Tag: James Blake

KidAJoe’s Top Albums of the Year 2013

KidAJoe’s Top Vinyl for 2013

I cannot believe that another year went by so quickly.  I feel like it was just yesterday I was trying to get this blog rolling, now it’s been dead for a whole calendar year!   I certainly wish I could find the time to keep it up but I obviously have other priorities.    So this list is for my boys in the “Four North Men Of The Rockpocalypse” group on Facebook.

It was an amazing year in music.  It was completely impossible to make a top 10 list, so I’ll just list a bunch of my favorites in no particular order.

  • Kanye West, Yeezus – I’m guessing that this one is not on any of my friends year end lists.  I’ve never really given Kanye much of a chance in the past.  The two main reasons are:  I’m not usually to into hip hop and Kanye West  is a complete jack ass.   That being said, I gave this one a chance partially out interest to finally see what he is all about as a self proclaimed “creative genius”.   The first couple listens I was really jolted by the oddness of the tracks, and had almost written it off.  But then a week or so later I put it back on after not being able to get lyrics from the song “New Slave” out of my head.  In the next few weeks I hardly listened to anything else.   I hate to admit it, but this just might be my favorite album of the year.
  • Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City – This is another one of those albums that took me a little bit of time to latch onto.    Ezra Koenig is such an amazing lyricist and writes some pretty catchy indie pop.
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Mosquito – I love my Yeah Yeah Yeahs.  I love that they went back to there rock/punk roots on this one too!  I even had the pleasure of seeing them live this year.  Karen O. is fn crazy on stage.   I was surprised that this one wasn’t on any other lists I’ve seen this year.
  • Quasi – Mole City – Probably one of the most overlooked indie bands of my lifetime, (even by myself for a time) Quasi put out yet another strong album.  If Yeezus isn’t number one, then this one was.
  • Eleanor Friedberger – Personal Record – Another amazing song writer, who I had the benefit of seeing live this year.  The sad part was that I was one of about 30 people at the show.  In Miss Friedbergers defense it was a whopping 8 degrees outside that night.  In any case, one half of the Fiery Furnaces put out a pretty cool indie rock album.  This just proves to me that her brother Matt isn’t the only “artistic genius” in this family.
  • Typhoon – White Lighter – This album crept up on my out of no where.   I had previously fallen in love with there EP Hunger and Thirst, but for what ever reason the band had fallen off my radar.  I had fallen behind checking my weekly email of album releases when discovered this release.  I quickly fell in love with this one and will have the pleasure of seeing them in March at Port City Music Hall in P-town.
  • James Blake – Overgrown – Mr. Blake’s  (not to be confused with Mr. Blunt) sophomore output was not a dud.   Still amazed that I can love something that relies so much on synthesizers and autotune.  Just proof that even the worst inventions can be made cool.
  • Kim Deal – Solo Series – This wasn’t actually an album, but a series of 7″ singles from the former bassist of Pixies.   The trilogy of singles quickly became a main stay in my playlist rotation this year.
  • Volcano Choir – Repave – Justin Vernon is a god.  Enough said.
  • Sleigh Bells – Bitter Rival – Noise Pop?  I think that is what they have been dubbed.  Regardless Sleigh Bell is best listened to with the volume turned up to 11.
  • Arcade Fire – Reflecktor – I have a love/hate relationship with this album.  I think it is pretty cool “art pop” that sometime just goes on way to long.  A lot of  songs drone off with the main lyric just repeated over and over for several minutes to end the song.   It is good in practice, but the fact that so many songs on this one tend follow the same exact formula makes the album slightly boring.   So the question is: “Did I add this one because it was a good album or because it was the Arcade Fire?”  Something I guess I’ll have to reflect on in 2014.
  • Haim – Days are Gone – Anyone who knows me at all, know that I’ve been in love with the sister’s Haim since I saw them on Mumford and Son’s Gentlemen of the Road tour.  Most of the songs on this were not new to the Haim realm, so listening to this one initially didn’t contain many surprises.   It will be interesting to see what 2014 will bring for these girls.  I know they are huge in the UK and are getting lots of press in the US.  I also have tickets to see them in Boston in May!
  • Lorde – Pure Heroine – I figured I would book end this list with the two most main stream outputs.  Lorde stormed onto the national stage like crazy this year.  (something I predicted I might add)  If you have only listened to her hit single “Royales” you are missing out.

Other albums worth checking out include:  Foxygen – We are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic,  Unknown Mortal Orchestra – II,  Atoms for Peace – Amok, They Might Be Giants – Nanobots, Suicidal Tendencies – 13,  The Flaming Lips – The Terror,  Noah and the Whale – Heart of Nowhere,  The Civil Wars – The Civil Wars,  Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks,  Arctic Monkeys – AM, Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt, and The Avett Brothers – Magpie and the Dandelion.

In creating this list I have noticed about 10 albums by artist I love that I still haven’t had a chance to listen to.  So I guess my 2013 still has some surprises uncover.  If you want to listen to my favorites from the year on Spotify follow this link.  I invite you to tell me what you think of my list and/or to post your list for the year 2013!


What is your Top 10?

So here is my year end list of the best albums according to me in 2011.  I have been a faithful listener of NPR’s All Songs Considered for 3 years now and they have year end shows dedicated to both their opinions and their listeners votes.   The following list below is my top ten.  I really had a hard time with my top 6 for they all were very special to me this year.  I would have to say this has been a pretty amazing year in music.  So here it goes:

  1. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
  2. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
  3. Civil Wars – Barton Hollow
  4. Black Keys – El Camino
  5. Bright Eyes – The People’s Key
  6. Wilco – The Whole Love
  7. Radiohead – The King of Limbs
  8. Fruit Bats – The Tripper
  9. tUnE-­yArDs – w h o k i l l
  10. Noah and the Whale – Last Night on Earth

Honorable mentions include Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials, Feist – Metals, Alison Krauss And Union Station – Paper Airplanes, Death Cab For Cutie – Codes And Keys, James Blake – James Blake, Brown Recluse – Evening Tapestry, Metronomy – The English Riviera and Cass McCombs – Humor Risk

If you want to give them a listen on Spotify “here” is my playlist what include all of the above albums. (including the honorable mentions).

So what are your favorites?  What do you think of my list?  What did I miss? What is your Top 10?

Here are some great link to others top ten lists.

NPR All Song Considered Listener’s Top Albums

NPR All Song Considered Year in Music – (Bob Boilen’s, Stephen Thompson’s and Ann Power’s Top Albums)

Metacritic’s Top 1o of 2011 – this one includes the top ten list’s from 50+ different sources!


Collabaration Nation

So I heard the most amazing collaboration this past week.  It came from two artist I find completely amazing in the first place.  Bon Iver is an american folk singer who is an incredible song writer.  James Blake is a upcoming artist who does what is best described as electronic soul.  What is interesting is that both these gentlemen sing in falsetto, so they really complement each other.   Although you can pick out Bon Iver’s vocals, this does sound more like a James Blake track.  That doesn’t make it bad though.  This song is available on iTunes for purchase, but here is the streaming version for your enjoyment.

UPDATE: Spotify link!

This would make a great idea for a mix tape wouldn’t it?  I’ll add it to my list of choices.  So start thinking about it now!

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