2019: A Year in Review

Last year, I took a look back at some of the things that I accomplished throughout 2018. It was a simple writing, but something which really provided some fantastic perspective.

Oftentimes, it can be all too easy to lose track of the little victories which we accumulate in pursuit of our broader goals. But for me, acknowledging these smaller steps has led to an ever-growing appreciation for the bigger picture.

And so with that, here are a few of the highlights from my 2019 year.


January & February

I kicked the year off by sharpening my meme-making skills.ย ๐Ÿ˜‚


As with the last couple years, January brought me what’s become an annual picture with my friend Arlan Hamilton — the work she’s doing with her team at Backstage Capital is something I love supporting here in Atlanta. Her talk this year was no less compelling.

Adam & Arlan 2019


I was super excited to have my friend Emily Best here in Atlanta to discuss the work she’s doing at her company Seed&Spark, and the opportunities for the Atlanta film scene.


“Three sibs” picture with our brother before he went abroad to Germany for six months!


Two of my best friends in the world formally asked me to be their best man. I could not be more thrilled and am so excited to be there to support Luke and Danielle when they get married. It seems I’ll have to go rent a tux! ๐Ÿคต

Best man pic


I had an awesome time recording my first podcast as a guest on Tyler Wagner’s show, “The Business Blast Podcast”. We talked about music, startups & tech, my time as a music journalist, and how learning to build relationships has been key to all of it. ๐ŸŽ™๏ธ

๐Ÿ‘‰ย Listen to the episode here! ๐Ÿ‘ˆ



I did an interview with Omni Calculator for their #HuntedHunters series discussing music-tech, startups, and the importance of cultivating relationships.

๐Ÿ‘‰ย Read the full interview here! ๐Ÿ‘ˆ


Sometimes the most interesting opportunities come to you from the most serendipitous of sources. ๐Ÿ™ƒ

April & May

I got retweeted by Dee Snider, the legendary lead singer of Twisted Sister! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ


And getting retweeted by Atlanta Magazine was kinda cool too.


I was floored (and truly humbled!) to be name-dropped by Jessi Hempel during her interview with Recode. Formerly of BackChannel, Business Insider, Fortune, and Wired, and now the editor-at-large at LinkedIn, I’ve followed Jessi’s writing for a few years now, and it was some of the first material I gravitated towards upon my entrance into startups & tech. Sometimes in this business (as with everything in life, I suppose), you wonder if you’re making any sort of impact or impression. It’s moments like this that underscore the answer: yes. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ


Go out and bring the very best value you can to people; all the rest takes care of itself.

Here’s the full transcript of the interview and here’s the podcast itself. I highly suggest listening to the whole thing (I’d also recommend listening around minute 23:01 ๐Ÿ˜‰).

I didn’t make it to the #PitchAtlanta event at the Atlanta Tech Village, but I did make it to the afterparty where I was introduced to the incomparable David Lightburn.

Here’s a snap of the great panel I hope to hear live next year!

pitch atlanta

The excitement continued as I became more politically active, meeting a number of rising stars. Some I took pictures with and some are people I’m quietly continuing to meet with. ๐Ÿ—ณ๏ธ

Get out there and get active!

Here I am with Georgia Senate candidate Jon Ossoff.


And here I am with Gwinett County Board of Ed Representative Everton Blair, Jr.


June & July

Went to a great 90s punk tribute show downtown with the bestie Abby (before her move to Ohio). This picture accurately captures our friendship. ๐Ÿ™Œ


I could not have been prouder of my parents — their win at the 11th Circuit (in a gender discrimination case) was cited at this year’s NELA Conference in New Orleans. Huge deal with far-reaching results. โš–๏ธ


I met Kwam Amissah around the holiday time last year through Ruben Harris. It’s been awesome to see his growth in the tech world and exciting to hear about his current projects — here we are at Flatiron Atlanta!

(Picture taken by the incomparable Tammy Carson, whom I also met this year!) ๐Ÿ“ธ

Kwam flatiron

I always love it when Career Karma CEO Ruben Harris is in town and I’m able to come out to support him. He’s doing awesome things in tech and I’m super humbled to count him as a friend & ally. ๐Ÿš€

I’m also continuously thrilled by the serendipity of tech — it was at this event, heading out to support Ruben, that I had the immense pleasure of meeting Charles Pridgen, a huge asset to the Atlanta tech scene. ๐Ÿ‘

Ruben Harris. gathering spot

Then it was time for a break for a little while. Wheels up for a couple weeks in Europe traveling with my mom — one of my best friends in the world. โœˆ๏ธ


And here’s the post-flight exhaustion in the Frankfurt airport.

post flight

First stop (same day!) — historic Mainz, Germany. The medieval history nerd in me was all kinds of happy. ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช



Next day — first full day in Germany, we went to Heidelberg. ๐Ÿ˜Ž


We took in some amazing Jewish history in Worms. Here’s Mom going into a synagogue that is hundreds of years old.


Hopping over to France, we experienced Colmar, a town in Alsace known as “Little Venice.” ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท


We saw the Chรขteau du Haut-Kล“nigsbourg in France. The medieval history nerd in me continued to geek out. ๐Ÿฐ


I saw a hedgehog at our Airbnb and my life was complete.


We stopped in Basel, Switzerland to see the synagogue. It was closed, but the architecture is amazing. ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ


Stopped by the Jewish Museum of Switzerland in Basel before leaving the city.


Next day brought Lauterbrunnen — it’s cold in the Alps even in the summer.

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We climbed the Schilthorn (ok, it was a cable car, but it was still 9744 feet up!). ๐Ÿš 


Jungfrau is known as the “Top of Europe” (11,333 feet). It also means snow in the summertime. ๐Ÿ—ป


Driving back north to Germany, we decided on a couple side-stops…

Like Vaduz, Liechtenstein! I feel like Fulton County in Atlanta is bigger than this whole country. (But it’s an awesome country!). ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฎ


And dinner in Bregenz, Austria. ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น

This is my Mom, the badass master scuba-diver, Columbia-trained attorney licensed in three states, mature as can be…


I wasn’t leaving Germany this time without seeing Augsburg. The historian in me demanded it.


We went to see the synagogue here. Truly one of the most gorgeous synagogue interiors I’ve ever seen. They didn’t allow pictures in the sanctuary, but I will be going back sometime in my life.

synagogue augs

Ulm, Germany was beautiful. We took time to see some of the most popular sights.

And some of the most nondescript — here is the Holocaust Memorial behind the newly rebuilt Ulm synagogue. โœก๏ธ


Before we did dinner in the town, we had to climb the Rothenburg city walls. Here’s Mom trying to distract me from taking a good picture because she thinks she’s funny. ๐Ÿ˜‚


While Josh finished his final exams, we took in the beautiful town of Bamberg.


And here’s the camera capturing my face just after she tells me a ridiculous joke. ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™‚๏ธ


Last day before our flight home with Josh in the morning. Some wine in Frankfurt to celebrate a wonderful trip.



Back from Europe, a week of rest, and then I so enjoyed finally having the chance to meet the phenomenal Lolita Taub in person. Gorgeous view of Baltimore in the background!


Then over to Washington, D.C. to visit Shaina for her birthday. She makes funny faces.


She also made me a special keychain — “one tiny fuck” as she called it.


We hit up the Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. to take a peek at work from David Best (who’s most well-known for his ephemeral wooden Temples at Burning Man). ๐Ÿ”ฅ

burning man

And yes, we are very mature…


I did an awesome interview with entrepreneur Rich Cardona which I’m excited to post in the new year! And had the immense pleasure of meeting Allen Gannett before heading back to Atlanta.

I published this piece on three things you should be doing on LinkedIn (or you’re missing out!).

And then dropped my second podcast recording as Mario Porecca’s guest on his fantastic show the “Ten Minute Mindset.” We talked about humor, humility, creating value, how to define a mission, and how to build relationships with people who might otherwise seem unreachable. ๐ŸŽ™๏ธ

๐Ÿ‘‰ย Listen to Part One of the episode here! ๐Ÿ‘ˆ

10min mindset

๐Ÿ‘‰Listen to Part Two of the episode here! ๐Ÿ‘ˆ


Made it out to Atlanta Blockchain Week to hear about some of the great blockchain and crypto stuff happening in Atlanta tech. โ›“๏ธ


I met Jon Ossoff again at his official Senate campaign kickoff event.


And I met the legendary civil rights icon and hero Congressman John Lewis as well!

70829662_10214424346498877_5835252906055434240_o (1)


You know it’s gonna be a good month when it starts with old college friends coming to visit — thanks Esther!


October was an absolute marathon of Atlanta tech! I started the month off by landing access to the first-ever OTT Fest! The sheer number of talented film, tech, and media speakers over the multi-day event was incredible. ๐Ÿ“ฝ๏ธ


I finally met OTT Fest founder (and newly-minted Thea CEO!) Kate Atwood in person.

kate atwood

I won a Roku…from tweeting about the amazing panels… ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿคฃ


Over the same day during lunch, I raced up to Google Atlanta in Midtown and was able to see my friend Antoine Woods speak at their Founders RoadMap event.


So I was able to add to my “Google guest” pass collection (I’ve now crossed off Atlanta, Seattle, and San Francisco ha).


I was super excited to serendipitously hear Stefanie Jewett speak too, and finally meet her in person as well. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ


I was able to attend the TechStars Atlanta demo day and hear some awesome new companies pitch! ๐Ÿš€


I kept up the pace by heading out to Atlanta’s Startup Battlefield.


I was excited to record my third podcast episode as a guest with Luke Williams on his show, the “Grab a Cloud” podcast. The episode drops early in 2020! ๐ŸŽ™๏ธ

And my fourth show as a guest, on Emily Velilla’s show, also releasing in the new year. ๐ŸŽ™๏ธ

Then I capped off October’s tech marathon by going down to my first Atlanta Startup Village event (thanks to Aly Merritt for the invite!).


Actually that’s a lie; October’s tech marathon wasย really capped off with an awesome care-package from my friends over at Shrug Capital (thanks Nick and Niv!). ๐Ÿ“ฆ



Could November begin any better thanย another amazing care-package from the incomparable Nikki DeMerรฉ, who has become one of my closest friends and allies?

I don’t think so. ๐Ÿค—


I was super excited to represent my alma mater Brandeis University at the college fair this year. Once a Bradeisian, always a Brandeisian. ๐Ÿ˜Ž


Back up to D.C. to spend Thanksgiving with Shaina. Can’t believe I’ve now known her for ten years. But she works for a tour company and told me some of the cool things about D.C. as we walked around. ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ


And I introduced her to herย first Philz Coffee! โ˜•๏ธ


A day in Fredrick, Maryland with Shaina and Kate, two of my closest friends in the whole world. It was cold haha. And Kate’s son is adorable, even if he’s not interested in the picture. โค๏ธ


Met up in D.C. with my other college friend Victoria — and I was rocking my Liechtenstein shirt.


And I started planning a short webinar with my friend Elaine Jacques — we’ll see about getting it out the door in the new year. ๐Ÿ˜‰


With multiple birthdays and anniversaries, December is family time.


Met this wonderful girl a couple months back — here we are at Garden Lights at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Chelsea made funny faces in some pictures… ๐Ÿ˜‚


And we saw Hanson! The 90s kid in me was happy. ๐ŸŽธ



December is also friends and siblings time.


Mom couldn’t resist taking one last funny picture of me for the year. โœก๏ธ


And of course I had to finish the year by posting my new list of “100 Independent Albums and EP’s” that people probably missed in 2019. Gotta keep the ties to the music world strong. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐ŸŽธ

Reflecting on 2019

This was a marathon year for me. I feel as if the seeds that I sometimes serendipitously planted years ago in tech and music really began to yield amazing relationships and opportunities in 2019. And I don’t see it stopping anytime soon. I can see myself continuing to write about music, tech, relationships, mental health, business, and diversity, and so much of my inspiration is drawn from dialogues I had this year.

No plan ever survives the battlefield, and 2019 was certainly no exception to that rule. But I’ve grown as a person and as an entrepreneur, and intend to keep that trajectory moving at full force as we move into the next decade.

Bring on 2020! ๐Ÿš€

(And remember to look for the orange sunglasses. ๐Ÿ˜Ž ๐Ÿ˜‰)






100 Awesome Independent Album and EP Releases You Probably Missed in 2019

Welcome to the FIFTH annual list of independent albums and EP’s that probably slipped under your radar this year. I’ve been in the music industry for over a decade at this point (I know right?!) and it continues to floor me just how much talent is out there.

Yet here we are again, with even more incredible music for you to sink your teeth into. One of the truest things that keeps me creating these lists year after year is the excitement I derive from the serendipitous discovery of these wide swaths of creativity. Sometimes the best artistry emerges from the best-kept secrets.ย  ๐Ÿค˜๐ŸŽธ

Since 2015, I’ve given you lists of 100 independent albums and EPโ€™s you probably missed during the year. Here they are:

And so, here is the 2019 list in all its glory. I’m equally excited for the new crop of artists here as well as for those returning again. A healthy helping of the content on this year’s list is from artists I’ve known for years and who continue to crank out new material. It’s all balanced by an influx of new content from new artists whom I’ll certainly be keeping tabs on into the new year.

As with all previous lists, these 100 albums and EPโ€™s come from artists all over the world. This yearโ€™s list includes artists from: Canada, Greece, Germany, Spain, Austria, Hungary, France, almost ALL of Scandinavia (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland!), Australia, Estonia, Argentina, Mexico, the Philippines, New Zeland, Indonesia, Switzerland, Italy, Russia, Bulgaria, the U.K., Poland, and 21 different U.S. states. The independent world is massive.

It’s always interesting to see what each year brings in terms of style and genre, and this year’s list seems to heavily feature classic garage punk, pop-punk, shoegaze, alternative, metal, folk rock, and hard rock material.

With all that out of the way, here are 100 of the independent albums and EPโ€™s that you probably missed in 2019. All were released during the 2019 calendar year.

As always, albums are in no particular order.

Remember, if you dig this and want to see more, follow me on Twitter @adammarx13 and let’s talk music, tech, and startups!

Come take a peek under the radar at the material you probably missed this yearโ€”live in my music world for a little while. ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐Ÿ‘


1. What Happened To Us? (Vol. 1) โ€” The Head โ€” Atlanta, Georgia, USA

What Happened to Us

2. Breathe In Colours โ€” Forever Still โ€” Copenhagen, Denmark

Breathe in Colours

3. Ghost โ€” Bloody Diamonds โ€” Toronto, Ontario, Canada


4. I’m The Reaper โ€” The Beautiful Monument โ€” Melbourne, Australia

I'm The Reaper

5. Gone Off the Earth โ€” Felic โ€” Helsinki, Finland

Gone Off the Earth

6. Far Canal โ€” Fox Ache โ€” Brisbane, Australia

Far Canal

7. Ephemeral โ€” We Are The Catalyst โ€” Gothenburg, Sweden


8. Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones on Audiotree Live โ€” Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin Stones โ€” Los Angeles, California, USA

Hannah Wicklund Live

9. ย Retrospective | Reactive โ€” Have No Clue โ€” Esztergom, Hungary

Retrospective, Reactive

10. Mourning Vibes II โ€” DownStater โ€” Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

Mourning Vibes II

11. When Daughters & Sons Revolt โ€” Past Tense Of Never โ€” Graham, North Carolina, USA

When Daughters

12. Show Me Your Teeth โ€” Beth Blade and the Beautiful Disasters โ€” Cardiff, Wales, UK

Show Me Yourth Teeth

13. The Extinction of Unicorns โ€” The Dead Love โ€” Sydney, Australia

The Extinction of Unicorns

14. The Wood Room Sessions โ€” Just Like Honey โ€” New York, New York, USA

The Wood Room Sessions

15. Useless Hands โ€” Rival Town โ€” St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Useless Hands

16. Not So Bold โ€” Dance Contraption โ€” Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Not So Bold

17. Main Street Revival โ€” Main Street Revival โ€” Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Main Street Revival

18. Crowned In Frost โ€” Frozen Crown โ€” Milan, Italy

Crowned In Frost

19. Come What May โ€” Oh See Demons โ€” Bergen, Norway

Come What May

20. How Your Life’s Played Out โ€” Montgomery โ€” Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Howw Your Life's

21. Alone in the Dark โ€” In Good Nature โ€” Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Alone in the Dark

22. Brand New World โ€” Desert Queen โ€” Tartu, Estonia

Brand New World

23. Asleep in the Deep End โ€” Andross โ€” Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Asleep In The Deep End

24. It Was Beautiful โ€” Fawner โ€” Bristol, England, UK

It Was Beautiful

25. Traya โ€” Set Fire โ€” Boston, Massachusetts, USA


26. Notti di Follia โ€” Out For Summer โ€” Moderna, Italy

Notti di Follia

27. Slice โ€” Spo โ€” Salt Lake City, Utah, USA


28. Feeding The Void โ€” Hysteria โ€” Dresden, Germany

Feeding the Void

29. Here & Now (EP) โ€” Dangerfield โ€” Brisbane, Australia

Here and Now EP

30. Celebration โ€” CityState โ€” Holyoke, Massachusetts, USA


31. Dream Living โ€” Lost Mind โ€” Torrelodones, Spain

Dream Living

32. So It Began โ€” Silvernite โ€” Greece

So It Began

33. Bridges We Build | Bridges We Burn โ€” Teresa Banks โ€” Helsinki, Finland

Bridges We Build, Bridges We Burn

34. Serenity โ€” Saint Raven โ€” Salt Lake City, Utah, USA


35. Two Sides โ€” Dirty Rugs โ€” Seattle, Washington, USA

Two Sides

36. ATERA โ€” Zea Mays โ€” Bilbao, Spain


37. LP1 โ€” Clouds & Satellites โ€” Savannah, Georgia, USA


38. Three on Three EP โ€” Jack Droppers & the Best Intentions โ€” Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Three on Three EP

39. CRAFTING EP โ€” CRAFTING โ€” Wilmington, Delaware, USA

Crafting EP

40. The World Conspires โ€” Birdeatsbaby โ€” Brighton, England, UK

The World Conspires

41. Transcend โ€” Hello, Mountain โ€” Denver, Colorado, USA


42. Spiral Down โ€” Blue Velvet Drapes โ€” Los Angeles, California, USA

Spiral Down

43. Redeemer โ€” Red Handed Denial โ€” Toronto, Ontario, Canada


44. Maladjusted โ€” My Secret Haven โ€” Warsaw, Poland


45. Glitter Trails โ€” Glitter Trails โ€” Los Angeles, California, USA

Glitter Trails

46. Memorias โ€” Carla Monterrubio โ€” Mexico City, Mexico


47. The Toll โ€” DUSK โ€” Vienna, Austria

The Toll

48. Manic EP โ€” Lie to Life โ€” Detroit, Michigan, USA

Manic EP

49. Genetic Nobodies โ€” Genetic Nobodies โ€” Los Angeles, California, USA

Genetic Nobodies

50. Skull Flower โ€” John Tessier โ€” Paris, France

Skull Flower

51. Unbreakable โ€” Keep Flying โ€” New Jersey, USA


52. Scream In My Dream โ€” Strangers In The Attic โ€” Zurich, Switzerland

Scream in My Dream

53. Stories in Time โ€” Time Jugglers โ€” Sofia, Bulgaria

Stories in Time

54. A New Dawn โ€” AltHero โ€” Santa Cruz De Tenerife, Spain

A New Dawn

55. On A Flow โ€” Breitenbach โ€” Frankfurt, Germany

On a Flow

56. L’hameรงon โ€” ATHECIO โ€” Lyon, France


57. Dusky Wing โ€” Dusky Wing โ€” Los Angeles, California, USA

Dusky Wing

58. PALIMONY EP โ€” PALIMONY โ€” Gainesville, Florida, USA

Palimony EP

59. On Fences โ€” Between Bodies โ€” Berlin, Germany

On Fences

60. Dormancy โ€” Playing Pretend โ€” Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA


61. Woodland Rites โ€” Green Lung โ€” London, England, UK

Woodland Rites

62. Peachy Keen EP โ€” Golden Cinema โ€” Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Peachy Keen EP

63. Thunderjoy โ€” West Valley Shakers โ€” Sheridan, Oregon, USA


64. Queen of the Pill โ€” The Jackets โ€” Bern, Switzerland

Queen of the Pill

65. After Dark โ€” Pale Lips โ€” Montreal, Quebec, Canada

After Dark

66. Erebus โ€” Returned To The Earth โ€” Nuneaton, England, UK


67. Schizophrenia โ€” Altersight โ€” Saint Petersburg, Russia


68. IV โ€” OMAHA โ€” Toronto, Ontario, Canada


69. Egress โ€” TopLady ย โ€” Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA


70. Blind by Midnight โ€” Dino Bravo โ€” Burlington, Vermont, USA

Blind by Midnight

71. Cool Evil โ€” Glued โ€” St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Cool Evil

72. Stressor โ€” Wine Lips โ€” Toronto, Ontario, Canada


73. Here It Is โ€” Fragile Canyons โ€” Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Here It Is

74. Feels Like Forever โ€” Pretty Bird โ€” Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Feels Like Forever

75. Larmes Confettis โ€” Cosmophone โ€” Trois-Riviรจres, Quebec, Canada

Larmes confettis

76. UNO โ€” Black Betty โ€” Villa Maria, Argentina


77. The Ghostwriter โ€” The Ghostwriter โ€” Detroit, Michigan, USA

The Ghostwriter

78. Pen Name โ€” Pen Name โ€” Canterbury, England, UK

Pen Name

79. Hoping, Not Hopeful โ€” Low Vault โ€” Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Hoping, Not Hopeful

80. Planet Hunter โ€” Planet Hunter โ€” Wellington, New Zealand

Planet Hunter

81. Butterfly Distortion โ€” Dive to Blue โ€” Buenos Aires, Argentina

Butterfly Distortion

82. Take Her My Life โ€” Castle Black โ€” Brooklyn, New York, USA

Take Her My Life

83. Starburst – EP โ€” Truett & The Traitors โ€” Springfield, Missouri, USA

Starburts EP

84. Go โ€” MoND โ€” Bandung, Indonesia


85. A War Within โ€” Enmy โ€” Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

A War Within

86. The Devil You Know โ€” The Coathangers โ€” Atlanta, Georgia, USA

The Devil You Know

87. Manic Mood โ€” Easy Jane โ€” Beirut, Lebanon

Manic Mood

88. Demonstration โ€” Floral Canyon โ€” Phoenix, Arizona, USA


89. Exhale โ€” The Sleep Department โ€” Brooklyn, New York, USA


90. ep โ€” Soft Topics โ€” Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA


91. SPLASH – EP โ€” Service Delay โ€” Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Splash EP

92. Welcome to the Block โ€” Stonewall BLVD โ€” Denver, Colorado, USA

Welcome to the Block

93. The New Joys E.P. โ€” The New Joys โ€” Brooklyn, New York, USA

The New Joys EP

94. Superfuzz โ€” Superfuzz โ€” A Coruรฑa, Spain


95. Overnight โ€” Insomnia โ€” Milan, Italy


96. EP 2019 โ€” Dischord โ€” Aix En Provence, France

EP 2019

97. Young & Dumb โ€” All In Due Time โ€” New York, New York, USA

Young and Dumb

98. Indeed EP โ€” Indeed โ€” Budapest, Hungary

Indeed ep

99. Mural โ€” Mural โ€” Cebu, The Philippines


100. No Missed Calls, No New Messages โ€” The Ragetones โ€” Pueblo, Colorado, USA

No Missed Calls


If you enjoyed this list please share and give these artists some love!