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030: The Bulgarian State Radio and Television Women’s Choir (Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares) – ‘Pilentze Pee’

Bulgarian folk music predates our European tradition!! It wasn’t affected by early polyphony; it remained duophonic long after the Europeans Renaissanced. The singers use throat resonance to hold a steady pitch for 5 minutes. It’s full of modal scales, dissonant harmonies (abundant second, seventh, and ninth intervals). And if you’ll give it a chance, you just might find that it really is quite enchanting.

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038: Van Morrison, ‘Astral Weeks’

The legendary summer of 1968, one of the finest pieces of music I’ve had the great honor and pleasure to embrace – Van Morrison’s “Astral Weeks”.

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212: Bon Iver (Justin Vernon), ‘Towers’

Justin Vernon sure knows how to impale an earworm on a melodic hook. Let’s hope he gets engaged enough to catch the big one.

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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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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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194: The Rolling Stones, ‘Not Fade Away’ (1964)

My buddies Vocal Line are going to back The Stones on stage in Copenhagen. While pretending to not be jealous, I remember The Stones as I saw them on their first tour of the US, in 1964. You can’t always get what you want, but that memory does Not Fade Away.

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