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Mike’s Top 10 albums of 2018 (imho)

So 2018 was an up and down year musically  but as it happens every year when I look back I realize that an up and down year can produce some great music. My spotify mix (created by some algorithm) seemed to think I was primarily interested in country rock and to some extent , I was, but as you’ll see in this list my favorites, as in most played, are all over the spectrum.

1. Honestly this album could have been written in as #1 the day it was released. Its no secret I’ve become a huge Frank Turner fan. His live shows are amazing and on this record he diversified his style without sacrificing the passion. FT produced a perfect elixir for our tumultuous times with Be More Kind. Here’s an alternate live version of Little Changes

2. I’ve become huge fan of the Wild Feathers over the course of three stellar albums. The crisp harmonies , multiple vocalists and crack musicianship won me over. They are the closest thing I can imagine to a modern version of the Eagles, except from the South. From “Greetings from the Neon Frontier”:

3. i knew one song by Lucero before I saw them open for Frank Turner this year but what I saw prompted me to dig in to their catalogue and now I’m hooked. This band from Tennessee  has been around for years . Their 2018 album “Among the Ghosts” has been in constant rotation for me since its release in August

4.The Record company followed a good first record with a great second album. This songs just blew me away (involuntary dancing alert)

*bonus track cuz its soooooo cool ( a Beastie Boys cover) not on album

5.This seemed to be the year when I “discovered” bands that have been around a while. This album caught my attention literally a couple weeks ago and blew up my top ten list. Rock, pop with some R&B influence for good measure. Cant stop playing this song from from the album “Take Good Care”

*bonus- My 19 year old with her own college radio show loves this song……but I found it first

6. This years top ten is chock full of FTRP (Frank Turner related product) in the sense that I first encountered these bands because they toured with him. Here’s another one. The Arkells are a great band from Canada that reminded me of Fitz and the Tantrums who made this list a few years ago. Great pure pop music

7. Death Cab for Cutie “Thank You for Today” Ive liked a song here and there by this band but I like this album top to bottom, especially this one.

8. The Vaccines are a London based indie band. Their album “Combat Sports” is great English pub rock. This song demands demands a sing-a-long every time I hear it

9. Some bands have the ability to make you feel like you’re standing in a small club listening to them play. Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats do just that. This song channels Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes in the best possible way.

10. One of my favorite songs of the year came off Ryan Culwell’s album “The Last American”. He captures the feeling of everyday people struggling to get by the way Bruce Springsteen did on Darkness and Nebraska

 

Thats just a smattering of some of my favorite albums of the year. Wishing everyone a great 2019.

Thanks for checking us out,

Mike

End of 2018 Wrap Up

Well we’ve reached the end of 2018, the inaugural (half!) year of our blog that we started this past June.  It’s been a blast sharing our love of music with the world, especially the music blog community.  We’ve tried a few different types of things, some have panned out while others haven’t, but we have lots of great ideas for 2019.  Here’s some interesting stats looking back at 2018 (interesting at least to us!):

Since Mike’s wife Wendy created the original site in June and called Mike’s bluff about starting a music blog, our little project has had 3785 views (full disclosure: about 1000 of those views are by Paul and Mike) , from 1612 visitors, from 35 countries on 6 continents (we guess the researchers in Antartica don’t have time for music blogs!), with 616 likes and 264 comments. Our most viewed submission was our piece entitled “Remembering Rich”, fitting as our missing third amigo is with us in spirit always, especially in all things musical. We profiled 213 songs in our Song of the Day.

One of the best things about starting a music blog has been connecting with fellow music lovers all over the country and the world!  We want to send a big thank you to all for being so welcoming, inspiring, thought provoking and encouraging to us this past year.  While we have shared and conversed with many, we especially wanted to call out and thank Jim at Music Enthusiast, hanspostcard at slicethelife, Christian at Christian’s Music Musing, hotfox63, Aphoristical at Aphoristic Album Reviews, Vinyl Connections, Steve for the Deaf, The Soul of A Clown, and High Fives & Stage Dives.  Thanks for all the great music.

Our goals for 2019? Keep enjoying music, pestering our readers and followers with our thoughts, more original content and more concert reviews (we still owe you a John Hiatt, Steve Earle and Mumford & Sons review).

As a big thank you to everyone, here’s a Spotify playlist of all 213 songs that were featured on our Song of the Day feature – new music, classic favorites, slower contemplative stuff, and other songs we just love.

We’ll see everyone on the other side of New Year’s Day in 2019!

Mike and Paul’s Music Blog Song of the Day Spotify playlist