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The 50 Best Albums of 2013 for Real

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Unlike the 20 best songs of 2013 for real, which is in no particular order, this order is very particular. It’s the 50 albums I liked and listened to the most, winnowed down from a much larger Spotify playlist (a 1,018-track, 65-hour monster, if you can handle it).

1. Phosphorescent :: Muchacho

2. Kanye West :: Yeezus

3. Futurebirds :: Baba Yaga

4. Vampire Weekend :: Modern Vampires of the City

5. The National :: Trouble Will Find Me

6. Foxygen :: We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic

7. Yo La Tengo :: Fade

8. Jason Isbell :: Southeastern

9. Daft Punk :: Random Access Memories

10. Kurt Vile :: Wakin on a Pretty Daze

11. Sonny & the Sunsets :: Antenna to the Afterworld

12. Jim James :: Regions of Light and Sound of God

13. Still Corners :: Strange Pleasures

14. Steve Gunn :: Time Off

15. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros :: Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

16. Volcano Choir :: Repave

17. Drake :: Nothing Was the Same

18. Arcade Fire :: Reflektor

19. William Tyler :: Impossible Truth

20. Pusha T :: My Name Is My Name

21. Laura Marling :: Once I Was an Eagle

22. Unknown Mortal Orchestra :: II

23. Ducktails :: The Flower Lane

24. Mutual Benefit :: Love’s Crushing Diamond

25. The Avett Brothers :: Magpie and the Dandelion

26. Parquet Courts :: Light Up Gold

27. A$AP Rocky :: LONG.LIVE.A$AP

28. Bob Dylan :: Another Self Portrait

29. Cass McCombs :: Big Wheel and Others

30. Camera Obscura :: Desire Lines

31. Waxahatchee :: Cerulean Salt

32. Cayucas :: Bigfoot

33. Okkervil River :: The Silver Gymnasium

34. Houndmouth :: From the Hills Below the City

35. Local Natives :: Hummingbird

36. Iron and Wine :: Ghost on Ghost

37. Courtney Barnett :: The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas

38. The Love Language :: Ruby Red

39. Deerhunter :: Monomania

40. Youth Lagoon :: Wondrous Bughouse

41. Rogue Wave :: Nightingale Floors

42. Washed Out :: Paracosm

43. The Shouting Matches :: Grownass Man

44. Earl Sweatshirt :: Doris

45. King Krule :: 6 Feet Beneath the Moon

46. Junip :: Junip

47. Danny Brown :: Old

48. Cults :: Static

49. Cate le Bon :: Mug Museum

50. Toro Y Moi :: Anything in Return

Filed under Music Best of 2013 Indie Rock Dad Rock Beardcore

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The 20 Best Songs of 2013 for Real

I usually make a “Best of [the Year] for Real” mix CD for friends, but this was the year I stopped listening to music on CD at all, so now they’re just getting a playlist. Sorry, friends. Hop on the slow train of progress; the music’s fine.

Best of 2013 for Real on Spotify | Best of 2013 (extended edition)

1. Jim James, “A New Life”

2. Still Corners, “The Trip”

3. Vampire Weekend, “Step”

4. Cate le Bon, “Are You With Me Now?”

5. Junip, “Line of Fire”

6. Kanye West, “Blood on the Leaves”

7. Phosphorescent, “Song for Zula”

8. Cayucas, “Deep Sea”

9. Parquet Courts, “Borrowed Time”

10. Cass McCombs, “Brighter”

11. The Avett Brothers, “Every Morning Song”

12. Drake, “Furthest Thing”

13. Sonny & the Sunsets, “Green Blood”

14. Arcade Fire, “Reflektor”

15. The Orwells, “Who Needs You”

16. Pusha T, “Nosetalgia”

17. Foxygen, “San Francisco”

18. Yo La Tengo, “Ohm”

19. Futurebirds, “Heavy Weights”

20. Telekinesis, “Symphony”

Past years: 20122011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007

Filed under Music Spotify Best of 2013 Indie Rock Dad Rock Chillwave Scarfwave Beardcore

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Harry Nilsson :: “One”

"Nilsson wrote the song after calling someone and getting a busy signal. He stayed on the line listening to the ‘beep, beep, beep, beep…’ tone, writing the song. The busy signal became the opening notes of the song." (via Wikipedia)

Filed under Music Harry Nilsson

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Really enjoyed Grantland’s “Legacy of Harry Nilsson” piece, especially this part about “You Can’t Do That” (embedded here):

In theory, it’s a cover of the Beatles’ 1964 song, but with its cascading overdubs and interwoven lyrics from other Beatles songs, Nilsson creates what I’ll call the first mash-up. It’s a pastiche of at least 14 different songs (some say 22), from “I Want to Hold Your Hand” to “Day Tripper,” “Paperback Writer” to “Strawberry Fields Forever.” It’s a fascinating track, blending phrases of melody and lyrics, and it’s all over in just 140 seconds. But there’s something fanboyish about “You Can’t Do That.” It’s a cry for attention, which, of course, it got.

Filed under Music Beatles Harry Nilsson Mashups

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Top 20 LPs of the First Half of 2013

Inspired by Steven Hyden over at Grantland, here are my 20 favorite albums of the year to date, more or less. Listen to them and others in this big-assed playlist on Spotify if you like. Careful, though: You have to be pretty tolerant of indie-dad rock to stand it.

1. Phosphorescent :: Muchacho

2. The National :: Trouble Will Find Me

3. Foxygen :: We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic

4. Jim James :: Regions of Light and Sound of God

5. Yo La Tengo :: Fade

6. Kanye West :: Yeezus

7. Still Corners :: Strange Pleasures

8. Camera Obscura :: Desire Lines

9. Jason Isbell :: Southeastern

10. Iron and Wine :: Ghost on Ghost

11. Vampire Weekend :: Modern Vampires of the City

12. Daft Punk :: Random Access Memories

13. William Tyler :: Impossible Truth

14. Kurt Vile :: Wakin on a Pretty Daze

15. Unknown Mortal Orchestra :: II

16. Futurebirds :: Baba Yaga

17. Local Natives :: Hummingbird

18. Sonny & the Sunsets :: Antenna to the Afterworld

19. Deerhunter :: Monomania

20. Ducktails :: The Flower Lane

Filed under Music Indie Rock Lists Phosphorescent