The 20 Best Summer Movies of the Last Decade

With possibly two of the best summer films ever on the horizon-Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Guardians of the Galaxy-I want to take a look back at the last 10 years (not counting this year-2004-2013) of summer films. Some summers stood out with memorable pictures (thank you, 2008) while others fell into the best-left-forgotten zone (I’m looking at you, 2006). To form the list, I factored in, to a degree, popularity and summer movie-ness-as in, whether it has all the necessities to be a great summer movie and uses them effectively. But the best ones will be the films that transcend being just a summer flick. So, here are the 20 best summer movies of the last decade.

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20. Pineapple Express (2008)
The start of a beautiful on-screen friendship, Seth Rogen and James Franco’s Pineapple Express isn’t just the pothead’s comedy (even though it does cater to a specific demographic). It’s arguably the film that propelled Franco into his current “bad boy” persona (even though it was probably only the cheery on top). The duo has since starred together in This is the End (we’ll get to that later) and will be featured in this year’s The Interview, the movie that may take us to war with North Korea. But when the bombs drop, lets not forgot about this little gem that started it all.

19. Tropic Thunder (2008)
Another fantastic comedy from 2008, Tropic Thunder was a surprise smash, garnering Robert Downey Jr. an unexpected Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his turn as an Australian actor portraying a black man. While Downey is the highlight of the film’s main cast, it’s the supporting players that really stand out. Matthew McConaughey, pre-Oscar, is hilarious, channeling his “Wolf of Wall Street” character five years before he knew it would even exist. And then there’s Tom Cruise, who absolutely kills it in a cameo/supporting role that has to be seen to be believed.

18. Pacific Rim (2013)
Before Garreth Edwards tried infusing Godzilla with a much more serious tone in this year’s reboot, Guilermo del Toro last year wanted to create his own take on the monster genre, taking it back to basics. This became Pacific Rim, a giant monster vs. giant robot extravaganza that is everything you could ever want from a movie with that kind of description. As far as summer bloackbusters go, Pacific Rim embodies everything you could ever want out of one, and never takes itself too seriously. The phrase “leave your brain at the door” usually has a negative connotation when it comes to films (Bay’s Transformers for instance) but in the case of Pacific Rim, it’s okay because the film never tries being anything more or less than what del Toro’s vision promises.

17. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
Its sequel, out this weekend, is already getting rave reviews-the Hollywood Reporter called it the “Empire Strikes Back” of the franchise-but lets not forget the stand-out film of the summer in 2011, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. It was a surprising critical success, garnering positive reviews almost across the board. The highlight? The amazing visual work on the apes and Andy Serkis’ fantastic motion capture performance of their leader, Ceasar, who many raved should garner him an Academy Award nomination. Seeing him return in Matt Reeves’ follow-up will be a delight.

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16. Superbad (2007)
The film that shot stars Michael Cera and Jonah Hill into super stardom, Superbad is the epitome of the teenagers-trying-to-have-sex movie. More quotable, memorable, funny, and even heartfelt than most in its genre, Superbad was to many teenage guys their life put on screen. It captured desperation and awkwardness in a way that hadn’t really been captured in quite some time, and remains one of the funniest movies of the last decade.

15. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The first of many super hero (and Nolan) movies to make the list, TDKR is the conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s epic, genre-lifting Batman trilogy. It’s a film that, in time, has garnered mixed reactions among fans. It’s full of plot holes that one wouldn’t expect from a film this substantial and has a plot twist that kind of reduces an otherwise fantastic villain. But despite its negatives, TDKR is still one of the best summer, and super hero, films of all time, thanks in large part to its epic scope, strong performances and Nolan’s signature vision.

14. Star Trek (2009)
While the 2013 sequel may have been kind of lackluster to most, J.J. Abrams’ 2009 film was a solid reboot to a beloved franchise that sky-rocketed the Trek franchise into a “cooler,” sleeker, more modern era. While it may resemble Star Wars more than what Trekkies are accustomed to, it’s a smart, great looking sci-fi adventure. While Abrams won’t be returning to the franchise for a third outing due to his ties with Star Wars, we can still thank him for giving us an actual positive reboot.

13. Iron Man (2008)
It was a surprise juggernaught at the box office and even more of a surprise with critics. But Jon Favreau’s Iron Man was a smart, funny, cool and overall great super hero film that kick-started Marvel’s Avengers franchise. We didn’t know that at the time, though, until the infamous after-credits scene. But before there were the Avengers, there was only Iron Man, personified perfectly by Robert Downey Jr. (it was a good year for him).

12. This is the End (2013)
Another strong outing for Rogen and Franco, This is the End is a creative and hilarious take on the “world-ending” genre. The stars, along with Michael Cera, Jonah Hill and others, star as themselves and it is amazing. It is a tour de force in celebrity cameos, from Rihanna to Emma Watson, and features a fantastic ending featuring a very nostalgic boy band.

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11. Batman Begins (2005)
The beginning of Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy is to many considered to be the best in the series. It’s not without its merits: everyone knows Batman’s origin story but it’s never really been told properly on the big screen. Nolan does it justice in a mature and sophisticated way, and gives birth to a Batman we’d never seen before. It more than made up for Joel Schumacher’s terrible mishandling of the franchise that almost destroyed it.

10. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Because a Harry Potter film obviously had to be in the top 10. But more than that, the third outing for Harry and friends is considered by many to be the best in the franchise, thanks to Alfonso Cuaron’s (a decade before his Oscar win) impeccable vision. The film takes the franchise into bold new territory, stripping away the childish ways of the first two installments for a more mature, darker story that the rest of the franchise would be modeled after.

9. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
It was hard choosing a top comedy for summer movies. This is the End is a strong contender, but Anchorman, now a decade old (can you believe that) takes the edge, not only for its timelessness (its well-intentioned sequel couldn’t match it) but it’s superb quotability and great comedic performances. Will Ferrell is at his best here.

8. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
While it often feels like an after-thought now in the wake of Marc Webb’s reboot, Sam Raimi’s original trilogy had its merits. The biggest being his superb second installment, which, at the time, set a new standard for super hero films. Having recently watched it, it has admittedly aged, but 10 years will do that to a movie. It’s still one of the best super hero movies ever, with a villain in Doc Ock (perfect casting of Alfred Molina) that has actual true motivations, camp in all the right places, and one of the best fight scenes ever in a super hero movie. Whatever you do, don’t forget this gem when Sony is rebooting Spider-Man for the third time years in the future.

7. Wall-E (2008)
The first Pixar film to make the list, Wall-E is a heartfelt achievement in animation that I believe could have been the first Pixar film nominated for best picture had the Academy changed the rule a year in advance. It is a splendid film about the dangers of pollution and over population with a cute robotic love story at the center.

6. The Avengers (2012)
Nothing quite says summer these days like Marvel, and in 2012 everything Marvel had been leading up to was released. Joss Whedon was a surprising pick to helm the crown jewel of Marvel Studio’s achievements, but it worked to near perfection. The film harnesses Whedon’s witty charm and balances all of the individual characters quite well. Sure, poor Hawkeye may not have gotten his due, but besides that, it’s a well-made summer blockbuster that was a critical and financial success. No one could have guessed that an Avengers movie could work so well. Whedon proved everyone wrong.

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5. Toy Story 3 (2010)
Another Pixar favorite, Toy Story 3 was a long time in the making, but some times the best things are the ones you wait for. It was everything fans could ever want in the conclusion to Pixar’s beloved trilogy, with a tear-jerker ending and moments that make us remember why we feel in love with these characters in the first place.

4. District 9 (2009)
District 9 was the little engine that could. No one really knew anything about it at the time. It seemed like an interesting sci-fi movie but until its release kind of flew under the radar. But once it came to theaters, the positive response was astounding. First time director Niel Blomkamp created a visually terrific, insanely unique sci-fi film that is not only entertaining, but a metaphor for genocide and other acts of violence. It went on to be nominated for best picture, and rightly so.

3. Inception (2010)
Nolan appears on this list quite a few times, but this non-Batman movie is a true creative work of art. Part heist movie, part sci-fi action film, part character drama, Inception, like District 9, is a rare breed of summer film that infuses Oscar level craftsmanship with the right dose of summer entertainment. Every time I watch it I pick up on something different, and that’s the beauty of this mind-boggling thriller.

2. Up (2009)
Up, the final Pixar film on the list, is an emotional roller coaster. It tells the perfect love story in its first 10 minutes better than most romance films can do in an entire two hours. Its characters are fun and its story is heart-warming. Up was the first Pixar film to be nominated for best picture, and in a perfect world, maybe it could have won. But the world isn’t perfect, you just have to make the best of it-that’s what Carl learns.

1. The Dark Knight (2008)
It might be the cliche choice, but Nolan’s follow-up to Batman Begins is a near-perfect film that remains arguably the best comic book based film ever. When one thinks of “summer” they may not necessarily think of The Dark Knight. But that’s why it’s the best. It breaks down the doors to its genres and doesn’t look back. There isn’t much more to be said about the film and Heath Ledger’s Joker that hasn’t already been said. I don’t even consider it a comic book movie so much as a crime drama. That’s how good it is.

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Agree? Disagree? Any that could have been added? Let me know!

Nine Directors Who Should Direct Star Wars: Episode IX

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With the announcement that Looper’s Rian Johnson is directing Star Wars: Episode VIII, it looks like Disney/Lucasfilm are open to making risky moves in the development of their reinvigorated franchise (even though J.J. Abrams, an obvious choice, is directing the seventh installment). The announcement got my imagination running, and I can’t help but think about the future of the series post-Episode VIII…Episode IX, of course. Here’s nine directors I wouldn’t mind seeing travel to a galaxy far, far away.

9. James Gunn

Gunn may be higher on the list after I see Guardians of the Galaxy (or not on it at all, but I feel like Guardians will be a treat), but for now, I’ll hold off on that. However, Guardians looks like a blast, the perfect summer film, a surprise hit, and a refreshing take on the Marvel cinematic Universe. With Disney owning Marvel and Star Wars, Gunn already has an in with the company. It may just be a matter of whether Guardians does well financially on whether they consider him for such a huge franchise.

8. Drew Goddard

An unlikely choice, but with the Rian Johnson announcement, it feels like anything unlikely could indeed happen. Goddard is responsible for 2012’s surprise hit The Cabin in the Woods, which was his directorial debut. While that “lack of experience” may sound worrisome, fear not: Cabin in the Woods is a great film, jam-packed with the kind of thrilling energy a Star Wars movie desires. Goddard is set-up as the director of the Amazing Spider-Man spinoff Sinister Six, but that should be wrapped up by the time the conclusion to the new Star Wars trilogy had to get underway.

7. Doug Liman

Liman is the director of The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Jumper and most recently, Edge of Tomorrow. While Jumper didn’t fare well critically, Edge of Tomorrow is the surprise of the summer, an entertaining-as-hell and creative effort, with even some nice character work, that speaks to his potential to create a Star Wars film. The only problem may be that we didn’t have expectations set for Edge, while Star Wars would have plenty to live up to.

6. Neill Blomkamp

In 2009, I would have said Blomkamp can direct anything he wants to, because at the time District 9 had wowed us. Since then, his reputation has declined a little. Not much, but enough where he’s not at the top of this list. Last year’s Elysium, his follow up to District 9, proved to be a tad disappointing. A good film, but an overall forgettable one, thanks to its setting that resembled District 9 a little too much and characters that well, we didn’t really give a shit about. But I’m still putting Blomkamp on the list. It’s probably mostly due to the fact I still believe in the guy, but if he were to direct a Star Wars film, I’d be at least intrigued. It would be a much different style than Abrams, but so will Johnson I think we can expect.

5. Brad Bird

Bird is the director of some of the best family-friendly, but mature, animated features out there: The Iron Giant and The Incredibles. He already has more than an in with Disney with the latter film mentioned and Ratatouille. He also directed Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, a high-octane joy ride that showed he can direct live-action with the best of ’em. He already has a couple projects lined up, but maybe by the time he had to direct Star Wars 9, his schedule would be free. The Star Wars films have always been family-friendly in nature, but with mature themes. Bird’s style would fit that mold quite well.

4. Matthew Vaughn

Vaughn made waves with his comic book adaptation Kick-Ass, which proved to be the little engine that could. His next project was another super hero film, but this time he toned down the violence and suggestive content and took on the X-Men universe with X-Men: First Class. It was a movie that reinvigorated life into a series that needed it after abysmal movies like X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Both of these movies show Vaughn’s knack for high-energy and excitement, and also his ability to create fun and engrossing characters, something the Star Wars franchise (used to be) all about.

3. Matt Reeves

At first, Reeves may seem like he would be out of his element if he directed a Star Wars film. But I’m sure we’ve thought that of Johnson as well, and I’m sure he’ll bring a creative vision to the series. Reeves sprung onto the scene with Cloverfield, which, love it or hate it, was at least a unique (at the time) take on the monster genre. Then came Let Me In, a film that had so much going against it (being the American remake of the beloved vampire Swedish film Let the Right One In), only to shock critics when it turned out to actually be pretty damn good. Now Reeves is releasing Dawn of the Planet of the Apes soon. It remains to be seen whether the film will be good, but it looks promising and shows Reeves may be able to handle an effects-heavy sequel in a popular franchise. While some would say his style may be too “dark” for a Star Wars film, I think he could bring a unique take on the franchise.

2. Alfonso Curaon

So yes, Cuaron seems like the obvious pick at the moment, having just won the Oscar for best director for Gravity. But think about it: if Cuaron got his hands on a Star Wars movie, it would be unlike any Star Wars movie we’ve ever seen. Cuaron’s vision for things is uncanny, and there’s no doubting the film would be a visual spectacle. And if you’re worried it would be style over substance, remember he also directed Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which many say is still the best in the series. Depending on the direction they take this new trilogy, Cuaron would be an excellent addition to the array of Star Wars directors. Oh, and tracking shots. Those tracking shots.

1. Michael Bay

Yes, I know what you’re going to say. “What?? That hack? No way!” But hear me out. Bay, despite being known for his explosive, special effects-riddled tendencies that are devoid of plot, has made plenty of memorable movies. The Transformers trilogy shows he can handle an entertaining franchise and–

Okay ya got me. Yes, I am joking. Can you imagine what this shit stain would be like if Michael Bay directed it? Pearl Harbor with space ships. No thank you.

Well, there you have it. Who do YOU think should direct the ninth Star Wars movie following Abrams and Johnson? Sound off in the comments below.

Best Singles of 2013

2013 was an up-and-down year of both great and less than stellar music. To narrow it down to the best singles of the year is tough. The list is based on critical reception, personal preference and even popularity, as long as their was a solid (or addictingly controversial) enough reason for that popularity. Dance-music made waves, a modern pop-icon made a comeback, a 16-year-old took us all by surprise, and more. These are the best singles of the year.

15. Jay-Z feat. Rick Ross “Fuckwithmeyouknowigotit” Producers Vinylz, Boi-1da, and Timbland all lend a helping hand to this track, perfecting a hypnotic beat that Jay and Rick Ross both wanted on their albums. It ended up on Hov’s “Magna Carta” but don’t fuck with either of them.

14. The Lonely Island feat. Adam Levine & Kendrick LamarYOLO” An SNL digital short from the boys of Lonely Island, it twists the “battle cry of a generation” into n anthem for sheltering yourself from the dangers of the world. Hilarious, witty, and satirical in the best way.

13. Martin Garrix Animals” It was the year of dance music. Daft Punk, Disclosure, Krewella, and more bombarded dance clubs all over, and “Animals” is no different. It’s a song that cherishes the art of dropping the beat.

12. Big Sean feat. Kendrick Lamar & Jay Electronica “Control” While it’s Big Sean’s song (it was meant to appear on his “Hall of Fame” album but ended up being released as a promotional single instead), it’s Kendrick Lamar that truly kills it with one of the best rap verses of the year.

11. Disclosure “When A Fire Starts to Burn” As far as dance music go, it can’t get much simpler, and that’s the magic of this track off Disclosure’s debut “Settle.” What makes it even better is it’s hilariously fun music video.

10. Miley Cyrus “Wrecking Ball” Miley was the most talked about artist of the year. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is up for you to decide. But once you get past the ridiculous twerking and other antics, Miley can actually sing. It’s only the absurdity of her music videos that overshadow that.

9. Eminem “Rap God” No one was really doubting Eminem’s rapping abilities, but now it’s hard to contest that he’s a rap god. Eminem takes the full 6 minutes of the song to cement that.

8. Drake feat. Majid Jordan “Hold On, We’re Going Home” It would have been easy to include Drake’s first single off “Nothing was the Same, “Started From the Bottom,” but “Hold On, We’re Going Home” is both expected and unexpected from the artist that Rolling Stone called “the people’s rapper.” It’s hard to argue with that listening to this 80s styled jam.

7. Lady Gaga feat. R. Kelly “Do What U Want” Gaga’s “Artpop” album may not have been received well by critics, but the stand out track, “Do What U Want,” is a standout single thanks to an assist from R. Kelly.

6. Arctic Monkeys “Do I Wanna Know” The lyrics and instrumental are mesmerizing. Just listen to it.

5. Lorde “Team” The hit single “Royals” shot 17 year old Lorde to super stardom this year, but it’s on “Team” that I felt her youthful (not quite) innocence. With lyrics like “I’m kinda over getting told to throw my hands up in the air” it’s hard to believe she’s so young. It’s even harder when you take into account how talented she is.

4. Arcade Fire “Afterlife” The best track off of Arcade Fire’s epic “Reflektor” is also one of their most powerful songs. “Afterlife”…it’s such an “awful word.” But it’s a fantastic song.

3. Kanye West “Blood on the Leaves” Only Kanye would be able to sample “Strange Fruit” so impressively.

2. Daft Punk feat. Pharrell & Nile Rodgers “Get Lucky” “Blurred Lines?” Forget that. This was the definite song of the summer, a groovy pop/dance-jam.

1. Justin Timberlake “Mirrors” JT made a comeback this year with “The 20/20 Experience” and the best song on those combined albums is absolutely “Mirrors.” And it’s best song of the year. Say what you want about JT’s “Experience” it’s hard to deny how good this song is, an epic pop love song that Timbaland’s production surprisingly heightens rather than burdens.

Best Albums of 2013

The masters of dance music returned to the throne, ‘Ye proclaimed himself a God (as if that’s surprising), a 16-year-old took pop music unexpectedly by storm,  and JT made a highly anticipated comeback. These are the albums of the year, based on both critical reception (taking into account professional lists) and personal preference. I’m sure there were other albums that you think deserve to be on the list–but these are my top 10. 

10. Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience-1 of 2 Timberlake made a comeback this year after not releasing a solo album in seven years. How did he make it up to his fans? By surprising us with not one, but two albums in one year. He called it The 20/20 Experience. This is “music you can see” exclaimed the pop artist. Bold? Maybe. But the first half of JT’s experience is a soulful return, the hit single “Mirrors” being a stand out track. If you can’t see the music, you can at least enjoy listening to it-and feel the romance. Best tracks: Pusher Love Girl, Mirrors

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9. Childish Gambino because the internet It may have been released at the tail-end of the year, but that doesn’t make it unworthy. because the internet finds an often conflicted Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino, a man who probably owes his career to the very thing he seems to be condemning. The comedian’s troubled personality isn’t masked by one liners and punch lines this time around; he sounds genuinely irritated. But maybe the internet isn’t the problem at all. Childish sounds like he’s just scared about his future. He shouldn’t be. Best tracks:  crawl, 3005

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8. Vampire Weekend Modern Vampires of the City It’s hard to like Vampire Weekend, but it’s also hard to deny their talent. And taking into account their latest album, Modern Vampires of the City, they have a deep philosophy in their lyrics that’s hard to come by. Some may call it pretentious, and in a lot of ways it is; it’s depressing, moody, and likes to raise questions it doesn’t seem to have the answer to. But on the flip side, the album touches on aspects we all think about: faith, life, death, growing old, and what it all means. It all leads to a penultimate track that paints a picture of an apocalyptic time, and ends on a surprisingly uplifting note; no one ever said they had to have it all figured out, and it’s better because of it. Best tracks: Diane Young, Hannah Hunt

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7. Disclosure Settle Much like Daft Punk, Disclosure is a dance-pop music duo; the band’s made up of brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence. What makes them different is that they’re young. At 22 and 19, the pair is making music that peers their own age will be dancing to in the clubs, and they’re triumphing in it. Daft Punk made a comeback in a year where dance-music was bigger than ever; these two are just getting started. Settle marks their debut studio album, and one can guess they won’t be slowing down; you won’t when listening to their music. The album is funky, poppy, catchy, and everything you’d want in a club playlist–and it’s done the right way. The smart way. Best tracks: When A Fire Starts to Burn, Latch

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6. Drake Nothing Was The Same Drake’s third album is a more mature effort than his debut Thank Me Later and a more focused one than 2011’s Take Care. It may be hard to pinpoint what exactly changed for Drake–he went from TV heartthrob to one of the biggest rappers in the game–but if it compels him to make more records like this, then so be it. Granted, the Drake of old is still fully alive: he raps about failed flings and fame. But what’s changed is that he’s focused his craft, maybe mostly due to the fact he seems more aggressive. Just listen to “Worst Behavior.” A more aggressive Drake, you say? Don’t worry. He still has a soft side on “Hold On We’re Going Home.” Best tracks: The Language, Too Much

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5. Arctic Monkeys AM The Arctic Monkeys’ latest is full of heartache, a mediation on a breakup and lost love. Even a song called “No. 1 Party Anthem” is a slow jam dedicated to finding the right time to strike up a conversation with that beautiful girl across the bar…that never happens. But underneath the substantial amount of sadness is an awfully relatable journey and a solid listen if you’re feeling like you miss that special someone. It may just take the pain away. There’s even a track about it (“Mad Sounds”). They may not make you want to get up and dance, but you’ll sit down and reflect, and it’s the rare kind of sound that can make you feel better about that. Best tracks: Do I Wanna Know?, No. 1 Party Anthem

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4. Arcade Fire Reflektor Arcade Fire ruled the Grammys a couple years back with their superb album The Suburbs. Now they’re back, with an album that is completely different but no less fantastic. Reflektor is a product of the band’s Haitian roots and is split into two discs. It’s a 70-minute behemoth of rock-n-roll dance anthems on the first disc and a more emotional track listing on the second; “Afterlife” is especially powerful, maybe one of their most powerful. It’s an album that probably could have fit on one disc. But it’s Arcade Fire. They can do what they want. Best tracks: Afterlife, Supersymmetry

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3. Lorde Pure Heroine Not many 16-year-olds can say they’ve ruled the pop charts. More importantly, not many if any can say they’ve done it with a classy edginess as graceful as Pure Heroine. Lorde unexpectedly came onto the scene with the dominating single “Royals,” a song that sticks the middle finger to an industry in which she is now rocking with a young sophistication that is rarely found. Her sound is both haunting and addicting, teenage angst masked by clear passion and a mature voice. No pop-music in 2013 was quite like it. Best tracks: Tennis Court, Team

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2. Kanye West Yeezus Only someone like Kanye West would have the balls to call himself a God. But at this point, we’ve come to expect that sort of behavior from the rapper. But what we never expect is what he has in store for us next. Yeezus is the ultimate embodiment of the artist’s ego and rage, and the end result is a pulverizing album, beginning with a Daft Punk-produced electronic banger “On Sight” and ending with the awkwardly beautiful “Bound 2.” And everything in between is even better, especially the “Strange Fruit”-sampling “Blood on the Leaves.” Who knows what Kanye has in store for us next, but what we do know is that it won’t be anything like Yeezus. Best tracks: Black Skinhead, Blood on the Leaves

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1. Daft Punk Random Access Memories At a time when electronic dance music is making its comeback, the time seemed perfect for Daft Punk to cut through the masses as well. The French duo infuses a seventies-style groove (which also seemed to be all the rage in 2013) with their dance jams that are equal parts catchy and moving on their latest album. Leave it to them to let the Strokes’ Julian Casablancas take the lead on “Instant Crush.” And while Daft Punk has always been innovative and imaginative, they prove they’re still fun with the song of the summer, “Get Lucky.” EDM may be the current fascination, but Daft Punk is the past, present and future. They’re a league of their own. Best tracks: Get Lucky, Instant Crush

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Agree? Disagree? What’s your favorite music of 2013? Sound off in the comments below or follow me @traviesclark.

And stay tuned for the top 20 singles of the year, coming soon. 

The 5 Best Quotes From the Catfish Season 2 Premiere

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Catfish returned tonight with its season 2 premiere and boy, was it full of surprises. Well, not really. Max is still insistent on holding a camera that we never see footage of, Nev is still hairy chested, and we all know that these people are typically being lied to. If the guy on the other end of the line is pretending to be a buff bald black man, he’s most likely a skinny white boy or your white best friend you treat like a sister. Unfortunately for the victim of this Catfish, it was BOTH.  To its credit, I didn’t exactly see that one coming. The writers got me on that one…oh, it’s all real? Okay, and Paula Deen isn’t racist. But despite this revelation, the real stand-out for the episode was its creator, Nev (pronounced Neev-yeah, it’s weird. Just call him Hairy Chest). Or more to the point, Nev’s hilarious one-liners. Whether intentional or not, Nev was on his a-game. Here’s a list of the best Nev quotes of the night…and one of Max’s.

1. “That’s what I call a frequent flyer!” Nev sees a bird in an airport and tries to be funny. Maybe next time, Nev.

2.”I would certainly want to make love to the person I was talking to before I married them.” Of course Nev would say “make love.” Obviously.

3. “Max, we know what we need to do…IMAGE SEARCH.” I felt like I was watching a cheesy old-school cartoon like Captain Planet where everyone would say at the same time “WITH OUR POWERS COMBINED…”

4. “One thing, I can tell you, is that I’m not going to sleep well tonight.” Really, Nev? THIS is gonna keep you up tonight?

5. “I’m really excited to just start digging into Steve.” This is Max’s. I knew he was gay.