Pretend you're sitting around the Thanksgiving table with us. We're a mismatched crew, with varying musical tastes and incongruous definitions of what great music sounds like. And, yeah, sometimes we use words like incongruous to describe how we define music. It's time to slow it down a minute, isn't it?
We'd like to go around the circle and say what we're thankful for in the world of music this year. We want to hear your contributions, too. Before your next scoop of mashed potatoes, tell us your favorite musical moment of 2017 on Twitter at @guidelive.
Powerful women in music
While actors helped reinforce the importance of speaking out this year, I can't help but fixate on defiantly confident female singers who offered that same message via new albums in 2017. Kesha revealed Rainbow, the most vulnerable record of her career, after making accusations against her former producer, Dr. Luke. Pink and Texas' own Kelly Clarkson showcased powerhouse vocals and fierce personas with two stunning new albums that were worth the wait. Then there's Miley Cyrus, who found a way to reinvent herself for a third time with her sixth album, Younger Now. Power comes in all kinds of packages. --Brenna Rushing
Local band reunions and comebacks
I'm always thankful for exciting, young, local musical talent. But in 2017, I am thankful for the beloved bands of D-FW's past that made comebacks, proving that great tunes never grow old. Tripping Daisy, deservedly, made the biggest splash, but the psychedelic Tim DeLaughter-led outfit wasn't alone. Pop Poppins, the Nixons, MC 900 Foot Jesus and Cottonmouth, Texas, also made notable resurgences. New albums from the New Year, Old 97's, the Toadies and Calhoun also showed that a group doesn't have to go away to make a grand return. --Kelly Dearmore
Making mental health a talking point
Music experienced its share of tragedy when Chris Cornell (Soundgarden), Butch Trucks (the Allman Brothers) and Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) lost their lives to suicide. But these incidents haven't simply been swept under the rug. Thankfully, many in the industry brought to light the mental health issues that can cause such tragedies in hopes of breaking the associated stigmas and empowering young fans. Selena Gomez, for example, has been a champion for psychotherapy since dealing with lupus and its accompanying anxiety and depression. Demi Lovato celebrated five years of sobriety last spring, after battles with an eating disorder and alcohol abuse. And American Idol's Dalton Rapattoni leveraged his bipolar diagnosis to try connect with young music lovers. Here's hoping 2017 will set a powerful example for years to come. --Tiney Ricciardi
The Dallas Public Library's vast collection
Like a lot of music critics, I've got enough LPs, CDs and MP3s to last me a lifetime. But there's always that one record I'm missing and dying to hear -- and that's when the Dallas Public Library system comes to the rescue. I'm constantly thankful for the sheer depth of its music holdings, from obscure old vinyl records to music documentaries on Blu-ray to the latest hit album via digital download. Order online and the library will send it to your local branch -- or maybe even stream it to your device, if it's current. When it comes to putting taxpayer dollars to good use, the Dallas Public Library is music to my ears. --Thor Christensen
TV shows as a platform for music
Music has long been used to provide emotional depth to cinematic offerings but seldom as a way of advancing a story or framing one. Marvel's Luke Cage wasn't the only show to use music to the advantage of both storyline and musical guest star. But it sure was one of the best. Jidenna gained a whole new set of fans when he was featured in an episode singing "Long Live the Chief." It was almost eerie when Faith Evans sang "Mesmerized," as one of the show's most enduring moments was when an antagonist stood in front of a portrait of her late husband Biggie. Each episode was a Spotify list waiting to happen, with each title a song from Gang Starr. I'm glad to see that what has become old is new again. Remember the musical interludes on the late, great New York Undercover? Encore, encore. --Dawn M. Burkes