Bradley's Almanac

[Nac Faves] My Favorite Music of 2018

Posted on July 9, 2019 at 8:16 am | 1 Comment

Well, someone’s gotta be the caboose, right? My total inability to share my annual musical-faves list in a timely manner has resulted in a single goal: To just finish it sooner than I did the year before. (*looks at last year’s post*) April 2nd. Big sigh. Not even close! But hey, at least today is closer to last year than next year. Wait, no, I passed that last week. Bigger sigh. Next year, I swear.

At last (literally), here’s my alphabetical run down of favorite long-players, and a few shorter-players, released in the long-gone calendar year of 2018. Things I loved, and still love, and will continue to love despite the constant churn of the new. I have no idea how anyone keeps up anymore, unless finding special new songs is your paid full-time gig. And if that’s the case, well, I wish you good fortune and steady health insurance.

I’ve included label links where I can, and at least one embedded song from each release, along with a streaming playlist that I spent waaaaay too much time sequencing. For the love of aural arts, don’t just listen to the streams, though… buy the stuff that strikes you as direct as you can from the artists and their labels below.

I’ve been doin’ these yearly posts for awhile, so long that stopping entirely would be both sad and silly, and here’s the proof in the form of those previous lists: 2017, 2016 & 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, & 2001. Check ’em out if you’re up for cruising my own little music-memory lane.

And if you’re still in a list-loving mood, check out these top-notch run-downs from a few far more punctual pals & peers: Kumar’s Blizznog, Sebastian’s New Artillery, the Ash Gray Proclamation, Allston Pudding, and Ben’s Noise Floor.


‘Nac Faves of 2018 – Spotify playlist


My Favorite LPs of 2018


Eric Bachmann
“No Recover”
[ on Merge Records ]

Yet another fantastic record from Mr. Bachmann that includes at least one instant, and instantly devastating, classic (“Daylight”). We’re so fortunate to have him regularly releasing solo material and touring while keeping his Archers of Loaf simmering on the backburner, ready to boil. Another recent show by that band has me hoping for more, but so long as Eric keeps putting out albums this stellar on his own, I’ll be fine.

[ Stream the LP at Bandcamp / Buy direct from Merge ]


Courtney Barnett
“Tell Me How You Really Feel”
[ on Mom + Pop Music ]

I remember wondering if Courtney Barnett’s 2017 team-up with Kurt Vile would result in a longer wait for her own next record, so I was psyched when another fix of pure, undiluted Courtney showed up relatively soon after. Not only was it was packed with great songs (and Barry-approved), but she’s already given us a couple more excellent singles since. The rare quality + quantity combo.

[ Stream at Soundcloud / Buy direct from Mom + Pop ]


Belly
“Dove”
[ self-funded via PledgeMusic ]

A very, very welcome recorded return from Tanya, Gail, Tom, & Chris with an LP that can sit comfortably alongside their pre-reunion discography. We here in the northeast U.S. have been spoiled with multiple live Belly shows since they got back together in 2016, and each one has been no less than a joyous event, filled with familiar songs, new gems, and good friends wearing smiling faces. I can’t imagine the special vibes they conjured not resulting in more to come, but for now I remain grateful for what we’ve had.

[ Buy it wherever you can ]


The Beths
“Future Me Hates Me”
[ on Carpark Records ]

One of last year’s new discoveries for me, and I fell for these New Zealanders very, very hard. Irresistible hooks and harmonies for days. I don’t rank my yearly faves, but if I did this one is an easy top spot contender.

[ Stream the LP on Soundcloud / Buy from Carpark ]


The Bevis Frond
“We’re Your Friends, Man”
[ on Fire Records ]

The Frond’s discography can be an overwhelming one – after all, Nick Saloman and his mates have been putting out records for more than three decades. They skipped the whole break-up/reunite thing that every other 80s/90s outfit has done and just kept on keepin’ on, regularly releasing ace LPs every couple years. This one grabbed me more than the last few, and I still can’t believe Nick & bandmate Adrian somehow ended up performing in my dang living room. If I didn’t have the photos, I’d doubt it ever happened.

[ Stream the LP on Bandcamp / Buy direct from Fire ]


The Breeders
“All Nerve”
[ on 4AD Records ]

Just the Breeders doing what they do so perfectly, making an album only they could make. It’s an often-off-kilter record, in the best way – more Podish than Last Splashy, with songs maybe not as immediately catchy as their quote-unquote hits, but the oddness burrows deep. Kim finally ditching that other band has reaped some major rewards.

[ Buy the album direct from 4AD ]


Buffalo Tom
“Quiet and Peace”
[ on Banquet Records ]

Another decades-old band that thankfully never bothered to break up, a local Boston-based fave that pops its head up every once in awhile to play sporadic shows and freshen up their discography. “Quite and Peace” is a worthy and welcome addition.

BTW, have you checked out Bill Janovitz’s recently-compiled “Covers of the Weeks” collections? Do so right here. Some truly great takes to be found within.

[ Buy it straight from Banquet ]


Camp Cope
“How to Socialise & Make Friends”
[ on Run For Cover Records ]

Another Australasian band that I heard for the very first time in ’18, and it took exactly one song to jump on their train (it was this video from January, in fact). Georgia McDonald is one hell of a frontperson, she brings such a powerful voice to the current chorus of strong female songwriters, and I absolutely cannot wait to see & hear where the road ahead takes her and her band. I’m here for all of it.

[ Buy direct from Run For Cover ]


Neko Case
“Hell-On”
[ on Anti Records ]

I mean, it’s a Neko Case record. No paragraph required, right? Just click the play button on this song…

[ Buy direct from Anti ]


Clever Girls
“Luck”
[ self-released via Bandcamp ]

I felt a strong instant connection to Clever Girls, based purely on geography. Any band that comes outta my ol’ hometown, that writes songs and practices for shows in the same Burlington, Vermont environs I once did, gets extra attention when they pop up on my radar. And CGs have the songs to stay there. They even did me the kindness of playing about a block from my place last year, with an O’Brien’s set that easily measured up to the promise of the record.

[ Stream & buy direct at Bandcamp ]


E
“Negative Work”
[ on Thrill Jockey ]

The second record from this intense, angular Boston-based trio gives Thalia Zedek two appearances on my faves list: The TZ Band LP below, and this sophomore team-up with Jason Sanford (Neptune) and Gavin McCarthy (Karate). As much as I dig their recordings, E’s power best comes through in a live setting, and we’re lucky to get them fairly regularly here in town. If you get a chance to see ’em, take advantage.

[ Buy direct from Thrill Jockey ]


The Essex Green
“Hardly Electronic”
[ on Merge Records ]

I was hyper-aware of the 12-year gap between this and the previous Essex Green LP (2006 stand-out “Cannibal Sea”), both as a fan and a friend, so the wait felt extra-long. I resisted pestering them with too many questions (“How’s the recording going?! How many songs? Is Merge putting it out again?!”), and savored every little update from our Vermont-centric circle. Sure, there were times I wondered if it’d ever come out at all, until suddenly, word of a final mix… then a release date… a shared new song…and at last… a Merge package in the mail. Many joy-filled live shows have followed, proving that long wait was damn well worth it. Here’s to shorter waits ahead.

[ Buy direct from Merge ]


Field Music
“Open Here”
[ on Memphis Industries ]

The Field Music formula hasn’t changed a great deal over the last few records, and that’s the opposite of a complaint. They Brewis Brothers have it down to a science, so why mess with it?

BTW, David Brewis recently released a surprise LP under his School of Language moniker, so have at it.

[ Buy direct from Memphis Industries ]


Film School
“Bright To Death”
[ on Cobraside Records ]

I honestly figured we’d lost Film School for awhile there. After a half-decade hiatus that started in 2011, I thought they could be gone for good, so the announcement of 2016’s “June” EP (recorded with reunited previous members) was cause for cheers. Two more singles proved that lineup reunion wasn’t a one-off, and shared photos of studio time in early 2018 teased a full-length. The result, “Bright To Death”, showed up in September, and it’s a perfect balance of “Hideout”-era, pop-noise Film School with the more expansive sounds they explored on 2010’s “Fission” LP. How this band isn’t a bigger deal eludes me, but I’m so glad they’re still plugging away.

(And I’m trying not to be too bummed that their recent East Coast trip skipped right over Boston. Next time, please?)

[ Buy direct from Cobraside ]


Happy Accidents
“Everything But The Here And Now”
[ on Alcopop! Records ]

There were so many reasons I treasured the rare opportunity to travel to the UK to take part in the marvelous Indietracks Fest, and high among them were the bands I discovered sharing the lineup. London trio Happy Accidents were a standout, and I’ve been singing their praises (and their songs, um, in my car) ever since. I assumed it’d be a long while before I’d get to catch them again, if ever, so I was thrilled to see a Boston-area stop on their first-ever U.S. tour earlier this year. They were just as great in front of a small Monday-night Charlie’s crowd a mile from my house as they were in front of hundreds of fest-goers three thousand miles away.

[ Buy direct from Alcopop! ]


Kristin Hersh
“Possible Dust Clouds”
[ on Fire Records ]

In the fall of 1992, not long they had signed to Sub Pop (but before their debut LP had arrived) Portland, OR trio (the real) Pond finished up a UK tour opening for Throwing Muses and flew straight across the Atlantic to the sleepy little city of Burlington, Vermont. The occasion? Sub Pop’s monstrous Vermonstress festival, which took over my hometown for one ridiculously fun October weekend.

So what does this have to do with a 2018 Kristin Hersh solo record? Pond’s Chris Brady, that’s what. Back in ’92, the bass player/co-vocalist raved about touring with Kristin and her Muses, and a couple decades later the two of them teased a new trio named Outros (with 50 Foot Waves’ Rob Ahlers on drums). A promising demo track was shared, but nothing official ever became of their collaboration… until Possible Dust Clouds arrived.

My favorite Kristin solo release in ages features Brady’s unmistakable voice, singing on a few tracks that I assume were meant to be Outros songs but found their way here. These two singular songwriters working together? A dream for a longtime fan of both. Hearing Chris make music after so long is a gift, and one I hope we get again before too long.

[ Buy direct from Fire Records ]


Hop Along
“Bark Your Head Off, Dog”
[ on Saddle Creek Records ]

Frances Quinlan and her band keep hitting the high bar of their debut, writing songs that shiver, stretch, and swerve in remarkable ways while making it sound effortless. Parts that shouldn’t fit together just do, songs go places you don’t expect, and this time I was even more blown away by Mark Quinlan’s sharp, innovative drumming. So, so good.

[ Buy direct from Saddle Creek ]


Hot Snakes
“Jericho Sirens”
[ on Sub Pop Records ]

Still cranking out propulsive rock songs and pummeling live audiences like gentlemen half their ages. You’ll rarely see so much sweat on a stage. Long may they tour.

[ Buy direct from Sub Pop ]


Low
“Double Negative”
[ on Sub Pop Records ]

Did I like this record? Yes, I did. A lot. Am I going to return to it as much as I do so much of Low’s catalog? To be honest, probably not. This album is… deeply unsettling. It’s a very particular kind of weird, and very much of the time we live in. I wasn’t sure what to make of it on first listen, but it eventually burrowed its way under my skin and won me over, even more so after seeing some of the songs played live. I suppose if I’m ever feeling too comfortable, I’ll throw this on. To quote my kid from the backseat, “Dad, what the heck are we listening to? It’s freaking me out.”

[ Buy direct from Sub Pop ]


Mogwai
“KIN” Original Soundtrack
[ on Temporary Residence Records ]

I haven’t see this film, but I sure do love its soundtrack. Mogwai used this scoring opportunity to stretch a bit in a couple different directions, both poppier (the song shared below) and more spacey. Shame that this may have been overlooked by fans waiting for a ‘proper’ Mogwai LP, because to me it sure sounds like one.

[ Buy direct from Temporary Residence ]


Tony Molina
“Kill The Lights”
[ on Slumberland Records ]

It took the ever-dependable Slumberland to finally turn me onto the songwriting of Tony Molina, a guy whose name I’ve seen around for years but for some reason never heard until this LP. He puts the perfect amount of jangle in his pop, and strikes just the right balance between weight and wistfulness. “Kill The Lights” is a collection of songs that are made with care, and deserve to be listened to the same way.

Tony is about to release a follow-up of sorts, collecting a bunch of rarities as the “Songs from San Mateo County” LP on Smoking Room Records. Pre-order it here.

[ Buy direct from Slumberland ]


New Dog
“Curve of the Earth”
[ self-released via Bandcamp ]

Anar Badalov (formerly of Metal Hearts & Travels) continues to quietly release gorgeous albums as New Dog, with “Curve of the Earth” being the fourth in the six years since he started doing the solo thing. This one’s a little more muscular, but doesn’t sacrifice any of the disquieting delicacy he conjures so effortlessly. I can’t imagine any fan of Sparklehorse or the Album Leaf not finding something to love here. I’d go so far as to say this is his best record yet, but I’m sure I’ve said that about the last couple, too. And will probably say it about the next.

[ Buy direct through Bandcamp ]


Poster Children
“Grand Bargain”
[ on Lotuspool Records / funded via PledgeMusic ]

Another welcome return, longtime faves Poster Children cranked the machinery back up and unleashed a “Grand Bargain” upon us. Hooky ferociousness & smartly-delivered frustration, the PKids have lost none of their bite in the 14 years (!) since their previous record. What a joy it was to see them in the tiny confines of O’Brien’s last July.

[ Buy direct from the band ]


Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
“Hope Downs”
[ on Sub Pop Records ]

Maybe my favorite personal discovery of last year, RBCF do snappy Australasian-pop-rock to pure perfection. A cracking rhythm section lays the bed for the kind of sharp, clean, dual-guitar interplay that gives me headsparks. Their live set matched my high hopes, thankfully at the best-sounding venue in town, and that stand-out night at the Sinclair was absolute bliss.

RBCF has an excellent follow-up 7-inch, “In the Capital” b/w “Read My Mind”, available from Sub Pop.

[ Buy direct from Sub Pop ]


Ruler
“Winning Star Champion”
[ on Barsuk Records ]

After playing in bands for a bunch of years, Matt Batey made his recorded debut as Ruler with this insta-infectious first LP. It immediately brought to mind the initial impact of early Telekinesis, and that’s about the highest compliment I can give. Barsuk has brought us the goods once again, and I eagerly await a follow-up.

Also, how great is his Gin Blossoms cover?

[ Buy direct from Barsuk ]


Savak
“Beg Your Pardon”
[ on the Ernest Jenning Record Co. ]

Savak! I’ve got deja-deja vu, since these gents ended up on last year’s list, too. And the year before that. And they’ll probably end up on next year’s (with this forthcoming EP). I said last time that I was going to hold them to this “album per year” thing, and it seems they took me seriously. Quality meets quanity with these guys, but with their pedigree, that should come as no surprise.

[Buy direct from Ernest Jenning ]


Smokescreens
“Used To Yesterday”
[ on Slumberland Records ]

Their second full-length, but first for Slumberland, which is why this record got my ear (trust in Papa Slumber). It was their fuzzy kiwi-pop-inspired songs kept them in there. I’ve listened to this one a ton and still haven’t tired of it.

[ Buy direct from Slumberland ]


Snail Mail
“Lush”
[ on Matador Records ]

After a couple of solid EPs, Lindsey Jordan’s first full-length as Snail Mail arrived courtesy of Matador last summer and ticked all the requisite boxes for something I’d love. On its surface, sure, it’s ye olde three-piece indie rock, but it’s delivered with both delicacy and weight that belies Jordan’s (relatively) young age. Her gorgeous vocals, plaintive lyrics, standout guitar playing, and often off-kilter song structures combine to set her far above the standard singer-songwriter set. Here’s hoping she’s in it for the long haul.

[ Buy direct from Matador Records ]


Soccer Mommy
“Clean”
[ on Fat Possum Records ]

More than one online acquaintance has conflated or confused Snail Mail with Soccer Mommy… and sure, they’re victims of career-trajectory timing, kindred styles, and fairly similar pen names. Hell, they’re right next to each other in this list, so it’s tough for me to avoid mentioning one without the other here.

Sophie Allison has her own special thing going on with Soccer Mommy, though – a bit more sonic beauty, a very subtle touch of twang, more dynamic in both production and overall aesthetic. Seeing her open for Liz Phair last year was a true pleasure, as the two share not only an obvious mutual admiration but a similar starting point, with bedroom-pop demos attracting unexpected attention and proper debut LPs that brought relatively rapid acclaim. It’ll be interesting to see how or if her career trajectory aligns with Phair’s early run from here on out.

[ Buy direct from Fat Possum ]


Speedy Ortiz
“Twerp Verse”
[ on Carpark Records ]

Speedy’s third LP in five years, all released on Carpark, and I’m still going to say they’re “doing Boston proud” despite their now-tenuous local grounding. I’m loving watching this band mature, both on stage and on record. They’ve been getting a little weirder in the best way, tweaking their formula to keep things interesting, writing songs that are a bit more complex without sacrificing catchiness. I’m in for all of it.

[ Buy direct from Carpark ]


The Spook School
“Could It Be Different?”
[ on Slumberland Records ]

Sigh. Farewell and thank you to my beloved Spook School, who are in the process of singing and dancing into the musical sunset at this very moment. Saying they’re leaving us on a high note is a big ol’ understatement, as this final (*sniff*) record is my favorite, and the last time I saw them was a total blast. They’ll play their so-long shows in September, and if I was in the UK I’d be in the front row with a giant, wistful grin on my face.

[ Buy direct from Slumberland ]


Stove
“‘s Favorite Friend”
[ on Exploding In Sound Records ]

This record was a revelation. I’ve been into Steve Hartlett’s Stove for awhile now, as well as his excellent other project, the on-again-off-again-on-again rock band Ovlov, but for some reason none of his other output has floored me like this LP did. What ostensibly started years ago as a solo project has transformed into an incredibly cohesive band, and this album is the incontrovertible evidence. Lots of great ingredients in the sonic stew here, but the first influence that jumped to mind is maybe a moderately more melodic Swirlies. I love this thing first note to last, and it’s hard to say that about many full-lengthers these days.

[ Buy direct from Exploding In Sound ]


Superchunk
“What A Time To Be Alive”
[ on Merge Records ]

Ah, the mighty Superchunk. Still going strong, still putting out ace LPs whenever the mood hits them, and their records always seem to show up at just the right time. This one was bolstered by some top-notch guests, including Katie Crutchfield, David Bazan, Sabrina Ellis, and Stephin Merritt. Talk about bringing in the ringers. The album may be better for it, but the songs were there either way

BTW, have you heard the just-released acoustic version of their classic “Foolish” LP? It’s Superchunk AF.

[ Buy direct from Merge ]


Thalia Zedek Band
“Fighting Season”
[ on Thrill Jockey Records ]

Thalia’s second appearance on this list has her fronting her eponymous rock band for what I’m pretty sure is my all-time fave TZB LP. At least until the next one. I have the location-based good fortune of seeing her play a lot, so hearing many of these tracks live before their release proved how much they’d stick with me, and how well the recording would capture her killer band’s on-stage sound. The release party for the record was a personal 2018 highlight.

[ Buy direct from Thrill Jockey ]


Willard Grant Conspiracy
“Untethered”
[ on Loose Music ]

This nearly-finished record was lovingly completed by Robert Fisher’s close collaborators in the aftermath of his passing in early 2017, and released by his longtime UK label Loose Music last year. It stands as beautiful memorial to a man who impacted all who knew him, either personally or musically. If you’re a WGC fan, you’re probably not a passive one… when you heard Robert’s remarkable voice and way around a song, you were likely all in. It took a village of musicians to help him bring his work to the world over the years, and the loss of their leader is a loss for all.

[ Buy direct from Loose Music ]


Wussy
“What Heaven Is Like”
[ on Damnably Records ]

Another excellent addition to the Wussy discography, with the unmistakable voices & songwriting styles of Lisa Walker & Chuck Cleaver combining in all the best ways. “Gloria” is a an absolute stunner, and my anticipation to see it played live has only grown after the band put post-album shows on hold in the wake of some health issues. They’re back this summer as a (drummerless) touring trio, and coming through town again soon. Cannot wait. I volunteer as tribute! I mean, as drummer. For a song or two? I’m kidding. Kinda.

[ Buy direct from Damnably ]


Wye Oak
“The Louder I Call The Faster It Runs”
[ on Merge Records ]

The ever-deepening discography of Jenn Wasner & Andy Stack continues to incorporate slight stylistic shifts while retaining whatever makes them so perfectly Wye Oak. Their accumlated songwriting and production experience has made each consecutive record even more rewarding with repeat listens, and their increased solo output and collaborations have given us even more to love.

Speaking of which, pre-order Andy’s upcoming full-length solo debut as Joyero from Merge, and grab Jenn’s latest Flock of Dimes 7-inch (a split with Madeline Kenney) from Carpark.

[ Buy direct from Merge ]


Yo La Tengo
“There’s A Riot Going On”
[ on Matador Records ]

Not exactly Yo La Tengo’s most cohesive record, but I’m not sure it was meant to be. Album-release interviews spoke of new music cobbled together from practice space tape ideas, of soundtrack-ish snippets repurposed to create full songs. YLT usually covers many stylistic bases on their records, but there’s nothing I’d call a straight-up rock n’ roll song here, and it’s completely free of any patented Ira Kaplan guitar-freakouts. The Jersey trio ended up with one of their most laid-back, most beautiful LPs this time around, and it hit me just right.

[ Buy direct from Matador ]


Young Jesus
“The Whole Thing Is Just There”
[ on Saddle Creek ]

Young Jesus was also new to me last year, though they shouldn’t have been – a quick email search shows I got my first promo note about them more than 7 years ago, ahead of their debut record. Maybe I wasn’t ready for them back then, but this new one hit me like a brick to the brain. Six songs totaling just under an hour, one of which is the 20-minute powerfully hypnotic closer, “Gulf”, a song I figured I’d never see played live.

I was wrong, and the band provided me with one of my favorite on-stage moments of 2018 when, after just a couple songs at Great Scott, frontman John Rossiter said “This will be our last one…”. My momentarily bummed-out brain thought “Last song?! Well, it had better be Gulf.” And so it was. Absolutely epic.

And a hat tip to the music supervisor for Netflix’s The OA, who used both “Gulf” and album-opener “Deterritory” in the latest season. Just perfect.

[ Buy direct from Saddle Creek ]



A few favorite singles, short-players,
& web-only releases of 2018


Lou Barlow
“Love Intervene” single
[ on Joyful Noise Recordings ]

One of Loobie’s strongest singles in ages. Really looking forward to Joyful Noise’s new “Lou Barlow Artist Enabler Club” subscription thingee.

[ Buy direct from Joyful Noise ]


David Bazan & Sean Lane
“Rare Coins” EP
[ on 15 Passenger Records ]

A split EP with a few new Bazan tracks, including the killer “Opposite Soul” (below). I think this was his last batch of solo songs released before his (ridiculously great) Pedro the Lion relaunch.

[ Buy direct from 15 Passenger ]


boygenius
“Stay Down” EP
[ on Matador Records ]

Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker, & Lucy Dacus. A magical team up, a remarkable debut EP, and one of the best shows I saw in 2018.

[ Buy direct from Matador ]


Cinerama / The Wedding Present
“White Riot / “The Name of the Game” single
[ on WIAIWYA Records ]

I’m a sucker for David Gedge & company doing covers. A recently-announced Weddoes single bodes well for a possible new LP on the way. Fingers crossed.

[ Buy direct from WIAIWYA ]


Mike Gent
“Last Friday of the Month” singles series
[ self-released via Bandcamp ]

Mike Gent (of the Figgs/Gentlemen/Needy Sons) cranked out solid monthly singles all year long over on Bandcamp. Head on over there, and catch him solo or with the Figgs when and if you get the chance.

[ Buy direct over on Bandcamp ]


Girl Ray
“The Way We Came Back” single
[ on Moshi Moshi Music ]

My other favorite discovery at last year’s Indietracks Fest, the truly wonderful Girl Ray. I fully absorbed their 2017 debut LP, “Earl Grey”, and absolutely cannot wait to hear its full-length follow-up.

[ Buy direct through Bandcamp ]


Gregory and the Hawk
“Texan Collection” song series
[ via Patreon ]

Meredith Godreau follows up her Patreon-funded “On the Orange Mountain” series of songs with another chapter titled “Texan Collection”. It’s more sporadic, but I’ll take whatever I can get, so long as she keeps it coming.

[ Support GatH through Patreon ]

Mint Mile
“Heartroller” EP
[ on Comedy Minus One Records ]

Tim Midyett (Silkworm/Bottomless Pit) releases his third excellent EP in a row under the Mint Mile moniker, and I’m giddy at the news that he/they will have a double album, titled “Ambertron”, out sometime this year. YES.

[ Buy direct from Comedy Minus One ]


Soft Skies, Inc.
quarterly song releases
[ via Bandcamp ]

They easily made last year’s list, and more songs in 2018 meant they’d end up on this one, too. You can head to Bandcamp to hear them all, or you can finally hit up Spotify as well. Here, I made you a playlist.

[ Listen & buy digitally on Bandcamp ]


Superchunk
“Our Work Is Done” charity 7-inch
[ on Merge Records ]

.
My favorite in Superchunk’s series of limited charity singles, with some artwork variants auctioned off for worthy causes. These things sell out pretty fast, but you can still listen to and buy the digital versions.

[ Sold out, but listen at Merge ]

And that’s a wrap. I am now officially unblocked and unburdened. I’ll leave you with this…

When the final runner crossed the finish line at this year’s Boston Marathon, she was quoted as saying:

The time will never matter. It’s the fact that I finished.

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  • Almanac Archives

  • Boston-Area Action

    Thursday, August 15th
    Beck
    Cage The Elephant
    Spoon
    Sunflower Bean
    @ the Xfinity Center


    Friday, August 16th
    Baabes
    Silver Screams
    Von Traps
    Lipstick Boys
    @ O’Brien’s


    Friday, August 16th
    Summer Cannibals
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Saturday, August 17th
    “Back To The Mixtape 2”
    with Pastel Noir, The Fatal Flaw,
    & Nate Leavitt and the Elevation
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, August 21st
    The Alarm
    Gene Loves Jezebel
    Modern English
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, August 22nd
    Oso Oso
    The Sidekicks
    Future Teens
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, August 22nd
    Bitch Mountain
    Birthday Ass
    Puppy Problems
    Prior Panic
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Friday, August 23rd
    Doom Lover
    Sidewalk Driver
    Parks
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Sunday, August 25th
    Alex Lahey
    @ Great Scott


    Wednesday, August 28th
    Social Distortion
    Flogging Molly
    The Devil Makes Three
    Le Butcherettes
    @ the Pavilion


    Friday, August 30th
    Have A Nice Life
    Minibeast
    The Fake Boys
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, September 3rd
    Phantogram
    Bob Moses
    @ House of Blues


    Tuesday, September 3rd
    Vampire Weekend
    Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
    @ Agganis Arena


    Wednesday & Thursday
    September 4th & 5th
    Pinegrove
    Stephen Steinbrink
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, September 5th
    Ceremony
    Choir Boy
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, September 6th
    The Sheila Divine
    The Minus Scale
    Ultra Major
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, September 8th
    Avail
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, September 8th
    Fontaines D.C.
    Pottery
    @ Great Scott


    Monday, September 9th
    Subhumans
    Fea
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Monday, September 9th
    The Raconteurs
    @ House of Blues


    Monday, September 9th
    Hot Chip
    @ the Royale


    Tuesday, September 10th
    The Appleseed Cast
    Muscle Worship
    @ Great Scott


    Wednesday, September 11th
    Boris
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, September 11th
    Jethro Tull
    @ the Chevalier, Medford


    Thursday, Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
    September 12th, 13th, 14th, & 15th
    The Hold Steady
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, September 13th
    Ashe
    Charlie Burg
    Gavin Haley
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, September 13th
    The Who
    Peter Wolf
    @ Fenway Park


    Friday, September 13th
    Dirty Projectors
    Deerhunter
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, September 15th
    Mannequin Pussy
    Destroy Boys
    Ellis
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, September 17th
    Dude York
    Edge Petal Burn
    Peach Fuzz
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Tuesday, September 17th
    Lizzo
    @ Agganis Arena


    Wednesday, September 18th
    The Aquabats
    Koo Koo Kanga Roo
    MC Lars
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, September 18th
    Frankie Cosmos
    Lina Tullgren
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, September 18th
    ZZ Top
    Cheap Trick
    @ the Pavilion


    Wednesday, September 18th
    Waterboys
    @ the Wilbur Theatre


    Wednesday, September 18th
    The Julian Lage Trio
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, September 19th
    Phantom Planet
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, September 19th
    Bloc Party
    performing “Silent Alarm”
    Cults
    @ the House of Blues


    Thursday, September 19th
    Tropical Fuck Storm
    @ Great Scott


    Thursday, September 19th
    King Crimson
    @ the Wang Theatre


    Friday, September 20th
    Guerilla Toss
    Sloppy Jane
    Carinae
    DJ Carbo
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, September 20th
    RIDE
    Spirit of the Beehive
    @ the Paradise


    Friday, September 20th
    Priors
    Black Beach
    Far Corners
    Andy California
    @ the Midway in JP


    Friday, September 20th
    The Feelies
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, September 21st
    Saintseneca
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday, September 21st
    Bleached
    The Paranoyds
    DJ Carbo
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, September 21st
    Andrew Bird
    Calexico and Iron & Wine
    Natalie Prass
    @ the Bank Pavilion


    Saturday, September 21st
    Massive Attack
    “MezzanineXX1” tour
    @ the Wang


    Sunday, September 22nd
    Mac DeMarco
    @ the Orpheum


    Monday, September 23rd
    Black Moth Super Rainbow
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Tuesday, September 24th
    Cat Power
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, September 25th
    Brittany Howard (Alabama Shakes)
    @ House of Blues Boston


    Wednesday, September 25th
    An Evening of Talk & Music with
    Nick Cave
    @ Sanders Theatre, Harvard


    Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday
    September 25th, 26th, & 27th
    Three nights of Built To Spill
    “Keep It Like A Secret” Anniversary Tour
    with Prism & the Tall Trees
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, September 26th
    The Samples
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Sunday, September 29th
    Sidney Gish
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, September 29th
    Stereolab
    Bitchin Bajas
    @ the Royale


    Sunday, September 29th
    Aldous Harding
    @ Cafe 939


    Sunday, September 29th
    Graham Nash
    @ the Berklee Performance Center


    Tuesday, October 1st
    Luna
    (performing their “Penthouse” LP)
    Olden Yolk
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, October 1st
    Agnostic Front
    Prong
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, October 3rd
    Ladytron
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, Friday, & Saturday
    October 3rd, 4th, & 5th
    Three nights of Billy Bragg
    “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back”
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, October 4th
    Team Dresch
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Saturday, October 5th
    Tim Presley’s White Fence
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday, October 5th
    Maggie Rogers
    Empress Of
    @ the Wang Theatre


    Saturday, October 5th
    Mudhoney
    Pissed Jeans
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Sunday, October 6th
    GWAR
    Sacred Reich
    Toxic Holocaust
    Against the Grain
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, October 6th
    Mt. Joy
    @ the Royale


    Monday, October 7th
    The Paper Kites
    @ Somerville Theatre


    Tuesday, October 8th
    Melvins
    Red Kross
    ShitKid
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, October 9th
    The Dodos
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, October 10th
    Earthless
    Maggot Heart
    Sacri Monti
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, October 10th
    Legendary Pink Dots
    Orbit Service
    @ Great Scott


    Thursday & Friday
    October 10th & 11th
    Wilco
    Daughter of Swords
    @ the Wang Center


    Friday, October 11th
    Mike Watt & the Missingmen
    Minibeast
    @ ONCE Ballroom


    Friday, October 11th
    Weakened Friends
    @ Great Scott


    Friday, October 11th
    The Black Keys
    Modest Mouse
    Jessy Wilson
    @ TD Garden


    Sunday, October 13th
    Face to Face
    Lagwagon
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, October 13th
    Thievery Corporation
    @ House of Blues Boston


    Sunday, October 13th
    Big Thief
    Palehound
    @ the Wilbur


    Tuesday, October 15th
    Bon Iver
    Feist
    @ TD Garden


    Wednesday, October 16th
    Oh Sees
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, October 16th
    Idles
    Preoccupations
    @ the Royale


    Friday & Saturday
    October 18th & 19th
    The Town and the City Festival
    returns to Lowell, MA!


    Saturday & Sunday
    October 19th & 20th
    Cave In
    Miltown
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, October 20th
    Vivian Girls
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Sunday, October 20th
    Stiff Little Fingers
    The Avengers
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Monday, October 21st
    Cave In
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, October 22nd
    DIIV
    Chastity
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday & Wednesday
    October 22nd & 23rd
    Against Me!
    “2 nights, 4 records, 48 songs”
    with Cursive & Dilly Dally
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, October 23rd
    Flipper (w/David Yow on vocals)
    40th Anniversary Tour
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


    Wednesday, October 23rd
    Helmet
    @ the Paradise


    Thursday, October 24th
    Titus Andronicus
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Thursday, October 24th
    The National
    @ Agganis Arena


    Friday, October 25th
    Jenny Lewis
    @ the House of Blues


    Friday, October 25th
    Jukebox the Ghost
    presents “Halloqueen”
    with Zach Jones & the Tricky Bits
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, October 26th
    Jay Som
    Gia Margaret
    Boy Scouts
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday & Saturday
    October 25th & 26th
    Steely Dan
    @ the Orpheum


    Saturday, October 26th
    Glider
    @ Once Somerville


    Saturday, October 26th
    Peter Hook & the Light
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, October 27th
    Hovvdy
    Kevin Krauter
    Caroline Says
    @ Great Scott


    Sunday, October 27th
    Trashcan Sinatras
    performing ‘A Happy Pocket’
    and ‘Weightlifting’ LPs acoustic
    @ City Winery Boston


    Sunday, October 27th
    Cigarettes After Sex
    @ the House of Blues Boston


    Monday, October 28th
    Fleetwood Mac
    @ the Garden


    Tuesday, October 29th
    Sleater-Kinney
    @ the House of Blues Boston


    Tuesday & Wednesday
    October 29th, 30th, & November 1st
    Steely Dan
    @ the Orpheum


    Wednesday, October 30th
    Jónsi & Alex Somers (Sigur Ros)
    “Riceboy Sleeps”
    with the Wordless Music Orchestra
    @ the Wilbur


    Saturday, November 2nd
    Richard Buckner
    @ Atwood’s


    Saturday, November 2nd
    White Reaper
    The Nude Party
    Wombo
    @ the Sinclair


    Monday, November 4th
    The New Pornographers
    Lady Lamb
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, November 6th
    Fruit Bats
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, November 6th
    SUPERCHUNK AF
    “Acoustic Foolish”
    @ Somerville Theatre


    Saturday, November 9th
    Lisa Prank
    @ O’Brien’s


    Sunday, November 10th
    The World Is A Terrible Place
    And I Am Not Afraid To Die
    with Harmony Woods
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, November 12th
    Ra Ra Riot
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, November 12th
    Chastity Belt
    Strange Ranger
    DJ Carbo
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, November 14th
    Circa Waves
    Parks
    @ Great Scott


    Thursday, November 14th
    Robert Forster (Go-Betweens)
    @ City Winery Boston


    Friday, November 15th
    Hiss Golden Messenger
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, November 15th
    White Denim
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, November 17th
    (Sandy) Alex G
    Tomberlin
    Indigo de Souza
    @ the Royale


    Tuesday, November 19th
    Mikal Cronin
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, November 19th
    Angel Olsen
    Vagabon
    @ the Royale


    Thursday, November 21st
    Robert Gordon
    Chris Spedding
    Diablogato
    @ ONCE Ballroom


    Friday, November 22nd
    Matt & Kim
    @ House of Blues


    Friday & Saturday
    November 22nd & 23rd
    Letters to Cleo
    Speedy Ortiz
    @ the Paradise


    Tuesday, December 3rd
    The Joy Formidable
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Wednesday, December 4th
    Thurston Moore Group
    @ ONCE Somerville


    Thursday, December 5th
    Twin Peaks
    with Ohmme (afternoon show)
    and Lala Lala (night show)
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, December 8th
    Cher
    with Nile Rogers & Chic
    @ the Garden


    Tuesday, December 10th
    Pile
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, December 11th
    Battles
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, December 13th
    Kevin Devine
    & the Goddamn Band
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Thursday, Friday, & Saturday
    December 19th, 20th, & 21st
    Lucero
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, December 21st
    Daughters
    Health
    Show Me The Body
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, December 28th
    The Push Stars
    @ the Paradise


    Monday, January 6th, 2020
    Motion City Soundtrack
    @ the House of Blue Boston


    Thursday, January 16th
    Camper Van Beethoven
    @ the Middle East Downstairs