by Matthew Thompson
Music is a big part of my life. It helps drive my workouts and keeps me company during long car rides and writing sessions. I am not however very adept at talking about music and why exactly it’s good like I am with say video games or TV. But I am going to talk about some of the music memories I had from 2013 anyway.
Albums of the Year
Without a doubt my album of the year was Chvrches’ The Bones of What You Believe. They have a sort of electro pop sound. It is really right in my wheelhouse and I couldn’t get enough of this album. I really regret realizing they were going to be in Philly for a show too late and not being able to go.
Other standout albums for me included:
Tegan and Sara – Heartthrob: A favorite band of mine. They seem to change their sound from album to album and that was the case here, but I enjoyed it.
Lorde – Pure Heroine: Other than Chvrches, this was the most addictive album of the year for me.
Phoenix – Bankrupt!: Not quite as good as Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, but a great rock album by one of my favorite rock bands.
Waxahatchee – Cerulean Salt: No idea how to describe this one or even how I ran across it, but it definitely has a cool unique sound.
London Grammar – If You Wait: As far as more under the radar releases go, I’d pick this one. The track “Stay Awake” is one of my favorites of the year.
There were a lot more great albums and I’ve pulled songs from my favorites and put them into a Spotify Playlist which I put here for any fellow Spotify users to check out.
Those all fall into some kind of general indie/rock/pop genre I guess. I do listen to rap and hip/hop, but I feel I have been doing so less recently. Jay-Z is my all-time favorite. I don’t think his new album is as bad as some have made it out to be, but it hasn’t stuck with me at all. There were a couple standout tracks though, “Nickels and Dimes” in particular. If the whole album was of that quality it would have been a classic. I’m not going to debate whether Kanye’s latest is good or not, but it certainly wasn’t for me. It would have been hard to not disappoint after My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but this wasn’t even in the same stratosphere for me. The only other rap album that caught my ear was Pusha T’s My Name is my Name. It isn’t the best thing I’ve heard, but I think it’s a step up from his first solo album if not quite as good as the Clipse albums.
I did get to go to a couple of concerts this year. The first was The Killers who I saw down in Atlantic City. This is my second time seeing them and I think they were even better this time around. The highlight of my year in music was definitely going to Metric/Paramore in November though. Music is something that my tastes in are always changing. I imagine in 10 years from now my favorite games and TV shows will be pretty similar to now barring a few possible new additions. My music faves though will likely change. I know it was a ton different ten years ago than now. Anyway, the point I am getting to is that Metric is my current favorite band, so to see them live while they were my favorite was just awesome and they were impressive even if I would have liked to hear some more of the older stuff.
The other cool thing was I got to go to a meet and greet with Paramore. My brother works in music and always wanted me to do one of these things with him. I usually decline saying someone else will enjoy it more than me, but since I was going to this show anyway, he talked me into it. And I’m glad he did. It was brief, but I got to shake hands with the band, say a few quick things and then get a picture with them (seen above it is a little blurry, but I am the one with the green hat and FSU sweatshirt… might be the first time some of you have seen me and you aren’t getting a great look!). And as part of the meet and greet we actually got a backstage tour. The people running things didn’t seem to be aware of this, but they got a hold of Paramore’s Tour manager and he took us around to check out some things and even go on stage. I didn’t get many good pictures since it was so dark back there, but here is a shot of Paramore’s guitars.
And here is the other thing. You know how I mentioned my tastes changing. Well I kind of thought I was over Paramore. I hadn’t really loved the new album, but they put on a surprisingly great show. Was I partly influenced by meeting them? Maybe, but I know the experience made me appreciate the album a bit more.
So those were some of my 2013 Music highlights. I probably won’t be talking much about music again on here anytime soon, but part of this new blog for me was doing stuff that might not be the norm. Just talking about things I like or whatever, so I figured this was worth a go. And I appreciate any of you guys who took the time to check the blog out!