Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Best of 2013


Best 13 of 2013.  In alphabetical order.

Acid Mothers Temple & Space Paranoid - Black Magic Satori
Akimbo - Live to Crush
Bass Drum of Death - s/t
Crocodiles - Crimes of Passion
The Darling Downs - In the Days When the World Was Wide
Dirty Beaches - Waterpark OST
Dream Boys - s/t
The Fall - Re-Mit
Fuxa - Dirty D
My Blood Valentine - mbv
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Push the Sky Away 
No Joy - Wait to Pleasure
Watutsi Zombie - WZ

EPs, Singles, Splits, Tapes, Reissues

The Clean - Vehicle Reissue
The Fall - 5 Albums Beggar's Banquet Reissues (The Frenz Experiment, I Am Curious Oranj, Hit The North, Singles, Seminal Live)
The Fall - The Remainderer EP
KING BROTHERS - Blood & Soul Tour-only CD Single
Pink Playground - Amethyst Milk Tapes Vols. 1-3
Pink Playground/ Circle Hour split
Snoy EP 7" Reissue
V/A - Yellow Loveless


Top Eight New-To-Me Media of 2013
Because five is too little and ten is too many. I did more than just listen to music and read comics this year so there are multiple lists.

1. Deathspell Omega - Kénôse & Paracletus
2. Split Enz - True Colours
3. João Gilberto (1973) - João Gilberto
4. Drexcia - Neptune's Lair
5. Big Star - Discography
6. Pete Swanson - Man With Potential
7. Expo 70 - Where Does Your Mind Go
8. Enya - Enya

1. 1960s Trilogy (Days of Being Wild, In the Mood for Love & 2046) - Wong Kar-wai
2. Barry Lyndon - Stanley Kubrick
3. Nostalghia - Andrei Tarkovsky
4. Angst - Gerald Kargl
5. Red Desert - Michelangelo Antonioni
6. Bob the Gambler - Jean Pierre Melville
7. Mister Lonely & Spring Breakers - Harmony Korine 
8. Detropia - Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady

1. 334 - Thomas M. Disch
2. Three Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel García Márquez
3. The Motion of Light in Water & Dhalgren - Samuel R. Delany
4. V. - Thomas Pynchon
5. The Broken Sword - Poul Anderson
6. Crash & High Rise -  J. G. Ballard
7. Bridge Trilogy - William Gibson
8. When We Were Orphans - Kazuo Ishiguro

1. Metabarons - Alejandro Jodorowsky & Juan Giménez  
2. Bread and Wine - Samuel R. Delany
3. Corto Maltese - Hugo Pratt
6. Pompeii - Frank Santoro
7. You Are There, It Was the War of the Trenches & West Coast Blues - Jacques Tardi
8. Grandville - Bryan Talbot
Tim B
Movies of 2013:

Upstream Color

Books of 2013:

My Struggle Volume Two, Karl Ove Knausgaard

Best Hummus of 2013:

Butternut Squash and Scallion 
Best Soup:

Red Lentil and Tamarind

Albums of 2013

Self Titled, Radioactivity
 I could have told you that this was my favorite album of the year without hearing it.  Jeff Burke writes songs that just do it for me. They are fast, poppy, clever, sappy, and introspective.

 Inhumanistic, Mind Spiders
This album relies more on synthesizers and drum machines than their past albums. It is also the most science fiction themed, and also the most rocking album they’ve made. Aesthetically, this band is perfect. They write smart, dark garage rock songs influenced by Devo and science fiction movies.

Embracism, Kirin J. Calinan

This album goes back and forth between kind of abrasive, industrial sounding songs, to synth-pop songs.  While I prefer the synth-pop songs this whole thing is great. Calinan’s voice is impressive and his lyrics are surprising.

Love In Arms, Gabriel Bruce
 I’m a sucker for pop music sung by dudes with deep voices. He sings like Leonard Cohen, or Nick Cave, but his jams are catchy and totes dancey.  Also, he’s got enviable dance moves.

MCII, Mikal Cronin
Based on his association with Ty Segall, I expected this to be a reverb drenched, rowdy garage rock album.  I did not expect a straight up power-pop album. It was a welcome surprise, and one I wish occurred more often.
True EP, Solange
This is only seven songs long, so I don’t know if it belongs on the list.  However, this is great pop music.

Cupid Deluxe,  Blood Orange

I don’t know, this dude reminds me of Prince. He combines a lot of different things, but maintains a distinct sound. The songs are relaxed and always satisfying. 

The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You, Neko Case
I don’t think this is Neko Case’s best album, and I don’t think she’s trying anything new. If someone asked me what album to listen to by Neko Case I would not say this album, but I’ve always liked her voice and lyrics and this album is great simply for providing me with more of both.

Floating Coffin, Thee Oh Sees

One weekend a friend and I went to see this band in Montana. We got lost, killed a raccoon drove for eight and one half hours, locked the keys in our car and missed all but the last song.  The song they played was “Minotaur” from this album. At the time I thought it the best Thee Oh Sees song I’d ever heard. Now I consider “Floating Coffin” the best Thee Oh Sees album I ever heard. 

The Hunt Begins, The Hunt

Nearly every year when the weather starts to get cold I start listening to post-punk. Then one day I said to myself, I said, “I wish there was a post-punk band that sounded kind of like Interpol, but maybe with a little bit less production and a little bit more aggression.” Surely there are tons of bands that fit that description, but because it’s a genre, or sub-genre, or whatever that I’m not particularly familiar with, I didn’t know of any. Somehow that day I stumbled upon this band/album and it pretty satisfied my craving. The Interpol comparison might be unfavorable, uninformed, and unfair to The Hunt, but whatever. This album is, like, hella cool. 
Honeys, Pissed Jeans
Run Fast,  The Julie Ruin
1. Sepultura Beneath the Remains

2. Sepultura Beneath the Remains

3. Sepultura Beneath the Remains

4. Sepultura Beneath the Remains

5. Sepultura Beneath the Remains

6. Sepultura Beneath the Remains

7. Sepultura Beneath the Remains

8. Sepultura Beneath the Remains

9. Sepultura Beneath the Remains

10. Sepultura Beneath the Remains


This list goes to 11:

1. Bongripper/Conan - Split

              One track from each artist, comprised of minimalist, heavy, ridiculously down-tuned doom.

2. Conan - Mount Wrath: Live at Roadburn 2012

              Conan’s sets on two separate days at Roadburn Fest. The live tone and performance really sets this release apart from some of their others.

3. Spider Kitten - Cougar Club

              Psychedelic and heavy, with almost Bowie-esque vocals sometimes.

4. Light Bearer - Silver Tongue

              Just some more good atmospheric post metal from the UK.

5. MakingFuck - S/T


              Featuring members of (possibly-defunct) Nine Worlds from SLC. Slow and sludgy, with a cello in place of bass.

6. Nonsun - Sun Blind Me

              Slow, heavy doom and drone.

7. Oxtongue - Where the Light is Mute

              Minimal, crushing, angry, etc.

8. TENTACLE - Ingot Eye

              Sounds like some sort of procession sometimes. Fuzzed-out doom with distraught vocals the rest of the time.

9. Vestiges/Panopticon - Split

              Blackened/atmospheric/post/black metal all around.

10. Vit - The Dry Season

              Black metal with bits of folk and deranged accordion interspersed.

11. Windhand - Soma


              Some good traditional doom. Great tone, riffs, vocals. Just a good doom album.

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