Best Pop, Rock, Rap and Indie Albums of 2013

Halcyon Days, Ellie Goulding

Key tracks: “Burn,” “Under Control,” “How Long Will I Love You,” “Midas Touch,” “Flashlight” feat. DJ Fresh

Pure Heroine, Lorde

Key tracks: “Royals,” “Team,” “White Teeth Teens,” “Tennis Court”

Heartthrob, Tegan and Sara

Key tracks: “Closer,” “I Was A Fool,” “I Couldn’t Be Your Friend,” “Goodbye, Goodbye”

Cupid Deluxe, Blood Orange

Key tracks: “You’re Not Good Enough,” “Always Let U Down,” “It Is What It Is,” “Chosen”

Ciara, Ciara

Key tracks: “I’m Out” feat. Nicki Minaj, “Read My Lips,” “Backseat Love”

Days Are Gone, Haim

Key tracks: “Don’t Save Me,” “Falling,” “Forever”

Lightning Bolt, Pearl Jam

Key tracks: “Getaway,” “Lightning Bolt,” “My Father’s Son”

The 20/20 Experience, Justin Timberlake

Key Tracks: “Mirrors,” “Suit & Tie” feat. Jay-Z, “Body Count,” “TKO”

The Bones Of What You Believe, Chvrches

Key tracks: “Recover,” “The Mother We Share,” “Gun”

Long. Live. A$AP, A$AP Rocky

Key tracks: “1 Train” feat. Kendrick Lamar, Yelawolf, & Big K.R.I.T, “Fashion Killa,” “Fuckin’ Problems” feat. Drake, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar

Night Time, My Time, Sky Ferreira

Key tracks: “Nobody Asked Me If I Was Okay,” “Boys,” “I Blame Myself”

Free The Universe, Major Lazer

Key tracks: “You’re No Good” feat. Santigold, Danielle Haim & Yasmin, “Get Free” feat. Amber Coffman, “Scare Me” feat. Peaches & Timberlee, “Bubble Butt” feat. Bruno Mars, Tyga & Mystic

Bitter Rivals, Sleigh Bells

Key tracks: “You Don’t Get Me Twice,” “Bitter Rivals,” “Love Sick”

Trouble, Natalia Kills

Key Tracks: “Problem,” “Saturday Night,” “Stop Me”

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Honorable mentions: Don’t Look Down, Skylar Grey, Nothing Was The Same, Drake, Beyoncé, Beyoncé, Weekend, The Sounds, My Name Is My Name, Pusha T, Yeezus, Kanye West, Delta Machine, Depeche Mode, The Marshall Mathers LP 2, Eminem



5 Holiday Movies to Melt Your Cynical Heart

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Yay! Holidays are here and it’s time to tune out gluttonous relatives who only ever brag about their children’s non-existent achievements, buy things you can’t afford or keep for yourself, and eat food that will shave five years off your life and force you to buy elastic maternity pants that only come in embarrassing colors.

So, while you’re decorating the tree you killed in your stained turquoise pants, here are some festive movies to pass the time and make that black icicle in your chest go thump thump thump.

(Omitted National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story for obvious reasons.)

1. Scrooged. Before What About Bob? and Groundhog Day, there was Scrooged with Bill Murray in his curly-haired prime in the best (and only?) Christmas Carol movie aimed at drink-holding adults.

2. Love, Actually. This one’s not so much for cynics, but it’s still a billion edgy steps up from anything dredged up from Nicholas Sparks’ toilet. Aging sellout Billy Mack steals the show with his corny rendition of “Love Is All Around.” Oh, and all I want for Christmas is a naked Bilbo Baggins (you’ll see).

3. Mixed Nuts. Liev Schreiber in drag and pregnant Juliette Lewis bitching to the tune of Adam Sandler’s ukulele. Help me solve the mystery of why this movie was panned by the critics.

4. Home For The Holidays. Truly the perfect dysfunctional family Thanksgiving movie, this centers around a brother and sister (an understated Robert Downey Jr. and Holly Hunter), their mom and crazy aunt Gladys. Also, shaky-chinned Claire Danes and douchey Dylan McDermott. “LET’S EAT DEAD BIRD!”

5. Bad Santa. Sarcastic drunk mall Santa befriends overly optimistic fat kid. Hilarity ensues. ‘Nuff said.

Top 6 Indie Bands To Watch For In 2011

Let’s face it, 2010 wasn’t the greatest year for indie bands. Besides Broken Bells, not many emerged, and it was mostly about semi-established bands being rediscovered by the masses. This held true for Florence & The Machine, whose album actually debuted in mid-2009. Also Mumford & Sons, Metric, Arcade Fire, MGMT, Phoenix and Bon Iver, all very known in the indie community previous to 2010, were the talk of award shows, and varying esteemed music lists of last year.

2011 is another story, not only are there the usual hoards of bands trying to make it, some of them have a LOT of potential for the same sort of indie sellout glory that Mumford & Sons achieved. I can only hope that “Little Lion Man” will be replaced by the Sonic-Youth influenced sounds of Yuck, or the experimental wailings tUnE-yArDs or the retro jazz clap ‘n snap of Caro Emerald, whose early 2010 debut has yet to even be released officially in the U.S.

Most of these contenders formed fairly recently and released CDs this year, with the exception of Emerald’s Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Floor.

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