The Best of 2013: A List of Bands & Albums You Need to Know

Since I only do this once a year, here’s a refresher as to how this goes; After keeping track of every album I bought that was released in 2013 (120+) and every concert I saw, this is where I - completely objectively - select what I think were the best of everything.

LP’s and EP’s are divided into two different categories, with a top ten in each one, after which I do the “Best of the Rest”, alphabetically listing all the other records (the primary reason I do this blog in the first place is to try to help get bands even the slightest bit of extra exposure, so I don’t want to leave anyone out simply because they didn’t make my “Top Ten”.)

After that, I’ll list my ten favorite concerts from the year, then end with a wrap up.

For the albums, if you click on the artist name, you’ll be taken to their website. Clicking the album title will take you to either iTUNES or Bandcamp to purchase the record. Something new I’m also doing this year is including a link to a Spotify playlist next to each category, so you can easily listen to most of the music (not ever band has their music on Spotify, after all.) As for my favorite concerts of the year, they’ll be linked back to the individual review I did of the show, in case you missed it the first time around or may want to read it again.

Sound good? Good. Here we go…

Top 10 LP’s of 2013 (Spotify Playlist)

1.) Artist: Kentucky Knife Fight

Album: Hush Hush

Must Listen Song: “Bad Blood”

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2.) Artist: Jillette Johnson

Album: Water in a Whale

Must Listen Song: “Pauvre Coeur”

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3.) Artist: Nothing More

Album: Nothing More

Must Listen Song: Every track. Seriously.

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4.) Artist: Tommy & the High Pilots

Album: Only Human

Must Listen Song: “Devil to Pay” & “Young and Hungry”

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5.) Artist: Dead Flowers

Album: For You

Must Listen Song: “No Tragedy”

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6.) Artist: Ishi

Album: Digital Wounds

Must Listen Song: “Emotional Hard Drive”

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7.) Artist: Distant Lights

Album: Not Thinking Not Dreaming (FREE DOWNLOAD!)

Must Listen Song: “What’s On Your Mind?”

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8.) Artist: Sick Puppies

Album: Connect

Must Listen Song: “Walking Away”

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9.) Artist: These Machines are Winning

Album: Defender 1

Must Listen Song: “Beat S”

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10.) Artist: The O’s

Album: Thunderdog

Must Listen Song: “Outlaw”
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The Best of the Rest (LP’s) (
Spotify Playlist)

Artist: Air Review

Album: Low Wishes

Must Listen Song: “Low Wishes”

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Artist: Animal Spirit

Album: Animal Spirit

Must Listen Song: “House On A Hill”

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Artist: Anthony Green

Album: Young Legs

Must Listen Song: “Breaker”

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Artist: Anydoll

Album: Electric Heart (Free download!)

Must Listen Song: “You Are Amazing”

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Artist: Ashley Falgout

Album: Long Over Due

Must Listen Song: “Days and Days”

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Artist: The Band of Heathens

Album: Sunday Morning Record

Must Listen Song: “Shotgun”

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Artist: Bawcomville

Album: Tranny

Must Listen Song: “Diminished Returns”

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Artist: Black Books

Album: Black Books

Must Listen Song: “Something to Remember”

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Artist: Blameshift

Album: Secrets

Must Listen Song: “Revolution”

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Artist: Blue October

Album: Sway

Must Listen Song: “Put It In”

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Artist: Bordeen

Album: Bordeen

Must Listen Song: “Spotlight”

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Artist: Bosnian Rainbows

Album: Bosnian Rainbows

Must Listen Song: “The Eye Fell In Love”

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Artist: Bowling for Soup

Album: Lunch. Drunk. Love.

Must Listen Song: “Critically Disdained”

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Artist: The Breakfast Machine

Album: Electric 2033

Must Listen Song: “Si, Explosions”

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Artist: The Bronx

Album: The Bronx (IV)

Must Listen Song: “Last Revelation”

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Artist: Christopher Owens

Album: Lysandre

Must Listen Song: “Here We Go”

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Artist: The Civil Wars

Album: The Civil Wars

Must Listen Song: “The One That Got Away”

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Artist: Courrier

Album: Cathedrals of Color

Must Listen Song: “The City at Night”

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Artist: Courtney Jones

Album: All Things That Fall

Must Listen Song: “Back to Me”

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Artist: Cowboy Indian Bear

Album: Live Old, Die Young

Must Listen Song: “Does Anybody See You Out?”

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Artist: Cull the Heard

Album: Reap the Harvest

Must Listen Song: “I Want More”

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Artist: Cults

Album: Static

Must Listen Song: “We’ve Got It”
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Artist:
The Dangerous Summer

Album: Golden Record

Must Listen Song: “Catholic Girls”

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Artist: Danny Rush & the Designated Drivers

Album: Malverde

Must Listen Song: “SHT YR FKN MTH MY DRLNG”

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Artist: Dead Letter Circus

Album: The Catalyst Fire

Must Listen Song: “Say Your Prayers”

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Artist: Deaf Angel

Album: Brutally / Beautiful (Free download!)

Must Listen Song: “Let You Go”

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Artist: The Dear Hunter

Album: Migrant

Must Listen Song: “An Escape”

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Artist: Dresses

Album: Sun Shy

Must Listen Song: “Friends Are Dead”

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Artist: Eisley

Album: Currents

Must Listen Song: “Save My Soul”

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Artist: Elle Macho

Album: Import

Must Listen Song: “Hey Dude”

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Artist: Fialta

Album: Summer Winter

Must Listen Song: “Photographs”

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Artist: Free Dominguez

Album: Volcano + The Sea

Must Listen Song: “Line in the Sand”

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Artist: The Frisky Disco

Album: The Frisky Disco (Free download!)

Must Listen Song: “Bobo Cakes”

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Artist: Haim

Album: Days Are Gone

Must Listen Song: “The Wire”

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Artist: Hawthorne Heights

Album: Zero

Must Listen Song: “Darkside”

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Artist: The Head and the Heart

Album: Let’s Be Still

Must Listen Song: “Shake”

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Artist: Home By Hovercraft

Album: Are We Chameleons?

Must Listen Song: “Rocket”
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Artist:
IO Echo

Album: Ministry of Love

Must Listen Song: “Ministry of Love”

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Artist: The Joy Formidable

Album: Wolf’s Law

Must Listen Song: “This Ladder Is Ours”

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Artist: Kaela Sinclair

Album: Sun & Mirror

Must Listen Song: “Original Sin”

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Artist: Kate Nash

Album: Girl Talk

Must Listen Song: “Are You There, Sweetheart?”

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Artist: Kree Woods

Album: Talking Underwater

Must Listen Song: “Hip, Hip”

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Artist: Lily & Madeleine

Album: Lily & Madeleine

Must Listen Song: “Lost Upon the Sea”

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Artist: The Limousines

Album: Hush

Must Listen Song: “Bedbugs”

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Artist: The Lovely Bad Things

Album: The Late Great Whatever

Must Listen Song: “Fried Eyes”

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Artist: Manny the Martyr

Album: Brighter Sun (Free download!)

Must Listen Song: “Hit the Brink”

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Artist: The Material

Album: Everything I Want to Say

Must Listen Song: “Born to Make a Sound”

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Artist: Mona

Album: Torches & Pitchforks

Must Listen Song: “Goons (Baby, I Need it All)”

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Artist: Monahans

Album: Leveler

Must Listen Song: “Forward/Reverse”

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Artist: Monahans

Album: Roam an Empty Space

Must Listen Song: “Beat of a Thousand Drums”

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Artist: Myla Smith

Album: Hiding Places

Must Listen Song: “Lose Ya” or “Hiding Places”

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Artist: Nicholas Altobelli

Album: Without a Home

Must Listen Song: “Blackout”
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Artist:
Ours

Album: Ballet the Boxer 1

Must Listen Song: “Pretty Pain”

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Artist: Overseas

Album: Overseas

Must Listen Song: “Old Love”

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Artist: Panic Volcanic

Album: Freak Fuzz

Must Listen Song: “Set You Free”

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Artist: Paramore

Album: Paramore

Must Listen Song: “Fast In My Car”

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Artist: Piñata Protest

Album: El Valiente

Must Listen Song: “Life on the Border”

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Artist: The Polyphonic Spree

Album: Yes, It’s True

Must Listen Song: “You Don’t Know Me”

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Artist: The Postelles

Album: …And it Shook Me

Must Listen Song: “Oh My Luck”

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Artist: The Quaker City Night Hawks

Album: Honcho

Must Listen Song: “Lavanderia”

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Artist: Quiet Company

Album: A Dead Man On My Back: Shine Honesty Revisited

Must Listen Song: “…and You Said it Was Pretty Here”

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Artist:
Ra Ra Riot

Album: Beta Love

Must Listen Song: “Dance with Me”

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Artist: Reinventing Jude

Album: Sundial Soliloquy

Must Listen Song: “Wet Cement”

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Artist: The Reynolds Number

Album: The Reynolds Number

Must Listen Song: “Follow You”

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Artist: Rude King

Album: It’ll Probably be Alright

Must Listen Song: “The Answer’s Right In Front Of Me”

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Artist: The Sammus Theory

Album: Entitled Anonymous

Must Listen Song: “Scarlet Letter Devil”

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Artist: Sarah Hurst

Album: Fine to Wait

Must Listen Song: “Fascinate”

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Artist: Sean Michel

Album: Electric Delta

Must Listen Song: “Mississippi Mud”

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Artist: Shannon LaBrie

Album: Just Be Honest

Must Listen Song: “Gettin’ Tired”

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Artist: The Sounds

Album: Weekend

Must Listen Song: “Outlaw”

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Artist: Steven Graves

Album: Time Will Tell

Must Listen Song: “When Things Were Simple”

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Artist: Tony Ferraro & The Satans of Soft Rock

Album: Friend of Man and Beast Alike

Must Listen Song: “Satanic Verses”

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Artist: Triple SP

Album: Disrupting the Harmony

Must Listen Song: “Symptom”

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Artist: Twenty One Pilots

Album: Vessel

Must Listen Song: “House of Gold” & “Semi-Automatic”

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Artist: Un Chien

Album: Un Chien

Must Listen Song: "Gasoline Rainbow"

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Artist: W.A. Fite

Album: Builds. with. Age

Must Listen Song: “Dramatics”

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Artist: We’rewolves

Albums: We’rewolves

Must Listen Song: “Words of a Black Suit Politician”

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Artist: Whiskey Folk

Album: The Lonesome Underground

Must Listen Song: “Lights On the Highway”

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Artist: Wild Child

Album: The Runaround

Must Listen Song: “Crazy Bird”

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Artist: The Will Callers

Album: What Else is Left?

Must Listen Song: “House of Falling Cards”

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Top 10 EP’s of 2013 (
Spotify Playlist)

1.) Artist: Light the Fire

Album: Light the Fire

Must Listen Song: “All Or Nothing”

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2.) Artist: Drayter

Album: Drayter

Must Listen Song: “Scream”

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3.) Artist: Here Holy Spain

Album: Under the Undertow

Must Listen Song: “Golden Gun”

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4.) Artist: Daylight Industries

Album: Faith Healer

Must Listen Song: “Sit In”

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5.) Artist: Son of Swan

Album: Son of Swan

Must Listen Song: "Dog Days"

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6.) Artist: Charming Liars

Album: New Disorder

Must Listen Song: “I’m Losing You”

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7.) Artist: Enamored

Album: Requiem

Must Listen Song: “Never Again”

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8.) Artist: B-Ners

Album: Back to Mexico

Must Listen Song: “Trouble Dog”

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9.) Artist: The Circle

Album: Who I Am

Must Listen Song: “The Other Side”

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10.) Artist: Paco Estrada

Album: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Must Listen Song: “She”
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The Best of the Rest (EP’s) (
Spotify Playlist)

Artist: Amanda Ply

Album: Nothing More Than Me

Must Listen Song: “Stay”

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Artist: Anna Lombard

Album: Head Full of Bells

Must Listen Song: “Leave Town”

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Artist: The Bedlam Brothers

Album: Saddle Up

Must Listen Song: “We Ride Tonight”

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Artist: Best Coast

Album: Fade Away

Must Listen Song: “I Wanna Know”

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Artist: Betray the Dreamer

Album: Betray the Dreamer

Must Listen Song: “Transmissions”

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Artist: Black Books

Album: Aquarena

Must Listen Song: “Favorite Place”

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Artist: Black Taxi

Album: Chiaroscuro

Must Listen Song: “Gone”

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Artist: Brandon Callies Band

Album: Life is Still Good

Must Listen Song: “This Love” (Pantera cover)

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Artist: Bravo Delta

Album: Shutdown Sequence

Must Listen Song: “We Stand, We Fall”

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Artist: Chasin Aces

Album: Lost & Found

Must Listen Song: “Everglow”

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Artist: Criminal Birds

Album: Criminal Birds

Must Listen Song: “Chill Out”

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Artist: Descender

Album: Slow and Gold

Must Listen Song: “The Language”

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Artist: Emily Hearn

Album: Promises

Must Listen Song: “Found a Heart”

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Artist:
The Hanna Barbarians

Album: Spaceway Sessions, Vol. 2

Must Listen Song: "Oh, Spirit"
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Artist: Kirk Baxley

Album: Cold as a Stone

Must Listen Song: “Rock ‘n’ Roll in My Veins”

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Artist: Kirk Baxley

Album: Southern Son

Must Listen Song: “Times are Changing”

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Artist: Lovebettie

Album: Rise

Must Listen Song: “Alarm”

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Artist: Mike Mains & the Branches

Album: Everything

Must Listen Song: “In the Night”

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Artist: Motel Mirrors

Album: Motel Mirrors

Must Listen Song: “Meet Me On the Corner”

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Artist: Noelle Bean

Album: Bean EP

Must Listen Song: “Lois Lane”

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Artist: Northern Faces

Album: Southern Places

Must Listen Song: “Under My Skin”

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Artist:  Pageantry

Album: Friends of the Year

Must Listen Song: “Dirt”

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Artist: Phavian

Album: Meridian II

Must Listen Song: “Hexenring”

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Artist: Red Angel Theory

Album: Rise for Something

Must Listen Song: “Inception”

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Artist: Rodney Parker & The 50 Peso Reward

Album: The Apology: Part 2 (NOTE: Technically this is an LP, but since some of the tracks were on Part 1, I decided to classify it as an EP.)

Must Listen Song: “Things You Make Me Do”

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Artist: Royal Savages

Album: Royal Savages (Free download!)

Must Listen Song: “Racing Tears”

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Artist: Signs of Reason

Album: Wake Up

Must Listen Song: “Choke”

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Artist: Sleeperstar

Album: Blue Eyes

Must Listen Song: “Replay”

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Artist: Solice

Album: Live EP

Must Listen Song: “Paralyzed”

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Artist: Susy Sun

Album: Wanderlust

Must Listen Song: “Down”

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Artist: The Swear

Album: Gold and Hymns and Hell

Must Listen Song: “Gold and Hymns and Hell”

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Artist: Swindle Boys

Album: Motion

Must Listen Song: “Secrets In Our Fists”

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Artist: Technicolor Hearts

Album: Under The Big Blue Umbrella Sky

Must Listen Song: “Chorus of Friends”

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Artist: Triphazard

Album: Rushing Roulette

Must Listen Song: “Ribcage”

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Artist: The Unlikely Candidates

Album: Follow My Feet

Must Listen Song: “Just Breathe”

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Artist: Vinyl Pilot

Album: A Beautiful Disaster

Must Listen Song: “A Beautiful Disaster”

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Artist: We the Ghost

Album: Sinking Suspicion

Must Listen Song: “Take Somebody Home”

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Artist: White Elephant

Album: Greatest Hits, Vol. 1

Must Listen Song: “Song For The Sick And Hopeless”
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Top 10 Concerts of 2013:
1.)
Riverboat Gamblers on Tuesday, 8-20-2013 @ Rubber Gloves.
2.) The Dirty River Boys w/ Whiskey Folk & Matt the Cat Trio on Friday, 11-22-2013 @ Granada Theater.
3.) Nothing More w/ Little Sisters of the Poor, Ursa & The Last Place You Look on Friday, 6-21-2013 @ Trees.
4.) Ours on Saturday, 8-10-2013 @ The Prophet Bar.
5.) Twenty One Pilots on Thursday, 11-14-2013 @ House of Blues.
6.) Sick Puppies w/ Charming Liars on Tuesday, 9-17-2013 @ House of Blues.
7.) Band of Heathens w/ The Southern Renaissance & Jamie Wilson on Friday, 12-20-2013 @ Granada Theater.
8.) Centro-matic w/ Tony Ferraro & the Satans of Soft Rock on Thursday, 1-31-2013 @ Dan’s Silverleaf.
9.) Muse w/ Dead Sara on Wednesday, 3-13-2013 @ American Airlines Center.
10.) Ishi (Digital Wounds CD release show) on Friday, 5-3-2013 @ Granada Theater.
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There’s no doubt that 2013 was the best year yet for this little ol’ blog, in terms of traffic an such. I’d also have to say it was the most fun year I’ve had doing this thus far.

Let’s see; In all, I saw (and reviewed) 127 concerts this year. Marking not only my 500th concert, but also my 600th within this past 365 days. I attended my 100th concert (and then some) at my favorite venue, The Curtain Club. I went to SXSW (something I’ll hopefully repeat in 2014) for the first time ever, which was truly something else. The copious amounts of free music going on during that must be what heaven is like. Seriously, 10+ hour  days spent seeing a ton of bands from all over the world was great.

Aside from that, 2013 saw the official launch of On Tour Monthly, an online webzine I’m fortunate enough to be a staff writer for and contribute reviews to from time to time. There’s a ton of potential with that, and the websites already generating some good buzz, and it’s just a privilege to be a small part of it.

I also met and formed a partnership with a newer organization in the Dallas music scene; DFW Undercover.

So, as my seventh year of doing this draws to a close, I have to say, I feel good about it all. I’ve managed to carve out a good little niche for myself, but above that, I’ve met some awesome people, be them band members or fellow fans like myself.

And while I don’t say this nearly often enough, thanks to anyone and everyone who has ever visited this site. Thanks to everyone who has ever read anything I wrote or shared a review I did, or anything else that has been supportive. I’ve said since I started doing this that even if I can reach just one person and turn them on to a band they weren’t familiar with before, I’ll be satisfied. I still stand by that sentiment.

After all, whatever your passion is in, you don’t do that with the sole goal of getting famous or anything. Sure, that would be a nice by-product, but that’s not what it’s all about. Whether you’re a photographer, a musician, an aspiring writer like myself, or whatever, it’s about the sheer love you have for what you enjoy doing, because it’s an extension of yourself. And in the end, that’s more than enough.

Anyway, I hope you’ll all continue to enjoy the in-depth concert reviews I’ll be posting in the year to come.

Happy 2014!

  1. themusicenthusiast posted this