JANUARY 2017 – Being the general manager of a towering hotel like the Chicago Athletic Association may seem like a high-stress job while overseeing all its moving parts — restaurants, bars, housekeeping, events and more. Somehow Patrick Hatton, who has run day-to-day operations at the Chicago Athletic Association hotel since before it opened, has the ability to make it all seem somewhat effortless. Some people may meditate to keep their heads on straight, but Hatton often turns to music to steady his nerves and keep his cool. He’s an avid music fan and is always discovering new music. Each month, we’ll take a deep dive into his musical psyche and get a peek into what he’s rocking out to.
For January, Hatton looks back at some of this favorite music discoveries and moments from 2016 and tells us why these songs got him up out of his seat. Here, in his own words:
Greetings! Compiling a “Best of 2016” collection wound up being much more challenging than I expected. I knew it was an epic year in live music for me (three shows each for LCD Soundsystem, Frightened Rabbit and Nathaniel Rateliff for crying out loud), but going back through the archives, I was reminded how great a year for new music it was and, painfully, I know what I left off. I mean, I could easily include the entire albums from The Lumineers, Phantogram and Nathaniel Rateliff, but in an effort to show some restraint, I chose to only include one track per artist. It was splitting hairs between the ones I kept and the ones I cut. A couple of note: “That’s All I Need” by The Dirty Heads was the official song of summer 2016 in my book. “Need Never Get Old” became my new theme song after four days, 32 Shows and two aftershows of Lollapalooza. And don’t sleep on The Shelters if you dig some old school classic late ’60s/early ’70s beats. This mixtape includes collaborations, covers and a couple of bands I’ve never been in love with, but I fell hard for these tracks: “Life Itself” (Glass Animals), “Ain’t No Man” (Avett Brothers), “We the People” (A Tribe Called Quest) and “33 God” (Bon Iver). The Best Of collection was built in no particular order — there’s no way I could have ranked them. Coming next month: my most anticipated, confirmed or not, new releases in 2017. Enjoy!