Articles tagged “essential listening”

10 Essential Betty Wright Songs To Get You Through The Night

When Betty Wright’s “Clean Up Woman” hit the top 40 in 1971, even kids listening on transistor radios knew that she wasn’t talking about a janitor. Something was up and Wright was mad as hell. It wasn’t until years later that we’d learn about the evil ways of love. Wright, who died May 10 at […]

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May the Fourth Be With You: A Guide to Star Wars Records

Star Wars is one of the undisputed greatest classic trilogies of movies of all times. The subsequent Droids & Ewoks cartoons were pretty rad too. The holiday special. Looking back, it’s amazing that these classics were preserved and untouched by revisionist edits, bad CGI upgrades, and other mistakes that often taint “remasters” of classic films. […]

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Remembering Tony Allen: 10 Drum Performances You Need To Hear

Don’t think of Afrobeat as music in a vacuum, the product of one far-flung culture, a vague synonym with “world music.” Take it from Tony Allen, who helped define the style with his electrifying drumming. “Afrobeat has many different grooves. Afrobeat is not actually one particular beat,” he explained to The Quietus in 2012. “I […]

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A Guide To Car Seat Headrest’s Pre-Fame Bandcamp Era

Car Seat Headrest

Most indie upstarts would give their fretting hand for Car Seat Headrest’s origin story: a college-aged kid strums into a laptop in his parents’ 2000 Toyota Sienna, hits it big on Bandcamp, signs a deal with Matador Records, and summarily rocks Madison Square Garden. But for a time, the band’s leader and sole constant member […]

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A Guide To The Best Prince Live Performances

Article by Mike Duquette There are so many difficult things to cope with in the four years since Prince passed away, but none may be as difficult as knowing that no one will get to enjoy him in concert again. The music legend made a lot of magic in his career, but there was nothing […]

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Grabbing The World By The Throat And Whispering In Its Ear: A Guide To Fiona Apple

Fiona Apple

Heavy is a head that wears a crown, but anti-pop Queen Fiona Apple wears her burdens with intensity and grace. The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and masterful pianist has spent a quarter-century turning life’s discomforts into wreaths of glory. At 19, she stormed the world with a fist-full of arresting truths sung full and throaty over jazzy […]

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Blackalicious: The Sounds Of Hope

I did my undergraduate degree at the University of California, Davis. It was not my first choice of schools. In fact, I did not get to contemplate where I went to school; that was dictated by my parents. They were both UCD alumni, and that was really my only option. Within 24 hours of moving […]

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One For All: A Guide To Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers aren’t only a serious contender for the greatest jazz band of all time, they functioned as an unofficial jazz university. Under the authority of diminutive drum-clobberer Blakey, many of the genre’s most influential young hotshots — pianist Horace Silver, saxophonists Hank Mobley, Wayne Shorter, and Jackie McLean, trumpeters Lee […]

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Vaccine for the Soul: The Sanctuary of Classical Music in an Age of Viral Anxiety

Article by Andrew Adler You’re cooped up and fed up, caged, confined, constrained, contained, closeted, corralled, possibly quarantined, shut-in and most assuredly Coronavirused-out. Concert halls are closed. So are movie theaters, restaurants, bars, gyms, everything. And not only can’t you play together, you can’t even pray together, because your church, synagogue, mosque or meeting place […]

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The New Abnormal: A Guide To The Strokes

The Strokes first burst onto the consciousness of cool spotters at the start of 2001. I worked for a record label at the time and spent much of my day either in or talking to various independent records stores around the US. A friend at one of these stores gave me The Strokes EP The […]

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