2014 was weird.
“YASSSS I LOVE LISTS!!!!!!” – Mary Kate Gavigan
Tbh, I feel like music this year was mediocre, only because in 2013 my music year was PHENOMINAL (Vampire Weekend, Phoenix, Danny Brown, etc…) . The come down was rough, but I found some albums that rocked my socks (which probs have holes in them cuz NO ONE got me socks for Christmas like I asked ugh).
Before I share my official 2014 lists, I first have to share some regular steady jamz, what I missed from previous years, and what I just can’t let go in 2014.
ALBUMS I CONSISTENTLY LISTENED TO THAT DIDN’T COME OUT IN 2014 BUT ARE STILL GOOD AND RELEVANT 2DAY:
1. Reflektor- Arcade Fire: I had “Afterlife” and “Reflektor” on my iPod all year, but somehow I missed the rest of the album completely! Maybe I wasn’t ready to listen to it until now… either way, it’s a work of art.
2. Inside In Outside Out- The Kooks: My go-to do homework, run errands, or just chill album. A classic.
3. True Romance- Charli XCX: If you “looove charli xcx omgggg” but have only heard “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea Feat. Charli XCX then DO U EVEN KNOW CHARLI XCX BRO? Listen to this album. Be not ba$ic.
4. Colored Emotions- Night Moves: Minneapolis knows wassup!!!! Between Caroline Smith and Night Moves, there’s someone for everyone to love. These guys are not only the coolest to hang with, but their twangy tunes are in my brain 4ever.
5. Incesticide- Nirvana: Nevermind is aight but THIS ONE IS THE ONE TO LISTEN TO! DIIV is one of the many bands that say they were inspired to create music from this album. DIIV named themselves after the first track, “Dive” (clever!!!!).
6. King- TI: I know 2004 was the best year in music, BUT 2006 also had some great finds. I’m pretty sure this album was the first one that I illegally ripped from the library. Catholic school loved me so much for playing it that I got to stay 15 minutes after school and talk to my teacher about it (“…but Mrs. Tourdot, he’s talking about how HARD it is to be a gangsta!”).
7. Horn Of Plenty- Grizzly Bear: No need to explain this one.
Okay. Now, let the 2014 lists BEGIN!
Imma start off easy, with just a list of dope songs (cue “Dope Song” by Danny Brown)…
15 SONGS RELEASED THIS YEAR THAT GOT HELLA PLAYS IN MY iTUNES (in no particular order):
1. “Multiply”- A$AP Rocky, Feat. Juicy J, (also with a sick dance break from Yung Gleesh)
2. “Hell Of A Night”- Schoolboy Q
3. “Look At Wrist”- Father Feat. ILOVEMAKONNEN & Key
4. “Move That Dope”- Future Feat. Pharrell, Pusha T, & Casino
5. “Wings”- HAERTS
6. “Last War”- Haley Bonar
7. “Down 4 So Long REMIX”- ILOVEMAKONNEN Feat. Ezra Koenig & Despot
8. “No Rest For The Wicked”- Lykke Li Feat. A$AP Rocky
9. “All That I Know”- OCD Moosh & Twist Feat. Hoodie Allen (fratty i kno, but the piano instrumental is so beautiful!!!)
10. “Cloud 9”- Young Thug (Prod. by London On Da Track)
11. “Hands Up”- Vince Staples
12. “Coming Of Age”- Foster The People (I think ppl didn’t give them a second chance)
13. “Wimma Nah”- Vic Mensa (the only Vic Mensa song I like, don’t worry)
14. “Attak”- Danny Brown & Rustie
15. “Work”- Lizzo
Aaaannnnd up next we have my TOP 5 ALBUMS! With honorable mention to Piñata by Freddie Gibbs and Madlib, but 6 is a weird list number.
1. Salad Days- Mac Demarco: I think iTunes stopped counting the times I played this album. A truly good album can be listened to in all moods, because it gives you comfort whenever you need it. I played it when I was having the time of my life after seeing the man himself, and also when I was extremely lonely on certain hot summer nights. I will argue that “Treat Her Better” is the most beautiful love song ever written. (Keep reading till the end for my best Mac Demarco moment.)
2. Oxymoron- Schoolboy Q: Not only was this album well-organized and easy to listen to, but it was playing during the most memorable nights I’ve had in a while. I’ve blown out the speakers in my mom’s Suburu with my little brother, and I’ve NOT blown out the speakers in Tori Dexter’s Suburu jamming to it on the way to Canada. I heard the album’s biggest hits at The Rave in MKE, NXNE in Toronto, and Pitchfork Fest in Chicago; and I was equally pleased every time.
3. Ultraviolence- Lana Del Rey: YEP LANA MADE #3 H8RS!!!!! Before this album was released I was skeptical, to be honest. Vampire Weekend’s third album was amazing, but not every artist is so fortunate to have enough oomph to make the third (or even the second, for that matter) work. But alas, Lana pulled through. The album wasn’t at all how I imagined it would be, but I was pleasantly surprised. The added input from Black Keys vocalist/guitarist, Dan Auerbach, gave the album an edgy spin, and combined perfectly with Lana’s timeless sound to create an ironicly melancholy masterpiece.
4. Hell Can Wait- Vince Staples: IT’S JUST SO GOOD. And not “Yeah, good hip-hop album bruh bruh!” good, more like “Wow, you sing about the social justice issues our world faces today!” good. He combines new beats with relevant lyrics, making a short and sweet album. I deeply regret missing his set before Isaiah Rashad and Schoolboy Q at The Rave.
5. Alvvays- Alvvays: The sing/songy voice of Cults, plus the wavey guitar of Real Estate, plus the cool style of Bleached, plus the twang of Best Coast, without actually being any of those bands. A winner for sure! I might also add that their set in Younge-Dundas Square in Toronto was magnificent, and they were troopers to play with the glaring sun in their face the whole time.
I apologize for this brief segment, but I had to write about the SAD MUSIC THINGS THAT HAPPENED THIS YEAR THAT I WAS BUMMED ABOUT:
Sad things require sad photos :(
1. Smith Westerns Breakup: Excuse me while I cry holding the first Mixtape CD given to me by WUD Music (specifically Nina Rembert) and the lighter I handed to the lead singer after the show when he didn’t have one.
2 .Rich Homie Quan’s Dad Was Shot: Poor Homie Quan :(
3. Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros Kick Jade Out Of The Band: “Jade? Alexander.” More like “Jade? Jade? No guys srsly where’d Jade go?”
4. THE GIRL WHO TOOK A PIC OF ME AND SKY FERREIRA PUT HER FINGER OVER THE LENS: :((((((((((((((((((((
For the second to last list I have compiled a list of TOP LOCAL ACTS I saw this year: 1.Soul Low: THESE GUYS ARE SO COOL AND JAM SO HARD AND HAVE SO MUCH PASSION I LITERALLY CAN’T EVEN. They PACKED der Rathskeller and every basement I’ve seen them in since. They’re on a January tour in Cali now so we can only hope Californians feel the same way I do! Also, they’re the only band that can get me to do this (sorry about the video being sideways):
Soul Low- UW Madison, 2014
2. F. Stokes: The only person I know who can play a Day-After-Christmas show for eight years and the crowd keeps getting larger. He’s one of my greatest role models, and puts on an amazing show every time.
The dude himself!
3. The Great Duck War: My neighbors, but more importantly, the most conscious musicians I’ve met! These guys know art, music, and ducks, like the back of their hand.
The Great Duck War killin’ the photo game.
4. Ash and TussleMat: This freshman and junior may be new to the game, but they bring a whole new level to it. The outstanding production of Tusslemat’s album is glorious. They can only go up from here.
And now for the last list, the one with the stories…
5 OF THE BEST CONCERTS I WENT TO THIS YEAR WITH A STORY FOR EACH:
1. Danny Brown- The Majestic, Madison: I expected things to get pretty ratchet at this one. IT WAS SO HOT OMG. It was either get to the front so I could breathe, or get out so I could breathe. I chose the front, obvi. It helped that there were maybe 10 girls there total, but I managed to squeeze my sweaty bod up to the front row. While bracing myself against the wood panel of the stage so the crowd wouldn’t crush my ribs, I felt Danny Brown’s black Jordan’s crush my right hand as he jumped down on them. Then he nicely pats my head and says, “Sorry, Lady!” and gets back to “Smokin and Drinkin”. The whole time his hype men can see that I’m in pain (BUT LOVING IT) so they’re chuckling at me from the DJ table. After the show I tweeted at Danny B and HE FOLLOWED ME ON TWITTER. The next day I woke up with 7 bruises. #ANYTHING4ODB
Mackens IS Danny Brown.
2. Schoolboy Q- The Rave, Milwaukee: I went to this one with Max Scharrer and Andrew Mackens, and we wee in the balcony. We missed Vince Staples ( :((( ) but Isaiah Rashad was crackin! Schoolboy’s set was ON POINT, OBVI, and when I turned around to to Max and Mackens mid-show to say something THEY WERE GONE! So I saved their spot with my legs in hopes they would return quickly. I look behind me again and I see them in the distance- faces INCHES away from this dude who looked MAD AZ HELL. Mackens had bought this girl a drank because she asked him to, and everything was going smoothly until Mackens was pulled from the behind by this girl’s BOYFRIEND. He ended up on the floor and the guy was ready to beat him up but Max and Mackens talked him down, and told him it was the girl’s fault (which it was). I thought we were all gonna end up bloody and in the hospital but thanks to the good problem solving skills the Union has taught us we were aight!
3. Mac Demarco- Younge-Dundas Square, Toronto: I WAS FINALLY SEEING MY IDOL IN CONCERT. Nothing could bring me down this day, not even hoards of 17 year-old crowd-surfing Canadian sk8r bois. The set was beautiful, the sun was setting over Toronto and my soul was complete. Mac Demarco was feet away from me and the gate I was braced against. The set ended, and I was content. BUT WAIT. WAS HE GETTING READY TO CROWD SURF?? As he took off his green flannel to reveal his Simpson’s shirt and get ready to jump into the crowd, I WHIP out my disposable camera LITERALLY 2 SECONDS BEFORE HE JUMPS ON TOP OF ME AND KICKS ME IN THE FACE WITH HIS RED VANS. This picture is my greatest music accomplishment to date.
4. A$AP Ferg- A Club Somewhere on Queen Street, Toronto: Max Scharrer and I were accompanied by a CGI film maker from LA that we had met while seeing St. Vincent (I think??). We had an extra Platinum Pass to the festival (a story for another time…) so he used it to get into the club where we were seeing A$AP Ferg. I had to go to the bathroom (too much Redbull, not enough sleep) so I walked downstairs and used the underground dirty club bathroom (although “Canadian dirty” is WAY cleaner than “American dirty”). On my way out I walked around the corner and ran into a dude, and I was like “Oops sorry man” and then I was like OH SHIT IT’S A$AP FERG! He was like “It’s all good” and I went back upstairs to wait for him and Twelvy to come out. Max got some videos of him moshing, then we got Korean food and ended up getting back to the hotel at the EXACT same time that Tori and Mackens came back and we all talked on the floor about our best nights ever while eating spicy leftovers. Below is the video Max took!
A$AP Ferg, Toronto 2014
5. Lizzo- A FREAKING CITY BUS (HOW COOL IS THAT??), Toronto: What could be better than taking a tour of Toronto by bus, while being serenaded by Lizzo, and drinking free Mio water? I had seen Lizzo in Madison with Caroline Smith earlier in the year, but this was out of this world. The only bad part was that the bus dropped us off waayyyyy NOT by our hotel, so while Max and Mackens went out, Tori and I walked back to our hotel, for what seemed like hours, but hey, we got to see lots of Toronto! And I was with friends, and life couldn’t have been better.
Tori, Lizzo, and I before we board the city bus.
I leave you with what I thought was the funniest Youtube video of 2014. Enjoy!
“Backer” – Mac Demarco
Sorry FKA Twigs, ya didn’t make my list this year.