One thing I have made a point to do this year was to determine what I thought were the best records of 2013. Of course I can’t listen to everything, but I tried to give most things a shot, and feel like I have come up with a list of my 15 favorite records of the year. Its a pretty eclectic mix, with indie-rock, folk, jazz, hip-hop, and art music all making its way onto the list. Following the list is a second list, of records that I didn’t have time to fully explore this year.
My Top Albums of the Year:
- 01. Modern Vampires of the City – Vampire Weekend
- 02. Reflektor – Arcade Fire
- 03. The Bones of What You Believe – CHVRCHES
- 04. Shaking the Habitual – The Knife
- 05. Bright Sunny South – Sam Amidon
- 06. Doris – Earl Sweatshirt
- 07. Silent Comedy – Bill Frisell
- 08. Hummingbird – Local Natives
- 09. Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels
- 10. Psychic – DARKSIDE
- 11. The Silver Gymnasium – Okkervil River
- 12. Old – Danny Brown
- 13. Big Sur – Bill Frisell
- 14. Wake Up Awesome - C. Spencer Yeh, Okkyung Lee, Lasse Marhaug
- 15. Mischief & Mayhem – Jenny Scheinman
Albums I Haven’t Fully Explored Yet (Because I’ve Been Listening to a LOT of Fleetwood Mac) But Will Likely Spend The Beginning of 2014 Listening To (And is Much Longer Than My Actual Selections for Best of The Year, but Truth Be Told I’ve Been Listening to That Vampire Weekend Record Non-stop Since It Dropped):
- Night Time, My Time – Sky Ferreira
- Settle – Disclosure
- Event of Your Leaving – RAUM
- Give Me All You Got – Carrie Rodriguez
- Rival Dealer – Burial
- The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You - Neko Case
- Touch Five – Phil Niblock
- Wondrous Bughouse – Youth Lagoon
- Cerulean Salt – Waxahatchee
- Muchacho – Phosphorescent
- MBV – My Bloody Valentine
- True Romance – Charli XCX
- Event 2 – Deltron 3030
- Days are Gone – Haim
- Silence Yourself – Savages
- Slow Focus – Fuck Buttons
- My Name Is My Name - Pusha T
- Light Up Gold – Parquet Courts
- Tomorrow’s Harvest – Boards of Canada
- Cupid Deluxe – Blood Orange
I just wanted to quickly share 4 rap acts that I feel truly embrace every essence of Hip-Hop. While the Hip-Hop radio waves are dominated by rap that is far from authentic, these new cats, one of them getting major label recognition, needless to say keep it real.
Curren$y – Michael Knight
Danny Brown – Monopoly verse on Toca Tuesday Radio Show
(I had to use this freestyle verse because Monopoly is by far my favorite DB track)
A$AP Rocky – Purple Swag
Tyler, the Creator – Yonkers
An amazing experimental film directed by Loretta Fahrenholz, produced by Inka Meissner, and based upon a play by Kathy Acker that I engineered the sound for as well as did sound design and post-production sound for is having its American & New York City premier this Saturday night, November 19th, Midnight, at the Reena Spaulings Fine Art Gallery in Manhattan, 165 East Broadway. This should be a fantastic event, with members of the cast and crew in attendance. Click on the image above for more information, or go to http://reenaspaulings.com/.
Had been hearing her name passed around in the blogger/critic circles, but unfortunately more often than not my listening habits border on lazy, and I don’t actively seek out the newest/hottest buzz bands like I used to. Fortunately, I’ve gotten SiriusXM radio in my new (old) car, and listening to the excellent indie-rock station SiriusXMU introduced me to Lana Del Rey.
I don’t know quite how to describe her. She combines the darkness of Tori Amos with the soul/blues of Erykah Badu, and an undefinable sexiness while still being very frank with her sexuality in her lyrics (see her live performance of the yet-to-be released “Born 2 Die”).
Her only release so far is a double A side 7″, with the tracks “Video Games” and “Blue Jeans”. They’re both amazing, complex while still leaving you humming the tunes, but it’s “Blue Jeans” that really gets me. It has this pop “thump” to it, that makes your body move without it being a dance tune, or a rock tune, or barely a pop tune. On top of this, the video for this track takes a musique concrete approach to its construction, using found video and audio, making an already amazing tune EVEN BETTER.
The internet is just an incredibly wonderful place. It’s just over-abundant with information, and opportunity to gain new knowledge. I’ve been adamantly following the exploits of Ubu Web, a repository for the avant-garde. They also have absolutely roped me back into the Twitter-verse; their Twitter account posts the most informative and interesting bits of media, text, audio, video that is encompassed by the HUGE umbrella of the avant-garde (much farther reaching than you’d expect… I’d like to think that I’m an apt example of in my own tastes).
Please do yourself a favor and check out Ubu Web at ubu.com, and their twitter @ubuweb.
Lastly, the reason which prompted this post: a very interesting article on internet music and its results, written by Ubu Web founder Kenneth Goldsmith. He has seemed to hit the nail on the head when it comes to the new shift in music as a commodity and listening patterns that have resulted in the internet mp3 boom. I’m right there with him. I used to be a record collecting junkie. Couldn’t get enough. But then I had a bit more of a disposable income (the joys of living with your parents). I can’t tell you the last time I bought an album. It was likely because I couldn’t download it. But with this freedom, I feel like I have not only been exposed to more music but have become a BIGGER music fan. Which IMO is much more important.
The Wire Issue # 327: Epiphanies: Kenneth Goldsmith
That being said, please download my music as much as you please; sample it, repurpose it, enjoy it, it’s yours.
This pretty much describes my compositional process: