Best Of 2018

Best Local NPR Boost

Local "Tiny Desk" concerts at WMFE

The Tiny Desk concert series – recorded live on the desk of "All Songs Considered" host Bob Boilen – has become not just an NPR staple but a national music scene tradition. The annual open-call Tiny Desk contest has become a buzzing derby among aspiring musicians across the land, one that landed Orlando garage-soul act the Sh-Booms an NPR feature last year. To help out area talent, the city's local NPR member station, 90.7 WMFE, offered up its own desks to local acts to come in and record their video entries for the national competition. That's what we call hometown spirit.

Best of Orlando: Music and Nightlife: The best in local bars, clubs, bands, DJs and more

Best of Orlando: Music and Nightlife
Best Bar

1. Will's Pub, willspub.org

2. The Guesthouse

3. Mathers Social Gathering, mathersorlando.com

Best Bar Patio

1. World of Beer Lake Eola, worldofbeer.com

2. The Hammered Lamb, thehammeredlamb.com

3. Eden Bar, enzian.org

Best Bar Rescue

The Copper Rocket

thecopperrocket.com

Ah, the Copper Rocket. The Maitland pub has gone through plenty of ups and downs with its different owners over the years, but the most recent owner, Selman Markovic, was really something special. And after the episode of Spike TV's Bar Rescue featuring the Rocket finally aired this spring – about a year after filming – everyone got to see exactly how special. As loudmouth host Jon Taffer pointed out several times throughout the episode, Markovic had problems taking responsibility for any of the problems at his bar, from poor service to health code violations to mistreatment of employees. To no one's surprise, the Copper Rocket was sold shortly after the filming of the episode, and since then, new owners AKT Enterprises have put a ton of work into rescuing the bar from Markovic's reputation.

Best Bar to Play Pool

1. Sportstown, sportstownbilliards.com

2. Trick Shots Billiards, trickshotsbilliards.com

3. Spatz, facebook.com/spatz1025

Best Bartender

1. Jen Harton, Lil Indies, facebook.com/lilindiesorlando

2. Rick Big, The Thirsty Topher, thethirstytopher.com

3. Lee Courtley, Independent Bar, independentbar.net

Best Club DJ

1. DJ BMF, mixcloud.com/djbmf

2. DJ Ponyboy, facebook.com/ponyboydj

3. Matt Roquentin Lamen

Best Club Night

1. '80s New Wave Night at Independent Bar, independentbar.net

2. Mac & Cheese, independentbar.net

3. Girl the Party, girltheparty.com

Best Country Act

1. Thomas Wynn and the Believers, thomaswynnandthebelievers.com

2. Whiskey Sharts, shartsville.com

3. Sean Holcomb, seanholcomb.com

Best Cover Band

1. Hayfire, hayfire.com

2. Nirvanna, facebook.com/nirvannatributeband

3. Skin Deep, skindeeprocks.com