How do I build the Best Of July-December 2013 playlist?
December 27, 2013 8:36 AM   Subscribe

I have a friend who loves good music (a bit of explanation inside) and has been out of the country with limited media access for the last 6 months. I want to put together a sampler mix of everything she's been missing out on in the second half of 2013, but I don't know much about current music. What resources are out there that can help a musical novice assemble this playlist?

While I'd like to cover all genres, she enjoys a few specific things that would be nice to highlight, such as folk (or maybe it's indie folk? Think Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros), strong female vocals (Adele, Aretha Franklin, that sort of style), and anyone who would be considered a little off of the beaten path.

Typically I'd ask for less mainstream resources so I could stay away from overplayed hits and the like, but in this situation mainstream might be more of what I need. In fact, she recently heard Clarity at a mall for the first time and thought it was really good, so while some less common releases would be nice, I think anything that's been getting radio play is fair game this time around.

Hive Mind, what lists/websites/journals do I need to be using to build this Best Of July-December 2013 mix? I have no idea where to start looking!
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
It's going to give you very mainstream stuff, but Billboard's Top 100 Charts go week by week. You can grab the mainstream big hits off of there. Things don't move that quickly on the charts so even if you looked at one week each month, you'd have all the big hits from the last six months. They have genre charts too so you can check out the Adult Alternative songs chart. The folk chart is album only so you'd have to find a different source for that, but in terms of finding the biggest songs in a category, Billboard is very useful. Also at this time of year they'll have their Best of 2013 stuff but you'll have to pull out the stuff from the start of the year.
posted by GilvearSt at 9:01 AM on December 27, 2013 (University of Pennsylvania radio station) is great and for all ages and types of music. If you go to the website they have - playlists with links, 885 countdown of listeners favorites and also a year in review. Check out Delta Rae - incredible new group and music.
posted by MrsMGH at 9:33 AM on December 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Hype Machine's Zeitgeist 2013 might be a good starting point for popular indie music.
posted by eponym at 9:38 AM on December 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

Check out Spotify's playlists
posted by jander03 at 9:40 AM on December 27, 2013

Download Songza and listen to a bunch of the recent music playlists - there will be an indie one, and a bunch of others. You can't export the song list but you can write down the names of the songs and go from there.

Spotify playlists would offer something similar.

Top 10 Top 40 Of 2013 : Best Music Of 2013 : NPR

Best Music Of 2013 : NPR

NPR Music's 50 Favorite Albums Of 2013 : Best Music Of 2013 : NPR
posted by barnone at 10:01 AM on December 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

The Indie Rock Playlist is a long-running monthly downloadable grab bag of indie music. I have discovered unfathomable amounts of good stuff that way. You can get all their past 2013 playlists at the link. Check out BIRP! in a similar vein.
posted by mykescipark at 10:18 AM on December 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

KEXP in Seattle has their DJ top 10s (all different genres) plus they recently had their crowdsourced top 90.3 albums of 2013. True it does tend toward indie alternative (though not necessarily the DJ top 10s) but there are some more mainstream and popular bands, e.g. Arcade Fire or Vampire Weekend.
posted by sevenless at 11:48 AM on December 27, 2013

Thanks so much everyone. These were all incredibly helpful!
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 7:26 AM on January 22, 2014

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