I grew more as a person this year than any other that I can remember. I also did more things with music and art this year than any other that I can remember. The walls between my world of music and my “real” world came down and now they permanently exist together. Here are some quick highlights before I get into my specific favorite albums and whatnot: I got a new wheelchair, I got a new van, I booked five shows with one of them being a festival, I released a compilation CD on my friends label, I released four DIY print zines, I got the opportunity to write for this rad dream of a website, I went to more shows than there are weeks in a year, I played my first show, and I made friends from both coasts. While I am proud of myself for all of that, I also recognize that none of it would be possible without the unrelenting support of my family and friends and the guidance of great music through it all. I’m lucky and tired and happy. Thank you.
Top 5 shows I attended:
This show was actually a surprise benefit for my family and me, so maybe I’m biased, but I don’t care. The intent was to raise money for a new wheelchair accessible van and it was a roaring success. It wasn’t the end of the fundraising, but it was a huge chunk of what we needed and the outpouring of love and support from all my friends gave me all the feelings. I felt a little hopeless before that night, but left beaming and I mostly haven’t stopped since.
Over the last couple years, I’ve been slowly indoctrinating my younger cousin, Jessie, into the world of pop-punk. To get to take him to this all ages ripper of a show was really special. We got to see my pal, Rick Johnson’s old band, Wack Trucks, reunite and play alongside other Bomb The Music Industry alumni’s newer projects. We fanboyed pretty hard.
I had my new van at this point and went with my friend Sam. The venue changed at the last minute and I went into a panic because the vast majority of house shows are entirely inaccessible. Luckily it was my friend Matt that booked it and he had me in mind when picking a venue. So I got in this place just fine. My first house show ever. I got passed the mic and got to sing what felt like multiple songs and James from The Penske File afterward dubbed me the “unofficial fourth member of The Penske File.” I cried a lot with Matt and Connor.
It’s 2017. I’m almost 28 and I still love New Found Glory. Bite my shiny metal butt. I’d never seen them before that night and got to check them off my bucket list. To experience them playing Sticks And Stones and Catalyst in full was everything I could’ve hoped for. And to have my brother Tanner, my cousin Troy, and his wife Stephanie by my side for it felt like life coming full circle in a way. My experience with the staff at this gig completely restored my faith in The Intersection and convinced me to lift my two-year boycott.
And finally, after 14 years of going to shows, I got to attend my first ever one out of my home town because I finally had the means to get there with my new van, Mabu, which I named after the PUP song. I went with my dear friends Jason and Riley. Honestly, for as wonderful as the show was, the drive itself was about as fun for me. Bonding, eating junk food, and singing emo songs with my buds two and a half hours from home was symbolic of the new happiness and freedom I found this year. That trip might sound like not a very big deal to some of you reading this, but that night was crucial and put a lot of things in perspective for me. I’ll never forget it.
Top 15 LPs:
2) Oliver Houston – Whatever Works – self-released
4) Boys Home – Wishbone – self-released
7) Daisys – Guest Room – self-released
11) City Mouse – Get Right – It’s Alive Records
12) Charles Rogers – High Concept – self-released
Top 5 EPs:
4) The Quirk – s/t – self-released
Top 5 songs I had to listen to twice in a row every dang time:
Top 5 new (to me) discoveries:
1) Desaparecidos (Omaha, NE)
2) Typesetter (Chicago, IL)
3) Carmel Liburdi (Detroit, MI)
4) Mannequin Pussy (Philadelphia, PA)
5) Mobina Galore (Winnipeg, MB, CAN)
Top 5 movies:
1) Get Out – dir. Jordan Peele
2) Logan – dir. James Mangold
3) Okja – dir. Bong Joon-ho
4) My Friend Dahmer – dir. Marc Meyers
5) It – dir. Andrés Muschietti
Top 3 zines:
1) Night Hag – Rayne Klar
2) 25 Swords Vol. 1 – stolenchapstick
3) Perfectly Disabled – Corissa Barro