Best Of 2018

Hardcore music lovers can get territorial about their passion, and they’ll celebrate and stand up for the outlets they love through thick or thin — even more fervently than sports fans fight for their favorite team. There was widespread outrage when longtime radio station WNKU was sold to a religious broadcaster in a budget-slashing move by Northern Kentucky University (thank then-new governor Matt Bevin for that). But the anger turned to tears when the station, one of the few outlets for “Alternative” music on Greater Cincinnati’s airwaves, signed off in September after 33 years. The station regularly — and loudly — supported local original music-makers, so its loss was also deeply felt by the region’s musicians. Two months after the sign-off, the station’s Aaron Sharpe and Liz Felix were surprised with a special “Best Cincinnati Music Ambassador” award at CityBeat’s 2017 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards, a fitting salute in front a room full of artists who greatly appreciated having such dedicated, higher-profile supporters in their corner. 

Music & Nightlife
Illustration: David Wilson

2. Northside Yacht Club

3. The Video Archive

2. MOTR Pub

3. Queen City Exchange

2. Overlook Lodge

3. Dutch’s

2. Back Porch Saloon

3. Fox & Hound

2. Molly Malone’s Irish Pub & Restaurant

3. Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar

2. Knotty Pine Rock Club & Tiki Bar

3. The Crow’s Nest

2. Bogart’s

3. Southgate House Revival

2. Madison Theater

3. Woodward Theater

2. Arnold’s Bar and Grill

3. Below Zero Lounge