Top 50 Albums & Songs Of 2013

No Comments

I did it. I’m finally done with 2013 music.

It was a hell of a year and my final tally for albums listened to this year rounds out to an even 250. Please validate my listening efforts by clicking here to read my list of my 50 favorite songs and albums of 2013. Just for reference (and the smart asses out there), here is the full list of all 250 albums I listened to this year: More

Recent Articles & Site Future

No Comments

Hey all.

While the website hasn’t been updated in a while, I have been pretty busy with this writing game. This year, I started writing with RVA Magazine‘s website (and some small appearances in the latest print issue). I’ve been blessed to be able to deliver some great interviews with not only great musicians like The 1975 and Kopecky Family Band, but also with perhaps my all-time favorite wrestler in Daniel Bryan (Bryan Danielson).

Here’s a list of all my articles from RVA Magazine this year so you can peruse them at your leisure. This site will be going through an overhaul soon from Balarama Music. The name will most likely change to something more memorable and easily pronounceable, but more importantly, it will shift to more of a portfolio of my work as opposed to inane ramblings and lists. Feel free to follow me on Twitter (@MusicDoug) if you care to hear more from me before then. More

Carbon Leaf Countdown #1: One Prarie Outpost


Considering the heavyweights we have passed, I think our number one song might be a surprise to some. The quality of the song can’t be disputed though. Our number one Carbon Leaf song is “One Prarie Outpost!”

Before we start, I want to say thanks. Thank you to all the people from Carbon Leaf’s message board and Facebook that participated. I got a much bigger response than I hoped for and was very pleased to see that a good number kept interacting with me afterwards. Above all else though, thank you to Carbon Leaf. Not just for entertaining Virginia and the country for about twenty years now, but also for putting up with this countdown! I’m sure they’re have been some songs where I was WAY off base and you probably scratched your heads about it. Plus, I can’t imagine it being easy to see your work ranked. For all we know, each band member’s favorite song could have ended up in the bottom 25 or not even on the list! So above all else, thank you to Carbon Leaf. Now though? Let’s talk about one great song… More

Carbon Leaf Countdown #2: Desperation Song


The true indication of the Carbon Leaf Irish-folk-rock sound is no more evident than in their first true masterpiece. At #2, it’s “Desperation Song!”

When you hear the fans talking about the old Carbon Leaf sound, this is most likely what they’re referring too. Sure, you may have some who want the Shadows sound or the Porch Music sound; you might even have one crazy fan (this guy) who wants to hear some Meander stuff. But when they point to the old Carbon Leaf sound, this is it most of the time. It’s got everything in it. Every weird instrument you want to hear is here. All the crazy rhythms are present. The mysterious & enchanting lyrics are everywhere. The great backing vocals even make an appearance here. It’s even got an extended bridge section for all you who love to just space out during the middle of a song. This is the song Echo Echo is really built upon. Sorry “Boxer.” You’re a great song and all, but you’re no match for “Desperation Song.” Not even close in my book. In terms of purely rocking out and rocking out in that alt-country/alt-folk or Brazilian Death Metal style, this is that song. If you want something to really educate new fans on Carbon Leaf, you can look no further than the top three on this list. #1 will give you every reason to admire them, #3will give you every reason to know they can out-do any other band on radio, and this one will show you that the band just purely rocks on all front. More

Carbon Leaf Countdown #3: What About Everything?


The carefree anthem of Indian Summer ends up high on the countdown. At #3, it’s “What About Everything?”

This might seem weird, but I’ve always viewed “What About Everything?” as the better version of “Life Less Ordinary.” I don’t mean that as an insult though. Honestly, the songs are pretty similar and open the album up as tracks one & two. But more, I think it’s that both songs are basically love song encased within a uniquely written pop song that makes. Well, “Life Less Ordinary” isn’t basically a love song, it is one. I have always viewed “What About Everything?” though as an ode to the carefree nature of love. That “who cares” attitude you have when you’re with each other. Nothing else matters and nothing should. It’s all in the moment. Because the song is disguised a bit more and just has such a clever lyrical structure, I think I would stand by my statement that this is a better version of “Life Less Ordinary.” Again, no insults intended at all. Both are amazing, but I think it edging out the former by about five slots on the countdown is definitely valid here. More

Carbon Leaf Countdown #4: The War Was In Color


After hearing this, you’ll want to find the nearest veteran and give him the biggest and proudest salute of all time. At #4, it’s “The War Was Color!”

I think I’ve made my feelings on Love Loss Hope Repeat be known. I’m really not trying to be negative, but I would consider it to be one of my least favorite Carbon Leaf albums. However, the album does hold something for me. In my opinion, Love Loss Hope Repeat holds the best written Carbon Leaf song ever written on it: “The War Was In Color.” I think the songs that ended up ahead of this song are all top-level, excellent songs, but really, “The War Was In Color” is a career masterpiece that most bands never achieve. It’s like “One” was for U2 almost except that this song really blows that one on all front. Not even Carbon Leaf, this might be one of the top ten best songs of the 2000s and if the band was on the radar of any publication, I think they would back me up on this very strongly. More

Carbon Leaf Countdown #5: The Boxer


I don’t think there will be a lot of peaceful sleep tonight for Carbon Leaf. Another strong contender for number drops at #5: “The Boxer.”

As I said with “Life Less Ordinary,” there are two songs by Carbon Leaf that are most commonly associated with them, that one and “The Boxer.” It is their trademark song similar to how you think instantly of Nirvana with “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” It’s their go to set-closer or encore song and the one guaranteed song that will whip the crowd into a frenzy no matter what day and no matter what city. It’s a fantastic song too and is evocative of their Irish-rock sound evident on Echo Echo, something that really captured a lot of fans around that time period. Here we are, over ten years later and basically four albums later; people are still longing for that Irish-rock sound and awaiting its return. They must have done something right to get that emotion from people and listening to “The Boxer” will prove that they did just that. More

Older Entries

Get Adobe Flash player