The notion that we should make this list based on what will get a lot of social media traction was posed yesterday… then quickly dismissed with a swift and firm rebuke. As is tradition, this list has nothing to do with social media count. Rather, this is an amalgamation of the twenty bands out of two hundred and fifty or so filmed in 2018, that for one reason or another, stood out from the rest. There’s no formula to it, we just go by feel, and these are the ones we feel were unique enough to be called the Top 20 Headiest of the Year. If you disagree with the assessment we invite you to construct a Jam Van of your own, film 250 bands in a year and create your own list. Just don’t call it anything close to Jam in the Van or do anything that infringes on our Trademarks, cause we will Cease and Desist on that ass quicker than you can say “Keep it Heady folks.” Now y’all have a great New Years, we’ll see you right back here on January 2nd when we rev up the engine and start working on next year’s list… Keep it Heady, ya dig?
#20 – Igor & The Red Elvises
You know we’re suckers for a good outfit and Russia is in this year, BIGLY!
#19 – Cosmonauts
They did the whole damn thing, all three songs in one take, and it was a damn good take.
#18 – Shannon & The Clams
A lot of heads stood outside The Van in the desert to watch this session, and they moved (er… swayed?) quite a bit for hipsters dancing in the desert, so we appreciated that, and we deemed it list worthy.
#17 – AmirSaysNothing
Shout out to his friend Alan… and it’s fuck Trump forever!
#16 – Balto
Annual wild card pick that y’all should familiarize your damn selves with. This should mean something to them! They should be honored! They should be humbled.
#15 – Ezra Furman
We have a dude who works at Jam in the Van named Jack. Generally we don’t like to appease him at all, but he really likes Ezra Furman, and so, by default, I think we’ve appeased him here.
#14 – Mt. Eddy
This band ain’t a band no more, so what we have here is like a rare ass baseball card, and we are giving it to you for free… y’all are really, really blessed.
#13 – The Artisanals
Charleston has produced a lot of Jam Van heaters over the years. I’d say that city definitely has the best percentage of local bands making the Top 20 than any other town.
#12 – William Elliott Whitmore
We love animals, William Elliot Whitmore loves animals. This time his love of animals extended to our dogs, and he put every damn one of them inside the van for his session, and not a single one of them performed well. Not even for like a few seconds. He’s still making the list even if the mutts let us down.
#11 – Howlin’ Rain
You just missed the top ten, but 11 is luckier, howl about that.
#10 – Erika Wennerstrom
Damn girl, damn.
#9 – Tower of Power
They got soul, and they’re super-bad… and they all fit in The Van.
#8 – Tall Heights
This was just very pleasant and sometimes I’m in the mood for something that is pleasant, and that’s what this was, and so I thank Tall Heights for that.
#7 – Earthless
This is good if you’re on acid or off acid. It’s good either way. So that’s saying something, and we know, cause we know.
#6 – Vista Kicks
We fudged up and made them do their session again, and you know what, they did it. So if they’re famous someday, we’ll be like “we fudged up their session and made them do it again, and they did it!”
#5 – HER
This here is that French soul shit that you didn’t even know about until we put you on that tip! Our address is 11601 W. Pico Blvd in Los Angeles, California, in case you’re looking to send us a thank you card, or some flowers, or some weed, or some other cool shit.
#4 – Mt. Joy
You can go ahead and say you done heard it here first.
#3 – WAR
Somebody on the YouTubes was like “it’s not even all the original members,” and I was like “shut up, this is straight fire.”
#2 – Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles
Respect that cool man, respect the cool…
#1 – The Marcus King Band
Y’all already know what it is, we stay keepin’ it heady, see you in 2019.