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Best Albums of 2013…So Far

It's halfway through the year, which means it's time for Jim and Greg to unveil the list of 2013's mid-year best.

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Music News

(Unfortunately) the music news is often focused on a death in the industry. This week it's the death of a club. Maxwell's in Hoboken, NJ will be closing its doors next month. This is the famous bar where Nirvana performed, Bruce Springsteen shot the video for "Glory Days," and Yo La Tengo celebrated Chanukah. This is also the place where a young Jim DeRogatis came of musical age. Read his tribute here. And check out our own live recording at Maxwell's with The Feelies.

Jim and Greg also say farewell to Marvin Junior who sang tenor in the Chicago R&B group The Dells. As Greg explains, the original members performed together for six decades, something many groups from that era weren‘t able to do. Perhaps that’s why Robert Townsend captured their story in The Five Heartbeats.


Best of 2013… So Far

Conscientious critics that they are, Jim and Greg don't leave their best-of list making until December. This week, they get a jump on their 2013“Best of”list by giving us their top albums of the year so far. Here's what made the cut as the mid-year best:

reviewQueens of the Stone Age; Like ClockworkEra Vulgaris available on iTunes

Queens of the Stone Age Era Vulgaris

After six years of silence, Queens of the Stone Age are back with yet another addition to their stoner rock catalogue. As Greg. explains, …Like Clockwork follows a tough period in lead-singer Josh Homme's life: he recently suffered dangerous complications from surgery as well as depression. But Greg takes …Like Clockwork as a hopeful sign for the band, calling it Queens‘ best work in a decade. After veering off into weirdness on 2007’s Era Vulgaris, Greg welcomes the return of strong songwriting and melodies on this record. He says Buy it. Jim can't agree. …Like Clockwork is the kind of record the Try it rating was designed for, he says. Cut the dreadful slow tracks and you've got a decent Queen EP.



“Salty Dog”Procol Harum

It seems that Jim and Greg have been in a progressive rock mood of late, at least when it comes to their trips to the tropical isle. This week Greg looks to Procol Harum, a pioneer in the British prog scene. You of course know this song. But the track that Greg adds to the Desert Island Jukebox is 1969's "Salty Dog." It evokes desperation, drama and fear. Amazing considering it began in a bathroom in Cleveland.

Featured Songs

  1. Goose Island Credit Music: Pure Sunray,“Caramel,”Pure Sunray, 2013
  2. The Feelies, Crazy Rhythms, Crazy Rhythms, Bar None, 1980
  3. The Dells, Stay in My Corner, There Is, Chess, 1968
  4. The Shirelles, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, Tonight's the Night, Sceptre, 1961
  5. Foxygen, In The Darkness, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic, Jagjaguwar, 2013
  6. David Bowie, The Next Day, The Next Day, Columbia, 2013
  7. Karl Bartos, Musica Ex Machina, Off the Record, Bureau B, 2013
  8. Rhye, Open, Woman, Polydor, 2013
  9. Rhye, Verse, Woman, Polydor, 2013
  10. Wire, Doubles & Trebles, Change Becomes Us, Pink Flag, 2013
  11. Chance the Rapper, Pusha Man (feat. Nate Fox & Lili K.), Acid Rap, self-released, 2013
  12. Savages, Hit Me, Silence Yourself, Matador, 2013
  13. Parquet Courts, Borrowed Time, Light Up Gold, What's Your Rupture?, 2013
  14. Parquet Courts, Donuts Only, Light Up Gold, What's Your Rupture?, 2013
  15. Queens of the Stone Age, The Vampyre Of Time And Memory, …Like Clockwork, Matador, 2013
  16. Queens of the Stone Age, My God Is The Sun, …Like Clockwork, Matador, 2013
  17. Procol Harem, A Salty Dog, A Salty Dog, A&M, 1969
  18. The Beatles, Anytime At All, A Hard Day's Night, Capitol, 1964
  19. Johnny Cash, Greystone Chapel, At Folsom Prison, Legacy, 1968
  20. Tame Impala, Keep on Lying, Lonerism, Modular, 2012
  21. Devo, Mongoloid, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, Warner Bros, 1978

Footnotes Maxwell's closing Jim on Maxwell's Sound Opinions with The Feelies Marvin Junior obituary The Five Heartbeats Queens of the Stone Age Greg on Queens of the Stone Age Like Clockwork on Matador“Era Vulgaris” Procol Harum's website“Salty Dog”