this isn't a "best of" list | 2017 |

i haven't done one of these in a while, which is a bit of a travesty. 2017 has been a superb year for music, + conveniently, life too. i got engaged, bought + renovated a home, spent more time with my closest friends that i have in almost 10 years, + joined a great team at work. all of this has kept me extremely busy with less time than usual to listen to music, but no complaints here.

so many of my old favorites put out new albums this year + several new artists came into my radar making this "best of" list one of the most difficult yet. let's start with the favorites though:

from an album standpoint, i would have to say slowdive. sometimes you come across music that feels like it was written just for you, and slowdive's first album in 10+ years did just that. it is so dreamy + i could not get enough.

this is always the tough one, but in terms of top song, i would have to go with "thinking of a place by" war on drugs. for those of you who don't know, nostalgia is my favorite feeling of all time + this songs just hits the nail on the head in that department. "everything hits at once" by spoon wins out for me for top live song this year. i hadn't heard it in years + was truly the highlight of a somewhat "meh" show. best show, by the way, was arcade fire at the metro.

in 2017 also continued my new + welcomed hobby of reading books about music. "meet me in the bathroom" by lizzy goodman was perfection. remember when i said i loved nostalgia? this book did just that. sadly, i wasn't in new york during the early 2000's, but i was in the suburbs of st. louis listening to heavy amounts of yeah yeah yeahs, interpol, kings of leon, etc. this book really rekindled my love for these bands.

lastly, in terms of new talent, i was very into japanese breakfast (also best song name) + kelly lee owens. then there's my favorite category for me -- the new to me artists. ariel pink wasn't totally unknown to me before this year, but got much closer to his full discography.

that was a lot. but there is more. here's the full list, in no particular order:

1. how do you sleep? || lcd soundsystem
2. road head || japanese breakfast
3. thinking of a place || the war on drugs
4. dam surfer || king krule
5. everything hits at once || spoon
6. anxi || kelly lee owens
7. shadow || chromatics
8. no i in threesome || interpol
9. slomo || slowdive
10. electric blue || arcade fire
11. nobody else will be there || the national
12. prom || sza
13. marilyn || mount kimbie
14. modafinil blues || matthew dear
15. baby || ariel pink
16. shine a light || shabazz palaces
17. noonside || yaeji
18. los ageless || st. vincent
19. dragon queen || yeah yeah yeahs
20. replica || the xx
21. the pilot || clap your hands say yeah
22. cutlass cruiser || tops
23. three rings || grizzly bear
24. andromeda || gorillaz
25. two thousand + seventeen || four tet

2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

you can also hear my full list of 2017 contender HERE


i was there || avalon emerson

show: avalon emerson

location: smart bar

date: 5.20.17

this show: i would not have attended had it not been for a friend's recommendation. i'm always game to check out new music at smart bar, especially when it involves bad ass women


i was there || phantogram

show: phantogram

location: riviera theater

date: 3.11.17

favorite song: i went for the oldies + "turning into stone" ended up being my favorite of the night

memorable moment:  i'm a sucker for the songs that josh takes lead on

biggest letdown: not the worst kind of letdown, but i'll probably give myself a phantogram break for a while. i've seen them live a bunch + at some point it gets to more of the same.

this show: i'm convinced of this every time i see them, but sarah + josh are the most adorable duo every. makes watching the two of them even more fun.


i was there || hamilton leithauser

show: hamilton leithauser with lucy dacus

location: lincoln hall

date: 2.15.17

favorite song: "in a black out," "sick as a dog," + "the morning stars" are the obvious go to's, but i really loved it all.

memorable moment: "the bride's dad" took on a whole new meaning after hearing the story behind the song. mr. leithauser was attending a wedding for a not so super close friend of his. during the reception the father's bride took the stage + started singing "wild mountain thyme" to hamilton's enjoyment + everyone else's horror. apparently the father was not invited + it made for a pretty awkward moment which he was able to so perfectly capture in his own song.

biggest letdown: hamilton leithauser is a very tall man. i'm not sure if it was the stage guys fault or the short little chick who made a pre-show announcement, but mid-way through the first song of the night, "1000 times," the mic collapsed interrupting the flow. not really a letdown for me, but just overall a situation that i think everyone would have preferred to avoid.

this show: will confidently be one of my favorites for the year. hearing the songs live + in a different light made me love the album even more + also helped me to revisit songs that i maybe didn't initially give a fair chance to. i feel like i had a dream that you were mine is going to be an album that i constantly have a new favorite song in rotation. which makes for a pretty great album.


i was there || badbadnotgood

show: badbadnotgood with mattson 2

location: lincoln hall

date: 1.15.17

favorite song: they made a pretty fun entrance to the stage with "tequila." you know, that song pee wee herman crushes at the biker bar? it sounds pretty good on the saxophone.

memorable moment: when the four band members took the stage in an assortment of wigs i knew the show was going to be a good time. i appreciate people who don't take themselves too seriously. i could learn a thing or two.

biggest letdown: i spent about 98% of the day in bed nursing a cold so wasn't totally energized going into the night. it was good to get out though, even if it was just for a couple of hours.

this show: would not have been on my radar if it wasn't for my friend snagging me an extra ticket. it was definitely jazzier than what i go for but i always like to branch out + listen to new things. they're probably not an "all the time" band for me but i'll for sure give them a listen from time to time.


hello, 2017

new year. new rules. i wasn't always an advocate of resolutions but when you can look back at the end of the year + realize that you are capable of crushing them (realistic resolutions, that is) it feels pretty damn good.

save for future dreams  
guys, this was huge. i had a five figure range of what i was hoping to save in 2016 and although i hit the lower end of that range it is something i have never really done before + i am SO proud of myself. i plan to keep this progress up in 2017, but i also plan to meet with a financial adviser + get a little more well-versed in personal finances altogether. i have said this a million times but it is honestly a travesty that young adults do not get better education here, myself included. going to do what i can now to give myself a pleasant future later.

read a book a month
i crushed this goal in 2016 with fifteen books read. i knew saving money would make me feel good, but i was surprised to find that continual reading made me feel extremely satisfied in a different kind of way. i read all sorts of genres + although most of the books i read were only so-so i always took away something or at the very least let my imagination run wild for a bit so i figured this would be a good one to continue with.

get out
2017 is shaping up to be a fantastic year for travel with trips already booked for palm springs, joshua tree, phoenix, austin + denver. i also have some early plans for spain, france, + costa rica later in the year. i also want to do a better job of getting out in chicago too. i did a pretty good job of visiting places i love like art museums, restaurants, + other places of interest in 2016, so i hope to keep that up this year as well.

advocate for the underdogs
over the past several years i have developed a strong interest in what has been happening in the middle east. the refugee crisis absolutely breaks my heart so i would like to find a way to contribute somehow. if you want to learn more on this situation i highly encourage you to watch frontline's recent special called "exodus." on a more personal level, i want to find a way to advocate for the introverts of the world (like me). recently i have thought a lot about what being more soft-spoken, introverted has meant for my career, relationships, etc. i love that i am me but at times you can feel like the grass would be greener. my conclusion, which i should have always known, is that there is a place in the workplace, home, WORLD for both extroverts + introverts. i want to find a way to make them more empowered...just not sure exactly how yet.

be kind to my body
what would a new year be without some irrational fitness goals?? i'm not going to set specific goals of working out 3x times per week or what-have-you because i know me + i know some weeks i will crush it + other weeks i will fail miserably. i do, however, think fitness is a good goal to remind yourself of at the start of a new year + i also know that i could probably motivate myself more than i currently am.

making things makes me happy. i am recognizing that creation doesn't necessarily have to be in the form of a grand thing, but that those little creations can be just as rewarding. creation in 2017 will most likely come in the form of writing (both personally + publicly) as well as making my home a home. in order to hit my said savings goal above i pumped the breaks on decorating. i think i'm in a position now where i can start to pick that back up again (!!!).

i was there || patti smith

show: patti smith performing horses

location: riviera theater

date: 12.30.16

favorite song: the whole horses album is pretty epic so it feels a bit unfair to pick a favorite. i think the best part was hearing the background to how some of these songs came about like "break it up" (a dream she had about jim morrison) or "elegie" (written after jimi hendrix died).

memorable moment: as i mentally scan through my list of concerts that i have attended i feel pretty confident that that patti smith might be the biggest personal hero that i have ever seen live. being the naive *thirty* year old that i am now, i never fully realized what a badass she was until reading her book just kids. that book was really life-changing for me. so much so that i'll probably read it once a year for the rest of my life. patti is my idea of a perfect role model so getting to see her perform such an iconic album was really something i will cherish forever. she killed it on stage too.

biggest letdown: call me a cliche, newer patti fan, but i was secretly hoping she might play "because the night"

this show: had a weird juxtaposition of making me feel very much alive while also reminding me that loss is a part of life. patti speaks in a way that makes you feel so empowered, like you can catalyst for change. other moments of the show were quite sad though. she reflected upon the loss of beloved partner + friend, sandy pearlman, the death of her husband, + other greats like jimi hendrix + janis joplin. what really touched me were the bittersweet words she shared about her mother. patti made a joke about repeating herself now that she is seventy years old. she remembered how whenever her mom would re-tell a story she'd always think "oh no. not this one again." that memory turned emotional for both patti + the crowd when she followed up saying that she would give anything to have her mom back telling those stories over + over again. it was really touching.