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12 For The Road: A Music Podcast Playlist For Holiday Travel

Get home safely!

Whether you're traveling for the holidays or waiting for those who are on the road to come back to you — or if you just need to wipe your eardrums clean after weeks of holiday shopping music — the next week should offer ample listening time.

At NPR Music, we have plenty of Best of 2013 podcasts to meet your needs. The dozen downloads listed here look back at the year in pop, hip-hop, rock and Latin music. They examine the trends that bubbled up during the year, answer questions that matter to music lovers and offer picks for the best songs and albums of the year, as chosen by us and some of our favorite people.

And, just in case you're the type of person who can't imagine holiday travel without a Christmas road-trip soundtrack, we've got you covered, too.

If you want more, you can find all of our Best Music of 2013 coverage here.

Happy holidays and happy listening!

All Songs Considered

The Year In Music, 2013
Hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are joined by NPR Music's Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson for a roughly chronological tour through the best music of the year.

Bob And Robin's Excellent Holiday Adventure
In which our intrepid hosts hop in the car for a snowy road trip to Robin's Kansas home and encounter special guests (Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips, Annie Clarke of St. Vincent, Josh Ritter and more) along the way.

Microphone Check

What We Talked About When We Talked About Hip-Hop In 2013
Hosts Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Frannie Kelley cover the highlights in a year where explosive rap albums and songs shook the landscape in different ways. The big moments of the year were leaked (Kendrick Lamar's "Control" verse), packaged into smartphone apps (Jay Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail) and projected onto the side of buildings (Kanye West's face).


Alt.Latino's Favorite Songs, Albums And Artists Of 2013
Jasmine Garsd and Felix Contreras shine a light on the diversity within contemporary Latin music, from political rock and volcanic rap to boundary-breaking songwriting.

World Cafe (from WXPN)

David Dye's Top 5 Rising Stars Of 2013
The World Cafe host picks five acts, including punk-influenced Parquet Courts and the symphonic storytellers in San Fermin, that broke through this year.

Sound Opinions (from WBEZ)

The Best Albums Of 2013
Chicago-based critics and hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot count down their favorite albums, and actually agree on a few of the year's best (Savages, Chance the Rapper, Parquet Courts).

Conducting Business (from WQXR)

Host Naomi Lewin is joined by Anne Midgette, Justin Davidson and Heidi Waleson to talk about a year in which classical music made headlines over labor disputes, celebrated the centennial of Benjamin Britten and mourned the closing of the New York City Opera.

Soundcheck (from WNYC)

As they do every year, the folks at Soundcheck, hosted by John Schaefer, bring us an entire week looking back at the year in music. That's five hours of great in-studio performances, Top 10 lists and, this year, a week-long argument from Schaefer about why New York ruled the music world in 2013.

Top five albums from eMusic editor J. Edward Keyes, in-studio performances by Laura Mvula and Polica, and a holiday gift guide.

The year in hype with Soundcheck's Mike Katzif and in-studio performances by Alice Russell, Danny Brown and more.

Music moments of the year with editor Caryn Ganz, a look back at the hits of the year that won't be remembered fondly in 20 years, and performances by Tegan and Sara and Jon Hopkins.

Overlooked albums of the year, with in-studio performances by Arctic Monkeys, Bobby McFerrin and Lucius, plus a performance by Fort Lean in an 18th-century barn.

The worst music moments of the year with writer Sean Manning, plus in-studio performances by Iron & Wine, Okkervil River and Savages. Plus, John Schaefer reveals the top two reasons New York City music ruled the world in 2013.

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