Best Albums of 2013

My second annual list. This is mostly personal preference, but with an ear to recommend both popular and obscure (mostly rock and jazz) albums to other music lovers.

9-best-albums-2013

Top Picks

  • Bombino – Nomad (Tishoumaren, blues rock; April)
  • Charles Bradley – Victim of Love (Soul, April)
  • Daft Punk – Random Access Memories (Nu-disco, May)
  • Gregory Porter – Liquid Spirit (Vocal jazz, September)
  • Janelle Monáe – The Electric Lady (R&B funk, September)
  • Jim James – Regions of Light and Sound of God (Neo-psychedelia, February)
  • Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork (Hard rock, June)
  • Tegan and Sara – Heartthrob (Electropop, January)

Second Billing

Most of these are artists I had never heard of or given a second listen before 2013. Good music is alive and well. Read more Best Albums of 2013

BEYONCÉ 2013 video album, YouTube previews (in order)

The official Beyoncé YouTube page has posted these 30-second preview tracks (released Friday, December 13, 2013). Here they are in the order they appear on the DVD; the director(s) are listed after each song title. It’s also worth checking out the “Self-Titled” mini art features that followed the release of the album.

beyonce-sm
Read more BEYONCÉ 2013 video album, YouTube previews (in order)

A few album ratings – Part 7

********** 10
James Brown – Love Power Peace, Live at the Olympia, Paris 1971 (June 1992, soul)

********* 9
Motor City Drum Ensemble – DJ-Kicks (July 2011, house, soul)

********* 9
Young Galaxy – Ultramarine (April 2013, dream pop)

********* 9
Stars of the Lid – And Their Refinement of the Decline (April 2007, ambient)

********* 9
Guns n’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction (July 1987, hard rock)

********* 9
Lil Hardin Armstrong – Chicago: The Living Legends (1961, jazz vocal)

******** 8
Haim – Days Are Gone (September 2013, indie pop)

******** 8
Mazzy Star – Seasons of Your Day (September 2013, neo-psychedelia)

******** 8
Mayer Hawthorne – Where Does This Door Go (July 2013, blue eyed soul)

******** 8
Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa – Seesaw (May 2013, blues rock)

******** 8
Bombino – Nomad (April 2013, Tishoumaren, blues rock)

******** 8
Jim James – Regions of Light and Sound of God (February 2013, neo-psychedelia)

******** 8
J.D. McPherson – Signs & Signifiers (October 2010, rockabilly)

******** 8
Balmorhea – All Is Wild, All Is Silent (March 2009, post-rock, modern classical)

******** 8
Tracy Thorn – Out of the Woods (March 2007, synthpop)

******** 8
Mazzy Star – So Tonight That I May See (September 1993, neo-psychedelia)

******* 7
Gary Clark Jr. – Blak and Blu (October 2012, blues rock)

******* 7
Sun Glitters – Cosmic Oceans (April 2011, chillwave)
Read more A few album ratings – Part 7

Kirkeby’s panoramas in von Trier’s *Breaking the Waves*

Per Kirkeby has created unforgettable works of art, some of which were commissioned for three of Lars von Trier’s films. After watching all of von Trier’s theatrical releases over the last three months, I kept returning to Kirkeby’s digitally-altered landscapes in Breaking the Waves (1996) for inspiration.

To avoid spoilers, I’m including screenshots only of the latter half of each episode/chapter intro. Watch the movie for the full effect! NOTE: Von Trier films are not for the faint of heart.

Breaking the Waves, Chapter One

Read more Kirkeby’s panoramas in von Trier’s *Breaking the Waves*

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, Forecastle 2013

Zepfanman has finally seen (a fourth of) Zeppelin. Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters played at 7pm on the final day (Sunday, 7/14/13) of Louisville’s annual Forecastle festival. The performance was the icing on the cake of an epic weekend of music, with a set on the main Mast Stage between Grace Potter & The Nocturnals and The Avett Brothers.

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters
Read more Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, Forecastle 2013