Top Ranking Songs of 2013

SOJA – She Still Loves Me

SOJA and Collie Buddz – She Still Loves Me (Remix)

Lordes – Royals

Jah Bouks – Angola

Haim – The Wire

Chronixx, Sizzla, Protoje, Kabaka Pyramid with Addis Pablo & The Suns of Dub – Selassie Souljahz

Vampire Weekend – Diane Young

Jah9 – Steamers a Bubble

The Blow – Make It Up

Christopher Ellis, Stephen Marley, and Jah Cure – End of Time

Loretta Lynn – Take Your Gun and Go, John

Busy Signal, The Flexican, FS Green, and Major Lazer – Watch Out For This (Bumaye)

Broken Bells – Holding On For Life

Shaggy, Beres Hammond, Sly and Robbie – Fight This Feeling

The Lone Bellow – You Never Need Nobody

Gentleman – Heart of Rub-A-Dub

Pharrell Williams and Daft Punk – Get Lucky

Chronixx – Good Over Evil

Chronixx, Dre Island, and Kabaka Pyramid with Green Lion Crew – Rasta Road (Rough Road Remix)

The Avett Brothers – Another Is Waiting

Protoje – Black Cinderella

The Courtney John Project – Black Cinderella

James Blake – Retrograde

Stephen Marley, Akon, and Buju Banton – My Conclusion

Foxygen – San Francisco

Natty, Alborosie, & Busy Signal – Changes (Vibes & Pressure Remix)

Vampire Weekend – Hannah Hunt

Luciano – Weapons of War

Low – Plastic Cup

Jah9 – Avacado

Valerie June – Somebody To Love

Chronixx – Smile Jamaica

Neko Case – Magpie to the Morning

Jemere Morgan – Neighborhood Girl

Michael Franti and Spearhead – I’m Alive (Life Sounds Like)

Tanya Stephens and Lone Ranger – If You Knew

Joe Lickshot – Vintage Concert

Vampire Weekend – Step

Luciano – Create Our History (Freedom)

Pusha T – King Push

Wayne Marshall, Damian “Junior Gong” Marley, Bounty Killer, Vybz Kartel, I-Octane, and Aidonia – Go Hard

Earl Sweatshirt – Chum

Dre Island – Uptown Downtown

Vybz Kartel, Santigold, Danielle Haim, Yasmin, and Major Lazer – You’re No Good

Gyptian – Wine Slow

Dismemberment Plan – Daddy Was A Real Good Dancer

Freddie McGregor – For Your Love

Luciano and Anthony B – Never Leave The Roots

Pokey LaFarge with Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks – Lovesick Blues

Sizzla – Dem Nuh Business

The Lone Bellow – You Can Be All Kinds Of Emotional

Bob Marley, Lee “Scratch” Perry, and DJ Z-Trip – Punky Reggae Party (Remix)

Paul McCartney – New

Chronixx – Here Comes Trouble

Ashley Monroe – Weed Instead of Roses

The Aggrolites – Complicated Girl

LeeAnn Womack – The Legend of the Rebel Soldier

Alborosie – Woman I Need You

Michael Franti, K’Naan, and Spearhead – Earth From Outer Space

Snoop Lion, Mavado, and Popcaan – Lighters Up

Steve Earle – Invisible

I-Wayne and Rebelution – So High

Neko Case – Night Still Comes 

Alborosie – Who Run the Dance

Eminem and Kendrick Lamar – Love Game

Protoje – Kingston Be Wise

Pusha T and Pharrell Williams – S.N.I.T.C.H.

Capleton, Slightly Stoopid, and Inner Circle – No Cocaine

Ralph Stanley – The Vacant Chair

SOJA and J Boog – Fuck Your System (Remix)

Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite – I Ride At Dawn

Eek-A-Mouse and the Expendables – Ganja Smugglin’

Daft Punk – Beyond

Bob Marley, Ziggy Marley, and the Wailers – Stir It Up (Remix)

Neko Case – Calling Cards

Gyptian – Non Stop

Sam Amidon – Wildwood Flower

Anthony B – Can’t Stop Loving You

Eminem – Rhyme Or Reason

Snoop Lion and Akon – Tired Of Running

The Lone Bellow – You Don’t Love Me Like You Used To

Jo Mersa – Comfortable

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – Let’s Get High

Ezra Koening and Major Lazer – Jessica

Shaggy, Cocoa Tea, and Joe – Like Never Before

Robin Thicke, Pharrell, and T.I. – Blurred Lines

Bob Marley and the Wailers – I Shot the Sheriff (Roni Size Remix)

Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks – Everybody Loves My Baby 

Samantha J – Tight Up Skirt

Michael Franti and Spearhead – 11:59

Busy Signal – Bedroom Bully

Rufus Wainwright, Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks – Jimbo Jambo

Kanye West – Black Skinhead

Snoop Lion and Mr. Vegas – Fruit Juice

Pokey LaFarge – Kingdom Come

Wyclef Jean and Major Lazer – Reach For the Stars

Disclosure – When A Fire Starts To Burn

Sizzla – Good Love

Pusha T – Numbers On The Board

Snoop Lion and Collie Buddz – Smoke the Weed

Panda Bear and Daft Punk – Doin’ It Right

Etana and Busy Signal – Love, Love, Love

Michael Franti and Spearhead – Closer To You

Alborosie – To Whom It May Concern

Cowboy Jack Clement – Beautiful Dreamer

Snoop Lion – La La La

Eminem – Bezerk

Julian Marley and Bugle – Move Dem

Pharrell Williams and Daft Punk – Lose Yourself To Dance

Mavado – Million Dollar Man

Justin Timberlake – Suit and Tie

Bob Marley and the Wailers – Get Up, Stand Up (Thievery Corporation Remix)

Neko Case – Man

Sizzla – Chant Dem Down

Michael Franti and Spearhead – Long Ride Home

John Brown’s Body – The Gold (Dubmatix Double Dutch Remix)

Parquet Courts – Stones and Starving

Macka Diamond – Dye Dye

Jamey Johnson – Rebel Soldier

Vybz Kartel – Business

Neko Case – Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out

Bob Marley and the Wailers – Waiting in Vain (Jim James Remix)

Maxi Priest – Easy To Love

Busy Signal – Same Way

 

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Top Ranking Songs of 2013

Top Ranking Albums of April 2013

Top Ranking Albums of April 2013

Vampire WeekendModern Vampires of the City [XL Recordings 2013]

BonoboThe North Borders [Ninja Tune 2013]

Junior KellyPiece of the Pie [VP Records 2013]

Gregory IsaacsNecessary Mayhem Presents Gregory Isaacs [Necessary Mayhem 2013]

Jherek BischcoffComposed [Brassland 2013]

Adrian Younge & Ghostface KillahTwelve Reasons to Die [Soul Temple 2013]

Snoop LionReincarnated [RCA 2013]

ChezidekThe Order of Melcheidek [JahSolidRock 2013]

PhoenixBankrupt! [Glassnote 2013]

LowThe Invisible Way [Sub Pop Record 2013]

Major LazerFree the Universe [Mad Decent 2013]

Hey MarsiellesLines We Trace [Onto 2013]

Meta and the CornerstonesAncient Power [VP Records 2013]

SavagesSilence Yourself [Matador 2013]

James Blake Overgrown [Universal Records 2013]

WavvesAfraid of Heights [Mom + Pop Records 2013]

Taj Weekes and AdowaPariah in Transit [Megawave 2013]

Kurt VileWalkin on Pretty Daze [Matador 2013]

Adrian Younge & the Delfonics Adrian Younge Presents the Delfonics [Wax Poetics 2013]

JokerThe Face Off [Kapsize 2013]

Top Ranking Albums of April 2013

Top Ranking Singles of 2011

Graham Wilkinson – Focus

Stephen Marley, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, & Buju BantonJah Army

Hayes Carll – KMAG YOYO

The Decemberists – This Is Why We Fight

Busy Signal – The Gambler

Stevie Face – Can’t Go Round

Emmylou Harris – My Name Is Emmett Till

Damian “Jr. Gong” MarleyWanted (Just Ain’t The Same)

Bright EyesOne For You, One For Me

Courtney John – Never Keep You Waiting

GyptianDuggu Duggu

Pokey LaForge & the South City Three – Feel So Good

Richie SpiceMy Life

Paul Simon Getting Ready For Christmas

Alborosie & Junior ReidRespect

Peter Bjorn & John – Second Chance

Iron & Wine – Tree By The River

Third World, Damian Marley, & Stephen Marley96 Degrees 

Amos Lee – Windows Are Rolled Down

Mr. Vegas, Shaggy, and Josey Wales – Sweet Jamaica

The Uprising Roots Band – Steamers

Mac MillerParty On Fifth Ave

Richie Spice – Soothing Sound 

Raging Fyah – Irie Vibe

Stuart Duncan, Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer, & Yo-Yo MaAttaboy

Sanchez – El Paso

The Decemberists – Down By The Water

Courtney John – Everyday

The Beastie Boys & Santigold – Don’t Play No Games

Cham – Stronger

Bright Eyes – Firewall

I-Wayne – Pure As the Nile

The Decemberists – June Hymn

Vybz Kartel – Poor People Land

Protoje – Take Control

Tarrus Riley – The Chair

Lil Wayne, Bun B, Nas, Shyne, & Busta Rhymes – Outro

Chino – Driving Me Insane

Iba Mahr – Will I Wait

Thievery Corporation – Culture of Fear

Laza – One By One

Gillian Welch – Scarlet Town

Stephen Marley – Pale Moonlight (How Many Times)

Robert Earl Keen, Jr. – Waves on the Ocean

Alborosie – La Revolucion

Brian Wilson – Listen To Me

Assassin – How Mi Feel

James Blake – Limit to Your Love

Shaggy  & Tarrus Riley – Just Another Girl

Stephen Marley – Can’t Keep I Down

Lyle Lovett – Well…Alright

Shabba Ranks – None Ah Dem

Wilco – I Might

Freddie McGregor – A House Is Not A Home

Smith Westerns – Weekend

Romain Virgo & Larry Gatlin – California

Das Racist – Booty in the Air

DeMarco – Love My Life

Tune-Yards – You Yes You

Richie Spice – Legal

Gillian Welch – The Way It Goes

Easy Star All Stars – Paid My Dues

Queen Ifrica – Pot Still Haffi Bubble

Wiz Khalifa & Too Short – On My Level

Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three – So Long Honeybee, Goodbye

Stephen Marley – No Cigarette Smoking In My Room

Paul Simon – So Beautiful Or So What

Collie Buddz – Playback

Bright Eyes – Shell Games

Gyptian – My Number One

The Decemberists – All Arise!

L.U.S.T. – Flowers on the Wall

Lil Wayne – How To Love

Romain Virgo – The System

Alexi Murdoch – Crinan Wood

Easy Star All Stars, Daddy Lion Chandell, & Junior Jazz – One Likkle Draw

Bright Eyes – A Machine Spiritual (In The People’s Key)

Richie Spice – Father

YACHT – Dystopia

Alborosie & Giuseppe Tarantino – International Drama

Zooey Deschanel – It’s So Easy

Tarrus Riley – Never Leave I

The Decemberists – January Hymn

Beres Hammond – Pull Up

Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three – Keep Your Hands of My Gal

Paul Simon – Love Is Eternal Sacred Light

Richie Spice – Yap Yap

Coldplay – Paradise

Stephen Marley – Old Slaves

Gillian Welch – Hard Times

Gramps Morgan – Feels So Right

The Decemberists – Calamity Song

Alborosie – Rolling Like A Rock

Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie

Beres Hammond – He Stopped Loving Her Today

Adele – Rolling in the Deep

Queen Ifrica – Times Like These

Gillian Welch – Six White Horses

Stephen Marley & Spragga Benz – Working Ways

James Blake – Wilhelm Scream

Tarrus Riley – Shaka Zulu Pickney

Robbie Robertson & Robert Randolph – How To Become Clairvoyant

Chino – God Nah Sleep (Rise and Fall Story)

Jeff Lynne – Words of Love

Richie Spice – Black Woman

Adele – Someone Like You

Alborosie – Ragamuffin

Paul Simon – The Afterlife

Stephen Marley – Freedom Time

Lil Wayne – President Carter

Vybz Kartel – Summertime

Alexander – In the Twilight

SuperHeavy – Miracle Worker

Ziggy Marley & Heavy D – It

Paul Simon – Rewrite

Alexi Murdoch – Through the Dark

Bounty Killer – Ready Fi Dem

Alexander – Truth

Snoop Dogg & T-Pain – Boom

Easy Star All Stars – Reggae Pension

Alexander – Awake My Body

Stephen Marley – Tight Ship

Robert Earl Keen, Jr. – Black Baldy Stallion

Luciano – He’ll Have To Go

Wilco – Dawned On Me

Vybz Kartel – Whine (Wine)

Ringo Starr – Think It Over

Stephen Marley – Now I Know

Robbie Robertson, Eric Clapton, & Steve Winwood – Fear of Falling

The Beastie Boys & Nas – Too Many Rappers (New Reactionaries Version)

Easy Star All Stars – Don’t Stop the Music

Smith Westerns – Only One

Lupe Fiasco – The Show Goes On

Ziggy Marley – Personal Revolution

Pokey LaForge & the South City Three – Drinking Whiskey Tonight

Alborosie – One Draw

Paul Simon – Love and Blessings

Stephen Marley – Break Us Apart

Das Racist – Relax

Richie Spice – Got To Make It

Wanda Jackson – You Know That I’m No Good

Beres Hammond – I Am Missing You

Mavado – Peppa

Hayes Carll – Stomp and Holler

Tarrus Riley – Groovy Little Thing

Tune-Yards – Bizness

Snoop Dogg & Willie Nelson – Superman

Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three – Weedwacker Rag

Shaggy & Agent Sasco (aka Assassin) – Feeling Alive

Alexander – Let’s Win

Alborosie – Camilla

Bright Eyes – Haile Selassie

Richie Spice – Serious Woman

Robert Earl Keen – Top Down

Stephen Marley – The Chapel

Alborosei & Etana – You Make Me Feel Good

Gillian Welch – The Way The Whole Thing Ends

Shaggy & Alaine – For Yur Eyez Only

Alexander – Let’s Make To Not Make A Deal

The Decemberists – Rise To Me

Etana – People Talk

Smith Westerns – Still New

Richie Spice – Confirmation

The Decemberists – Rox in the Box

Dr. Dre – Kush

Richie Spice – Mother of Creation

The Beastie Boys – Funky Donkey

Tune-Yards – Killa

Hayes Carll – Another Like You

Alborosie – Who You Think You Are

Robert Earl Keen, Jr. – Who Do Man

Hayes Carll – Hard Out Here

Richie Spice – Jah Never Let Us Down

Paul Simon – Questions For the Angels

Stephen Marley – She Knows Now

The Decemberists – Dear Avery

Wiz Khalifa – Black & Yellow

Jamelody – This Time

Stuart Duncan, Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer, & Yo Yo Ma – Less Is Moi

Chipmunk – Every Gal

Wanda Jackson – Thunder On The Mountain

Etana – Crazy

The Beastie Boys – Here’s A Little Something For You

Beenie Man – Let’s Go

Tessanne Chin – Firework

Dr. Dre – I Need A Doctor

Alexander – A Million Years

Easy Star All Stars, Lady Ann, Tony Tuff, and the Meditations – Easy Now Star

Paul Simon – Dazzling Blue

Stephen Marley – False Friends

Alexander – Bad Bad Love

Tune-Yards – Gangsta

Harvey and Mista Brown – Hot Gyal

Robbie Robertson – Tango for Django

The Decemberists – Don’t Carry It All

Mavado – Final Destination

Emmylou Harris – Hard Bargain

Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three – River Rock Bottom

Thievery Corporation – Overstand

Richie Spice – Better Tomorrow

Lil Wayne – 6 Foot 7 Foot

I-Octane – Nuh Ramp Wid We


Top Ranking Singles of 2011

Austin City Limits Music Festival 2011 – Friday

The 10th Anniversary of the Austin City Limits Festival brought together a diversified lineup from dubstep deejay Skrillex to bluegrass angel Alison Krauss to motown king Stevie Wonder to west Texas songsmith Ryan Bingham. As always I began my first day with the western swing revivalists Asleep at the Wheel. They opened with “Miles and Miles of Texas.” Ray Benson and his band of accomplished musicians played Bob Wills standards like “New San Antonio Rose” and songs about Bob like the Waylon Jennings classic “Bob Wills Is Still The King.” The Wheel played their hit “Hot Rod Lincoln” and a new song originally performed with Willie Nelson called “Hesitation Blues.” On the set list appeared “Get Your Kicks on Route 66,” “Bump Bounce Boogie,” and “Boogie Back to Texas.” The Wheel brought the sounds of western swing alive.

I caught the end of the Theophilus London set. Banging beats, fresh rhymes, and creative samples impressed this particular listener. For example, London looped a sample of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” over a fat beat dropping science in the rain. London also played his hit “Love Is Real.” The juxtaposition of hip hop with the sweet sounds of the Secret Sisters, in my opinion, is the beauty of a good festival. Diversity is essential.

The Secret Sisters played their hit song “Tennessee Me,” but it was their song selections from past country legends Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, the Everly Brothers, and Patsy Cline that really hit the spot. Take for example, their cover of “Why Baby Why,” which was soft and pure sweetness. These sisters from Muscle Shoals, Alabama strike a sentimental chord in me. The Southern ladies also played the Rufus Wainwright tune “Do You Love An Apple.”

We followed Secret Sisters with the electronic soul man James Blake. The Englishman opened with “Unluck” and “Give Me My Month.” For the most part the talented composer form London stuck with songs from his debut album James Blake, including the tracksI Never Learnt To Share,” “Lindisfarne I,”and “Lindisfarne II.” I especially liked his Fiest cover Limit To Your Love.” And, he spaced out “The Wilhelm Scream,” which concluded a nice set.

Big Boi from the Outkast crew brought Dirty South bounce and swagger into Zilker Park. Unlike many of the recent hip hop shows I’ve seen lately, Big Boi’s flow was exquisite and the sound clear. The set included tracks “General Patton” and “Follow Us” from the new album Sir Lucious Left Foot…The Son Of Chico Dusty. But the afternoon also saw a fair share of classics like the “cooler than a polar bear’s toenail” track “ATLiens” and the harmonica banger “Rosa Parks.” Big Boi proved he had a deep catalog with crowd pleasers “So Fresh, So Clean” and “Ms. Jackson.” He also brought rock and roll rap fusion with the protest song “B.O.B.” And, I was very pleased that the Atlanta native unleashed my personal favorite Outkast gem “The Way You Move.”  Nas & Damian Marley followed the Atlanta native rapper making this a lively stage.

Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley entered the stage as the flag bearing the red, gold, and green and the Lion of Judah flew. “As We Enter” kicked off the set. One of my favorite things to do is to see a Marley brother in Austin. Mr. Marley brought the reggae magic while the rhyme-smith Nas dropped serious science. In reality both of these cats are amazing lyricists and when done in tag-team fashion over dope beats booties commence to shake. “As We Enter” the lead track off the excellent Distant Relatives album is a great example of the combination of danceable sounds spiced with tangling hip hop and patois rhymes. The hard-hitting “Nah Mean” kept the vibe alive displaying the perfect marriage of reggae dancehall, African culture, and American rap.

Then Nas unleashed one of my favorite old school rap gems “If I Ruled The World (imagine that).” Following on the heels of the rap standard the Africanized “Dispear” brought down the house. Rebellion drips from this tune. I love it. The fevered pitch of the pounding “Dispear” was cooled off nicely by the roots reggae jam “Land Of Promise.” This Dennis Brown infused track is modern reggae at its best. Positive messages entwined with earth crushing roots reggae sounds made for a perfect evening. Jr. Gong’s “More Justice” from 2001’s Halfway Tree kept the show on this track.

Marley played several songs from his popular album Welcome to Jamrock. “Move!” sampled Bob Marley’s “Exodus” merging classic reggae and new ragamuffin styles and phrasings. Similarly the title track “Welcome To Jamrock” mixes Ini Kamoze’s “out in the street they call it murder” sample and a riddim straight from Kamoze’s “World A Music” into the biggest reggae hit of the 2000s. Marley and Nas then displayed their skills on the “Road To Zion,” which I believe  set the original mood for the Distant Relatives collaboration. They closed with the Bob Marley smash hit “Could You Be Loved.”

Mavis Staples performed under the tent producing a revivalist feeling in the middle of Zilker Park. Civil Rights, spiritualism, and good music swirled under the tent, take for example, the songs “Freedom Highway” and “Creep Along Moses.” Staples made everyone dance and sing to the soul classic “I’ll Take You There.” To experience the best of soul music and to get a taste of what soul music was like in the 1970s go see Mavis Staples. The energy is extraordinary! We concluded the evening with the English rock group Coldplay. “The Scientist” and “Clocks” made the set list, while an Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” set up a very nice “Fix You.”

Austin City Limits Music Festival 2011 – Friday

Top Ranking Albums of September 2011

The Spiritual Accessories EP
  1. Graham Wilkinson The Spiritual Accessories EP [Little Windmill Records 2011]
  2. Trombone ShortyFor True [Verve Forecast 2011]
  3. Various ArtistsO Brother, Where Art Thou? [Lost Highway 2011]
  4. SuperHeavySuper Heavy [Universal 2011]
  5. Preservation Jazz Hall Band and the Del McCoury Band –  American Legacies [McCoury Music 2011]
  6. Various Artists – Our Favorite Beres Hammond Songs [VP Records 2011]
  7. The Secret Sisters –  The Secret Sisters [Universal Records 2010]
  8. Bunny LeeDub Will Change Your Mind [King Spinna Records 2011]
  9. Aloe Blacc – Good Things [Stones Throw Records 2010]
  10. Various ArtistsListen To Me: Buddy Holly [Verve Forecast 2011]
  11. Augustus PabloThis Is Augustus Pablo [VP Records 2011]
  12. Various ArtistsThe Biggest Ragga Dancehall Anthems 2011 [VP Records 2011]
  13. WilcoThe Whole Love [dBPM Records 2011]
  14. James Blake and Bon IverFall Creek Boys Choir [Universal Records 2011]
  15. Tom WaitsBad As Me [Anti/Epitaph 2011]
  16. Olivia Tremor ControlThe Game You Play is in Your Head, Parts 1, 2, & 3 [Cloud Recordings 2011]
  17. Theophilus LondonTimez Are Weird These Days [Warner Brothers 2011]
  18. St. Vincent Strange Mercy [4AD 2011]
  19. George StraitHere For A Good Time [MCA Nashville 2011]
  20. Zee AviGhostbird [Brushfire Records 2011]
  21. Clap Your Hands and Say YeahHysterical [CYHSY 2011]
  22. Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter – Marble Son [Station Grey Records 2011]
  23. Pedro Soler & Gaspar Claus – Barlande [InFine 2011]
  24. Lisa Hannigan – Passenger [ATO Records 2011]
  25. Lenny KravitzBlack And White America [Atlantic Records 2011]
American Legacies
The Game You Play is in Your Head, Parts 1, 2, & 3
Top Ranking Albums of September 2011