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2013 Year End Lists: Nick Cain, Senior Accountant

Ducktails The Flower Lane
Endless Boogie Long Island
Black Twig Pickers Rough Carpenters
Kacey Musgraves Same Trailer Different Park
Hiss Golden Messenger Haw
Camera Obscura Desire Lines
Sam Phillips Push Any Button
of Montreal Lousy with Sylvianbriar
Daniel Bachman Jesus I'm a Sinner
William Onyeabor World Psychedelic Classics 5: Who Is William Onyeabor?

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2013 Year End Lists: Keith Artin, General Manager

A great year for music, tough to narrow down to a short list of favorites, and impossible for me to get down to 10. So here are my favorite 13 releases of 2013 (excluding all Merge releases), in alphabetical order:

Neko Case - The Worse Things Get...
Connections - Private Airplane
Deerhunter - Monomania
The Dentists - Some People Are on the Pitch They Think It's All Over It Is Now (Reissue)
Jacco Gardner - Cabinet of Curiosities
Fuzz - Fuzz
Golden Gunn
Holograms - Forever
Johnny Marr - The Messenger
Purling Hiss - Water on Mars
Ty Segall - Sleeper
John Vanderslice - Dagger Beach
Yo La Tengo - Fade

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2013 Year End Lists: Jay Lowe, Indie Retail Coordinator

Top 10 Records:
Deafheaven - Sunbather
Kvelertak - Meir
Heartsounds - Internal Eyes
Mikal Cronin - MCII
The Love Language - Ruby Red
A Wilhem Scream - Partycrasher
Alkaline Trio - My Shame is True
William Tyler - Impossible Truth
Baroness - Live at Maida Vale - BBC
Touché Amoré - Is Survived By

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2013 Year End Lists: Adam Jackson, International Distro & Project Management

Califone - Stitches
Lloyd Cole - Standards
Desert Heat - Cat Mask at Huggie Temple
Adam Franklin & the Bolts of Melody - Black Horses
Hiss Golden Messenger - Haw
Chuck Johnson - Crows in the Basilica
King Krule - 6 Feet Beneath the Moon
Kingsbury Manx - Bronze Age
Mazzy Star - Seasons of Your Day
MV & EE - Fuzzweed
Cian Nugent & The Cosmos - Born With the Caul
The National - Trouble WIll Find Me 
Poltergeist - Your Mind Is a Box (Let Us Fill It With Wonder)
Dean Wareham - Emancipated Hearts

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2013 Year End Lists: Taylor Townes, Warehouse Manager

Staff pick:
Lambchop - Thriller
When I was trying to get an internship at Merge, I didn't feel like I could look at the application until I had done sufficient 'research'. I listened to a ton of Merge music, which essentially turned into listening to a ton of Lambchop. This one in particular reminds of filling out my application.

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2013 Year End Lists: Camelia Brennan, Mail Order & College Radio

Top 10 (non Merge) releases of 2013: 
Of Montreal - Lousy with Sylvianbriar
Youth Lagoon - Wondrous Bughouse
Speedy Ortiz - Major Arcana
Phantogram - Phantogram 
Dungeonesse - Dungeonesse
Sylvan Esso - Hey Mami / Play It Right 
Rhye - Woman
Bonobo - The North Borders
Phosphorescent - Muchacho
Islands - Ski Mask

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2013 Year End Lists: James Cartwright, Production Manager

Heavy rotation in 2013, according to Spotify user history:

Angel Olsen - Half Way Home
Everything by Waxahatchee and Swearin'
Connections - Private Airplane
Broadcast - Tender Buttons
Randy Newman - Sail Away
Damien Jurado - Live at Landlocked / Maraquopa
Saintseneca - Uppercutter 7"
Songs: Ohia - Didn't It Rain
Courtney Barnett - The Double EP
Olentangy John - Doggerel 

Bonus favorite moments of 2013:

Groundhog Day in Los Angeles
Angel Olsen's set at Hopscotch
Sunset at the Pompidou Center, Paris
Neutral Milk Hotel in Richmond

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2013 Year End Lists: Matthew Barnhart, Tour Manager & Sound for Superchunk, Destroyer & Bob Mould

1. The Dead C - Armed Courage LP (Ba Da Bing!)
2. Shannon Wright - In Film Sound LP (Ernest Jenning Record Co.)
3. Pinkish Black - Razed to the Ground LP (Century Media)
4. Parquet Courts - live
5. Overseas - live
6. Nuevo Leon restaurant, Chicago
7. Avec restaurant, Chicago
8. Hotel Zinkensdamm, Stockholm
9. Letherbee gin
10. (tie) The Siege of Sinatra -OR- This photo of LBJ with koalas

2013 Year End Lists: Heather McEntire, Mount Moriah

1) foxes
2) Eleanor Friedberger 'Personal Record' LP
3) New Mexico chili powder
4) yoga
5) trains
6) Grass Widow 'Internal Logic' LP
7) Hiss Golden Messenger "Red Rose Nantahala" single
8) Phosphorescent "Song for Zula" single
9) Linda Ronstadt 'Heart Like A Wheel' LP
10) Television 'Marquee Moon'
11) reinvention

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2013 Year End Lists: Michael Benjamin Lerner, Telekinesis

William Onyeabor /// Who Is William Onyeabor? /// Luaka Bop Records
Crazy African 70’s jams. Apparently, this dude doesn’t want to speak about his music career, so not much is really known about him. But the songs really speak for themselves. It sounds like he just bought some new synthesizers and studio goodies, and just went for it with some other hot session players. This record is really inspiring.

Paul McCartney /// New /// Hear Music
After his last two bummer releases (Memory Almost Full, Kisses On the Bottom) Macca strikes back with this absolutely stellar album. It’s hard to believe that he is over 70, and making music that sounds this fresh and exciting. ‘Save Us’ could be a long lost Wings song. ‘Queenie Eye’ could be off of Magical Mystery Tour. It’s just a super stellar batch of songs. Lyrically, it’s not breaking any ground, but he’s 71 years old!!! I think this is an absolutely wonderful record, to add to an absolutely staggering discography, by one absolutely incredible man.

Clay Cole /// 55 Greetings /// Sleepy Volcano
Rebecca, who you may know from The Minders, Wild Flag also plays keyboards and percusses and sings in Telekinesis when we play live. Well, she put out this absolutely brilliant cassette tape solo record, completely under the radar. These songs are just so so so good. It’s all spacey themed, and the playing and production is totally top notch. I feel proud to know her as a friend, and to have her in my band. But don’t take my word for it, you should truly check it out for yourselves.

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2013 Year End Lists: Christina Rentz, Merge Publicist

Mikal Cronin at the Bowery Ballroom - I love sold out shows at the Bowery! The energy is just the best. Seeing Mikal Cronin play his first headlining sold out show at The Bowery was one to remember, for sure!

Superchunk in NYC - Two epic sold out rock shows soon after the release of one of my favorite albums ever, a Fallon taping with the full crew including Laura AND Jason, catching up with friends old & new . . . best part of my job.

Rainbow Rowell - Please read AttachmentsFan Girl and then Eleanor and Park in that order. Buy these for everyone you like this holiday season. And follow @rainbowrowell on twitter. I hated to finish each of these books, and I want to join Rainbow's Disney live-action movie club. 

Sisterland (Curtis Sittenfeld), Life after Life (Kate Atkinson), Tenth of December (George Saunders) - The three best books I read this year that weren't written by Rainbow Rowell. Put them on your holiday wish list. 

Neko Case at the DPAC - Fancy venue, Neko, Kelly Hogan, Eric Bachmann, jokes about grits and hot sauce. A lovely evening! 

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2013 Year End Lists: Mike Caulo, Merge Publicity

Viet Cong's cassette

There is Water at the Bottom of the Ocean by Lindsay Zoladz

Majical Cloudz instructing everyone to pogo at the right points in "Mister" during their Pop Montreal showcase at La Sala Rossa

Big Star's Nothing Can Hurt Me doc

Porches.' Slow Dance in the Cosmos

Speedy Ortiz letting Lucky decide the setlist at The Beachcomber on Cape Cod during Labor Day weekend

Pretty & Nice's Golden Rules for Golden People

falling for Nina Simone

Múm at a church called Fríkirkjan in Reykjavik during Iceland Airwaves

Azde's sole release, despite breaking up before their first show

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2013 Year End Lists: Simon Wojan, King Khan & the Shrines

Top 10 Albums:
1. Danny Brown - Old
2. William Tyler - Impossible Truth
3. Hailu Mergia & His Classical Instrument
4. Colin Stetson - New History Warfare Vol. 3: To See More Light
5. Dirty Beaches - Drifters / Love Is The Devil
6. Wolf Eyes - No Answer: Lower Floors
7. Chuck Johnson - Crows In The Basilica
8. Earl Sweetshirt - Doris
9. The Haxan Cloak - Excavation
10. Cakes Da Killa - The Eulogy

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2013 Year End Lists: John Darnielle, The Mountain Goats

best of 2013 

alphabetical order only, all these are gems

Aeternus, …and the Seventh His Soul Detesteth (Karisma)

Baptist Generals, Jackleg Devotional to the Heart (Sub Pop)

Bottomless Pit, Shade Perennial (Comedy Minus One) 

John Carpenter & Alan Howarth, Prince of Darkness OST (Death Waltz)

Cocorosie, Tales of a Grass Widow (City Slang)

Molly Drake, self-titled (Squirrel Thing)

Gorguts, Colored Sands (Relapse)

Jandek, The Song of Morgan (Corwood Industries)

Laraaji, Celestial Music 1978-2011 (All Saints)

Obliteration, Black Death Horizon (Relapse)

Pinkish Black, Razed to the Ground (Century Media)

Stomach Earth, self-titled (Black Market Activities)

Matthew Shipp, Piano Sutras (Thirsty Ear)

Summoning, Old Mornings Dawn (Napalm)

V/A, Five Days Married & Other Laments: Song and Dance from Northern Greece 1928-1958 (Dust-to-Digital)

Wardruna, Yggdrasil (Indie Recordings)

White Wizzard, The Devil's Cut (Metal Blade)

2013 Year End Lists: Jason Narducy, Superchunk & Bob Mould

Adore Your Island - Wire
In The City - Caveman
Buried Plans - Minor Alps
Pure Pain - Kurt Vile
First Shot - The Love Language
Change - Mikal Cronin
Howl Of The Wind - The Thermals
Sail To The Sun - Wavves
She Hides In Black - Robert Pollard
I Miss Your Bones - Hospitality

2013 Year End Lists: Lauren Gil, Merge intern

Best of 2013:

Bob Dylan - The Bootleg Series Vol. 10 - Another Self Portrait (1969-1971)
Mandolin Orange – This Side of Jordan
Mount Moriah – Miracle Temple
The Head and the Heart – Let’s Be Still
Jake Bugg – Jake Bugg
Wild Child – The Runaround
Mikal Cronin – MCII
Arcade Fire - Reflektor
Bombadil – Metrics of Affection
William Tyler – Impossible Truth

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2013 Year End Lists: Roddy Bottum, Imperial Teen

 1.  Einstein on the Beach at the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion
 2.  Bon Jovi at the Isle of Wight
 3.  Invisible Cities, the headphone opera at Union Station
 4.  Basquiat show at Gagosian Gallery, NYC
 5.  Station to Station train ride from LA to Oakland
 6.  The Makeup at Coachella
 7.  Two Boys, the Nico Muhly opera at the Met
 8.  Screaming Females last week at the Echoplex
 9.  Dina Martina at the Crown & Anchor, Provincetown
10. Printed Matter NY Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1
11. Jack Pierson's End of the World show at Regen Projects, LA

2013 Year End Lists: Stuart McLamb, The Love Language

Favorite albums of 2013:

1. Phosphorescent - Muchacho
2. Foxygen - We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic
3. Toddlers - Toddlers
4. The Knife - Shaking The Habitual
5. Kanye West - Yeezus
6. Mikal Cronin - MCII
7. My Bloody Valentine - m b v
8. Death Grips - Government Plates
9. HAIM - Days Are Gone
10. The Rutabega- Brother The Lights Don't Work

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2013 Year End Lists: Be Hussey, Radar Brothers

Some Good Things Of 2013 w/ Explanations:
Robbie Basho - Visions Of The Country - LP Reissue : Favorite freak shire folk raga troubadour
GOAT- "Dreambuilding" Single : Put yer mask on, rock out yer psych
Angel Olsen - Live at The Bootleg LA 1/4/13 : Intimate solo set, the room quietly swore allegiance
Savages - Live at The Echo LA 4/11/13 : They burned brightly that evening
Flaming Lips - The Terror LP : Yoshimi's gone and "Halloween Bloodbath" show was intense and welcome
Kurt Vile - Wakin On A Pretty Daze LP : Kool
(cont. after the jump)

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2013 Year End Lists: Bri Aab, Merge intern

Albums of 2013!

1. Julia Holter Loud City Song
2. Neko Case The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight, the Harder I Fight, the More I Love You
3. Deerhunter Monomania
4. Kurt Vile Wakin on a Pretty Daze
5. Devendra Banhart Mala
6. Potty Mouth Hell Bent
7. Waxahatchee Cerulean Salt
8. Sky Ferreira Night Time, My Time
9. Sylvan Esso Hey Mami
10. Speedy Ortiz Major Arcana
10. Hunx and his Punx Street Punk
10. Mazzy Star Seasons of Your Day

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2013 Year End Lists: David Smith, Merge intern

David's Top 10 Records of 2k13

The Pastels - Slow Summits
Grouper - The Man Who Died In His Boat
My Bloody Valentine - MBV
Minks - Tides End
Marnie Stern - The Chronicles of Marnia
Pity Sex - Feast Of Love
The Mountain Goats - All Hail West Texas (Reissue)
Saint Pepsi - Hit Vibes
Boards of Canada - Tommorow's Harvest
So So Glos - Blowout

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2013 Year End Lists: "Delicate" Steve Marion, Saint Rich

Top 5 Meals of Saint Rich 2013 Tour:

  • Fresh Alaskan salmon with homemade pesto, bread, and scalloped potatoes at Shane's mom's house in Seattle, WA
  • All-you-can-eat family style soul food from Monell's in Nashville, TN
  • Shrimp Pad Thai (level 3 spice) from Thai Tom in Seattle, WA
  • Kobe Basil from Nat's (Thai) in Lexington, KY
  • Beef Udon Noodle from Domo in Denver, CO
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2013 Year End Lists: Christian Peslak, Saint Rich

a few of my favorite jams of '13: (no particular order)
Cy Dune - Resentment
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Jubilee Street
Devendra Banhart - Never Seen Such Good Things
Kurt Vile - Shame Chamber
Dr. Dog - Rock and Roll
Celestial Shore - Valerie
Eleanor Friedberger - My Own World
Star Rover - Western Winds Bitter Christians
Ariel Pink and Jorge Elbrecht -  Hang on to Life
Akron/Family - When I Was Young
Wet - No Lie

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