Six things to like in 2013

20:17, Jan 28 2013

What are you looking forward to in 2013? There must be some new albums you're aware of? Up and coming bands too...

Here are six things I'm excited about for 2013.

The new Unknown Mortal Orchestra album: I've had a sample of this for a while - due to the band playing a show in Wellington right at the start of the year. The new album is great. I liked the first album but I reckon this is a big leap. And I've mentioned it here already but I'm sure it'll be on many end-of-year lists for 2013.

Aaron Neville singing rock'n'roll and doo-wop songs: I've also heard this already, his new album, My True Story. It's very good. Co-produced by Don Was and Keith Richards, it has Neville picking the songs he grew up with and delivering superb versions of them. I haven't cared about an Aaron Neville release in close to 20 years. But this feels good. Certainly worth hearing.

There's a new Flaming Lips album on the way: I've only heard this song but I still want to like the Lips. And though they haven't, for me, released anything vital in a decade now - Yoshimi was the last necessary Flaming Lips album - I still check out everything the band does and admire their pluck (if not always their plucking). I like the fact that this is only nine songs and clearly features some wigout jams (judging by the times on some of the tracks). Could be good, eh?

Elvis Costello is recording an album with The Roots: It's a bit lazy (and tired) suggesting that Costello did three or four great records - or had a good first decade - and then phoned in a bunch of misguided one-man-arts-festival projects. It's usually said by people who haven't listened to the albums. (The same people who are sure Paul McCartney has done nothing of value since The Beatles but couldn't name more than two of his solo albums.) Sure, for Costello that was a great run of early records - and that first decade was near enough to perfect. Then there were some stumbles, but I'll still listen to anything he releases - and I'll always find something to like, Goodbye Cruel World is a stretch of course but I'm talking 1990 and beyond...and The Roots haven't yet let me down. They perform the backing band role in their sleep. This could be a ripper.


New D'Angelo album called James River: Speaking of The Roots, Questlove has talked up the forthcoming D'Angelo album, James River. But is it actually coming? Is it the Chinese Democracy of hip-hop/R'n'B? (In a way it already is, given the delay/s). I've been enjoying Brown Sugar and Voodoo all over again lately, the latter on double-vinyl reissue. Lovely, lovely. Fingers crossed for this then, I reckon.

There's a new Phoenix Foundation record coming, a double: I haven't heard a thing from it - I wasn't lucky enough to be part of the weekend's preview shows at Puppies in Wellington where the band performed the new (double) album in its entirety but the reports have been great. Would have loved to be there. Next time eh. Meanwhile, I'm interested immediately in a new record by these guys because they haven't ever let me down. They've improved with each record too - pretty much; progressed, developed, never repeated themselves. And it sounds like the new album is going off in new directions: they have a new drummer too (and he's one of the finest to play the trap-set in New Zealand: Chris O'Connor). I always want to hear any project he's involved with. So there's that too. There's rumours the new album will be pressed on double-vinyl and will include one side-long song, epic-jam styles. Yippee.

And there'll be more. Many more things to be excited about, I would hope. And I'll always share more when I hear of more. But now it's your turn to play, and your turn to help. What are the six things you're looking forward to, music-wise, in 2013? Are there new albums on the way that you are anticipating? Or are you more interested in some of the great gigs we have coming up?

Share your six things to like (relating to music) for 2013.

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