Best Song of 2012 I Didn’t Hear Until 2013: “Bag” by White Lung
I really, REALLY wish someone had told me that White Lung existed before 2013. Their 2012 release Sorry is one of my favorite post-punk / hardcore records in some time (Savages. Pft.) and “Bag” is the best song off of it.
Perfect for: rockers, people who don’t think women belong in rock music, kidnappers.
Remember the Rentals? Polaris? The Lemonheads? Swearin’ does, and they’re trying to do better. As far as Baroness goes, Baroness is indestructible.
Perfect for: people in sweaters, guys with neck beards.
Best Band Name I Discovered in 2013: Eat Skull
Runner-ups: Skeletonwitch, The White Mandingos, GODDAMNIT!
Album That Everyone Loved that I Don’t Like in 2013: Waxahtachee’s Cerulean Salt
Sorry guys. I listen to this, I just hear a less accomplished version of Swearin’ (YES, WE ALL KNOW THEY ARE SISTERS. SHUT UP).
Runner-ups: The 20/20 Experience, Reflektor
Song That Is Not on My “Best Songs” List but Probably Should Be: “Don’t You Worry Child,” Swedish House Mafia.
If only all mainstream EDM could be this soulful and sweet (I’m looking at you, Avici. Eat a dick).
Most Compelling Music Conversations of 2013: Is there a feud between GOOD music and Cash Money (Full disclosure: my brother Chris and I are likely the only people talking about this)?
Also, discussions of Miley Cyrus’s music, not her packaging, and the idea that people might be embracing One Direction as a source of legitimate music (this is always the most fun part of a boy band’s evolution, if you ask me).
Least Compelling Music Conversations of 2013: Anyone who thinks Kanye West should go back to making “College Dropout” music, anything involving the Gaslight Anthem, anything involving Eminem.
Dude Who Obviously Had the Best Year: Future. You couldn’t go 10 minutes without tripping over Future Hendrix in 2013. He’s the winner of the 2 Chainz award for “dude who came out of nowhere and dominated the world in no time.”
Dude Who Quietly Had the Best Year: Pharelle.
Musical Moment from 2013 I Hope We All forget: “MILFS” by Big Sean.
Great Songs that Didn’t Quite Make My Top 100 of the Year: “Water” by Tre Hood, “Lean on Me” by Killer Kyleon, “Get It” by Run the Jewels, “Wonderful, Glorious” by the Eels, “Green Vapor” by the Screaming Females, “Thumper” by Dan Friel, “Jubilee Street” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
Disappointing Album I Knew Was Going to Disappoint Me: Jay Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail.
If you had a time machine and could go back to 2003 to convince Jay-z to stay in retirement, would you do it? You’d lose out on “Tom Ford,” and all of Watch the Throne, but isn’t the cost worth it? Someone else would get to rap on “Roc Boys,” we’d never have Kingdom Come, and we could all live in a world where a glorified cell phone commercial wasn’t one of the biggest albums of the year. Sure, there’d be no “Empire State of Mind,” but NYC gets a million songs written about it every 20 minutes (I checked the math, it’s true).
Of course this album stinks. Everything Jay has touched after 2003, without Kanye or Just Blaze involved, has stunk. Better to burn out, homie.
Disappointing Album I Didn’t Expect to Stink: Hummingbird by Local Natives
I once described Local Native’s first album as “a record with no bad choices, only interesting ones.” If I had to sum up their second, much less fulfilling record, I’d go with something like “an album with no choices, other than to round out any jagged edges.” Local Natives went from something special to Bon Iver-meets-Guster in one move, and that sucks.
Worst Song of 2013: “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons.
Rest easy, Nickleback. Your shit-kingdom is in good hands.