No Exceptions: The Best Songs of 2013

Originals 2

Following a look back at my favourite cover songs of the year earlier in the week, it’s now time for me to focus on twelve songs from 2013 that have the potential to be cover versions someday. I listened to an awful lot of both new and old music this year and I have to admit that most of it was not awful at all. Nearly all the new music I heard came from albums that I listened to in their entirety, a few more I heard at gigs, but most of the ones below I came across on other blogs. I used to hear a lot of new stuff on the radio in the past, but I’m afraid I never listen to that medium anymore. I’m sure I’m missing out on lots of great music, but at least I don’t have to waste time listening to DJs or advertisements

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Get Lucky: The Best Cover Songs of 2013

2013 Best Covers

I’m back! It’s been a busy few months since my last post and I’m sorry it took me so long to return to blogging. I’ve actually spent that time and most of this year going to loads of gigs and listening to tons of music. In fact, I’ve probably listened to more new music than I’ve ever listened to in a calendar year before. It’s been a brilliant twelve months for music and I hope to use the rest of it to tell you about my favourite songs, albums and films of the year. Of course, it could be 2014 by the time I finish doing all that, but today I’ll start off by telling you about my favourite cover versions released in 2013 and later in the week I hope to write about my favourite original tracks

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All Mixed Up

Cassette Store Day 2013

Today is Cassette Store Day , which is the brainchild of a trio of music business people based in London: Matt Flag, Jen Long and Steve Ross. The three of them also run record tape labels and it was Steve who got the idea from the more established Record Store Day. Like its vinyl counterpart, Cassette Store Day will feature live bands performing in record shops and various venues worldwide today. About fifty cassettes have been released especially for today and these include titles by lesser known acts as well as more familiar names like The Flaming Lips, The Pastels, Waxahatchee and múm. You can check out a complete list of releases here and have a look at where things are happening here

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The Old & The Young

Last Wednesday, the six members of Midlake from Texas took to the stage of Dolan’s Warehouse and delivered an impressive 90-minute set. I wasn’t that familiar with their music beforehand, but I thoroughly enjoyed the band’s musicianship, vocal harmonies and their songs. They formed in 1999 and released albums in 2004, 2006 and 2010. Antiphon is the title of their fourth album and it will be released later this year

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Ups & Downs


The English Premier League returns today for a season that has seen many changes in personnel even before it’s begun. Cardiff City, Hull City and Crystal Palace are the three promoted teams from the Championship and all of them will spend most of 2013/14 trying to stay out of the bottom three places. Last year’s top three clubs all have new managers, though Jose Mourinho and David Moyes won’t be too unfamiliar with their new clubs. The likes of Luiz Suarez, Gareth Bale and Wayne Rooney are all itching for moves away from their current homes, while Stevan Jovetic, Álvaro Negredo and Roberto Soldado are some of the new names who’ll try to thir best to impress. Of course, the return of the real thing also means the return of fantasy football and I’m hoping for a better season than last year for my squad. I’m sure it’ll look a lot different in a couple of months, but you can check out my opening throw of the dice above and my reasons for choosing those particular players below

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True Confessions

Good Vibrations

Sometime in the middle of the 1990s, I spent a week of my holidays visiting the major cities on the island of Ireland. Specifically, I was going to these places to check out their record stores and bookshops. I was based in Limerick, so I made a few day trips by bus to Cork, Galway and Waterford. I also went to Dublin and stayed there with a friend in order to make my first visit to Belfast. This would have been a few years before the Good Friday Agreement of 1998 and I remember a lot of my friends being a bit concerned about me going to Northern Ireland. I wasn’t too worried and was looking forward to visiting the record shops and bookstores I had somehow found out about

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Peas in a Pod

My brother is five years younger than me and likes vodka, gardening, and red bull, though not necessarily in that order. He lives in the countryside, so I visited him yesterday to see how he and his garden were getting along. As you can see from the pictures, things are blooming great. He’s been tending the garden for a few summers now and has been particularly busy this year. The main garden is in front of the house and you can actually see forty shades of green there. It’s got cabbage, courgettes, cauliflower, peas, potatoes, lettuce and gherkins and one or two other vegetables as well

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