Best Songs of 2013

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Sacrilege”

Volcano Choir – “Byegone”

Vampire Weekend – “Hannah Hunt”

Torres – “Jealousy and I”

Portugal. The Man. – “Creep in a T-shirt”

Phosphorescent – “Muchacho’s Tune”

The National – “I Should Live in Salt”

Kanye West – “Blood on the Leaves”

Icona Pop – “I Love It”

A$AP Rocky – “Wild for the Night”

Lorde – “400 Lux”

AlunaGeorge – “Your Drums, Your Love”

Atoms for Peace – “Default”

Autre Ne Veut – “Counting”

Chvrches – “We Sink”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vvDkyWMlRo

Daft Punk – “Instant Crush”

Flume – “Sleepless”

Drake – “Furthest Thing”

HAIM – “Don’t Save Me”

Lightning Dust – “Reckless and Wild”

Jim James – “State of the Art”

The Weeknd – “Kiss Land”

Tegan and Sara – “Drove Me Wild”

Rudimental – “Feel the Love”

Lucius – “How Loud Your Heart Gets”

M.I.A. – “Bad Girls”

Jason Isbell – “Cover Me Up”

A Great Big World ft. Christina Aguilera – “Say Something”

Disclosure – “White Noise”

Arcade Fire – “Afterlife”

Concerts I Attended in 2013

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I do this post every year: 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009

Jan 14 Father John Misty – Webster Hall

Feb 2 fun. – Radio City Music Hall
Feb 19 Jim James – Music Hall of Williamsburg

Apr 8 Okkervil River – Grand Central Terminal
Apr 9 Brad Mehldau / Chris Thile – Bowery Ballroom
Apr 18 Phosphorescent / Strand of Oaks – Bowery Ballroom

May 17 Yeah Yeah Yeahs / The Flaming Lips – Great Googa Mooga, Prospect Park
May 21 The National – Mercury Lounge
May 24 Escort – Music Hall of Williamsburg

Jun 8 Governor’s Ball (Dirty Projectors, Alt-J, Cut Copy, Kings of Leon, Guns ‘n Roses, Nas) – Randall’s Island
Jun 9 Governor’s Ball (Deerhunter, Gary Clark Jr, Foals, Yeasayer, Grizzly Bear, The xx, Kanye West) – Randall’s Island
Jun 13 Junip – Highline Ballroom
Jun 15 The Walkmen / Phosphorescent – Northside Festival
Jun 15 The Postal Service – Barclays Center

Aug 6 Disclosure / TNGHT – Central Park Summerstage
Aug 8 Galactic – Brooklyn Bowl
Aug 10 Jason Isbell – Lincoln Center Out of Doors
Aug 15 Huey Lewis & the News – Coney Island
Aug 17 Escort – Bowery Ballroom

Sep 3 HAIM – Webster Hall
Sep 4 Neko Case – Skylight West
Sep 14 Volcano Choir – Webster Hall
Sep 19 Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Barclays Center

Oct 4 Porcelain Raft / Sara Neufeld (from Arcade Fire) – Mercury Lounge
Oct 7 The Weeknd – Radio City Music Hall
Oct 8 The Weeknd – Radio City Music Hall
Oct 10 Paul McCartney – Times Square (4 songs)
Oct 12 My Morning Jacket – CBGB Music Festival (Times Square)
Oct 16 Pusha T / Omar Souleyman / Cults – Le Poisson Rouge
Oct 18 Pearl Jam – Barclays Center
Oct 22 Noah and the Whale – Irving Plaza

Nov 19 Kanye West / Kendrick Lamar – Barclays Center

Dec 3 Elton John – Madison Square Garden
Dec 17 John Mayer – Barclays Center
Dec 12 San Fermin – Music Hall of Williamsburg
Dec 18 Phosphorescent – Music Hall of Williamsburg (Solo)
Dec 19 Phosphorescent – Music Hall of Williamsburg (Full Band)

Best Albums of 2013

The Best

Kanye West – Yeezus

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To say this album is polarizing is an understatement, but no one in 2013 made more of a forceful statement, and no one did it as well. Daft Punk’s 4-track contribution is my favorite work they did all year. I saw Kanye twice in 2013 – once at Governor’s Ball this summer, and on his first night at Barclays. No one even comes close, at least not this year. He was the biggest and most important artist of 2013.

Key Tracks: “Blood on the Leaves”, “On Sight”, “Send It Up”, “Hold My Liquor”, “New Slaves”, “I Am A God”

Phosphorescent – Muchaco

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Matthew Houck’s been performing as Phosphorescent since 2001. If there was a better song written this year than “Muchacho’s Tune,” I have yet to hear it. Phosphorescent blew up in New York City this year, making their home in Brooklyn (via Athens, GA via Alabama) and continually selling out as many shows as they can book.

Key Tracks: “Song for Zula”, “Muchacho’s Tune”, “Ride On / Right On”, “A Charm / A Blade”

Disclosure – Settle

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This was the album of the summer, and the electronic album of the year – blowing up the careers of Sam Smith, AlunaGeorge, Jessie Ware, and London Grammar in the process.

Key Tracks: “When a Fire Starts to Burn”, “Latch”, “White Noise”, “Defeated No More”, “You & Me”, “Help Me Lose My Mind”

Drake – Nothing Was the Same

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I don’t think anyone would have guessed that the entire hip-hop universe would have Drake at its very center this year. Hard to follow up Take Care, his masterpiece, but he did, and he continued to occupy a space in hip-hop sonically that no one else inhabits.

Key Tracks: “Tuscan Leather”, “Furthest Thing”, “From Time”, “The Language”, “305 To My City”, “Too Much”, “All Me”

Arcade Fire – Reflektor

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This record is way too long, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t also a great Arcade Fire record. Where it’s good, it is sublime.

Key Tracks: “Reflektor”, “Here Comes The Night Time”, “Awful Sound (Oh Eurydice)”, “Afterlife”, “Supersymmetry”

Volcano Choir – Repave

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Justin Vernon teamed up again with the members of Collections of Colonies of Bees, but this time they actually made a real record. It’s so good that no one really cares if another Bon Iver album materializes, as long as he keeps making music like this.

Key Tracks: “Tiderays”, “Acetate”, “Comrade”, “Byegone”, “Alaskans”

Lorde – Pure Heroine

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I slept hard on this record, which is why I had to come back and update my top 10. Probably THE debut of 2013.

Key Tracks: “Tennis Court”, “400 Lux”, “Royals”, “Team”, “Buzzcut Season”

Chvrches – The Bones of What You Believe

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Another band that is burning up NYC, playing multi-night stints at Terminal 5 these days. The combination of Lauren Mayberry’s vocals over driving Scottish electo-synth-pop rocks my body.

Key Tracks: “We Sink”, “Lies”, “Under the Tide”, “Recover”, “Science / Visions”

Jason Isbell – Southeastern

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This is what it sounds like when a professional shows up to work. Isbell has made quite the career for himself after leaving the Drive-By Truckers.

Key Tracks: “Cover Me Up”

The Weeknd – Kiss Land

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After Channel Orange last year, and The Weeknd’s mixtapes were remixed and repackaged as Trilogy, I realized that 1) PBR&B is a genre and 2) it is my favorite kind of music. The tunes from Kiss Land are amazing live (I was at both shows at Radio City). Nothing sounds as cinematic and original as the first 5 tunes on this record.

Key Tracks: “Adaptation”, “Love in the Sky”, “Belong to the World”, “The Town”, “Live For”, “Kiss Land”

Icona Pop – This is… Icona Pop

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I spend a lot of time walking around the city with headphones on – it’s how I do the majority of my listening. This record came out of nowhere – it is driving, melodic, economical and satisfying. You could throw on any random tune from it in the clerb. Maybe it’s a guilty pleasure, but who cares.

Key Tracks: “I Love It”, “All Night”, “Girlfriend”

The Rest

Tegan and Sara – Heartthrob

HAIM – Days are Gone

Flume – Flume

The National – Trouble Will Find Me

Kacey Musgraves – Same Trailer, Different Park

Lucius – Wildewoman

Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

Danny Brown – Old

M.I.A. – Matangi

Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City

The xx Lock in Intimate New York Residency for Spring

Rolling Stone:

The xx will shack up in New York City for an 11-date, 25-show residency at Wade Thompson Drill Hall at the Park Avenue Armory between March 19th and March 29th, 2014. Performing two shows a night – except weekend gigs on March 22nd, 23rd and 29th, when they’ll do three – the band will limit their audience to just 40 people per performance.

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