Mini Update and Some 2018 Music Faves

Quick Updates…

  1. If you’ve paid in full for the book expect an email later today with details on the shipping info/fee. If you don’t get the email (make sure you check your spam and your email that’s associated with your paypal account) let me know.

  2. If you were on the monthly payments and you started later in the year, expect an email next week about paying off early (if you want to).

  3. If you didn’t buy the book and you’d like a copy, I have about 14 extras. They will be available as of this coming Monday. Check back here then if you’d like a copy.

  4. The Winter issue of the X-Comm Newsletter will come to subscribers this weekend.

  5. The books and decks will ship in a few batches, starting next week through early February.

2018 Music Faves

I’ve already posted a lot of my favorite songs from 2018 during last year, but here is a round-up of some of my favorite songs of the year that haven’t found their way to the blog previously.

My taste in music leans towards 60’s influenced indie-pop, garage-pop, punk, psychedelia, folk, power-pop, and that sort of thing. If that doesn’t appeal to you, go kick rocks.

Favorite Single of 2018 That Sounds Like a Single from 1966

Flower Garden by The Lazy Lies (Barcelona, Spain)

“Wouldn’t it be amazing if good deeds made people beautiful?”

Buoyant and sunny, a perfect piece of pop-music that—if it didn’t mention pictures getting likes—you would assume was from your parent’s generation. Unless you’re significantly older than me… then you’d think it was from your own generation. Or maybe you’re a baby and your parent’s generation is the 90s, in which case get out of here, baby! This blog is for adults. Although I gotta hand it to you, I like a baby that can read.

Somehow this only has 97 plays as of me posting it here, which is mind-boggling to me.


Favorite Punk Song of 2018

Some Mutts (Can’t Be Muzzled) by Amyl and the Sniffers (Melbourne, Australia)

Woof woof.


My Most Played Song of 2018

Italian Jeans by Stufft Crust (San Francisco, California)

Garage/surf/punk. Every night I have a little dance party for myself (a habit I recommend for everyone). This was my favorite song of 2018 to bop around the apartment to.

Favorite Power Pop Song of 2018

Give You What You Want by Greg Pope (Nashville, Tennessee)

I’m a sucker for this type of rhythm—constantly pushing forward. It sounds like a train rumbling down the tracks.


My Favorite Talky Songs of 2018

By “talky” I mean these guys aren’t great singers, but they still put out some catchy songs that I enjoyed this year.

Hospital by Art Brut (Berlin, Germany)

Eddie Argos, the lead singer of Art Brut, “nearly died” of peritonitis this year. He wrote this song while recovering.

Favorite Line: “They tried to make me go to rehab and I said… ‘That’s probably a very good idea.’”


Sexy National Anthem by Cheekface (Los Angeles, California)

I have no clue how to categorize their style—the guy just pretty much talks over the music— but this band has some of my favorite lyrics of any band I came across this year.


If you like this, check out Dry Heat, Nice Town and I Only Say I’m Sorry When I’m Wrong Now.

First Date by St. Lenox (New York, New York)

This doesn’t really qualify as “talky” but he does have an unusual singing voice. I think I connected to this song because one of the cafes I work out of regularly is a very popular spot for first dates and I love creeping on them and listening in. It’s a real learning experience in regards to interacting with new people and how terrible most people are at it.


Favorite Psychedelic Song of 2018

The Rain is Out by Gloria (Lyon, France)

Gloria is a band I’ve mentioned a few times before on this site. They’re one of my absolute favorites. They’re a pretty “gentle” psychedelia band, but they still qualify. I really like the way the song starts, with each instrument coming in individually with the same riff. Plus the video is delightful. It looks like it was made by the people behind Manos: The Hands of Fate.


Favorite Song I First Heard In A Commercial in 2018

Love You So by Bleu (Los Angeles, California)

This slick, glossy piano-pop song was one I first heard in a commercial for ebay. I tracked it down and found out I like the parts of the song that aren’t in the commercial even better (because it has the F-word in it, so if you’re that baby I mentioned before don’t play this song!).


Favorite Hip-Hop/Rap Song of 2018

Ace by Noname ft. Smino and Saba (Chicago, Illinois)

I used to love rap and hip-hop. It used to be the most fun, most aggressive type of music. It was all about partying, smoking weed, fucking hoes, shooting up a city block… fun stuff! Now I listen to rap and it makes me want to blow my goddamn brains out. It’s so depressing. I listen to a song and think, Is this about… fucking voting? Or some other dull shit. Yes, I know, it’s good to be socially conscious and all that, but I’m trying to shake my little booty here. If it’s not that sort of thing then it’s a song about how depressed they are. WHAT IS GOING ON!!!!?? Are people really that miserable? Do you want to listen to people talking about how sad they are?

Anyway, Noname is a young rapper out of Chicago. I dig her style and specifically like this performance because it revs up the tempo of the song on the album which is especially impressive on her verse and Saba’s verse. And I like how she sweetly says “thank you” at the end of the song.


Favorite Folk Song of 2018

Rang Tang Ring Toon by Mountain Man (Durham, North Carolina)

See, now here’s a subject for a song I can really get behind: dancing around the house, skinny dipping with friends, and cooking beans!

Folk music isn’t necessarily my favorite genre to listen to, but I’d love to be in a folk band; 3 or 4 people crowded around a microphone singing about the Sloop John B and Tom Dooley. That’s my dream.

These ladies have a classic Appalachian-folk sound and their harmonies are just spot-on.


Favorite Album of 2018

Hollow Ground by Cut Worms (Brooklyn, New York)

This isn’t a ground-breaking album by any means, but I listened to a couple hundred new albums this year and this one had the highest percentage of songs that I actually kept in my itunes playlist.

This description from their Bandcamp page is pretty accurate:

“Max Clarke has a knack for conjuring up warmth in his music, like endless summer or ageless youth. The 27-year-old’s debut LP, Hollow Ground, crackles with the heat of a love-struck nostalgia, woven together with a palpable Everly Brothers’ influence and retro sound. It reaches back into decades of plainspoken, unfussy, and squarely American storytelling and pulls it forth into 2018.”

Here are a couple of my favorites from the album: