JAY BOLLER, Vita.mn assistant editor

1. Fury Things, “EP2”

2. Hollow Boys, “It’s True”

3. Kitten Forever, “Pressure”

4. Lizzo, “Lizzobangers”

5. Caroline Smith, “Half About Being a Woman”

6. The Stnnng, “Inward Empire”

7. The Replacements, “Songs for Slim”

8. Low, “The Invisible Way”

9. The Cloak Ox, “Shoot the Dog”

10. The Cactus Blossoms, “Live at the Turf Club”

 

JON BREAM, Star Tribune music critic

1. Caroline Smith, “Half About Being a Woman”

2. Nancy Harms, “Dreams in Apartments”

3. Dessa, “Parts of Speech”

4. Low, “The Invisible Way”

5. Lizzo, “Lizzobangers”

6. The Suburbs, “Si Sauvage”

7. Frankie Lee, “Middle West”

8. Cactus Blossoms, “Live at the Turf Club”

9. Sena Erhardt, “All In”

10. Various, “Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound”

 

SONGS

1. Low, “Plastic Cup”

2. Caroline Smith, “Magazine”

3. Suburbs, “Turn the Radio On”

4. Dessa, “Call Off Your Ghost”

5. Har Mar Superstar, “Lady, You Shot Me”

 

TIM CAMPBELL, Star Tribune Senior A&E Editor

(unranked)

The Cloak Ox, “Shoot the Dog”

Dessa, “Parts of Speech”

Dorothy Doring and Phil Mattson, “Compositions by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn”

Grant Hart, “The Argument”

Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank, “Number One Contender”

Dakota Dave Hull, “Under the North Star”

Lizzo, “Lizzobangers”

Low, “The Invisible Way”

Poliça, “Shulamith”

The Stnnng, “Empire Inward”

 

SONGS (unranked)

The Ericksons, “Gone Blind”

Lizzo, “Batches & Cookies”

The Replacements, “I’m Not Sayin’ “

Caroline Smith, “Magazine”

The Suburbs, “Turn the Radio On”

 

LIVE ACTS (unranked)

Doomtree

Erik Koskinen

Low

Marijuana Deathsquads

The Replacements (!)

 

CYN COLLINS, KFAI “Spin With Cyn” program host, freelance journalist

(unranked)

1. Grant Hart “The Argument”

2. The Blind Shake “Key To A False Door”

3. “Rockin’ Here Tonight: Songs For Slim” /The Replacements: “Songs For Slim”

4. Enemy Planes “Beta Lowdown”

5. First Communion Afterparty “Earth Heat Sound”

6. Cactus Blossoms “Live at the Turf Club”

7. The Cloak Ox “Shoot the Dog”

8. Kitten Forever “Pressure”

9. The Chambermaids “Whatever Happened Tomorrow”

10. Tie: BBGun Self-titled/Frankie Lee “Middle West”

 

LIVE ACTS (unranked)

The Blind Shake

Eleganza

Flavor Crystals

Enemy Planes

Tie (in punk, hardcore rock): Buildings/Ex Nuns/Nightosaur

Tie: (in country/honky-tonk) Cactus Blossoms Erik Koskinen Band

 

SONGS (unranked)

Grant Hart, “Is the Sky the Limit”

The Suburbs, “What’s It Like Out There”

The Blind Shake, “Garbage on Glue”

Ex Nuns, “Crash Meditation”

Eleganza, “High Country”

 

No. 1 sign the local music scene was alive and well in 2013:

– many more in hardcore, punk, metal, and garage than ever – and many veterans returning to the stage and releasing brilliant new records. Our music scene is thriving as much as, if not more than, ever.”

 

REED FISCHER, City Pages music editor

1. Low, “The Invisible Way”

2. Marijuana Deathsquads, “Oh My Sexy Lord”

3. Hollow Boys, “It’s True”

4. Lizzo, “Lizzobangers”

5. Actual Wolf, “Actual Wolf”

6. Charlie Parr, “Barnswallow”

7. American Cream, “Nathan”

8. Grant Hart, “The Argument”

9. Retribution Gospel Choir, “3”

10. Wolf Lords, “Wolf Lords”

 

SONGS

1. Har Mar Superstar, “Lady, You Shot Me”

2. Jeremy Messersmith, “Tourniquet”

3. Greg Grease, “Continuum”

4. Caroline Smith, “Magazine”

5. c. Kostra, “Your Call”

 

PAMELA ESPELAND, MinnPost arts writer, Bebopified jazz blog

(unranked)

Atlantis Quartet, “Expansion”

Mary Ellen Childs, “Wreck”

Dave King Trucking Company, “Adopted Highway”

Dessa, “Parts of Speech”

Dorothy Doring and Phil Mattson, “Compositions by Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn”

Fathom Lane, “Fathom Lane”

Maud Hixson, “Don’t Let a Good Thing Get Away”

Illicit Sextet, “Chapter Eleven”

Peter Kogan, “Cornucopia”

Sidewalk Café, “Crème Brulee”

 

SONGS (unranked)

Dessa, “Call Off Your Ghost”

Dorothy Doring and Phil Mattson, “Lush Life”

Fathom Lane, “Perfect Day”

Sonny Knight and the Lakers, “Day Tripper”

Jana Nyberg Group, “Aguas de Março”

 

LIVE ACTS (unranked)

Fat Kid Wednesdays

Happy Apple

Bryan Nichols Quartet/Quintet

Real Bulls (Dave King, with antlers, and JT Bates)

Osmo Vänskä’s farewell concert with the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra

 

No. 1 sign the local music scene was alive and well in 2013:

“The outpouring of affection for the Artists’ Quarter jazz club in St. Paul, and the shared grief at its imminent closing after nearly 20 years in St. Paul (and a long run before then at 26th and Nicollet in Minneapolis). Rising rents are forcing AQ owner Kenny Horst to shut the door on Jan. 1, after the final New Year’s Eve blow-out, but because he nurtured so many musicians and helped to create such an avid and knowledgeable audience, that won’t be the day the jazz music dies.

 

JEFF GAGE, City Pages contributing writer

1. Rebtribution Gospel Choir, “3”

2. Caroline Smith, “Half About Being a Woman”

3. Greg Grease, “Black King Cole”

4. Is/Is, “Is/Is”

5. Low, “The Invisible Way”

6. Lizzo, “Lizzobangers”

7. Har Mar Superstar, “Bye Bye 17”

8. No Bird Sing, “Definition Sickness”

9. France Camp, “France Camp”

10. Crimes, “Thin Sunlight”

 

SONGS

1. Har Mar Superstar, “Lady You Shot Me”

2. Polica, “Torre”

3. Caroline Smith, “Child of Moving On”

4. Frankie Teardrop, “Killed a Man”

5. Low, “Stay”

 

No. 1 Sign the Music Scene Was Alive and Well in 2013

“Drone, Not Drones.”

 

ABBIE GOBELI, Music Director at Radio K

1. Marijuana Deathsquads, “Oh My Sexy Lord”

2. Kitten Forever, “Pressure”

3. Hollow Boys, “It’s True”

4. Lizzo, “Lizzobangers”

5. France Camp, “France Camp”

6. The Blind Shake, “Key to a False Door”

7. Hunting Club, “Mosaic”

8. Sun Gods to Gamma Rays, “The Water, The Wave”

9. Hot Freaks, “Hot Freaks”

10. Ex-Nuns, “Dead of Zero 7”

 

LIVE ACTS

1. Marijuana Deathsquads

2. Strange Names

3. Gay Witch Abortion

4. Carroll

5. France Camp

 

SALLY HEDBERG, freelance writer

1. Frankie Teardrop, “Tough Guy”

2. Pony Bwoy, “Pony Bwoy”

3. Tree Blood, “Tree Blood”

4. Strange Names, “Strange Names”

5. Bollywood, “OK Animal”

6. France Camp, “France Camp”

7. Hollow Boys, “It’s True”

8. Marijuana Deathsquads, “Oh My Sexy Lord”

9. Kitten Forever, “Pressure”

10. Gloss, “Between Themselves”

 

SONGS

1. Pony Bwoy, “Ipanema/Evol”

2. Frankie Teardrop, “Chicago”

3. Carroll, “Halloween Head”

4. Caroline Smith, “Magazine”

 

JON HUNT, l’etoile music writer

1. Cactus Blossoms, “Live At The Turf Club”

2. Fathom Lane, self-titled

3. Gloss, “Between Themselves”

4. The Suburbs, “Si Sauvage”

5. Sun Gods to Gamma Rays, “The Water, The Wave”

6. Har Mar Superstar, “Bye Bye 17”

7. Martin Devaney, “House of Rust”

8. The Replacements, “Songs for Slim”

9. Low, “The Invisible Way”

10. BNLX, “Produit Collecté”

 

SONGS

1. Har Mar Superstar, “Lady, You Shot Me”

2. The Suburbs, “Turn The Radio On”

3. Fathom Lane, “Sugardown”

4. Low, “Plastic Cup”

5. Prince & 3rdeyegirl, “Fix Ur Life Up”

 

No. 1 Sign the Music Scene Was Alive and Well in 2013

“To me, the revival/reunions of ‘old people’ bands like the Suburbs and the Replacements (not to mention live reunions from Trip Shakespeare and Run Westy Run) are the most heartening sign of life — wha? Moreso than whatever new movement might be coming down the pike? Yes, frankly. The fact that these bands can get attention/respect/love from our local scene in an era that values meme-of-the-moment, youth (see: “twerking”), online presence and prettiness more than talent says a lot for the quality of fan our scene produces. We don’t give a fig how old someone is — is their new record good/credible/cool? We love you. This is a beautiful thing.”

 

MONICA LAPLANTE, freelance writer

1. Fathome Lane, “Fathom Lane”

2. Cactus Blossoms, “Live At The Turf Club”

3. Pennyroyal, “Baby I’m Against It”

4. Bad Bad Hats, “It Hurts”

5. Hollow Boys, “It’s True”

6. Big Tree Bonsai, “Awoken”

7. Chris Koza, “Live At The Pearl”

8. Usonia, “Whats Fresh”

9. Moonstone Continuum, “Salon Edition”

 

KYLE MATTESON, mega-tweeter (@solace)

1. Actual Wolf, “Actual Wolf”

2. The Cloak Ox, “Shoot The Dog”

3. Taj Raj, “Fine Hearts Alive”

4. Frankie Lee, “Middle West”

5. Caroline Smith, “Half About Being a Woman”

6. The Ashtray Hearts, “The Strangest Light”

7. Van Stee, “We Are”

8. The Farewell Circuit, “We Were Wolves EP”

9. No Bird Sing, “Definition Sickness”

10. The Chambermaids, “Whatever Happened Tomorrow”

 

SONGS

1. Four Fists, “MMMMMHMMMMM”

2. Taj Raj, “Begging The Devil”

3. Frankie Lee, “Country”

4. Pony Bwoy, “Ævum (time crawls)”

5. The Suburbs, “Turn The Radio On”

 

LIVE ACTS

1. The Cloak Ox

2. The Replacements

3. Lizzo

4. Astronautalis

5. Actual Wolf

 

No. 1 sign the local scene was alive and well in 2013:

“Even in a year when The Replacements reunited and Prince played more local shows than he has in a decade, so many local acts managed to make headlines and churn out more amazing local records and live shows than I can recall in my 14 years of living here.”

 

ZACK MCCORMICK, freelance writer

(unranked)

Nato Coles & BDB, “Promises to Deliver”

France Camp, “France Camp”

Total Trash, “You Don’t Try”

Frankie Teardrop, “Tough Guy EP”

IBE & Benzilla, “This That & The Third”

Psymun & K.Raydio, “SSV3”

Lioness, “Queen”

Greg Grease, “Black King Cole EP”

Jr. Thomas, “Meets the Venditions”

Mixed Blood Majority, “Mixed Blood Majority”

 

SONGS (unranked)

The Replacements, “Busted Up”

Southside Desire, “Casualty of Love”

Fury Things, “Vapors”

Sonny Knight & The Lakers, “Hey Girl”

The Prizefighters, “Cold Shoulder”

 

LIVE ACTS (unranked)

The Replacements

Meta/Metasota

Grrrl Party

L’Assassins

Crescent Moon

 

No. 1 sign the music scene was alive and well in 2013:

“Great young bands made great first albums. Our emerging artists finally connected with the right people and hit their stride. Oh, and the Replacements got back together, which counts for a lot.”

 

JASON NAGEL, 96.3 KTWIN FM “MN Music” host

1. Caroline Smith, “Half About Being a Woman”

2. Actual Wolf, “Actual Wolf”

3. The Cloak Ox, “Shoot the Dog”

4 Dessa, “Parts of Speech”

5. Low, “The Invisible Way”

6. Pennyroyal, “Baby I’m Against It”

7. Various, “Rockin’ Here Tonight (Songs for Slim”

8. Ashtray Hearts, “The Strangest Light”

9. Taj Raj, “Fine Hearts Alive”

10. The 4onthefloor, “Spirit of Minneapolis”

 

PAT O’BRIEN, freelance writer

1. The Cloak Ox, “Run the Dog”

2. Caroline Smith, “Half About Being a Woman”

3. Van Stee, “We Are”

4. BBGun, “BBGun”

5. Marijuana Deathsquads, “Oh My Sexy Lord”

6. Cruel Love, “Cruel Love EP”

7. Dessa, “Parts of Speech”

8. Lizzo, “Lizzobangers”

9. Martin Devaney, “House of Rust”

10. Gingko, “Manopause”

 

No. 1 sign the music scene was alive and well in 2013:

“Just the other night I was the vinyl release for Actual Wolf and Frankie Lee. Aside from the fact the both bands were full of ringers like JT Bates and Jeremy Ylvisaker. The crowd was full of musicians that weren’t on the bill that night--they came out to support their friends and the scene. It’s that kind of thing that will always make me think this scene is better than other cities’ and why I struggle to find words to criticize it’s shortcomings: the good stuff far outweighs the bad.”

 

JAHNA PELOQUIN, Vita.mn contributor & l’étoile magazine editor-in-chief

1. The Cactus Blossoms, “Live at the Turf Club”

2. Poliça, “Shulamith”

3. Lizzo, “Lizzobangers”

4. Har Mar Superstar, “Bye Bye 17”

5. Low, “The Invisible Way”

6. First Communion Afterparty, “Earth Heat Sound”

7. CLAPS, “Lies/White Lies” EP

8. Marijuana Deathsquads, “Oh My Sexy Lord”

9. Aby Wolf, “Wolf Lords”

10. Allan Kingdom, “Talk to Strangers”

 

SONGS

1. Poliça, “Chain My Name”

2. Lizzo, “Batches & Cookies”

3. Har Mar Superstar, “Prisoner”

4. Four Fists, “MMMMMHMMMMM”

5. c.Kostra, “Your Call”

 

LIVE ACTS

1. Polica

2. Marijuana Deathquads

3. Tickle Torture

4. Har Mar Superstar

5. Four Fists

 

ROSS RAIHALA, Pioneer Press pop music critic

1. Low, “The Invisible Way”

2. Cloud Cult, “Love”

3. Fathom Lane, “Fathom Lane”

4. Ginkgo, “Manopause”

5. Joey Ryan and the Inks, “Pause”

6. BNLX, “Produit Collecte”

7. Lizzo, “Lizzobangers”

8. Actual Wolf, “Actual Wolf”

9. The Suburbs, “Si Sauvage”

10. Various Artists, “Rockin’ Here Tonight (Songs For Slim)”

 

CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER, Star Tribune music critic

1. Lizzo, “Lizzobangers”

2. Low, “The Invisible Way”

3. Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank, “Number One Contender”

4. The Replacements, “Songs for Slim EP”

5. The Cloak Ox, “Shoot the Dog”

6. The Stnnng, “Inward Empire”

7. Polica, “Shulamith”

8. Frankie Lee, “Middle West”

9. Haphduzn, “Whittier Alliance”

10. Pennyroyal, “Baby I’m Against It”

 

SONGS

1. Mason Jennings, “Wilderness”

2. The Suburbs, “Turn the Radio On”

3. Dessa, “Call Off Your Ghost”

4. Low, “Just Make It Stop”