2018: Our Opinions (Bloodshot Artists Edition)

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December 21st, 2018 by bsradmin

Another calendar year is just about in the books, so it's time to look back on our highlights and milestones of the year, as well as look back on the art, music, literature, food, and other things that helped us escape, cope, and march forward. And maybe point out some of the shitty things we didn't like about this year, too. Balance is integral to this fleeting life.

Thank you to these brave Bloodshot artists for turning the tables and being critics for once. 

 

 

 

Robbie Fulks

Favorite show you played in 2018: Rockygrass: getting to pick with Michael Daves, hang with Tim O’Brien, sing with Sam Bush, kvetch with Darol Anger, etc.

Favorite show you saw in 2018: I went to two shows, Peter Wolf and Liz Phair, and really liked both. (Of the two, I pick Peter for my blow-job queen.)

Favorite song of 2018: "Jay Gould's Daughter," also several Dallas Frazier songs

Favorite 2018 album: Missed ‘em all!

Favorite 2018 TV or web series: Missed ‘em!

Favorite book you read in 2018: Educated by Tara Westover

Favorite online video of 2018: Triumph’s showdown with Ted Cruz

Favorite thing from the past that you finally got around to in 2018: I decided to check in on Cheers. I’d seen a lot of them before, when they were originally broadcast, but I wanted to see if they were as strong as they seemed at the time. I found out a couple things. First, that, though they weren’t large, there were evident peaks and troughs in the scripts, according to who wrote them. Sam Simon and Heide Perlman (Rhea’s sister), for instance, wrote excellent episodes. Second, that Nicholas Colasanto was an terrific actor, standing out even among a terrific cast. Third, that, yes, it was an unusually strong series—though the first season, which was naturally a little more experimental and ended on an emotional and unforgettable two-part episode, was probably my favorite. Finally, if you’re in the middle of Montana without strong wifi and you hook into your cellphone’s emergency wifi to watch Cheers on your laptop, 4 episodes will cost you $200 and make your wife really angry—which is a little like a Cheers plotline in itself.

Best thing you ate in 2018: A little pie with cheese filling and minted peas at a bar near the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle whose name I can’t find online

Best thing you drank in 2018: The Heaven’s Door bourbon generously supplied by the Writers Museum in Chicago

Best new place you visited in 2018: Tromso Norway

Best bad decision you made in 2018: At my age, every bad decision is decidedly bad. So I don’t know. I spent a little money on a nice microphone I didn’t need (Telefunken M80), but it really wasn’t much money….a pathetic reply.

Favorite new trend of 2018: I just love when people are forced by twitter mobs to apologize for an opinion they had

Least favorite trend of 2018: The middle of my body making it harder for me to bend over

Top personal victory of 2018: Getting my last kid to move out of my house

Use an SAT word to describe 2018: Lastkiderrific!

What are you most looking forward to in 2019? More of the same—collaborating with people I admire. Brian Yorkey, the Cobb brothers, Jenny Scheinman, Matt Flinner, Duke Levine, Alex Hall, Linda Gail Lewis, Redd Volkaert, Brennen Leigh, and if I really tried to include everyone this list would go on 6 times that length. Watching Universal horror movies with my grandson. Maybe I’ll tackle an area or two in which my knowledge or skills are terribly deficient: auto mechanics, guns, meditation, marine agriculture.

2019 New Year Resolution and % chance of success: Learning to play the guitar better, and based on the chaotic trendline of the past, I don’t know how to calculate the odds.

 

Scott H. Biram

 
Favorite show you played in 2018: Sold out show at The Hollywood Palladium on St Patrick’s day on our tour with Flogging Molly was pretty fuckin’ epic! I think playing with Rev Horton Heat and Junior Brown at The Continental Club in Austin has to be my second favorite. Swapping songs with Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth at Winnipeg Folk Fest was pretty awesome. We were both like “I don’t know what I’m doing at a folk fest but here goes!” Haha. 
 
Favorite show you saw in 2018: This year’s been a blur but probably has to be either Paul McCartney at Austin City Limits Festival or Lucas Nelson at Antone’s in Austin. 
 
Favorite song of 2018: Honestly, I hardly listen to new music. I listen to roots/Americana radio stations and occasionally hear something I like, but nothing is really standing out in my mind from this year. Feel kinda bad about that but eh...whatdyagonnado? 
 
Favorite 2018 album: See lame answer above!
 
Favorite 2018 TV or web series: Has to be Ozark on Netflix for sure. 
 
Favorite book you read in 2018: What’s reading? JK/NK I mostly read books on audio production, so pretty boring. Can’t read in the tour van or I’ll barf. 
 
Favorite online video of 2018:


 

Favorite thing from the past that you finally got around to in 2018: I finally bought a Sprinter for tour! I’m a stuck up Mercedes Benz owner now! Totally entitled! Get outta my way! 
 
Best thing you ate in 2018: I smoked some pretty kickass briskets this year. Had a great steak in Winnipeg. 
 
Best thing you drank in 2018: Everything! I drank it all! 
 
Best new place you visited in 2018: I’ve already been everywhere man! Seriously I didn’t really get to go anywhere new this year. It was the first time in 12 years I didn’t make it to Europe. New album, new crazy tours coming up in 2019! 
 
Best bad decision you made in 2018: We took that Flogging Molly tour in the middle of 2 already booked tours. It turned our 3 week tour into 3 months straight. Purchasing this Sprinter has also been a big love/hate decision. We’re glad to be traveling more comfortably but man those payments are just stupid! We need this van to travel more comfortably around the country to make money to pay for this van to travel more comfortably around the country to make money to pay for this van to travel more comfortably around the country....you get the idea. 
 
Favorite new trend of 2018: Ass cheeks 
 
Least favorite trend of 2018: People seeking out things to be offended by. 
 
Top personal victory of 2018:  Playing awesome shows for giant crowds on that Flogging Molly tour. Especially here at home in Austin at sold out Stubb’s BBQ. 
 
Use an SAT word to describe 2018: Persevered
 
What are you most looking forward to in 2019? Hitting the road in this new Sprinter and releasing a kickass new album. 
 
2019 New Year Resolution and % chance of success: Drink more water: 90% Quit filling out surveys: 0%
 
 

William Elliott Whitmore

Favorite show you saw in 2018: The best performance I saw in 2018 was by a woman named Karen Meat. It was at a festival near Iowa City called Grey Area. Her newest album You're An Ugly Person is really worth a listen.
 
Favorite 2018 album: My favorite album of this year is Neko Case's Hell-On. She continues to be a badass.
 
Favorite 2018 TV or web series: There was a show called Forever that really stuck out to me. It stars comedy geniuses Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph.
 
Favorite book you read in 2018: The novel There, There by Tommy Orange was my favorite book of the year. I believe it's his first novel. Kudos.
 
Best thing you ate in 2018: My mother in law, Helen Grunewald, made a Thanksgiving dinner that was really delicious. Perfect bake on the turkey, along with brussel sprouts and carrots from her own garden. She makes pies with apples from her own trees! Best meal of the year, made with love.
 
Best thing you drank in 2018: There's a venue called Meow Wolf in Santa Fe that I played with Murder By Death. The best drink I had was there. It's a specialty margarita they call a "Meow-garita". Let's just say that cotton candy is an ingredient. It left an impression.
 
Least favorite trend of 2018: My least favorite trend of this year might also be my favorite. Those electronic scooters that you can access from your phone and then drunkenly ride on the sidewalk or street at one o'clock in the morning. Anyone can do it, it's great! The reader can decide if I'm being sarcastic or genuine.
 
Use an SAT word to describe 2018: I would use two words to describe this year; "disconcerting," but also "propitious."
 
What are you most looking forward to in 2019? The thing I'm most looking forward to in 2019 is gardening season. I think I'll try more heirloom varieties this go around.
 
2019 New Year Resolution and % chance of success: My new year's resolution is to get back to Santa Fe for one of those Meow-garitas. It's worth the hangover. 72% chance of this happening.
 
Be well everyone, let's all do our best and we might make it through this crazy world.

 

Ruby Boots

Favorite show you played in 2018: First Avenue in Minneapolis opening for Low Cut Connie. Wicked crowd! Purple Rain. 

Favorite show you saw in 2018: Unknown Mortal Orchestra in Dallas

Favorite song of 2018: "Star City" by Olympia 

Favorite 2018 album: Can’t Wake Up by Shakey Graves 

Favorite 2018 TV or web series: An Innocent Man 

Favorite book you read in 2018: Just Kids by Patti Smith (finally) 

Favorite online video of 2018: Janelle Monáe "PYNK"

Favorite thing from the past that you finally got around to in 2018: Eating Haggis in Glasgow 

Best thing you ate in 2018: The eight Violet Crumbles I brought home to Nashvillle from Australia 

Best thing you drank in 2018: CBD Matcha Latte on Willie’s Ranch midway through the SXSW madness, that glorious mement is tattooed on my brain. 

Best new place you visited in 2018: I was never in one new place long enough to find out. 

Favorite new trend of 2018: I don't even know how to recognise what a trend is, seriously??? 

Least favorite trend of 2018: Again, what is a trend? Do I live under a rock? Or just hate the idea of a fucking trend? 

Top personal victory of 2018: This whole fucking year felt victorious tbh. 

Use an SAT word to describe 2018: contusion 

What are you most looking forward to in 2019? Going to the Caribbean  

2019 New Year Resolution and % chance of success: To work less. 0%  

 

Jon Langford

Favorite show you played in 2018: Great American Music Hall SF In July

Favorite show you saw in 2018: Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore with the Guilty Ones at Troubadour in Los Angeles in December

Favorite song of 2018: "Silverlake" by Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore with the Guilty Ones

Favorite 2018 album: Downey to Lubbock by Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore with the Guilty Ones

Favorite online video of 2018: Mock 9 "Work Out" [featuring Jon's kiddo Tommy!]

Favorite thing from the past that you finally got around to in 2018: Torchlit marching through Newport on the anniversary of the Chartist Riots in memory of the working men killed there in 1839

Best thing you ate in 2018: Parsnip Soup at the American Club in Sheboygan at Thanksgiving dinner

Best thing you drank in 2018: Oatmeal Chai latte at the Avondale Coffee Shop Chicago

Best new place you visited in 2018: Knuckleheads in Kansas City

Best bad decision you made in 2018: To stalk Dave Alvin

Favorite new trend of 2018: The tuck

Least favorite trend of 2018: Bigotry

Top personal victory of 2018: Forming a band with Tony Maimone and Steve Albini

What are you most looking forward to in 2019? Vengeance

2019 New Year Resolution and % chance of success: I will play some gigs. 100%

 

Jason Hawk Harris

Favorite show you played in 2018: The Troubadour, Los Angeles, CA. August 29th

Favorite show you saw in 2018: Perfume Genius at El Rey in Los Angeles

Favorite song of 2018: Too many to name a favorite

Favorite 2018 album: Stranger in the Alps by Phoebe Bridgers.  I’m a sucker for the sad stuff.

Favorite 2018 TV or web series: Patriot. Not the movie with Mel Gibson, the show on Amazon Prime. It’s like if Wes Anderson and Homeland had a baby.

Favorite book you read in 2018: Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie

Favorite thing from the past that you finally got around to in 2018: All of Judee Sill’s records

Best new place you visited in 2018: Alberta, Canada

Favorite new trend of 2018: Holding sex offenders responsible

Least favorite trend of 2018: Not holding sex offenders responsible

Use an SAT word to describe 2018: incendiary 

What are you most looking forward to in 2019? Releasing a record I’ve been working on for 2 years.

2019 New Year Resolution and % chance of success: To run a half marathon. I’m putting my odds at 100% because you gotta believe, man.

 

Vandoliers

Favorite show you played in 2018: Our first-ever Yard Dog party at SXSW is up there for sure, but it's probably our first annual Thanksgiving Eve show at our favorite hometown club, Three Links. We hadn't headlined our own club show in Dallas in over a year, and hadn't gotten to play Links in maybe two years. The place was packed with lots of familiar faces, shouting every word to every song—a feeling that never gets old.

Favorite show you saw in 2018: It's a three-way tie between Marty Stuart, Marty Stuart and Marty Stuart. Watching him is like going to school and church at the same time. Behind that would be The Nude Party's Americanafest set at Third Man—nonstop smiles all around; Low Cut Connie in Dallas, who performs like there are thousands of people at the venue even on empty Monday nights; and Sam Morrow, who we saw several times, always delivers.

Favorite song of 2018: The Nude Party's "Chevrolet Van" is a super relatable anthem for the poor touring musician, reminding us why we keep piling into the van night after night. And Sarah Shook's "New Ways to Fail" has a chorus that's undeniable. Cuss words are fun!

Favorite 2018 album: Sam Morrow's Concrete and Mud

Favorite 2018 TV or web series: Bert Kreischer's Secret Time special on Netflix. We've listened to all The Machine's specials many, many times.

Favorite book you read in 2018: The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories by Fat Mike—book on tape version, listened to in the van (twice) of course.

Favorite online video of 2018: Probably something from the Drunkpeopledoingthings account.

Favorite thing from the past that you finally got around to in 2018: Pickle Surprise.

Best thing you ate in 2018: We got to spend a lot of time in Memphis this year, and have never had a bad meal. Best of the best is Uncle Lou's fried chicken.

Best thing you drank in 2018: Can't remember if it was good or not, but a bar up in Illinois set a bunch of our shots on fire, which is always exciting.

Best new place you visited in 2018: Codfish Hollow. Not sure there's a cooler place to play in the whole country.

Best bad decision you made in 2018: Signing up to win $500 of free Taco Bell.

Least favorite trend of 2018: Drum machines in country music.

Top personal victory of 2018: Does signing to Bloodshot count?

What are you most looking forward to in 2019? Touring more than we ever have and, hopefully, getting over to Europe.

2019 New Year Resolution and % chance of success: Wake up early and finally start taking advantage of all the free hotel gyms and continental breakfasts. 6.66% chance. 

 

John Szymanski (Guitar/vocals, Jon Langford's Four Lost Souls)

Favorite show you played in 2018: Opening for Robert Plant at Millennium Park with Four Lost Souls in June
 
Favorite show you saw in 2018: Jeff Lynne's ELO at Allstate Arena, followed by the Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore shows
 
Favorite song of 2018: "Tonight I Think I'm Gonna Go Downtown" by Jimmie Dale Gilmore
 
Favorite 2018 album: Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore Downey To Lubbock
 
Favorite 2018 TV or web series: The Good Place, followed by Brooklyn 99
 
Favorite book you read in 2018: Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968 by Ryan Walsh
 
Favorite thing from the past that you finally got around to in 2018: Listening to the album 666 by Aphrodite's Child
 
Best new place you visited in 2018: toss up between Newport, Wales and Bergamo, Italy
 
Top personal victory of 2018: Played over 85 shows this year all across the USA, as well as in the UK and Italy.
 
Use an SAT word to describe 2018: Unprecedented
 
What are you most looking forward to in 2019? Seeing what new opportunities pop up—this year has filled with adventures, and I can only imagine it will continue.
 
2019 New Year Resolution and % chance of success: Visiting at least two new cities: 100%
 
 

Al Scorch

Favorite show you played in 2018: Tractor Tavern in Seattle back in May; great crowd, sound, and venue crew!! 
 
Favorite show you saw in 2018: Aux Tom at Postock, an all star team of Chicago musicians playing the most exuberant and joyful cover set ever
 
Favorite song of 2018: "Workout" by Chance the Rapper 
 
Favorite 2018 album: Three way tie for first, honestly: Parts by Ohmme, Years by Sarah Shook, and The Lamb by Lala Lala
 
Favorite 2018 TV or web series: Frontline teaming up with Pro Publica, always revealing, usually terrifying 
 
Favorite book you read in 2018: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
 
Favorite online video of 2018: Elderly Alderman by Chicagoist TV, lays out all you need to know about Chicago politics
 
 
Favorite thing from the past that you finally got around to in 2018: Nelson Algren's "Man with the Golden Arm"
 
Best thing you ate in 2018: finally ate the South Side Chicago sub shop classic "the Gym Shoe"
 
Best thing you drank in 2018: the non-alcoholic Hell Raiser Amber Ale from Well Being Brewing Co. in St. Louis
 
Best new place you visited in 2018: the Black Hills of South Dakota
 
Best bad decision you made in 2018: finally eating the South Side Chicago sub shop classic "the Gym Shoe"
 
Favorite new trend of 2018: more and more people riding bikes!
 
Least favorite trend of 2018:  Gentrification of the the entire fucking world
 
Top personal victory of 2018: quitting smoking, again
 
Use an SAT word to describe 2018:  recuperative
 
What are you most looking forward to in 2019? building and strengthening community
 
2019 New Year Resolution and % chance of success: I don't believe in New Year Resolutuions; change starts today or it doesn't happen at all.
 
 

Casey McDonough (Bass/vocals, The Flat Five)

Favorite show you played in 2018: NRBQ at the Chapel, San Francisco/ Chris'n'Heather's Country Calendar Show- FitzGerald's, Berwyn
 
Favorite show you saw in 2018: Smokey Robinson- Genesee Theater, Waukegan
 
Favorite book you read in 2018: The World In Six Songs by Daniel Levitin
 
Favorite thing from the past that you finally got around to in 2018: Traditional Christmas Carols by Pete Seger
 
Best thing you ate in 2018: Aurelio's Pizza
 
Best thing you drank in 2018: liquid chocolate
 
Favorite new trend of 2018: people seeming to care more
 
What are you most looking forward to in 2019?  More canoeing

 

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