Album of the Year: So, so many great albums this year. How great? LCD Soundsystem put out a stellar album this year. It doesn’t even crack my top 10. I could say the same about a lot of other great bands. For me the top spot comes down to two albums – The Secret Sisters’ You Don’t Own Me Anymore and Brand New’s Science Fiction. While Science Fiction is a perfect swan song for a band that I’ve loved and seen evolve quite a bit since college (it is easily their best album) The Secret Sisters finally captured the joy of their stellar live show on an album. This is their moment to shine. It’s a genre that won’t make them superstars, but it is the year’s best album nonetheless. FWIW the rest of my top 10 (in no particular order) is: The Orwells – Terrible Human Beings, Lorde – Melodrama, Dan Auerbach – Waiting on a Song, Waxahatchee – Out in the Storm, Downtown Boys – Cost of Living, Queens of the Stone Age – Villains, Bully – Losing, and Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile – Lotta Sea Lice.
Music Video of the Year: I loved Wavves’ clip for “Million Enemies”:
The Secret Sisters – “Little Again”
Queens of the Stone Age – “Head Like a Haunted House”
St. Vincent – “Young Lover”
Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile – “Over Everything”
Downtown Boys – “A Wall”
Dan Auerbach – “King of a One Horse Town”
Lorde – “Green Light”
Bleached – “Can You Deal?”
Arcade Fire – “Creature Comfort”
Priests – “JJ”
Cover of the Year: As if this JT song couldn’t be sexier, the XX elevate it:
Song That Got Played To Death But I Still Love: I loved the return of Kesha. Her album as a whole was overrated, but “Praying” is her best song yet.
Concert of the Year: Finally seeing LCD Soundsystem live was a dream come true. I have to give them the top spot. But the rest of my top five put up quite a fight: 2) Queens of the Stone Age at the Anthem, 3) Foo Fighters at the Anthem, 4) New Pornographers at 9:30 Club, 5) Roger Waters at Capitol One Arena.
Festival of the Year: I finally made it to SXSW this year. It was exhilarating, exhausting, and (most importantly) full of amazing artists.
Book of the Year: I finally read Dreamland and it was amazing, but that came out a few years ago. In typical fashion, Chuck Klosterman put out a book (X) and it was my favorite of the year. Honorable mention to John Pfaff’s Locked In.
Meme of the Year: It probably started last year, but I didn’t notice it until 2017. Trump Draws was my favorite thing on Twitter this year.
Sports Moment of the Year: Chelsea won the league again, but nothing compared to the joy of seeing Roger Federer win two majors in 2017. Especially satisfying was his stint at Wimbledon, which was dominating in the fashion that you have expected ten years ago, not today.
Celebrity Moment of the Year: I love a good Halloween costume, and it’s pretty hard to beat Gwyneth Paltrow’s costume this year.
Best TV of the Year: The Fatwa sex episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm was the single best episode of TV this year (and probably the best episode of anything since the last season of Curb). But the mini-series Big Little Lies was enthralling (I hadn’t read the book). Easily Reese Witherspoon’s best role to date and the rest of the cast was amazing as well. I’m annoyed that they are trying to do a season two (let good things be!) but we’ll always have the original.
Movie of the Year: I could not have enjoyed The Disaster Artist more. What a fitting tribute to the best worst movie ever made, The Room. James Franco probably won’t get an Oscar, but he deserves one.
2018 Pop Culture Moments That I’m Most Looking Forward To: I’d say the World Cup, but the USMNT screwed the pooch on that one. So sports wise I’m placing all of my hopes on an entertaining Winter Olympics, music wise I’m stoked for Lucy Dacus’ new album due out in March, and TV wise get ready for season two of Westworld!