Our last look back at last year includes stories we wrote on Jazz Fest, David Bowie, Seratones, Lil Yachty and more.

fro-yo ma art
Fro-Yo Ma art

As a last look at 2016, here are our highlights from the past year. In some cases, I like what was said; in others, I like the way we said it. In roughly chronological order:

1. "Second Thoughts About Bowie Second Line" and "20 Questions (or so) About Carrie Fisher and David Bowie and Future Fishers and Bowies"--The year started and ended with questions and thoughts about how one of New Orleans' most beloved traditions manifests itself today.

2. "The Grammys and all Those Cellos"--A review of last year's Grammys broadcast and the lack of faith it showed in the music it honored.

3. "A Killer Single Introduces the World to Seratones," "Fro-Yo Ma Has an Identity Crisis," and "Tysson Aims for Plastic, Not Gold"--Three profiles of Louisiana artists that illuminate basic, specific issues that musicians deal with. They're also three artists who made good music this year, which helps.

4. "Jazz Fest: The Importance of Being Out There" and "How New Orleans is Jazz Fest? Part 5"--These two pieces examine the complicated relationship between New Orleans' music community and Jazz Fest.

5. "Last Week: Lil Yachty Stole the Show from Young Thug"--A good live review that captured the moment when one of the break out stars of 2016 made it clear he was breaking out.

6. "The Dick Dale Chronicles, Pt. 1"--We presented an hour-long monologue by the aging surf guitar hero in three mind-bending installments, each mixing the truth, his truth, and "the truth" as he talks about his career, his wife, his health, and Las Vegas. 

7. "'Presenting Princess Shaw' Asks Many Questions"--The documentary tells the story of a New Orleans R&B singer-in-waiting who wants to be a star but has no idea how to become one--then becomes one. The complicated relationship between the filmmaker and the star made the movie stay with me all year.

8. "Carsie Blanton Makes Loving Fun"--This review of Carsie Blanton's So Ferocious looked at a record that explored the playful side of sexuality and desire.

9. "'The Saints are Coming' and the Power of Selective Listening"--This story was a companion piece to one Alex Rawls wrote for Nola.com on the 10th anniversary of U2 and Green Day reopening the Superdome with their performance of "The Saints are Coming." Here, he broke down the performance itself.

10. "Behind Big Star's 'Third'"--This review focuses on the unstable, mirage-like nature of Big Star's most legendary album.