166: John Martyn, ‘Bless the Weather’

The most brilliant self-destructive Scottish acoustic folk-jazz guitarist-singer you’ve never heard of.
Watch John burn.

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292: My 10 Life-Changing Albums

Ten albums that have shaped my life.

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149: Antony & the Johnsons: ‘Epilepsy is Dancing’

Antony Hegarty, an artist of questionable sexuality but undeniable gravity, flinches at nothing: he explains how the world menstruates, writes lyrics like ‘Cut me in quadrants/Leave me in the corner’, creates the profoundly unsettling video of “Cut the World”. Artists break conventions. Antony is a gentle, tortured, spiritual queer who leaves no convention or preconception unbroken. And nobody’s laughing.

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110: Mongolian Throat Singing (The Occidental Tourist)

In which Jeff brings you a taste of Mongolian throat singing as a flimsy excuse to tell a true story about yak molar dice games and that inimitable Mongolian penchant for practical jokes.

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115: Astor Piazzolla, “Tango: Zero Hour”

Quiz: For which artist do you need to ask the salesman, “Where do I find CDs by this guy, in Jazz, Pop or Classical?” Astor Piazzolla, of course. He reinvented a folk genre as an art form – the Tango Nuevo, a remarkable style of a popular art music demanding the precision of a fugue, the inventiveness of jazz, the passion of matinee singing, the dexterity of Argentinean football, and the heat of a jalapeno.

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284: Owen Pallett, ‘Oh Heartland, Up Yours!’

Owen Pallett is the most dazzling artist I’ve encountered in years. Think of Jacob Collier, Sufjan Stevens, and Van Dyke Parks!
If those names don’t ring your bells, come take a little walk with me.

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044: Paul Robeson, ‘Go Down, Moses’

Passover is just around the corner, and while She Who Must Be Obeyed is busy polishing the wine cups and sterilizing the corkscrew, I’ll try to squeeze in a few appropriate words on the music of the season. Paul Robeson’s (1898-1976) is a remarkable story by any standards. He brought to the concert hall the songs of faith through which his slave forbears expressed all the suffering and indignity they were living.

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102: Netanela, ‘Shir HaYona’ (Matti Caspi)

In 1974, while working with an IDF entertainment troupe as his reserve duty, 25 year-old composer/singer Matti Caspi discovered the 19 year-old singer/soldier Netanela. He composed ‘Shir HaYona’ (Song of the Dove) for her, a secular peace prayer which still resonates today.

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