I listened to a LOT of music this year.  I photographed a lot of amazing bands.  I had a lot of fun and I drank a lot of beer while I did it.  In short, my year was a whirlwind of awesome, but damn, it was exhausting.  From SXSW to running two businesses to training for a marathon, my calendar was full up.   Reflecting back on it, I’m both proud and shocked at how much I managed to pack in.   I’m even more shocked that I’m able to get this list out before the year 2014 rings in!

So, without further adieu, here’s my list of the Best Music of 2013.  I have too hard of a time actually listing things in number, so a few years ago I started using my friend Jason’s REALLY AWESOME rating system, which is as follows:

!!! at SXSW 2013

Super awesome and by far my favorite
!!! – Thriller
Classixx – Hanging Gardens
Cut Copy – Free Your Mind
Foxygen – We are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic
HAIM – Days Are Gone
Phoenix – Bankrupt!
Savages – Silence Yourself
Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires of the City

Foxygen at SXSW 2013

Still pretty awesome
Arcade Fire – Reflektor
Blood Orange – Cupid Deluxe
Chvrches – The Bones of What you Believe
Clinic – Free Reign II
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
Janelle Monáe – The Electric Lady
Kanye West – Yeezus
Mikal Cronin – MCII
The National – Trouble Will Find Me

Vampire Weekend at SXSW 2013

Kind of awesome
Deerhunter – Monomania
Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience

Enjoyable for a listen, but otherwise just okay
Paul McCartney – New

Albums that music critics adore and I am totally not into, save a track or two here and there
Phosphorescent – Muchacho

Albums that I haven’t listened to yet but everyone loves
The Flaming Lips – The Terror

At the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis Show, SXSW 2013

Previous best of lists