After what was largely a year of crippling self doubt and lack of enthusiasm in regards to writing anything, I managed to complete a list of some of my favorite records for the year 2013.
It was easy, it was a great year for music. I encourage everybody to check out this list I did for 2013’s best records on Collapse Board:
Hey, look: I like the rock music. I get it, a lot of you donâ€™t. You like this sort of â€œindie rockâ€ that sounds like background music to designing your new recombobulating widget. I get it. I do. But letâ€™s suspend disbelief and say that you want to get beyond the nonsense.
Letâ€™s say that you even donâ€™t feel itâ€™s necessary to have an opinion on Miley Cyrus or Beyonce. Letâ€™s say the idea of talking about Kanye West or Vampire Weekend makes you sick. LETâ€™S SUSPEND DISBELIEF HERE AND SAY THATâ€¦ MAYBE.. JUST MAYBEâ€¦ THERE IS MORE TO LIFE THAN THE ARCADE FUCKING FIRE.
WELL THEN! Come on over and sit a spell and let me break down what I liked about this year in no particular order:
The Rutabega â€“ Brother The Lights Donâ€™t Work
Look, I called this one and I called it early. You are welcome.Â Exhibit AÂ To quote myself: â€œThis is some music folks. Turn off that tepid fourth generation Crosby, Stills And Nash crap and turn on THIS.
Look: hereâ€™s the problem, earnestness has been hijacked by utter idiots and fools, wastoids and shameless marketeers. That isnâ€™t the fault of sincerity; itâ€™s just a systemic problem. The Rutabega singlehandedly states the case for sincerity itself in such a clear and cogent way the only reaction is to softly smile, bob your head a little bit and give into the tidal wave of sad, simple, beauty that issues forth.â€
Way to go past me! I agree with you. Now, check out this band, they are worth your time and will pay you dividends.
Federation X â€“ We Do What We Must
Federation X has been around 16 years. SIXTEEN YEARS! Granted they were semi broken up/on hiatus for some of those years, but itâ€™s worth mentioning that albums likeÂ American Folk HorrorÂ andÂ X-PatriotÂ are two of the finest records of the 00s. Just remarkable music. tribal, driven and relentless. Informed from classic rock, but owing almost nothing to it. Iâ€™d be lying to you if I saidÂ We Do What We MustÂ is anything less than one of the finest rock albums of the entire year, the Deaf Nephews production (Toshi Kasai and Dale Crover of the Melvins) is so incredible, and so brilliantly encapsulates what they do itâ€™s like hearing them for the first time. That said: I adore their back catalog. Much like Patrick Bateman, I celebrate itâ€¦ but if you were only to listen toÂ We Do What We MustÂ you would be pretty stoked. It had a quiet release, but if itâ€™s a competition? It kicks the hell out of most other records out there. Get into it, because this is some special stuff. Cool? Cool.
Oh yeah, â€˜Anna Mistâ€™ and â€˜So Tiredâ€™ rank among the best songs in this bandâ€™s kickass timespan. Most bands canâ€™t even say that about their second record. This is their fourthâ€¦ do yourself a favor and check it out ok?
The Night Marchers â€“ Allez! Allez!
It is almost possible to speak of The Night Marchers without the cult/culture of John Reis being involved. Which is a shame, since they are a hell ass rock band of their own. Yes, yes. 3/4 of this band was Hot Snakes which were one of the most fantastic rock/punk bands of the last 14 years or so. But donâ€™t let the resume be all that you think of with this very, very sharp rockâ€™n’roll band. There is homage to Greg Sage and The Wipers, there is common cause with the members other bandsâ€¦ butÂ Allez! Allez!Â is a pretty great little rock record. â€˜All Hitsâ€™ is exactly the kind of braggadocio I wish more rock music had (with the skills to back it up, â€˜Painâ€™ and â€™2 Guitars Singâ€™ show some interesting experimentation and vulnerability that I really love. Itâ€™s good man. And I would tell people that this record kicked ass even if the one guy had never been in the one thing. Itâ€™s just damn good rockâ€™n’roll. Is that the kind of thing you are into? Well, are you?
Queens Of The Stone Age â€“ â€¦Like Clockwork
What? What? A record that might have some overlap to some other lists out there? Well, for good reason. QOTSA have consistently been making interesting mainstream rock music heavily informed by the genres of the underground for some time. A lot of people hated on Era Vulgaris, their last outing. Those people are wrong, but either wayâ€¦ this is a much different affair, vulnerable and open. Almost David Bowie like in some ways (but far better than Bowieâ€™s â€œtotally okâ€Â The Next Day) this is a QOTSA that isnâ€™t quite going for the throat but is using everything in itâ€™s arsenal to make a hell of a record. I think itâ€™s a damn shame that most people have already made their decision on this band as to whether they like or not, because they are probably the most creative and interesting band operating in the mainstream right now. A record about tribulation, actually near loss of life and feeling alone in a crowded room. You have my attention Josh Homme and company. And this is a far better record than most people in the underground will give credit to it. Sorry about that.
Marnie Stern â€“ The Chronicles Of Marnia
Oh Marnie! Marnie, Marnie, Marnieâ€¦ how you make me smile. I love how you take the frantic punk prog thing and marry it to your interesting songs. What would be a lot of â€œsaw you up thereâ€¦ rockinâ€™!â€ technique in lesser hands is
I am part of a rock band, we just released out second record. I put my heart and soul into it, as did my fellow bandmates. There are some people who seem to think it’s worth listening to. If that kind of thing interests you, check it out here: