ALARM's 51 Favorite Albums of 2013

ALARM’s 51 Favorite Albums of 2013

Saving the best for last, we’ve chosen our 51 favorite albums of 2013, pulled from the acclaimed and the unsung — some of the best as well as most boundary-pushing releases from rock and beyond.

Tim Fite

Interview with Tim Fite: Little-T Ain’t Stealin’ No More

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Tom Fite: Ain't Ain't Ain'tTim Fite: Ain’t Ain’t Ain’t (Anti-, 3/2/12)

“We Are All Teenagers”

[audio:|titles=Tim Fite: “We Are All Teenagers”]

Tim Fite has come a long way since his rap roots. Though many may recognize his face from the 2001 hit “Shaniqua” with One Track Mike, the man formerly known as Little-T has spent eight years and ten albums singlehandedly bridging rap and indie folk under his current moniker. That, however, makes his career sound much too simple: Fite’s half-rapped, half-sung delivery has paired with a massive library of samples and an alternately cut-and-paste and acoustic aesthetic to craft something unparalleled.

For the final installment of his Ain’t trilogy on Anti- Records, the aptly titled Ain’t Ain’t Ain’t, Fite reinvents his own unconventional process. He’s still sampling, but gone are the bargain-bin cuts; instead, they’re rearranged compositions by Fite and his friends. Thematically, the album’s prequels were youthful commentaries on adult topics, but Ain’t Ain’t Ain’t flips that as well — offering a mature take on the heartbreak and joy of his teenage years.

ALARM's 50 Favorite Songs of 2012

ALARM’s 50 (+5) Favorite Songs of 2012

Last month ALARM presented its 50 favorite albums of 2012, an eclectic, rock-heavy selection of discs that were in steady rotation in our downtown-Chicago premises. Now, to give some love to tunes that were left out, we have our 50 (+5) favorite songs of last year — singles, B-sides, EP standouts, soundtrack cuts, and more.

ALARM's 50 Favorite Albums of 2012

ALARM’s 50 Favorite Albums of 2012

Another year, another torrential downpour of albums across our desks. As always, we encountered way too much amazing music, from Meshuggah to The Mars Volta, Converge, Killer Mike, P.O.S, and many more.


Review: Calexico’s Algiers

Going on four years without a proper album, Arizona-based Calexico is back with Algiers, and not since 2003’s Feast of Wire has the band been so immediately accessible.

The Locust

Review: The Locust’s Molecular Genetics from the Gold Standard Labs

The Locust: Molecular Genetics from the Gold Standard LabsThe Locust: Molecular Genetics from the Gold Standard Labs (Anti-)

“Perils of Believing in Round Squares”

The Locust: “Perils of Believing in Round Squares”

Somebody got new-wavey B-movie camp in with my grindcore. Somebody got grindcore in with my new-wavey B-movie camp!

No matter one’s perspective, The Locust is a band so unique and without peer that listeners are hard pressed to forget their first experience. Take a grindcore/power-violence base and add sci-fi synths, brilliant costumes, and humorous/asinine song titles (often in questionable taste), and boom: The Locust.

Tim Fite

Video: Tim Fite’s “Bully”

Tim Fite is a particularly unique artist, one whose indefinable catalog has ranged from alt-country to hip hop. Notorious for his ironic lyrics, graphic artistry, and atypical fashion sense, he remains an authentic voice in independent music with a bevy of solo albums.