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189: Choir of Young Believers, ‘Hollow Talk’ (Nordic Noir TV)

Why do I think Nordic music is so fine? Because it’s on a continuum with the world outside.
And why am I infatuated with dark, murky, gloomy, angst-ridden, terrifying Nordic Noir television?
Are you kidding?

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188: Imogen Heap/Vocal Line, ‘Let Go’

In which we discuss Leo Da Vinci, Finnish surf jazz, my futile struggle to keep up with the music world, the great Danish rhythm choir Vocal Line, and their treatment of Imogen Heap’s (Frou Frou’s) Pinteresque ‘Let Go’. Oh yeah, and magic gloves.

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4

187: Trombone Shorty, ‘Hurricane Season’

In which we talk about “The Making of SoTW”; tripping over fire hydrants; a 1931 Madagascarian torch singer; John Keats’ ‘Ode to a Nightingale’; kissing with your eyes closed; and Trombone Shorty, a young New Orleans practitioner of ‘supafunkrock’ – an amalgam of rock, hip-hop, neo-soul, jazz and funk.

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046: James Taylor, “Never Die Young”

“Never Die Young”, for me, is the multifocal prism through which I squint at the golden days of my youth. It contains all the love and pain and hopes and disappointments and optimism and disillusionment that my hoodlum friends and I have traversed, like all golden boys grown old. But we were fortunate enough to be children of a very special time.

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025: The Zombies, ‘Care of Cell 44′

The music of 1968 as un embarras des richesses, an embarrassment of riches, almost too much of a good thing. I just looked at a dozen lists of ‘The Best Albums of 1968’, and I’ll admit that the following one (mine) omits a lot of seminal works by a lot of stellar artists. But when […]

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185: Frank Sinatra, ‘High Hopes’

‘Lyrist’ Sammy Cahn and his composer partner Jimmy Van Heusen wrote 87 songs for Frank Sinatra.
Asked “Which comes first, the words or the music?” Sammy answered “The phone call.”

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058: Dave Frishberg, ‘Van Lingle Mungo’

Here’s an unpredictable gem of a song – the lyric consists entirely of names of obscure baseball players from the late 1940s and early 1950s. Trust me, you don’t have to be a baseball fan to appreciate this song, the magic that only music can create, this poignant statement about how we perceive the treasures of our childhood.

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SoTW 28: Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, ‘The Tracks of My Tears’

Go on, take a teenage trip. Listen to this song like a 17-year old burger-flipping cretin out on a Saturday night, overdosing on hormones, bopping down the boulevard, bouncing in the driver’s seat, pounding the steering wheel in time, shouting out “Take a goo-ood look at my face!” Nobody will know, and you’ll feel better than you have in a long time.

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