Because I was a music journalist for ten-plus years before I became a radio DJ, it’s been part of my job for a long time to make year-end top ten lists. Editors and publishers love them, and at the end of the day, so do a lot of music fans. However, these are always difficult for all the obvious reasons: some years are ripe with too many viable candidates, others are woefully understocked (much rarer circumstances, thankfully), and at the end of the day, I’m not someone that likes to quantify art in hierarchical terms.
Luckily, there’s no reason myself or any of the wonderful KXCI programmers need to be locked into formulaic lists. I’m encouraging our staff and DJs to craft lists that are uniquely reflective of their personal experience of music in 2015. Soon you will be able to view Underwriting Director Leah Rhey’s top ten Live Covers Songs, Brigitte Thum’s ten Favorite Songs About Trouble, and naturally, Membership Director Michelle Boulet-Stephenson’ top ten Rollerskating Backwards Songs.
I’ve chosen to focus on a mix of experiences–live shows by both local and touring acts, my reactions to new releases, and the special moments where one is reminded how transformative and powerful music can be. Also, since I firmly believe in taking things to eleven whenever it’s warranted, I decided not to stop at ten. These are in no particular order; 2015 was pretty fantastic year and there’s no way I can say any one moment was better than the other.
–Hannah Levin, Director of Content and Host of The Home Stretch
4) Introducing Howe Gelb and Jeremy Cashman so they could collaborate for Rainer Fest. I have no idea how those two didn’t know each other, but anytime I can facilitate talented people meeting each other, everyone wins.
7) Carlos Arzate and Kelly Carpenter singing around the bonfire at KXCI board member Jamie Manser’s birthday party.
8) The beautifully raucous L7 reunion show at the Fonda Theater in Los Angeles, quite possibly the most logically and beautifully laid out venue I’ve ever seen.
9) The joy of with welcoming visiting artists associated with my former Seattle home to Tucson and KXCI, including Mudhoney, The Melvins, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, Lord Dying, Star Anna, YOB, and almossubt the entire Sub Pop family, who chose Tucson and Bisbee as the locales for their staff retreat this year.
10) Getting utterly obsessed with 1989–both versions.