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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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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Man at the Top

Long Time Comin'

And so Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band‘s Wrecking Ball Tour made its way around Europe and finished up with two nights in Kilkenny. I’d only planned to go to the two Munster gigs when the Irish dates had been announced last winter, but that plan went out the window following the first show in Limerick. I went online the next day and easily secured a pitch ticket for the second and final concert at Nowlan Park on July 28th. These two dates were going to be a bit of a celebration as half a dozen other acts would join Bruce and the band over the two days in what was being billed as the Wrecking Ball Weekender. My sister and her husband had already bought tickets for the Saturday and they both had yet another unforgettable night on what was their third gig of tour. Josh Ritter, Damien Dempsey and Glen Hansard had warmed up the crowd that night and Glen also returned to share the stage with Bruce during an impressive duet on Drive All Night. They also got the whole of the Born in the USA album and some nice weather, so it sounded like Sunday would be a tough act to follow

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One Way or Another

2013-07-02 15.26.30

I was in Cork city earlier this month with my two nephews when the shop window you see above and below took my eye. Both windows of the Irish Cancer Society’s facade were full of record covers and a very interesting collection it was too. Unfortunately, a sign amongst the records carried the bad news that the merchandise wouldn’t go on sale for another two weeks. I then realised that I wouldn’t be too far from Cork city that day as I’d be staying at my sister’s place following Bruce Springsteen’s gig at Páirc Úi Chaoimh the night before. So, I took a couple of photos of the windows and resolved to return on the morning of the 19th

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