Top 89 Staff Picks: Mark Wheat, host

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Top 89 of 2014: Staff Picks
Here's what The Current staff thought of the year in music for 2014. (MPR Graphic)

Instead of trying to rank my list by merit — which is always impossible for me — I sequence them as if it's a mix tape, on vinyl; Album of the Year 2014.

Side One

Tycho - "Awake"
The album we listened to most at home as part of the instrumental soundtrack to our weekends.

Beck - "Blue Moon"
Going from lovable loser to well-regarded, reliable old granddad of the alt-nation generation, quality.

Jeremy Messersmith - "It's Only Dancing"
A highlight of Rock The Garden and proud to see him fly the local flag on Letterman.


St. Vincent - "Birth In Reverse"
Wonderful album and my fave Theft of the Dial ever, she was smart, funny and stunningly poised.

Young Fathers - "Low"
Won the Mercury Music Prize in UK , never know where they are going to go within a song, intriguing.


Side Two

Jack White - "Temporary Ground"
The one guy I wanted to see live, especially as he was playing from his whole catalog while still sounding new here.

Nikki Lane - "Right Time"
The song I found myself singing in my head more than any other, a fiery talent with a terrific voice. A fave studio session.

Robert Plant "Turn It Up"
Fave 'Album of the Week' of the year, because as a long time Zep fan this is how I would want them to sound now.

Royal Blood "Figure It Out"
Neat twist on the power duo, bass and drums packed with hooj riffs, tight, loud as hell and sharp witted in the studio.

The Strypes "Blue Collar Jane"
Classic pub rock a la Dr. Feelgood done with punk panache by really young guys with a big future or a big chance of crashing and burning!

Related Stories

  • Top 89 of 2014: All Results Join us for our annual countdown of the best music according to The Current's audience! We'll count down the Top 89 songs from 4 p.m. to midnight New Year's Eve and again starting at 10 a.m. CST on New Year's Day. Happy New Year!
  • Top 89 of 2014: The Current Staff Picks It's time to vote your Top 89 of 2014, but with so much amazing music coming out this year, perhaps you want a little help narrowing the field. Have a look at what The Current's staffers chose as their favorites as you put together your list.
  • Dessa now part of 'London Beat' tour with Mark Wheat Calling all music-loving travelers! Mark Wheat is going to England next April, and if you've always wanted to explore the London music scene, this is the trip for you. And now, Mark Wheat has invited Dessa to be part of the trip. You'll get to see Dessa's first show in London as she kicks off a European tour. You'll also catch an in-store performance by Aby Wolf at Rough Trade. The trip is set for April 19 to 27, 2015. Book by Dec. 31, 2014, to save with an early-bird special.

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    Mark Wheat (MPR Photo / Ann Marsden)