Saturday, December 28, 2013

The 9th Green's Reader's Favorite Songs of 2013

Before I get to my favorite songs of the year, I am turning the site over to you that submitted your favorites of the past twelve months and after throwing them into my patent pending algorithm, this is the list that was outputted.

1. Get Lucky - Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams

2. Royals - Lorde

3. Blurred Lines - Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell

4. Mirrors - Justin Timberlake

5. Roar - Katy Perry

6. Can't Hold Us - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton

7. Black Skinhead - Kanye West

8. Thrift Shop - Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz

9. New Slaves - Kanye West

10. Song For Zula - Phosphorescent

11. Radioactive - Imagine Dragons

12. Pompeii - Bad Blood - Bastille

13. Just Give Me a Reason - P!nk featuring Nate Ruess

14. The Wire - Haim

15. Follow Your Arrow - Kacey Musgraves

16. Wake Me Up - Avicii

17. Falling - Haim

18. When I Was Your Man - Bruno Mars

19. Man - Neko Case

20. Q.U.E.E.N. - Janelle Monae featuring Erykah Badu

21. Reflektor - Arcade Fire

22. Play by Play - Autre Ne Veut

23. Wakin On a Pretty Day - Kurt Vile

24. Love Me Again - John Newman

25. Hannah Hunt – Vampire Weekend

Friday, December 27, 2013

The 25 Best Mash-Ups of 2013

Click on the mash-up name to be taken to YouTube or SoundCload where you can listen to them (and in some cases download). Click on the names of the orginal songs to download them via iTunes.

1. Personal Yeezus – Chambaland
Kanye West (Black Skinhead) vs. Depeche Mode (Personal Jesus)

2. A Man’s Game of Thrones World – Djrozroz
James Brown (It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World) vs. Ramin Djawadi (Main Title to Game of Thrones)

3. Mit Freaudlichen Gruben, Rosana – Lup
Wax (Rosana) vs. B.o.B. featuring Hayley Williams (Airplanes) vs. Die Fantastischen Vier (some weird German song) vs. Eminem (My Name Is) vs. Missy Elliott (Get Ur Freak On)

4. Polly G – Phil RetroSpector
Nirvana (Polly) vs. Bon Iver (Blood Bank) vs. Wings (Band On the Run)

5. Adornocene – The Hood Internet
Holocene (Holocene) vs. Adorn (Adorn)

6. Hey Jude, We Major / More Popular than Jesus – Tutanhamun Brothers
The Beatles (Hey Jude) vs. Kanye West featuring Nas and Really Doe (We Major)

7. Tommy’s Royal Christmas – DJ Schmolli
The Who (Christmas) vs. Lorde (Royals)

8. Blurred Mercy – DJ Y alias JY
Duffy (Mercy) vs. Robin Thicke (Blurred Lines)

9. Warriors of the World Care About Us – DJ Schmolli
Michael Jackson (They Don't Care About Us) vs. Manowar (Warriors of the World United)

10. The United States of Pop (Livin’ the Dream) – DJ Earworm

11. City Down Under – Mighty Mike
Men at Work (Down Under) vs. M83 (Midnight City)

12. The Royals From Liverpool – MashMike
Lorde (Royals) vs. The Beatles (Come Together)

13. Wake Up, Mary! – MashMike
Creedence Clearwater Revivial (Proud Mary) vs. Avicii (Wake Me Up)

14. Don’t Worry Be Perfect – DJ BC
CL Smooth and Skyzoo (Perfect Timing (Main)) vs. Bobby McFerrin (Don't Worry, Be Happy)

15. Lonely Boy in the Wild – Mighty Mike
The Black Keys (Lonely Boy) vs. Jay-Z and Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean (No Church in the Wild)

16. Run.Walk.Cruise – GaraGara
Kool G. Rap and DJ Polo (On The Run) vs. Smokey Robinson (Cruisin') vs. Dire Straits (Walk of Life)

17. Call Me a Hole – pomDeter
Nine Inch Nails (Head Like a Hole) vs. Carly Rae Jepsen (Call Me Maybe)

18. Under Treasure – The White Panda
Queen and David Bowie (Under Pressure) vs. Bruno Mars (Treasure)

19. Love Diamonds Theme – DeeM
Rihanna (Diamonds) vs. Barry White (Love's Theme)

20. Lose Yourself to Dance (I Can’t) – DJ Y alias JY
Genesis (I Can't Dance) vs. Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams (Lose Yourself to Dance)

21. Wake up Down Under – Kill mR DJ
Men at Work (Down Under) vs. Avicii featuring Aloe Blacc (Wake Me Up)

22. Heaven on Fire – DJ BootOX
Kings of Leon (Sex On Fire) vs. Bruno Mars (Locked Out of Heaven)

23. Roar of Faith – Mighty Mike
Katy Perry (Roar) vs. George Michael (Faith)

24. Red Hot Wonder – Addictive TV
Red Hot Chili Peppers (Give It Away) vs. Stevie Wonder (Superstition)

25. Roar (The Brave Radio Edit) – MixmstrStel
Katy Perry (Roar) vs. Sara Bareilles (Brave)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The 50 Best Music Videos of 2013

I have embedded the first couple video click the links to the others to be taken to YouTube. If you are interesting in downloading the videos, click on the iTunes badge.

1. Like a Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan

2. Hopeless Wanderer - Mumford and Sons

3. Royals (International Version) - Lorde

4. Berzerk - Eminem

5. Diane Young - Vampire Weekend

6. Holding On for Life - Broken Bells

7. Hard Out Here - Lily Allen

8. Come and Get It - Selena Gomez

9. The Woodpile - Frightened Rabbits

10. Blurred Lines (Unrated Verion) - Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell

11. Shot at the Night - The Killers

12. Sacrilege - Yeah Yeah Yeahs

13. Her Favorite Song - Mayer Hawthorne

14. Rap God - Eminem

15. Lego House (Lego Version) - Ed Sheeran

16. Stubborn Love - The Lumineers

17. Hot Knife - Fiona Apple

18. Team - Lorde

19. A Tattered Line of String - The Postal Service

20. Radioactive - Image Dragons

21. Torpedo (Lyric Video) - Jillette Johnson

22. Hearts Like Ours - The Naked and Famous

23. My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light 'em Up) - Fall Out Boys

24. Over It - The Crystal Method featuring Dia Frampton

25. Too Drunk to Karaoke - Jimmy Buffett with Toby Keith

26. Breakfast Can Wait - Prince

27. Primetime - Janelle Monae featuring Miguel

28. Gorilla - Bruno Mars

29. Another Is Waiting - The Avett Brothers

30. Babel - Mumford and Sons

31. Odds Are - Barenaked Ladies

32. Trying to Be Cool - Phoenix

33. The Monster - Eminem featuring Rihanna

34. Pompeii - Bastille

35. Cups - Anna Kendrick

36. Nosetagia - Pusha T featuring Kendrick Lamar

37. Nothing Here but Love - Lenka

38. U Should Know Better - Robyn featuring Snoop Dogg

39. Song for Zula - Phosphorescent

40. Ways to Go - Grouplove

41. Follow Your Arrow - Kacey Musgraves

42. Graceless - The National

43. Still into You - Paramore

44. I Got You - Jack Johnson

45. Everything Has Changed - Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran

46. Night Time, My Time - Sky Ferrera

47. Two Black Cadillacs - Carrie Underwood

48. Mama's Broken Heart - Miranda Lambert

49. 365 Days - ZZ Ward

50. Roar - Katy Perry

Monday, December 23, 2013

The 25 Best Albums of 2013

While compiling this list I was tempted to put Beyoncé first even though I have not listened to the whole thing yet because even though it may not have the best collection of songs, Beyoncé won the year. While everyone else was trying to come up with a new way to market an album, Beyonce just went, “how quaint Katy Perry and your gold plated semi truck, I am dropping my album in the middle of the night on Thursday without any promotion and sell twice as many records.”

When I compiled this list last year, I was having problems because nothing seemed worthy of number one or even top ten for that matter. I chalked it up to listening music almost exclusively on shuffle. Basically when an album is released I would listen to it five to ten time, then the best songs go into shuffle never to be heard in its entirety again. So my New Year’s Resolution was to listen to at least one full album a day. And that worked, to a point, I am more content with this year’s list than last.

But Beyoncé really showed what is really hurting my enjoyment of albums: over-promotion. Much like no movies live up to the hype of their trailers anymore, the incisive promotion is so over the top by the time you hear it will inevitable be a letdown. The best songs were probably already released as promos and really all that is left if filler. And the promotion cycle has increased so much they last almost as long as presidential campaigns. Just this year, Drake released his first single in early February for an album that was not released until late September.

Granted some could argue that Beyoncé did not completely avoid marketing for this album considering she dropped a couple songs just prior to Super Bowl performance that were met with a resounding yawn. So instead of throwing more songs at the wall hoping something would stick, she finished the album on her terms and let everyone dissect it at once as a whole work of art, not parceled out over a couple months. And therein lies the problem with the current promotion cycle, by the time album is released, everyone has already downloaded the best song or two song that were pre-released as singles and have already moved on to the next big album that just dropped their new single. And in an era of diminishing album sales, Beyoncé was the first to figure out how to get people to buy your album, stop teasing and just give it to them. And it worked brilliantly. Just look at her first week sales which like every other artist were receding:

Dangerously in Love (2003): 317,000
B’Day (2006): 541,000
I Am… Sasha Fierce (2008): 482,000
4 (2011): 310,000
Beyoncé (2013): 617,000

And keep in mind Beyoncé was only available on iTunes and not physically, and that is only three days worth of sales instead of the usual six. Now the question is will this become the norm? Probably not, you have to be a global superstar like Beyoncé to pull this off and looking at next year, the only artists who may be releasing albums that could pull a stunt like this off could be U2, Taylor Swift (though she is the rare artists who's numbers are going up with each album), and Shakira (except she has already announced the date of her first single so she really cannot drop her album out of nowhere now). I do not think people will flock to iTunes to get that new Colbie Caillat album if dropped out of nowhere. Hopefully record companies do look at this and at least shorten the pre-album promotional period to a month or less.

So yeah, Beyoncé is not on this list, but the album just won the year because I spent over a page talking about it on my Best Albums of 2013 and I barely listened to it (my two word review: it’s alright; that only furthers the reason for a shorter promotion period, get the people to buy it before they realize it is only just okay; just imagine her first sales week if the album dropped a month or two after Bow Down was released; my guess it would have been lower than 4). So without further ado, here are the best albums of the year that I actually listen to all the way through (my original reviews are under each album for those that I did review while the album title goes to Amazon and the artist will take you to their iTunes page):

1. The Civil Wars - The Civil Wars
I Don’t Want to Fight but I’ll Fight For You if I Have To

2. Same Trailer Different Park - Kacey Musgraves
Woke up on the Wrong Side of Rock Bottom

3. Modern Vampires of the City - Vampire Weekend
Musings from the Back 9: Music Edition XV

4. Pure Heroine - Lorde
I’m Kinda Over Being Told to Throw My Hands in the Air

5. Days Are Gone - Haim
Nothings Gonna Wake Me Now Cause Im a Slave to the Sound

6. If You Leave - Daughter

7. From Here to Now to You - Jack Johnson
Musings from the Back 9: Music Edition XVII

8. The Electric Lady - Janelle Monáe
I am Sharper than a Razor, Eyes Made of Lasers

9. The Marshall Mathers LP2 - Eminem
Lets Take it Back to Straight Hip-Hop and Start it from Scratch

10. The Stand-In - Caitlin Rose

11. Mountains of Sorrow, Rivers of Song - Amos Lee

12. Lightning Bolt - Pearl Jam
Everybody’s Thinking That They’ll All Be Delivered Save it in a Box Like Lost and Found

13. Paradise Valley - John Mayer
A Little Bit of Summer Is What the Whole Year’s All About

14. Magpie and the Dandelion - The Avett Brothers
Let Me See Your Skeleton Well Before Your Life Is Done

15. Where Does This Door Go - Mayer Hawthorne
When the Music's on She Can Do No Wrong

16. Mechanical Bull - Kings of Leon
Musings from the Back 9: Music Edition XVIII

17. The Bones of What You Believe - Chvrches

18. In Rolling Waves - The Naked and Famous
Musings from the Back 9: Music Edition XVII

19. Like a Rose - Ashley Monroe

20. Wise Up Ghost - Elvis Costello and The Roots
Musings from the Back 9: Music Edition XVII

21. AM - Arctic Monkeys

22. Girl Talk - Kate Nash
Words Are Only in My Mouth

23. Don't Look Down - Skylar Grey
Someone’s Gonna Get Hurt and it’s not Gonna Be Me

24. Annie Up - Pistol Annies
Musings from the Back 9: Music Edition XIV

25. The Blessed Unrest - Sara Bareilles
Say What You Wanna Say and Let the Words Fall Out