The Bright Side of 2016…

…aka the Good Things in between the bad things.

For some reason, the bad things made more noise  than the good in 2016. I guess that may be true for life, the bad seeming more prevalent than the good, but perhaps it’s because we took the good times, the good things for granted. When things are good, we don’t sit there thinking to ourselves, “man, this is great!” Otherwise we would spend almost  all day everyday consciously (sp?) saying that too ourselves.

But when shits fucked, we DO consciously say to ourselves, “man, this fucking blows.”

That’s why I put this together in one sitting. A lot of good things happened in 2016.

  • Flock of Dimes “Everything is Happening Today” from the excellent LP If You See Me, Say Yes.
  • Listening to Talking Heads on Fridays
  • The b-side of Local Natives Sunlight Youth. That’s tracks 7-12 for your digital only people out there.
  • Chicago’s own Whitney releasing an absolute stunner of a debut LP, Light Upon the Lake.
  • Ashley’s return to Movement 2016 and not having any fun.
  • Broken Social Scene at the Metro & Pitchfork, announcing a new album, and sounding more invigorated than ever.
  • Taking my buddy Mo to LCD Soundsystem at Metro Lollapalooza weekend and seeing his mind explode. Bonus points for LCD’s life affirming performance and buying two of their records the next day even though I have the CDs.
  • Booking the whole DJ Stage and some of the artists at Mamby. Tale of Us, Loco Dice, FKJ, Kaytranada, and more.
  • FKJ. Period. End of Story. Get on the FKJ train. He is a damn wizard. Check out this video to get an idea of his wizardry.
  • Highlight of my bookings at the MID: Tycho’s DJ set, Four Tet & Ben UFO all night, Loco Dice b2b The Martinez Brothers, Tale Of Us & Recondite, Richie Hawtin, Shiba San, Mark Farina’s 25 Anniversary party for Mushroom Jazz, Mark Farina b2b DJ Sneak, Jamie XX, Black Coffee, Jamie Jones + Lee Foss, and many more.
  • Tycho surprise releasing an album (Epoch) and teasing it through his set at Burning Man.
  • A Tribe Called Quest released new music and it was fucking awesome.
  • The amount of undeniable talent coming out of the Chicago music community, some of whom I’ve been lucky enough to work with
    • Jamila Woods
    • Monte Booker
    • Ravyn Lenae
    • Noname
    • Smino
    • Saba
    • Eryn Allen Kane
    • …and countless others.
  • Michael Serafini’s Resident Advisor mix. Easily the best mix of 2016. I listen to this thing at least once a week.
  • Stranger Things
  • Peter Gabriel’s cover of “Heroes.” Holy fuck.
  • Takenobu’s live album featuring an excellent Bowie medley.
  • Appreciating life, death, and art through David Bowie, Phife Dawg, and Prince.
  • Rediscovering Bowie & Arcade Fire performing “Wake Up” roughly 10 years ago. “If you don’t cry watching this, you are dead inside.”
  • Being thankful for seeing Prince in 2011 or 2012 with my Mom, and turning Ashley onto “Raspberry Beret”
  • The Oldies Playlist I made on Spotify to cheer me up after the results of the election.
  • Anderson.Paak delivering the album I knew he had in him, Malibu.
  • Starting a new, positive habit in “Morning Pages” every AM.
  • Discovering the power of a good shvits at Red Square on Division.
  • WTF w/ Marc Maron has some great guests in 2016. Maron’s take on the world gets me through each week
    • Dana Carvey, Michael Shannon, Roger Waters, David Crosby, Kamasi Washington, Kristen Wigg, Chuck Klosterman, Eric Andre, Neil Young, Louie Anderson, Sturgil Simpson, Ali Wong, Steve-O, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Louie CK, Ethan Hawke, Dweezil Zappa, Michael Moore, and David Spade.
  • Finally reading Waking Up by Sam Harris and having my mind blown.
  • Sam Harris’ podcast of the same name. He is one of the most important thinkers right now.
  • A couple episodes of Joe Rogan’s podcast really stood out to me this year. Although his show is not my favorite, I love the episodes when he has philosophers, scientists, etc on that he is really curious about.
  • Hallucinating for the first time in nearly 10 years with some of my best buds.
  • Kings of Convenience reissuing their first three albums on vinyl and hinting at new music for 2017. It’s been eight years since their last album!
  • Kaytranada returning to Chicago after a stellar album (99.9%) and selling out Concord.
  • Motion City Soundtrack’s 2.5 hour set at Metro for their final show.
  • Seeing Lucky Boys Confusion at House of Blues and Matt Pryor (Get Up Kids) + Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio) at Bottom lounge w/ Jessie.
  • Bear vs Shark reuniting to play some shows. Seeing them at SubT w/ my cousin Connor was fucking incredible.
  • Our Montana trip with Ashley and my folks. Seeing Anna, Tyson, Ian, Ali, the Fleeges, and everyone else was so fun.
  • James Taylor at Wrigley Field with my parents.
  • The idea of Sturgill Simpson and Chance the Rapper. Good music will prevail.
  • After the Gold Rush” by Neil Young.
  • Michael Moore not only correctly predicting the outcome of the election, but how it would happen. Not that the results of the election are worth celebrating (in my opinion), but not everyone should be paying attention to Mr. Moore
  • Dan Rather’s Facebook page.
  • Rediscovering Modest Mouse’s excellent EP Everywhere & His Nasty Parlor Tricks.
  • My second tattoo, and first with Ashley.
  • Heading to the Dirtybird Campout w/ Ashley and accidentally dancing until 7 AM.

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