With my final column of the year, I’ll be closing it out the same way many over-inundated music fans do: The retrospective, the “Best Of” list, has become expected. I might even reference it in a review throughout the year every now and then, when a record really strikes me. There is no rhyme or reason to the list. Not really, anyway. No compound equation to determine value or worth; no serious metric.
I keep a list – a running list of albums as they are released. This helps especially with those early-year releases, the albums out in January/February/March. Pretty certain Ty Segall, The Sadies, and Split Lip Rayfield all released their records early on in the year and I certainly gave each many, multiple, worthy listens. Being able to look back at old columns in the back issues of DGO helps. I had forgotten how much I listened to “Dada” by B Boys. Same with the Jay Som album. They were both killer albums that should certainly make the list, semi-forgotten until looking back at old articles.
I will also look at spin statistics from a couple sources to see what I kept listening to. Which albums did I return to over and over and over? This might be the single most important barometer of what constitutes, or at the very least what should be considered, an Album of the Year. So I check in with KDUR, (www.kdur.org) our local college and community radio station, to peruse my old playlists, as well as the playlists from my favorite DJs. This is exceptionally helpful. If I spun an album repeatedly, or my favorite, trusted DJs did, then it certainly deserves consideration. You can also look at spin stats within iTunes to help jog that memory.
So here they are, much to the chagrin of many, in no particular order. If you just need to know which is my absolute favorite album of 2017, the one that occupies the top spot, I guess that would be Downtown Boys, “Cost Of Living.” Ask me again in 10 minutes and the answer would’ve easily been different, and likely one of the following: Mac Demarco, “This Old Dog,” The Jesus and Mary Chain, “Damage and Joy,” The Cairo Gang, “Untouchable,” (Sandy) Alex G, “Rocket,” Jen Cloher, “Jen Cloher,” Slowdive, “Slowdive,” METZ, “Strange Peace, LCD Soundsystem, “american dream,” Protomarytr, “Relatives In Descent,” Old 97’s, “Graveyard Whistling,” The Rubs, “Impossible Dream,” Kane Strang, “Two Hearts And No Brain,” Acid Tongue, “Babies,” The Black Angels, “Death Song,” Beechwood, “Songs From The Land Of Nod,” or any of the artists listed earlier.
Goodbye, 2017. Here’s hoping for a marked improvement in 2018.
Jon E. LynchKDUR_PD@fortlewis.edu