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062: Martha and The Vandellas, ‘Heat Wave’

Ok, hotshot–what group of musicians played on more number one hits than the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, Elvis, and the Beatles combined?

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2

210: Tigran Hamasyan, ‘Drip’

Tigran’s website says he plays “atmospheric punk jazz improvisations fused with the rich folkloric music of his native Armenia”. Me? My binge is in its sixth day and I still have no idea what I’m listening to. But I’m still listening.

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031: The Beach Boys, ‘Little Saint Nick’

I live in the only non-Christian country in the Western world, so Yuletide is quite conspicuous in its absence.. But who can resist the greatest hot-rod carol ever?

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039: Blind Willie Johnson, ‘Mother’s Children Have a Hard Time’

Willie was blinded at age seven when the lye his stepmom threw at his dad missed. He sang on the street corners of Beaumont, Texas and slept in a li’l church. When it burned down, with nowhere else to go, he slept there in a rain-soaked bed and caught pneumonia. And you think you got the blues?

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206: Lake Street Dive (Rachael Price), ‘I Want You Back’

I tripped over this clip several weeks ago and am still floored. It’s the best music I’ve seen seen/heard in a month of Sundays. And vocalist Rachael Price is a wonder of nature.

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Teenagers and popularity. Social status. Where you stand in the eyes of your peers and in your own mind. Letting others determine your sense of worth. That warped, cruel, numbered list of My Rank on The Ladder.

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020: Esperanza Spalding, ‘I Know You Know’

I had the very good fortune to see Esperanza Spalding perform last week. Even though her hair was bandana’d, she was a knockout. Here’s a piece I wrote a while back about her, her music, sexuality in female performers, and a quirky taxonomy of people who make music with their voices.

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114: Luciana Souza, ‘Morrer de Amor’

‘Morrer de Amor’ as sung by Luciana Souza – the lyrics of this song are in a language I don’t understand, and I know almost nothing about its background. But the rendition is of such utter beauty and unspeakable perfection that its emotional eloquence transcends any need for explication. I’m just going to turn off my analytical brain, close my verbose mouth, and hope that you’ll be as moved by it as I am.

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