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

Austin City Limits Festival – DAY ONE

I went to ACL yesterday and saw some great bands, including Sahara Smith, Asleep at the Wheel, Blues Traveler, Kings Go Forth, the Black Keys, Pat GreenSlightly Stoopid, Vampire Weekend, and Phish. Wimberly, Texas-based Sahara Smith opened on the Austin Ventures stage and I liked the song “Are You Lonely.” But, it was Asleep at the Wheel that set the mood for the rest of my ACL experience. Ray Benson and his friends rocked. With steel guitar, fiddles, piano, guitars, bass, and drums The Wheel blazed through a hot set of western swing and classic country. The band opened with “Miles and Miles of Texas” and “Get Your Kicks on Route 66.”

Bob Wills Is Still The King

Asleep at the Wheel has been an institution in Texas since the 1970s. The band paid tribute to their heroes Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys with a Waylon Jennings song “Bob Wills Is Still The King.” From there they played the Bob Wills super-hit  “New San Antonio Rose.” Often Asleep at the Wheel teams up with a famous artist. For example, Leon Rausch recorded a new album with the Wheel called It’s A Good Day. At ACL Asleep at the Wheel played the title track from the album. The swinging musicians also played tracks from the Willie And The Wheel album recorded with Texas icon Willie Nelson, including “Hesitation Blues,” “Sweet Jennie Lee,” “Oh! You Pretty Woman,” and “I’m Sittin’ on Top of the World.”

I'm Sittin' on Top of the World

The rollicking Asleep at the Wheel set got even better with the hilariously titled song “Big Balls in Cowtown.” Followed by one of my favorite tunes of all time: “Hot Rod Lincoln.” I am a big fan of the post-1960s western swing revivalists. Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen are another fine band that fits into the mold–a band that also played a wild version of “Hot Rod Lincoln,” as well as a great version of “Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette.” Commander Cody appealed to the west coast hippies paying homage to the Cowboy Code. Long haired Ray Benson fits in with these western swing revivialists, but Asleep at the Wheel is more than all that. They have become an institution in Texas keeping musical traditions alive. Plus Texas music history owes a debt of gratitude to the band. The excellent theatre production A Ride with Bob featured Asleep at the Wheel and the amazing Ruby Jane playing a young Bob Wills. From pure western swing to boogie woogie the Wheel wrapped up their set with “Boogie Back to Texas” and “Bump Bounce Boogie.”

Free

Donavon Frankenreiter followed the Wheel with a fun set including “Move By Yourself” and “Free.” Frankenreiter played a sweet song written for his son titled “Call Me Papa.” He then covered Tom Petty’sAmerican Girl,” putting a chill twist on the Classic Rock gem. The mustached singer played his hit single “Glow” and the catchy “It Don’t Matter.”

Blues Travelerkilled with their old school single “But Anyway” and a cover version of Radiohead‘sCreep.” The hit singles “Run-Around and “The Mountains Win Again” were followed by an amazing jam with the 15-year-old fiddle player Ruby Jane. Jon Popper and his tight jam band also covered the Sublime song “What I Got” ending with the mega-hit “Hook.”

The Outsiders Are Back

The Kings Go Forthwere the great surprise band for me on Friday. Their 1970s funky disco sounds were groovy. This 10-piece American soul band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin has an incredible stage presence to accompany jams like “One Day,” “I Don’t Love You No More,” and “Don’t Take My Shadow.”  We all know what made Milwaukee famous, but now we know why it is funky!

The Black Keys powered through a garage rock and blues set that included “Thickfreakness,” Strange Times,”Tighten Up,” “Your Touch,” and “Everlasting Light.” While Texas country artist Pat Green transitioned from the anthem  “Wave on Wave” into a nice cover of U2‘sAll I Want Is You.”

Chronchitis

I have seen Slightly Stoopid at ACL at least three times now. And I have liked every show. The dubby grooves are infectious. The reggae-punk rock formula originally perfected by Long Beach’s Sublime works well. Plus the lads from San Diego have mastered their vocals and guitar playing and their brand of stoner rock is always welcome in Austin. Among the songs played at the festival were “I Would Do For You” and “Till It Gets Wet” and the extremely danceable “Somebody.” Slightly Stoopid plays party songs interlaced by the occasional punk rock explosion like “Punk Rock Billy.” But don’t think there is not a message in the music. Just take a close listen to the politically charged “Runnin’ With A Gun.” 

Vampire Weekend provided a nice segue between the dub of Slightly Stoopid and the jam rock of Phish. The Columbia graduates sound like Paul Simon’s Graceland with strong hints of The Clash and various other world music sounds mashed together into a refreshing pop sound. The set list included: “Horchata,” “Cousins,” “Oxford Comma,” “White Sky,” “Holiday,” “California English,” “I Think Ur A Contra,” and “Walcott.”

Phish played a classic set opening with a rocking “Down With Disease.” They followed up that original song with a cover of the Talking Heads track “Cities.” Phish is Mike Gordon on bass, Trey Anastasio on guitar, Jon Fishman on drums, and Page McConnellon keys. But at times it seems like there might be twenty people on stage. The sound is full and lush and really meant to be listened to at a venue like Zilker Park. Following the Talking Heads cover, Phish geared up for a funky-driving “Possum.”

Wolfman’s Brother” brought people to their dancing feet while a jammed out version of “Chalk Dust Torture” awed the crowd. My favorite moment was an unexpected Velvet Underground cover. I dig Lou Reedand the Velvet Underground, so a bad ass version of “Rock And Roll” is alright with me. From this foray into the underground  Phish smoothly transitioned into an almost symphonic spaced out “2001.” I am also a big fan of the newest album Joy, from which Phish played the excellent track “Backwards Down The Number Line .”

Joy (Amazon MP3 Exclusive Version)

After a reggafied “Harry Hood” the boys played another one from Joy called “Light.” I am not as familiar with this song, but it provided a nice pallet cleanser for a rockin’ “Suzy Greenberg.” The set concluded with an extended “You Enjoy Myself.”  The encore rocked with a killer version of “Cavern” and a crowd-pleasing “First Tube.”

Quite frankly, Phish put on a hell of a show. It was nice to see Phish in Texas again. I hadn’t seen Phish in Austin since they played at South Park Meadows in the late 1990s. Hopefully, Phish will return to Texas in the near future. People forget Trey Anastasio was born in Fort Worth, Texas. So come on boys, bring it on back to Texas sometime. Why not? I guarantee a sold out crowd at the Bass Performance Hall in downtown Fort Worth. Come rip our faces off with a howling version of The Edgar Winter Group‘sFrankenstein.”

Austin City Limits Festival – DAY ONE

ACL Preview – Austin City Limits Music Festival

The Fall (Amazon Exclusive)

After reviewing the lineup for the Austin City Limits Music Festival I am ready for an interesting three days of music. I must admit I am an Eagles fan. And I am hoping for the hits “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” “Take It Easy,” and “Hotel California.” The Eagles reached supergroup status long ago in Texas and obtained Rock and Hall Fame glory in 1998. In fact the entire album Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 was on constant rotation in our house. An evening with “Lyin’ Eyes” and “Already Gone” would be commonplace.

Hotel California

Don Henley and Joe Walsh by themselves should be future Rock and Roll hall fame inductees. And I am hoping for some solo gems like “Life’s Been Good,” “Rocky Mountain Way,” or even “The Boys Of Summer” and “The End Of The Innocence.” From southern rock  classics like “Seven Bridges Road” to soft rock standards “Desperado,” “One Of These Nights,” “The Best Of My Love,” and “Take It To The Limit” the Eagles have been an integral part of my life since early childhood. So I’ll have to disagree with The Dude on this one. The Eagles are worthy! And I am looking forward to “Witchy Woman” and another “Tequila Sunrise.”

Come Away With Me

Norah Jones should be a great show. Her newest album The Fall included the electrified “Chasing Pirates.” And her lush vocals on “Come Away With Me” and “Don’t Know Why” are now legendary. Jones is a talented pianist and her music will be a perfect fit for Austin. In this same easy-going musical vein, I am excited about seeing the talented singer Amos Lee perform sweet tunes like “Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight.”

The Resistance

The Muse versus M.I.A. problem causes a little consternation for me. I am a sucker for dancehall, electronica, and Public Enemystyle beats with female emcees. So M.I.A. and her funky fresh posse are certain to bring chaos to Austin, Texas. At her last appearance at ACL, M.I.A. unleashed mayhem. The new album Maya offers some tasty singles to drop, including the feature track “Xxxo.”  And the crowd pleasers “Paper Planes” and “Galang” are always slamming. Yet I’m going to try and catch the end of MUSE because this science fiction infused rock band brings a wicked light show to accompany their monster jams. Take a listen to “Starlight,” “Uprising,” or “Knights Of Cydonia” for a taste of their sound.

Maya (Deluxe Version) [Explicit]

The Monsters Of Folk are my must-see band for the festival. The band includes M.Ward, Yim Yames aka Jim James from My Morning Jacket, and Conor Oberst and Mike Moogis from Bright Eyes. This modern-day supergroup has a country hippy sound reminiscent of The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers. For example, check out the beautifully crafted “The Right Place.” And they have a couple of haunting stunners like the super hit “Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.).” The Monsters Of Folk will have you tapping your toes and singing along to songs like “Say Please.”

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

I am also excited about seeing Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The National, Mayer Hawthorne, Vampire Weekend, and Broken Bells featuring Brian Burton aka Danger Mouse and James Mercer of The Shins. Plus the great thing about ACL is a lineup full of Texas-based musical artists like Robert Earl Keen, Spoon, and Asleep at the Wheel. And finally, on a reggae note California stoners Slightly Stoopid and the American reggae band Rebelution add some good vibes to the lineup.

Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975

One Of These Nights

Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.)

Broken Bells

ACL Preview – Austin City Limits Music Festival

The Best Albums of January 2010

  1. Ryan Bingham and Various Artists Crazy Heart [New West 2010]
  2. Vampire WeekendContra [XL 2010]
  3. Various ArtistsDub Like An Antelope – Legends of Reggae Celebrate Phish [Red Hillz Music 2010]
  4. SpoonTransference [Merge Records 2010]
  5. SizzlaCrucial Times [VP Records 2010]
  6. Dave Rawlings MachineA Friend Of A Friend [Acony 2009]
  7. Snoop DoggMalice ‘N Wonderland [Capital Records 2009]
  8. Corinne Bailey RaeThe Sea [EMI 2010]
  9. Souls of MischiefMontezuma’s Revenge [Hieroglyphics Imperium 2009]
  10. Julian CasablancasPhrazes For The Young [RCA/Jive 2009]
  11. Animal Collective Fall Be Kind EP [Domino 2009]
  12. Two High String Band – Hot Texas Bluegrass Burrito [THSB 2009]
  13. Ray Wylie HubbardA: Enlightenment B: Endarkenment (Hint: There Is No C) [Bordello 2010]
  14. Them Crooked Vultures Them Crooked Vultures [Interscope 2009]
  15. Various Artists The Princess And The Frog [Disney 2009]
  16. Young Money We Are Young Money [Cash Money 2009]
  17. Works Progress AdministrationWPA [Signature Sounds 2009]
  18. Chris SmitherTime Stands Still [Signature Sounds 2009]
  19. Rosie Flores & the Pine Valley CosmonautsGirl of the Century [Bloodshot 2010]
  20. Mark E Works 2005 – 2008: Selected Tracks & Edits [Merc 2010]
  21. Lee “Scratch” Perry Alien Starman [Secrets 2009]

The Best Albums of January 2010