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My Year in Music: Joel Oliphint

We asked Pitchfork writers and editors to share their personal highs and lows of 2013. Check back for more installments of My Year in Music throughout the next few days.

Favorite Tracks of 2013:

01 J. Cole: "Power Trip" [ft. Miguel]
02 Bill Callahan: "The Sing"
03 Vampire Weekend: "Ya Hey"
04 Lorde: "Royals"
05 Kurt Vile: "Wakin on a Pretty Day"
06 Daft Punk: "Get Lucky"
07 Yo La Tengo: "Ohm"
08 Wooden Wand: "No Bed for Beatle Wand/Days This Long"
09 Haim: "The Wire"
10 Way Yes: "Colerain"

Favorite Albums of 2013:

01 Vampire Weekend: Modern Vampires of the City
02 Bill Callahan: Dream River
03 Jason Isbell: Southeastern
04 Rhye: Woman
05 Volcano Choir: Repave
06 Waxahatchee: Cerulean Salt
07 Phosphorescent: Muchacho
08 Joel RL Phelps & the Downer Trio: Gala
09 Yo La Tengo: Fade
10 My Bloody Valentine: mbv

Most Played Song of 2013: iTunes theoretically makes this easy, but not when you share an iTunes account with a spouse. Particularly a spouse who finds an album or playlist she likes and puts it on repeat at the office. iTunes says we played Swedish House Mafia’s "Don’t You Worry Child" 145 times, but that song gives me the shivers, so I think my wife is responsible for all 145 plays. We overlap on a lot of other 2013 artists, though: Volcano Choir, Rhye, Daft Punk, Waxahatchee, Night Beds and so on. My best guess at the most-played song that is authentically mine is Wooden Wand’s "No Bed for Beatle Wand/Days This Long", which marks the first time my most-played track is nearly 12 minutes long. It’s my form of self-hypnosis—a head-clearer. Also the first three instrumental minutes were tailor-made for poignant This American Life segues. Get on that, Ira!

An Old Album I Discovered/Rediscovered This Year: Writing about Musicol Recording Studio took over my life for a while, including my listening habits. I was neck deep in crusty soul 45s from the ’60s and ’70s; tinny, punk-rock mp3s from the ’80s and ’90s (mostly salvaged dormant Blogspots); and CD comps like Psychedelic States: Ohio in the 60s
One of my favorite finds was a group called Owen-B that put out a full-length and a couple singles in the late ’60s and early ‘70s. Gear Fab Records reissued Owen-B’s self-titled album, and it’s an endearing mix of CSNY-inspired folk-rock and taut psych-pop. The four B-sides tacked on to the end of the original record are probably my favorite—all clocking in around two minutes and with enough cow bell to make Blue Oyster Cult jealous, plus a bizarre cover of "Nowhere to Run" that gets a psych-noise treatment before the fadeout. And I love that the Owen-B dudes paid for their recording costs by doing construction work on the Musicol building.

Musical Highlights: Live shows stand out the most. Jeff Mangum and his beard doing the strummy, sweaty-toothed madman thing. Yo La Tengo playing a loud set and a quiet set in an old renovated theater. Field Report being so approachable that not once, but twice, fans tried to have full conversations with him while he was on stage. Once was at the Nelsonville Music Festival, which is set in the picturesque Hocking Hills of southeastern Ohio. The fest is always a highlight, but especially this year as I watched John Prine sing stories in a dark suit with some serious thunderheads in the distance.

Musical Lowlights: Lou Reed died. That's pretty low.