Amid the sharp grit of 2016, there were flecks of gold. The memories that I’ll be treasuring from this year include: the music performances that took me out of my body; the ideas and organizers that made me feel more present than ever; the stress tears released at the hands of a TV singing competition; and the music book that made me feel alive.
An Incomplete List Of The Shows That Genuinely Made Me Happy To Be At A Show, In Chronological Order
1. SCRAAATCH @ MoCADA, N.Y.C., in January
2. ADR @ MAD, N.Y.C., in January
3. New Order @ Radio City, N.Y.C., in March
4. Dean Blunt @ Market Hotel, N.Y.C., in March
5. D Double E and Darq E Freaker @ Palisades, N.Y.C., in March
6. Logan Takahashi, Michael Beharie and Marisa, Lafawndah, HIGHLIFE, Greem Jellyfish, Josh Diamond, Image Man, and DJ Haram @ Trans Pecos, N.Y.C., in April
7. Anohni @ Park Avenue Armory, N.Y.C., in May
8. Actress and Sporting Life @ Trans Pecos, N.Y.C., in May
9. NON X N.A.A.F.I @ Tropical 128, N.Y.C., in May
10. SSION @ House of Yes, N.Y.C., in August
11. Inga Copeland @ Trans Pecos, N.Y.C., in September
12. serpentwithfeet and Nao at Music Hall of Williamsburg, N.Y.C., in September
13. DJ Sprinkles, Source Direct, and more @ Sustain-Release, N.Y.C., in September
14. Babyfather @ Output, N.Y.C., in September
15. Ami Dang @ Purple Trax, N.Y.C., in September
16. Laurel Halo @ Good Room, N.Y.C., in October
17. Jlin @ Discwoman’s 2nd Birthday, N.Y.C., in October
18. Kelsey Lu and Sampha @ Théâtre Fairmount, Montreal, in October
19. Sampha @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, N.Y.C., in October
20. ATM Presents DEN$E @ MoMA PS1, N.Y.C., in November
21. Dreamcrusher @ Knockdown Center, N.Y.C., in November
22. Seiho @ Hikarie Hall, Tokyo, in December
23. The xx @ PIT, Tokyo, in December
24. Richard Kennedy’s Comeuppance opera @ Signal Gallery, N.Y.C., in December
The Cultural Organizers That Gave Me Hope For The World
1. Ali Rosa-Salas and Dyani Douze, who organized MAMI, a month-long series of exhibits and events that explored interpretations of the African water deity Mami Wata.
2. FlucT’s Monica Mirabile, Sarah Kinlaw, and a cast of hundreds who gave birth to immersive, interactive, choreographed performance Authority Figure.
3. Metahaven, who created a documentary-cum-art-exhibit about propaganda titled The Sprawl.
4. NON Records co-founder Chino Amobi, who spearheaded a new kind of Black Friday to encourage the support of black businesses.
5. DISCWOMAN, who continues to grow and change the landscape of dance music.
6. We The Era, who took footwork dancing to the stage this year.
7. Complex Movements, who used sci-fi storytelling to empower its Detroit community.
The The Voice Coaches Whose Feedback Got Me Caught Up In The Moment
1. Alicia Keys
2. Miley Cyrus
The Book I’ll Be Boring Everyone About Forever Amen
1. Uproot by Jace Clayton a.k.a. DJ Rupture