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Looking Back on 2017: Music
Looking Back 2017 Music

Featuring selections by Jem Cohen, Keith Connolly, Britton Powell, Alan Courtis, Byron Westbrook, and more.

Stephin Merritt by Franklin Bruno
Stephin Merritt Bomb 01

The prolific New York lyricist digs into songcraft on the occasion of his new autobiographical album, 50 Song Memoir.

Peaches by Zachary Small
Peaches Bomb 1

“I grew up having to sing along to very patriarchal, male, straight viewpoints—lyrics that had nothing to do with me.”

Bingham Bryant & Kyle Molzan by Nicholas Elliott
Bryant Molzan Bomb 1

“It was meant to kink your head.”

Cold Beat by Gary Canino
Cold Beat Bomb 1

“A big part of music for me has always been advocacy, and about having a space where people who feel marginalized by society can do things together.”

Blank Realm by Gary Canino
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Drummer and vocalist Daniel Spencer on Brisbane, studio recording, and motorsports.

Peacers by Meg Remy
Peacers 1

Meg Remy of US Girls talks to the former Sic Alp about anger, publicity, lyrics, and Roald Dahl.

The Go-Betweens by Gary Canino
Go Betweens 1

Songwriter Robert Forster on his group’s nearly flawless decade.

Ralph Lemon’s Scaffold Room by Jenn Joy
Bomb130 Ralphlemon

A love letter composed from a scaffold. Isn’t this the way we live now?

David Kilgour & Robert Scott by Clinton Krute
The Clean

The Clean, The Heavy Eights, The Bats, and smoking hash with Alex Chilton.

Skygreen Leopards by Andrew Aylward
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Short, sweet, and sad (but funny).

Taylor Mac by Katherine Cooper
Taylor Mac 02

On being an outsider, the nature of authenticity, and the depths of pop-culture.

Julia Holter by Ben Vida
Julia Holter

Amy Sillman, Steve Roden & Stephen Vitellio, Ben Rivers, Julia Holter, My Barbarian, Paulo Bruscky, Rodrigo Rey Rosa, Goncalo M. Tavares, Florian Hecker, Simon Lee, Charles North, Juan Villoro, Susan Friedland …

John Maus by Leah Loscutoff
John Maus

John Maus—musician, philosopher, gentleman—speaks about Ariel Pink, Alain Badiou and the application of pop-music strategies to radical politics.

Mixtape: Eleanor Friedberger by Zack Friedman
Eleanor Friedberger 1

Fiery Furnace Eleanor Friedberger has a lovely solo album that’s pretty much ultimate aestival. She talks to BOMB about feeling lost in your own city, sibling rivalry, and sentimentality.

Stephin Merritt by Zachary Block
Strange Powers 4 Body

Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields are the subjects of Kerthy Fix and Gail O’Hara’s upcoming documentary, Strange Powers. He speaks here on hyperacusis, self-imposed constraints, licensing, pastiche and other clichés.

New Orleans Funk, New Orleans: The Original Sound of Funk, Volume 2: The Second Line Strut by Ben Lasman
268105831 01292015 Ben Lasman Bomb 105

It’s an iffy conceit, packaging a glut of obscure tunes from the same period and place, and then inventing a genre to cohere them. 

Macy Gray’s On How Life Is by Rone Shavers
​Macy Gray

Singer Macy Gray’s smoky, scratchy, full-bodied voice is paradoxical. Let it be said that she can belt it like Aretha, growl it like Tina, and is as unmistakable as Dinah, Eartha, or Nina in her range, tone, and delivery.

Toe 2000 by David Krasnow
Toe 2000

Textural music tends to be rhythmically, shall we say, challenged. You know, slow. Toe 2000 fronts texture and sound color over melodic development, but drummer David Pavkovic isn’t shy to kick a song along, either. 

Peter Guralnick’s Careless Love by Jim Lewis

Last Train to Memphis, the 500-page first volume of Peter Guralnick’s enormous biography of Elvis Presley, ends with the singer waving goodbye to his fans as he leaves for military service.

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