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S. Victor Aaron’s Best of 2017 (Part 3 of 4, Avant Garde + Experimental): Sexmob, Mary Halvorson, Brandon Seabrook

S. Victor Aaron’s Best of 2017 (Part 3 of 4, Avant Garde + Experimental): Sexmob, Mary Halvorson, Brandon Seabrook

Here’s the part of the annual Best of 2017 lists that’s the most fun to pull together.

S. Victor Aaron’s Best of 2017  (Part 2 of 4, Modern and Mainstream Jazz): Chris Potter, Vijay Iyer, Linda May Han Oh

S. Victor Aaron’s Best of 2017 (Part 2 of 4, Modern and Mainstream Jazz): Chris Potter, Vijay Iyer, Linda May Han Oh

It was easy to find jazz records that deserved a year-end salute; maybe ‘too’ easy. The heavy lifting came from figuring out which stood above the rest for this Best of 2017 list.

The Beatles, “Anna (Go to Him)” from Please Please Me (1963): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “Anna (Go to Him)” from Please Please Me (1963): Deep Beatles

“Anna (Go to Him)” impacted the Beatles’ songwriting, and Arthur Alexander’s heartfelt vocal style influenced John Lennon’s intensely personal performances.

Motorhead, February 16, 2011: Shows I’ll Never Forget

Motorhead, February 16, 2011: Shows I’ll Never Forget

I saw body surfing up close at this Motorhead show, almost became an unwilling member in a mosh pit, and escaped unscathed. Who could ask for more?

S. Victor Aaron’s Best of 2017  (Part 1 of 4, Non-Jazz): Taj Mahal/Keb’ Mo’, Blackfield, Arto Lindsay

S. Victor Aaron’s Best of 2017 (Part 1 of 4, Non-Jazz): Taj Mahal/Keb’ Mo’, Blackfield, Arto Lindsay

Even in my jazz-centric world, I can come upon enough standout non-jazz records to put together a decent-sized Best of 2017 list.

Elliott Sharp, with Mary Halvorson  and Marc Ribot – Err Guitar (2017)

Elliott Sharp, with Mary Halvorson and Marc Ribot – Err Guitar (2017)

‘Err Guitar’ by Elliott Sharp, Mary Halvorson and Marc Ribot is three masters of the outside guitar pushing each other to go even further out, making this a notably delirious entry in the catalogs of all three.

Gary Numan – Telekon (1980): On Second Thought

Gary Numan – Telekon (1980): On Second Thought

While ‘Telekon’ went on to inspire many new wave synth-pop artists during the ’80s, Gary Numan’s time in the spotlight wouldn’t last long.

Denise LaSalle, Soul-Blues Belter (1939-2018): An Appreciation

Denise LaSalle, Soul-Blues Belter (1939-2018): An Appreciation

We loved the sexy, hard-as-nails Denise LaSalle for creating a series of titanic grooves, and also because we were never certain that she couldn’t have kicked our ass.

Stephen Stills & Judy Collins – Everybody Knows (2017)

Stephen Stills & Judy Collins – Everybody Knows (2017)

Stephen Stills finds the fountain of youth by going back to one of his original muses, Judy Collins, who co-headlines on ‘Everybody Knows.’

Alestorm, Bob Wayne, Alice Cooper, Hellbound Glory + Others: Fred Phillips’ Best Metal, Country and Hard Rock of 2017

Alestorm, Bob Wayne, Alice Cooper, Hellbound Glory + Others: Fred Phillips’ Best Metal, Country and Hard Rock of 2017

It was, honestly, a pretty lousy year for music. This list of Best Metal, Country and Hard Rock of 2017 highlights five exceptions, and some key honorable mentions.

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