In no particular order, some of the best records I enjoyed this year (bold titles denote most listened to):
Iron Chic - The Constant One
Nails - Abandon All Life
Transit - Young New England
The Story so Far - What You Don’t See
Paint it Black - Invisible (EP)
New Found Glory - Kill It Live
Frank Turner - Tape Deck Heart
The Wonder Years - The Greatest Generation
Ghostface Killah - Twelve Reasons to Die
The World is a Beautiful Place… - Whenever, If Ever
Billy Bragg - Tooth & Nail
Defeater - Letters Home
Self Defense Family - Try Me
The World is a Beautiful Place…/Self Defense Family/Code Orange Kids/Tigers Jaw - 4 Way Split
Drug Church - Your Life is a Deflated Carwash Dancer
Into It. Over It. - Intersections
Touché Amoré - Is Survived By
Balance and Composure - The Things We Think We’re Missing
Modern Life is War - Fever Hunting
The Hotel Year - It Never Goes Out (2011)
That Iron Chic record came out later this year but I haven’t stopped listening to it. Technically I don’t think the SDF - Try Me is released until 2014 but it’s on Spotify and the like. It’s a cathartic, repetitive, incredible piece of music. That Paint it Black EP was exactly what I want hardcore to be, it was perfect for me. The World is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die really struck a chord with me, on the split and on the full length. Definitely one of my most listened to bands this year.
If you forgot what a cohesive hip-hop album sounds like you HAVE to go listen to that Ghostface record. It’s incredible. A crazy concept, a comic book to match, what a great record.
While ‘The Hotel Year’ record I have listed came out in 2011 I didn’t find it until this year and it’s been a go-to driving record. I can’t wait for the full length they’re putting out this year.
Title Fight and Swearin’ also put out some music this year but I haven’t had a chance to fully digest them, I suspect they’ll become heavy in my rotation this new year.
New Found Glory put out their first live album and that’s why it makes my cut. Their live show is an absolute blast and this album captures that.
And, in no particular order, some of my favorite songs from the year, in a Spotify playlist:
Some of these songs didn’t come up on favorite records but they were some jams I enjoyed. Wrecking Ball’s pretty sick. I don’t particularly care for pop music in general, but I wouldn’t mind if more of it sounded like Miley’s record.
Most of the books I read didn’t come out in 2013 but here’s a list with bold titles being some of the best:
Junot Diaz - Drown
Junot Diaz - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Junot Diaz - This is How You Lose Her
Wally Lamb - The Hour I First Believed
Truman Capote - Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Mark Twain - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
C.D. Payne - Youth in Revolt
Sean Dixon - The Last Days of the Lacuna Cabal
Chuck Pahlayuck - Haunted
Nick Miller - Isn’t It Pretty to Think So?
(started) David Foster Wallace - The Broom of The System
The bests of those? All of the Junot Diaz books, incredible. ‘As I Lay Dying’ is a little heavy, kind of frustrating, honestly not that enjoyable. I’d like to never read another thing Chuck Pahlayuck writes. Nick Miller’s novel is great and I look forward to his next release.
I wanted to try and read some things over the year that I missed when I was in high school/college because I was an angsty teen/defiant student that didn’t care to read. I had a lot of time to myself this year and these books helped me fill that time up. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn being one of my most favorite reads in the year.
And yes, I’m misspelling Chuck P’s name on purpose. Yuck.
And…finally, a list of movies from the year, the best being in bold:
Out of the Furnace
Filmage: The Descendents/ALL
Kings of Summer
Stories We Tell
Not new movies, but movies we hadn’t seen or it had been awhile:
Being John Malkovich (hadn’t seen)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (eh, maybe? it’d been awhile at least)
ET (it’d been awhile)
Movies from 2013 that I didn’t get to see yet:
Blue is the Warmest Color
Dallas Buyers Club
Inside Llewyn Davis
12 Years a Slave
In a World…
Cutie and the Boxer
Out of the Furnace didn’t fair well on the review websites but man, it was enthralling. One of my favorites of the year. Mud was brilliantly good, a really great story and great acting.
If you’re interested in pop-punk/punk/hardcore then you should definitely see The Descendents documentary.
I think Stories We Tell might be the best movie we watched this year. A “human interest piece” (nod to Philomena) it focuses on a family with a convoluted history but it’s so well done. I highly suggest it.
Captain Phillips was a pretty intense ride that I didn’t expect. Apparently Tom Hanks and his out of shape crew didn’t meet the Somoli actors until they boarded the boat during filming. It definitely shows in the movie.
We just watched Nebraska this weekend but it was released in 2013. It’s really great, very heartwarming. A relatable tale all-in-all especially for anyone with aging parents and an extended family they don’t see very often.
And yo, Being John Malkovich is not the quirky comedy I always thought it was, what a friggin trip! We decided to re-watch Close Encounters of the Third Kind after picking up the soundtrack at the local record store. ET came on TV last night and I still can’t make it through without crying.
Hey, that’s the end! Go support your local record store, local theatre, local bookstore (I’ve slacked on this and don’t have a link to my favorite local one), and local grocery store because you gotta eat to live to enjoy all these things.