We, uhm, bought some music in 2017. Somehow more than we realized, and definitely more than our last few years' totals. Does anyone else still buy albums besides the Dillows? It feels like the answer is no, especially over the course of the last few years... still money well spent. Our classic 2008 iPod is still functioning, though it occasionally gets in a fight with the van on long road trips and has to take a time out while it resets.
Pictured left to right: Thao & the Get Down Stay Down A Man Alive
The Lone Bellow Then Came the Morning
Sarah Jarosz Undercurrent
The Shins Heartworms
Aimee Mann Mental Illness
Nickel Creek A Dotted Line
John Mellencamp The Best I Could Do
Andrew Bird Are You Serious
Valerie June Pushin' Against a Stone
Chris Stapleton From a Room: Vol. I
Gregory Alan Isakov The Weatherman
Bob Dylan Blonde on Blonde
Old Crow Medicine Show 50 Years of Blonde on Blonde
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit The Nashville Sound
Metallica Hardwired...To Self-Destruct
Son Little New Magic
Kendrick Lamar Damn.
Thomas Rhett Tangled Up
Flo Rida My House
Rush A Farewell to Kings
Mandolin Orange Haste Make / Hard Hearted Stranger
Leon Bridges Coming Home
Foo Fighters Concrete and Gold
Charles Bradley Changes
The Cars Complete Greatest Hits
INXS The Best of INXS
Melba Liston Melba Liston and Her 'Bones
Imani Winds This Christmas
Big Head Todd and the Monsters New World Arisin'
Ned LeDoux Sagebrush
Taylor Swift Reputation
Chris Stapleton From a Room: Vol 2
Led Zeppelin Mothership
Jade Jackson Gilded
Trombone Shorty Parking Lot Symphony
+ I am the only person who listens to Thao & The Get Down Stay Down in the house and that's really a pity, because she is awesome. This is my third or fourth album of hers.
+ I am also a repeat customer of The Lone Bellow. They live in the part of my brain as Shovels & Rope. Highly recommend both.
+ Matt loves Sarah Jarosz and I'm working on it. I am inexplicably picky about female voices—I love what I love, I struggle with I don't love, and sometimes it takes me a while for like to happen. It drives Matt crazy. Heh.
+ Oh, the Shins.... they've been around long enough that they'll be one of the bands that makes us cry when our children are grown and gone. New Slang just makes me weepy just thinking about that little Maddie singing along. They'll always be welcome in our music library.
+ Aimee Mann: I try. I try. I just can't. [Matt shakes his fist at the sky]
+ A Dotted Line was a surprise win for the year. This is a great album.
+ There was some greatest-hits-buying on the downstairs computer this year... things that just popped up in the main music library. Overall, good choices—though I had nothing to do with them... I suppose every American ought to have a little John Mellencamp in their collection, INXS does in fact have some greatest hits from a very specific era in my life, and while we do have a lot of very old/used CDs of questionable quality when imported into iTunes, we will be happier people if we can access better sounding Led Zeppelin (anyone from a specific era in Akron, OH listening range will understand). $100 says I will never choose The Cars, though. [Matt shakes his fist at the sky]
+ Andrew Bird: I can't be sure, but probably a Grady Kirkpatrick-induced choice. Fiona Apple makes a surprise appearance! I like this one.
+ Valerie June is good, too. There are some songs I like better than others, but the ones I like definitely make up for the ones I don't like as much.
+ In the running for top five of the year: Chris Stapleton's From a Room, which was released in two separate volumes at different times this year. I LOVE CHRIS STAPLETON. It is a great sadness that he has not been in the CFD lineup these last couple of years. He is hands down my favorite country guy. (I have so few active country guys, so this doesn't seem like a fair honor, but gosh I just love his songs.)
+ Gregory Alan Isakov is a Matt find, and I think he and Andrew Bird would be friends.
+ So for Matt's birthday, you might remember that his gift was tickets to see Old Crow Medicine Show in Denver; we decided on the way down to listen to the original Blonde on Blonde but realized we only own it on imported CD most likely purchased at Looney T. Birds, and didn't have the iPod with us so we bought it on the fly and listened to it via phone. [whispered confession: we both like Old Crow Medicine's version better. SACRILEGE!]
+ Jason Isbell's new album is probably in the running for Matt's top three of year. He is great. I recently heard a song on The Colorado Sound that I madly Shazammed and discovered it was his wife, covering Madonna's Borderline. WOW.
+ Metallica: nope.
+ Son Little released what became one of the songs I will forever happily associate with Summer 2017 (Blue Magic) and while the rest of the album might need to grow on me. I haven't given up though.
+ So here's a funny little story: it seemed like every radio station programmed in our vehicles was playing Kendrick Lamar's Humble in July, which happened to be when we were driving back and forth and forth and back from every CFD activity we had on the calendar, and somehow Humble became known as The Truck Song. You haven't really lived until you've seen five Dillows in an official CFD truck singing "Yeah yeah" in unison. I'm not sure Kendrick Lamar would really know what to make of this visual. (We bought his album though, albeit the clean version, so there you go).
+ Thomas Rhett and Flo Rida are also summer albums. I have until my unofficial deadline for blogging missed stories—Chinese New Year, February 16—to tell you why.
+ Kaleo was a Colorado Sound-induced purchase. I don't exactly understand how a band from Iceland can pull off this sound, but whatever. It's one of my favorites of the year.
+ Rush: updating our cassette tape collection. Though our record player Christmas gift from Nana and Papa also provides us with a working tape player (!!)
+ Mandolin Orange is one of Matt's favorite bands. I like them, though haven't listened to this one much yet.
+ Leon Bridges' album is also in my top five of the year. There is a men's retro sound making its way back to the mainstream, and I like it. This is a really lovely collection of songs, and I have recommended it to many people this year.
+ I may never recover from missing the Foo Fighters IN CASPER on December 10. This is the second time I've missed out on the Foo Fighters; the first time was when Gracie was a tiny little baby and Matt went to see them and Weezer without me and I might still be pouting. Even though I encouraged him. Related: in the category of things Matt will never understand is my love for the Foo Fighters and my general disdain of Nirvana.
+ Charles Bradley died this year 😕 He has made an appearance or two on this blog over the years.
+ Say what you will, everyone in this house knows I love me some Macklemore. Even if they aren't all allowed to listen to full albums yet. Top five.
+ Gracie was reading one of her biographies of famous women books and came across Melba Liston and insisted I buy an album RIGHT THIS MINUTE. She rarely does that, so I did. We are now Melba Liston fans!
+ When Maddie went to Fame Jr High in Montgomery, Imani Winds came to hang out and play at their school. I was thinking about them this year and discovered they have a Christmas album, which I purchased to save for Christmas music season. It is so good! I love good instrumental Christmas music. THERE ARE A LOT OF NOTES THIS YEAR. HOW DID WE MANAGE TO ACQUIRE SO MUCH MUSIC.
+ Big Head Todd and the Monsters have been a Matt & Elizabeth favorite since early college days. This album is a return to everything we first loved about them.
+ [Whispering: Matt was trying to improve our Wyoming cred when purchasing some Ned LeDoux but we struggle. And lose any iota of LeDoux cred in a state that values father or son LeDoux cred more than just about anything. SIGH. Sorry, Wyoming.]
+ Beck! You're awesome and we all love you. So much that we bought your album twice: once from iTunes, once to be part of our new small modern record collection of three*, because someone in this house cannot be subject to only Hall and Oates and Quiet Riot albums on the new record player for eternity. Ahem.
+ Bridget wasn't sure about this new Taylor that killed the old Taylor... but she seems to have come to terms with the whole business now.
+ Jade Jackson is a new find of Matt's, and I like her too. If you close your eyes and didn't know who was singing, you might mistake her for Lucinda Williams a little.
+ And finally... Trombone Shorty. I was wrong about Gracie becoming a Trombone Shorty fan in Louisiana—this blog records the first known reference to Trombone Shorty fandom as when we lived in Cheyenne the second time, before we moved to Louisiana.
So there you have it. 2017 wasn't the easiest year but the music was good, and that makes up for a lot.
*other albums in our new small record collection: 1989 by Taylor Swift and Lazaretto by Jack White.