Day Late and a Dollar Short, My Favorite Music of 2018

Top Albums 2018

Once again I am months late in posting this. A concerted effort to post to this blog gives you my list from last year. Not in any order just 10 things I liked. Alphabetical order.

Kurt Baker Combo Lets Go Wild
Power-pop appears to be being put out at an equal deluge as it had been in the late 70s early 80s. Most is competent yet disposable. This one had a little something extra for me.

Bat Fangs s/t
A love letter to 1970s and 1980s. Glam, power pop and hard rock wrapped together in a 2018 shell. Catchy and fun. The production choices bug me a bit but don’t put me off.

Beak >>>
Beak is a dude from Portishead this is their third album. More planned out song structures this time around. Again grabbing influences from the 70s through the present but from different sources; Krautrock, Spacerock, post-punk, electronic, trip-hop, etc.

Ghost Prequelle
I’m on the “love them” side. A little softer but the song writing is so good I didn’t notice.

The Joy Formidable AARTH
I always assume this band is huge. They have a modern rock sound at least production wise. Songs are catchy, epic, progressive, heavy, gentle and subtle, much more dimension than 99% of modern rock. Probably why they aren’t as huge as I assume they are. A great recovery from the underwhelming Hitch.

Kronos Quartet Clouded Yellow
Kronos Quartet is modern classical string quartet that has a lot of albums. This one really struck me, modern, a bit weird, creepy and unnerving. All songs composed by Michael Gordon, I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on him…

Nothing Dance on the Blacktop
The resurgence of shoegaze is a bit weird to me. Especially with so many metal and black metal bands jumping on. Nothing finally made an album who’s songs grabbed me. Lots of people saying it sound like Hums I don’t hear that, I hear a metal band playing shoegaze.

Uncle Acid and The Dead Beat Wasteland
The 70s stoner/acid rock trend ran out of steam at least a decade ago. Every once in a while a band will catch my ear. Uncle Acid’s first album was fun and then they went into the morass of stoner/doom coming out the other end with Wasteland. Still many of the tropes that you’d expect but as usual the songwriting is the difference.

Wand Perfume
One of the billion newer psych bands. Their album Golum is easily one of my favorites of the 2000s, but they don’t seem to want to repeat themselves. This is much more indie psych than the heavy psych of Golum. Still intreating and the emphasis is more on the songs than atmosphere that so many “psych” band tend to fall into.

Voivod The Wake
The second post Piggy album. Voivod’s heyday (War and Pain through The Outer Limits) is some of my favorite music ever. They’ve gone through a lot but have never hit the heights of their early work. This is the closest they have come. While still sounding like a amalgam of their entire career The Wake brings a few new ideas to the table. Still a unique band but a bit of a pastiche of themselves.

New Cheap Trick Song

Cheap Trick

Boring!

While I enjoyed the Christmas album, a novelty album, the last “real” album “We’re All Alright!” was at best fine. The album before that “Bang, Zoom, Crazy… Hello” was decent. This song continues the diminishing returns. All the Cheap Trick elements are there just not done very well. Not sure if they are done as far as new music goes or if the Julian Raymond production/influence is the problem. Take a listen and be bored.

The Far Side is the Greatest Comic Strip

Ask me what my favorite comic strip is I say “Calvin and Hobbes”. I thought about it once and determined “The Far Side” was actually my favorite. It is lock step with my sense of humor, I find it a work of genius. The observations are uncanny yet on target.

Check out this short history of “The Far Side” and it’s creator Gary Larson.

On the Far Side

(via Today I Found Out)