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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(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:


  • Savages, Silence Yourself
  • Wire, Change Becomes Us
  • Karl Bartos, Off the Record
  • Foxygen, We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic


  • Parquet Courts, Light Up Gold
  • Chance the Rapper, Acid Rap
  • Rhye, Woman
  • David Bowie, The Next Day

...Like Clockwork Queens of the Stone Age

Queens of the Stone Age; Like Clockwork

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.


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.

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