Frank Jams: Top 5 Favorite Albums of 2013


Author’s Photo: Sara Bareilles at the Electric Factory in Philly (Oct. 2013).

It’s the end of the year, so I feel obligated to do some reflecting, recapping, and re…nee-ing.

2013 was a pretty big year for me. My nephew was born. I officially became employed full time for the first time since 2009. I finally got to move to the Philly area (which is something I’d been trying to do since I finished undergrad in 2005). I knitted my first full-size blanket. I took up running. I ran my first 5k. I joined Rotary.

I listened to a lot of music.

One of the things I love best about living so close to the city is that I can get to shows easily now (bad for my wallet, but good for my love of live music). I love that I can go to a show on a week night and be home 20-30 minutes after I exit the venue. I was fortunate enough in 2013 to see 3 of my 5 favorite albums of the year performed live.

I’m terrible at ranking. I spend too much time second guessing myself. So here are my desert island top 5 favorite albums of 2013.
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Frank Recommends: Blogs

I’ve revisited my novel in the past week, and had every intention on writing something about that fun-filled experience (note the sarcasm: when you let those things sit for six months, it’s really, really difficult to go back). However, I got really busy writing various blog posts elsewhere on the Interwebs and ran short on time. My brain is telling me that one isn’t in me right now, but that I should write something anyway.

Really — I tried to read, but this voice in my head kept saying, “Keep writing. You aren’t quite done yet for the day.”

So I’ve got a new edition of Frank Recommends for you. This week we’re talking about blogs, specifically ones that I think are well written and that you should probably check out. Sharing is fun, right? These blogs are written by people that I’m lucky enough to know. They cover a variety of topics and are well worth your time.

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Frank Recommends: Music

So, I’ve been thinking. That’s what introverts do, and occasionally I think about something that is relatively productive. In my writing elsewhere on the Web, I’ve been pretty big into series posts and I thought to myself that it might be fun to try one over here at Ye Olde Frank as well.

What I hope Frank Recommends as a series will do is expose you, cherished reader, to some of my favorite things. As a result, I’m hoping it sparks some conversation, recommendations from you, and just general fun times. Frank can recommend basically anything, and will do so at various intervals. I’ve decided to start with a pretty easy one: Music. Everyone likes music.

I’ve been listening to some really fantastic tunes this summer (but of course I think they’re fantastic, otherwise I wouldn’t listen to them). I get to be really picky about music so it takes a while for an artist to win me over. I have to hear it enough times to really like it without getting sick of it. Seriously. If I hear LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” one. more. time. my head is going to explode… and I’ve never even listened to it the whole way through. I’m convinced it’s the only song Hits 1 plays. Adele is great, but can we take it easy on “Rolling in the Deep” for a little while?

So what’s going to happen right now is that I’m going to recommend 5 songs to you that I am really loving at the moment. Some of these are artists who are new to me, and others I might know a little better. Where do I find these artists? Via other artists, Sirius Radio (I love the Spectrum), doing stuff like this (sharing with friends), and… Conan (seriously, I generally enjoy his mostly-unknown musical guests).

For your part, you’re going to give them a listen, and then you can comment and tell me what you think. We can discuss, we can debate, you can tell me my taste in music sucks, you can tell me similar bands or artists to check out, etc. Pretty easy. You can hit these YouTube videos and let them play in the background while you do other stuff. See how convenient I’m making this for you? Aaaaand GO.

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