Music of 2013

Posted by on Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ok so the first thing you need to know about this post is I didn't immerse myself in much new music this year. That's right folks, I'm becoming a lame old man who listens to sports radio and podcasts about "how to do everything" and "this american life" and "hardcore history" and things of that nature. Yes, I'm the guy who owns a neon bible t-shirt but has only listened to the first five minutes of Reflektor and fell asleep before arcade fire's snl performance.

I however did really connect with a few albums this year. First, the album my wonderful wife purchased for me entitled, Modern Vampires of the City

Holy smokes people. This is the album of our generation. This is easily the album of the decade so far. Not only that but it also gave us some totally awesome youtube videos such as this.

The music from this album just knocks my socks off. I feel the dudes in this band love a variety of music across the rock 'n roll stratosphere and aren't shy to utilize any and all of their influences on any given song. Gosh, I feel like an idiot typing that. As far as the lyrics are concerned it covers a lot of ground. There are a lot of cool little topics and things like, "who's Angkor Wat?" to look up and during one such research session I dug up this little gem from Ezra Koenig. It's about one of my favorites, "Unbelievers."

Something that I started thinking about on the last record (was) how much I can't relate to any ways of thinking that divide the world into two distinct parts," he continued. "Whether that's atheism versus religion or Republican versus Democrat, there's all these false dichotomies in the world that can be very confusing when you're trying to make up your mind about how you feel about a situation. It's almost like a sports mentality, about being on one team or the other. That doesn't mean that I don't have my own deeply held beliefs about things that I think are right or moral or true but - and it's only gotten worse as I've gotten older - I've always had this extreme dislike of these false choices that you're presented with, so in any situation I want to try to be open-minded and look for what you can learn from something. Even in that song, the idea of being an unbeliever can mean almost anything because everybody is an unbeliever to somebody else. It doesn't matter how fervently you believe in your faith, there's always going to be another faith that calls you an unbeliever. In any sort of multicultural society, it's something that people have to grapple with and figure out."

Anyway, I just love this record and even though I'm a fan of Vampire Weekend I was just blown away with this release. 

Also, I think I covered this earlier on but I loved Trouble Will Find Me. Amy used to have some photo professor that loved The National and she told me he once said, "They're the perfect band to rock out to after your kids have gone to bed." Couldn't agree more. Amen. 

To steal another page from Bob Boilen Ryan Ward's book, I'll tell you about my favorite shows of the year. I only made it to two but they were memorable. First, which I already covered was Blake Schwarzenbach at Vaudeville Mews here in Des Moines. I held the door for one of my musical idols as he was carrying in his equipment from his rented minivan! Second was a free concert at RAGBRAI featuring Everclear on a bridge east of downtown Des Moines. If you didn't know, Everclear was my first favorite band and I still and always will love most of their catalog. The highlight of the night was when they played "Strawberry."

Other albums I listened to a portion of that seemed enjoyable:
Into It. Over It. - Intersections
Saves The Day - Orange Album
Parquet Courts- Light Up Gold
Bonjour Machines - Level Up!
Riviera - Parla con Gesu

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