2013 in Review: Music

Since I laid out my books, I thought I’d briefly go through some musical purchases that I enjoyed this year.

*NOTE 1: These aren’t necessarily 2013 releases; they are 2013 discoveries

*NOTE 2: I don’t listen to quite as much music as I used to, so don’t expect to be wowed. I just thought I’d share.

*NOTE 3: I still listen have a steady list of “older” favorites that were in heavy rotation in 2013 (though not purchased):

  • Live at Leeds. The Who.
  • El Camino. The Black Keys (one of Levi’s favorites)
  • Sevastapol. Jay Farrar (one of my top 5 driving CDs)
  • Most of Emmylou Harris’ catalog
  • Most of Sigur Rós’ cataglog
  • High Violet. The National

But anyway… here’s 2013 music:

  • Ode to Sunshine. The Delta Spirit. Maida Vale shared a stage with these guys in 2008 or 2009, and they blew us away with their raw intensity and musicianship. Reminded me of a much more angsty version of  The Band.
  • Sea of Cowards. The Dead Weather. When I first heard this band, they were just too creepy for me. Either they have gotten less creepy, or I’ve gotten moreso. Either way, Jack White and Alison Morehart are a potent duo, and they write killer riffs and haunting songs. Scary, but good.
  • Wise Up Ghost. Elvis Costello and the Roots. Oh my: this is virtually required. There’s not a super-catchy pop song on this collection, IMO, but just by virtue of the fact that it’s Costello (one of the most well-respected songwriters in this era) and The Roots (they should be declared a national treasure, the way Brazil declared Pele a national treasure back in the 70s), you should be listening to this. 
  • More Than Just a Dream. Fitz and the Tantrums. This was part of the summer soundtrack of the Case household. We collectively love these guys. Best if listened to loudly, while dancing.
  • Love in the Future. John Legend. I pretty much love everything John Legend does. So there.
  • Born and Raised. John Mayer. If there was a soundtrack to my sabbatical, this was it. This record just broke me down, and helped me heal. The title track also served as the inspiration for “My Redeemer Lives”, from my little release this summer. I haven’t been pierced by lyrics like this in a long while, and it felt good.
  • The Invisible Way. Low. This is “Where have I been?” Part 1. These guys are simply amazing. Gentle, rainy music. I found these guys through “Silver Rider” from Robert Plant’s Band of Joy disc, but boy I’m sure glad I found the rest.
  • Trouble Will Find Me. The National. Oh yes. Just as subtle, melancholy, and “New York” as the previous ones. Thank you.
  • Hesitation Marks. Nine Inch Nails. After Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky came out, a friend of mine remarked, “You know, I think that lyrically I like addicted Jeff Tweedy a little more than sober Jeff Tweedy.” Insensitive, I know, but I think I can relate: I like angry Trent Reznor a little bit better than married and content Trent Reznor. However, everything is relative: “content” Trent Reznor is still pretty dark and twisted. Hesitation Marks isn’t my favorite NIN record by far, but it still has its darkly groovy moments.
  • Woman. Rhye. This is another summer soundtrack in our house. This record is gently and sensuous. Definitely a cool, mellow, evening music. (P.S. the singer’s a dude!)
  • Kveikur. Sigur Rós. Creepy. Just creepy.

Well, there you have it. No links or anything, so if you want it … go snag it.

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