My top 5 of 2013:
1. Paramore - S/T
2. Against Me! - True Trans 7”
3. Superchunk - I Hate Music
4. Obits - Bed & Bugs
5. Their / They’re / There - S/T EP

Paramore’s S/T was my favorite record of the year and my favorite they have ever done. I definitely don’t put people in my list just because I shoot their photos, I just shoot photos of the bands I love. To be honest, if nothing but that record came out in 2013 I would have been fine with just it.

Honorable Mentions:
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - The Heist
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis get honorable mention because even though it came out in 2012, I did not hear it until this year and it is incredible.

The Postal Service - Give Up 10th Anniversary Deluxe
Postal Service gets honorable mention because even though I had most of the b-sides/rarities already “Turn Around” & “A Tattered Line Of String” were new and amazing.

12. Superchunk - “Me and You and Jackie Mittoo”

It begins and ends with a lapse in belief that plagues all self-aware listeners: “I hate music / What is it worth? / Can’t bring anyone back to this Earth.” In the intervening two minutes of “Me & You & Jackie Mittoo”, Mac McCaughan and his band of indie rock lifers do everything short of raising the dead in convincing themselves—and us—that music can be worth everything. Stitching together a song out of could-have-been choruses, the band reinvigorates clichés like loading up the van and sweet summer breezes, and hangs its title line on an inspirational figure a few genres over. It’s a perfect encapsulation of how both communal experience and unlikely, treasured record store scores can silence the pesky naysaying pragmatist lurking in the heart of music fans everywhere. And, as the members of Superchunk know well, a killer sing-along refrain never hurts, either.

Here’s the one entry I wrote for PopMatters’ singles list, up today. It hasn’t been a rich year of discovery for me, since stay-at-home parenting a toddler (even part-time) takes a huge chunk out of your listening time. Started a great, full-time library job two weeks ago, complete with some headphones-friendly responsibilities and bus commute, though, so 2014’s ballot may look a little more interesting (if not necessarily better, because I stand by these choices) than this year’s:

1.    Superchunk – “Me & You & Jackie Mittoo”
2.    Okkervil River – “Down Down the Deep River”
3.    Paramore – “Still Into You”
4.    Kanye West – “Bound 2”
5.    Chvrches – “Gun”

The Chvrches’ tune is the only one that didn’t end up fairly high on the PM list, but “The Mother We Share” (2012, guys!) did.


Superchunk - Throwing Things

I love that this is filmed in front of the Pete’s house from Pete and Pete.