REVENGE OF THE WRITERS: Best and Worst of 2013

Jason-Isbell-by-Eric-England

What stood out in the music world for 2013? The folks who work in the trenches here are gonna tell ya. Above: Jason Isbell.

 BY THE BLURT CRÜE

 As part of our 2013 year-end wrap-up—go elsewhere on the BLURT site to view our Best Albums Of 2013, or go here to read our feature/interview with Artist Of The Year Jason Isbell—we summarily yield the podium to the staffers and contributors who detail their personal picks for 2013. The first section has the lists for the staff, while the second section has those submitted by some of the regular contributors. Guarantee: all dialogue reported verbatim.

Also check out our 2012 coverage:

 2012 In Review: Blurt’s Top 75 Albums

Revenge of the Writers: Best and Worst of 2012

http://blurtonline.com/feature/farewell-music-world-passings-2012/

 
 LEE ZIMMERMAN

MIAMI, FL / BLURT CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

 Top 10 New Releases

Avett Brothers – Magpie & the Dandelion (Universal)

Scott Miller — Big, Big World (F.A.Y. Recordings)

Harmed Brothers — Better Days (Fluff and Gravy)

Bill Mallonee – Beatitude (independent)

David Berkeley — The Fire in my Head (independent)

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit — Southeastern (Southeastern Records)

Parson Red Heads — Orb Weaver (Fiesta Red)

Dawes — Stories Don’t End (HUB)

Kim Richey – Thorn In My Heart (Yep Roc)

Steep Canyon Rangers — Tell the Ones I Love (Rounder)

 Top 5 Archival/Reissues 

John Hiatt — Here to Stay – Best of 2000 – 2012 (New West)

Bob Dylan – Another Self Portrait (Sony/Legacy) (Note: Believe it or not, I liked Self Portrait

Yes — The Studio Albums 1969 – 1987 (Rhino)

The Animals — The Mickie Most Years and More (ABCKO)

Sly and the Family Stone — Higher (Epic/Legacy)

 Top 5 Music DVDs  

Rolling Stones — Sweet Summer Sun (Eagle Vision)

Bruce Springsteen — Springsteen & I (Eagle Vision)

Various — Love for Levon (StarVista/Time Life)

Various — Move Me Brightly, A Documentary Concert Film Celebrating Jerry Garcia’s 70th Birthday (Eagle Vision)

Eric Clapton Guitar Festival — Crossroads (Rhino)

 Top 5 Music Books 

Paul Kelly — “How To Make Gravy” (Penguin)

Marc Spitz — “Poseur, A Memoir of Downtown New York City in the ‘90s” (DaCapo)

David Berkeley — “140 Goats & A Guitar” (Strawman Books)

Howard Sounes — “A History of the 27 Club” (DaCapo)

Bill Carter and Judi Turner — “Get Carter” (Fines Creek)

 Top 5 Concerts I Attended

Telluride Bluegrass Festival — Telluride Colorado; several days in July

Americana Music Festival — Nashville Tennessee; several days in September

Bonnie Raitt — Hollywood FL, Hard Rock Live a the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino; November 30

Lauderdale Live — Fort Lauderdale;  December 8

Brian Wilson, Jeff Beck, Al Jardine, David Marks (warm-up gig) – Hollywood, FL, Hard Rock Live a the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, September 27

 Top 5 Films

Gravity

The Great Gatsby

Parkland

The Butler

Thor II

 Best Record Label: New West (The best in Americans!  Although Yep Roc, 429, Eagle and Bloodshot all deserve kudos as well)

Best Music-related Website: YouTube

In Memoriam: Most Lamented Death: Lou Reed

Best New Artist: Shovels & Rope

Worst New Artist: Miley Cyrus (Okay, she’s not new, but she did try to reinvent herself. Yechh)

Dumbest Band Name: Gloom Balloon — my, that sounds cheery — blow me up and then pop me!

Best Album Sleeve Art or Packaging: Bob Dylan — Another Self-Portrait

Why? Because the Bobster drew it himself and how often does the Bobster reveal anything of himself? Besides, the booklet is great — lots of cool photos and erudite commentary.

Hero of the Year: Jason Isbell — Proof that a good old boy from Alabama can be an eloquent populist hero every bit as vital as Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Tom Petty or any other heartland hero.

Asshole of the Year: The publicist who insists that CDs are on the verge of extinction and that downloads are the way of the future. Talk about a Gloom Balloon!

Best Hair or Facial Hair: Avett Brothers (most of the time — Jon Bon Jovi, move over — you’ve been usurped).

Sweetest Buns: That sweet and innocent blonde girl singer on “Nashville” — sorry, don’t know her name.

Nicest Package: ditto above.

2014 Release I Am Most Anticipating: Small Faces box set, Here Come from the Nice

Coolest Trend or Whatever: Sorry, not sure I detected one. Perhaps the ever-increasing populism of today’s music and the desire of artists to reach out and involve their fans.

Most Fucked Up or Annoying Trend or Whatever: Twerking

Wildcard: 50 Words (or less) From or About Me That You Won’t Read on LinkedIn:

I’m hopelessly addicted to music, and though I spend nearly every waking album outside my day job laboring in its service, I do so in order to acquire new discs, see free concerts free and interview my rock ‘n’ roll heroes. Yes, even at my age, music continues to define my life. Hankie please… (PS, I’m not on LinkedIn, so you read it here first!)

Favorite story or review I wrote for BLURT:

(tie)

Ian McLagan — A dream fulfilled. A member of one two of my favorite bands of all time sharing his incredible backstory with yours truly. (Story coming in January at BLURT)

Tom Jones — Mr. Jones remains a truly a nice man and a humble guy, even despite his incredible trajectory and true life stories. He insists that he simply loves to sing, and although he’s now 70-something, he’s singing better than ever. His latest albums are the definitive proof. (feature, “The Triumphs And Challenges Of Being”) http://blurtonline.com/feature/the-triumphs-and-challenges-of-being-tom-jones/

 

——————————————————————–

JENNIFER KELLY

WALPOLE- MA / BLURT CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

Top 10 New Releases
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds- Push the Sky Away (Bad Seed Ltd.)
Waxahatchee- Cerulean  Salt (Don Giovanni)
Kelley Stoltz- Double Exposure (Fat Possum)
Kinski- Cosy Moments (Kill Rock Stars)
William Tyler- Impossible Truth (Merge)
Lisa Germano- No Elephants (Badman)
Mikal Cronin- MCII (Merge)
Califone- Stitches (Dead Oceans)
Sam Amidon- Bright Sunny South (Anti-)
Savages- Silence Yourself (Domino)

 Top 5 Archival/Reissues
Come- 11:11 (Matador)
Venom P. Stinger- 1986-1991 (Drag City)
Various Artists- Afrobeat Airwaves 2: Return Trip to Ghana (Analog Africa)
Verlaines- Juvenalia and Hallelujah All the Way Home (Captured Tracks)
Various Artists-  Kill Yourself Dancing (Still Music)

(Savages)

2. The Savages ACL Blurt

MICHAEL TOLAND

AUSTIN, TX / BLURT STAFF WRITER

 Top 10 New Releases

Jake Bugg – s/t (Mercury) / Shangri-La (Jake Bugg/Island)

Capsula – Solar Secrets (Krian)

Clutch – Earth Rocker (Weathermaker)

Coliseum – Sister Faith (Temporary Residence)

The Dexateens – Sunsphere (Cornelius Chapel)

Kylesa – Ultraviolet (Season of Mist)

Willie Nile – American Ride (Loud & Proud)

Savages – Silence Yourself (Matador)

Scorpion Child – s/t (Nuclear Blast)

Pat Todd & the Rankoutsiders – 14th & Nowhere… (Rankoutsider)

Top 10 Archival/Reissues

Big Star – Nothing Can Hurt Me (Omnivore)

The Bottle Rockets – The Bottle Rockets/The Brooklyn Side (Bloodshot)

Roky Erickson – The Evil One, Don’t Slander Me and Gremlins Have Pictures (Light in the Attic)

Godflesh – Hymns (The End)

Horseback – A Plague of Knowing (Relapse)

Jellyfish – Radio Jellyfish (Omnivore)

Scott Morgan – Three Chords and a Cloud of Dust (Easy Action)

Nikki Sudden – The Boy From Nowhere, Who Fell Out of the Sky (Troubadour/Easy Action)

The Swimming Pool Q’s – The A&M Years (Bar/None)

Irma Thomas – In Between Tears (Alive Naturalsound)

 Top 10 Tracks/Singles

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – “Push the Sky Away”

Daft Punk – “Get Lucky”

Föllakzoid – “Trees”

Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell – “Chase the Feeling”

In Solitude – “Sister”

Jason Isbell – “Elephant”

Michael Monroe – “The Ballad of NYC”

Monster Magnet – “Mindless Ones”

Motörhead – “Do You Believe”

Steven Wilson – “Drive Home”

——————————————————————————————-

 

JOHN SCHACHT

CHARLOTTE, NC / BLURT STAFF WRITER

 

Top 10 New Releases

Kevin Morby/Harlem River (Woodsist)

Califone/Stitches (Dead Oceans)

Baptist Generals/Jackleg of the Devotional  (Sub Pop)

Parquet Courts/Light Up Gold (What’s Your Rupture?)

Bo White/Adornments (Kinnikinnik) (http://bowhite1.bandcamp.com/album/adornment)

Foxygen/We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic (Jagjaguwar)

Lady/Lady (Truth & Soul)

Yellowbirds/Songs from the Vanished Frontier (Royal Potato Family)

Nick Cave/Push the Sky Away (Anti-)

Temperance League/Rock & Roll Dreams (Like, Wow!)

 Honorable Mention

Mount Kimbie/Cold Spring Fault Less Youth (Warp)

Bill Callahan/Dream River (Drag City)

Shannon Wright/In Film Sound  (Ernest Jenning)

The Sadies/Internal Sounds (Yep Roc)

Throwing Muses/Purgatory-Paradise (It Books)

Brokeback/Brokeback & the Black Rock (Thrill Jockey)

Eleanor Friedberger/Personal Record (Merge)

Ghost Wave/Ages (Flying Nun)

Water Liars/Wyoming (Fat Possum)

Holopaw/Academy Songs, Vol. 1 (Misra)

 Honorable Honorable Mention: Arp/More; Chance the Rapper/Acid Rap; Okkervil River/The Silver Gymnasium; Xiu Xiu/Nina; Josephine Foster/I’m a Dreamer; Yo La Tengo/Fade; Son Volt/Honky Tonk; Promised Land Sound/Promised Land Sound; Rogue Wave/Nightingale Floors; William Tyler/Behold the Spirit; Golden Gunn/Golden Gunn; Mikal Cronin/MCII; Shearwater/Fellow Travelers; Amor de Dias/The House at Sea; Barton Carroll/Avery County, I’m Bound to You; Howe Gelb/The Coincidentalist

 (Matt Berninger of The National)

Matt Berninger by Merrick Marquie

 STEPHEN JUDGE

RALEIGH, NC / BLURT PUBLISHER-OWNER

 Top 10 New Releases (in reverse order)

The National – Trouble Will Find Me (4AD). Brilliant record from a band that just keeps getting better and better.

My Bloody Valentine – MBV (MBV). So many years waiting for this, I do wish it was a ‘little’ better but certainly a stellar album and worthy of top ten and the wait.

Mazzy Star – Seasons of Your Day (Rhymes of an Hour). The surprise of the year. I was very skeptical of them making a record after all of these years and wow, back in 100% true form, brilliant and beautiful.

Brianna Lea Pruett – Gypsy Bells (Canyon). Placerville, CA singer/songwriter Brianna Lea Pruett releases her debut for Canyon Records, the oldest record label in the country. With her Native American Cherokee roots, it’s the perfect artist for them to expand their roster—and wow, what a great album Bri has made, very proud of this record.

Besnard Lakes – Until In Excess, Imperceptible UFO (Jagjaguwar). The ‘new’ artist I discovered this year, and how the hell did I not listen to their records before this album? Friends had told me before to check these guys out: where have they been my whole life? Incredible. The record before this one is scarily even better.

Kenny Roby – Memories & Birds (Little Criminal/MRI). Six String Drag’s front man Roby breaks out to make a beautiful heartfelt album that just gets better with every listen. Six String Drag are going into the studio early next year as well; surely more people will discover this hidden gem in the process.

Paul McCartney – New (Hear Music). The surprise of the year part deux. I mean come on it’s McCartney, we know the dude can write some song, but WOW. What an amazing record. This is going out on a limb here but this is my favorite album he has done since Ram.  Second Favorite behind the Beatles, must have.

The Knife – Shaking The Habitual (Mute)
Perfect album to play in the store, two discs and lasts forever! So no having to go change the record.  This album takes you on a journey, in many different places and is beautiful throughout from top to bottom.

Chelsea Light Moving – Chelsea Light Moving (Matador). Since Sonic Youth is one of my all-time favorite bands, I don’t take their break-up lightly and do look at side- and now full-time new projects with excitement, but skepticism. I’ve always loved Thurston’s solo albums, but this is the best thing he has ever done outside Sonic Youth.

Jason Isbell – Southeastern (Southeastern). What can I say about this record? It’s just a masterpiece, plain and simple. Incredible songs. This year was a no brainer when Fred Mills and I picked BLURT’s Artist Of The Year. From the moment we heard this album we knew this was the choice, no debate, no discussion—it’s Isbell’s year and thank you from my ears for making this beautiful record. In the end, it’s about the songs and this delivers full steam.  Not even a halfway-okay song on the album: all are winners.

 Honorable Mention

Hiss Golden Messenger – Haw (Paradise of Bachelors)
Ana Calvi – One Breath (Domino)
Jim James – Regions of Light & Sound of God (ATO)
Savages – Silence Yourself (Matador)

Polvo – Siberia (Merge)
Tonk – Let’s Keep It Dark (Future Standards)
Johnny Marr – The Messenger (New Voodoo)
Yo La Tengo – Fade (Matador)
Love Language – Ruby Red (Merge)
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds  – Push The Sky Away (Bad Seed LTD)
Tommy Keene – Excitement At Your Feet (Second Motion)

—————————————————————————

JOHN B. MOORE

ABINGTON, PA / BLURT STAFF WRITER

 Top 10 New Releases

Frank Turner – Tape Deck Heart (Interscope)

Dave Hause – Devour (Rise)

Two Cow Garage – The Death of the Self Preservation Society (Last Chance)

Nato Coles & The Blue Diamond Band – Promises to Deliver (Dead Broke)

The Smith Street band – Don’t Fuck With Our Dreams (Asian Man)

Joy of Painting – Tender Age (South Division)

Crazy & The Brains – Let Me Go (Baldy Longhair)

Banquets – Banquets (Black Numbers)

Bad Religion – True North (Epitaph)

The Avett Brothers – Magpie and the Dandelion (American)

 Top 5 Music Books 

Outlaw: Waylon, Willie, Kris and the Renegades of Nashville by Michael Streissguth (It Books)

Mo’ Meta Blues: the World According to Questlove by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (Grand Central Publishing)

Nilsson: the Life of a Singer-Songwriter by Alyn Shipton (Oxford University Press)

27: A History of the 27 Club Through the Lives of Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse by Howard Sounes (Da Capo Press)

Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division by Peter Hook (It Books)

 Best Record Label: Black Numbers

In Memoriam: Most Lamented Death: Lou Reed

Best New Artist: Banquets

Dumbest Band Name: Perfect Pussy

Asshole of the Year: (tie) Kanye West and Justin Bieber

2013 Release I Am Most Anticipating: Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues

Favorite story or review I wrote for BLURT: Big Country (interview: “Stay Alive”) http://blurtonline.com/feature/stay-alive-big-country/

(Julia Holter)

Julia Holter

STEVEN ROSEN

CINCINNATI, OH / BLURT STAFF WRITER

 Top 10 New Releases

Sam Baker – say grace (Sam Baker Music)

Kenny Roby – Memories & Birds (Little Criminal)

Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band – Take Me to the Land of Hell (Chimera Music)

Jason Isbell – Southeastern (Southeastern)

Julia Holter – Loud City Song (Domino)

Lonnie Holley – Keeping a Record of It (Dust-to-Digital)

Nick Cave – Push the Sky Away (Bad Seed Ltd.)

Valerie June – Pushin’ Against a Stone (Concord)

Colin Stetson – New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light (Constellation)

Mavis Staples – One True Vine (Anti-)

 Top 5 Tracks/Singles

Charles Bradley (featuring the Budos Band) – Changes (Dunham)

Flamin’ Groovies – End of the World (self-released digitally)

Parquet Courts – Stoned and Starving (What’s Your Rupture?)

Clare Maguire – Half Hearted Love (self released)

 Paul McCartney – Early Days (Hear Music)

 Top 5 Archival/Reissues

Bob Dylan – The Bootleg Series Vol. 10: Another Self Portrait (Columbia)

Various Artists – There’s a Dream I’ve Been Saving 1966-1971: Lee Hazlewood Industries (Light in the Attic)

Hackamore Brick – One Kiss Leads to Another (Real Gone Music)

Peter Walker – Has Anybody Seen Our Freedoms? (Delmore Recording Society)

Dave Van Ronk – Down in Washington Square (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings)

 Top Music Books

I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp – Richard Hell

Anyone Who Had a Heart – Burt Bacharach

The Holy or the Broken – Alan Light

 Best Record Label: Anti-

Best Music-Related Website: Blurt Magazine Online www.blurtonline.com for turning me on to great new albums by Kramer, the Distractions and the Sharp Things. [There will be an extra 50 bucks in your paycheck this week, Rosen. – Ed.]

In Memoriam: Most Lamented Death: Lou Reed

Best New Artist: Parquet Courts

Dumbest Band Name: Joanna Gruesome

Best Comeback: (tie) The Rascals and the Flamin’ Groovies

My Favorite Blurt Story in 2013: Hackamore Brick (interview, “Not So Thick As A Brick”) http://blurtonline.com/feature/not-so-thick-as-a-brick-hackamore-brick/

Random Comment: If the Everly Brothers can garner three tribute albums in a year, they ought to reunite if they’re in a position to do so.

(The Replacements back in the day)

Replacements 1

 FRED MILLS

RALEIGH, NC / BLURT MAGAZINE EDITOR

[Blurt editorial contact: Fmills123@nc.rr.com No spammin’!]

 Top 10 13 New Releases

Jason Isbell – Southeastern (Southeastern)

Those Darlins – Blur The Line (Oh Wow Dang)

Cut Copy – Free Your Mind (Loma Vista)

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Push the Sky Away (Bad Seed Ltd.)

Kenny Roby – Memories & Birds (MRI)

Charles Bradley – Victim Of Love (Dunham/Daptone)

Besnard Lakes – Until in Excess, Imperceptible UFO (Jagjaguwar)

Temperance League – Rock ‘n’ Roll Dreams (Like Wow)

Tommy Keene – Excitement At Your Feet (Second Motion)

Frankie Rose – Herein Wild (Fat Possum)

Brother Dege – How to Kill A Horse (GolarWash Labs)

Wayne Shorter Quartet – Without A Net (Blue Note)

Kramer – The Brill Building (Tzadik, 1/8)

 Top 10 11 Tracks/Singles

Cut Copy – “Free Your Mind”

Those Darlins – “In the Wilderness”

Daft Punk – “Get Lucky”

Superchunk – “Me & You & Jackie Mittoo” 7”

Disclosure – “When A Fire Starts to Burn”

Flamin’ Groovies – “End of the World”

Arcade Fire – “Reflektor” (12” dub mix)

Warpaint – “Biggy”

Peter Buck – “(You Must Fight to Live) On the Planet of the Apes” 7”

Thee Midnight Creep – “Get Messed Up!” (demo)

Avicii – “Wake Me Up”

 Top 10 14 Archival/Reissues

Seefeel – Quique LP (blue vinyl, Modern Classics/Light In The Attic)

The Birthday Party – Live 81-82 and Mutiny/The Bad Seed (Drastic Plastic/4AD)

The It*Men – Greatest Its (Stow House)

Holger Czukay – On the Way to the Peak Of Normal (Groenland)

The Clash – Sound System box (Sony Legacy)

Flaming Lips – The Flaming Lips 1984 EP (Lovely Sort Of Death)

Various Artists – There’s A Dream I’ve Been Saving 1966-1971 Lee Hazlewood Industries box (Light In the Attic)

Humble Pie – HPerformance Rockin’ the Fillmore: The Complete Recordings

(Omnivore)

Cosmic Psychos – Down On The Farm/Cosmic Psychos/Go The Hack (Goner)

Deviants – Ptooff! (Angel Air)

Various Artists – Cooler Than Ice: Arctic Records and the Rise of Philly Soul box (Jamie/Guyden)

Family – Once Upon a Time box (Snapper)

Damon – Song of a Gypsy (Now-Again)

Various Artists – Twin Cities Funk & Soul: Lost R&B Grooves From Minneapolis/St. Paul 1964-1979 (Secret Stash)

 Top 10 Music DVDs

Big Star – Nothing Can Hurt Me (Drew DiNicola, dir.)

Saint Etienne – A London Trilogy: The Films of Saint Etienne 2003-2007 (Paul Kelly, dir.)

Here’s Edie: The Edie Adams Television Collection (via MVD)

The Stooges & Special Guests – Tribute to Ron Asheton: Live from Ann Arbor’s Michigan Theater April 19, 2011 (via MVD)

Various Artists – Released! The Human Rights Concerts 1986-1998 box (prod. by Amnesty International, via Shout! Factory)

The Best of Fridays (via Shout! Factory)

Jimi Hendrix Experience – Here My Train A Comin’ (Bob Smeaton, dir.)

I Dream of Wires: Hardcore Edition (subtitle: exploring the history, demise and resurgence of the ultimate electronic music machine, the modular synthesizer) (Robert Fantinatto, dir.)

Last Shop Standing: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of the Independent Record Shop (Graham Jones, dir.)

Rolling Stones – Crossfire Hurricane (Brett Morgen, dir.)

 Top 10 Music Books

Democracy of Sound, by Alex Sayf Cummings (Oxford University Press)

Detroit Rock City, by Steve Miller (Da Capo Books)

VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV’s First Wave, by Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter and Martha Quinn, with Gavin Edwards (Atria Books)

The Art of British Rock: 50 Years of Rock Posters, Flyers and Handbills, by Mike Evans (Frances Lincoln Limited)

Punk: The Best of Punk Magazine, ed. by John Holmstrom and Bridget Hurd (It Books)

Recombo DNA: The Story of DEVO, by Kevin C. Smith (Jawbone)

Shell Shocked: My Life With the Turtles, Flo & Eddie and Frank Zappa etc…., by Howard Kaylan with Jeff Tamarkin (Backbeat)

Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division, by Peter Hook (Simon & Schuster)

Scorched Earth: A Jason & the Scorchers Scrapbook, By Rev. Keith A. Gordon (Excitable Press)

There Was A Time: Rock & Roll In The 1960’s In Charlotte, And North Carolina, by Jacob Berger and Daniel Coston (Fort Canoga Press)

 Top 10 11 Concerts I Attended

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Austin, TX, Stubbs, March 13

Jason Isbell – Raleigh, NC, Lincoln Theatre, July 2

Charles Bradley – Austin, TX, Moody Theatre (Daptone Soul Revue), March 14

Besnard Lakes – Austin, TX, Ginger Man Pub (Blurt Party). March 15

Suuns – Raleigh, NC, Schoolkids Records, Sept. 6

Spiritualized – Raleigh, NC, Hopscotch Music Festival, Sept. 7

Robert Plant / Bombino – Cary, NC, Koka Booth Amphitheater, July 20

Shoes – Austin, TX, Ginger Man Pub (Blurt Party), March 15

Temperance League, Raleigh, NC, Sadlack’s Patio, Oct. 4

Gross Ghost – Raleigh, NC, Schoolkids Records, Nov. 1

Gabriel Sullivan & Taraf de Tucson, Austin, TX, Speakeasy (Tucson Music Night), March 16

 Top  5 7 Films

Dear Mr. Watterson documentary (Joel Allen Schroeder, dir.)

Gravity (Alfonso Cuaron, dir.)

World’s End (Edgar Wright, dir.)

Color Me Obsessed: A Film About The Replacements (Gorman Bechard, dir.)

American Hustle (David O. Russell, dir.)

Mel Brooks: Make A Noise documentary (Robert Trachtenberg, dir.)

Room 237 (Rodney Ascher, dir.)

 Top 10 Music Videos

Hickoids – “Cool Arrow” http://blurtonline.com/news/video-premiere-hickoids-cool-arrow/

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “Higgs Boson Blues” http://blurtonline.com/news/video-watch-new-nick-cave-bad-seeds/

Major Lazer – “Jet Blue Jet” http://blurtonline.com/news/capnolagia-alert-new-major-lazer-video/

Bipolaroid – “Efflorescent Adolescent” http://blurtonline.com/news/video-efflorescent-adolescent-bipolaroid/

Temperance League – “(That, You Can) Count On” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xiUW9z4ZuM

The Ettes – “You Were There” http://blurtonline.com/news/watch-new-video-garage-gals-n-guy-gurus-ettes/

Bettie Serveert – Monagamous” http://blurtonline.com/news/watch-new-bettie-serveert-videos/

Jason Isbell – “Traveling Alone” http://blurtonline.com/news/video-new-jason-isbell/

Brother JT – “Sweatpants” http://blurtonline.com/news/watch-freaky-new-brother-jt-video-really-watch-this/

Jon Langford reads “A Bloodshot Christmas” http://blurtonline.com/news/video-jon-langford-reads-bloodshot-christmas/

 Best Record Label: Stones Throw www.stonesthrow.com

Best Music-related Website: Mashable www.mashable.com (yeah, I know it’s actually a TECH site, but music sites have gotten progressively boring and redundant)

In Memoriam: Most Lamented Death: Lou Reed

Best New Artist: Savages

Worst New Artist: Chvrches

Dumbest Band Name: Chvrches (here’s a great article on the whole “weird/dumb” name phenom: http://www.avclub.com/article/georgia-oqueef-meet-slutvomit-the-year-in-band-nam-200590)

Best Album Sleeve Art or Packaging: Various Artists – There’s A Dream I’ve Been Saving 1966-1971 Lee Hazlewood Industries box (Light In the Attic). A stack o’ CDs lodged in an LP-sized hardbound book that also includes a slotted Lee H. business card AND a red vinyl flexidisc… this is pure art, on the level of classic Rhino productions. (And that Arctic Records box was pretty damn sweet, too.)

Worst Album Sleeve Art: David Bowie – The Next Day (Columbia). C’mon folks, this isn’t even classic Bowie postmodernism at work—to paraphrase Spinal Tap, there’s a fine line between clever and stupid. Or in this case, between ironic and lazy.

Hero of the Year: Nelson Mandela

Asshole of the Year: M.I.A.

Fave Internet Meme of 2012: the ongoing brilliance of Rickrolls (Rick Astley) extends to a new generation of bait-and-switch videos

Best Hair or Facial Hair: Jack White

Sweetest Buns: Nikki Kvarnes of Those Darlins

Nicest Package: Editorial Disclosure: I offered this category to the writers, thinking it would be a nice counterbalance to the “Sweetest Buns” category, above, given how “sweetest buns” could easily be perceived as sexist in the current—and, dare I say, ridiculously overheated—P.C. climate of mediaspeak. (Awhile back yours truly was accused of sexism by making a post that employed the standard rockspeak vernacular of “chicks” when referring to the fairer sex. Oops, I did it again.) Across the board, however, not a single contributor to our year-end lists picked up the correct ball and ran with it: they repeated or offered a variation on another above category, “Best Album Sleeve Art or Packaging,” and no one queried me on the presumed redundancy. So, I dumped all those spurious responses. Still, in the interest of closure, let’s clarify: Nicest Package, as in, er, that “package” you see healthily bundled in the front of Robert Plant’s pants in all those vintage Led Zeppelin video clips. And for 2013, I submit: Robert Plant, who toured the sheds this past summer and wowed all comers (including me and my 12-year old kid, both of us digging all the classic Zep tunes reworked with an African flair), and still demonstrated, front and center, that he still brings it, front and center, a million times more prominently than all you teeny-weenie Brooklyn hipster rockers. Sorry, indie rock chicks, you just don’t know what you’re missing. If you’d been around in the ‘70s you might’ve had a chance to play with the big boys, if you catch my drift.

2014 Release I Am Most Anticipating: Billy Sedlmayr – Charmed Life. As of this writing, self-released (fans who pledged to the Kickstarter campaign received their pre-release digital copies in late December), but so absolutely deserving of label patronage that I’m hoping someone at a label reads this. An Arizona legend and a mainstay of that state’s classic “desert rock” scene that spawned Sidewinders, Giant Sand, Naked Prey, etc., Billy Sed teams up here with next-gen icon Gabriel Sullivan for a tour de force of biting, purposeful psych, Latin-flecked folk and, yes, desert rock.

Coolest Trend or Whatever: The ongoing rise of streaming (Spotify, et al) as a means of accessing all music, any time, any place: it’s the ultimate sonic democratizer. And while it can’t possibly take the place of the real-world experience of shopping and hanging out at a brick-and-mortar record store, not everybody—including some of the BLURT writers—has the luxury of living in proximity to a record store or feels like ordering stuff from Amazon. When I was a kid, I would read about so many cool records that I had no chance of hearing: the first two Big Star albums are a perfect example. Those days are gone, luckily.

Most Fucked Up or Annoying Trend or Whatever: Year-end best-of music polls like this. Nobody is interested in reading what a bunch of navel-gazers has to say other than the navel-gazers themselves, or that peculiar breed of music geek who somehow feels that making a list empowers him with some vague kind of High Fidelity-esque cool that makes him stand out compared to his peers (I call this the “my dick is bigger than your dick” syndrome). Bah. I don’t bother any more—this year I didn’t even bother to send in my Village Voice Pazz & Jop Poll, something I’ve been doing regularly for over a quarter-century—and I’ll let you in on a little secret: my list here that you are reading was actually generated by a small armada of RocCrit Bots!

Wildcard: 50 Words (or less) From or About Me That You Won’t Read on LinkedIn: That despite my so-called “status” as an “engage” music editor and writer, I feel no obligation whatsoever to respond to the scores of generic email pitches I receive at my in-box. I mean, would YOU answer 300 pieces of bulk mail-generated spam (with fake “personalized” salutations) each day?

Favorite story or review I wrote for BLURT: Though from my archives, given the unexpected Replacements reunion this year, it seemed more relevant than ever, and wholly worth dusting off, polishing up, and posting: “Bob’s Babysitter: A Replacements Story” http://blurtonline.com/feature/bobs-babysitter-a-replacements-story/

(Neko Case)

Neko Case2

Jason Gross

New York, NY

 Top 10 New Releases:

Fidlar – Fidlar (Mom+Pop)
Bad Religion – True North (Epitaph)
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories (Columbia)
Deerhunter – Monomania (4AD)
Stooshe – London With the Lights On (Warner Bros)
MacG – Freedom (no label)
Telekinesis – Dormarion (Merge)
Deltron 3030 – The Event II (Bulk Recordings)
Melt Yourself Down – Melt Yourself Down (The Leaf)
Burial Rival – Dealer (Hyperdub)


Top 10 Tracks/Singles

Twin Shadow “Old Love/New Love” (Rockstar Games)
Kastra “Eminem vs. Daniel Portman vs. Zeds Dead – Breathe In That Air (Kastra & Jon Fox Bootleg)” (no label)
Robin Thicke “Blurred Lines (Buffetlibre Remix)” (no label)
Ezra Furman “American Soil” (Bar/None)
Rudimental Featuring Emeli Sande and Nas “Free (Remix)” (Big Beat Records/Atlantic)
Big Sean Featuring Kendrick Lamar & Jay Electronica “Control” (no label)
Nonono “Pumpin’ Blood” (Warner Bros)
Cumulus “Hey Love” (Trans- Records)
Konshen “Gal a Bubble” (Major Lazer x Bro Safari x ETC! ETC! Remix)” (no label)
Hellsongs “Equality” (Tapete)

Top 10 Archival/Reissues 

Ella Fitzgerald – Best of BBC Vaults (Universal Music Group)
Various Artists – Scared To Get Happy- A Story of Indie Pop 1980-1989 (Cherry Red)
Grateful Dead – May 1977 (Grateful Dead)
Miles Davis Quintet – Live In Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol 2 (Legacy)
George Jones – The Complete United Artists Solo Singles (Omnivore)
Swamp Dogg – Total Destruction to Your Mind (Alive)
Shoes – Present Tense: Demos 1978-1979 (Numero Uno)
The Clean – Vehicle (Captured Tracks/Flying Nun)
Orchestre Poly-rythmo de Cotonou – Volume 3 The Skeletal Essences Of Voodoo Funk (Analog Africa)
Various Artists – The Rough Guide To Latin Psychedelia (World Music Network)

Top 5 Music DVDs

Hear My Train A-Comin’
The Punk Singer
20 Feet from Stardom
AKA Doc Pomus
Big Star- Nothing Can Hurt Me

Top 5 Music Books

Questlove – Mo’ Meta Blues
Toure – I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became an Icon
Robert Gordon – Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion
Elaine Constantine – Northern Soul- An Illustrated History
Bob Stanley – Yeah Yeah Yeah- The Story of Modern Pop

Top 5 Concerts I Attended

Kanye West/A Tribe Called Quest – Madison Square Garden, NYC, November 2013
Lou Reed tribute show- Rodeo Bar, NYC, November 2013
Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto at Met Museum May 2013
Yeah Yeah Yeahs/Flaming Lips/The Darkness- Prospect Park, Brooklyn, May 2013
Clearwater Festival, Croton-On-Hudson, NY, June 2013

Top 5 Films

The World’s End
The Way Way Back
Dallas Buyer’s Club
12 Years A Slave
American Hustle

Top 5 Music Videos

William Tyler “A Portrait of Sarah”
Cookie Monster- “Me Want it”
Virgin Mobile ‘Retrain Your Brain’ featuring Wayne of Flaming Lips
Chris Hadfield “Space Oddity”
Graveola “Babulina’s Trip”

Best Record Label:

Tie: Slumberland and Kanine

Best Music-related Website: Perfect Sound Forever (sorry but I’m a self-booster) www.furious.com/perfect

In Memoriam: Most Lamented Death: Lou Reed

Best New Artist: Icona Pop

Worst New Artist: Avicii

Dumbest Band Name: Diarrhea Planet

Best Album Sleeve Art or Packaging & Why: Grateful Dead- May 1977 – even the mailer that they send it out in is beautiful!

Worst Album Sleeve Art & Why: Kanye West- Yeezus – meant to be an anti-art statement but just looked stupid and lazy (good album though)

Hero of the Year: Nelson Mandela

Asshole of the Year: Phil Robertson

Fave Internet Meme of 2012: Anything but Harlem Shake

Best Hair or Facial Hair: Omar Souleyman

Sweetest Buns

Mei Li Wah in Chinatown NYC- best roast pork buns!

2014 Release I Am Most Anticipating:

Another no-advance-notice CD release like Bowie or Beyoncé

Coolest Trend or Whatever: Artists continuing to use sites like Bandcamp to sell their albums or at least promote themselves

Most Fucked Up or Annoying Trend or Whatever: Music journalists finding it harder and harder to make a living

Wildcard: 50 Words (or less) From or About Me That You Won’t Read on LinkedIn: iPad keyboard apps might turn me into a new age artist!

Favorite story or review I wrote for BLURT

Erkin Koray (reviews) http://blurtonline.com/review/erkin-koray-elektronik-turkiler-arap-saci/

———————————————————————————

 

HAL BIENSTOCK

NEW YORK, NY

 Top 10 New Releases

Jason Isbell – Southeastern (Southeastern)

Mikal Cronin – MCII (Merge)

Laura Marling – Once I Was An Eagle (Ribbon)

Yo La Tengo – Fade (Matador)

Waxahatchee – Cirulean Salt (Don Giovanni)

John Murry – The Graceless Age (Evangeline Recording)

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Push the Sky Away (Bad Seeds Ltd.)

Superchunk – I Hate Music (Merge)

Neko Case – The Worse Things Get …(Anti-)

Savages – Silence Yourself (Matador)

Honorable mention:, Deerhunter – Monomania (4AD), The National – Trouble Will Find Me (4AD), Torres (Self-released), Queens of the Stone Age – Like Clockwork (Matador), Speedy Ortiz – Major Arcana (Carpark), Linda Thompson – Won’t Be Long Now (Pettifer Sounds), Valerie June – Pushin’ Against a Stone (Concord)

 Top 10 Archival/Reissues

Bob Dylan – Another Self Portrait (Legacy)

Grateful Dead – Sunshine Daydream: Veneta, Oregon 8/27/72 (Rhino)

The Band – Live at the Academy of Music 1971 (Universal)

The Clash – Sound System (Legacy)

Fleetwood Mac – Rumours Deluxe Edition (Rhino)

Neil Young – Live at the Cellar Door (Reprise)

Roky Erickson –The Evil One/Don’t Slander Me/Gremlins Have Pictures (Light in the Attic)

Nirvana – In Utero : 20th Anniversary Edition (Universal)

Duane Allman – Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective (Rounder)

The Mountain Goats – All Hail West Texas (Merge)

 Best Songs

Neko Case – Nearly Midnight, Honolulu (Anti-)

Yo La Tengo – Ohm (Matador)

Chvrches – Recover  (Glassnote)

Prince – Screwdriver (Purple Music)

Jason Isbell – Cover Me Up (Southeastern)

The National – I Should Live in Salt (4AD)

Arcade Fire – Reflektor (Merge)

Mikal Cronin –Weight

Savages – She Will (Matador)

Vampire Weekend – Diane Young (XL)

 Best Concerts

Prince –March 16, La Zona Rosa, Austin, TX

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – March 13, Stubb’s, Austin, TX

Stevie Wonder – Sept. 28, Central Park, New York, NY (Global Citizen Festival)

The Roots/Parquet Courts – April 25, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY

Yo La Tengo – Dec. 13, The Bell House, Brooklyn, NY

Neko Case – Sept. 26, Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY

(Bob what’s-his-name)

Dylan

 Ron Hart

Ringwood, NJ

 Top 10 New Releases

Kanye West Yeezus (Def Jam)
Daft Punk Random Access Memories (Columbia)
Chris Thile Bach: Sonatas and Partitas (Nonesuch)
Atoms for Peace AMOK (XL Recordings)
David Bowie The Next Day (Columbia)
Drake Nothing Was The Same (Young Money-Universal Republic)
Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (Shady-Aftermath)
Elvis Costello & The Roots Wise Up Ghost (Blue Note)
Darkside Psychic (Matador)
Bill Callahan Dream River (Drag City)

 Top 10 Archival/Reissues 

Bob Dylan Another Self Portrait (Legacy Recordings)

Roky Erickson and the Aliens The Evil One/Gremlins Have Pictures/Don’t Slander Me (Light in the Attic)

Duane Allman Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective (Rounder)

Sly and the Family Stone Higher! (Legacy Recordings)

Damon Songs for a Gypsy (Now-Again)

R.E.M. Green 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Rhino)

Elvis Presley Elvis at Stax (Legacy Recordings)

Fleetwood Mac Then Play On Expanded Edition (Rhino)

Four Tet Rounds (Domino)

Songs: Ohia Magnolia Electric Company: 10th Anniversary Edition (Secretly Canadian)

 Best Record Label: Drag City

Best Music-related Website: www.freemusicarchive.org

In Memoriam: Most Lamented Death: Lou Reed

Best New Artist: Perfect Pussy

Dumbest Band Name: Foxygen

Hero of the Year: Daniel Bryan

Asshole of the Year: No comment (cough cough, Billboard).

Fave Internet Meme of 2013: Joffrey Bieber 

2014 Release I Am Most Anticipating: Beck’s Morning Phase

Coolest Trend or Whatever: Cassettes

Most Fucked Up or Annoying Trend or Whatever: cronyism in mainstream music journalism

Wildcard: 50 Words (or less) From or About Me That You Won’t Read on LinkedIn: I am watching professional wrestling again. If you don’t like it, learn to love it.

Favorite story or review I wrote for BLURT: The Men (interview, “Are We Not Men”) http://blurtonline.com/feature/are-we-not-men-we-are-the-men-the-men/

——————————————————————————

Jordan Lawrence

Columbia, SC

 Top 10 New Releases

Mikal Cronin, MCII (Merge) Because I’m 17 again!

Chris Forsyth, (Paradise of Bachelors) Because it needs no more cowbell.

Arnold Dreyblatt & Megafaun, Appalachian Excitation (Northern Spy) Because it’s Arnold Dreyblatt AND Megafaun.

Hiss Golden Messenger, Haw (Paradise of Bachelors) Because believing is hard.

Mountains, Centralia (Thrill Jockey) Because form should follow function.

Inter Arma, Sky Burial (Relapse) Because metal should feel this infinite.

Body/Head, Coming Apart (Matador) Because Kim Gordon wins.

Joint D≠, Satan Is Real Again, Again, or: Feeling Good About Feeling Good About Bad Thoughts (Sorry State) Because it’s somehow better than last year’s Joint D≠ record.

Run the Jewels, Run the Jewels (Fool’s Gold) Because if El-P didn’t do it, get the fuck out of here.

The National, Trouble Will Find Me (4AD) Because I get drunk sometimes.

——————————————————————————

Michael Berick

Los Angeles, CA

 Top 10 New Releases

Jason Isbell – Southeastern (Southeastern)

Divided And United: Songs of the Civil War – Various Artists (ATO)

Dr. Dog – B Room (Anti)

Courtney Jaye – Love And Forgiveness (self-released)

The White Buffalo – Shadows, Greys & Evil Ways (Unison Music Group)

Slaid Cleaves – Still Fighting The War (Music Road)

Milk Carton Kids – The Ash & Clay (Anti)

Band of Heathens- Sunday Morning Record (BOH Records)

The Melodic – Effra Parade (Anti-)

Escondido – The Ghost of Escondido (Kill Canyon)

 Top 10 Archival/Reissues

Bottle Rockets – Bottle Rockets/The Brooklyn Side (Bloodshot)

Various Artists – The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-1932)  (Revenant/Third Man

Waitresses – Just Desserts (Omnivore)

Townes Van Zandt – High, Low And in Between (Omnivore)

Bob Dylan – Another Self Portrait (Columbia)

Buck Owens – Buck ‘Em (The Music of Buck Owens 1955-1967(Omnivore)

Speed The Plough – The Plough & The Stars (Bar-None)

Swimming Pool Q’s – The A&M Years (Bar-None)

REM – Green (Rhino)

Hackamore Brick – One Kiss Leads To Another (Real Gone Music)

 Best new artist(s): The Melodic, Escondido and Milk Carton Kids

Best New Christmas Song: Nick Lowe- Christmas At The Airport

————————————————————————————

Tom Speed

Oxford, Miss.

 Top 10 New Releases

Valerie June: Pushin’ Against A Stone (Concord)

Jimbo Mathus & The Tri-State Coalition: White Buffalo (Fat Possum)

Jason Isbell: Southeastern (Southeastern)

Jonathan Wilson: Fanfare (Downtown)

Kurt Vile: Wakin On A Pretty Daze (Matador)

Yo La Tengo: Fade (Matador)

Foxygen: We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic (Jagjaguwar)

Water Liars: Wyoming (Fat Possum)

Blitzen Trapper: VII (Vagrant)

Shannon McNally: Small Town Talk (Sacred Sumac Music)

 Coolest Trend or Whatever: Crowdfunding

Top Reissue: Woody Guthrie: American Radical Patriot (Concord/Rounder)

Dumbest Band Name: Diarrhea Planet

Favorite Story I Wrote For Blurt: It was fun driving down to Taylor, Miss. to drink beers in an old cotton field with Jimbo Mathus. I even made it home with a souvenir—a 45 rpm record of “Chokin’ On A Lude” by his first band, Johnny Vomit & The Dry Heaves. (interview, “The Education of Captain Catfish”) http://blurtonline.com/feature/the-education-of-captain-catfish-jimbo-mathus/

————————————————————————————

DANNY R. PHILLIPS

UNION STAR, MO

 Top 10 New Releases

Savages – Silence Yourself (Pop Noire/Matador)

Black on Black – Get on With It (self-released)

Tame Impala – Lonerism (Modular)

Grant Hart – The Argument (Domino)

Bad Religion – True North (Epitaph)

Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork (Matador)

Superchunk –  I Hate Music (Merge)

Waxahatchee – Cerulean Salt (Don Giovanni Records)

The Joy Formidable – Wolf’s Law (Atlantic)

Many Moods of Dad – Consequence of Trying (You Are Already Dead)

Mudhoney – Vanishing Point (Sub Pop

 Best Soundtrack: CBGB- The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Best Music Related Documentary: Nothing Can Hurt Me: The Story of Big Star

Best show attended this year:  Bob Mould w/ The Pedaljets – Lawrence, KS, The Bottleneck

Favorite Interview I conducted this year for BLURT:  Gorman Bechard, director of Every Everything: The Life, Times and Music of Grant Hart and Color Me Obsessed (interview, “One Man’s Obsession”)

http://blurtonline.com/feature/one-mans-obsession-replacements-filmmaker-gorman-bechard/

Best Things that happened to me this year: Running into Bob Mould in the lobby of my hotel the morning after his show in Lawrence, KS (super nice guy) and having my BLURT review of Every Everything: The Life, Music and Times of Grant Hart chosen for inclusion in the “Best Rock Writing of 2013 Anthology” from That Devil Music.

What I hope for in 2014: That Miley Cyrus stops making music, Kanye loses the ability to speak, an extensive world tour for The Cure that I can attend, to interview Dave Grohl, and that Morrissey finally learns to shut his trap.

———————————————————————————————-

 

DAVE STEINFELD 

NEW YORK, NY

 Top 10 New Releases

Willie Nile — American Ride  (Loud & Proud Records) The most recent album in this veteran New York artist’s late career resurgence, American Ride is one of his best. It finds Nile tackling rock and roll anthems (This is Our Time, If I Ever See the Light), lovely ballads (She’s Got My Heart), Tin Pan Alley (Sunrise in New York City) and a blistering cover of the Jim Carroll classic People Who Died. A great record from an inspiring guy.

 The Cliks — Black Tie Elevator  (Bandwidth Entertainment) The third proper studio outing from Lucas Silveira and company largely abandons the rock of the first two Cliks discs in favor of soul, reggae and blues — but it still sounds great!

 Starnes & Shah — Shilling for Dreamtown  (self released) The latest from these two NYC-area ladies is a fine album of folk/pop/rock that highlights their lovely harmonies. Listen to the song Gatling Girl once and you won’t be able to get it out of your head for a week.

 Reed Turner — Ghosts in the Attic  (self released) Impressive album from this Austin-based, country-influenced singer-songwriter. Highlights include the haunting title track and Killed That Girl (Cause She Was Killing Me). Who can’t relate to a sentiment like that??

 Paul McCartney — New (MPL/Hear Music) Not Macca’s best but a very good disc nonetheless… One that finds him equally at home rocking out or being sentimental and which proves that even in his 70s, he has no intentions of slowing down.

 Kanisha K. — self titled (Daddy Rocks)

We Are the Wilderness — Descending from Paramount (self released)

We Were Lovers — Pyramids (self released)

The Strokes — Comedown Machine (RCA)

Julia Weldon — Light is a Ghost (self released)

  Top 5 Archival/Reissues

The Clash — Sound System (Sony Legacy)

The Monroes — What Do All the People Know (Music Power)

The Waitresses — Just Desserts: The Complete Waitresses (Omnivore)

Fanny — self titled (Real Gone Music)

Boz Scaggs — The Essential Boz Scaggs (Sony Legacy) 

 Top Music Book: Boys Don’t Lie: A History of Shoes by Mary E. Donnelly

 In Memoriam: Most Lamented Death: Lou Reed “Something flickered for a minute… and then it vanished and was gone.”  RIP.

 Best New Artist: Julia Weldon

 Asshole of the Year: Chris Brown (for the second year in a row!)

 2014 Release I Am Most Anticipating: Mary Gauthier’s next studio album (which will be the follow-up to her brilliant 2010 release, The Foundling).

 Most Fucked Up or Annoying Trend: Record stores in NYC continue to close at an alarming rate due to a combination of soaring rents and more people downloading music instead of buying physical records and CDs. One of the latest casualties, Bleecker Bob’s, finally shut down in 2013. Bob’s was a legendary store which had been around since the 1970s and which I lived across the street from for 20 years. Though the clerks could be gruff at first, most of them were quite nice once you got to know them. And they had a great selection of vinyl that ranged from old jazz and soul to tons of punk, post-punk and New Wave gems.

Favorite story or review I wrote for BLURT: The Monroes (interview, “What Do They Know?) http://blurtonline.com/feature/what-do-they-know-the-monroes/

 

————————————————————————————–

Steve Wilson

Lawrence, KS

 Top 10 New Releases

Babyshambles, Sequel to the Prequel: Pete Doherty continues to toss off appealing tunes; the band has a brilliant nonchalance.

The Beatles, On Air: Live at the BBC, Vol. 2: Better than the first BBC collection, fresh 50 years later. George especially is a revelation, as guitarist and singer.

David Bowie, The Next Day: His best in more than 30 years and a competitor to some of his classics.

Danny Brown, Old: As zonked as Cody Chesnutt and just as human and soulful.

Eleanor Friedberger, Personal Record: Off-hand, synthetic, seductive songs that explore and reveal.

Laura Marling, Once I Was an Eagle: Remarkable young talent. She almost makes me re-evaluate my Joni Mitchell problem.

Oblivians, Desperation: Fourteen tunes in a half-hour and change. The Oblivians bring it all back home.

Sonny and the Sunsets, Antenna to the Afterworld: The boy next door with the surprising record collection, and his head in the clouds.

Those Darlins, Blur the Line: Insinuating with each listen Patti Smith, Stevie Nicks, Joan Jett and Loretta Lynn tossed like a salad.

King Khan & the Shrines, Idle No More: Rocking guitars, funky horns, shots of salvation.

Ezra Furman – Day of the Dog: Mangy Lou/Jonathan/Gordon descendant, mixes rock tropes with tics and flair.

 Favorite story or review I wrote for BLURT: King Khan (interview, “Spiritual Salvation”) http://blurtonline.com/feature/spiritual-salvation-king-khan-shrines/

————————————————————————————

Steve Klinge

Wilmington, DE

Top 10 New Releases
Bombino – Nomad (Nonesuch)

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Push The Sky Away (Anti)

Chvrches, The Bones of What You Believe (Universal)

Iron & Wine, Ghost on Ghost (Nonesuch)

The National, Trouble Will Find Me (4AD)

Parquet Courts, Light Up Gold (2012 originally but 2013 rerelease) (What’s My Rupture?)

The Pastels, Slow Summits (Domino)

Rhye, Woman (Republic)

Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City (XL)

Yo La Tengo, Fade (Matador)

——————————————————————————————

TIM HINELY

DENVER, CO

 TOP 10  (#1-10)

Palma Violets – 180 (Rough Trade)

Connections- Private Airplane  & Body Language (both on Anyway Records)

Crocodiles- Crimes of Passion (French Kiss)

Mikal Cronin-  MCII  (Merge)

The Proctors- Everlasting Light (Shelflife)

The Mantles- Long Enough to Leave (Slumberland)

Dick Diver- Calendar Days (Chapter Music)

Math and Physics Club- Our Hearts Beat Out Loud (Matinee)

Savages – Silence Yourself (Matador)

The Moondoggies- Adios, I’m a Ghost (Hardly Art)

 WAIT, HERE’S 10 MORE!  (#-11-20)

Anders & Kendall- Wild Chorus (9 Mile Records)

Beach Fossils- Clash the Truth (Captured Tracks)

Veronica Falls- Waiting for Something to Happen (Slumberland)

King Khan & the Shrines- Idle No More (Merge)

Joanna Gruesome, Weird Sister (Slumberland)

Yo La Tengo – Fade (Matador)

The Bongos- Phantom Train (Jem/ MVD)

Thalia Zedek- Via (Thrill Jockey)

Caitlin Rose- The Stand-In (ATO)

Arts & Leisure- Choose Your Adventure (Test Pattern)

  WAIT…….10 MORE!  (#21-30)

The Zoltars- Walking Through the Dark (CQ Records)

The Night Marchers- Allez Allez (Swami)

La Luz-  It’s Alive (Hardly Art)

Neko Case- The Worse Things Get…. (Anti)

Sex Tides- Flash Fuck (A Wicked Company)

Pat Todd and the Rank Outsiders – 14th and Nowhere (Rankoutsider Records)

The Brother Kite- Model Rocket (Claire)

Silver Screen- When You and I Were Very Young (Plastilina)

Sweet Talk- Pickup Lines (12XU)

The Crookes- Hold Fast (Modern Outsider )

 10 MORE THAT I LOVED AS WELL…. (#31-40)

Ski Lodge- Big Heart (Dovecote)

Estrangers- Season of 1000 Colors (self released )

Chris Forsyth- Solar Motel (Paradise of Bachelors)

Muuy Biien- This is What Your Mind Imagines (HHBTM)

Bye Bye Blackbirds- We Need the Rain (Self released)

Legs- Pass the Ringo (Loglady)

Autistic Youth- Nonage (Dirtnap)

Underground Lovers- Weekend (Rubber Records)

Barton Carroll- Avery County, I’m Bound to You (Skybucket)

Club 8- Above the City (Labrador)

Northern Portrait- Ta! (Matinee)

OH WHAT THE HECK, LET’S MAKE IT AN EVEN 50 (#41-50)

Azure Blue- Beyond the Dreams There’s Infinite Doubt (Matinee)

The Ocean Blue- Ultramarine (Korda/ Shelflife)

Cults- Static (Columbia)

Daniel Romano- Come Cry with Me (Normaltown Records)

Camera Obscura- Desire Lines (4AD)

Weekend- Jinx (Slumberland)

Pure Bathing Culture- Moon Tides (Partisan)

Superchunk- I Hate Music (Merge)

The Last- Danger (End Sounds)

Bubblegum Lemonade- Some Like it Pop (Matinee)

 MY 10 FAVORITE COLLECTIONS OF 2013

Honey LTD- The Complete LH1 Recordings (Light in the Attic)

The Three O’Clock – The Hidden World Revealed (Omnivore)

Beachwood Sparks- Desert Skies (Alive/ Total Energy)

Belle & Sebastian-  The Third Eye Centre (Matador)

Townes van Zandt- Sunshine Boy (Omnivore)

The Primitives- Everything’s Shining Bright; The Lazy Recordings- 1985-’87 (Cherry Red)

Rose Melberg- September (Lost Sound Tapes)

Alex Chilton- Electricity by Candlelight/ NTC 2/13/97(Bar None)

Tommy Keene- Excitement at Your Feet (Second Motion)

The Chills- Somewhere Beautiful (Fire)

 MY 10 FAVORITE REISSUES OF 2013

The Clean- Vehicle (Captured Tracks)

The House of Love- s/t (Cherry Red)

We’ve Got a Fuzzbox and We’re Gonna Use It- Bostin Steve Austin (Cherry Red)

Dump- Superpowerless and I Can Hear Music (both on Morr Music)

The Primitives- Lovely (Cherry Red)

Come- 11:11 (Matador)

The Ventures- Walk, Don’t Run (el/ Cherry red)

New Bomb Turks- Destroy oh Boy! (Crypt vinyl reissue)

Tiny Tim- God Bless Tiny Tim  (Now Sounds/ Cherry Red)

The Mountain Goats- All Hail West Texas (Merge)

  MY 5 FAVORITE EP’s OF 2013

Males- Run Run Run/ Males Males Males (Fishrider)

Mascott (Cost/Amount (Kiam)

Wild Nothing- Empty Estate (Captured tracks)

Blue-Eyed Son- Shadows on the Sun (Eenie Meenie)

Drivin n’ Cryin- Songs from the Psychedelic Time Clock (New Records)

(Yo La Tengo)

Yo

Leave a Reply