ThisSmallPlanet.com BEST MUSIC OF 2018 LIST....
These are the new albums we enjoyed most this year. Also listed are new re-issues that came out in 2018, as well as older material that landed up on heavy rotation for us this year
TOP 50 NEW ALBUMS OF 2018
Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Wolf Of The Cosmos, "Wild Is The Will", "Blueberry Jam", and under his birth name: Will Oldham, Songs Of Love and Horror feat "Party With Marty (Abstract Blues)"
Parquet Courts, Wide Awake! and their Neil Young cover "We R in Control". Also solo album from Parquet Courts' guitarist/singer A. Savage, Thawing Dawn and his cover of The Fall "Frightened"
Courtney Barnett, Tell Me How You Really Feel, "Small Talk", INXS cover "Never Tear Us Apart"
Richard Thompson, 13 Rivers, from Fairport Convention in the 60's to his solo work in 2018 and beyond, Richard Thompson remains at the top of his game
Ty Segall, Fudge Sandwich and Freedom Goblin, with White Fence Joy, his new group: The C.I.A. Guitar wonderkid Ty Segall continues to amaze...
Kurt Vile, Bottle It In - Perhaps his best album yet (really liked his album last year with Courtney Barnett too)
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, Sparkle Hard. Great album. Still wondering about a Pavement reunion tour in 2019...
Jeff Tweedy, Warm - Great new solo album from Uncle Tupelo and Wilco frontman. Tweedy produced and played guitar on Mavis Staples, If All I Was Was Black (feat Jeff Tweedy), a fantastic album from living legend Mavis of The Staple Singers. Mavis appeared on a song by Hozier feat Mavis Staples, "Nina Cried Power" - powerful tribute to Nina Simone and other artists and activists who "cried power".
The Good The Bad & The Queen, Merrie Land, feat Damon Albarn and Paul Simonon of The Clash. Damon's other band also released a smash album of a very different nature: Gorillaz, The Now-Now
British rock veterans released some of the most powerful music of their careers: Johnny Marr (The Smiths' legendary guitarist), Call The Comet and "Jeopardy", The Jam's Paul Weller, True Meanings, Spiritualized, And Nothing Hurt, and Richard Ashcroft, Natural Rebel (feat "Surprised By The Joy") and "Rare Vibration" are all excellent.
Mark Sultan Let Me Out - groovy 60's retro sound from the psychedelic surf rocker
Shame, Songs Of Praise - new British guitar band that's pretty damned good
J Mascis, Elastic Days. Strong album from the Dinosaur Jr. vet
John Prine, The Tree Of Forgiveness. Give this man a Grammy and a ticket to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame!
The Voidz, Virtue. Julian Casablancas, The Strokes' singer, has a band that sounds a lot different from his old band. If you're missing The Strokes, check out their guitarist's solo album - sounds just like classic Strokes: Albert Hammond, Jr., Francis Trouble
Oh Sees, Smote Reverser
The Growlers, Casual Acquaintances
King Tuff, The Other
Simon Love, Sincerely S. Love
Art Brut, Wham! Bang! Pow! Let's Rock Out!
The Vines, Miracle Land
Jim James, Uniform Distortion
Pete Kosanovich, Take Me To The River
Marianne Faithful, Negative Capability
Bryan Ferry, Bitter-Sweet
Sun Kil Moon, This Is My Dinner
Guided By Voices, Space Gun
Two sons of Nigeria's Fela Kuti carry on the traditions: Seun Kuti, Black Times and Femi Kuti, One People One World
Titus Andronicus, Productive Cough and Home Alone on Halloween
Ezra Furman, Transangelic Exodus. Cool album. Key songs: "Love You So Bad" and "Suck The Blood From My Wound"
Kelley Stoltz, Natural Causes. Really like this album. Key songs: "How Psychedelic Of You" and "Our Modern World"
Superchunk, What A Time To Be Alive
Car Seat Headrest, Twin Fantasy (2018 re-recording)
Kyle Craft, Full Circle Nightmare
Iron & Wine, Weed Garden
Mark Lanegan, With Animals
The Lemon Twigs, Go To School
Jon Spencer, Sings The Hits
Jeff The Brotherhood, Magick Songs
Ex-Poets, Too Much Future
Carl Cleves, Before Twilight Turns To Night
The Love Language, Baby Grand
Renny Conti, People Floating
Riz MC, "Mogambo" - actor Riz Ahmed, also in in Swet Shop Boys with Heems from Das Racist
Kinky Friedman, "Jesus In Pajamas"
The Vaccines, "All My Friends"
PJ Harvey, "Sorry For Your Loss" and "An Acre of Land"
AJJ, "Night of the Long Knives"
Conor Oberst, "No One Changes"/"The Rockaways"
The Raconteurs, "Sunday Driver"/"Now That You're Gone", Jack White's other other band returns...
Memorable Musical Moments
Jennifer Hudson, "The Times They Are A-Changin'" live at DC "March For Our Lives" Rally Against Gun Violence
Leonard Cohen, "Kanye West Is Not Picasso", A Poem By The Late, Great Leonard Cohen
Todd Rundgren Trolls Trump: (The Man In The) "Tin Foil Hat" feat Donald Fagen (Video)
Barbara Dane, Hot Jazz, Cool Blues & Hard-Hitting Songs
The Beatles, White Album box-set, especially the acoustic Esher demos
John Lennon, Imagine box-set
Bob Dylan, More Blood, More Tracks, and Live 1962 - 1966, and Trouble in Mind
Gene Clark, (co-founder, The Byrds), Back Street Mirror, and Gene Clark Sings For You, and special thanks Rose Garden for preserving several of these Gene Clark songs for us as well as their own songs. This was the first time a lot of us heard these songs.
Tim Hardin, Lost in L.A.
Neil Young, Roxy: Tonight's The Night Live
The Who, Live at the Fillmore East 1968
Joe Strummer, Joe Strummer 001 (compilation)
The Pixies, Live From The Fallout Shelter
OTHER STUFF WE LISTENED TO A LOT IN 2018
Barbara Dane & The Chambers Brothers
Paul Butterfield/Mike Bloomfield
Doc Watson & Chet Atkins
David Bowie feat Mick Ronson, Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture (soundtrack)
Elton John, "Madman Across The Water", original version feat Mick Ronson
Reverend Gary Davis
Mississippi John Hurt
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Rory Gallagher & Muddy Waters together live
Lou Reed/Velvet Underground
Aretha Franklin (RIP)
SPECIAL NOTE: One of the most profound personal and musical losses for us in 2018 was the death of our dear friend, street musician Clayton Gross. Everyone in Santa Cruz knew him and his music, and he met hundreds of people who became his friends and fans on his bicycle travels throughout the U.S. You can listen to some of Clayton's music here and here...