The Shit List: The Ten Coolest Things That Happened In Music: 2013 Edition!

The Boomtown Rats got back together.

Geldof, who, like his buddy Bono, remains involved in numerous charitable interests, too time out from his demanding schedule to get the band back together because some of his former bandmates had fallen on hard times.  They played their first official reunion shows in April and spent the summer and fall hitting the UK fests.  Say what you will about Live-Aid and all that, Geldof is a man who remains loyal to his principles and his friends.  I heard a couple Rats tunes on the Exposed 2 compilation when I was a kid and have been a fan ever since.  As great as they are, some people just don't get 'em.  They're loss, but it would be nice to see them putting asses in the seats should their proposed summer tour find a U.S. promoter.  Until then, dig this TV performance of the Bowie-esque "Never In A Million Years".

Nile Rodgers is still one bad-ass mo-fo.

His involvement in the making of Daft Punk's "Random Access Memories" and its massive hit single "Get Lucky" reminded us all that Nile Rodgers is not only still alive, but capable of turning a so-so electro record into the year's biggest hit.  Wanna be really inspired, though?  Check out the above clip to get a glimpse into the mind of a true artist.

The Three O'Clock reformed.

I had honestly given up on ever seeing this seminal 80's psych rock band reform, especially after drummer Danny Benair told me a few years ago about the failed 2003 reunion that would have included Benair, singer/bassist Michael Quercio and guitarist Louis Gutierrez along with Jason Falkner replacing Mike Mariano.

So when I heard they'd been booked to play Coachella 2013, after a quick change of pants, I immediately began worrying about whether or not they could capture that same youthful energy as men in their fifties.  I need not have worried, as even the Coachella warm-up shows bristled with a raw power that erased all markers of time.  Sure, they were a tad rough around the edges, but that only seemed to add to the awesomeness of the occasion.  This past December saw a string of successful West Coast "Paisley Undergound" package tour dates with The Bangles, Rain Parade and Dream Syndicate and January 14 sees the release of "Aquarius Andromeda" on LP (cassette is available now).

Spotify saved me a ton of cash.

Seeing as how I bring in a cool $40 or so a month from Spotify airplay royalties, I am already appreciative of the service, but I am continually impressed by the scope of their expansive music database, which literally saved me thousands of dollars.  Let's face it, we've all seen albums we WISH we could hear, but circumstances and budget limitations just didn't allow it.  With Spotify, I was finally able to devour entire discographies by the likes of 10cc, Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Pet Shop Boys, Love Tractor (whose albums are now commercially available again, by the way) among others.

The Foo Fighters "broke up".

While Dave Grohl may officially be the rock star most dudes would like to have a beer with, the constant presence of the Foo Fighters on the music scene can be a bit, well, exhausting, what with all the screaming and posing and shit.  So when Grohl announced in January 2013 that the band was breaking up, we took it as an opportunity to catch our breath and relish life in a Foo-free world.  Sadly, said break-up lasted all of ten seconds as the band was back in the studio by February. They capped of the year by playing two December shows in Mexico.

The Replacements reunited, put out a new EP AND played Riot Fest

Very few shows were as joyous as the Mats' reunion gig at the Humboldt Park Riot Fest.  For starters, the audience seemed to be mostly comprised of Chicago rock royalty, all paying respectful homage to Westerberg and Stinson.  Members of Material Issue, Green, and Naked Raygun could be seen weeping tears of joy and singing along to every word.  Of course, by being there at all, Paul and Tommy were paying tribute to fallen brother Slim Dunlap, who suffered a serious stroke in 2012.  Proceeds from their "Songs For Slim" EP were donated to Dunlap in hopes of covering his continuing medical care.

Los Lonely Boys overcame tragedy and finished work on a new album.

After a fall from the stage at an L.A. gig left singer/guitarist Henry Garza with serious neck and spine injuries, many wondered if the Austin-based band had played their last show, but both Henry and the band battled back by year's end to put the finishing touches on the band's new album,  Revelation, due January 21.  The group also begins a U.S. tour (with a few Japanese dates tossed in for good measure) later this month.  They don't hit the Chicago area until June 29, though.

Jan. 24 Maui HI | Cultural Center
Jan. 25 Honolulu HI | Aloha Tower Market Place
Jan. 26 Kauai HI | Kilohana Plantation
Jan. 30 Tokyo Japan | Liquid Room
Feb. 1 Nogoya Japan | Club Quattro
Feb. 2 Osaka Japan | Shangri-La
Feb. 4 San Francisco CA | Independent
Feb. 6 Los Angeles CA | Troubadour
Feb. 7 San Juan Capistrano CA | Coach House
Feb. 8 Chandler AZ | Center for the Arts
Feb. 9 Flagstaff AZ | Orpheum
Feb. 11 Beaver Creek CO | Vilar Center
Feb. 12 Boulder CO | Boulder Theatre
Feb. 13 Taos NM | KTAOS/Solar Center
March 19 Boston MA | Paradise
March 20 Portland ME | Asylum
March 21 Tarrytown NY | Music Hall
March 22 Uncasville CT | Wolf Den
March 24-26 New York NY | City Winery
March 28 Norwalk CT | Concert Hall
March 29-30 Annapolis MD | Rams Head
April 1 Washington DC | Hamilton
April 2 Wilmington DE | World Café
April 3 Millville NJ | Levoy Theater
April 4 Glenside PA | Keswick Theatre
April 5 Harrisburg PA | Whitaker Center
April 22 Carmel CA | Sunset Center
April 23 Napa CA | Uptown Theatre
April 24 Fresno CA | Tower Theater
April 26 Laughlin NV | Harrahs  w/Los Lobos
April 27 Pauma Valley CA (San Diego CA) | Pauma Casino
April 29 Portland OR | Aladdin Theater
April 30 Spokane WA | Knitting Factory
May 1 Snoqualamie WA  (Seattle) | Casino
May 3 Phoenix AZ | Cinco de Mayo Fest
May 4 Spring TX | Crawfish Fest
May 9 Tulsa OK | River Spirit Casino
June 19 Dulce NM | Blues Fest
June 29 Aurora IL | Blues on the Fox Festival
July 20 El Paso TX  | Music under the Stars

Cadillac Used A  Ramones Song In One of Their Car Commercials.

While part of me wonders if such a thing would have taken place if Johnny or Joey (or Dee Dee) were still alive, when you hear a Ramones song in a Cadillac commercial, it still feels like victory.  After all, Cadillac wouldn't be using the song if they didn't finally wake up to the reality that we former punk rock kids sure do have a lot of money!  Never mind that Cadillac also went after the cougar demographic by licensing Fountains of Wayne's "Stacy's Mom".

David Bowie Released A New Album.

With rumors circulating that he was bed-ridden and close to death, rock chameleon David Bowie secretly recorded an album with longtime producer Tony Visconti.  Entitled "The Next Day", Bowie's 24th studio album turned out eons better than it had any right to be and quieted the naysayers who all but referred to this living legend in the past tense.  For shame.  Now if only Bowie will give Nile Rodgers a call the next time he books some studio time.

Whole Foods Began Selling Vinyl Records!

In 2013, Whole Foods began selling "a carefully curated selection" of vinyl records at select stores in the L.A. area.  The move was so successful that the newly opened Brooklyn location also came with its own vinyl section.  The idea of being able to grab some tofu and the new Xiu Xiu album on 180g vinyl.  While the move was criticized as just another attempt to tighten their stranglehold on the coveted "hipsters with money" demographic, let's face it, any place that sells vinyl is better than NO place that sells vinyl.  Perhaps some enterprising young lads will take the next logical step and devote an entire store to selling nothing but vinyl.

Stranger things have happened.

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

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