Friday 14 December 2018

Best Concerts Of 2018

I have, so far, attended 51 gigs in 2018. Here are, in my opinion, the 20 best.

1)    Rachel Baiman & Molly Tuttle – Cleere’s, Kilkenny.
2)    Ry Cooder – National Stadium
3)    Mitski – Tivoli
4)    Jonathan Wilson – Whelan’s
5)    Microdisney – National Concert Hall
6)    Joan As Policewoman – Whelan’s
7)    Ty Segall – Tivoli
8)    Roger Waters – 3 Arena
9)    Josh T Pearson – Whelan’s
10)                   Elvis Costello – Bord Gáis Energy Theatre
11)                   Haim – Olympia
12)                   Chic – RDS
13)                   Wooden Shjips – Whelan’s
14)                   Jim White – Whelan’s
15)                   Johnny Marr – National Stadium
16)                   Moon Duo – Button Factory
17)                   Courtney Marie Andrews – Whelan’s
18)                   Sena Kuti – Sugar Club
19)                   Sillk – Whelan’s
20)                   Low – Vicar Street

Whelan’s is clearly my spiritual home.

Best Albums of 2018

Sitting down to come up with my Top 10 albums of the year this year, I realise with great embarrassment how little new music I’ve heard or bought. Is this stressful and time consuming Life Events (as they are called), or just growing older? Hopefully, only the former. There’s also the matter of means. I’ve spent a lot more of my disposable income (surely one of the greatest oxymorons ever coined) on going to shows (see separate ‘20 Best Gigs of 2018’, coming soon) than I have on purchasing recorded music, due to the need to prioritise in relatively straitened times. Sometimes I wish I worked in a record shop. Maybe one day I will. It’s certainly all changed since my heady days as a Rock Critic, when CDs were falling through the letterbox like leaves from the trees on a windy Autumn day. All I’m trying to say is, I haven’t heard every new release in 2018, so this list is of necessity blinkeredly arbitrary, and must contain glaring omissions I don’t even know about (I’m sure that Alejandro Escovedo’s The Crossing is excellent, but I haven’t heard it, yet.) But here, anyway, and with humble apologies, is the Top 10 I struggled to put together. I am, by way of casual observation, frankly flabbergast that ‘Rare Birds’ by Jonathan Wilson (the best album The Psychedelic Beatles never made) has featured in precisely ZERO end of year Best Of’s I’ve read. Also, as the world by now must know, I’m crazy about Mitski. Here’s to 2019. Peace.
1.) Jonathan Wilson – Rare Birds
2.) Mitski – Be The Cowboy
3.) Ry Cooder – The Prodigal Son
4.) Spiritualized – And Nothing Hurt
5.) Ty Segall – Freedom’s Goblin
6.) Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel
7.) Wooden Shjips – V.
8.) Courtney Marie Andrews – May Your Kindness Remain
9.) Low – Double Negative
10.) Tune-Yards — I can feel you creep into my private life
Bubbling Under:
Melody’s Echo Chamber – Bon Voyage
More Blood, More Tracks – Bob Dylan

Best Films Of 2018

  1) Sicilian Ghost Story
  2) First Reformed
  3) A Fantastic Woman
  4) Loveless
  5) BlacKKKlansman
  6) The Square
  7) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  8)  Sorry To Bother You
  9) On Chisel Beach
10) A Star Is Born
Bubbling Under: Lucky, Columbus, The Post, A Quiet Place