wildly in 1982 and were immediately forgotten, only time will tell. But one thing is for sure. Nothing in 2013 sucked like "Blurred Lines." And this was the year we got a Leonardo DiCaprio remake of The Great Gatsby. Everything next year will just have to suck a little harder.Read the rest at Rolling Stone. Disclaimer: Rolling Stone also called it the 50th best song of the year.
It's been a transitional year for A.V. Club. The print version of The Onion ceased publication, and much of AVC's senior staff jumped ship for Pitchfork's new film site, The Dissolve. And then they got a redesign which is still a little kink-y. But they're still one of the best all-around arts and entertainment sites as far as I'm concerned. Like just about everyone else, they dropped their Best Albums of Year list this week. Due to a few ties, A.V. Club ended up with a 23 album list, topped by Kanye West's Yeezus, which has been hovering around the Top 5s on many lists this list season. Haim's Days are Gone is at #2 and you can check out the whole list below...
UK music weekly NME has just published its end-of-year issue, with their Top 50 LPs and Tracks of 2013. As for the albums list, we'll let you read on to find out what their #1 pick is, but it might just be the one NME called "absolutely and unarguably the most incredible album of [said band's] career" and "the greatest record of the last decade." It's not Palma Violets, who were last year's Track of the Year, as their debut LP came in at #32 on the list.
As for tracks, their single of the year is a pretty obvious (certainly ubiquitous) choice. Check out the full lists of NME's Top 50 LPs and Tracks below...
by Bill Pearis
#1 LP of 2013 according to 'The Quietus'
Online UK music mag The Quietus started five years ago and quickly became (I think) one of the best sources for music writing on the web, giving a home to many former NME, Select and Q writers who are still seeking new music but are not so interested in the flavor of the month. The Quietus are not staffed by contrarians, nor sheep. To wit: the site just published its Top 100 LPs list of 2013 and topping it is Glynnaestra, the third album from UK duo Grumbling Fur which came out via Thrill Jockey back in August. From The Quietus' write-up:
Grumbling Fur make me want to take drugs. And I don't mean drugs like a few puffs on a spliff before bedtime or on a lazy Saturday afternoon, or a cheeky dabble at a rave to keep the energy flowing - I mean proper, don't-eat-for-18-hours-beforehand, make-sure-you've-got-a-couple-of-good-people-around-you, psychically prepared voyaging, preferably on a warm and sunny but slightly overcast afternoon in a field somewhere in the West Country, or in a friend's house cluttered to the rafters with fascinating and peculiar objects.The Quietus' Top 10 also includes some records you might have heard (David Bowie, Nick Cave, Foals, Factory Floor) but probably some others you haven't. And if you haven't heard Glynnaestra (I hadn't) you can stream it in full below.
You can check out The Quietus' entire Best LPs of 2013 list in this post, and they also made a Spotify playlist to accompany it. Their list, along with the Grumbling Fur album stream, is below..
by Andrew Sacher
White Lung at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2013 (more by Tim Griffin)
It's year-end list season and though all White Lung really have in the way of eligible releases is their recent 7", 2013 has really been a breakout year for them. So we asked them what new albums they were listening to this year, and guitarist Kenny William contributed a top 10 list that shifts between dark rap, heavy punk, goth, experimental soundscapers and more. Check out the full thing below.
White Lung have done a ton of touring this year, and though their schedule is almost empty at the moment, before the year ends the Vancouver punk band will return to NYC for a stacked show at NYU's E&L Auditorium on Thursday (12/5) with Ceremony, Perfect Pussy, and Sleepies. That show is free for students and $5 at the door for the general public.
White Lung's Top 10 LPs of 2013 list below...
Vampire Weekend @ Roseland in April (more by Robert Altman)
The Monday after Thanksgiving Weekend is looking to be Official Year-End List Day, as we've already got SPIN, and Paste, (plus ones from UK mags Q and Mojo) and now here's the one from elder rock statesman Rolling Stone, who have Vampire Weekend's Modern Vampires of the City in the top spot, with Kanye West's Yeezus at #2. RS' Top 10 also makes room for John Fogerty, Paul McCartney, Lorde and more. Haim are at #31 for those keeping score. You can check out their entire Top 50 LPs of 2013 list (which includes a couple EPs) below...
Decibel Magazine is back with its annual top 40 albums of the year list. Two of the top three (including the #1 spot) are reunion albums from death metal veterans, though many younger bands place highly as well. And the one metal album we can safely expect on many non-metal lists, Deafheaven, makes it on there too.
Check out the full list below...
Phosphorescent at Rough Trade NYC (more by Amanda Hatfield)
by Andrew Sacher
It's the first work week of December and the year-end music lists for 2013 keep piling in. We just saw album lists from Q and Mojo, and now we get a list from a US publication, SPIN. There's not too many surprises on this one. Like last year, it shares its #1 with the highest Pitchfork-rated album of the year, and in general it features many of the albums we expect to see on these kinds of lists, including a lot of the year's big-name comebacks like My Bloody Valentine, Justin Timberlake, Daft Punk, Queens of The Stone Age, Boards of Canada and Nine Inch Nails, plus big breakouts like Haim and Disclosure. There are a few interesting omissions though, like Savages.
Check out their full list below...
Arctic Monkeys @ ACL 2013 (more by Tim Griffin)
Kind of like MOJO's laddish slightly younger brother who went to college during '90s Britpop, UK monthly Q Magazine has time for new music but still pays attention to older artists as well. Their new issue -- with Robbie Williams on the cover -- doles out its Top 50 Albums of the Year (and other 2013 Q Awards). Topping the list is Arctic Monkeys' fifth album, AM.
The entire Q Mag Top 50 LP list below...
by Bill Pearis
Bill Calahan's album Dream River has topped MOJO magazine's Best Albums of 2013 list which is in the new year-end issue. Seems about right for a magazine that had both Paul McCartney on the cover of one issue this year and The Beatles on another (also the Stones, Dylan, Pink Floyd, Johnny Marr). Their #2 was a bit of a surprise, at least to me. The Arcade Fire's Reflektor only came in at #18 but they can just be happy with being the issue's cover stars. Check out that cover -- and the entire Top 50 list - below...
TV Ghost @ Cake Shop in May (more by Chris La Putt)
TV Ghost morphed from discordant post-punk noise to something much more textured on their new album Disconnect (stream it via Spotify). Their live show remains pretty intense, though, and the band have made their way through NYC a couple times this year already, and will do so again this month as part of their tour with Sweden's Holograms. That's a good double-bill and it hits Brooklyn on December 6 at 285 Kent. Tickets are still available.
The band have given us their Top 10 LPs of 2013. In democratic fashion, each of the five members picked two records. Check out their list below...
Quilt at Mexican Summer Five (more by PSquared)
Boston's Quilt make folky psychedelia recalling the Summer of Love sounds of the Haight-Ashbury scene. They released their self-titled debut LP on Mexican Summer back in 2011, and its followup, Held In Splendor (which we've already heard a few songs from), comes out January 28 via the same label. The band's been known for some cool, jammy live shows too, and you'll be able to see those shows on their previously announced 2014 tour which hits NYC on February 28 at Rough Trade (tickets).
Meanwhile, Quilt singer/guitarist Shane Butler has given us a list of his top 10 things of 2013. None of them are albums, but one is in reference to some cartoons he and other bands drew at Woodsist Fest in Big Sur, one of which is pictured below. Check out the whole list below...
Fred w/ Haim (via @lancebangs)
Hugh Cornwell will soon be starting his North American tour, which includes a stop in NYC at Highline Ballroom on December 8 and tickets are still available. Opening for the onetime Stranglers vocalist will be fake old school UK punk rocker Ian Rubbish, aka comedian Fred Armisen (seen above hanging with Haim) with Piccadilly Circus accent. Seems like a good pairing.
Meanwhile, Hugh Cornwell made a video for "Totem & Taboo," the title track from his most recent album, and you can watch that -- and check out his full North American tour schedule -- below.
Fred Armisen listed some of his favorite records for Insound who is in turn selling those records at a discount. Haim is not on there, but you will find selections by Au Revoir Simone, Cults, Portlandia theme song star Washed Out, Frankie Rose, Prefab Sprout, Parquet Courts and more.
P.S. did you catch Fred on the latest episode of "Talking Dead"?
intro by Bill Pearis
Atlanta's Mood Rings released their long-in-the-works debut album, VPI Harmony, earlier this year and it's one of 2013's better dream pop albums, floating somewhere in the haze between Cocteau Twins style ethereal guitar wash and more sultry beat driven songs. It also contains one of my favorite songs of the year, "The Line," which if you haven't heard yet you can listen below. The band's tour with Cults wraps up tonight (11/26) here in NYC at Webster Hall which is sold out. If you have tickets, do get there early and check them out.
Mood Rings' main man William Fussell was kind enough to reflect on 2013, delivering his Top Ten Things of the Year. Only of one of which is an album. Check out his list below...
by Wyatt Marshall
Deafheaven at 285 Kent in July (more by Lukas Hodge)
The discerning folks over at Amazon have announced their picks for the best albums, songs and artists of 2013, and Daft Punk's Random Access Memories, Vampire Weekend's Modern Vampires of the City and Chvrches' The Bones of What You Believe filled out the top three spots on their best albums list.
A bit more of a surprise was Deafheaven coming in sixteenth overall with Sunbather and landing "Best Hard Rock & Metal" honors in both the artist and album category--Russian Circles won "Best Hard Rock & Metal" song with "1776", stealing the trifecta that was just within Deafheaven's grasp. Sixteenth-best album of the year and best hard rock and metal album of the year on a huge site like Amazon is pretty high profile for Deafheaven, the San Francisco post-black metal band that still road warriors-up for shows at small clubs. But they've been on the big stage before--to be specific, for Apple's keynote announcement for the iPhone 5c, when the cover of Sunbather graced one of the five iPhones on the projection screen behind the presenter.
Check out the top 20 best albums according to Amazon below, compare that to more old school and indie retailer Rough Trade's list, and head over to Amazon to see what else they thought was a cut above...
Outside the soon-to-open Rough Trade NYC (via @brooklynvegan instagram)
Well it's that time of year again where everybody and their grandma start making Best of the Year lists. Almost always first out of the gate is Rough Trade Shops and their entire Top 101 list just went up. Here's the Top 20:
1. John Grant - Pale Green GhostsYou can check out the whole list below and read about each one on their site.
2. Savages - Silence Yourself
3. Matthew E White - Big Inner
4. Dan Avery - Drone Logic
5. Thee Oh Sees - Floating Coffin
6. Jon Hopkins - Immunity
7. Valerie June - Pushin' Against A Stone
8. Moderat - 2
9. Parquet Courts - Light Up Gold
10. Jessica Pratt - Jessica Pratt
11. Jagwar Ma - Howlin
12. Caitlin Rose - The Stand-In
13. My Bloody Valentine - MBV
14. Connan Mockasin - Caramel
15. Factory Floor - S/T
16. Charles Bradley - Victim of Love
17. London Grammar - If You Want
18. Queens of the Stone Age - Like Clockwork
19. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away
20. Mazzy Star - Seasons of Your Day
You can see their #1 -- John Grant -- at the new Rough Trade NYC on December 2 which is free with purchase of Pale Green Ghosts (which comes with an exclusive RT bonus disc). Grant also plays Music Hall of Williamsburg the day before (12/2) which is a "stripped-down acoustic show" and tickets are still available.
Rough Trade NYC is set to open its doors next Monday (11/25) and its first shows will be that day with Sky Ferreira (7 PM, free with purchase of b-sides CD) and Charles Bradley (8:30 PM, FREE). Other opening week performances include Matthew E. White (11/27, FREE), Marissa Nadler and Phosphorescent (both 11/30 and FREE).
A couple new Rough Trade shows were announced today: Au Revoir Simone, who just played a Kidrockers show over the weekend and will be touring with Broken Bells next year, will play a free show on December 17. That's after their free Brooklyn Night Bazaar show on December 7.
Anthemic Scottish rockers Glasvegas will play there on February 20 and they've also got a show at Mercury Lounge the day before (2/19). Tickets for those shows go on sale Friday at noon, with an AmEx presale for the Merc show on Wednesday (11/20) at noon.
Rough Trade's 101 Albums of 2013 list below...
Haim (with Palma Violets) on the cover of this week's NME
Los Angeles sisterly trio Haim have topped the BBC's Sound of 2013 poll, beating out competition like AlunaGeorge (#2), Angel Haze (#3), Laura Mvula (#4) and CHVRCHES (#5), not to mention The Weeknd, Savages, Palma Violets and others. Previous BBC Sound Of poll winners include Michael Kiwanuka (2012), Little Boots (2009), Mika (2007), The Bravery (2005) and 50 Cent (2003). You can watch a half-hour BBC special that features the top 5 acts from the poll below.
Meanwhile, Haim, who played a headlining Brooklyn show in December, have a few tour dates opening for Mumford & Sons, including two shows at Camden, NJ's Susquehanna Bank Center on February 16 and 17 (both are sold-out), and their second of two Barclays Center shows (2/12) (also sold out). Dates are listed below, along with that video.
Savages @ BVCMJ 2012 (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
The 15-name nominee "longlist" is up for the BBC's "Sound of 2013" poll that includes The Weeknd, Savages, HAIM, King Krule, Palma Violets, AlunaGeorge and Angel Haze. Full list is below. If you're wondering how The Weeknd, who have sold out Terminal 5 here in NYC, can be up for something like this, here's some of the criteria:
They must not have had a UK top 20 single or album by 11 November 2012.The nomination/voting panel is made up of " newspaper and magazine editors and critics, producers and presenters from music radio and televison, website editors and bloggers" if you were wondering. Last year's winner was Michael Kiwanuka.
They can be from any musical genre and any country.
They must not already be famous i.e. generally known by the UK public, (e.g. member of a hit band going solo, or soap star). They must not have got through to the quarter, semi or final rounds of UK reality shows such as X Factor in the last 3 years (i.e. 2010 onwards).
They must not have featured in the BBC Sound of list previously (See an alphabetical list of previous nominees here)
"New" means new to the general public. They may have been around for a while if you believe they are ready to step up to the next level of quality & recognition.