You have before you, the FINAL Ear to the Ground of 2013, so let's blow this thing out!
First order of business: As promised, it is time to unveil our 2013 Band of the Year. As announced, for the first time in E2TG history, the Band of the Year will be selected by me, myself, and I. Back in 2011, I came up with the idea of a Band of the Year, and frankly, I didn't want the pressure/guilt in picking one band over others. So, I created a Readers' Poll, and with a massive last minute push, UK band The Mobbs stormed to a narrow victory over underdogs Ubiquity Machine.
Following the success of that initial poll, I began running Band of the Month polls beginning with December 2011, although initially successful, the concept of pitting bands against each other began to stale. We carried on, and at the end of last year, we had another successfully Band of the Year Readers' Poll wherein Skeletons in the Piano were selected by popular election.
Since that time, I decided to focus on featuring as much new music as I could, and I dropped the Band of the Month and related features. Although I briefly considered another year-end poll, I came to the conclusion that I wasn't willing to give that power away this time.... oh yeah, and the thing about bands working together for their common good....
So.... after all that background and unsolicited explanation, I am very excited to announce the 2013 Ear to the Ground Band of the Year.
The 2013 Band of the Year were selected for the following reasons:
1. They are among the coolest, most bad ass people I've had the good fortune to get to know as the result of writing this blog.
2. They are extremely generous and supportive of other bands and artists.
3. They released on of the best albums of 2013.
4. I got to meet them and see them blaze through an all too brief set back in early Spring.
5. They had a successful tour in the US and in Europe.
6. The followed up their amazing 2013 album with a brand new single which was accompanied by an incredible video that visually depicted their total bad-assery.
7. Because I said so......
The 2013 E2TG Band of the Year is..... THE END MEN from Brooklyn, New York!!!!!!
Congrats kids! Here's to an even better 2014!
Okay, we have unfinished business as we continue to feature some of our favorite music of 2013... let's do it!
I'll forgo a whole bunch of commentary, but I will see this extended shuffle does show off the variety of music you hear here at Ear to the Ground:
"We Got Soul" by Christian Robins (prod. Jazz Logic)
"Dropped the Pop" by Killing Kuddles
"Four Flame Candle" by Sturgill Simpson
"The Truth" by Dr. Dog
"You Can Have the Crown" by Sturgill Simpson
"Rock and Roll is Dead" by Killing Kuddles
"Black Eyes and White Lies" by Don Ryan and the Blank Canvas Movement
"From this Valley" by The Civil Wars
"Flying Over Water" by Jason Isbell
"Lost Innocent World" by Gogol Bordello
"Cleaning Your Mind" by The End Men
"Dromedary" by Dog Without Warning
"Long Way to the Ground" by The End Men
"From Afar" by Vance Joy
"Hell's Kitchen" by The Westies
"Lollygagging" by Less Love
"Stack Chips" by The End Men
"Baby Loves It" by Penicillin Baby
"Your Dreams Will Always Follow" by prattle on, rick
"Permanent/Impermanent_1213" by Peck
"Ratking" by The End Men
"Winged Victory" by Lys Guillorn
"I Had Me a Girl" by The Civil Wars
"Clark Gable" (Postal Service Cover) by Mr. Kind + holychild
"The Lost Art of Idle/Entitled" by Peck
"Cool Kids" by Christian Robins (feat. Lord of the Fly) (prod. 5Star)
"Mercy" by prattle on, rick
Americana told Sturgill Simpson he was too Country for Americana. His reply, I made a country album.
Peck is Chris Peck who we first met as part of the Brooklyn-based The Disappointment. He is releasing his new album one song at a time, at we have two of those songs in today's shuffle.
Confession: I didn't think I liked Dr. Dog. I lumped them in with a bunch of "Jam" bands that just weren't my cup of tea (actually tea isn't my cup of tea either, but that is another story). Anyway, so I got the chance to actually listen to some of Dr. Dog's new music this year, and believe it or not, I dug it. Go figure.
Penicillin Baby are part of the growing and impressive Jeffery Drag Records family and like the other Jeffery Drag artists they offer a nice counter argument to any one who says all Nashville indie bands sound alike.
I don't know if The Civil Wars are finished. I hope they aren't, but if their 2013 self-titled album is the swan song, it's a hell of a swan song.
In addition to their new EP, Mr. Kind released a series of cover songs wherein they teamed up with other indie artists to cover indie rock classics. Here they team up with fellow California band holychild to cover The Postal Service classic.