Thursday, December 18, 2014

On the streets with Bieber*

Apparently, Justin Bieber is to sleep rough to "raise awareness" of how badly his career is going. Although the claim started as a story in UKIP house rag the Daily Star, so probably isn't true.

According to the Daily Star, Biebs' manager Scotter Braun has persuaded him to spend the night outside in the California streets, in aid of homeless charities.

"[Scooter] has been trying to come up with a plan to give Justin's career some longevity," a source told the newspaper.
Aside from the toe-curling aspect of a rich person spending a few hours on a pavement knowing they have a soft, warm bed to return to in the morning - a stunt even pulled by Grant Shapps back when he was still sometimes called Michael Green - it's not entirely clear how 'doing some good work for charidee' is going to offset the erosion of Bieber's career. Unless seeing Bieber sleep under cardboard will somehow stop girls reaching puberty.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Kasabian make some plans

For a moment, I thought there was at last a Kasabian statement I could agree with:

Kasabian: 'The next step for us is Wembley'
"They must be at Finchley Road", I thought. "Or possibly Neasden".

Then I read the line again, and realised it was step, not stop.

Ashanti gets cross-examined by her own stalker

In a 'oh, Justice, you have some explaining to do' event, somehow the New York courts allowed Ashanti to wind up being cross-examined by a man already convicted of stalking of her in a trial to see if he was violating the order of protection put in place after that conviction.

So: in order to get the courts to uphold the rules stopping another person from contacting you, the courts decide to give that person a chance to ask you questions under oath in an open court room.

Oh, Justice. You have some explaining to do.

Snapchat gets into music

So if I were to say to you that Snapchat was thinking about getting into the music business, you'd probably do what I did.

Nod your head, and think of something akin to its photo product, where the photo "disappears" after you've shared it. (Of course, it doesn't, because nothing digital leaves no trace, but in theory, anyway.) And you could picture that appealing to record labels, with their constant fear of pirates, pirates everywhere and limited understanding of the digital world.

But you'd be wrong. I was wrong. Snapchat's ambitions are more Empire-building than a mere app:

Mobile messaging service Snapchat could be formulating plans to launch its own music label, according to information in leaked Sony emails.

Reported correspondence between Sony's president of global digital business, Dennis Kooker, reveal that Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel has dreams of being a curator.

While a music service isn't on the cards, a record label "so [Spiegal] could focus on the artists that he wants to use the platform to promote," could well be.
Yeah. Snapchat don't want to launch a service, they want to launch a label.

What a terrible idea. But perhaps, at last, Spiegel has found a way to create something digital that will vanish almost instantly, leaving no trace at all.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Noel Gallagher: Class act

Noel Gallagher - you'll remember him, he used to appear in that glitzy gossipy Sunday Times column written by his then-wife Meg Matthews about their life in whatever part of London it was - is complaining that there aren't enough working class types in the charts these days. He blames other people:

"Music is very middle class, I’d have eaten Bastille alive in an afternoon in the '90s, one interview, destroyed, gone, never to be heard of again. Easy, had ‘em for breakfast. My bass player summed it up, we’re constantly saying, 'Where is the next band coming from?' and he rightly says, 'Never mind the band, where are the people?'

"When I first started I wanted to get in the charts and wreck it, like stamp Phil Collins out and Wet Wet Wet, they've got to go, and all that '80s gear, we don't need that anymore. I don't see anything from the working class, I just don’t see it."
Ah, yes. Gallagher's war on Wet Wet. So successful that was that, after just three Oasis albums and three years of Gallagher activity, Wet Wet Wet's 1997 album 10 only managed to limp to, erm, number two in the album charts spawning just two top ten singles. And the destroyed Phil Collins only managed to sell a million copies of 2002's Testify so much damage had been inflicted upon him by Gallagher's sharp tongue.

Apparently, this is all the Arctic Monkeys and Kasabian's fault:
"Well you only have to look at the charts, what happened at the end of the '90s, all those bands used to be in the Top Ten, like us, Manic, Pulp, The Verve, Suede and Blur, and I think bands like that have been marginalised and side-lined," he replied. "There's X Factor and all that kind of thing, can you name me the last great band that came out of this country? There's not really been any great bands in the last 10 years."

When it was put to him that One Direction might be considered great in terms of their global success and fame, Gallagher added: "They're not a band, they’re a group and good luck to those lads. Arctic Monkeys and Kasabian, that's ten years ago now and shame on those two bands for a start because they didn't inspire anybody else. The working classes have not got a voice anymore, there doesn't seem to be a noise coming from the council estates, you know what I mean?"
It doesn't seem to enter Noel's head for a moment that there are other possibilities - that for kids growing up now, making fifth-wave Beatles echoes might not be inspiring because there are other, better uses of their time; or that there's always been a talent-show-to-fame path that working class people have followed and the X Factor isn't really anything new in that respect; or there's actually a really vibrant music scene full of people of backgrounds less comfortable than Gallagher's which he doesn't think is there because it's neither about him, nor for him. (Clue, Noel: it's the latter.)

The saddest thing - and were he not such an anal chapstick you might even feel a bit sorry for Noel - is that he's sat on his comfy sofa, reliving the war on Phil Collins, blissfully unaware than for a a kid turning 16 this year, he's their Phil Collins.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Scott Stapp is very unwell indeed

It's a bit unfair that the headlines on the Scott Stapp story this morning focus on his threats to kill President Obama, which appear much more to be a symptom of some sort of mental illness rather than a genuine intention to take out the president. It's like hearing about someone with two broken legs and running a "Man refuses to go for a walk" headline on it.

Stapp appears to have developed a thing about Obama who he blames for pretty much everything:

"In 2012 I was doing a promotional tour for my book 'Sinner's Creed' and went on Fox News and expressed a little concern and disappointment with President Obama. Within two months of that public statement, that's when the IRS began to freeze my accounts," Stapp said. "I believe that the IRS situation is definitely a result of me expressing my dissatisfaction with President Obama. Absolutely, 100 percent."
If the IRS froze the accounts of every blowhard who went on Fox News to bitch about the president, they'd have to increase the workforce at Constitution Avenue to include the rest of the population of America. It's more likely - since Stapp also believes that someone else has been syphoning cash off his accounts - that the people who should have been looking after his tax affairs weren't.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Shazam try to shift from identification to playing

You know what you should do when you do one thing really, really well?

No, Shazam, it's not try to expand into doing things other people already do, but better:

That’s a trend that’s been underway for a while, but was emphasised yesterday with a relaunch of Shazam’s music features. They include even more focus on the app’s news feed, with music news and song recommendations based on each user’s past tagging habits, as well as exclusive live sessions and interviews.

The app’s dedicated music player also has more priority in the redesign, complete with the ability for users to sign in to Spotify to listen to tracks in full within Shazam’s iOS app, with Android to follow. This matches the existing integration with Rdio, incidentally.
What is the point of that? "Hmm, I wonder what this song I'm listening to is. Oh, it's Stiggy Bates and Never Touch Me There. Oh, and I could play it now, so I could actually listen to this song I'm already listening to, but pay for data on top of it. What a brilliant idea."

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Slayer rescue a kitten

You heard. Slayer rescued a kitten:

The band's publicist Heidi Robinson-Fitzgerald explained: "Last night Kerry [King] and some of the crew went to dinner at Kerry's favourite steak house in Indy, St. Elmo's Steak House.

"Afterwards, the assistant tour manager, Jess [Cortese] saw a homeless man on the street who offered up this little kitten for a dollar. The kitten apparently was freezing so Jess took it, slept with her in her bunk on the bus and went to the venue with her today, hanging out.

"One of the runners knew someone who wanted a kitten, so the little guy now has a new home where he or she currently is."
The part where this story is a little less heartwarming is what happened to the homeless person, who also, presumably, would have been freezing.

Grooveshark is convinced it's coming back stronger

It's Groovesharknado. Or possibly Groovesharknado 2. Or maybe 3.

Yes, beleaguered music upload-file-sharing-streaming type site Grooveshark is going to be reborn next year as a legitimate, licenced streaming service. Americans who want a streaming service, but for some reason haven't signed up to a streaming service, will be able to sign on for ninety nine cents a month.

Ninety Nine Cents A Month. For unlimited music.

Given the complaints about the size of royalty cheques which come from Spotify, at that pricepoint Grooveshark will be needing to use standard form to issue payments.

Morrissey backs down from head-to-head with The Queen

Channel 4 still broadcasts an alternative Queen's Speech every Christmas Day, a hangover of the time before it was all Hollyoaks and upcycling. This year, they invited Morrissey to do the talk - presumably on the grounds that his last semblance of genuine radicalism vanished at about the same time Channel 4 lost theirs.

Still, Mozzer must be relishing the chance to finally go eye-to-eye with Her Maj, right? Look, he's just opened the invite and he's sitting right down to start his speech... hang on, no, this isn't a speech... it's a... no thanks letter:

My view that the monarchy should be quietly dismantled for the good of England is reasonably well-known, but I don't think Christmas Day is quite the time to be trading slaps. The Queen should be allowed the impassioned trance of her annual address to the British people, if only to once again prove that, in her frozen posture, she has nothing to offer and nothing to say, and she has no place in modern Britain except as a figure of repression; no independent thought required. The Queen very well might be the most powerful woman in England, but she lacks the power to make herself loved, and the phony inflation of her family attacks all rational intellect.

All over the world highly civilized peoples exist without the automatic condescension of a 'royal' family. England can do the same, and will find more respect for doing so.
So let's just get this straight, Morrissey: you reckon that The Queen is the manifestation of an abhorrent institution, but don't want to call her out because you don't want to spoil Christmas.

What a plastic revolutionary.

"Ooh, we could have them all in tumbrels by midnight, but it looks a bit chilly out."

"The Crown could be on its knees today, though having said that it is Thursday and we don't want to spoil EastEnders for them, so maybe tomorrow."

"I'd love to storm the place with you, but I've got a spa booked this afternoon."

But even while he was turning tail and showing us where his spine would have been, he still manages to overestimate his own importance. The idea that he'd been trading blows with Elizabeth would be amusing if he probably doesn't believe she'd have started her speech "Morrissey has a thing or two to say about me, but I won't be silenced..."

Monday, December 08, 2014

Band Aid 30: We let in light, and we banish Macca

Apparently, there are some people upset that Paul McCartney isn't on the new Band Aid single. (He wasn't on Band Aid II, either, but that wasn't, as far as I recall, a "thing").

Bob Geldof is trying to explain why, in what sounds more like a desperate bid to remain invited to McCartney's Boxing Day Cluedo party than any real concern about the spat:

Asked why McCartney wasn't involved by the Daily Mirror, he replied: "Because Macca's always done stuff. He was in the band in 2004 - him, Radiohead and Damon [Albarn].

"But look, on this we've got from the newest to the hippest to the oldest... and he hasn't made the cut, what can I tell you? The thing is, there's only so many lines, so what do you do?
Remember, this is a record which found space in the vocals for Zoella, a video blogger, and her brother, who is thatcher with a YouTube account.

Also: Seal. If you can find space in front of a microphone for Seal, the suggestion that there might not be room for McCartney starts to look a little odd.
…Then it's who's happening in America - that's really important as sales are quantifiably more over there. Ellie Goulding, Ed Sheeran, One Direction, Coldplay, Sam Smith, U2... all these people are caning it in America."
Yeah, because The Beatles, famously, never had an American fanbase.

Still, you can't fault Bob's logic in packing the record with America-friendly stars, for how else would he have managed to get the record to, erm, number 63 in the US charts.

Sam Smith waves his fists at "critics"

The extraordinarily ordinary Sam Smith is seeing his success as one in the eye for "critics":

"I remember my first Shepherd's Bush Empire gig, and at that point I'd had two number-one singles, the Critics' Choice Award and the Sound poll, and critics were just waiting to pull me down. At first, that made me upset, but as I've been doing this for the past year, I've started to realise that you're never going to please critics because they're not Sam Smith fans. The only people you can really impress are those who really want to come and see you play. The majority of critics are being paid to watch you perform, they don't actually want to see you sing, so I can't expect them to like me."
Just re-read that quote. He won an award, from critics, called the Critics Choice award, and then says 'well, you're never going to please the critics'.

Smith's entire career is based on getting two awards, both voted for by nobody but music critics. Sure, there's plenty of reason there to lambast critics for their bland taste, but to suggest that somehow his sales have been in the face of staunch criticism is rewriting history a little.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

New artist alert: Molly Wilkinson

So there's a lot of music demanding your attention at the moment, and you might have missed Molly Wilkinson, who slid out a beautiful guitarry-with-smidge-of-electricity a short while ago. Oh, and the voice. The voice.

Look, you could listen to it here, but it's only a fiver so why not buy the thing, eh? It's excellent.

This week just gone

What people read this week:

1. Scott Stapp's wedding from 2006
2. Simon Bates dumped by Smooth
3. Ongoing collection of best of lists
4. Jo O'meara would do it again, where 'it' is being racist
5. Rolling Stone were impressed by that U2 record
6. RIP Gravenhurst
7. Robbie Williams launches a Christmas surprise
8. Indiegogo find way to upsell crowd funding
9. Scott Stapp's engagement from 2006
10. Madonna annoyed as new record spills online

This was interesting, all these records coming out:

Parquet Courts - Content Nausea

Download Content Nausea

Wilco - Alpha Mike Foxtrot

Download Alpha Mike Foxtrot

Red Lorry Yellow Lorry - See The Fire

She & Him - Classics

Download Classics

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Rock Sick List: Bradford Cox

Deerhunter's Bradford Cox got hit by a car and is in both a bad way, and hospital:

Cox said he was hit by a car and was “still waiting for X-ray results or any real diagnoses” and that he “can’t move much” and is in “incredible pain.”

According to, Cox has been hospitalized at the Marcus Trauma Center in Grady Memorial Hospital.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Richie Hawtin kind-of embarrassed about pushing a monitor into a fan

It was an "unexpected turn" when Richie Hawtin pushed a heavy thing into a fan's face:

"Regarding the incident at Time Warp in New York this weekend which is being posted and talked about on the web, I would like to apologise here to the girl involved
It was not my intention that the speaker fell. Only to nudge the monitors in her direction and for her to understand that perhaps she had filmed enough. I was as surprised as I'm sure she was when it moved the way it did and the top speaker fell off of the stack. For that, I'm extremely sorry and embarrassed about what happened. This was never my intention. Sometimes being in the middle of the spotlight, continual cameras and glaring iPhone lights, things can get stressful and frustrating. I”m sorry that this frustration took an unexpected turn and took away from anyone's experience of Time Warp. I have tried to reach the girl to apologise personally but have not yet been able to track her down and will continue to try to contact her.”
It must be so frustrating to go onto a stage and discover that you've got a spotlight shining on you. Who wouldn't be surprised and confused under those circumstances?

Obit: Nick Talbot

It's hard to know how to describe Nick Talbot, whose death was confirmed yesterday. He was a musician, and a producer, ran a label, and wrote well about music, most notably for The Quietus.

As Gravenhurst, he provided an until then unnoticed missing link between Kevin Shields and James Taylor, eventually expanding his stage name into a full live band over a fifteen year period.

Warp Records, who released much of Talbot's work, issued a statement:

We are shocked and saddened to share the news that Nick Talbot aka Gravenhurst has passed away aged 37. An immensely talented singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and journalist, he will be hugely missed. Nick's family and friends request privacy at this difficult time.
Manager Michelle Hilborne added:
I am utterly devastated to confirm that Nick Talbot, also known under the performing name Gravenhurst, has passed away aged 37. The finest, most extraordinary and inspirational songwriter, singer and performer, and a remarkable producer and journalist, Nick's work has deeply affected so many people all over the world. Outstandingly intelligent, compassionate, fascinating and witty, Nick was the dearest friend and his absence brings indescribable sorrow.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Indiegogo find upsell for crowdfunded projects

Ah, crowdfunding. It's great, but where's the profit for the clearing houses?

Perhaps in selling insurance.

Yes, IndieGoGo is experimenting with allowing crowdfunders the chance to purchase a PPI/Extended Warranty style product that will allow cash to be claimed back if a funded project fails to deliver.

Apart from the upselling aspect, there is surely a worry that if people working on projects are able to think 'well, the people who believed in me will get their money back if I don't deliver' that's going to lead to more, not fewer, abandoned projects and undermine the whole point of crowdfunding in the first place?

Jeremih Fuddruckers fracas

Billings Police are trying to bring Jeremih to justice, after his entourage were involved in a scrap at a Fuddruckers.

Fuddruckers. What is wrong with celebrities today? What happened to keeping your fights to a Waffle House car park?

Restaurant staff reported that members of the group ordered food and then hassled a young female employee. When the manager addressed the group and asked them calm down and move, members accused him of being racist and one of the men grabbed a microphone used to order food and spoke into it, Billings Police Dept. Chief Rich St. John said in early November.
Jeremih has said that the "incident" should never have happened and suggested that it was because of racism. You'd think he'd want his day in court.

Oh, and the concert he was in town to do? Managed three songs before disappearing, leaving the promoter struggling to repay the audience.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Rolling Stone has chosen their best album

Oh, Rolling Stone, could you be any more of a Dad? With all of 2014's albums to choose from, you've chosen the one we didn't get to choose:

There was no bigger album of 2014 – in terms of surprise, generosity and controversy. Songs of Innocence is also the rebirth of the year. Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. put their lives on the line: giving away 11 songs of guitar rapture and frank, emotional tales of how they became a band out of the rough streets and spiritual ferment of Seventies Dublin.
Or 'fading brand attempt a desperate reboot by creating a Year Zero mythos; realising nobody would buy it, they force it into people's hands'. Who would fall for that schtick, bar another fading brand?

See the collection of everyone's best-of lists

Monday, December 01, 2014

Robbie Williams launches Christmas market surprise

Oh, what larks. The rump of tax-swerving middle-managers Take That are releasing an album today, called III (after the maximum rate of corporation tax they're prepared to countenance.)

But what is this coming from out of nowhere? It's a new Robbie Williams album:

Robbie Williams has announced a surprise new album. Under The Radar Volume 1, a collection of discards and demos that “cried out for a home”, is being released today, the same day as Take That’s III.

“[These are] loads and loads of songs that I’ve written that I’m incredibly passionate about,” Williams said in a handheld video to his fans. “I want you to hear them, otherwise they’re just going to remain in my computer!”
Robbie, it's the 21st Century. If your private files are remaining sat on your computer, that's probably a sign that nobody is interested in them.

It's like a battle for the number one slot. Except...
Although the digital edition won’t be available until 8 December, the CD version is on sale now. Williams is selling them exclusively through his website for £7.50 a pop, or £25 with an autograph.
... given the market for these records is clearly people whose search for a gift for older parents has dragged them into the back where Tesco racks the CDs, it's not really much of a battle. (It's also unclear if Williams' virtual selling of his CDs out the back of a van will be counted for chart returns, too.)

Madonna leaks; manager wants you to do his job for him

At first, it was just a bit of Madonna's forthcoming single, Rebel Heart, that had been pushed online.

That didn't make her happy.

But if Madonna was annoyed at her snatch leaking online, worse was to come. The whole thing is now out there.

People want to know what happened:

Guy Oseary took to Twitter to ask fans to assist in finding whoever was responsible for the leak.

He wrote: "I would be grateful to any @madonna fans that can assist us in finding those responsible for the leak. We appreciate your help."
Oseary is Madonna's manager. Not be confused with an ossuary, of course. One's job is to keep safe the skeletal remains of a human being; the other is an ossuary.

So, yes, Oseary has decided to ask Twitter if they knew "who was responsible". It's unclear if he followed up this with "nobody is in trouble, we just want to know" and "we're not angry, just disappointed".

It's surprising that Madonna's management team are so rickety they have to, effectively, ask the entire world who outsmarted them.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

This week just gone

The ten most-read things this November:

1. Jo O'Meara explains why she'd be racist all over again
2. Scott Stapp got married
3. Video: Le Prince Miiaou
4. The still-controversial sacking of Simon Bates
5. Ride return
6. RIP: Johnny Elichaoff
7. Lily Allen turned down Band Aid, says Lily Allen
8. Cerys finally storms palace; accepts MBE instead of instigating plan to make 'em all get jobs
9. Nearly forgotten person off The Voice nearly part of a scandal
10. Adele dissed for not taking part in Band Aid

These releases were worth punching someone in the face to buy on Black Friday:

David Sylvian - There's A Light That Enters Houses With No Other House In Sight

McCarthy - Complete Albums & Sessions

Various - Saint Etienne Presents Songs For A London Winter

Download Songs For A London Winter

Deus - Selected Songs

Download Selected Songs

Saturday, November 29, 2014

At last, a black Friday deal worth mentioning

The great Speedy Ortiz have made their first two records, Cop Kicker and The Death Of Speedy Ortiz free for the weekend. They're asking for donations, though, and all the money raised will go to Ferguson Municipal Public Library.

New Malawian authorities restore traditional fawning over Madonna. And it's mutual.

There's been some upheavals recently in Malawi - the former president, Joyce Banda, has vanished from the country, chased by claims of financial misconduct, and returning fire with claims that the new President, Peter Mutharika and his party have constructed a case against her by coercion.

All very murky.

But someone's doing alright out of it: Madonna, who had fallen out with Banda, is back in favour:

The Malawi government has announced the restoration of the status of ‘Very Very Important Person (VVIP)’ at the airport to US pop star Madonna.

The spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Quentie Kalichero said the current administration cannot take over the disagreements which had existed between former President Joyce Banda and Madonna.
Mutharika is very much Malawi's Obama. In the sense that there's a huge row over his eligibility to be president based on questions about whether he's really an American citizen or not. That's as far as the similarity goes.

And he tried to seize power through a coup.

And there was that time he failed to support academics when they were being hassled by police and bungled it so much that he had to be moved from the Education ministry.

And his brother, Bingu wa Mutharika, when he was president, spent $13.26 million buying a private jet which used so much of the nation's currency reserves it led to a fuel shortage for ordinary Malawians. And Bingu gifted Peter the leadership of the party - which happened despite, rather than because of, the rules for electing a leader. Those who objected to this were kicked out the party.

And what does Madonna do when getting to hang out with a guy like that?
She salutes him.

But then, he did give her back keys to the airport's luxury lounge, right?

Lewis Hamilton reckons he could have a go at music next

Lewis Hamilton, who is known for driving cars very fast, is planning to build on his fame as a fast car driver by making music. His plans are well advanced:

Hamilton says he is influenced by artists like Michael Jackson, Prince, Kodaline and Jay Z, as well as by his girlfriend, pop star Nicole Scherzinger.
Oddly, Hamilton doesn't mention the influence of the Arctic Monkeys or Gary Barlow, but they share a penchant for trying to squirrel money away so they don't have to pay their share of tax.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Lady GaGa: Very much 'dog bites man'

Oh, Pulse Nigera, that's not really a news item, is it?

Although some respect for their plaintive cry:
Will Lady Gaga ever dress up normal?
If you must go out dressed like a firework, Gaga, at least wear sensible shoes.

Incidentally, most people seem convinced this was 'being dressed as a firework':
... but clearly she's just bought fall-apart statue The B Of The Bang from Manchester:

Thursday, November 27, 2014

What the pop papers say: Rounding up the best albums

A quick word of praise for NME's current issue, the 50 Best Albums of the Year - one of the few list-based issues that makes sense. And it's been done in a lovely way - each album given a full page, and a lovingly written piece about it.

It's also striking that, when asked to talk about the current music it loves, the NME is a very different beast from the magazine you'd expect looking at the parade of the dead and the sainted that mark the front pages.

In fact, the only record on the list which feels driven by market forces rather than genuine passion is Morrissey's World Peace Is None Of Your Business. Three writers have a crack at explaining what it's doing on the list, and even then the sense that this is a continuation of the High Court Apology to Mr Morrissey never quite goes away. "It's a return to form" - well, yes, but it's a return to disappointing mid-solo career form, which is hardly a leap forward. "It's the best thing he's done since You Are The Quarry" - well, yes, but that's like saying "no more painful than sciatica."

St Vincent comes out top, and her prize appears to be a cover feature for next week. That's quite a coup, as shockingly, she'll be the first woman to appear on the cover since the start of November. November 2013. When it was MIA. (There was a montage which had Wolf Alice, if you want to be pedantic.) That's a pretty poor show.

2014 Forever: Other people's lists

This list is a work in progress, and will be added to over the next few weeks.
Last updated: 13-12-14

Billboard's best albums of 2014:
5. Ed Sheeran - X
4. Jenny Lewis - The Voyager
3. Sam Smith - In The Lonely Hour
2. Run The Jewels - Run The Jewels 2
1. Taylor Swift - 1989

Capital Xtra best house music tracks of 2014:
Wanklemut - Head Is A Jungle (MK Remix)
Duke Dumont - I Got You
Shiba San - Okay
Patrick Topping - Forget
Oliver$ & Jimi Jules - Pushing On
Zhu - Faded
Daniel Steinburg - Let Me Down (Tube & Berger Remix)
Keisza - Hideaway
Klingande - Judel
Second City - I Wanna Feel
Route 94 - My Love
Oliver Heldens X Becky Hill - Gecko (Overdrive)
Watermat - Bullit
MK - Awlays
Disclosure - Latch
Doorly & Shadow Child - Piano Weapon
Jonas Rathman - I Hope I'm Wrong
Ten Walls - Walking With Elephants

The 405's best free albums & mixtapes of the year:
Run The Jewels - Run The Jewels 2
Mick Jenkins - The Water[s]
Raury - Indigo Child
King avriel - thesis
Childish Gambino - S T N M T N
Shlohmo and Jeremih - No More
Jaden Smith - Cool Tape Vol. 2
Sango - Da Rochina 2
Mac Miller - Faces
Travi$ Scott - Days Before Rodeo

GQ pop star of the year:
Weird Al Yankovic

Loudwire's best rock video of 2014:
Monster Magnet - The Duke

NME top albums of 2014:
5. Caribou - Our Love
4. Aphex Twin - Syro
3. The War On Drugs - Lost In The Dream
2. Mac DeMarco - Salad Days
1. St Vincent - St Vincent

NME top tracks of 2014:
5. Run The Jewels - Blockbuster Night Part 1
4. The War On Drugs - Red Eyes
3. Fat White Family - Touch The Leather
2. Caribou - Can't Do Without You
1. Future Islands - Seasons (Waiting On You)

Paste's best albums:
5. Alvvays - Alvvays
4. King Tuff - Black Moon Spell
3. Run The Jewels - Run The Jewels 2
2. St Vincent - St Vincent
1. The War On Drugs - Lost In The Dream

Rolling Stone's best albums of 2014:
5. Miranda Lambert - Platinum
4. St Vincent - St Vincent
3. The Black Keys - Turn Blue
2. Bruce Springsteen - High Hopes
1. U2 - Songs Of Innocence

Slate's best jazz albums of 2014:
5. Fred Hersch - Floating
4. Ambrose Akinmusire - The Imagined Savior Is Far Easier to Paint
3. Kenny Barron & Dave Holland - The Art of Conversation
2. Keith Jarrett & Charlie Haden - Last Dance
1. Sonny Rollins - Road Shows, Vol. 3

Included in XFM's 50 best albums of 2014 (which has no particular order):
Blood Red Shoes - Blood Red Shoes
Manic Street Preachers - Futurology
Coldplay - Ghost Stories
Pixies - Indie Cindy
Royal Blood - Royal Blood

2014 Forever: The uberlist

The year is almost gone and, unlike every band ever, once it's split, it's not coming back.

This post does little more than collects the pages that form the annual review.

Other people's lists - a collection of favourite albums & tracks from the year