What can I say about 2017 that hasn't been said already?
My main takeaway from this year was namely that the general toxicity of our political landscape sometimes made it hard to appreciate anything beautiful...but it also made the capacity to appreciate art and beauty feel so much more necessary. As a person whose job it is now to talk to artists and creators on pretty much a daily basis, I feel both grateful and honored that so many people—including so many of my friends—are continuing to put good energy out into the universe at a time when it's harder than ever to do so.
The books I managed to read in 2017 that I couldn't stop thinking about later on.
1 - The Destroyers - Christopher Bollen
2 - Her Body and Other Parties (short story collection) - Carmen Maria Machado
3 - Hunger - Roxane Gay
4 - Hit So Hard: A Memoir - Patty Schemel
5 - WHEREAS: Poems - Layli Long Soldier
6 - There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé (poems)- Morgan Parker
7 - The Raincoats' The Raincoats - Jenn Pelly
8 - Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction - Grady Hendrix
9 - Adventures of Form and Content (Essays) - Albert Goldbarth
10 - Why Poetry - Matthew Zapruder
The records that I listened to the most (according to my iTunes account) and that brought me the most pleasure over the past year.
1 - No Shape - Perfume Genius
2 - Slowdive - Slowdive
3 - Black Origami - Jlin
4 - Guppy - Charlie Bliss
5 - This Old Dog - Mac Demarco
6 - Antisocialites - Alvvays
7 - A Deeper Understanding - The War on Drugs
8 - World Eater - Blanck Mass
9 - Screen Memories - John Maus
10 - Rest - Charlotte Gainsbourg
The movies that I actually managed to see over the past year that either stayed with me or managed to scratch some deep childhood itch. (Apologies to all the great 2017 movies that I haven't seen yet)
1 - Twin Peaks: The Return (not technically a movie, but I don’t care)
2 - Call Me By Your Name
3 - BPM
4 - IT
5 - God’s Own Country
6 - Mother
7 - Whitney: Can I Be Me
8 - The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson
9 - Get Out
10 - Dawson City: Frozen Time
I somehow saw less live music in 2017 than normal, but here are the shows that knocked my socks off.
1 - Slowdive (Brooklyn Steel)
2 - Breeders (Bowery Ballroom)
3 - Cat Power (Webster Hall)
4 - Serpentwithfeet (Basilica Soundscape)
5 - Josh Fadem (REMAINS, Matthew Barney Studio)
6 - Tori Amos (Beacon Theater)
7 - Goldfrapp (Brooklyn Steel)
8 - Marilyn Manson (Hammerstein Ballroom)
9 - Grizzly Bear (Brooklyn Steel)
10 - Yo La Tengo (Bowery Ballroom)
I talked to so so so many incredible people in 2017 and it would be easy to just list them all, but here are the interviews that had the deepest impact on my own thinking and/or were simply the most fun.
1 - Beth Ditto
2 - Sufjan Stevens
3 - Michael McDonald
4 - Rickie Lee Jones
5 - Betty Buckley
6 - Derek DelGuardio
7 - Genesis P-Orridge
8 - Alice Cooper
9 - Gerald Busby
10 - John Maus
That's it for you 2017. I feel very blessed to continue to have a job that I love, a partner that supports me, and good friends spread out all over the world who bring me lots of joy, even when I don't see them all the time. My hope for 2018 is that we're all currently perched on some kind of enormous cultural pendulum, which is just now starting to swing back into a more positive, healthy, less politically soul-crushing 2018.