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Almost Mainstream: Songs from 2017

Posted on 1 January 2018

Another year, another mixtape. As I wrote earlier today, I spent less time in 2017 worrying about being a completist and simply spending time with the music I wanted to listen to. This means there are a lot of albums and songs that I’m sure are very good that I simply didn’t here, which is why I’ve dropped any pretence of this being a “best of” list.

Instead what we’ve got are 65 songs that found their way to me in some form or another and made enough of an impression to stick. Some are favourite artists who released new material I liked. Some are new bands I discovered live, or listening to college radio stations, or flipping through Spotify. Some are simply big blockbuster songs that made up the soundtrack to good days I had.

This is still stripped down– the original longlist was around 200 tracks, so this does represent a curated view. I have, as always, followed the Said the Gramophone rules for year-end lists which is that these are songs I heard for the first time in 2017, and no artist is to appear more than once (the exception being DJ Khaled because I didn’t actually realize until after I was done this that both “Wild Thoughts” and “I’m The One” were from his album– I had attributed them to Rhianna and Justin Bieber, respectively. Since he is a producer, I think it’s fair?)

Anyways, these are the songs. If you are interested, my favourite albums of 2017 were:

Memorable concerts included seeing Carly Rae Jepsen perform with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra; finally seeing Arcade Fire, who lived up to the hype; a tribute show to Prince George singer-songwriter Raghu Lokanathan; and discovering the powerhouse that is Kitty and the Rooster when they performed at the Prince George Legion.

Other great local/regional acts who I saw once or more were Twin Peaks, Black Spruce Bog, Amy Blanding, Britt Meierhofer/Nathan Kelly/Crones, Frontal Lobotomy, Naomi Kavka, and Kym Gouchie.

I also saw Weezer, who were the first band to perform precisely as they sound on record with little to detract or enhance, Bob Dylan, who was played jazz standards and sounded nothing like on record, and Vanilla Ice, who was the strangest show I’ve seen in my life.

Anyways, here is my mix this year. It is 65 songs that come out to about an hour each, which means they could fit onto a single CDR or cassette tape if this were olden times. As it is you can stream the whole thing below, or find the playlist sans a few tracks on Spotify. I’ve denoted local/regional artists that you might not otherwise hear about with a †.

Previous year-end mixes: 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

Side A

Side B

Side C

Side D

Filed under: music

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