Here they are, in no particular order, a Spotify playlist of all my favorite songs of 2013.
Here they are, in no particular order, my favorite music videos of 2013.
Miley Cyrus – “We Can’t Stop”
Kanye West – “Bound 2” (and the spoof)
Bob Dylan – “Like A Rolling Stone”
Click here to watch (and interact!) with Dylan’s classic.
Atoms for Peace – “Ingenue”
Mumford and Sons – “Hopeless Wanderer”
Robin Thicke – “Blurred Lines”
MGMT – Your Life Is A Lie
SAFE – “Black Satin Living Room”
James Blake – “Retrograde”
Ylvis – “The Fox” (What Does the Fox Say?)
Pump out the jams people! Below are my 20 favorite songs of 2012 (so far) with a Spotify link at the bottom to all the songs.
Sharon Van Etten – “Joke or a Lie”
Bruce Springsteen – “Wrecking Ball”
Lambchop – “Gone Tomorrow”
The Men – “Candy”
M. Ward – “Clean Slate”
Rufus Wainwright – “Sometimes You Need”
The Dig – “I Already Forgot Everything You Said”
Glen Hansard – “You Will Become”
Fiona Apple – “Valentine”
The Henry Clay People – “EveryBandWeEverLoved”
Japandroids – “The House That Heaven Built”
Sonny And The Sunsets – “Pretend You Love Me”
Beachwood Sparks – “Forget The Song”
Keaton Henson – “You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are”
River City Extension – “Slander”
Cloud Nothings – “Stay Useless”
King Tuff – “Wild Desire”
Jack White – “Sixteen Saltines”
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros – “Man On Fire”
Frank Ocean – “Sweet Life”
And of course, here’s a Spotify mix of my favorite songs of 2012 so far.
Well it’s halfway through 2012 and there have been some great releases this year so far. All the albums we thought were going to be great (Lana Del Rey, The Shins) fizzled out. So it was up to the underdogs to step up and make 2012 a surprisingly great year for music.
Here are my favorite albums of 2012 so far.
Cloud Nothings – Attack On Memory
The 90s guitar revival is still alive and well (at least in the indie world). Cloud Nothings’s breakthrough hit is so far the best guitar rock album of 2012.
The Men – Open Your Heart
The Foo Fighters ain’t gonna last forever, and when they go The Men will take their place as the kings of hard rock…well, I mean as long as they make great albums like Open Your Heart.
Jack White – Blunderbuss
Mr. White’s debut solo album is already considered a classic, and I would have to agree. The album blends all of White’s favorite styles into an organic mix of what we can now call that signature Jack White sound.
Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball
The Boss literally does not have to make any more music for the rest of his life, and yet he and the E Street Band are still chugging along. Wrecking Ball is a genuinely great album that actually may catch you off guard with how folky it sounds. With songs addressing the Occupy Wall Street movement, this is an album for a specific era of American history.
Sharon Van Etten – Tramp
How I stumbled across this album I’ll never remember, but I’m so glad I found it. Etten’s voice can scare the hell out of you and also break your heart, all at the same time. She’s even better live.
John Mayer – Born and Raised
I was surprised with how little buzz John Mayer’s fifth album got, but it doesn’t really matter – the music will stand the test of time. Mayer’s country-rock influences come across naturally and combines well with his pop smarts. Be prepared for this being his last album that he’ll ever sing on due to issues with his throat.
River City Extension – Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Your Anger
This album is still very fresh in my memory, but I can tell you now this album will be one of my favorites by this year’s end. A beautiful mix of alt-country and noise rock with lyrics as good as the harmonies. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, this is the album for you.
The Henry Clay People – Twenty-Five For The Rest Of Our Lives
This album clocks in just under 28 minutes, but you’ll be too busy banging your head to notice. This album is fast and furious, yet it’s melodic and sweet. Imagine if Big Star were more of a punk band.
Frank Ocean – Channel Ocean
The story of the year goes along with the album which I assume will top every music publication’s list as the best album of 2012. This isn’t so much a rap record as it is a soulful and beautiful portrait of an artist as a young man. There were times I thought I was listening to Stevie Wonder, and that’s a huge complement.
2011 was a good year for music. It got weird at times (LuLu anyone?), and sometimes things were just plain bad (LuLu anyone?), but in 2011 there was always something to talk about in the world of music…like Lulu. There are a few among many moments that I’ll remember the most – the first time I saw the music video for “Yonkers”, the death of Amy Winehouse, the new Radiohead album suddenly being released and then all the extra drama over its quality, and many more.
Here’s what I’ll remember the most about music in 2o11.
2011: The Year of Adele
No one had a bigger year than Adele in 2011. She was inescapable, and her mega hits “Rolling In The Deep” and “Someone Like You” played everywhere and at all times. Her second album 21 is America’s best-selling album since Usher’s Confessions back from 2004, with 5.28 million copies sold and counting. Many, including myself, got cynical about this Brit sensation and how big she got, but nobody can deny her talent. Just listen below to her cover Bob Dylan, and realize the power that is Adele.
The “Yonkers” music video, and the arrival of Tyler The Creator and Odd Future.
The first time I saw this music video I didn’t know what to think, but I knew it would get big soon. Sure enough, Tyler the Creator and the rest of his rap group Odd Future became famous, or infamous depending on the person. If you’ve never seen this video then you’re in for a treat.
The End of R.E.M., The White Stripes, and LCD Soundsystem
Nothing last forever, even great bands have to end eventually. This year, three major acts called it quits, each leaving a huge void in the music world where they made their impact. R.E.M. basically invented what we call “Alternative” and “Indie” music (sorry for the bold claim, but it’s hard to dispute it). The White Stripes were the leaders of the back-to-basics rock revival of the early 2000s, and Jack White is a modern-day guitar hero. LCD Soundsystem, the creative vehicle of James Murphy, was to me the modern day David Bowie, an artist who combined various genres and creative unique music that refused to compromise commercial success for artistic value. Each of these acts will be greatly missed.
Arcade Fire Wins A Grammy
Back in February Arcade Fire, the biggest band nobody knew, won the Grammy for best album for 2010’s fantastic The Suburbs. The win came as a shock, mainly because most people had never heard of this little big band from Canada. The win was huge for the indie world, and showed that the Grammys weren’t totally out of touch with the world. The video below is fun to watch, neither the announcers or the band could believe what had happened. For the article I posted the day after the Grammys, click here.
The King of Limbs: Proof That Radiohead Can Do Anything And Still Be Loved
Radiohead have been known for pulling some big stunts, and this year’s shenanigans ranks up near the top. Let’s backtrack to pre-King of Limbs. Radiohead hasn’t released a proper album since 2007’s In Rainbows and have been hush-hush about their plans for an upcoming album. Then all of a sudden, they tell the world they’ll release an album within the week! Fans were freaking out, the Internet exploded, and both Radiohead fans and haters were curious. This was a truly an event, and it just goes to show how popular Radiohead truly are, that they can get the world excited over an album in a time where the value of an album has gone dramatically down.
I remember counting down the days, waiting for what I was hoping to be the album of the year. Then, in another crazy move, they released the album a day early! I woke up to the news and within the hour I had the new Radiohead album. I stopped everything, downloaded the album, began playing it on my iTunes, and I listened. Thirty-seven quick minutes later the album was over, and a realization came, something I didn’t think I would ever hear myself say.
The new Radiohead album…kinda sucks.
The songs all sounded the same and I felt there was much left to be desired. I was shocked that, after four years of nothing, this was the best the band who brought us The Bends and OK Computer could give us. There was no way that Radiohead could have done this, that they put so much hype behind, what I truly thought at the time, a piece of crap. I thought there had to be more, this was a cruel joke, there would be more music coming out. More music never came out. What followed was a huge division among fans and critics – you either loved or hated the album, no middle group. I was apart of the latter, and I was bothered by how many people were raving about the album.
Much time has passed, and though I still don’t think it’s that great, I have come to appreciate some of The King of Limbs. It’s art, and Radiohead have always created great art that is challenging. I thought Kid A sucked when I first heard it, but over time it grew on me and now I love that album. The King of Limbs is nowhere near as good as Kid A, but it’s not a piece of crap. Plus the album gave us my favorite music video of the year.
If anything, this event showed to me that Radiohead could do anything they want and still be loved. Thom Yorke should released an album of him of just farting, just to see how well it does. I’ll end this rant with a link to a Spin article released in 2009 about Radiohead. It’s very interesting, and it might change your perspective about the band. Read the article here.
Spotify: A Game Changer
Spotify finally came to the US, and it caught fire fast. Spotify’s popularity could very well put an end to the MP3, with strictly all-digital music becoming the way of the future for music. Good for fans, bad for the artist and labels, but it’s truly an evolution in the music industry.
The Death Of Amy Winehouse, And Other Great Losses
No death this year was as shocking as the death of famed British soul singer Amy Winehouse. She died so young and unexpectedly, and her death at twenty-seven added her to the infamous twenty-seven club. She was a true talent, a kind of artist with a voice and personality that comes only so often, and a promising career was cut tragically short. This year we also lost Clarence Clemons, saxophone player and founding member of the E Street Band with Bruce Springsteen, famed musician-poet Gil Scott-Heron, and Steve Jobs, whose iPod technology changed how we listen to music. All these and more talented people were taken from us in 2011, and they will be greatly missed.
And Of Course…Lulu
A bad idea that was even worse when realized. Lou Reed and Metallica came together and created a piece of crap. This album had so much buzz behind it, it was already one of the most talked about collaborations in recent time. The backlash it has received only cements this album more into music history as the greatest WTF moment of 2011.
I’m sure I forgot some big events, but these are the events that defined 2011 for me. It was a crazy year with many ups and down, but some fantastic music was released. I’m excited to see what 2012 has in store for us. Enjoy the rest of the holidays and have a fun and safe time bringing in the new year, and make sure to continue keeping up with Headphone Nation for all that is music.
Tune in. Tune out. Live on.
In 2011 the album became cool again. This year I actually got excited for the release dates of many albums, something that hasn’t happened in a long time. Though there wasn’t one huge album that towered over the rest, except maybe Adele’s second album in terms of album sales, there were a lot of great albums for almost every kind of music fan in 2011. Here are my favorite albums released this year and then some honorable mentions.
James Blake – James Blake
One of the most powerful album I’ve heard in a long time, this will be the album that I’ll remember the most from this year. The album is soulful and minimal, using post-dubstep electronics that are usually anything but minimal. James Blake should be someone to look out for in the future, but his proper debut album has already established his place in music.
Bon Iver – Bon Iver
Before this album came out, Justin Vernon was known more for the story of his debut rather than the music itself (loner musician is sad, goes to a cabin in the winter woods, makes a record, becomes friends with Kanye West). However with Bon Iver, he is no longer confined to his own myth. Now he is, to me at least, the Peter Gabriel of our generation, a creative artist who is defining his career with such great songs such as “Calgary” and “Holocene”. If For Emma, Forever Ago is his winter record, then this is his spring record.
Ryan Adams – Ashes & Fire
My favorite singer-songwriter finally released an album after a three year drought, and it did not disappoint. It sounds like a classic Neil Young record, and it is stacked up there with Heartbreaker and Gold. It’s good to have you back Mr. Adams.
Wilco – The Whole Love
Wilco had nothing to prove in 2011, but Jeff Tweedy and his most consistent lineup created a fantastic album anyway. The album keeps the weird dream-pop of Being There and experimental of A Ghost Is Born, all while being one of Wilco’s most accessible albums. Every song is great, but “One Sunday Morning” could be a top five Wilco song.
Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
Where as their first album sounds medieval, Fleet Foxes’s second album sounds timeless. This was the album I kept in my car the longest this year, it was the perfect driving album. This album stopped this band from becoming a one-album wonder and shows a promising future from this band.
The Decemberists – The King Is Dead
The album I didn’t expect to love so much, especially considering the past work of the band that is the closest thing to a modern day Smiths. Simple lyrics, stripped down production, lovable songs, what more do you want from an album?
Honorable Mentions (Albums You Should Still Check Out)
My Morning Jacket – Circuital
Drive Motion Picture Soundtrack
Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
Jay Z & Kanye West – Watch The Throne
Tom Waits – Bad As Me
M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
The Strokes – Angles
This is an awesome album collection, and I am excited to see what I’ll be buying in 2012.
Well 2011 is almost at an end, and what a year it was. There’s a lot to cover from this year, so for my first of three parts of my end-of-year review, I’ll play for you guys my favorite songs released this year. There’s a variety of song here, from rap, electro, folk, rock, indie, and even cheesy 80s jazz pop (and that’s a compliment). Here are the songs, in alphabetical order by artist, released in 2011 that I listened to the most. Enjoy.
“Mona Lisa” – Atlas Sound
“Wash.” – Bon Iver
“Swim Club” – The Cave Singers
“LES” – Childish Gambino
“Need You Now” – Cut Copy
“You Are A Tourist” – Death Cab for Cutie
“Kaputt” – Destroyer
“Over My Dead Body” – Drake
“Helplessness Blues” – Fleet Foxes
“Down in the Valley” – The Head And The Heart
“That’s My Bitch” – Jay-Z and Kanye West
“Video Games” – Lana Del Rey
“Midnight City” – M83
“Wonderful (The Way I Feel)” – My Morning Jacket
“Super Bass” – Nicki Minaj
“Taken For A Fool” – The Strokes
“Yonkers” – Tyler The Creator
“Fail Forever” – When Saints Go Machine
“One Sunday Morning” – Wilco
“Cameras” – Wiz Khalifa
Any songs that I left out? comment below or hit me up on twitter @BradyWGerber and let me know your favorite track from 2011.
Because I couldn’t get enough of these awards, here are some more!
BEST ALBUM ARTWORK
Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
MOST OVERPLAYED SONG
Adele – “Rolling In The Deep”
Terrific song, but I heard it once too many times. There are even better tracks off of 21.
Radiohead – The King of Limbs
I love Radiohead, but this album wasn’t as good as it should have been. It didn’t take me too long to get into Kid A, but after staying with the album for awhile I still found it boring. Maybe the problem is that we expect too much from this band?
BEST MUSIC VIDEO
Radiohead – “Lotus Flower”
Even though I didn’t care for the album, this music video is perfect.
ALBUMS TO LOOK FORWARD TO FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR
Wilco – The Whole Love
Red Hot Chili Peppers – I’m With You
Kanye West & Jay Z – Watch The Throne
Lil Wayne – Tha Carter IV
Blitzen Trapper – American Goldwing
Das Racist – Relax
Blink 182 – Neighborhoods
Coldplay – TBA
Any other awards I forgot to mention? Hit me up on Twitter @BradyWGerber