Blog Archives

TOP 20 ALBUMS OF 2013

Top-20
I hate starting these posts off with “It’s that time of year again”, BUT IT IS!!!!!!!! Tons of great albums this year, but my boy Ryan and I had to narrow them down to twenty so as not to make this post too long winded. Some of the artists on this list are well known and some, not so much, but that doesn’t make their music any less appealing. We at MITNG are all about showcasing new talent, so this list is hopefully a tasteful blend of something old and something new, well it’s all new….you know what I mean…I hope. Let’s get busy! (Arsenio Hall).
Ryan’s Picks

10. Jon Hopkins – Immunity

Jon_Hopkins_Immunity_Artwork_hires

There’s no other album as technically sound and spectacular as Immunity. It captures the full emotion of space better than any album this year. From droning house beats to crushing piano chords, Jon Hopkins has his best release yet and the number 10 spot.

9. Earl Sweatshirt – Doris

earl-sweatshirt-reveals-doris
Huge expectations were set on the young rapper. His first album back in 2010 set the bar so high that anything close would be an accomplishment. Well, Earl Sweatshirt responds with an inside look on his true struggles of fame and life. To be 19 and create such a vivid image of life in 45 minutes is true talent. I feel he hasn’t even reached his full potential yet.

8. Foxygen – We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors

WAt2CAoPaM
Nothing stood out to me for the first 4 months of listening to this album. It was simple glam rock. 30 years too late, but gladly I stuck it out and had the most rewarding, fun listens. From the lulls of “San Fransisco” to the air pumps of “On Blue Mountain”, Foxygen know how to reach their audience.

7. Dirty BeachesDrifters / Love Is The Devil

MI0003562445
I missed the craze in 2011 with Dirty Beaches. I passed up on a perfect opportunity to foreshadow the future. Luckily, they came back with the most dark, disorienting album of the year. This double album really does reflect the loneliness and ambiance of a bustling city while perfectly capturing the feelings. The 10 minute “Mirage Hall” is a throwback to
the ultimate influence of Suicide’s “Frankie Teardrop“. I’d claim Alex Hungtai does it better too.

6. Arcade Fire – Reflektor

arcade-fire-reflektor-cover-500x500
I have a confession. It’s not a problem, but a realization. I mentioned in the review this album would be a grower, and I was correct. The fourth album by indie legends is their most ambitious and fun to be released. “Normal People” has the best ending to a track I’ve heard from the band, and “Afterlife” is fucking fun. That song can get anyone grooving. Reflektor an odd change, but a change that suits the band. I feel it’s one of many swan songs the band will have.

5. Touche Amore – Is Survived By…

999360_617972361568059_1159919172_n
The shortest, and grittiest album on the list. Post-hardcore group, touche amore really put their best foot forward in their longest LP to date. They play with such tightness and energy together, feeding off each others chemistry. Every member has a story to tell, and as a listener who should have spent more time on other albums, I can tell you that this album goes much farther than the lyrics in the insert. It’s a dedication of five musicians struggles packed into 29 minutes of amazing noise.

4. Deafheaven – Sunbather

deafheaven-sunbather-1376335512
The almighty Sunbather. If there’s one album that will stand the test of time, it will be this. Not for it’s music, but also solely on the music. A black-metal, post-metal, post-rock, post-everything album that has a pink cover. It’s exactly that. A wonderfully destructive album with incredible picking, sharp vocals, and oh the drumming! It never feels old, and all the noise falls into place so well. The Phil Spector wall of sound is put to the extreme here, and the droning guitars, drums,
and bass create one of the best musical experiences in history.

3. Darkside – Psychic

Darkside-Psychic-500x500
I love Nicolas Jaar. I also love music with a purpose. Combining the essence of dance music, blues, and Jaar’s signature ambient sounds, Psychic is a rewarding listen. The hook off “Heart” would put it on this list alone, but it’s an album with new sounds every listen. “Freak, Go Home” reminds me of what drunk hipsters listen to before their barhopping, while the amazing opener, “Golden Arrow” is a chance to show just how talented Jaar is. Screw the potential talk, this is his apex of music.

2. The National – Trouble Will Find Me

The-National-Trouble-Will-Find-Me-608x608
One of my most listened to albums this year. Trouble Will Find Me solidifies The National as the ultimate self-pity band. When you want to grow that feeling of despair and hopelessness, listen to That National. They feel you. They jump from slow-burners like “Fireproof” to the gritty “Graceless” contributing to any man’s sadness. I can’t tell you how many times this album played in my car, in my room, on my computer, and in my head. It’s catchy, sad, understanding, and just plain awesome.

1. Typhoon – White Lighter

Typhoon-White-Lighter2
Surprise, surprise. The Portland monster band already kicked ass in 2010 with Hunger & Thirst, but White Lighter is THAT album on steroids. It’s everything I wanted in an album for my teen years, but never got. If Typhoon had the exposure, they would define a generation of teenage indie rockers, much like Pavement,Modest Mouse, or Arcade Fire did. They have the message, they have the sound, and they definitely have the fight. White Lighter exposes the troubles of society and struggles we face everyday, but for some reason,we push on. It tells us not to give up, and they agree that they can’t explain why we should, but they know.It’s albums like this that changes lives and inspires people. Now only if they could receive some radio airplay.

And now for Jeffrey’s picks of 2013

10. Daughn Gibson-Me Moan

Daughn-Gibson-Me-Moan

After the release of his 2012 album All Hell, I was overly eager to hear Subpop Records version of Leonard Cohen throw down his followup and in 2013 we got it. Me Moan, as I expected,  delivered on all counts. This album was filled with all the Johnny Cash vocals and midi syncopated beats, we’d come to love off his first album, but with a little more, how can I say this, pop? Tracks like “Kissing on the Blacktop” and “The Sound of Law” were welcomed surprises and proved, to this devoted fan, that Daughn Gibson is more than capable of writing danceable tracks as he is at writing good listening music.

9.GHOST B.C.- Infestissumam

ghost-infestissumam

Call me a sucker, but in the days of mediocrity, a few great songs is really all it takes for me to say “yes…I like you”. Case in point,  Ghost B.C. latest album “infestissumam”, these Swedish manipulators of symbols and sounds, brought an even darker sound on their sophomore album than with their freshman 2010 release Opus Epynomous. Always keeping it cheeky, they mockingly cling to Catholic symbols, but remain vigilante in their quest to unite the world under one dark cloth. Songs like “The Monstrous Clock” and “Secular Haze”, lovingly follows in the footsteps of such great eighties Death Metal bands like King Diamond or Alice Cooper, but also is as ballady as Chicago or Journey and rocks as much as it teaches. I see only good things in the future for Ghost B.C.

8.Pearl Jam-Lightening Bolt

12.pearl-jam-lightning-bolt-album-cover-art_0

I’ll admit not giving Pearl Jam their fair shake in the past. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I immediately logged them in that corner of my wind where all my high school bullshit goes. How wrong I was. Lightening Bolt is the first Pearl Jam album I’ve owned since Ten and Verses and seeing as how I am a believer in serendipity, I see purpose in this reunion. This is such an amazing album! So well rounded and absolutely filled with something for everybody on it. I will say the highlights on this album, for me, were the punk track “Mind Your Manners” and the amazing ballad “Sirens”, but take my word for it, Lightening Bolt is solid through and through.

7.Fuck Buttons-Slow Focus

fuck-bottoms-slow-focus-1373552646

Really good electronica bands are fucking hard to come by. The one’s I follow tend to be so good they only release albums every other year, at least’s that the way it seems. So I’m always looking for something to fill that gaping hole in my life left behind by bands like Boards of Canada, The Chemical Brother’s or Bjork and I think this is it. Again, here’s a group I only recently stumbled onto, but have had them on my Pandora shuffle for a minute. This two piece powerhouse from Bristol is killing it on their latest “Slow Focus”. The album is a journey of both dark and light themes. Fuck Buttons takes everything good about dance and has meticulously woven it together on this mind blowing album. Highlights on the album “Sentients” and “The Red Wing”. You have to put this on rotation.

6. How To Destroy Angels- Welcome Oblivion

tumblr_mhhzmr8LF01qbl7hpo1_1280

All I can say is that “too bad Nine Inch Nail’s latest album Hesitation Marks didn’t sound more like this album”. HTDA is lead singer of Nine Inch Nail’s side project. Trent Reznor and his wife Mariqueen Maandig (lead vocalist) have worked on two albums together since the bands inception and it seems to be working. This album has a lot of the usual bells and whistles associated with NIN’s, but with the softness of Mariqueen’s vocals and a sublime thread coupled with a real relationship with the music and each other, that makes this a truly unique effort and not just Trent doing his thing. Highlight’s on the album “Keep It Together” and “Ice Age”.

5. Oblivion Soundtrack-Anthony Gonzalez and Joseph Trapanese

OblivionSoundtrackCoverbigWalkfull1

You know how sometimes you see an artist or artists take the next step in their creative evolution and say to yourself “of course”. That was the way I felt when Anthony Gonzalez of M83 and film/television composer Joseph Trapanese teamed up for the soundtrack of the Joseph Kosinski film OBLIVION. Trapanese, having worked with Kosinski before on the Tron:Legacy soundtrack with Daft Punk and Gonzalez having a flair for epic soundscapes and science fiction videos, created vibes for this huge film that often times the picture couldn’t hold. Absolutely breathtaking! This soundtrack kills on every level, blending the cinematic with sprinkles of electronica and was truly the sole reason I finished that somewhat mediocre film.

4. Boards of Canada-Tomorrow’s Harvest

boards-of-canada_tomorrows-harvest-608x608

Boards of Canada, oh Boards of Canada…you and your every decade releases, are going to be the death of me. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but for real guys? Tomorrow’s Harvest is BoC’s 6th album and, as always, it was well worth the wait. The album is filled with dissonance mixed in with some extemporaneousness, going from your usual to amazingly abstract, but always interesting. Fans of BoC will love this album for it’s bravery, but newcomer’s will also dig it for it’s freshness and no hold’s barred approach to a genre they’ve become masters at. Highlights on the album include “Jacquard Causeway” and “Reach for the Dead”.

3. Cayucas-Bigfoot

sc256jacketv6

Sure they aren’t the first band to try and cash in on that familiar Brian Wilson sound. Groups like Lord Huron, Animal Collective, Tanlines Hooray For Earth and Panda Bear, have all taken a stab at that surf rocky sound of the 60’s. Here’s the rub though, all those bands I mentioned are fucking good. So what have we leaned? You listen to good artist and it’ll reflect in everything you do, one way or another. The Santa Monica band Cayucas is no different. This really is one of my favorite albums of the year. From beginning to end, it’s chock full of summer vibes. Songs like “High School Lover” and “Summer Thing” are absolutely brilliant in execution. They even use a sample from Oliver’s 1969 hit “Good Morning Sunshine” for their song “Deep Sea”, so what’s not to like about these throwbacks? The album leans hard on a analog vibe and revels in it’s gritty and washed out vocals. All these things give the album color and will have you breaking out your copy of Endless Summer from the word go. The only downside of this album is it’s eight songs. I’m hoping for more from their next album, but this is a great showing for a debut.

2. M.I.A.-Matangi

MIA-MATANGI

This is all M.I.A! Like Missy Elliot, M.I.A always delivers, well her and Dj Switch…oh and a few other Mad Decent alumni like Partysquad and Surkin. This is the fourth album for the English powerhouse and she shows no signs of slowing down. Always inventive and controversial, Matagi seems like she’s taken a back seat to revolution for songs about love and youthful vernacular. Songs like Y.A.L.A is her poke at the Y.O.L.O saying. In it she takes a page from her Hindi upbringing to turn the tables on this mindless meandering. Lyrics: YOLO? I don’t even know anymore, what that even mean though If you only live once why we keep doing the same shit. Back home where I come from we keep being born again and again and again
That’s why they invented karma. She also shows us a aside of her we don’t see very often in songs like Sexodus. Sexy…I guess, but it was like listening to a friend you’ve known all your life talking to you about sex, but hey…maybe she’s picking up some stuff from Madonna. Highlights on the album “Bring Da Noize”, ” Attention” and “Bad Girlz”. It’s a great party album and worth grabbing!

1. Yamantaka//Sonic Titan-UZU

YTST

I really could fill up several pages with laurels for this fucking album! For those of us from the grunge era, this band and what they are bringing, is long overdue. Hailing from Montreal, Canada, this experimental art project/ rock opera, is displaying talent unseen by rock bands of late. UZU is the second album for Ruby Kato Attwood (vocals) and Alaska B (drums), John Ancheta (Bass), Ange Loft (Vocals) and Brendan Swanson (Keyboards) and it’s nothing short of enigmatic. Their 2011 self-titled released, was the precursor to what has turned into the groups Dark Side of the Moon. With sounds deeply rooted in Native American energy, they use piano,crunchy electric guitars and hard hitting drums to paint images of roaring oceans and enormous mountains. Then enters this anamolus serenity felt within the lyrics and tonality of it’s singer Ruby. With faces painted in  homage to both Japanese Noh theater and Native American aesthetic, YT//ST is the very embodiment of transcendental rock! Make no mistake, they are a jam band, but they do so as to really take the listener to places and not to shred for the sake of shredding. Highlights on the album are tracks like “Whalesong”,”Saturn’s Return” and “One”. Hear me when I say, this will be the band to watch for in the coming years! Nothing like it exists! YT//ST’s UZU is the wish fulfilling jewel for those yearning for more magic and rock in their listening experience!

MITNGTV EPISODE 2

MITNG’S Videos of the Week

556493_418445318197071_1345996874_n

DAVID BOWIE-THE NEXT DAY

The Next Day is like David Bowie’s ode to Madonna’sLike A Prayer” video only this is ten times more insane and it features Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard whereas “Like A Prayer” only featured LEON. You remember…that guy from Cliffhanger who got impaled on an icicle.

THE NATIONAL-SEA OF LOVE

This week Brooklyn based indie cats The National released their new album “Trouble Will Find Me” and to commemorate the release of their first single/video “Sea of Love” the band pays homage to the band that started the whole “put a strange kid in your videos dressed like you playing an instrument (fake or real) and they will come”…that’s right, I’m “talking” about “Talking Heads” and their 1983 single “Burning Down the House” .

THE DREAM-IV PLAY

Seriously who doesn’t love The Dream. I am always tickled shitty when he releases tracks, although they never get radio play, there’s no denying the quality and catchiness. He’s really an underrated artist in our times, but that’s not going to stop him from putting out tracks like this one. This here is some babay-making music!!

MIKAL CRONIN-CHANGE

I kinda just stumbled across Mikal Cronin and was immediately hooked. He reminds me of some of the lighter pre- grunge bands, some who went to stardom and some who didn’t. I’m pretty sure that this guy would have made it back then, cause he’s making it now and he’s all about transparency. You’ll see what I mean.

TELEKINESIS-EMPATHETIC PEOPLE

In researching Mikal Cronin, I came across Telekinesis, who are on the same Merge Records as Mikal Cronin. I’m starting to see a pattern with the artist on this label. At least with these two, who sound like the bands who were on Sub Pop’s label back in the nineties. Good stuff all around.

MAJOR LAZER-ORIGINAL DON FEAT. THE PARTYSQUAD

Major Lazer‘s Diplo really does have a pretty open approach when it comes to allowing directors to express themselves. It sure as hell makes for some pretty fun viewing. This song is very powerful, and you know what’s even more powerful? A teenager twirling a eight foot scimitar in front of her elderly grandmother. Let the hilarity ensue.

CREEP-ANIMALS FEAT: HOLLY MIRANDA
Witch House duo, do we still call it Witch House? CREEP enlists the help of vocalist Holly Miranda on this Vampire-thumpin tune. Holly’s got some crazy creepy skills in this video, but not enough to be turned off by, but strangely enough, I am turned on. Does that make me weird?

The Cure and Nine Inch Nails among this years Lollapalooza 2013 line-up

lollapalooza

With bands like The Cure and Nine Inch Nails in attendance at this years Lollapalooza, I can almost look past the fact that Mumford and Son’s is among them…almost. Hopefully we”ll hear news that Trent Reznor trashed their trailer…oh that would be swell.

It all started back in 1991 when Perry Farrell, lead singer of fabled alternative rockers Jane’s Addiction started planning a farewell show for the group. His idea morphed into a larger-than-life musical roadshow that would bring music, culture, and community to fans all over the continent. Before the Internet, there wasn’t a great way to get music from up-and-coming bands to the fans.

I remember the first time I went to Lollapalooza. It was at the Central Florida Fairgrounds in 91, in attendance was Pearl Jam, Ice Cube, Ministry and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. The vibe was hot and for a seventeen year old kid, I felt like I was at Woodstock. The energy was unbelievable. Lollapalooza is continuing that tradition and the roster of entertainers is still as talented and as diverse as it has always been. This year’s festival will take place 8/2-4 at Grant Park in Chicago. The three day passes to the event are sold out, but apparently you can still get a single-day ticket for Wednesday, 4/3. For more information on the event check out their official homepage.

Lollapalooza Official Homepage             

FRIDAY 8/2:                                           chi-lollapalooza-lineup-20130328-001
Nine Inch Nails

The Killers
New Order
Queens Of The Stone Age
Steve Aoki
Thievery Corporation
Lana Del Rey
Flux Pavilion
Band Of Horses
Hot Chip
Crystal Castles
Imagine Dragons
Frightened Rabbit
Dillon Francis
Smith Westerns
Disclosure
Father John Misty
Ghost B.C.
Modestep
Emeli Sande
Jessie Ware
Atlas Genius
Timeflies
Theophilus London
Monsta
IO Echo
Icona Pop
Chance The Rapper
Lance Herbstrong
Robert DeLong
Deap Vally
Twenty One Pilots
San Cisco
Hey Marseilles
Keys N Krates
The Neighbourhood
Pacific Air
American Authors
Houndmouth
Brick + Mortar
D-Pryde
Brite Lite Brite

SATURDAY 8/3:
Mumford & Sons           mumford-and-sons
The Postal Service
The National
The Lumineers
Kendrick Lamar
Eric Church
Steve Angello
Ellie Goulding
Azealia Banks
Local Natives
Dada Life
Matt & Kim
Foals
Death Grips
Court Yard Hounds
Adventure Club
Ben Howard
GriZ
Charles Bradley
Heartless Bastards
Baauer
HAIM
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
St. Lucia
Shovels & Rope
Little Green Cars
Family of the Year
360
The Bright Light Social Hour
Reignwolf
Pujol
Planet Hemp
Cole Plante
Lukas Nelson & P.O.T.R.
Blondfire
Frontier Ruckus
Wheeler Brothers
The Dunwells
Supreme Cuts
Cherub
Wild Cub
Brooke Waggoner
Beast Patrol

SUNDAY 8/4:                             Belfort Eurockeennes Music Festival - Day 2
The Cure
Phoenix
Vampire Weekend
Knife Party
Grizzly Bear
Major Lazer
Dog Blood
Two Door Cinema Club
Tegan and Sara
Beach House
Cat Power
2 Chainz
Alt-J
The Vaccines
DIIV
Alex Clare
Baroness
Lianne La Havas
Wild Nothing
Angel Haze
Wavves
Alvin Risk
Jake Bugg
Wild Belle
Art Department
MS MR
Family of the Year
360
Kill the Noise
SKAYTERS
The Orwells
Palma Violets
Astro
Machines Are People Too
YAWN
Half Moon Run
The Mowgli’s
Wake Owl
Bear Mountain
O’ Brother
Makeshift Prodigy

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,310 other followers