Favorite music of 2018

As a music buff, and one who still buys CDs, I like to pick my favorite new releases of the year. I pulled all my 2018 CDs, played them, ranked them, photographed them on Jan. 1…and promptly forgot the whole thing. Hey, it was a holiday. Then I saw my photo on my camera roll the other day, thought “yikes” and am now writing this post a bit belatedly.

I am not up on pop currents and at my age have no need to be. Features in the LA Times on their critics’ Top 10 picks left me bemused as I had not heard any of the songs or albums. Ditto for the Coachella lineup; I recognize only three or four of the names and don’t know ANY of the music. I don’t think that’s ever been the case before.

So I don’t know that this list of mine is going to prove useful to anyone, containing as it does some indie rock, world music, folk, country, Bob Dylan covers (No. 3) and tributes to English music hall (No. 2) and the co-leader of the Fugs (No. 1). Nevertheless, I persisted.

10. Wussy: “What Heaven is Like”

9. Ry Cooder: “The Prodigal Son”

8. Bombino: “Deran”

7. Ellen Harper: “Light Has a Life of Its Own”

6. Rolling Blackouts CF: “Hope Downs”

5. Willie Nelson: “Last Man Standing”

4. Parquet Courts: “Wide Awaaaaake!”

3. Bettye Lavette: “Things Have Changed”

2. Linda Thompson and various: “Linda Thompson Presents: My Mother Doesn’t Know I’m on the Stage”

1. Jeffrey Lewis and the Deposit Returners: “Works by Tuli Kupferberg”

Look that up in your Funk & Wagnall’s. If by chance you liked any 2018 music yourself, feel free to comment.

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  • Hugh C. McBride

    “I am not up on pop currents and at my age have no need to be.”

    Sometimes, it feels like you’re writing directly into my soul, David. Over the past coupla years, I passed from the “I’ve know of ’em, but I’m not very familiar with their music” stage into the “Who dat?” phase of appreciating music’s emerging superstars. Thankfully, crazy kids like Willie Nelson & Bobby Dylan keep putting out new stuff, so all is good.

    I didn’t listen to enough new music to make a Top-10 list – but I will nominate a couple of stellar recordings to complement your list:

    * MY WAY (Willie Nelson) – Solid collection of Sinatra tunes. For all of its many (many!) flaws, have to give 2018 a modicum of credit for bestowing two new Willie discs upon us.

    * THE TREE OF FORGIVENESS (John Prine) – Beautiful music from a legendary songwriter. John Prine is a gift to the world.

    • davidallen909

      I like Willie and Prine also but didn’t pick up either of those.

      By the mid-’00s I realized I wasn’t following any current band. Then Tower went out of business and I scooped up a lot of newer music on the cheap. Ditto when Virgin closed.

      A few years on, I’m following some modern acts, enough for a top 10. At least for now, I don’t feel any need to be conversant with whatever the kids are listening to.

  • Theodore Melendez

    I’m a little more open minded about new music, I wish I was a critic and could have samples sent to me . I’m really digging Slightly Stoopid : Everyday People. There are definetly some others but can’t think of them or didn’t make a note to pick them up(walk into a r store) or make a note to download them. my Itunes is on the fritz. Also I’m usually busy enjoying the music so much that it never really occurs to stop what I’m doing and write down what I’m listening to. This happens alot in the car

    • davidallen909

      I hope I’m still open-minded, but I’m not hearing much new music (no streaming service, although I keep thinking of signing up for one) and chasing whatever young people are listening to seems slightly absurd at my age.