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Diva Death Match: Miley vs. Cher

CherMiley
It’s Hannah Montana against the “Half-Breed” goddess. Have a nice, clean fight, ladies:

It’s been a solid five months since PW last pitted some divas at each other’s throats. It doesn’t take much: dropping a record or sharing separate city stages on the same night or in the same week, maybe dropping a single that jockeys for another pop master’s top chart position. This week, Miley Cyrus and the incomparable Cher visit the Wells Fargo Center seven days apart. Typically, in the Diva Death Match world, I’ll take that as a white glove to the face—a frigid and intimidating stare. En garde!

We’ve applied the same five point-earning categories in every installment of this diva-celebrating contest, and Cyrus and Cher are no exception. They’re suited up—Cher in a Bob Mackie robe and Miley in plastic-wrap coochie cutters—and they look ready to do battle. Let’s see what happens!

‘HOODNESS
Neither of these gals have a shred of real-deal street cred. But Cyrus tries (way too hard) to claim urban “realness” and—in grand fashion, thanks to “We Can’t Stop”—fails pretty miserably. Her large women-of-color props are red flags. You ain’t ‘hood, girl: You can throw on a grill and light up a blunt, but we all know you’re Billy Ray’s former-child-star daughter from Richkidville, Tennessee. Cher, on the other hand, has been around so long and done so many legit collaborations with artists who have genuine “urban radio” appeal, she’s like the O.G. of divas. You do not fuck with her.

Cyrus: 1, Cher: 3

SINGLES AND SALES
Clearly, if we were looking at sheer numbers, Cher has a whopping 25 albums to her name, including ‘98’s wildly successful Believe. But Cyrus’ Bangerz is less than a year old, and it’s platinum. Her singles have moved many units, and she shows no sign of slowing down. At this point, she’s poised to keep selling millions of records by shitting on the mic in the studio and having Nelly rap a verse while Mike WiLL Made It cleans it up. The children will cough it up on iTunes. That doesn’t stop Cher superfans from going out and buying every new record she puts out on vinyl, disc, tape and any other hard-copy format you can find.

Cyrus: 5, Cher: 4

FIERCENESS
The all-encompassing X-factor can really give a gal the edge. And fierceness can register on the radars of style, grace, dance abilities, showmanship, star power or simply glamour. There are certainly droves of queer people and folks born before 1970 who will swear that Cher is the epitome of a fierce diva. She has that regal, self-aware, surreal superstar status but doesn’t even seem to try—she’s like the Queen of Barely Moving. And while I’ve applauded Cyrus’ go-fuck-yourself attitude and blatant pot-smoking badassery, she ain’t that fierce. Who will ever forget her gross MTV Video Music Awards performance, backing up that flat azz onto Robin Thicke’s prison-striped crotch? S’gonna be tough to live that lowpoint down.

Cyrus: 2, Cher: 4

VOCAL CHOPS
Strangely, this is a pretty weird category for these two. Do you love Cher because she can wail like a goat with elegance? Do Cyrus superfans not love her lawnmower hum? In the last half of her career, Cher’s taken to over-the-top ridiculous and super-produced dancefloor anthems that seem like pretty trite gay fodder. (Have you given 2013’s Closer to the Truth a spin? Listen to “Take It Like A Man,” and try not to smirk and raise eyebrows.) But it’s still great. And even though Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” doesn’t have much room for vocal performance, “Wrecking Ball” and “Adore You” do. Cher’s looking strong, but Cyrus turned up the heat in this round.

Cyrus: 3, Cher: 3

CLOUT
Cher was in “Moonstruck,” and her video for “If I Could Turn Back Time” in ‘89—Miley wasn’t born yet—was banned by MTV for her risque clothing. She’s got an Oscar, a Grammy, an Emmy, Golden Globes and a Cannes award. And though Cyrus has probably got some Kid’s Choice Awards on a mantle somewhere and will pick up a few boring Billboard Music Awards, she ain’t got shit on Cher. The ref—oh, look, it’s Cyndi Lauper!—raises Cher’s bejeweled arm. Maybe next time, youngster.

Cyrus: 4, Cher: 5

TOTALS: Cher: 19, Cyrus: 15.

Miley Cyrus: Mon., April 21, 7pm. $49.50-$89.50. Cher: Mon., April 28, 7:30pm. $25-$156. Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St. wellsfargocenterphilly.com



Designers to watch: Kurt Souder and Jennifer Burks’ Weft

PWSPWS2When Kurt Souder and Jennifer Burks got a prompt from the folks at Philadelphia Fashion Week to whip up a capsule collection, it sparked something in their creative trajectory. They’d both been toying with ideas and designs, but hadn’t been given the opportunity to show fashion-y people what they’re all about—that is, until last month, when they ushered out a handful of looks that ended up being some of the most memorable of the whole show. And on a three-week time budget.

PWS3Their brand, Weft, is picking up steam, and so are they. Specializing in tailored pants and capitalizing on their unique perspectives on menswear, especially sportswear, the two are poised for a busy spring. Last night, they showed me their collection and had a model (read: roommate) wear a few looks for perspective. For a capsule collection, a handful of garments created to express a shared aesthetic, this one’s pretty robust. There’s room for improvement, but their staples and standards are what keep the line strong: well-tailored and constructed pants, beautifully-cut five-pocket jeans, hand-painted “patterns” and a cohesion that celebrates an attitude they like to call “dressing in the dark.”

That descriptor doesn’t have to mean that your house was on fire, and you grabbed the nearest five garments to be covered in the event of a fire drill in winter. For Souder and Burks, it’s about cultivating a wardrobe that works together, no matter the combination. They showed me three graphic print tees (perhaps the last they’ll make) that illustrate objects exploding, visuals bolstered by Souder’s self-taught leather cutting and hand-painted detailing. They see the tees as a layering tool, something to wear with a strong pant and a blazer or under a waffle henley.

PWS4But it’s the tailoring of the pants that caught my eye the most. Their pinched seams, that run down the front of the pant like an outward pleat (but also like a simple fold-line), create a visual intrigue that adds to the garments’ strength. A perfectly effortless but gorgeous pair of dark denim looked like it’d belong in an A.P.C. rack at Barney’s. The simplicity of a black wool turtleneck with an asymmetrical hidden neck zip, not unlike something you’d find at LuLu Lemon but kicked up in sophistication, looked comfortably and perfectly paired with their jean.

I told them that with a line of 20 variations of those jeans and that sweater, I’d be waiting in line to get my size.

Philadelphia isn’t notorious for cradling and cultivating fashion talent, but these two friends—who go back to pre-teen days at Moore’s extracurricular art classes on weekends—are in it to win it in the menswear game. Whereas Commonwealth Proper and Suit Supply may corner a specifically higher-end and suiting market, Souder and Burks hope the everyday wear and flawless construction of their sportswear is something they’ll see on all kinds of men walking down Walnut one day.



“The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” debuted with Will Smith—and a whimper, not a bang

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Last night was late-night history: Jimmy Fallon took over the coveted spot as host of NBC’s fabled “Tonight Show.” It felt like an event, something that had to be watched. Turns out, it was a bit of a soft opening. It was pretty vanilla. But some help from Fallon’s friends made it at least somewhat memorable.

The Roots seem extraordinarily front-and-center. Folks who pull sound bytes out of Tariq and Quest are now a little preoccupied with the notion that they could have this job for decades—that they’ll grow old backing Fallon up. And it’s really something that they can be a corny, PG and ma-and-pa-friendly intro and improv-for-a-joke band, then turn around and make a record like undun. They were more exciting to see than U2, Fallon’s first musical guest, which is just a little bit on the terrible tip. I actually listened to Boy (1980), October (1981) and War (1983) recently, to try to cool it on the U2 hate, and was reminded that they used to be really sick. But for now, they’re half-UN ambassadors and half-corporate puppets—in my eyes, anyway.

Fallon’s opening monologue turned into a really watered-down description of himself and the show. I did dig his upstate NY shout-out (Saugerties is a 30-minute drive from where I grew up, Red Hook, and home to the delicious El Rancho on Route 32), but his showing us where he’ll stand (on a four-leaf clover) and where he’ll come out (that big, beautiful curtain) was pretty unnecessary.

He finally got to an actual bit, saying that he was owed money for a bet, and a friend would be stopping by to settle up. Uh, there were several. Among them, Robert DeNiro, Lady Gaga, Sarah Jessica-Parker, Seth Rogen, Mariah Carey, Lindsay Lohan and a scene-stealing visit from Stephen Colbert—who poured his bet money out in pennies,then took a selfie while Fallon rolled his eyes.

Will Smith, more Philly representation, was his “first guest ever,” and frankly, he was boring. Minus the uber-fab “Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing” (Please watch it below), they kind of just smiled at each other a lot while Fallon asked boring questions about the Olympics and Will’s kids. Yawn.

U2 did a rooftop performance of a song that I basically tuned out. I really hope I’m not the only one who thinks Bono is insufferable. One of my favorite bits, in fact, was poking fun of Bono’s willingness and ability to give an acceptance speech, for all the manifestations of his unrelenting philanthropy. He was dared to give one about his water mug, and he did. It almost felt like the humor was lost on him, and that added to the deliciousness.

Tonight’s guests look way better: Jerry Seinfeld, Kristen Wiig and Gaga. (Why couldn’t that have been the lineup last night?) Or will he continue to explain that this is his second night, that he’ll sit at a desk, or that his unsung hero, Steve Higgins, will periodically save his bombs? C’mon, Jimmy—don’t make me regret my thrill that Jay Leno’s gone and the show’s come back to New York.

FYI: Brad Cooper and Tim McGraw are Wednesday night; First Lady Michelle Obama, Will Ferrell and Arcade Fire are on Thursday night, and a full night of Justin Timberlake’ll conclude Week One.

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Mike Shaffer talks Mondo Trasho, a new queer party at The Barbary

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I used to go to Stash often. Like every week. It was so fun: Up in the suite (no cover), you and a dozen friends, $5 citywides with Jameson, and practically no one there until midnight, when everyone packed it in to get down with electroclash jams, riot grrrl anthems and ratchet radio pop. It was an oasis for folks like me, who fear the weekend crowd at Philly’s gay “clubs” because they became overly populated with college kids, muscleheads and meth daddies. Well, Mike Shaffer, who DJ’d Stash and kept his pulse on grit glam in our little queer universe, has picked up where Stash left off (lifeless at Rosewood), taken it to Fishtown and expanded the scope. Mondo Trasho is coming! Hide ya wife, hide ya kids, and shake all your tailfeathers tomorrow night.

So, what’s the idea behind the party, and how’d this process get started? How long have you been waiting for this?
Corey Griffith met John Redden through making his coffee at Rocket Cat Cafe and also by frequenting The Barbary. They discussed the lack of queer nights or queer bars in Fishtown. Corey just recently met Jake (Skull†Kid) [Nuxoll], and Jake and I have been friends for a long time and have DJ’d together for a year and some change. Corey asked us to come together to come up with a party. We met with John back in November to create the party. We want to embody an edgier side of queer culture without taking it too seriously. We got some help to work on a logo, flyer design, drink tickets, pins, visuals, and we’re going to have Pretty Girl perform at our first party this Wednesday. It’s been a process, but it’s been really fun.

MT2Why Mondo Trasho, and what do you think it, and the accompanying iconography, communicates to party-goers?
Mondo Trasho was John Waters’ first feature film. Corey told me that it loosely means “remarkable trash.” While we don’t intend the party to be complete trash, per se, we definitely have an edge and don’t mind a little sloppiness. We’re intending to create a space where a crowd of artsy, diverse queers and their friends can party to an open format of music and talk about how exciting it was the next day. The iconography is meant to be eye-catching and sexy, as sexiness is definitely a theme of this party. We shouldn’t be afraid to be a little sexy while on the dance floor, right?

Can you say a little about that hour-long mix folks can be listening to in anticipation of this party? Is this meant to be an indication of what will get spun there?
The mix is really just a small sample of what an hour at the party could feel like. We wanted it to flow so people could get a feel of it at the gym, at work, on the bus, while dancing in their underwear or whatever. We’re going to also be playing a lot of rock ‘n roll and punk rock anthems, but those genres don’t quite translate into a mix with dancier house and electro beats.

MT3Will this have a different feel from Stash by not being weekly and not being in the Gayborhood?
It didn’t help that Stash was on a Tuesday, but for two years, Stash made Tuesdays the shit. We still get people telling us that they miss that party. Mondo Trasho will have a different feel, but we have the opportunity to have a larger space with a potentially larger draw. Stash was amazing, and it’s where I got into DJing, but Mondo Trasho will bring more to the plate. We queers don’t just party in the Gayborhood! Also, this party will be bi-weekly, so the space between the parties will give us time to prepare new music and performances.

What kind of special events will you try to make happen, and are you lining up live performances, as well? Pretty Girl’s gonna be at the premiere? Her stock is on the rise!
Pretty Girl is a friend of ours and is definitely one to watch out for. We’re excited to have her perform for our opening night and in the future. We’re going to be having performers, guest hosts and a rotating line-up of guest DJs from all over. We’re just beginning.

Who do you think are the avant garde dance music artists that the gays should be squealing for when the beat hits ‘em at 1 a.m., instead of the run-of-the-mill pop divas that get gays to take their shirts off at Woody’s?
While we intend to throw in some interesting takes on pop music and throwback jams for sure, you should be excited to hear Cakes Da Killa, Roxy Cottontail, Mykki Blanco, Mt. Sims, Nicky Da B, Lords Of Acid, Miss Kittin, The Knife, Kid Sister, X-Ray Spex, Le Youth, Disclosure, Deee-Lite. We have a lot of surprises.

Anything else?
The debut party is free. We also have Pretty Hate Machine upstairs, which is a really awesome darker music dance party. Mondo Trasho will be the second and fourth Wednesday of every month, starting this Wednesday. While this is “our” party, as in the LGBTQ community’s, we want everyone to come and have a crazy time.



Let’s talk about the Grammys

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Pharrell wore dumb hats; Daft Punk cleaned up, and Bucks County got shouted out by LL in his opening monologue.

We’re in the thick of it now. All the award shows are happening, and they make for great Sunday night drinking buddies. For instance, the Golden Globes two Sundays ago were great fun, mostly because of the dazzling Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Their opening monologue was killer, and sadly, they weren’t able to deliver much comedy after the grand opening. The show, though, felt short and sweet. Not even close to the tired, three-and-a-half hour affair that CBS put up last night.

The Grammy Awards are much less about the host and the presenters, but all about the “once-in-a-lifetime” (they’re not) performance combinations and the winners of this purportedly prestigious award. Like we mentioned in our between-nominations-and-awards breakdown, there’s room for improvement in the who-wins and who-gets-nominated departments.

Certainly, a tone was set with Beyonce’s “Drunk In Love” opening. And that tone was she runs this town. Well, she and her husband. Jamie Foxx made really awkward jokes of a sexual nature, even admitting said awkwardness because he brought his 20-year-old daughter as his date, as he presented the award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (that Jay Z won for “Holy Grail“). If we were to nitpick, which we are sometimes wont to do, it was a touch disappointing that Bey wasn’t singing live (or at least, not until her husband joined her onstage). She was definitely using a live-sung backing track, kind of like she did when she sang at Obama’s inauguration, but she made the choice to focus on being wet and dancing provocatively and suggestively, and that’s okay sometimes. Pitchfork posted the performance almost immediately after it aired, and you should’ve seen the haters trash it on the site’s Facebook stream. Seems like there are still tons of people who are unwilling to admit that we are just living in Bey’s world.

Lorde’s the big winner for a human in the business that doesn’t seem already-spoiled by riches and fame. Her win for Song of the Year felt momentous. So did her performance; it was a little bizarre, but (for the most part) in a good way. She was definitely giving off some Wednesday Addams vibes with long, straight black hair, pail skin and a very dark, almost black lip. She also had a creepy velociraptor vibe percolating with stiffly-angled arms and metal-capped fingertips. It seemed like she was destined for mean things to be said about her on Twitter, but her acceptance speeches (she also won for Best Pop Solo Performance) were charmingly modest, even for a hunchy 17-year-old.

Probably the biggest story is the gay one. Macklemore cleaned up. And when he performed “Same Love” with Mary Lambert, Queen Latifah came out (on stage) and officiated 33 marriages, some same-sex and some hetero, only for 55-year-old Madonna to open a faux door and start yodeling “Open Your Heart.” It was pretty awful. The premise is all there. Very sweet. Everyone’s equal. Love is love. But Queen La refuses to talk about her own seemingly queer inclinations (she has participated in Out fests and lauds the merits of same-sex marriage, but vehemently denies access to her own sexual preference). In fact, the post-performance press conference that aired on E!, where she gets pelted with questions along these lines, was downright painful to watch.

And that doesn’t even begin to express the hate we have for the Grammys for letting The Heist beat out every single rap nomination of the night. Literally, dude beat Kendrick Lamar in every category they shared and then went on to Instagram an apology/admission of confusion that Lamar won nothing. “Thrift Shop” won Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance. Sure seems like maybe the Grammy turds were trying to slap Macklemore on the back with a “NICE ONE!” But he’s straight, brought his fiancee and (perhaps hacked) seemed ebullient that he was in fact completely heterosexual.

Oh, yeah—those living Beatles (Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr) were trotted out in a super-boring and long-winded fashion. Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson were charming but stiff together. Kacey Musgraves was adorable in twinkly-lit cowboy boots and neon landscaping (she won for Best Country Song and Best Country Album). Imagine Dragons were super-hyped to share the stage with Kendrick’s flows, but it felt like a hip-hop/metal hybrid that harkened back to Nickelback days, which were really scary times. The evil Metallica, seemingly in tribute to Lou Reed (introduced by the cheesy-ass Jared Leto), turned in a mystifying performance of “One.” Remember Lulu? And the eye-crossing combination of Lindsay Buckingham, Dave Grohl, Trent Reznor and Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme got cut off because the show ran long, and the honest-to-goodness recreation of the second night of last summer’s Made in America (replete with the same visual effects for both NIN’s and QOTSA’s sets) became a controversial finish to a resoundingly obnoxious night of pop culture pageantry.



Key 2014 Grammy nominations: Who should win vs. who will win

Grammy noms

The 56th Annual Grammy Award nominations were announced at a concert at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles on Friday. Do you care? Maybe a little. Even though we’ve seen the Grammys get it all wrong in the past, and the Academy has a pretty deserved reputation for stuffiness and an unwillingness to nominate the good weird stuff we all love, they’re still an institution. We talk about the accomplishments of an artist by tallying their accolades, and the Grammys are often a great source of vetting – How many times have they been nominated? What categories have they won?

Well, the biggest nominees were in the rap category this year, with Jay Z earning a whopping nine. He’s the highest nomination-earner, with four musicians right behind him garnering seven nods: Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore (& Ryan Lewis), Justin Timberlake and Pharrell.

Let’s break down the big categories and pick some winners!

RECORD OF THE YEAR
“Get Lucky” by Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams
“Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons
“Royals” by Lorde
“Locked Out Of Heaven” by Bruno Mars
“Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. & Pharrell

Should win: Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’Connor, aka Lorde, captured America’s attention with her brain-needling hit of the year. It’s so good, still. She’s (newly) 17 and wrote it with her producer, and it’s basically just those two who can claim credit for a song that’s reached platinum status in multiple countries.
Will win: “Get Lucky.” Because everyone loves a big dramatic comeback from well-established artists collaborating with other very well-established artists (Nile Rodgers). It’s a great song, but there’s not very much of a narrative to their success. Mysterious French producer/DJs who’ve been churning out amazing records for decades put out one more. Shrug.

SONG OF THE YEAR
“Just Give Me A Reason” by Pink featuring Nate Ruess
“Locked Out Of Heaven” by Bruno Mars
“Roar” by Katy Perry
“Royals” by Lorde
“Same Love” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert

Note: The difference between Record of the Year and Song of the Year? ROTY honors the performer and the production team, but SOTY celebrates composers and songwriters.

Should win: Tough one here—because when you try to boil down artistic merit and look to the quality of the lyrics, you’ve got some strong contenders here. Sure, we want our girl Pink to take this one home, even if she has to share it with Nate Reuss (and Jeff Bhasker); and it is a great song that the masses are still willfully consuming. But “Roar” is so much fun, and “Same Love” is so damn heartwarming. Bruno Mars is legit, and we love him and all, but don’t we love that song for the Michael Jacksony production?
Will win: Something tells me the feel-good anthem in “Same Love” is something the Grammy committee wants to pat on the head.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR
The Blessed Unrest by Sara Bareilles
Random Access Memories by Daft Punk
Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City by Kendrick Lamar
The Heist by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Red by Taylor Swift

Should win: Well, we know who should not win, right? The fuck’s with this Bareilles nod? This record is like a glass of tepid milk with Cheerios and a side of tofu, plus a wale smoothie to wash it all down. C’mon, how boring. Kendrick should take this trophy home because it’s a stunner from cover to cover. When was the last time a hip-hop album took the night’s arguably biggest honor? Oh, it was Outkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below 10 years ago.
Will win: Macklemore & Lewis. See above.

BEST NEW ARTIST
James Blake
Kendrick Lamar
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Kacey Musgraves
Ed Sheeran

Should win: Again, King Kendrick deserves this one. He’s a breath of fresh air in a number of ways. James Blake—despite how great he is and how much we love Overgrown—doesn’t feel much like a new artist (his self-titled debut came out in February of ’11). By the time the ceremony rolls around, the first singles released from The Heist will be two years old.
Will win: Taking a look at the history of the award, you can see that all kinds of losers have beat artists who’ve gone on to overshadow the winner. Love Esparanza Spalding, but she shouldn’t have beat Drake and Biebs. Last year, fun. beat Frank Ocean. So, it’ll probably be Musgraves.

A few more categories we’ll keep our eyes on:

BEST DANCE/ELECTRONICA ALBUM

Random Access Memories by Daft Punk
Settle by Disclosure
18 Months by Calvin Harris
Atmosphere by Kaskade
A Color Map Of The Sun by Pretty Lights

BEST ROCK ALBUM
13 by Black Sabbath
The Next Day by David Bowie
Mechanical Bull by Kings of Leon (Booo.)
Celebration Day by Led Zeppelin
…Like Clockwork by Queens of the Stone Age
Psychedelic Pill by Neil Young with Crazy Horse

BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM
The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You by Neko Case
Trouble Will Find Me by The National
Hesitation Marks by Nine Inch Nails
Lonerism by Tame Impala
Modern Vampires Of The City by Vampire Weekend

BEST R&B ALBUM
R&B Divas by Faith Hill
Girl On Fire by Alicia Keys
Love In The Future by John Legend
Better by Chrisette Michele
Three Kings by TGT

BEST RAP/SUNG COLLABORATION
“Power Trip” by J. Cole featuring Miguel
“Part II (On The Run)” by Jay Z featuring Beyonce (So good.)
“Holy Grail” by Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake
“Now Or Never” by Kendrick Lamar featuring Mary J. Blige
“Remember You” by Wiz Khalifa featuring The Weeknd

BEST RAP ALBUM
Nothing Was The Same by Drake
Magna Carta… Holy Grail by Jay Z
Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City by Kendrick Lamar
The Heist by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Yeezus by Kanye West (One of two nominations, and of course he’s pissed about it.)

The show will broadcast live from the Staples Center in L.A. on Sun., Jan. 26th.



‘Tis that season again: The 50 best albums of 2013

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Participating in the great tradition of year-end album-ranking in December, here is a list that reflects, essentially, the LPs that worked their way into my head and heart on a regular basis over the past 365 days. Navigating the heaps and mountains of music at our collective fingertips is no small feat, but you learn over time that the ones that you keep going back to, the ones you can’t get enough of, are just really good records. Simple as that. Hopefully, dear readers, this list will at least give you a good start on future listening as we bound towards 2014.

1. Disclosure, Settle
2. Bill Callahan, Dream River
3. Vampire Weekend, Modern Vampires of the City
4. HAIM, Days Are Gone
5. Mutual Benefit, Love’s Crushing Diamond
6. Phosphorescent, Muchacho
7. Janelle Monae, The Electric Lady
8. Neko Case, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You
9. Bilal, A Love Surreal
10. Tegan & Sara, Heartthrob
11. Pusha T, My Name Is My Name
12. Lorde, Pure Heroine
13. Sky Farreira, Night Time, My Time
14. Mikal Cronin, MCII
15. Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience Part 1
16. Rhye, Woman
17. DJ Koze, Amygdala
18. Chance the Rapper, Acidrap
19. Danny Brown, Old
20. Kanye West, Yeezus
21. Waxahatchee, Cerulean Salt
22. Speedy Ortiz, Major Arcana
23. Jay Z, Magna Carta Holy Grail
24. CHVRCHES, The Bones of What You Believe
25. Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
26. Kelly Rowland, Talk A Good Game
27. Blood Orange, Cupid Deluxe
28. King Krule, 6 Feet Below the Moon
29. Lucius, Wildewoman
30. Laura Marling, Once I Was An Eagle
31. David Bowie, The Next Day
32. Charli XCX, True Romance
33. El-P and Killer Mike, Run The Jewels
34. Brandy Clark, 13 Stories
35 Jose James, No Beginning, No End
36. Baths, Obsidian
37. Fantasia, Side Effects of You
38. James Blake, Overgrown
39. Classixx, Hanging Gardens
40. Jon Hopkins, Immunity
41. Cate Le Bon, Mug Museum
42. Local Natives, Hummingbird
43. J. Cole, Born Sinner
44. Dismemberment Plan, Uncanney Valley
45. NIN, Hesitation Marks
46. Dr. Dog, B-Room
47. of Montreal, lousy with sylvianbriar
48. Autre ne Veut, Anxiety
49. Kurt Vile, Wakin on a Pretty Day
50. Charles Bradley, Victim of Love

Also enjoyable: Queens of the Stone Age , …Like Clockwork; M.I.A., Matangi; Arctic Monkeys, AM; Franz Ferdinand, Right Thoughts Right Word Right Action; Deerhunter, Monomania; Kacey Musgraves, Same Trailer Different Park; Pissed Jeans, Honeys; Midlake, Antiphon; Atoms for Peace, AMOK; Unknown Mortal Orchestra, II; Foxygen, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic and Fuck Buttons, Slow Focus.

Noticed this on lots of lists, but I kindly disagree: Savages, Silence Yourself; Arcade Fire, Reflektor and Volcano Choir, Repave.



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