Drink to 2017: Our Opinions

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December 29th, 2017 by bsradmin

The great philosopher Dolly Parton once said "The world will end someday, but the end of the world and the end of time are two different things."

The end of both is inevitable, and they may or may not be simultaneous. While we may feel suffocated by the bad news of the day, it's important to highlight the art, music, literature, food, and other things that help us escape, cope, and march forward. Our fellow humans continue to create incredible things.

This world is a sinking ship, so take a sip...and watch these funny YouTube videos!

Thank you to Sarah Shook, Murder By Death, Robbie Fulks, The Flat Five, Jon Langford's Four Lost Souls, Banditos, Ruby Boots, Al Scorch, and the rest for their contributions.

Bloodshot Artist Picks

Jon Langford

Jon Langford

Favorite show you played in 2017: Mekons in Beograd in July - new territory and wild times
 
Favorite show you attended in 2017: Cheap Trick in Golden Gate Park this October at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Fest - ending up on stage for a mental version of "Surrender" definitely cemented my appreciation 
 
Favorite book you read in 2017: Moby Dick again
 
Favorite YouTube video of 2017: Anything by Five Times Crazy
 
Favorite thing from the past that you just got around to in 2017:  Playing the drums again
 
Best thing you ate in 2017: Every night on the Four Lost Souls tour. We are like royals, but I can't remember what any if it was, so I'll go with the breakfast sandwich at the Good Fork in Redhook scientifically designed by comfort food technician Sohui Kim.
 
Best thing you drank in 2017: Argus cherry cider on draft in Austin on the last night of the Four lost Souls tour - a moment of unanimity and stupification.
 
Least favorite trend of 2017: Populist Republicanism
 
Top personal victory of 2017: Celebrating my fortieth birthday for the 20th time and surviving the Mekonville Festival - the fest was fab but the planning was stressy 
 
What are you most looking forward to in 2018? Some sort of revolution (either in political cultural sphere or just a pint of Fist City on a Friday afternoon after work)
 
2018 New Year resolution and % chance of success: To strut magnificently from victory to victory in a shower of rose petals and bitcoins - 100%

via GIPHY

David Fountain (lap steel, mandolin, keys, horns, vocals, etc. Murder By Death)

David Fountain Murder by Death
 
Favorite show you played in 2017: I should preface this survey by saying I had a kid this year. My most memorable show was the first one after she was born. Was it a great show? No clue. Don’t remember where it was. But afterwards, I slept for 12 hours and it was amazing. 
 
Favorite show you attended in 2017: Any time I got to watch Tim Barry when we toured with him was pretty special. 
 
Favorite song of 2017: My friend Paul and I sang Extreme’s “More Than Words” for our friends’ first dance at their wedding. Congrats to Extreme for winning my “Favorite Song of 2017” award for this reason. 
 
Favorite 2017 music album: This year’s best release, as it is every year, was R.E.M.’s Murmur
 
Favorite 2017 movie:  Get Out was phenomenal. My wife and I are desperately looking for a babysitter so we can see The Last Jedi before Christmas. 
 
Favorite 2017 TV or web show: The new season of Twin Peaks. Specifically, episode 8. 
 
Favorite book you read in 2017: I read all of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series this year and loved it. Robert Charles Wilson’s Spin trilogy is some of the best sci-fi I’ve read in a long time. 
 
Favorite thing from the past that you just got around to in 2017: Parenting. 
 
Best thing you ate in 2017: Pizza at Lupo in Louisville, KY. Not trying to kiss up to my bosses, but yeah that’s some damn good pizza. [Editor's note: the restaurant is owned by Adam & Sarah of Murder By Death and opened this year to rave reviews.]
 
Best bad decision you made in 2017: Staying at my friends’ aforementioned wedding reception longer than I should’ve. It was basically our first time out of the house post-baby. I hit a point of diminishing returns and was ready to leave, but then A BADASS MARIACHI BAND SHOWED UP. I got a second wind, jumped on stage to mix them, and THE NIGHT WENT ON. 
 
 
Top personal victory of 2017: Guys, I don’t want to keep harping on this, but I had a kid this year. 
 
What was the best thing about 2017? See above. 
 
What was the worst thing about 2017? See above. Also the Super Bowl. 
 
Use an SAT word to describe 2017 (feel free to define it as you wish): Revelation. In two senses: 2017 was a year of brave people exposing powerful people as frauds, and a year that pretty much always felt apocalyptic. 
 
What are you most looking forward to in 2018? Writing and recording, and my daughter getting old enough to go elsewhere for part of the day. Oh, and playing at Red Rocks in May. That’s insane.   

Steve Pierce (Banjo/vocals, Banditos)

Steve Banditos
Favorite show you played in 2017: December 9th at Saturn in Birmingham with The Reputations and Red Harp 
 
Favorite show you attended in 2017: Vurro at Debaser in Stockholm
 
Favorite song of 2017:  Thundercat "Show You The Way"
 
Favorite 2017 music album: Twain Rare Feeling
 
Favorite 2017 movie: Jim and Andy was awesome 
 
Favorite 2017 TV or web show: Stranger Things 
 
Favorite YouTube video of 2017: I watched all 2 hours of a family build a house out of dirt... I’ll say it was informative, if nothing else. 
 
Favorite thing from the past that you just got around to in 2017:  Earthbound on SNES
 
Best thing you ate in 2017: Jamaican Way at Nashville Farmers Market - soy spicy Jerk, fried plantains, and collards 
 
Best thing you drank in 2017: Zombie Soda by ICA
 
Best bad decision you made in 2017: Traveling by Greyhound
 
What was the best thing about 2017? All the places we got to go to and another year of doing what we love to do!
 
What was the worst thing about 2017? Tom Petty :( 
 
Use an SAT word to describe 2017 (feel free to define it as you wish): Jaunty. I like to say that word and it went by fast, but not too fast.
 
What are you most looking forward to in 2018? Makin it big on MTV, duh!

Ruby Boots

Ruby Boots

Favorite show you played in 2017: Mojo's Homecoming Show in my lil home town of Perth, Western Australia
 
Favorite show you attended in 2017: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' 40th Anniversary in Michigan...HANDS DOWN NO COMPETITION!
 
Favorite song of 2017: Jen Cloher "Strong Woman" 
 
Favorite 2017 music album: Beck Colors
 
Favorite 2017 movie: Detroit, although it destroyed me. 
 
Favorite 2017 TV or web show: Stranger Things 2
 
Favorite book you read in 2017: Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
 
Favorite thing from the past that you just got around to in 2017: Going back to Amsterdam and losing time during the canals
 
Best thing you ate in 2017: Two servings of creme brulee in one sitting after a shitload of tapas in Barcelona this summer
 
Best thing you drank in 2017: Soda water with fresh lime
 
Best bad decision you made in 2017: Selling one of my favourite guitars
 
Top personal victory of 2017: Kicking cigarettes 
 
What was the best thing about 2017? Falling in love and the Same Sex Marriage Bill being passed in Australia, FINALLY.  
 
 
What was the worst thing about 2017? Tom Petty passing. 
 
Use an SAT word to describe 2017 (feel free to define it as you wish): Reverence. I use this word when I think of who I surrounded myself with this year and how I feel thinking about them. 
 
What are you most looking forward to in 2018? Putting my album out!

2018 New Year resolution and 50% chance of success: To have a place of my own, after five years of living out of a suitcase and an address in the cosmos somewhere. 

Robbie Fulks

Robbie Fulks Grammys

Favorite show you played in 2017: They have this cavern in Tennessee where they have nothing but bluegrass music month after month. People drag themselves 1/4 mile below the earth’s surface and sit on chairs in creepy blue lighting, directly under a chandelier that weighs several tons and is screwed semi-securely into a stalactite. I knew as soon as I saw the set-up that I was going to kill it. Darrell Scott, who played after me, played solo after solo that blew my mind. The fretboard felt gummy. The noodle salad was tremendous. 
 
Favorite show you attended in 2017: I don’t think I went to any concerts this year, so I’m gonna say Darrell’s set in the cavern.
 
Favorite song of 2017: Sammy Davis’s version of the theme from Chico and The Man really got under my skin for some reason. I know that sounds like a terribly ironic guy-from-1980 thing to say, but I really did listen to it over and over. It’s a little like Orson doing the frozen peas commercial — such skill and assurance brought to such a silly task.
 
Favorite 2017 music album: I don’t believe I bought anything that was released in 2017. Mark Erelli, who I met at a show in Houston, gave me a thing of his called Mixtape that is going to be released next year. I’m going to say, Mark Erelli’s Mixtape. Aren’t I ahead of the curve?!
 
Favorite 2017 movie: Other than Gilbert, which I of course enjoyed, the only 2017 film that remember seeing was Dunkirk, which was awful. I went to see Night of The Living Dead, which is one of my alltime favorites, with Justin Roberts, and seeing it through his eyes made it new-ish. Rest in peace, George Romero. (Do I get a favorite 2017 obituary?) Justin and I talked for a while about whether the casting of Duane Jones could really have been color-blind, since a historical U.S. racial strife seemed baked into the film both in terms of the overall story and the final lynch-mob-like scene. Speaking of race, I just remembered that I also saw Get Out. It didn’t win me over altogether, but Betty Gabriel’s scenes were unbelievable! Finally, my favorite movie experience of the year was cuddling up on the couch and watching Mario Bava’s Shock with my old lady.
 
Favorite 2017 TV or web show: As in years past, PBS Newshour is pretty much it for me as far as the TV. However, and it’s a massive “however,” the 8 episodes of Tales From the Tour Bus that came out on Cinemax this year are possibly the best thing that’s ever been on…TV, or computer, or whatever you call it these days.
 
Favorite book you read in 2017: Rudy Rucker compiled a lifetime’s worth of reflections on computer science and the nature of reality into a long book, called The Lifebox, The Seashell, and The Soul. It covers subjects as wide-ranging as God, beat poetry, cellular automata, free will, art vs commerce, brain chemistry, and Godel’s incompleteness theorem, and goes deep on most of them too. If you’re at all interested (as I am) in how you can ever square the subjective feeling of being able to decide and to reason with the fact that our neurons line up in accordance with an action as much as seven seconds before we consciously undertake it, you may want to consider what Rudy has to offer, even if you’re not good with algebraic equations and graphs (as I am not).
 
Favorite YouTube video of 2017: Take’s Bluegrass Channel on YouTube is an amazing resource. Is “waste” the word? I’ve wasted days.
 
Favorite thing from the past that you just got around to in 2017: Believe it or not, I had never seen Little Caesar. A little rough around the edges and hard-to-watch in places, but a great performance is for all time. Then there’s the great Mal Waldron record The Quest — a lifechanger for sure! Thanks to Rick at Rhino in Kingston NY for insisting on my buying it. 
 
Best thing you ate in 2017: Ima in Auckland. Yael Shochat, the owner, was very gracious with her time, walking me through the elementals of some of her knockout Israeli/Mediterranean dishes. I walked away with her cookbook (sadly not available in the US) and have been cooking from it since returning from my trip to New Zealand. 
 
Best thing you drank in 2017: I went on a memorable hike in Hawaii, down Waipio Road. It has an average gradient of 25% and is 37% at its worst — impossible for a lot of vehicles, and simply hard work for mortal legs. Before I undertook it I stopped at a roadside stand about 1/2 mile away and got a smoothie. I drank it alone on a patio under the blazing sun, looking down the cliffs at the water. It wasn’t the drink that tasted the best last year but it’s the one I remember most clearly.
 
Best bad decision you made in 2017: My brother and his wife had a son who was a dwarf earlier this year, and when we were visiting them I made an innocent joke, or I thought it was innocent. As my sister-in-law and wife and I were getting into the car together to go do some Thanksgiving cooking at a different house, I shouted back to others, “As the midget said — see you shortly!” This remark was greeted with a distinctly hostile silence and a pointedly horrified look from my wife. It could have ended there, but I decided to cover myself. “What? What?” I said. “Midget jokes aren’t allowed anymore?” and “Is the word midget somehow offensive?” and “Do you people suppose that a dwarf is the same as a midget?” and “Why are you all looking like that?” I continued trying to lighten the angry mood with off-color wordplays and racist jokes, all the while digging myself deeper into a pit of pariahdom, which I inhabit to this day.
 
Least favorite trend of 2017: This thing where there’s some sex gossip and the next day everyone hears it and you lose your job. With no disrespect to the victims of gross or criminal behavior, I think this trend is a little ominous.
 
Top personal victory of 2017: A boring answer, and not all that personal, but I have to say, two Grammy nominations. Follow-ups: a sideman credit on a Jenny Scheinman release, a writer on a (forthcoming) Missy Raines release, a live collaboration with Anat Cohen, and swimming a half-mile. (Not uninterruptedly though.) 
 
What was the best thing about 2017? I got to go a lot of interesting places, but Hawaii had always been at the top of my list. It lived up to its hype and then some — plus the show we did there, after a few days of solitude and swimming and gluttony, was well-populated and warmly received. And, of all things, a alumnus of my tiny North Carolina high school was at the show, just by random chance — crazy.
 
What was the worst thing about 2017? My parents and my youngest child died in a fire. Kidding! I can’t think of anything very bad. I have an easy life; I know a cult country singer isn’t supposed to say something like that, but it’s so. I have few and simple needs and they’re all daily satisfied, and as far as goals and aspirations, I’ve reached most of those as well. As a result things are pretty boring. It’s possible that seeing Dunkirk was the worst thing that happened to me all year.
 
Use an SAT word to describe 2017 (feel free to define it as you wish): The whole point of the SAT vocabulary section was that you could not define the words as you wished. 
 
 
What are you most looking forward to in 2018? We’re thinking of getting out of Wilmette, which would be nice. It’s been a good place to raise kids, and some of the people out here are well-mannered, but 12 years in the desert is too long!
 
2018 New Year resolution and % chance of success: Honestly I’d like to listen to music more in the coming years. I’ll have an empty nest by September and I like the thought of spending daily devotional time with headphones and all the Blue Note vinyl reissues that have been stacking up around here.
 

Sarah Shook (vocals/guitar, Sarah Shook & the Disarmers)

Sarah Shook
 
Favorite show you played in 2017:  Roots Roadhouse at The Echo, Los Angeles
 
Favorite show you attended in 2017: Nest Egg, Drag Sounds, Sunny Slopes at The Cave, Chapel Hill, NC
 
Favorite song of 2017: "Half Believin'" by the Black Angels
 
Favorite 2017 music album: Boy Harsher Lesser Man 
 
Favorite 2017 movie: meh
 
Favorite 2017 TV or web show: Attack On Titan, Season II
 
Favorite book you read in 2017: East Of Eden by John Steinbeck
 
Favorite YouTube video of 2017: Vines, Rip Vines, anything Vines
 
Favorite thing from the past that you just got around to in 2017: Santigold
 
Best thing you ate in 2017: Vegan chicken sandwich at Sundaze in Austin, TX
 
Best thing you drank in 2017: Whiskey
 
Best bad decision you made in 2017: Takin' a piss on the lawn of the Brentwood Police Department at 2 o'clock in the morning, VA
 
Least favorite trend of 2017: Taylor Swift
 
 
Top personal victory of 2017: Buying a 70s Fender Twin
 
What was the best thing about 2017? My friends and fans are the best thing about this whole damn year. Love y'all. 
 
What was the worst thing about 2017? Everyone else.
 
Use an SAT word to describe 2017: hdisofjfkfjdlsljd
 
What are you most looking forward to in 2018?  Making shit tons of music and bringing about some real, palpable, positive change.
 
2018 New Year resolution and % chance of success:  Getting fit af and practicing self care daily. 9.3%
 

Tawny Newsome from Jon Langford's Four Lost Souls

Favorite show you played in 2017: Spontaneanation with Paul F. Tompkins at the Bell House 
 
Favorite show you attended in 2017: Mystery Science Theater 3K Live Watch Out for Snakes at the Ace Hotel
 
Favorite song of 2017: "Bodak Yellow" by Cardi B
 
 
Favorite 2017 movie: 8 Days a Week 
 
Favorite 2017 TV or web show: The Good Place and Star Trek Discovery
 
Favorite book you read in 2017: Vagabonding by Rolf Potts (I read it every year. Does this count?)
 
Favorite YouTube video of 2017: probably a hair tutorial of some kind
 
Favorite thing from the past that you just got around to in 2017: Playing the drums
 
Best thing you ate in 2017: The French Laundry. Just. The whole meal. 
 
Best thing you drank in 2017: BoochCraft hard kombuchba
 
Least favorite trend of 2017: rote public apologies that still somehow demean victims
 
Top personal victory of 2017: Haley Joel Osment told me he was a fan of mine and then sped off in a vintage Mercedes to go to a strip club.
 
What was the best thing about 2017? Jon Langford's Four Lost Souls
 
What was the worst thing about 2017? Lena Dunham and Donald. 
 
What are you most looking forward to in 2018? The launch of my new podcast The Supergroup
 
2018 New Year resolution and % chance of success: selling a tv show. 50/50. But really who knows man, maybe I'll move to Mexico and start a yoga/farm, Hollywood be crazy.
 

John Szymanski from Jon Langford's Four Lost Souls

Favorite show you played in 2017: Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in San Francisco with Four Lost Souls
 
Favorite show you attended in 2017: Paul McCartney at the Tinley Park megaplex, followed by the Magnetic Fields at Thalia Hall
 
Favorite song of 2017: "To Claudia On Thursday" by The Millennium, after hearing The Flat Five do it at the Hideout
 
Favorite 2017 music album: Randy Newman Dark Matter
 
Favorite 2017 movie: Baby Driver
 
Favorite 2017 TV or web show: Angie Tribeca
 
Favorite book you read in 2017: Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too by Jomny Sun
 
Best thing you ate in 2017: Tacos from the Taco Temple in Morro Bay, CA
 
Best thing you drank in 2017: The Argus Cherry Cider in Austin, TX
 
What was the best thing about 2017? Being on the Four Lost Souls tour - it was a fantastic time, getting to play in so many cities, visit iconic landmarks and meet so many fantastic people with three of my closest friends!
 
What was the worst thing about 2017? The feeling of dread and horror that's become part of everyday life, especially after reading the news.
 
What are you most looking forward to in 2018? Creating new music and performing more, both here and abroad!
 
2018 New Year resolution and % chance of success: Writing a new album of self composed material - 70% chance I think!

Bethany Thomas from Four Lost Souls

Favorite show you played in 2017: Bethany Thomas Sings Transformer at The Hideout in Chicago AND Four Lost Souls at Union Pool in Brooklyn

 
Favorite show you attended in 2017: Solange at Pitchfork
 
Favorite song of 2017: "HUMBLE." by Kendrick Lamar
 
Favorite 2017 music album: MASSEDUCTION by St.Vincent
 
Favorite 2017 movie: The Disaster Artist
 
Favorite 2017 TV or web show: The Handmaid's Tale
 
Favorite book you read in 2017: We Are Never Meeting In Real Life by Samantha Irby
 
Favorite YouTube video of 2017: SLLIME'S Broke Ass Low Budget Show, ep 5 (a Chicago-based hip-hop talk show that my dad is on)
 
Favorite thing from the past that you just got around to in 2017: My Woman by Angel Olsen - it's just from 2016, but I love it and wish I'd had her in my life a year sooner
 
Best thing you ate in 2017: Butter and salt donut from Sidecar in Santa Monica
 
Best thing you drank in 2017: all the booze that was free
 
Least favorite trend of 2017: publicly condemning/exalting stuff before you know anything besides the headline
 
Top personal victory of 2017: releasing an EP of my own music
 
What was the best thing about 2017? Jon Langford's Four Lost Souls
 
What was the worst thing about 2017? sifting through and discarding the art of beloved sexual predators and bigots
 
What are you most looking forward to in 2018? acting in A Moon For The Misbegotten at Writers' Theatre
 
2018 New Year resolution and % chance of success: record a second EP - %90 chance of success
 

Casey McDonough (bass/vocals, The Flat Five)

Favorite show you played in 2017: Subbing with Brian Wilson, April 17-23 
 
Favorite show you attended in 2017: The Zombies at Thalia Hall 
 
Favorite 2017 music album: Phil Angotti Such Stories
 
Favorite 2017 movie: Wonder Woman
 
Favorite book you read in 2017: Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink by Elvis Costello  
 
Favorite YouTube video of 2017: Squirell eating a Ritz 
 
Favorite thing from the past that you just got around to in 2017: Mez Mezzrow 
 
Best thing you drank in 2017: Schlitz
 
Least favorite trend of 2017: The current political climate
 
Top personal victory of 2017: Not flipping my wig 
 
What are you most looking forward to in 2018? More recording, touring, mid-term elections
 

Al Scorch

Favorite Show you played in 2017: Definitely a toss up between playing with Tyler Childers and Steve Earle. Both dudes write and sing the hell out of a song. I was proud to be in their company. 
 
Favorite show you attended in 2017: Another coin flip between shows. Can't decide between Nnamdi Ogbonnaya with Mother Nature and Sammus in Chicago at the Hideout or seeing Twain play at Whispering Beard folk fest down in Friendship, Indiana.
 
Favorite song of 2017: Thirty by the Weather Station
 
Favorite 2017 music album: Lots! Date Stuff's E.P. on Sooper Records, Melk Belly's record Nothing Valley, and I am just digging into the new Dehd record and it's sick.
 
Favorite 2017 movie: I haven't seen Star Wars yet but let's go with that.
 
Favorite 2017 TV or web show: Yell You Better with Katie McVay, the show where Katie yells at you about your whole life until you're better at it!
 
Favorite book you read in 2017: Raising Cain by Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson.
 
Favorite YouTube video of 2017: Still waiting for the hamster dance renaissance or that damn ooga-chaka dancing baby from Alley McBeal to come back
 
Favorite thing from the past that you just got around to in 2017: Arrested Development [Editor's note: we don't know if he means the hip hop group or the TV show]
 
Best thing you ate in 2017: New York City bodega deli sandwiches. Profound in their simplicity, their essence is much more than their mere ingredients.
 
Best thing you drank in 2017: Cups of tea with my grandma
 
Best bad decision you made in 2017: Eating the chimichanga at Handlebar, will do again.
 
Least favorite trend of 2017: Authoritarianism and oligarchy, by far.
 
Top personal victory of 2017: Deepening my spirituality and relationship with the infinite.
 
What was the best thing about 2017? Growing new friendships and strengthening old ones.
 
What was the worst thing about 2017? My dad passing away.
 
Use an SAT word to describe 2017: illuminative
 
What are you most looking forward to in 2018? Expanding my creative skills, more collaborations, spending time with my family, writing more music, and driving less.
 
2018 New Year resolution and % chance of success: The fool starts tomorrow, the wise person started yesterday. Today is almost yesterday already, let's get going!
 
 

Bloodshot Staff Picks

Rob Miller, Co-Chief

Favorite concert/show you attended in 2017:

NON-BLOODSHOT: JD McPherson in Nashville

BLOODSHOT: Robbie Fulks at the Acorn Theater inThree Oaks, Michigan — Yes, there was the usual top flight musicianship, stellar songwriting and master class in working the room. But what set this show above all others, and left me holding my sides and wiping tears of laughter, were Robbie’s channeling Bela Lugosi to do an impersonation of Whispering Bill Anderson, and telling tales of his high school reunion. In unguarded moments, I’ll find myself giggling quietly about them still.

Lydia Loveless at The Hideout in Chicago — Stripped down duo, largely acoustic. It was a revalatory show. To witness her growth as a performer over the years, and to hear how wonderful the songs are in such a format—how they can stretch and morph and grow—is one of those singular thrills of the Bloodshot endeavor, and a priviledge to have played a teeny part in bringing it to the world. Deeply, deeply satisfying.

Favorite non-Bloodshot 2017 music album:

Just got around to them, so they are, to me, 2017 releases...

Adia Victoria Beyond the Bloodhoundsscary and exciting.

The Complete Stax/Volt Singles — 29 CDs in three boxes. A gift that will likely never stop giving. A Henry VIIIth-level feast of discovery, re-discovery and joy. If you can’t find AT LEAST 30 desert island songs in this sonic cornucopia, you have no business calling yourself a music fan. Don’t bother me. Go play some video games or watch a Kardashian do something. 

Favorite 2017 movie: A Man Called Ove — further proof that curmudgeons are people too.  

Favorite 2017 TV or web show: 'Twas a year of seeing some great shows; GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling—dig Marc Maron as the fabulously sleazy 80s guy); the sublime and daring (and hilarious—when it wants to be) Master of None, Patton Oswalt’s Annihilation, and the alarmingly spot-on Black Mirror.

But I’m going to go with two shows that bookended a rather dispiriting year pretty perfectly: The Young Pope—Jude Law chewing up scenes as a sinister megalomaniac was thoroughly engrossing and depressingly relevant to events since, oh, I don’t know, some specific day (and every day since) last November.... And Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s Vietnam series. Essential viewing, also depressingly relevant. As good ol GWF Hegel said, “we learn from history that we do not learn from history.”

Favorite book you read in 2017: 

Fiction: Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier — Magical and transporting in that way only fiction can be. The great thrill of the sadness that comes with finishing such a novel.

Non-Fiction: Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest by Wade Davis — Some of the most harrowing writing about World War I coupled with the adventure of the first attempt to summit Mt Everest. Damaged people attempting transcendent things. 

Favorite YouTube video of 2017: I have previously posited that Al Green performing on “Soul Train” with a broken arm is the best thing on the internet ever, and thus it remains so...

With those lemon yellow TIGHT pants, and the grooviest LIVE band under the flashing lights, all sexual energy in the universe is pulled into orbit around this performance.  If, by the end, you remain in your seat and an unbeliever, you are beyond saving.

However, my favorite find of this year is a pick that will most assuredly cement my reputation as an inveterate Luddite.  In a year of the internet providing near daily exercises in racing to the moral and civil sewer, this video never fails to cheer.

Best thing you ate in 2017: Despite my usual fondness for the workaday cuisine championed in my tattered copy of Road Food, I gotta go full-on foodie this year. My apologies. The Secreto Iberico (The Iberian Secret) at La Cuina d'en Garriga in Barcelona on my birthday. It was like a bacon tenderloin. It’s from a magical part of the pig I had never heard of. I don’t want to know more. Some secrets are best left alone. I brush away a salty tear thinking of it now...

Best thing you drank in 2017: So I made this simple syrup with cayenne pepper and ginger. Mixed with some soda water, the remnants of my FEW Spirits/Bloodshot gin, a lime wedge, and a croquet mallet in my hand, the world, in that afternoon, made a modicum of sense to me. Or at least it I didn’t let it bother me.

Least favorite trend of 2017: Pointlessly cruel and emboldened trolls. Does this lifestyle REALLY make people feel better about themselves?  Is it really a reason to be on the planet?  Oy.

via GIPHY

Top personal victory of 2017: Not giving in to the above.

What was the best thing about 2017? Alan Trammell and Jack Fucking Morris making it into the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Go Tigers!!!

What was the worst thing about 2017? The death of nuance, empathy and common civility.

Use an SAT word to describe 2017: woebegone

Nan Warshaw, Co-Chief

Favorite concert/show you attended in 2017: The intimate shows of Robbie Fulks, Cory Branan, and many others in the Bloodshot Records Private Showcase room at Folk Alliance International in Kansas City, 2/15-2/17/2017

Favorite song of 2017: Devil in a Woodpile “The Pagans Had It Right” (from Bloodshot Records 13 Days of Xmas) – the best Xmas song ever says this heathen.

Favorite 2017 TV or web show: Reuters News on demand (got rid of cable)

Favorite YouTube video of 2017: A full great Jon Langford’s Four Lost Souls show…and I was there.

Favorite thing from the past that you just got around to in 2017: Exploring Iceland!

Best thing you ate in 2017: Curry Dumplings from Urban Vegan in Chicago

Best thing you drank in 2017: Few Spirits Bloodshot InsurGINt Gin, neat. Never thought I’d ever drink gin neat, then came this crazy yummy and smooth FEW Bloodshot gin.

Best bad decision you made in 2017: Founding a community org to help newly arrived refugees! Bad only because I don’t have enough time.

Least favorite trend of 2017: The dismantling of our democracy, and the normalization of hate and disrespect.

Top personal victory of 2017: Welcoming 20 refugee families to Chicago; easing their transition. Crowd sourced donations to get each family a laptop, clothing, housewares, furniture, diapers. Secured donated rooms in a church, where we’ve sorted and organized amazing amounts of donated items; now the families can shop (free) for what they need.

What was the best thing about 2017? Using my social network for good.  Getting to know many interesting, motivated, appreciative, newly arrived people from Afghanistan and Syria; hearing life stories from the Special Immigrant Visa holders who worked with and fought along side American troops in Afghanistan, and immigrant stories of perseverance, like the man who walked across Europe.

What was the worst thing about 2017? Nazis and other racists going public and the POTUS defending/encouraging them.

Use an SAT word to describe 2017: Profligate

What are you most looking forward to in 2018? Taking back our country: electing compassionate, well-spoken representatives who will represent all of us.

2018 New Year resolution and % chance of success: None. 100% chance of success.

Josh Zanger, THE Publicist

Favorite concert/show you attended in 2017:

The Grammys

The Grammys Loretta Lynn tribute show at the Troubadour with Robbie Fulks, Kesha, Lori McKenna, Brandy Clark, and others

John K. Samson opening for Craig Finn at City Winery in Chicago

Shiner at Thalia Hall in Chicago

Favorite song of 2017: “Things” by Oddisee

Favorite non-Bloodshot 2017 music album:

Zephaniah Ohora This Highway

Hiss Golden Messenger Hallelujah Anyhow

Radian On Dark Silent Off

Oddisee The Iceberg

Vandoliers Native

Favorite 2017 movie: 

Get Out

Dunkirk

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

Favorite 2017 TV or web show: 

Mindhunter 

Stranger Things 2

The Punisher

Master of None season 2

Favorite book you read in 2017: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Favorite YouTube video of 2017: Desus and Mero “Crumble in the Bronx."  I guess this is a web series, but I saw it on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7aIUJz-bBI

Favorite thing from the past that you just got around to in 2017: Using a gift certificate that was given to me four years ago to go on a haunted segway tour. 

Best bad decision you made in 2017: Going to Monell’s in Nashville when we went to AmericanaFest. I’m still full. 

Least favorite trend of 2017: Opinion-sharing

Top personal victory of 2017: Getting married

What was the best thing about 2017? The fact that it was the year that I got married. 

What was the worst thing about 2017? Hahahahaha… c’mon, really?

via GIPHY

Use an SAT word to describe 2017: Abstruse. (Is that the right use of that word?)

What are you most looking forward to in 2018? Staying alive. Tapping into a deep reservoir of zen.

2018 New Year resolution and % chance of success: Growing enough to be 6 feet tall. -25% chance of success.

Michael David Smith, New Media & Marketing Maven

Favorite concert/show you attended in 2017: 
 
A Tribe Called Quest at Pitchfork Fest in Chicago (a respectful and worthy tribute to the late Phife Dawg)
 
Janet Jackson at Allstate Arena in Chicago (Excuse me, waiter...I'll have what she's having)
 
The Texas Gentlemen followed by Zephaniah Ohora & the 18 Wheelers at the Mercy Lounge in Nashville (the best contemporary honky tonk outta Texas and Brooklyn, respectively, that I saw this year)
 
Australian folk harmony heroines All Our Exes Live in Texas backed by a gypsy jazz band in a hotel room at Folk Alliance International in Kansas City (It's entirely possible that I'm the only person to have ever typed that exact phrase in the history of the English language.)
 
The random guy who sang Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name" with the live karaoke band as soon as we found out Doug Jones won the Alabama senate race at the Schubas/Audiotree holiday party
 
Our publicist Josh dancing with his mom to Phil Collins "Sussudio" at his wedding.
 
Favorite song of 2017: 
 
"The Bus Song" by Jay Som
 
Favorite non-Bloodshot 2017 music album:
 
Jay Som Everybody Works
Cherry Glazerr Apocalipstick
Coco Hames Coco Hames
NE-HI Offers
 
Favorite 2017 movie: 
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Get Out
Thor: Ragnarok
The Big Sick
Logan
 
Favorite 2017 TV or web show: 
Big Little Lies
Hot Ones
Bojack Horseman
The Punisher
Tales from the Tour Bus
 
Favorite book you read in 2017: 
The Tao of Bill Murray: Real-Life Stories of Joy, Enlightenment, and Party Crashing by Gavin Edwards
 
 
Favorite thing from the past that you just got around to in 2017:  
 
 
 
Best thing you ate in 2017: Arctic char at Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon in Hnapavellir, Iceland (best piece of fish I have ever eaten)
 
Best thing you drank in 2017:
 
Oh my, so many things...
 
Birthday Mai Tai at Lost Lake in Chicago
Few Spirits Bloodshot White Lightning Malt Whiskey
Rittenhouse Rye Bottled in Bond at Heaven Hill Distillery in Louisville
Gates of Hell Nitro Black IPA at On Tour Brewing Company in Chicago
And if only for mathematical reasons, my first-ever glass of Pappy Van Winkle 12 Year Bourbon
 
Best bad decision you made in 2017: Getting more into home bartending...it's an expensive hobby.
 
Least favorite trend of 2017: Open-faced fascism
 
Top personal victory of 2017: Climbing a real live glacier!
 
What was the best thing about 2017? Getting engaged! (In other words, finding someone who wants to be legally bound to me for eternity...)
 
What was the worst thing about 2017? Probably a three-way tie between racists feeling like they are now welcome to more openly crawl out of their caves; the overt assault on American democracy by its own government; and Tom Petty dying.
 
Use an SAT word to describe 2017 (feel free to define it as you wish): a tie between apocalyptic and apoplectic 
 
What are you most looking forward to in 2018? Getting married on a goat farm in the Appalachian Mountains
 
2018 New Year resolution and % chance of success: Read more books - 100%

Nina Stiener, Digital Diva

Favorite concert/show you attended in 2017: Wilco at The Chicago Theater or Blackfoot Gypsies at Tonic Room in Chicago (even though someone stole my wallet...)

Favorite song of 2017: "Lies I Chose to Believe" by John Moreland, “I long for a day when we’ll look back and laugh about all this”

Favorite non-Bloodshot 2017 music album:

In no particular order:

Lorde Melodrama

John Moreland Big Bad Luv

Harry Styles Harry Styles

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit The Nashville Sound

Taylor Swift Reputation

SZA Ctrl

via GIPHY

Favorite 2017 TV or web show: The Handmaid’s Tale or Love

Favorite book you read in 2017: The Passage Trilogy by Justin Cronin…Humankind is on the brink of extinction because of a government experiment gone rogue resulting in vampire super soldiers taking over North America. What’s not to love?

Favorite YouTube video of 2017: WHERE ARE MY BACKGROUND SINGERS????

Favorite thing from the past that you just got around to in 2017: Listening to '80s punk… I read Our Band Could Be Your Life and am fascinated by the music and mindset. Plus, I finally get some of the references Rob makes at the office.

Best thing you ate in 2017: Not the best thing, but 2017 was the year of oatmeal for me. I always thought I wouldn’t like it so I never tried it. Now I’m obsessed. That is pretty lame now that I think about it, but whatever.

Best bad decision you made in 2017: I went to a rodeo in rural Arizona with my family. It was scarring but worthwhile to see the look of horror on my family’s face when men and children alike were thrown from massive bulls.

Least favorite trend of 2017: Mumble rap

Top personal victory of 2017: Teaching my cat to sit on command for a treat.

What was the best thing about 2017? Getting hired full-time at Bloodshot and getting to move into an apartment with more than one room!

What was the worst thing about 2017? Gun violence/mass shootings and the government’s silence and inaction in response.

Use an SAT word to describe 2017 (feel free to define it as you wish): Nefarious “To be clear, to hack or to do anything nefarious is wrong and illegal,” —Sean Spicer

What are you most looking forward to in 2018? The Olympics? I love me some curling.... I don’t know, not much. I just hope it’s better than 2017.

2018 New Year resolution and % chance of success: Wear my crocs in public regularly without feeling a lick of shame…. 95% chance of success 

Justin Hertner, Warehouse Warrior and Designer Demigod

Favorite concert/show you attended in 2017: At the Drive-In at Riotfest in Chicago. It was very muddy and sloppy sounding. Just as expected.

Favorite song of 2017: Foo Fighters "Run"

Favorite non-Bloodshot 2017 music album: That brand new Brand New record Science Fiction

Favorite 2017 movie: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

via GIPHY

Favorite 2017 TV or web show: Fargo

Favorite thing from the past that you just got around to in 2017: Finally got around to watching Tremors for a 12th time.

Best thing you ate in 2017: Cereal that had milk in it.

Best thing you drank in 2017: Milk that had cereal in it.

Best bad decision you made in 2017: Specifying extra spicy every time I ordered Indian or Thai.

Least favorite trend of 2017: Fidget Spinners. I bought one and enjoyed the experience, which irritated me even more.

Top personal victory of 2017: Finally getting new eye glasses after 3 years of wearing specs covered in superglue. 

What was the worst thing about 2017? Ben Affleck’s constant public confliction about whether or not to continue his role as Batman. You’re no Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. You’re no Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man. My point is that you’re replaceable. You’re not Batman. You never were. Nobody likes you. Get over it… I hope you read this.

Oh, the presidential election was pretty bad too.

2018 New Year resolution and % chance of success: Preventing my new eye glasses from breaking, which technically has already happened. So, since I can’t break what’s already broken. There’s no chance for failure.

Matt Holland, Distro Dude

Favorite concert/show you attended in 2017: John Prine & Friends, Eaux Claire Fest in Eau Claire, WI
 
Favorite non-Bloodshot 2017 music album: Do Make Say Think Stubborn Persistent Illusions
 
Favorite 2017 movie: The Big Sick
 
Favorite 2017 TV or web show: Bojack Horseman 
 
Favorite thing from the past that you just got around to in 2017: Releases in the Bloodshot catalogue:
 
Best thing you ate in 2017: The Pappardelle (pappardelle, beef bolognese Parmigiano Reggiano) at Naked Dog in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
 
Best thing you drank in 2017: Jimmy Beans Iced Coffee in Chicago
 
Best bad decision you made in 2017: every donut consumed 
 
Least favorite trend of 2017: #goals
 
What was the best thing about 2017? Getting a Job at Bloodshot 
 
What was the worst thing about 2017? 2017

Jenna Cohen, Superstar Intern

Favorite concert/show you attended in 2017: Rico Nasty

Favorite song of 2017: "Block List" by  Rico Nasty 

Favorite non-Bloodshot 2017 music album: King Krule The Ooz

Favorite 2017 movie: Get Out

Favorite 2017 TV or web show: Stranger Things

Favorite book you read in 2017: Magda Goebbels: The First Lady of the Third Reich by Hans Otto Meissner

Favorite YouTube video of 2017: Storytime: I got snatched at school?!

Favorite thing from the past that you just got around to in 2017: Drew Barrymore 

Best thing you ate in 2017: Caprese sandwich from Panes 

Best thing you drank in 2017: Probably a milkshake 

Best bad decision you made in 2017: Walking around Wynwood in Miami alone at night 

Least favorite trend of 2017: Crocs [Editor's note: Jenna and Nina will square off in an armed cage match in 2018.] 

**[Other Editor's Note from Nina: Crocs will always be victorious!!!!]

via GIPHY

Top personal victory of 2017: Planning my first big event: my roommate's EP release show

What was the best thing about 2017? Going to Miami for Art Basel 

What was the worst thing about 2017? One of my classes this semester was sooo boring

Use an SAT word to describe 2017: Alacritous

What are you most looking forward to in 2018? Life after graduation 

2018 New Year resolution and % chance of success: Sell out my roommate's EP release party, 99.9% 

Hannah Nobbe, All-star Intern

Favorite concert/show you attended in 2017: Noname (but I’m a little biased because I produced the show.)

Favorite song of 2017: "Smoking Section" St. Vincent

Favorite non-Bloodshot 2017 music album: Kendrick Lamar DAMN.

Favorite 2017 movie: The Disaster Artist 

Favorite 2017 TV or web show: Nathan For You

Favorite book you read in 2017: Hunger by Roxane Gay

Favorite thing from the past that you just got around to in 2017: Joan Didion’s books

Best thing you ate in 2017: 2nd Ave Deli in New York, all of it.

Best thing you drank in 2017: Claridge House Latte at Qahwa Coffee in Memphis, TN

Best bad decision you made in 2017: Impulsively buying a faux leopard fur coat

Least favorite trend of 2017: Those damn cold shoulder tops 

What was the best thing about 2017? The expulsion of sexual assaulters within the public sphere

What was the worst thing about 2017? The hurricanes, the tax bill, and the threat on net neutrality but the list could go on forever. 

Use an SAT word to describe 2017: Bombastic but not at all like Shaggy

What are you most looking forward to in 2018? Hopefully a full time job!

2018 New Year resolution and % chance of success: Spending less time on social media

 

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