The Roar of Greasepaint, The Smell of Applause

Applause, Lady Gaga

Roar, Katy Perry

I don’t care for Katy Perry’s music but I like this song. It is being used on the trailers promoting the Olympics, and we’ll no doubt hear more of it. It kind of copies the ideas of Helen Reddy’s song, “I am woman, hear me roar,” but that’s par for the course nowadays. Bruno Mars changed “I love you just the way you are” by Billy Joel to “You’re amazing just the way you are.”

The Phoenix, Fall Out Boys

I didn’t like Fall Out Boys but they won me over. This song was inspired by Shostakovich’s 7th Symphony in C Major. The bass player writes the lyrics and he is not only a poet but also writes very powerful hooks. I forced myself to watch Victoria Secrets fashion show to see Fall Out Boy and they played The Phoenix and were awesome.

Stars Are Out Tonight, David Bowie

The Next Day is a great album by Bowie who hasn’t recorded for quite some time. He waited until he really had something to say.

Get Lucky, Daft Punk

This song really made an impact, with even Stephen Colbert jumping onboard the bandwagon. Though it sounds like a retro disco throwback, nothing will say ‘Summer of 13’ like. this song. The album, Random Access Memories, was all pretty good. I like the track with Giorgio Moroder, an Nile Rodgers of Chic and Pharell Williams also lent a hand. Pharell also showed up on the next tune.

Blurred Lines, Robin Thicke

This song was kind of an homage to Marvin Gaye, but the Gaye family went too far when they tried to sue him for copyright infringement. The video also made waves with top model Emily Ratajowski, who is my pick to break out of her super model bracket and onto the next level. I spotted her from the Carl Jrs pulled pork BBQ ads. This song was somewhat overshadowed by Miley Cyrus when she ‘danced’ with Robin on the VMAs. There was also a possible war with Syria, but all anyone could talk about was Miley.

What Does the Fox Say?, Ylvis

This is the song that went viral, and also inspired numerous parodies, for instance on SNL It was even used in a promo for Fox News. It was done as a parody in the first place, but it really caught on.

Hey Ho, The Lumineers

This group does pretty simple music, but people like it. Another group in a similar vein is Of Men and Monsters. They are from Iceland but sing in English.

Work, B!#ch!, Britney Spears

I Love It, Icona Pop

This song was actually released in December of 2012, but started making waves in 2013.

The Wire, Haim

This SoCal band features 3 sisters, and no Cories. They were quite a hit on SNL, and the oldest sister got to fulfill her childhood dream of acting in a skit. They did an 80’s skit built around “Your Love” by The Outfield, that was perfect for their retro sound. The bass player was also notable for her ‘bass face’ facial expressions.

Wrecking Ball, Miley Cyrus

We Can’t Stop, Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus really got people talking, but her album was pretty good.

Ooh La La, Goldfarb

This is an old song but they used it for an iPhone commercial.

Royals, Lorde

I was reading that David Bowie told this singer that she was the future of music. We will see about that, but we will certainly keep an eye on her.

Fairy Tale of New York, The Pogues, covered by Calexico, Iron & Wine, Glen Hansard, Kathleen Edwards, & The Roots

This is the greatest Christmas song of all time. Glen Hansard was in a movie about a busker who finally gets to record his masterpiece song, and it was really a good little movie called Once. Everyone was great, and it all came together. The Roots are a great asset for Jimmy Fallon, and they really showed their versatility here once again. He would be a fool to not take them with him when he takes over The Tonight Show.

Albums by Paul McCartney, Elton John, Eminem, & Kanye West that are supposed to be pretty good but I haven’t heard or haven’t heard a song that sticks in my mind. Eminem sounded great on SNL, and Kanye West sounded terrible. Some critics have said Kanye’s album was brilliant, but I doubt you could convince me that anything he did was any good whatsoever. What I heard sounded like his usual garbage and lame rapping.

Looking at, for instance, Rolling Stones list of the top albums of 2013, I hadn’t heard of most of them. So, if I failed to mention your favorite I admit that I might have overlooked a lot of good stuff. Beyonce released an album with no publicity and it went to #1. I bet it is good, but I haven’t heard it. It is notable as an event, showing that if you are Beyonce you don’t need the publicity machine.

Finally, I was very impressed with Ariana Grande. She has an incredible voice.

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