Bio Mix: 2013

It's that time of the year, everyone, and I know you're excited!

Here's the deal: over the course of a year, I make 4 mixes, one for each quarter (aka 3 months) of the music I am listening to at that time.  When the year finally ends, I take the best songs from each quarter and create a mix for the year.

A caveat: this is music I'm listening to, not necessarily music that came out that year.  It will, however, been burned into my mind associated with the particularly year.

So here it is, my mix for 2013:

"Perfect Day" -- Constellations

Nothing I can say will do this groove-tastic song justice, so I'll give you the video.  I'll only add that this is the closing song to the first episode of a television series in my head.

"The Plot" -- White Rabbits

I will give you money if you can listen to this song three times without singing along to the Elvis Costello style chorus.  It's just not possible.

"What You Know" -- Two Door Cinema Club

I've noticed that over the last ten years or so I listen to a lot more of what you would call "danceable" music than I ever did before.  I find interesting given that I still don't dance.  If notey guitar lines and dance club beats are your thing, give this a listen.

"Quiet Little Voices" -- We Were Promised Jet Packs

When I got back in time in my head, I think a great many things, one of which is that I'd love to have been in a band that played this song.  It's crazy simple and super catchy.  It's actually kind of primal in its guitar parts.

"Permalight" -- Rogue Wave

 My fascination with Rogue Wave continues with one of their stranger songs, yet its still incredibly catchy.  These guys just make great, unique pop songs.

"Bohemian Like You" -- The Dandy Warhols

Yeah, I know, I always have some old songs on these mixes, but this one is going back a bit.  Sue me.  This song always makes me think of "Jumpin Jack Flash" by the Rolling Stones.  Aside from being super catchy, I love this song for the lyrics, which made me realize I've never really done the struggling musician thing.

"It's Time" -- Imagine Dragons

Oh, shut up.  I know, I know, this song was super popular and it's kind of cheesy, but I'm a sucker for a mandolin (or is that a banjo?) and the rhythm is infectious.  And even though it's not actually in the soundtrack for the movie, it reminds me of "Perks of Being a Wallflower," which I really loved.

"Infallible" -- Pearl Jam

This is perhaps the most inventive song Pearl Jam has produced in years.  It's got a nice groove, which helps create an excellent tone.  Beyond the measured guitars and keyboard, though, is the fantastic vocals.  I've always been a fan of Eddie Vedder, but he's taken his vocals to a new level here.  He's one of the greats.

"I Don't Know What To Do With My Hands" -- Minor Alps

This might be the song of the year for me; the tone here is just so phenomenal.  It's not often that a song really paints a picture in my head anymore, but this one did with startling clarity.  I also just love the title.

"Coyote" -- The Lonely Forest

This is kind of a strange one off, as it's the only song I really know by The Lonely Forest (who must curse Lonely Island every day).  The moment the second guitar kicked in on this song, they had me.  It creates a wonderful layer to the song.  And who doesn't love a little angst?

"Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse" -- Minus the Bear

Good god, this song is unbelievable.  Had you told me that an acoustic version of this song would be this great, I'd have given you funny looks.  But Minus the Bear makes it work -- beyond makes it work, they make it almost as great as the original (that's up for debate).

"Road to Nowhere" -- Release the Sunbird

I'm sure many of you are thinking this is sacreligious.  And maybe you're right, but I think it's a really well done cover.  It also reminds me of the series finale of Gossip Girl and I'm sure you think that's a strange thing to hang my hat on, which means you should go check out my post on that show.

"The Oil Slick" -- Frightened Rabbit

I tore threw the latest Frightened Rabbit album so quickly that I ended up forgetting how good it was.  Fortunately, I had to go back and listen to it while putting together this mix.  While a lot of FR songs can become lyrically questionable, this one holds up nicely, and the song itself is super catchy.

"Proceed to Memory" -- Pinback

I love me some Pinback.  This is a weird song, though, because it starts off much differently than it eventually ends up.  In fact, the beginning is so at odds with the rest that it almost made me look past this gem.

"I Will Steal You Back" -- Jimmy Eat World

On a fairly standard Jimmy Eat World album, this song stuck out.  Honestly, I feel like you could take the last three or four Jimmy Eat World albums and combine them into one, super album, devoid of the growing amount of filler.

"Lake Michigan" -- Rogue Wave

The guy from Rogue Wave just abuses the English language.  I don't mean that he uses word incorrectly, I mean that he twists them into nigh unrecognizable sounds.  But, damn, if he still doesn't make some good music.  This is another song I will dare you to listen to three times without singing the chorus, even if you have no idea what he's actually saying.

"Gold On the Ceiling" -- The Black Keys

This song drives my wife batty because it makes no sense.  Bah!  I don't need sense in my music!  What a great sound on this song.  What a great album!  Love to see the Black Keys expanding their range and mixing up their influences.

"Smooth Sailing" -- Queens of the Stone Age

This song could have ended up on this list for just that one part, and if you've heard this song, you know exactly which part I'm talking about.  But, no, the whole thing is great, classic dirty, rhythmic Queens with those fantastic falcetto vocals that Josh Homme busts out every once in a while.

"Heartbeat" -- Childish Gambino

I really like "Camp."  But Donald Glover sometimes falls into that rapper pattern of talking about how great he is all the time, and in Glover's case it sometimes comes across as over compensating.  But in "Heartbeat," we get a pretty clear story and it's great.  These are the kinds of songs he should be doing.  Also, the last like two minutes are just filled with lyrical gold.

"Cut You" -- Cloud Nothings

I'm a sucker for the soft picking bridge between a verse and a chorus, which is why I ended up picking this song from Cloud Nothings second album.  Also, it's not 8 minutes long.  They lyrics are a bit on the trite side, but the music more than makes up for it.  This is some good old fashioned, 90s style post-hardcore, if any of what I just typed makes any sense to you.

There you go, my mix for 2013.  I listened to a lot of great music, even if most of it didn't come out last year.  Let's see if 2014 is different.