NPR Music Staff Picks: The Best Of 2018
December 27, 2018 7:53 PM   Subscribe

We all process a year differently. That's why, as we wave goodbye to 2018, even though NPR Music has already published our collective lists of the best albums and songs of the year, we're sharing some favorites that are a little more personal.

Below, instead of aiming for consensus, we've collected picks from many individual members of NPR Music's team — over 100 albums, songs, concerts, books, breakfasts and more — that warmed, widened, haunted or lit up our own little corners of the world.
posted by hippybear (9 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
This list led me to discover this music video which is one of the best things I've ever seen.
posted by hippybear at 8:06 PM on December 27, 2018 [8 favorites]

Anyone care to join me in applauding this par from Andrew Flanagan's contribution?

My headphone jack
After a bike crash, I needed to buy a new mobile device. But to continue having the privilege of listening to music, I've also had to buy five dongles — a gross word that means "something annoying that comes between you and everything you care about" — over the past year, at a cost of $10 each. (The price alone feels exquisitely calibrated to leave you just shy of refusal.) Besides the fact that these dongles like to fail at laughably inopportune times — like at the beginning of a flight, for example — what they really underscore is the frustration we're inviting into our lives by ceding control of basic technological functions in the interest of progress. What's progress, if my Walkman worked better than my smartphone?

posted by Paul Slade at 12:56 AM on December 28, 2018 [31 favorites]

That #WaxAndEggs thing is the first time I've wanted to subscribe to a hashtag.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:00 AM on December 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

Worth it for the Noname video from Colbert alone - I'm an instant fan.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 5:58 AM on December 28, 2018 [2 favorites]

Anyone care to join me in applauding this par from Andrew Flanagan's contribution?

My headphone jack...

posted by Thorzdad at 8:20 AM on December 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

Hard not to throw in with this, if only to remind a generation of what should be its Battle Cry:

"This snowflake's an avalanche".
posted by BigBrooklyn at 10:08 AM on December 28, 2018 [2 favorites]

Thanks BigBrooklyn, glad you did.
posted by bigZLiLk at 3:25 PM on December 28, 2018

Walkmans sucked. You had to carry around massive amounts of physical media, the gatekeepers of media were more powerful, and the battery life was terrible. You want a walkman because your headphone jack sucks, spend $20 a get one. I dare you. It has a headphone jack.

People had said NPRs political takes were bad this year, but that doens't even compare to walkman curmudgeon-ness!
posted by The_Vegetables at 3:32 PM on December 28, 2018

You had to carry around massive amounts of physical media

I found 90 minute tapes held enough music that I only had to carry one or two with me when I left the house, and remembering to choose the ones I wanted to take was pretty easy. Battery life for my player was 4-5 hours, and the batteries were rechargeable.

Honestly, the headphone jack was often the weakest part of the Walkman thing. Because that's a point where pressure was regularly (accidentally) placed on a solder point. I had several players growing up, every one of which I learned to disassemble enough to repair the headphone jack's solder points. It was either that or "you have to push gently on the plug going into the device at exactly THIS angle to get it to maintain connection".

The era of the walkman was pretty glorious when living through it. Unexpected and liberating.
posted by hippybear at 9:28 AM on December 29, 2018

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