Thursday, February 13, 2014

Big Sexy Top 20 Songs of 2013

I am a glass half full type of guy. At least I like to see myself that way. My knee has been killing me for a long time, but I can see the day in which I can round third base, pain-free, legs pumping as fast as they can, and be thrown out by 30 feet at the plate. I look forward to running down the sideline of my son’s football game as part of the chain gang after their defense has given up another long play.

When I look back at 2013 musically, I think of the new bands I was turned onto, the bands I just now have started to appreciate to their fullest and some of the good times music has given me. This was the year that Spotify has changed the way I listen to/own music. It was the year Key & Peele taught me what “dub-step” actually sounds like. (Key & Peele was a wonderful addition to my life in 2013! If you are not watching it yet, please do.)

I haven’t figured out the theme of the Top 20 of 2013 yet. 2011 was the year is foul language. 2012 was the year of horns. Maybe by the end of this post, I will figure it out. Without further ado, I present the Big Sexy Top 20 songs of 2013. Wait, here’s a little more ado: New rule for this year on top of the “it doesn’t really have to be from 2013, just new to ME” in 2013 is that I didn’t want to repeat any bands in the Top 20. Also, this Top 20 is more of the “Upbeat Top 20” as the Top Cool Out Songs will be released soon and many of those are some of my absolute favorite songs of the year. Is that enough ado? Make sure to click on the highlighted text for video accompaniment. 

Fave Lyric: She’s up all night till the sun. I’m up all night to get some. She’s up all night for good fun. I’m up all night to get lucky.

Yes, it’s disco. Yes, the lyrics are a little repetitive. But, this was easily the song of summer, despite some people that were influenced by the other Pharrell Williams collaborated song with the naked girls and son of the 80’s sitcom dad. There is just a great groove to this song. Even though I have heard it hundreds of times by now, it still makes my hips wiggle and my soul smile. Does that Fave Lyric above not spell out the conflicting attitudes of guys in the club?

The video in the link is the official video of the song. Kinda boring, but it does remind you that these French wierdos always were helmets. Vive le robots! Another favorite TV/Music crossover is this video from “Stephest Colbchella‘013” showing that this song makes everyone want to dance. Ima steal his spinning dance move with the arms up halfway. Watch out, Mrs. Sexy!

Fave Lyric: I sat by the ocean. And drank a potion, baby, to erase you. Face down in the boulevard, yeah, I couldn’t face you.

I am always a little worried when a band I really, really love comes out with a new album. QOTSA has been one of my favorite bands for nearly a decade, but due to Josh Homme’s health issues and the fact that he apparently cannot work with the same people in his band for very long, they have not released a new album in four years.

I don’t love the first song on the album. In fact in might be my least favorite song in the whole playlist. I was very nervous. But then the second song, I Sat by the Ocean kicks off as good of a quartet of songs as I can remember. In fact it’s those four songs, as a group, which belong in this slot. It starts with a kinda whiny, slide guitar lick and is joined by the Fave Lyric about 30 seconds in. It just sets the tone for some sour news ahead for clearly a troubled man. This song shows the angst of someone who clearly is nearing bottom. The chorus is “you, me and your lies”. I don’t think these kids are going to work out. It has all of cool swagger I love from the Queens. He is clearly rocking by the end of the song. 

The album then segue ways beautifully into one of the Top Cool Outs, The Vampyre of Time and Memory . Climbs out slowly into If I Had a Tail  and wraps up with the blistering My God is the Sun. Epic!

Fave Lyric: Wanna be fit but I don’t like runnin, then I see you I wish I done sumthin.

Had a hard time picking one song off of one of my favorite albums of the year. Down with the Trumpets was the Big Sexy song of 2012. RIzzle Kicks came right back out in 2013 with an even stronger album even if they were unable to crack the top song of the year. This is still a fun song sampling one of my favorite One Hit Wonder songs of all time, EMF’s Unbelievable. I love this cheeky British band’s happy hip hop. They love horns and just having fun. It is infectious. They want everyone to have fun with them. I bet their concerts are just one big party. I’m not surprised the video is fun as well. This band doesn’t quell my desire to move to London.

Fave Lyric: Put our hands UP like the ceiling can’t hold us.

I know this list is kinda mainstream so far considering my typical musical influences, but Macklemore cannot be denied this year. There are a ton of versions of this song out there: pretty white girl acoustic, GaelicOhio State Marching Band, and my favorite, over highlights of the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl.   I know it is white guy wrap, but the drop into the Ray Dalton verses and the female background singers and the horns really make this song. In fact, there might be too much Macklemore. It’s a high energy song that makes me bob my head when I hear it. I can’t even considerate it rap (and neither can rap fans who put their own hands up when the Grammy was announced).

Fave Lyric: I know I know I know you’re gonna be ok anyway.

This can’t-break-up song really started hitting big after the sisters appears on SNL a few months back. It’s got a catchy, hand-clap feel and is just a good song. Pretty funny video of the poor broken hearted dumpees.

Fave Lyric: We got hella people. They got helicopters.

Love this Wiz inspired video. The Coup is a funk rock protest band from Oaktown. Preach! This album hit me at the end of 2012, but this song didn’t hit heavy rotation for me until 2013. Many choice cuts off their album Sorry to Bother You. Give it a spin and fight the power.

Fave Lyric: [heavy Breathing with the Drums]

Kanye West is crazy. The question is, is he crazy like a fox or just crazy like a nut job? There has never been a more narcissistic public performer. No one loves Yezzus like Yezzus. As much as I want to dislike this guy, it is impossible to not love this drum intro. This beat is one that stays with you. Big ups to the guy who made this video so I don’t have to look at Kanye while I watch. I haven’t seen The Wolf of Wall Street but this song’s inclusion in the trailer only makes me want to see it more. Plus, I love this gif of a dancing Leonardo.

Fave Lyric: I can fuhk or I can fight, it don’t matter to me.

KOL get their rock back on in this hard rock burner. This song is short and sweet. It doesn’t quite take me to where I think they used to be. It’s new. It is like a combination of old KOL and QOTSA. This song is a standout on their mostly ok album released this year. It is a good album in a down year for albums. This song would be choice in any year. The album will not be considered one of my favorite albums by this band.

Fave Lyric: None

I love the animated video! I feel very much the same about this song and album as I just mentioned in the Kings of Leon comment. Good album in a down year for albums. This song is a clear standout. Not one of my favorite Pearl Jam albums of all time. This song sounds a lot like Spin the Black Circle from a classic PJ album from 20 years ago. 

This is an album that I loved. I know it is a comedy album, but they really do have some serious chops. This is the probably the cleanest song on the album. There are several fun yet catchy songs on the album. This song has an Adam Levine chorus and a Kenrdrick Lamar verse and has a good beat. It is a clever take on the already played out YOLO tag line that all the kids liked to throw around for about 6 months. Man, the expiration date on cool things gets shorter and shorter. As an old guy, I can certainly see the lesson of YOLO is to be extra careful not extra dangerous.

Fave Lyric: I know there’s better brothers, but you’re the only one that’s mine.

This a discovery band. This song is from 2006, but I love the unique sound these guys are putting out. A deeper baritone than The National. This song has kind of a punk-rockabilly hybrid. Is that a violin in this song? I was sure this band was from Texas, especially after hearing Spring Break-1899 (that will be on the Cool Out list), but I was surprised to hear they are from the Midwest. This is a great song about a guy still being loyal and loving to his loser brother despite all the years of misdeeds. I love that it tells a story all the way through.

Fave Lyric: Simmer down and pucker up. OR Ever thought of calling when you’ve had a few? Cause I always do.

(Watch the video full screen on as big of a screen as possible!) Arctic Monkeys came back with a strong album this year, helped out by the one and only, Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age. It is easy to hear his influence throughout the record, but specifically on this song. With a different voice, I would think this WAS the Queens of the Stone Age. However, I do love his accent. This song has the same cool rock swagger that I love from QOTSA. This song is about a guy who is infatuated with a girl but is afraid to find out if his feelings are requited.

Fave lyric: I know my life can be my life

Nice driving beat. The song seems like a throwback to something for me, but I can’t put my hand on it. This song ended up growing on me. I don’t think I ever thought it would end up on the Top 20 when I first heard it.

Fave Lyric: do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do

I know this is poppy and/or hipster, but it just sticks with me and I love it. This might not be a band or song that I love if I heard it too much, but in 2013 I heard it just the right amount. This band actually has another very listenable pop song called Fred Astaire which sounds like a poppy Strokes. 

Fave lyric : If that’s what’s normal now, I don’t wanna know.

I really ended up loving Arcade Fire’s last album, The Suburbs, after I was a bit incredulous as to why they had such a positive independent reputation. I didn’t get it. I eventually did get it and don’t know why I was missing it for so long. I have listened to their long awaited follow up for quite a bit now and it does not approach The Suburbs or their wonderful 2004 album, Funeral, that I only discovered after falling for the band. I keep giving it chances because I expect it to click with me eventually. But maybe Arcade Fire will fall in line with Pearl Jam and Kings of Leon of being a band I love that put out a record that I don’t necessarily love. This song has a harder edge that Arcade Fire can put together every once in a while. It has a jangly piano and kind of a Pixies sound to it. So far, at least, this song is a stand out on another “not top” album of a band I like.

Fave lyric: You’re too mean, I don’t like you. Fuck you anyway.

I love the dreamy sound of the band, The XX. The XX are very sparse, with a kind of atmospheric mellow pop sensibility. The Neighborhood sounds a lot like The XX to me in a good way. They are a little harder and don’t have the female give and take. They had a big hit in another good song, SweaterWeather. That song is a little overplayed and not quite as good as Afraid.

Fave lyric – Fall in, fall in, fall in.

Cloud Nothings were a new band for me last year and made the Top 20 with Stay Useless from the same album, Attack on Memory. Fall In is a quick blast of energy. The singer has a rawness to his voice and you can’t really understand what he is saying when he really gets going, but the tone chorus of “Fall In” seems like that is what is going on – there is some frantic mess that you can’t understand, then you “Fall in, fall in, fall in”.

Fave lyric – o o o o o o o oo o, o o o o o oo o

Welcome back to the ‘80s! I am a sucker for repetitive nonsense words in an upbeat song. I had no chance against this song.

This song kinda fits with Fitz above for me. This is such a happy song and the video is so positive. I think I am going to burst from happy feelings watching it! Watch for my cameo at the 1:48 mark of this video. At least that how I saw myself when I was kicking around town with a walker.

Fave lyric - You’re from the 70’s but I’m a 90’s bitch.

This song is bordering on overplay and it has suffered from it. I’m going to sneak it on the list as I thought it was a very cool song when it came out. These Swedes give zero fucks. The song hit big when it was used as the musical score Lena Dunham’s cocaine blow out on Girls. It has now transitioned to being the music for the latest Bratz movie. That is a very large drop in coolness. Not being a fan of either cocaine nor Bratz, my enjoyment of the song happened in the middle of its coolness.


There it is. The Big Sexy Top 20 Songs of 2013. A little tardy. I’m sure these are all in the rearview mirror now, but hopefully there is a new nugget or two that you can take out of it and enjoy in 2014. I suppose the theme is non-sense poppy songs and disappointing albums from superstars of rock. That isn’t a great theme. I’ll keep noodling…

No comments: