There always seems to be and endless array of “Best Of” lists with critics believing they have all the might to determine what is the best of anything. I try to be very frank and create a list at the end of each year of the cultural and artistic releases that really moved me. Records, books movies that stayed with me beyond the moment I was reading or watching or listening. So here are the things that I though were significant achievements artistically in 2017.
Colorado Band Release
The one CD that I continually turned to throughout the year was Great American Taxis’ Dr. Feelgood’s Traveling Medicine Show. The album really reminded me of The Band’s epic Music From Big Pink. The great song writing and superb musicianship add up to my favorite album released by a Colorado band in 2017.
Favorite Double Album Release
The Rhode Island band Deer Tick took a huge risk in an age where most band’s are releasing single songs. They took four years to write and produce a double CD release that contains solid song after solid song. Called Deer Tick Vol.1 and Vol 2, the two discs are separated by acoustic styled songs (Vol 1) and rocky numbers (Vol 2). I have a hard time deciding which I like better so they both win my favorite of the year.
When I was in 5th grade, I meet an older neighbor of mine who showed me perhaps the coolest thing ever. A newspaper dedicated to rock and roll music. I had recently purchased my first 45 – (The Who’s “I Can See For Miles”) and thought I was alone in the world of considering rock and roll as art. This rag he showed me called Rolling Stone changed my life. I was not alone. There were years where not a single word of the magazine went unread by me. I swallowed it whole. Now Joe Hagan finally completed Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine. It is indeed a tome (over 500 pages) but it is also revealing and vital addition to the history of rock and roll. A must read for any baby boomer.
Documentary That Moved Me
I watch a good number of Rocumentaries. I think they provide insight and fill in holes of rocker’s lives I may have missed. Also the inside story stuff, I always find fascinating. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth and magnitude of Joe Cocker: Mad Dog With A Soul. It brought his life and art full circle for me and even enlightened me on his time spent creatively in Colorado. All things a great doc should do. It was clearly my favorite new release of the year until Netflix acquired Long Time Running and starting streaming it just last week. The documentary was produced by Canadian Television and focuses on the final concert tour of The Tragically Hip. The band’s leader, Gordon Downie had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and went on a final tour of his home country before finally succumbing to the disease a few weeks ago. It’s moving tribute to a man considered to be the Tom Petty of Canada.