Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Music Jerk Rob's Favorite Albums of 2013

Through darkness and in to the light--a champion emerges.

(Click links for ear fun.  Mostly comprehensive Spotify playlist below.)

30.  Lousy With Sylvianbriar by Of Montreal

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "Thrashed through the forest like a tormented brute, 

I had to make myself a monster just to feel something ugly enough to be true." (Triumph of Disintegration)

29.  Secret Songs: Reflections From the Ear Mirror by Nobunny

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "She's a different kind of girl.  She lives in another world..." (Lizard Liars)

28.  Floating Coffin by Thee Oh Sees

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "I've been filling the tunnels with my lantern at night, slowly scratching the names off the walls of the mind for good." (Tunnel Time)

27.  The Speed of Things by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "But if you come back to haunt me, I would swear I heard you talking through the walls again.  All night I'd be pretending every noise I heard was just your ghost." (A Haunting)

26.  For Years by Airhead

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "Autumn day, that's enough for me.  And I've lost all the certainty I think I can hold.  I think I can hold on." (Autumn)

25.  Settle by Disclosure

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "I've been infected with restless whispers and cheats that manifested in words and lies that you speak--because I played the fool for you." (F For You)

24.  OutRun by Kavinsky

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "I come to life when I'm drivin', see the city lights..." (Suburbia)

23.  Push the Sky Away by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "I believe in the rapture, for I've seen your face." (Mermaids)

22.  Trouble Will Find Me by The National

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "You didn't see me I was falling apart.  
I was a white girl in a crowd of white girls in the park." (Pink Rabbits

21.  Curiosity by Wampire

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "Life is but a playground with kids running around -- catch me on the slide." (Magic Light

20.  Idle No More by King Khan & The Shrines

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "If there's a Lord, make her a woman.  May she look after all who need her inside.  May she forgive all of those cowards who make every day a losing fight." (Pray For Lil

19.  Dynamics by Holy Ghost!

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "Open the shutter, to let the light out.  Painting by numbers and it's going south.  I need thunder, we need thunder.  I need something for my summer drought!" (Dumb Disco Ideas)

18.  Cupid Deluxe by Blood Orange

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "I'm only one of her one and onlys." (Clipped On)

17.  Thr!!!er by !!!

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "Well I can't forget things you said or your kisses.  And I keep your secrets where I keep your promises.  But you need my confessions 'bout as much you need my lies." (One Girl/One Boy)

16.  Anxiety by Autre Ne Veut

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "You make me whole.  You make me crawl." (Play by Play)

15.  Hummingbird by Local Natives

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "I know nothing's wrong, but I'm not convinced." (Breakers)

14.  Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "Want a little grace, but who's gonna say a little grace for me?" (Unbelievers)

13.  The North Borders by Bonobo

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "Love is in the eyes of the beholder. I’ve kept the clouds at distance from the blue, hoping there’s a chance we’d change it over.  Picking up the pieces and make do." (Pieces)

12.  Amok by Atoms For Peace

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "Move through the moment, though it betrays." (Ingenue

11.  Silence Yourself by Savages

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "Don't worry about breaking my heart.  Far bigger things will fall apart." (No Face

10.  Love's Crushing Diamond by Mutual Benefit

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "And sometimes beauty isn't hard to find when you're around to ease my troubled mind." (C.L. Rosarian)

9.  White Lighter by Typhoon

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "
And now your choices surround you.  And decision confounds you.  And you're pacing around the place.  Shows you everything you're not." (Young Fathers)

8.  Specter at the Feast by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "How much time have we got left?  It's killing us, but carries us on." (Returning)

7.  The Flower Lane by Ducktails

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "When you're walking next to me, seems just like it's make-believe." (Letter of Intent)

6.  MCII by Mikal Cronin

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "The heavy times are worth their weight in gold." (I'm Done Running From You)

5.  AM by Arctic Monkeys

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "Now it's three in the morning and I'm trying to change your mind." (Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?)

4.  We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic by Foxygen

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "There's no need to be an asshole, you're not in Brooklyn anymore." (No Destruction)

3.  The Electric Lady by Janelle Monáe

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "
Bang bang, I'm calling your name.  You're like a fire the world can't tame.  I wanna riot 'til the stars come out and play.  Is that okay?" (Primetime)

2.  After Dark 2 by Various Artists

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "
Is life a social fiction?  Not to see but be seen?  Oh, now that's a ghost's ambition." (Beautiful Object)

1.  ...Like Clockwork by Queens of the Stone Age

Lyric of Possible Relevance: "And I’m swimming in the night, chasing down the moon.  The deeper in the water, the more I long for you." (...Like Clockwork)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Music Jerk Rob's Favorite Songs of 2013

Every robot must eventually find his dance partner.  But must also keep the music coming.

2013.  Strong damn strong year in music and certainly the deepest in quite some time--hence my list of favorite songs from 2013 is a whopping THIRTY tracks.  Yet as always, I make you my all killer, no filler guarantee.

A few notes about this list:

  • The track order is randomized.  While I will rank my choices for best albums in a given year, I don't have the patience or will in me to try to rank songs outside of maybe my favorite 3-4.
  • Having said that, I can tell you that my song of the year for 2013 was "Letter of Intent" by Ducktails.  A perfectly crafted song if I ever heard one--my  Last.fm stats can attest to the fact that it was far away my most listened to song of 2013.
  • Unlike many of the websites and lists you will read, I am a one-man semi-pro operation.  I did NOT listen to everything that came out this year and thus my lists are composed of my "favorites" as opposed to some loosely conceived consensus on what the "best" music of the year was.  There's a great chance I'll hear an amazing song from 2013 next month that I'll wish I'd heard before.  But thems the damn breaks, eh?
  • Four artists have more than one song on my list this year: Janelle Monáe, Glass Candy, Ducktails, and Foxygen.
  • One album--Italians Do It Better's superb After Dark 2 by various artists--has four tracks on this list.

  In the coming weeks we'll start analyzing and dissecting the best albums of the year. But for now, cozy that sweet ass of yours up to this loving playlist.  It will do right by you.

There are TWO ways to listen to this playlist!  The Spotify version of the playlist* is located directly below the track listing. Not a Spotify subscriber?  No problem. Directly below the Spotify playlist, an 8tracks playlist (requiring no subscription) is also found below.  Just press the 'play' button on the box and rock.  (Works on computers or mobile devices.)

*Track 2, "Stuck Together Pieces" by Atoms for Peace, is currently unavailable on Spotify.  It IS available on the 8tracks playlist below!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Your Tuesday Morning Random Album Recommendation: "$" by Mark Sultan

Artist: Mark Sultan

Album: $

Release Year: 2010

Label: Last Gang (2010)/Mark Sultan (2012?)

Genre: Rock, Psychedelia, Noise Rock, Doo-Wop

For Fans of: The King Khan & BBQ Show, 1950's and early 1960's rock, Nobunny 
DISCLAIMER: Mark Sultan is notoriously easy to make incorrect comparisons with in terms of similar artists.

Perfect For: Solo thrashing, Partakery, Occasional air guitaring/drumming, exfoliation of brain

Album Highlights: "Icicles", "Go Beserk", "I Am the End", "Misery's Upon Us"

The Non-MJR Review

*The album is currently unavailable for "legal" download from the major vendors, so Grooveshark is your best bet.  It's a bit illusive, but a GREAT album worth listening to (and finding on vinyl is possible!)