Tom Whalen Poop 2018

My proper top 10 just so happened to split neatly into five metal records and five non-metal records. I know this seems kind of precious but this is how it worked out, honestly. Overall top three highlighted in parenthesis.

I added five “discoveries”, non-2018 releases in thick rotation for me throughout the year. I’m calling this The Mike Watt List–one of Watt’s many sage chestnuts is “it’s new if it’s new to you”, and generally I jump at any chance to celebrate Watt, the definitive American punk.

2018 Metal
Deafheaven – Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
Horrendous – Idol
Immortal – Northern Chaos Gods
Mournful Congregation – The Incubus of Karma (*1)
Tribulation – Down Below

2018 Not Metal
John Coltrane – Both Directions At Once (*2)
The Dirty Nil – Master Volume
Pusha T – DAYTONA (*3)
The Sidekicks – Happiness Hours
Tomberlin – At Weddings

The Mike Watt List
Entombed – Left Hand Path (1990)
Joni Mitchell – The Hissing of Summer Lawns (1975)
Maggie & Terre Roach – Seductive Reasoning (1975)
Judee Sill – s/t (1971)
UADA – Devoid of Light (2016)

The movies list I’ll play straight. Splitting off genre films feels a little more loaded and condescending, not how I’m trying to roll. Why am I assuming that you give a shit about my process here? Anyway, top 3 again in parenthesis.

Oh, and let’s do another discoveries list, five noteworthy first-time watches from outside of 2018, once again called The Mike Watt List. I’m trying to make this a thing.

2018 Top 10

A Star Is Born
Cold War
The Favourite
First Reformed (*1)
Hereditary (*2)
The House That Jack Built (*3)
Isle of Dogs
Mission: Impossible – Fallout
You Were Never Really Here

The Mike Watt List
In Another Country (2002)
Pickup on South Street (1953)
Poetry (2010)
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)
Tales from the Quadead Zone (1987)

Another highlight for me this year was recording a podcast with my buddy where we discussed Twin Peaks: The Return episode by episode. We also just did an episode where we both talk at perhaps too great a length about our favorite movies of the year. Check it out at if that’s your thing.

Living inside the dream
TW, 1/2019