New York City's Hardest-Working Bands of 2018 - Oh My Rockness

Random Rockness

New York City's Hardest-Working Bands of 2018

December 10, 2018
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Here at Oh My Rockness (aka Your Fourth Favorite Local Indie Concert Music Blob) we hand-list lots of good shows for lots of good bands and we've been delivering the goods the same way daily since starting this labor of love and pain back in 2004 A.D.

In 2018 A.D., we listed 10,082 shows for the NYC area alone. Just the two of us!

Now That's What I Call Data Entry!

Anyway, as is our annual tradition, we borrowed a free online calculator, crunched the year-end show stats, crossed off all the comedians (we list comedy shows too but nevermind that now) and came up with the *25 bands* that had the most shows listed on Oh My Rockness (NYC) from January 1 through the end of the year. We're very happy to bring you the *results* below!

Please note: this feature is a celebration of bands and artists working hard in one very particular way (i.e. playing a lot of local shows that Oh My Rockness, your fourth favorite local music blob, lists) but of course there are lots of other ways that bands and artists work hard. Example A, touring can be real hard. But this feature doesn't talk about it. Doesn't even bring it up! Example #2, playing one super sick show a year that leaves everybody both delighted and breathless is hard, miraculous even, but this feature fails to make mention of those life-changing gigs. Final Example, writing and recording jams. That ____ is hard! Does this feature get into it at all? Nope.

So please take this numbered list (even though all these bands are #1) as it is, a good year-end feature on the World Wide Intra Blob celebrating solid bands that are out there hustling and showing heart and working hard.

*cool clarifications

- there are probably bands who have played more shows in NYC this year than those mentioned here but we didn't list them

- pretty possible the bands mentioned here played even more shows in NYC than what's indicated below but we didn't list them.

- two peeps can't list every show in NYC (we only listed 10,082 this year) but like these bands, we work hard and try to do a good blob, so please keep it easy

#1. Gustaf - 37 Shows Listed in 2018

Punk wins* the top slot!

Think chilly beats meets moody bass lines meets psych riffs meets ESG meets ART.

You'll be hearing from this band in 2019 A.D.

So help me blob.

*please note: this is not a competition!

Read more about them here.

Bands they played with: Bodega, Thick, Big Bliss, Public Practice

Most-played venues: Alphaville, The Glove, Baby's All Right

#2. Darkwing - 30 Shows Listed in 2018

Darkwing was the #3 Hardest-Working Band of 2017 A.D.

From Bronze to Silver!

*please note: there are no medals as this isn't a competition, it's a feature on the Internet

We said it last year. We'll say it again. If you like strong singable punk you should get into this band STAT.

They're real good live too. You heard it here second.

Read more about them here.

Bands they played with: Retail, Grim Streaker, Sic Tic, Fruit & Flowers

Most-played venues: The Gutter, Our Wicked Lady, Alphaville

#3. L'Rain - 29 Shows Listed in 2018

L'Rain is the sprawling sparkling pop project of Brooklyn's Taja Cheek.

Think pretty pastoral math-rockian synth soundscapes meets super smooth vocals meets, say, a positive celestial presence chilling on a cloud playing a saxophone.

Stream this excellent debut full-length album below when you're ready to make it L'Rain!

Read more about them here.

Bands they played with: U.S. Girls, Marissa Nadler, Vagabon, Mr. Twin Sister

Most-played venues: C'mon Everybody, (le) poisson rouge, Union Pool

#4. Anna Altman - 27 Shows Listed in 2018

If you like bendy indie rock sprinkled with mellow melodic sparkles (yes please!) you will definitely like this band, not person.

Blast Anna Altman's good album Freightliner (via Exploding in Sound Records) at your very earliest convenience.

Go see this band (not a person!) play early, often.

RIYL: Bedhead, Dianogah, Seam, Cat Power, Rodan, Polvo, Velocity Girl, Good Bands

Read more about them here.

Bands they played with: Oceanator, Human People, Calvin Johnson, Washer

Most-played venues: Trans-Pecos, Silent Barn, The Glove

#5. Future Punx - 25 Shows Listed in 2018

Future Punx was also on our Hardest-Working Bands of 2016 and Hardest-Working Bands of 2015 lists.

And they still sound ahead of their time.

Where their post space wave is going, they don't need roads.

Read more about them here.

Bands they played with: (Sandy) Alex G, The Goon Sax, Shannon Shaw, ESG

Most-played venues: Secret Project Robot, Berlin, The Bowery Electric

#6. Deli Girls - 25 Shows Listed in 2018

"OH MY GOD!"

(crank the Deli Girls JAM below for source of above quote and please don't forget to blast it)

RIYL: the punk rock / good shit

Read more about them here.

Bands they played with: Olivia Neutron-John, Dreamcrusher, Jelani Sei, Grooms

Most-played venues: The Glove, Secret Project Robot, Trans-Pecos

#7. Nihiloceros - 24 Shows Listed in 2018

Nil-aus-er-us make raucous punk pop with a heavy dose of grunge goodness.

For an elevated mood, go see 'em play and have fun!

Read more about them here.

Bands they played with: Lost Boy?, Sharkmuffin, Stuyedeyed, Darkwing

Most-played venues: The Footlight, Secret Loft, Hank's Saloon

#8. Sic Tic - 24 Shows Listed in 2018

Sic Tic was the #4 Hardest-Working Band on this list last year and #9 in 2016 A.D.

It takes sustained hustle to sound this chill.

Groove is in the ❤️.

Read more about them here.

Bands they played with: Gustaf, No Ice, Gingerlys, Caged Animals

Most-played venues: Alphaville, Brooklyn Bazaar, Saint Vitus

#9. The Rizzos - 24 Shows Listed in 2018

Fuzz rockers The Rizzos held down #18 on last year's list.

This year they're #9.

Therefore, using this perfectly precise formula, they should be #2 on next year's list.

How can we be so sure?

18 - 9 = 9 (their spot this year).

9 x 2 = 18 (their spot last year).

18 / 9 = 2 (their probable spot next year).

The math couldn't be any clearer.

Read more about them here.

Bands they played with: Bad Waitress, Weeping Icon, Maneka, Baked

Most-played venues: The Gutter, The Footlight, Our Wicked Lady

#10. Long Neck - 23 Shows Listed in 2018

Long Neck is a good band (come for the pop jingle, stay for the rock jangle) led by Lily Mastrodimos*.

They made a real good record (via Tiny Engines) and you should listen to it as soon as humanly possible please.

And then go see them play, of course!

*formerly of Jawbreaker Reunion ←-- a good band

Read more about them here.

Bands they played with: Adult Mom, Sammus, Fern Mayo, Ratboys

Most-played venues: Trans-Pecos, Alphaville, Baby's All Right

Rounding Out The Top 25:

#11. Thick (23 shows <---top slot in 2016!)

#12. Big Bliss (22 shows <--- top slot last year!)

#13. Jane Church (22 shows)

#14. ZZZwalk (22 shows)

#15. Desert Sharks (21 shows)

#16. Twiga (21 shows)

#17. Bodega (20 shows)

#18. Oceanator (20 shows)

#19. Dreamcrusher (19 shows)

#20. Joanna Sternberg (19 shows)

#21. Grim Streaker (19 shows)

#22. Human People (18 shows)

#23. Pill (18 shows <--- top slot in 2015!)

#24. Fern Mayo (18 shows)

#25. Leila Bordreuil (18 shows)

Who were the hardest-working bands of 2017? CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT >>

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