2017 Musical Year in Review


I have a confession to make. This year I had tickets to eight shows which I didn’t end up attending. In most cases I knew ahead of time I wasn’t going to be able to make it, so I gave the tickets away – mostly to friends, occasionally to strangers on the musiclovers@ emailing list at work.

For the others, on one occasion we missed the bus to the venue, another I got caught back at work, but for two specific gigs I just couldn’t be arsed. The idea of getting off the couch and getting myself to the venue was beyond my capabilities at the time so I stayed home and felt guilty about it. My goal this year is to not be quite so capricious with ticket buying because it’s wasteful, other people may have missed out seeing the show while I sat at home, and that’s money that could have been spent on something else.

What I did manage, however, was to see 22 shows and a fucking incredible festival in Houston, which brings the total number of bands I saw this year up to 30. Without further ado, my top 5’s for 2017:


This was tough. Not because I had so many to choose between, but because I honestly didn’t listen to a lot of new albums this year. This is odd for me – please tell me it just wasn’t a great year for my kind of music, and not that I’m getting to that age where you stop listening to new music? I also think those daily mixes that Spotify serves up can keep me in an old music loop because they are just so good. Another resolution to add to the pile – listen to more new music.

  1. SZA – Control
  2. Kesha – Rainbow
  3. Spoon – Hot Thoughts
  4. Royal Blood – How Did We Get So Dark
  5. Arcade Fire – Everything Now


Well didn’t everything get poptastic in 2017?

  1. New Rules – Dua Lipa
  2. Passionfruit – Drake
  3. SW9 9SL – Four Tet
  4. Sorry, Not Sorry – Demi Lovato
  5. On Hold – The xx


  2. Royal Blood
  3. Radiohead
  4. Arcade Fire
  5. Beck

Honorable Mentions: Run the Jewels, DJ Shadow, Jens Lekman, Backstreet Boys, KC and the Sunshine Band, The Flaming Lips, Cake, Maceo Parker, Lizzo.

2013 Musical Year in Review

MS MR at the Metro Theatre
The world’s happiest front woman – the talented and adorable Lizzy Plapinger of MS MR at the Metro Theatre on July 26th, 2013.

2013 has been a tumultuous year. As a result, music has played an even larger role as therapist, empath, and companion over the last 12 months – which is a very big statement considering how integral it is in my life under normal circumstances. From walking through Hyde Park in floods of tears, to dancing exultantly in the middle of the field, there are certain songs and bands which have become very dear friends.

As such, my year in review is heavily swayed by personal factors, and based less on musical integrity than I’d usually prefer. There were moments when only pop music could provide the comfort, solace, and understanding I needed at the time (and most weren’t from 2013 so I don’t have to uncover the true horror *cough* Leona Lewis *cough*). I do not apologise for this. Music has value if it has meaning to you, even when you know it’s terrible.

Without further ado:


1. Disclosure – Settle

2. Arcade Fire – Reflektor

3. James Blake – Overgrown

4. MS MR – Secondhand Rapture

5. NIN – Hesitation Marks

Honorable mentions: Foals – Holy Fire, Kanye West – Yeezus, Daft Punk – Random Access Memories, Arctic Monkeys – AM, Fuck Buttons – Slow Focus, Flume – Flume, 


1. F For You – Disclosure

2. Retrograde – James Blake

3. Strong – London Grammar

4. Afterlife – Arcade Fire

5. All the Days – Haerts

Honorable Mentions: Is This How You Feel? – Preatures , Losing You – Solange, I Need More – Wolf + Cub, Baby I Am Nobody Now – Andy Bull, Wrecking Ball – Miley Cyrus,  Trouble – Taylor Swift, Without You – Dillon Francis,


1. MS MR – The Metro

2. Hot Chip – Enmore Theatre on THE HOTTEST DAY OF THE YEAR

3. Foals – Oxford Arts Factory

4. Brian Jonestown Massacre – Hi-Fi

5. Nicholas Jaar – Paradiso at Town Hall

Honorable Mentions: Cat Power – Newcastle Panthers, Wolf + Cub – Oxford Arts Factory, Bloc Party – Hordern Pavilion, Rave Cave – Darlinghurst Women’s Jail.

As always, numerous worthy musicians and tracks have been omitted. I’m sure there are a few that I’ve forgotten about completely, or blocked from memory in an act of self preservation. Regardless, this is my musical-emotional landscape from 2013. How does yours compare?