2013 was a weird year in music. It seemed a lot of it was dominated by old favorites, with the early part of the year being taken over by surprise comebacks from Suede and David Bowie, and the end of the year knocking everyone for a loop when Beyonce suddenly surprised us with a new multimedia album.
Still, when asked by the Portland Mercury to come up with a music memory for their annual round-up, here is what I concocted:
Recently, angry at how my day was going, I went to the treadmill to let off some steam and typed "Wrecking Ball" into the Spotify search bar. What can I say? I become a pubescent diva when I'm angry.
By alphabetical chance, the app followed Miley's ballad with the quick punch-to-the-gut explosion "Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra)" by London's Vaccines. Ms. Montana's heartbroken wail segued perfectly into the Vaccines' three-chord two-fingers to the sky. In those five minutes, I released more anger than I did in the whole other hour.
Miley's hiphop appropriation is misguided. Her rebellion is all kinds of punk. Despite being in her 20s, she's really a pissed-off teenager sick of being told what to do. Since it's the 21st century, she's paying other people to tell her what to do, but let's be honest, Joe Strummer probably had handlers, too.
So, yeah. You can read a lot more of what Portlanders have to say about the tunes that were right here.
Other highlights included Arctic Monkeys, Primal Scream, Justin Timberlake (x2), Janelle Monae, OMD, and Tricky. Plus, of course, I jumped on the Lorde and CHVRCHES train with everyone else. Biggest disappointment of the year was probably Depeche Mode, surprisingly. Not a terrible record, but Delta Machine was staggeringly unremarkable.
As for my actual listening habits, my LastFM stats, in order of most listened, are as follows...
2. David Bowie
3. Pet Shop Boys
4. Justin Timberlake
5. Depeche Mode
7. The Style Council
8. Janelle Monae
9. Arctic Monkeys
10. Jessie Ware
11. Christina Aguilera
13. Primal Scream
15. Kanye West
16. Daft Punk
18. Paul Weller
20. [tie} Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds / A$AP Rocky
Of those, only Style Council didn't have any new releases last year, though Morrissey and Weller only had a song or two between them.
Most played songs, edited to mostly be singles and not album cuts (or it'd be all Suede, Suede, Suede)...
1. Suede - "Barriers"
2. Suede - "It Starts and Ends With You" (less by just a handful of plays)
3. Justin Timberlake - "Mirrors"
4. Jessie Ware - "If You're Never Gonna Move"
5. CHVRCHES - "Recover"
6. CHVRCHES - "Now is Not the Time"
7. David Bowie - "Where Are We Now?"
8. A$AP Rocky - "Fuckin' Problems (feat. Drake, 2 Chainz, Kendrick Lamar)
9. Solange - "Losing You"
10. Suede - "Hit Me"
11. [tie] Christina Aguilera - "Blank Page" / Robin Thicke - "Blurred Lines (feat. Pharell & T.I.)
12. Suede - "For the Strangers"
13. Mick Harvey - "I Wish That I Were Stone"
14. [tie] Pulp - "After You" / CHVRCHES - "The Mother We Share" / Arctic Monkeys - "Do I Wanna Know?"
15. [tie] Depeche Mode - "Heaven" / David Bowie - "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" / Janelle Monae - "Dance Apocalyptic"
16. Justin Timberlake - "Tunnel Vision"
17. [tie] Jessie Ware - "Devotion" / Lorde - "Royals"
18. CHVRCHES - "Lies"
19. [tie] Pet Shop Boys - "Axis" / Travis - "Where You Stand"
20. [tie] David Bowie - "Valentine's Day" / The Weeknd - "Kiss Land" / Justing Timberlake - "Take Back the Night"
To compare, check out last year's list. Essentially Solange is the boss of me.