You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2013.

I compared my favorites from this year with my list from halfway-through 2012. A year ago, I thought the first six months of 2012 produced a lot of great releases.

This year is even better. I love the first five albums on this list more than anything I listed in June of last year.

On a familial note, I’m starting to encounter a backlash of resistance to the JAMS I play around the house. Specifically, my otherwise extraordinary daughter is rebelling against her father’s good taste because she gets a forlorn reaction from him. It won’t be long before I’m shouting upstairs to her, after she slams the door and blares One Direction or some such nonsense, to “TURN THAT LOUD MESS OFF.”

I fully understand that one reaps what one sows, and that life is like a boomerang, and what goes around comes around, and so on, but that probably won’t make it any easier.


Vampire WeekendModern Vampires of the City
It feels a little weird, but I can admit it — they might just be the best all-around rock band in the world. Who’s better? The National? No less than FOUR songs from this album are flat-out wonderful.

Simply the best dance-pop album I’ve heard since maybe Hot Chip (The Warning) or Junior Boys (So This Is Goodbye), both released in 2006.

WaxahatcheeCerulean Salt
There’s something unabated and magnetic about Katie Crutchfield’s music, and she has moments of lyrical genius.

FoxygenWe Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of blahblahblah
Has there ever been an album with a more stupid title by a band with a greater name? It doesn’t matter…this is good stuff. And, don’t give me that “it’s too derivative of the ’60s” stuff because I wouldn’t care even though you’d be right.

No, black metal is not exactly my wheelhouse, but I agree with the predominant Sunbather narrative: this is a black metal band that makes powerful, crossover-ready music that defies categorization.

Mount KimbieCold Spring Fault Less Youth
This record is number five on my list, but it fills an important role in my listening habits; I find that when I don’t have anything in particular that I want to hear, I play this. And, King Krule = bonus points.

Camera ObscuraDesire Lines
Another underrated album…I’ve read positive reviews of this one, but nothing glowing. Perhaps that’s because this band has been around the block, and critics have begun taking them for granted. I like this one better than My Maudlin Career.

James BlackOvergrown
The title track is close to perfect, and I’d say this is second to the Mount Kimbie album in the “anytime, anyplace” go-to listen.

Thee Oh SeesFloating Coffin
My favorite Thee Oh Sees record of all, because there’s a larger variety of sound here that I really appreciate.

My favorite Deerhunter record of all, mainly because Bradford made it dingier and more fun that their past recordings.

Honorable mention

Other notable releases include Local Natives, Mikal Cronin, The Men, Toro Y Moi, Classixx, Rhye, Frightened Rabbit, Ghostface Killah, and Daft Punk.



Best Show I’ve Seen This Year

Tame Impala – Cat’s Cradle, February 21


Image from Raleigh

Urban dirt-biking

I took this post-apocalyptic picture outside Jones Barber Shop in Raleigh last year.