A few words about 2013

Oh … hey. How you doing? It’s been a long time! How’s the wife? The kids? Job? Great, good to hear. Let’s grab a beer and catch up, shall we? This one’s on me.

I know: It’s been quiet around here. Too quiet. The last post went up in October (thank you, Harris Pittman). The last post by me went up in September. What can I say? Life has a way of getting in the way. At least that’s the easy answer.

If I’m honest about it, I’ve been a little complacent, maybe uninspired. And that’s weird, right? I could remember a time when I wouldn’t dare go to bed if I didn’t at least have one fresh post for the day. Times they change. When one of the music blog forefathers calls it a day, you gotta wonder what you’re doing still hangin’ around.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll reinvent this space in 2014. Or maybe I won’t. I have my own internal hang-ups about doing this, about writing. Without delving into any sort of pity party, the main point here is that I didn’t want this site to just unceremoniously die on the vine. There’s a pulse — faint as it is.

But, hey, now that we’re a month into 2014, let’s talk about 2013. It wasn’t exactly a banner year for this blog in terms of output, but I still listened to music – I just didn’t get around to sitting down and writing about it very much. If I had to list a few of the albums that I listened to – and enjoyed – the most, it would be these: Tender Madness by PAPA; self-titled releases by FIDLAR and Bass Drum of Death; The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You by Neko Case; Trouble Will Find Me by the National (a sloooooow grower, however); Afraid Of Heights by Wavves; and (probably my favorite) Light Up Gold by Parquet Courts.

My wife and I host a New Year’s Eve party every year and I’ve made it a tradition to burn CDs – yes, CDs – with a playlist of (most of) my favorite songs of the year. I like the challenge of keeping it to 20 or so songs and 80 minutes. I think the mix I made more or less defines my year of listening, though I’m sure I left plenty of great material on the cutting-room floor. Neko Case had the distinct honor of occupying two songs on the mix (like Father John Misty in 2012).

Here’s a link to a Spotify playlist of the mix. If anyone is dying for an actual CD, I can do that, too.

1. PAPA, “Put Me to Work”
2. Wavves, “Demon to Lean On”
3. Caveman, “In the City”
4. Bass Drum of Death, “Shattered Me”
5. Telekinesis, “Wires”
6. Low, “Clarence White”
7. FIDLAR, “Gimmie Something”
8. Overseas, “Down Below”
9. Neko Case, “Nearly Midnight, Honolulu”
10. Night Beds, “Ramona”
11. Phosphorescent, “A Charm / A Blade”
12. Frightened Rabbit, “The Woodpile”
13. The National, “Sea of Love”
14. Daughn Gibson, “Mad Ocean”
15. Earl Sweatshirt, “Chum”
16. Vampire Weekend, “Step”
17. Pusha T, “Numbers on the Boards”
18. Queens of the Stone Age, “I Sat By the Ocean”
19. Lorde, “Royals”
20. Kurt Vile, “KV Crimes”
21. Neko Case, “Man”
22. Parquet Courts, “Stoned and Starving”

And here’s a list of the shows I saw in 2013 (26 of them, which seems low compared to the 34 I saw in 2012):

Jan. 25: The Walkmen with Father John Misty, the Fillmore (San Francisco)
Jan. 27: Sea Wolf with The Donnies the Amys, Crescent
Jan. 29: Geographer with On An On and Bogan Via, Rhythm Room
Jan. 31: Pinback with Judgement Day, Crescent Ballroom

Feb. 16: Louis CK, Celebrity Theatre
Feb. 17: Night Beds with Bad Lucy and Hunter Johnson, Sail Inn
Feb. 28: Source Victoria with Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl and the Breakup Society, Crescent Ballroom

March 26: Billy Bragg with Kim Churchill, Crescent Ballroom
March 29: Blackalicious, Crescent Ballroom

April 18:The Postal Service with YACHT, Comerica Theatre
April 22: The Cave Singers with Bleeding Rainbow and Golden Boots, Rhythm Room
April 28: Telekinesis with Mount Moriah and Roar, Crescent Ballroom

May 4: Father John Misty with Jessica Pratt, Crescent Ballroom
May 6: Akron/Family with Destruction Unit, Crescent Ballroom
May 7: Built to Spill with Junior Rocket Scientist, Crescent Ballroom
May 17: Los Dias de La Crescent with Sergio Mendoza y La Orkesta, Crescent Ballroom

June 3: Parquet Courts with Gospel Claws and Snake Snake Snakes, Rhythm Room
June 25: Radar Brothers with No Volcano and Hunter Johnson, Crescent Ballroom

July 11: Dessa with Aby Wolf and Open Mike Eagle, Crescent Ballroom

Aug. 4: Daughn Gibson with William Tyler, Dylan Pratt and Body of Light, Rhythm Room
Aug. 17: Peanut Butter Wolf with Dam-Funk and the Stepkids, Crescent Ballroom

Sept. 12: Neko Case with Pickwick and Jon Rauhouse, Orpheum Theater
Sept 21: Cold War Kids with PAPA, Orpheum Theater (Flagstaff)

Oct. 22: Hanni El Khatib with Bass Drum of Death, Rhythm Room

Nov. 7: Prem Rock with Zilla Rocca and Curly Castro, Tempe Tavern
Nov. 8: Prem Rock with Zilla Rocca and Curly Castro, Hidden House

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