Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Best Of 2018

Often times a tumultuous or even disastrous year politically can bring a fountain of artistic delights; and even though in a lot of ways 2018 was disappointing; musically it was exciting all the way through. This year much of the ripples in the musical pond came from relatively smaller acts rather than big time names; creating an exciting wake of fresh and unique work.

Topping our list of favorite full length albums this year is the Brit-Punk outfit IDLES' album Joy As An Act Of Resistance and Car Seat Headrest, who topped our Favorites list in 2016.  Both of these groups have released completely unique albums this year, that may have gone completely unnoticed in years past; or at least the messages in them would have been; but the climate was right in 2018 for new voices and new perspectives; albeit completely unlikely ones to top Best Of Lists.

Car Seat Headrest's newest, and 11th album, Twin Fantasy (Face To Face), is a complete re-recording of their 6th album Twin Fantasy (Mirror To Mirror), originally released in  2011, that helped frontman Will Toledo gain a cult following for his lo-fi gritty pop bandcamp recordings. One might argue that it isn't technically a new album but this new clearer recording helped Toledo grab a larger audience for his technically apt musical work as well as his unique take on heartbreak and healing. Had the larger world been listening in 2011 when the original Twin Fantasy was released, the world might have been stuck on the fact that it is an unabashed tale of a homosexual relationship, but hopefully in 2018 the world was ready to see it for what it truly is; a remarkable album both musically and lyrically as a heartbreaking work about love and love-lost, and the road to reclamation no matter who it is in the driver's seat.

If Twin Fantasy is remarkable for it's multi-layered complexity, IDLES' Joy As An Act Of Resistance is remarkable for it's blunt, and at times, brash sound and upfront political message; like a good natured European football hooligan spitting outrage over State sponsored violence, racism, and open homophobia.  If Car Seat Headrest has spent the last 8 or 9 years releasing a dozen or so albums slowing amassing a loyal audience; IDLES spent much of the last 8 or 9 years hidden from view working on an attack plan; after releasing a lack luster radio-pop EP in 2012 they re-emerged in 2017 as a mutant beast of its former self with the aptly named well received Brutalism LP before completely shattering all expectations with Joy all the while paying homage to pop music's past; with not-so-subtle nods to everyone from Pavement to Nancy Sinatra with singer Joe Talbot as rambling ringleader barking about the weight of social traditions anchored in power grabbing hatred. Talbot's howling and circus-like showmanship is a perfect amalgamation of Jon Spencer and David Yow wrapped in a Bristol street poet paper bag that might have been under appreciated in years past; but if 2018 has taught us anything, it's that extreme behavior politically needs to be met with extreme opposition socially. 

But that's just the tip of the iceberg of our top 50 favorite musical moments of 2018; including a mountain of great work from Louisville artists including Baby Bones, Barrel & Biscuit, and Brenda; as well as a slew of great soundtracks, singles and reissues including John Carpenter's Halloween soundtrack, Young Widows rarities collection, and the Satellite Twin/Mutts split single; and a whole lot more.

Full Length Albums:

20- MC HIJACK "Tender Pieces" LP
19- Black Moth Super Rainbow "Panic Blooms" LP
18-Spiritualized "And Nothing Hurt" LP
17- Hot Wires "Dark Energy" LP
16- State Champion "Send Flowers" LP
15- Dr. Dundiff & Otis Junior "Cool" LP
14- La Luz "Floating Features" LP
13 - Planetary Overdrive "Boneyard" LP
12-  Jaye Jayle "No Trail And Other Unholy Paths" LP
11- Shannon and the Clams "Onion" LP

10- Frankie Cosmos "Vessel" LP
9- Dr. Octagon "Moosebumps: An Exploration Into Modern Day Horripilation" LP
8- Charles Bradley "Black Velvet" LP
7- The Breeders 'All Nerve' LP
6- Vive La Void S/T LP
5- Egyptian Lover "1985" LP
4- Oh Sees "Smote Reverser" LP
3- Lala Lala "The Lamb" LP
2- IDLES "Joy As An Act Of Resistance" LP (37FLOOD Approved)
1- Car Seat Headrest "Twin Fantasy" Face to Face LP (37FLOOD Approved)

Cover Albums, Compilations, & Live Albums:
5- Will Oldham "Songs Of Love And Horror" LP
4- OCS - Live In San Francisco LP
3- Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds "Distant Sky" Live LP
2- Young Widows "DECAYED: Ten Years of Cities, Wounds, Lightness, and Pain" LP
1- Louisville Is For Lovers 2018 valentine's Album (37FLOOD Approved)


5- ESG "Come Away With ESG" Reissue
4- Z Nation "The original Score Soundtrack Seasons 1-4" LP by Jason Gallagher
3- Car Seat Headrest Twin Fantasy (Mirror To Mirror reissue) LP
2- TRAFOZSATSFM: A Louisville Is For Lovers Tribute To Ziggy Stardust 2CD Reissue
1- Halloween Soundtrack by John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter, and Daniel Davies (37FLOOD Approved)


10- MC HIJACK "Jingle Bells Y'all" Single
9- Bird/Trooper 7"
8- Run The Jewels "Kill Your Masters" Single
7- Call Me Bronco EP
6- Little Darlin: Louisville is For Lovers 2018 Duets Cassette
5- Baby Bones "Curse Of The Crystal Teeth" EP
4- Dr. Octagon "Area 54/Space Ranger" Single
3- Jason Gallagher with Arly Scott "Hero" Single
2- Barrel & Biscuit "Tooth and Nail" EP
1- Mutts/Satellite Twin Split 7" (37FLOOD Approved)

Louisville Shows:

10- Sexjuice NYE at Zanzabar
9- - Emma Ruth Rundle & Jaye Jayle at Zbar 
8- Sick Little Things at Art Sanctuary
- Wreckless Eric & Dry Summers at Monnik
6 - Julie Of The Wolves & GRLwood at ZA's
5 - The Archaeas & Baby Bones at Kaiju
4 - The 2018 Louisville Is For Lovers Valentine's Showcase at LFPL
3   Phantom Family Halo & Whistle Peak at Zanzabar
2 - Juneteenth Celebration with RMLLW2LLZ
1 - Louisville Is For Lovers Instore at Guestroom with Brenda and Frederick The Younger