BSidesNarrative Best of ’13 Playlist

by Michael on January 1, 2014

ConcertEverything changes.

2013 was a year of transition: retro, a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Dance floor disco, wall-of-noise dream pop, and a splash of shoegazing post-rock. 80’s synth-pop, ‘fuck-up your life’ folk, and some damn fine electronica. We look back and flash our influences before landing somewhere between here and there. Feel it out and find your way.

Click shuffle and let the music be as random as your life.

Spotify: BSidesNarrative Best of 2013

Rdio: BSidesNarrative Best of 2013


    1. Line of Fire – Junip
    2. The Mother We Share – Chvrches
    3. California Analog Dream – Vondelpark
    4. Wasting My Young Years – London Grammer
    5. Pink Rabbits – The National
    6. New Year’s Resolution – Camera Obscura
    7. The Wire – Haïm
    8. Song for Zula – Phosophorescent
    9. Afterlife – Arcade Fire
    10. The Lead Is Galloping – Au Revoir Simone
    11. The Smoke, The Feeling – Cloud Control
    12. Retrograde – James Blake
    13. You Missed My Heart – Mark Kozelek (with Album Leaf)
    14. Avant Gardener – Courtney Barnett
    15. Lose Yourself to Dance (feat. Pharrell Williams) – Daft Punk
    16. She Will – Savages
    17. What We Done? – Austra
    18. You & I – Local Natives
    19. Worsening – Baths
    20. Wings – Haerts
    21. Colour Yr Lights In – The Besnard Lakes
    22. You Are a Memory – Message to Bears
    23. Wakin on a Pretty Day – Kurt Vile
    24. State Hospital – Frightened Rabbit
    25. L-DOPA – Laura Stevenson
    26. Youth – Daughter
    27. Borrowed Time – Parquet Courts
    28.  Swan Dive – Waxahatchee
    29. Letter of Intent – Ducktails
    30. Ribs – Lorde
    31. State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.) – Jim James
    32. Step – Vampire Weekend
    33. Wedding Song – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
    34. Rainbow Trout – Matt Kivel (Not on Spotify OR Rdio) 
    35. Beginnings – Houses
    36. Shuggie – Foxygen
    37. Ludlow – Houndmouth
    38. Staying In – Ola Podrida
    39. Gold – Wake Owl
    40. Broken – Jake Bugg
    41. Go Home – Lucius
    42. On the Run – Postiljonen
    43. Home – Wave Machines
    44. In the Kingdom – Mazzy Star
    45. Amsterdam – Gregory Alan Isakov
    46. Walking Backwards – Leagues
    47. Crane Your Neck – Lady Lamb and the Beekeeper (Not on Rdio)
    48. At Opportunities – Solander
    49. Just Make It Stop – Low
    50. What Can I Do? – Scout Niblett (Not on Spotify OR Rdio) 
    51. The Gilded Hand – Radical Face
    52. Advanced Falconry – Mutual Benefit
    53. Raise Me – The Hotel Alexis
    54. This Is What Is – Danny Michel with The Garifuna Collective
    55. Don’t You Want It – The White Buffalo
    56. Another Story – The Head and the Heart
    57. Miles and Miles – The Deep Dark Woods
    58. A Wake For the Minotaur –  Shearwater
    59. Summer Painter  – Bill Callahan (Not on Spotify OR Rdio) 
    60. Uncle Ace – Blood Orange
    61. Sun Song – Laura Veirs
    62. Ramona – Night Beds
    63. Down the Deep River – Okkervil River
    64. Glass – (Not on Spotify OR Rdio) 
    65. My Old Friend – SamAmidon
    66. The Old and the Young – Midlake
    67. Bar – San Fermin
    68. In Two – Blue Hawaii
    69. Diamonds – The Boxer Rebellion
    70. Illusions – Shout Out Louds
    71. Open – Rhye
    72. Dust to Dust – The Civil Wars
    73. Instant Crush (feat. Julian Casablancas) – Daft Punk
    74. Something Something – Kaskade
    75. Spirited Away – Lily & Madeleine
    76. I Should Live in Salt – The National
    77. Speed into – Sumie
    78. Ohm – Yo La Tengo
    79. Recover – Chvrches
    80. So Clear – Junip


  1. These Shadows – Wooden Shjips (Not on Rdio) 
  2. Vital – Grouper
  3. The Quotidian Beasts – Phosphorescent
  4. Childhood’s End – Majical Cloudz
  5. Memorial (feat. Chelsea Wolfe) –  Russian Circles
  6. Moonlight – Message to Bears
  7. Feel My Pain – Kurt Vile
  8. Sharpteeth – The Octopus Project (Not on Rdio) 
  9. Before We Run -  Yo La Tengo
  10. We Disappear – Jon Hopkins
  11. XXIII – Smith Westerns
  12. Gravitron – Au Revoir Simone
  13. 46 Satires – The Besnard Lakes
  14. Taipei – 65daysofstatic
  15.  Hljóma Þú - Samaris
  16. Fragment Two – These New Puritans
  17. Hello  Stranger – Julia Holter
  18. the Place I Live – Mount Eerie
  19. Brennisteinn – Sigur Ros
  20. Somehow the Wonder of Life Prevails – Mark Kozelek (w/ Album Leaf)

10 Favorite Songs of the Year

  • Somehow the Wonder of Life Prevails– Mark Kozelek (w/ Album Leaf)
  • Childhood’s End – Majical Cloudz
  • Wakin on a Pretty Day – Kurt Vile
  • L-DOPA – Laura Stevenson
  • Wasting My Young Years – London Grammar
  • Pink Rabbits – The National
  • Line of Fire – Junip
  • The Mother We Share – Chvrches
  • The Quotidian Beasts – Phosphorescent
  • Vital – Grouper


On the Wonder of Life

May 22, 2013

It was late in the year of the fog, first spring after 9/11, those days of ER visits, of endless Xanax and chain-smoking. The unemployed era, when I stared at a blinking cursor, hour after hour, blank-brained and absent, incapable of doing much of anything. “Severe acute anxiety disorder,” one of the on-call shrinks said before handing me more drugs, no follow-up scheduled- there’s no profit in the uninsured. I ignored days – too many people – and instead lived […]

Read the full article →

On Moving On

January 17, 2013

That moment, it changes you. Not like those other big events, a first kiss, that broken bone, a high school graduation, the ‘stay in bed for weeks’ breakup. This moment, it’s different. It sends you into shock and then destroys you, puts you to sleep and then haunts you harder. It shape shifts, fades in and out, but never leaves you. You’ll dream on a loop and wake up shaking. Terror is animate.

I’ve known loss. Grandparents, neighbors. Even a college […]

Read the full article →

BSidesNarrative Best of ’12 Playlist

December 31, 2012

There was no anthem this year.

Music in 2012 was a year of unexpected movements and sloppy transitions, retro nostalgia-inducing synth-pop and shoegazing beach disco, fuck-with-your-head folk and get-off-yer-ass-and-run-for-your-life electronica. That about sums up our lives, too: from career changes to a cross-country move, from the mountains of Boulder to the hills and beaches of San Francisco, from a crawling infant to a maniacal toddler, from feeling old to finding your ‘young again.’

Click shuffle and let the music be as random as […]

Read the full article →

On Daydreams and Nightmares

September 14, 2012












I avoid sleep. I run from it as if it holds a knife because, in a way, it does. It’s where fears comingle with regrets, where failures meet insecurities. It’s where nostalgia lives, where my Mom dies over and over again, where all of life’s cruelty resides. It’s where I’m helpless to fight back. And I wake from every sleep, whether a nap or a full night, that knife stabbing at my gut, poking around, choking away my breath. Sweaty and […]

Read the full article →

On the Funeral Song: An Unexpected Goodbye

January 17, 2012













Play your life backwards as you would an old vinyl record & perhaps you’ll hear a hidden meaning. Premonitions. Timelines. Lost opportunities & endless regrets.

I last saw my Mother early November 2009 at my brother-in-law’s engagement party in Chicago. We had breakfast at her favorite diner, one we frequented when she visited during my time living in Chicago, a greasy spoon with mediocre food that must’ve reminded her of home. She looked good for a woman who’d been given a death […]

Read the full article →

On World B. Free & Why You Should Be a Reader

January 12, 2012












No matter the disappointment, no matter the ridicule & rage, you’ll thank me for what I pass to you – this losing record, that last second folly, the endless blooper reel that will be your life as a sports fan. You’ll have moments, no doubt, bursts of pure hatred. Heartbreak will become your most stable relationship.

You won’t remember these times we now share, of me tossing a ball at your toes while you clap your hands & belly laugh, when […]

Read the full article →

On Spirituality: A Letter to a Loved One

December 21, 2011
















If you know me, you know I’m relentlessly passionate on certain topics. If you don’t know me, but follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook, well, you know I’m relentlessly passionate on certain topics. Though not everyone will agree with what I say or think, nor will I ever be accused of standing on middle ground, I embrace criticism, argument, & correction. When proven wrong, when a different perspective shatters my worldview, I acknowledge it as such and […]

Read the full article →

BSidesNarrative’s Best of ’11 Playlist

December 15, 2011

(Musical highlight of my year: Telluride Blues & Brews Fest, Sept ’11)


Warning: This is a moody playlist. I’m talking post-rock meets folk-rock meets country-folk meets electronica meets hip-hop instrumental meets lyrics-that’ll-knock-you-flat-on-your-ass.

Music is an emotion, a chord strikes a chord at a given moment & a song becomes as concrete as a memory. There’s no rhyme or reason, no formula for what moves me. That said, and for whatever reason, these 90 songs impacted me over the course of an emotional […]

Read the full article →

backed in a corner

November 5, 2011

Knock on wood, but it should be noted that I’m a healthy guy. If you’ve read this space before, you know I’m a freak about what I eat: an organic veggie-based unprocessed GMO-free, mostly non-dairy diet. You may also know that I’m a runner: I often log as many as 6 miles per day. And when not running, I’m always moving: walking, wandering, pacing, & dancing. I’ve undergone no surgery, minor or major, have no history of chronic illness, have […]

Read the full article →

the softer side of a harsh post

October 16, 2011

I’ve been coping with an aggressive backlash for over two decades. My family, though supportive, has never embraced or understood my decisions in life, whether choice in majors- English & Psychology & Creative Writing- or moves across country- from Boston to Steamboat to Chicago to Denver to Boulder. And then there are the job changes, too many to list here, and how and where I was married- barefoot on a beach in Mexico.

See, I’ve always wandered the less traveled road, […]

Read the full article →

on the continuum

October 16, 2011

We eat food. Vegetables, mostly local and all organic. Dinner ranges from super-sized salad to homemade soup, broth boiled together from scratch, chili with black beans, or hummus made from raw chickpeas. We eat no meat. I eat some cheese, Ash and Charlie none. We drink Emergen-C instead of Kool-Aid, eat Coconut Milk ice cream and avoid anything modified or treated with rBGH. We take vitamins instead of pharmaceuticals, walk instead of drive. I run six miles on most days, Ash no […]

Read the full article →