Monday, December 2, 2013
Best Of 2013: Readers Choices Part 1
I was about to say I didn't listen to much new music this year until I looked at my playlists.
My Top Ten (12) of 2013
(In no particular order)
1 The Wood Brothers- The Muse
2 Joseph Arthur- The Ballad Of Boogie Christ
3 William Tyler- The Impossible Truth
4 Elvis And The Roots- Wise Up Ghost
5 Janelle Monae- The Electric Lady
7 Jeffrey Novak- The Lemon Kid
8 Jonathan Wilson- Fanfare
9 Mavis Staples- One True Vine
10 Omar Suleyman- Wenu Wenu
11 Roy Harper- Man and Myth
12 North Mississippi All Stars- World boogie Is Coming
King Crimson- The Road To Red
Bob Dylan- Another Self Portrait
Yes- Close To The Edge
(I can't believe I left "The Next Day" off my list. Also Okkervil River's "The Silver Gymnasium.")
I haven't put together my full list yest, but I do know my 3 favorites of the year. My listening habits have been focused primarily on Americana artists for the past few years and there have been some very good releases in 2013.
1) Jason Isbell - Southeastern
America's best songwriter at the moment. You know he's good when my wife stops what she is doing to marvel at the lyrics.
2) Holly Williams - The Highway
The best record made by anyone in this family since, well since Hank.
3) Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison - Cheaters Game
I've had this sine last December and I keep on playing it. A wonderful record.
There were also very good releases from John Moreland, Sturgil Simpson, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell among others. All in all a pretty good year.
For me, this was not a *great* year. That said, these are 2013 releases I've played more than once and will continue to go back to:
1) Minor Alps -- Get There (I am an unabashed fan of Juliana Hatfield, and I really like Nada Surf, so this was right in the wheel house...) Yet Juliana's "Wild Animals" -- made no impression at all...
2) Drink a Toast to Innocence: A Tribute to Lite Rock. I can't add much that hasn't been already said about this great collection.
3) Belle And Sebastian -- The Third Eye Centre. I love this band as they continue to fit into the "I miss the Beautiful South" place in my head.
4) Lyn Saga -- Venice. If only for the brilliant "This Way" (but the rest of the album is very good, too.)
5) Kurt Baker -- Brand New Beat (lots of fun here.)
But the album I played most in 2013? The rip of "Pure McCartney" by Time Christensen (and others...)
What put the biggest smile on my face in 2013? The boot of the first Replacements reunion concert. I wish I had been there!!!
There were many others that were good (new Neil Young & Crazy Horse almost made the cut as did "Time" by Rod Stewart), but -- looking back to what I added to my iTunes in 2013 -- the list above is what I've gone back to most.
Discoveries of older albums/artists in 2013 (mostly from Bandcamp) that I really liked: The Wellingtons, I Was A King, Throwback Suburbia's "Shot Glass Souvenir" (OK, I probably played this album *more* than "Pure McCartney", The Grapes of Wrath, Fastball
There were more things I thought I *would* like, but didn't like as much (M B V jumps out as does Sid & Susie's Vol 3) this year.