Lonesome Local: My Top Ten Favorites Songs of the 2013
Disclaimer: I loathe Best-of Lists. There’s no way anyone has heard everything. Thus, inevitably, some brilliant choices will always be missing. And even if there was that one, very lonely, person who did hear everything, music is subjective. Furthermore: if you are not on my favorite list, it doesnt mean I hate your music. I just might not have heard it yet.
But nothing literally gets me so amped as when one of those 5000 songs on random shuffle is from a local CT artist. I love so much music that came out in 2013, I want to share my ten favorite songs with you.
In Alphabetical order by band:
1. Atrina – 6q26
2. Daphne Lee Martin – Molotov
3. Elison Jackson – Dreams of Home
4. Farewood – War
5. Isaac Young Quartet (pictured above) – Dow Jones
6. Little Ugly – And We Said…
7. Post-Modern Panic – Bless These City Streets
8. Tetramer – How To Enjoy Your Last Meal
9. VIOLENT MAE – No Way Out
10. 1974 – Admiral Tackett
Yep, it’s that time of year when writers all over the world produce their “best of” lists. Unlike other news outlets such NPR, Pitchfork or Paste,you won’t find Kanye, Arcade Fire or Justin Timberlake on my list (mostly because I cover the western Massachusetts/southern Connecticut indie music scene). In no particular order, here they are:
Daphne Lee Martin, “Belly” – The lead single off her Moxie release gives me a boner. Enough said.
Speedy Ortiz, “Pioneer Spine” – There’s something heartening about reliving the height of the Matador Records-era all over again. Sadie Dupuis and band-mates deliver the goods on their first full-length, Major Arcana, with this quiet/loud opener.
Mercy Choir, “Waaybaayo” – New Haven’s Paul Belbusti is Mercy Choir. He released two albums this year, the instrumental Apostrophe Music and the singing-heavy His Noiseless Ball, His Boxwood Rattle. If you’re a fan of Mark Linkous’Sparklehorse, you’ll dig this.
And the Kids, “Neighbors” – Whether busking on the streets of Northampton or playing to a rapt audience at this summer’s Green River Festival,And the Kids blew it up.
The Grimm Generation, “The Next Indie Boy” –The Big Fame gave us this: Tasty licks, Carmen Champagne and Jason P. Krug’s witty wordplay and a memorable collection of unforgettable pop tunes.
Lys Guillorn, “Yemaya” – Winged Victory is a tour de force. Guillorn rules. Enough said.
Mark Mulcahy, “Bailing Out On Everything” – Mulcahy hit it out of the park with Dear Mark J Mulcahy, I Love You and got some much deserved love from NPR’s Fresh Air host Terry Gross.
Jeffrey Morgan’s Blackout– Daphne Lee Martin – Moxie (Telegraph Recording Co.) :: There ain’t nothing I like better than ringing in the new year by listening to a brand spanking new album that gives me renewed hope that all is well in Recordville—and, strangely believe it, this happens to be that album in that it lives up to its ballsy name and double dares ya to crank it up all the way up to maximum volume with your noodle wedged right between the speakers.
Y’see, not since the good old white label advance test pressing days have I been so blindfold flummoxed by an audio outing. That’s because, devoid of an album cover or track listing or anything else to guide me along except for a plain white sleeve and textless disc, I’m forced to do the free-association poetic stutter-step instead—something I ain’t done since I reviewed 801 Live and Low.
So just what the heck is this mutant offspring anywho and where the heck do I begin to get a greased handle on it? With track one’s melodramatic operetta that fuses Casio casino music with a spooktown carnival hoedown?
Or mebbe track two’s sultry Peggy Lee meets the Doors feverish black coffee combo?
Or how’s about track three that opens with a syncopated “Memo From Moxie” backbeat which then melodically fuses “Down By The River” with a brace of bubbly Telex synthpoptronics?
Or with the Bennett-cum-Gurdjieff-ish voice overs of track four?
Track five’s Hitchcockian country hoedown?
Track six’s clandestine Tarantinish tryst?
Track seven’s surreal dub confab?
Track ten’s swanky vo-de-oh-do night club megaphonics?
And speaking of keeping track, you may have noticed that I’ve omitted two prime numbers; that’s because they’ve been left vacant for you to describe. To play along at home, all you need is a copy of Daphne Lee Martin’s versatile new album Moxie and two cranked up speakers for you to wedge your noodle between; your rejuvenated spirit will thank you for it in the morning—and remember kids: Neatness counts!