3

285: James Brown, ‘Night Train’ (The T.A.M.I. Show)

“Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see,” wrote Edgar Allan Poe in 1845.
Apparently Edgar was referring to James Brown’s appearance on the 1964 T.A.M.I. Show.

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116: Van Morrison, ‘Tupelo Honey’

There’s a fine line between the sublime and the silly. Dissected, ‘Tupelo Honey’ hasn’t a single defensible element. But it’s such an inspired and inspiring gescheft that the best thing a guy could do would be to shut up and take his own personal honey by her hand, pull her close and give her a gentle, loving whirl on the dance floor to one of the most beautiful, romantic songs recordings ever made.

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2

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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283: The Kinks/Lake Street Dive (Rachael Price), ‘Lola’

Q: Something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is — do you, Mr Meshel?
A: Them genders can fluidify wherever they want. I’m sticking with Rachael Price. She make my heart go thumpity-thump-thump.

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112: James Taylor, ‘Yesterday’

There’s a song you’ve heard several million times called ‘Yesterday’ by Paul McCartney. Why is it that everyone who hears James Taylor’s bootleg version from 1970 says that it’s as if they’re hearing the song for the first time?

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135: Kaveret, ‘Medina Ktana’ (Little Country)

It’s Israel’s 70th birthday today. We get pretty tired of seeing ourselves on the front page of the NY Times every day. On the other hand, we also see ourselves as the center of the universe. Go explain it. Well, this 1974 song does it best – our wry perception of our very existence, our precariousness, our homey patriotism – ‘Medina Ktana’ (‘Little Country’) by Kaveret (Beehive).

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4

170: Laura Nyro, ‘Luckie’ (“Eli & the 13th Confession”)

50 years ago this week, Laura Nyro’s “Eli & the 13th Confession” was released. The unadulterated passion—pain and ecstasy–the ebullience, the brilliance, the humor, the candor, the funk, the mystic and the mythic of this masterpiece have been an integral part of my inner world ever since. It’s guided me and inspired me and comforted me and intrigued me through so many of the hills and valleys of my entire adult life. Laura, on this yovel (jubilee) birthday, I embrace you and salute you. Thank you for this music.

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279: Ásgeir, ‘Torrent’

Can you imagine a budding rock star who prefers to spend his summers in his home village of 40 old people, in a bleak and remote grey landscape, planting trees during the day and collaborating on writing songs with his father during the long Icelandic evenings?

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