My top 20 memorable quotes from 2013

Categories: Year-end blitz
Tegan and Sara.jpg
Photo by Lindsey Byrnes
Be careful what you say in an interview, for it may come back to haunt you in blog form. This year many national acts that came through the Twin Cities shared some stories with Gimme Noise about music, criticism, and hanging out with actors like Kristen Wiig.

Find out who said what in 20 memorable passages from this past year in this collection of notable quotes.

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The 12 Best Country Albums of 2013

Categories: Year-end blitz

Brandy Clark wrote or co-wrote the best songs on three of this year's best albums, including her own
The most frequent complaint non-country listeners make about today's Nashville is that the music doesn't sound like it used to. That's true. But it's not that the hitmakers have abandoned their base -- it's that they've annexed the audiences abandoned by rock when rock went crabby after Nirvana.

The sonic palate of today's country is any music that its (mostly white) audience has ever liked, which means Blake Shelton raps, a little, and The Band Perry rocks Queen chord changes. If "November Rain" came out today it would be the CMA's song of the year -- although some label suit would probably insist on adding a rudimentary hip hop beat.

The records that turn up on lists like this tend to cut against the grain. Most of my choices ape older country sounds and favor a self-conscious austerity over the parking-lot party-pop that often storms the charts. That's a preference rather than a swipe at the Lee Brices of the world -- music like his does what good pop always has: It brightens the corners of its listeners' lives.

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Scary things pop music taught me in 2013

Categories: Year-end blitz
Photo by Tony Nelson

From Kanye's massive ego, to the death of teenage angst and the rise of Miley, 2013 was filled with signs that pop music was on life support and that music fans and consumers have become bored and jaded in the process. I take a sardonic look back at some of the biggest, most frightening moments of the past year that have left me wondering where pop music is heading in 2014 and if it's finally dead.

See Also: 2013: The year of the overhyped album blockbuster

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Best living legends shows of 2013

Categories: Year-end blitz

Photo By Mark Kartarik
Lee Fields and the Expressions stirred up the Cedar in 2013

My head spins when I think back on all of the incredible shows we all saw in the Twin Cities this year. There are so many great spots to experience live music and the variety of shows throughout 2013 was astounding. Most music loving folks can attest that the Twin Cities can keep you out every night of the year.

I thought I'd go through a list of some of the more seasoned veterans of the trade that graced us with their divine presence this year. With grace and honor, those artists who invented the game continue to spread their music gospel, for both cathartic and nostalgic purposes.

I was lucky enough to soak up many of these stellar shows, and I came up with a fairly platinum list filled with a stalwart roster of creators and pioneers of their respected forms. 2013 looks great when looking back, and reminds us all not to sleep on living legends.

See Also: The best Twin Cities concerts of 2013, part two

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The best Twin Cities concerts of 2013, part two

Photo by Erik Hess

As 2013 winds down with a wintry bang, the unforgettable live music moments from the second half of the year are enough to still keep us warm.

While some of the bands who were included in our best concerts list from the first half of the year came back to rock our stages with equally potent -- if not better -- local gigs (namely CHVRCHES, Prof, Poli├ža, and Prince), we've assembled an entirely new list of performers who put on incredible shows from July through December that those of us who were there won't forget anytime soon.

See Also: The best Twin Cities concerts of 2013 (so far)

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The 10 most ridiculous metal album covers of 2013

Categories: Year-end blitz

Do they people who conceived and designed these metal album covers not care, or do they care too much? It's not entirely clear, but that's what makes them so awesome. Behold, the 10 most ridiculous metal album covers of the year.

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The 10 best Minnesota music videos of 2013


In addition to all of the great songs and albums released by Minnesota musicians throughout 2013, it has also been a wonderful year for local music videos. Each week, there are no shortage of original, striking clips that I've spotlighted in my Local Frames column, as area bands and filmmakers continue to craft indelible images to compliment the stirring sounds of the Twin Cities and beyond. And now, as the year draws to a festive and fruitful close, we take an affectionate look back at ten of the best Minnesota-based music videos that have captured and held our attention throughout '13.

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The 10 best Minnesota singles of 2013
The 10 best Minnesota albums of 2013

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The 10 best Minnesota singles of 2013

Photo by Guy Eppel

On both national and local levels, 2013 has been a great year for music. Plenty of talented artists and acts have produced memorable songs and and albums that have kept the area scene buzzing for 12 thrilling months now, making the choice of the ten best singles of the year a hard -- but ultimately rewarding -- one.

Some of these tracks weren't heating up the airwaves or burning up the charts, but they still warrant your rapt attention and should be played loud and proud by those who love local music. These ten songs represent only a fraction of what the area has to offer, but they boldly stood out as being fresh and original amidst the flourishing Minnesota music scene in 2013.

See Also: The 10 best Minnesota albums of 2013

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The 10 best Minnesota albums of 2013

Photo by Mark N. Kartarik
It was especially difficult to narrow down to ten entries for the best albums created by locals this year out of the hundreds that crossed our desk. These records, however, always came up in conversation, kept creeping into our heads while we were in the shower, and created lives of their own to live on for years to come.

These are the ten records by Minnesota-based musicians we couldn't shake this year.

See Also: Twin Cities Music Yearbook 2013
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The Replacements: 2013 in review

Photo By Erik Hess

For fans of the Replacements, 2013 provided one memorable moment after another from a band that no one was sure they would hear from ever again. The 'Mats not only released a new EP to benefit their ailing friend Slim Dunlap, they reunited for a string of thrilling shows that had dedicated fans from all over the world flocking to see them take the stage once again, and were even nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to top it all off.

There were no shortage of headlines and unforgettable occasions provided by Paul Westerberg, Tommy Stinson, and the gang throughout the past 12 months, and here we take an affectionate look back at a year that truly belonged to the Replacements.

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