I’ve been putting together a “Best Of” list of some kind or another since the end of 2005 now. Categories tend to change and evolve every year but music and movies are generally the focus. I used to only post this full list over at absolutepunk.net but since they’ve shut down in the last couple years I’m trying something new this year and posting here on Medium.

That said, here we go:

Music

In years past I’ve had a very difficult time keeping track of new releases. I either don’t notice albums that have been released or I forget to listen to them. For 2018 I made it a goal to find a better way to do this. Thankfully, early on in the year, I found the playlist folder functionality that Spotify offers. This allowed me to keep track of what albums I wanted to hear and what I had already heard. In the end, I listened to 90 records released in 2018. Not surprisingly, this lead to a significant decrease in streams of music released prior to 2018 and drastically skewed some stats.

I streamed 7,365+ songs on Spotify for a total listening time of 25,800 minutes, averaging 20 songs per day (17 days and 22 hours — with a short gap of tracking between March-May)*. A 27% increase in songs listened to from 2017.

I listened to 4,499 unique songs from 1,745 albums of 985 artists. My “new discoveries” of the year were Tyler, the Creator and Anderson .Paak.

1. The Beatles (196 songs streamed)
2. MxPx (190 songs streamed)
3. Ryan Adams (181 songs streamed)
4. Josh Ritter (148 songs streamed)
5. Father John Misty (146 songs streamed)
6. Monster Rally (106 songs streamed)
7. Leon Bridges (102 songs streamed)
8. Death Cab for Cutie (97 songs streamed)
9. John Mayer (92 songs streamed)
10. The Matches (92 songs streamed)

Full stats on Last.fm
*This does not include music listened to on vinyl.

1. Leon Bridges, Good Thing
2. Father John Misty, God’s Favorite Customer
3. MxPx, Self-Titled
4. Damien Jurado, The Horizon Just Laughed
5. Khruangbin, Con Todo El Mundo
6. Childish Gambino, This is America (Single)
7. Charles Bradley, Black Velvet
8. Courtney Barnett, Tell Me How You Really Feel
9. Ruston Kelly, Dying Star
10. Kurt Vile, Bottle it In

11. Dawes, Passwords
12. Death Cab for Cutie, Thank You for Today
13. Talkie, Fundamental Things
15. Parquet Courts, Wide Awake!
16. Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Upside Down Flowers
17. Pinegrove, Skylight
18. Valley Maker, Rhododendron
19. Kacey Musgraves, Golden Hour
20. Paul McCartney, Egypt Station

21. Car Seat Headrest, Twin Fantasy
22. Lord Huron, Vide Noir
23. Foxing, Nearer My God
24. Beach House, 7
25. Phosphorescent, C’est La Vie
26. Richard Swift, The Hex
27. Mac Miller, Swimming
28. Soccer Mommy, Clean
29. ØDYSSEE, Unpressed Flavors
30. Glen Hansard, Between Two Shores

Top 10 2018
Top 10 2017
Top 10 2016
Top 10 2015

During the month of February I decided to try and listen to at least one record I’d never heard before each day. While doing so, I kept a playlist of my favorite songs from each of those records throughout the month. After doing that I began building a new playlist every month, mostly of songs I heard during that month that stood out to me, not always limited to songs released in 2018. It ended up being something I really enjoyed doing and I plan on doing it for every month in 2019.

Below is a list of my 50 favorites released in 2018. After about #15 the order starts to lose meaning.

1. “51/49” — St. Ranger
2. “This is America” — Childish Gambino
3. “Friday TonightMxPx
4. “Stop Smoking (We Love You)Car Seat Headrest
5. “Bad Bad News” — Leon Bridges
6. “Summer Years— Death Cab for Cutie
7. “HopefulessnessCourtney Barnett
8. “Slow Burn” — Kacey Musgraves
9. “Once in My LifeThe Decemberists
10. “Costa Rica” — Talkie

11. “Me & Michael” — MGMT
12. “Allocate” — Damien Jurado
13. “Mockingbird” — Ruston Kelly
14. “Evan Finds the Third Room” — Khruangbin
15. “The Palace” — Father John Misty
16. “Feels Like Summer” — Childish Gambino
17. “Small Worlds” — Mac Miller
18. “Tints” — Anderson .Paak
19. “Cool” — Soccer Mommy
20. “Bay Dream” — Culture Abuse

21. “Light on the Ground” — Valley Maker
22. “I Don’t Know” — Paul McCartney
23. “60 & Punk” — Death Cab for Cutie
24. “Julia” — Mt. Joy
25. “To Be” — Foxwarren, Andy Shauf, D. A. Kissick
26. “Saturdays” — Twin Shadow (Feat. HAIM)
27. “Sister’s Jeans” — Rolling Blackouts Costal Fever
28. “Bassackwards” — Kurt Vile
29. “Sober to Death” — Car Seat Headrest
30. “Crack the Case” — Dawes

31. “Mardi Gras Beads” — Parquet Courts
32. “Lift Yourself” — Kanye West
33. “Work Out” — Chance the Rapper
34. “I Hate Chicago” — Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers
35. “Don’t Forget” — Jeff Tweedy
36. “Her Broken Fingers” — Richard Swift
37. “Charcoal Baby” — Blood Orange
38. “Your Dog” — Soccer Mommy
39. “The Man Who Has Everything” — Chance the Rapper
40. “Slip Away” — Charles Bradley

41. “May Your Kindness Remain” — Courtney Marie Andrews
42. “Hold Out Your Hand” — Brandi Carlilie
43. “Freedom” — Amen Dunes
44. “Hallucinations” — Vacationer
45. “Heat Wave” — Snail Mail
46. “New Light” — John Mayer
47. “Star Treatment” — Arctic Monkeys
48. “Ancient Names Pt. I & II” — Lord Huron
49. “On My Teeth” — Underoath
50. “Cool City” — Cary Brothers

0218, 0318, 0418, 0518, 0618, 0718, 0818, 0918, 1018, 1118, 1218

Listen on Spotify

Film

In 2018 I watched 94 films for a total of 170 hours, averaging 1.8 movies per week; compared to 49 films in 2017. Of those 94, 67 were released in 2018 and 23 of those were seen in theaters. You can see all my stats for the year over at Letterboxd and all 2018 films I’ve seen ranked here.

1. Thunder Road (Jim Cummings)
2. Vice (Adam McKay) 🎟
3. Blindspotting (Carlos López Estrada)
4. Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse (Bob Persichetti) 🎟
5. A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper) 🎟
6. BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee) 🎟
7. Mandy (Panos Cosmatos)
8. Revenge (Coralie Fargeat)
9. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Morgan Neville)
10. Minding the Gap (Bing Liu)

11. You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay)
12. Mission Impossible: Fallout (Christopher McQuarrie) 🎟
13. First Man (Damien Chazelle) 🎟
14. A Quiet Place (John Krasinski) 🎟
15. Leave No Trace (Debra Granik)
16. Sorry to Bother You (Boots Riley) 🎟
17. Solo: A Star Wars Story (Ron Howard) 🎟
18. Hearts Beat Loud (Brett Haley)
19. Thoroughbreds (Cory Finley)
20. Skate Kitchen (Crystal Moselle)

Still some movies I need to watch that would probably fall somewhere in the top 20: Roma, Mid 90's, The House that Jack Built, If Beale Street Could Talk, Wildlife, They Shall Not Grow Old, Widows, Greenbook, Beautiful Boy, Burning, I Think We’re Alone Now, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, and Her Smell.

If a movie has a 🎟 next to it, I saw it in theaters. (Thanks to Chris Friebus for the idea!)

2017 Stats

Television

Some really incredible mini-series were released in 2018. I’m a big fan of that format as it allows for deeper character exploration and more powerful storytelling than a film while not requiring multiple seasons worth of time commitment to finish. Still need to watch Better Call Saul (S4) and Mr. Robot (S3).

1. Maniac (Netflix)
2. Atlanta: Robbin’ Season (FX)
3. Homecoming (Amazon)
4. Kidding (Showtime)
5. Wild Wild Country (Netflix)
6. Crashing Season 2 (HBO)
7. Westworld Season 2 (HBO)
8. Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 (Hulu)
9. Forever (Amazon)
10. Room 104 (HBO)

Concerts

Sad to say, but my concert attendance has been fading for the last few years. Saw some great shows this year, The Matches and Childish Gambino being the best of them, but wish I’d been able to see more.

Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band @ The Fillmore (San Francisco, CA) // 1.19.2018
Talkie @ The Ritz (San Jose, CA) // 1.20.2018
Fleet Foxes @ The Greek Theater (Berkeley, CA) // 4.20.2018
Talkie @ Bottom of the Hill (San Francisco, CA) // 6.9.2018
The Matches, Mt. Eddy
@ The Fillmore (San Francisco, CA) // 7.21.2018
Fall Out Boy, Machine Gun Kelly @ SAP Center (San Jose, CA) // 9.28.2018
Childish Gambino @ SAP Center (San Jose, CA) // 12.7.2018

Shows I had tickets to but missed for one reason or another…
Glen Hansard @ Fox Theater
Death Cab for Cutie @ The Greek Theater
Dawes @ The Mystic Theater

Podcasts

Enduring longer commutes for the last year, I really stepped up my podcast listening. Unfortunately Apple doesn’t provide stats for podcast streams but it’s safe to say I spent about 85% of my time driving listening to different podcasts.

1. Armchair Expert with Dax Shepherd
2. Last Podcast on the Left
3. Good Christian Fun
4. Slow Burn
5. Serial

Books

I had high hopes of reading tons of books in 2018 but didn’t quite achieve that. Even still, I managed to get through 9 or 10. Here are my 5 favorite:

1. Like Brothers, Mark & Jay Duplass 🎧
2. Slapstick, Kurt Vonnegut
3. Columbine, Dave Cullen 🎧
4. Welcome to the Universe, Neil Degrasse Tyson 🎧
5. Dark Matter, Blake Crouch

🎧 = Listened to on Audible

Thanks for reading! You can find me elsewhere online:

Twitter: @danotis
Letterboxd: @danotis
Instagram: @danotis, @thevinylsound
Spotify: @danotis
Work: danotis.co

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