Author: Hope Silverman

Weekly New Wonders Playlist #10 of 2023

I don’t mind riding my bike in bad or inhospitable weather ( Because I’m weird? Because I feel I deserve it? Because I get some kind of cheap thrill from my ability to endure shit? Unsure but okay, probably.) It poured steadily all day Saturday but I trooped on up to Central Park anyway. Not only is it exceptionally beautiful in the rain, the inclement weather also tends to thin the ranks of other humans in the park, which I kind of like (I suck). Despite the rain there was, as there always is when the temperature breaks 50 degrees, a shirtless bloke in running shorts showing off doing his laps in the rain. I assume that, like me, he was performing in his own imaginary movie but unlike my daydreamy arse, he didn’t seem to be using a personal sound system to soundtrack his rainswept trotting and wasn’t sporting earbuds or anything. As for me, I need sounds. I need riffage. I need a chorus. I need sanging. And so I carefully curate a new playlist every time I roll around up there. The fourth song in the playlist is crucial as it has to distract me enough to get me up twisty old “Heartbreak Hill” at the top of the park. Usually, I’ll go with one I can pretend I’m playing drums on (I don’t know how to play drums) or that suits the soundtrack of an imaginary doc about the greatest Tour De France ever where I am personally destroying the field during the infamous mountain stage (let a girl dream). But that’s what the magic of a brilliant song can do, get you up that f*ckin’ hill of whatever you wouldn’t be able to scale otherwise (apologies for the extreme mushiness of that sentence but yeah.) And with that, I now present to you the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the finest new songs that surfaced over the past couple of weeks. They are all so lustrously melodic and gorgeous. I hope at least one helps you get up whatever hill you have to climb this week. Rock on.

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist #9 of 2023

If you are fascinated and/or infatuated by the concept of “One Hit Wonders” aka artists who only ever had one big breakthrough pop hit, I have a treat for you, you big nerd (FYI: I’m a nerd so I can call you that). Over at Cover Me, your holy haven of everything related to the world of cover versions, we are ranking THE BEST COVERS OF ONE HIT WONDER SONGS EVER. We are breaking things down by decade starting with the ’50s and ’60s and will be storming on through to the 2000’s over the next few months. Anyway, the ’50s were posted last week and as of today, you can check out the best covers of songs by an assortment of ’60s One Hit Wonders, ranked, blurbed, and gathered in a handsome stack for your listening enjoyment. I got to write about three insanely beautiful covers of three staggeringly beautiful songs: “Everlasting Love”, “Sukiyaki” and that eternal port in a storm, “O-o-o-h Cild”. 

For the sake of transparency, I will now confess that one of these covers is by (freakin’)U2. 

Like many humans, I have mixed feelings about U2 which I will be happy to share if you corner me at the right moment (and yes, it will probably involve me reciting dialogue from the band’s 1988 doc, “Rattle and Hum” in a disrespectful fashion). But, gotta say it, their manic-volcanic version of Robert Knight’s old soul nugget “Everlasting Love” is an absolutely bitchin’,smokin’, steamrollin’ monster. And for the precisely three minutes and 22 seconds it takes to unspool, I f*cking love U2. 

So please come listen to and read about those covers and many more here!

And hey! It is time for the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the finest new tunes that have crossed our path over recent days. They are full of sundown and neon lights (with a little dirt thrown in) and are here to hold you. Fall in love below on Soundcloud or Spotify.

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist #8 of 2023

Today, April 21st marks seven years since Prince’s passing. I didn’t officially board the Prince train until 1982 when I saw the video for “Little Red Corvette’ on MTV at which point I fell in love. Did I regularly practice doing the immaculately foxy little dance he did during the bridge in the video in my teenage bedroom? Okay, maybe ( aka yes and badly). And yes, I customized my purple bike helmet to pay tribute as I rolled through the streets ( a guy once yelled out his car window at me “Let’s Go Crazy!”, which, you know, credit where credit is due).

I have had a Prince quote taped to my computer for years and continue to find its excessively confident you-do-you-ness inspiring and applicable to many life situations unrelated to music:

“I never wanted to fit in with my music, whatever the trend was, I usually went in the opposite direction”

In the spirit of that purple philosophy, I rapturously present the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the absolute finest new tunes that have crossed our path over recent days. They are lustrous, lovely, and all heading in their own direction. Listen below on Soundcloud or Spotify!

And the ride, I say the ride is so smooth, you must be a limousine…

P.S. You can read more about my (somewhat) over-the-top passion and (overly)romantic long-term obsession with “I Would Die 4 U” here!).

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist #7 of 2023

As these pics of my laptop show, I love a nice sticker. The stickers I choose to decorate with are meticulously curated and I change them out a few times a year (what a freakin’ nerd, jeezus). I generally stick to the same motif so it’s always favorite bands or albums, plus the occasional film ( yeah that’s two nods to “Over The Edge” in my current design, “man, I’m flashing” y’all). I also always make a point of acknowledging my hometown and Peanuts. Yes, we are truly in the ‘golden age of stickerdom’. 

When I was a young one in the ’70s and ’80s, cool stickers were hard to come by. Choices were generally limited to the freebie bumper stickers advertising radio stations you could get at record stores or the decals they kept in glass cases at the old school head shop at the mall (where when I was 13, I went with my best friend so she could buy a coke spoon neck chain which she used to wear to school every day and no authority figure ever questioned…or maybe recognized). Anyway, the decals were not only expensive, the selection was pretty limited and tended to feature the obvious or what I used to refer to as “big kid” stuff like Led Zeppelin or Rush, which I wasn’t remotely into. That meant that in order to showcase my love of specific bands I had to improvise. In lieu of stickers, my school notebooks were covered with my own hand-drawn logos (ELO, Genesis, and the Police were my faves). I confess to actively practicing them at home (loser), endlessly tracing logos from album covers until my muscle memory was strong enough to recreate ’em freehand on my binders. I’ve retained this completely useless skill so if you ever need a meticulous ELO logo on your math notebook, you now know who to ask. While I love drawing, I am genuinely thankful that these days I can just slap on a sticker to declare my devotion ( actually, I’m not that cavalier, I take time planning sticker placement. The loser-dom never freakin’ ends). 

It’s now time for the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the finest songs that have surfaced over recent days. Full of melody, messages, and melancholy, here’s hoping they stick to your heart as hard as a fierce Stevie Nicks sticker. Rock on…

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist #6 of 2023

Welcome to episode 5000 of “nerds doing nerd things”. This past week saw my comrade and PuR contributor Ed Zed and I make lists of the 13 or so artists throughout musical history, alive or not, that would perform at our fantasy festivals. The criteria didn’t necessarily mean strictly picking our favorite artists ( that would be a different list) but rather, those who could offer the most perfect and personalized live experience for us plus a great day/night out for similarly wired nerds. We considered logistical issues (for one thing, no artists would perform at the same time in adjacent tents or venues across town). Mine would absolutely take place outdoors in some state of perpetual night. There’d also be lots of french fries.

Anyway, at the risk of severe mockery, I’m gonna share mine in the hope that at least one of you will cough up one of your own simply because I love reading about this beautiful, nonsense dream…and I’m sure yours is gonna be amazing and brilliantly weird.

My lineup list also cites the specific era and/or version of each participating artist I’d want to see. Some are people I wish I could have seen but wasn’t alive, old enough, or geographically able to. Others I have seen perform incendiary, crazy-wonderful shows and wish I could time-machine myself back to. I also named a host for the evening just because we’ll need one.

Here’s mine aka Hopechella:

Paul McCartney & Wings c.1976-79

The Isley Brothers c.1970-72

Otis Redding & Carla Thomas c.1967

Annie Lennox-c.1992

Donny Hathaway c.1971 

Sandy Denny c.1972

ELO c.1978 (performing entire ‘Out Of The Blue album”)

John Martyn-c.1973-1980

Françoise Hardy c.1976-77

The Blue Nile-c.1989

Sinead O’Connor-‘c.90s era

George Michael c.2000’s era

Sade c.1992-93

Hosted by Tilda Swinton: past/present/future 

Here’s Ed Zed’s aka the Zedding Festival:

The Slits

Grace Jones

X-Ray Spex

Inga Copeland




The Birthday Party

WaqWaq Kingdom 


The Knife

Arthur Russell



The Cravats

The Cramps

If you want to share your FANTASY FESTIVAL bill below, please do. Go on then, I’m all ears as always! 
Know what else? It’s time for the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the finest new songs that have crossed our path over recent days. This week’s list is especially anthemic, melodic, and swoon-worthy. I hope you’ll fall madly in love with at least one of these beauties. Listen below on Soundcloud or Spotify.

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist #5 of 2023

That’s just one of the highlights from this year’s Outsider Art Fair in NYC, an event I love for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which is that it makes me feel plain old better about my own weird art. The hot painting I cannot stop staring at above is by Mark Sabin. Now check out this Valton Tyler painting below. How f*ckin’ cool is this?

My terrible iPhone photos don’t do this stuff justice. Okay, one more fab piece because as someone who draws in ink, I absolutely must include one of my brethren:

Okay, so that was the Outsider Art Fair…now it is time for the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the most wondrous new ( and new-ish) tunes that have crossed our path in recent days. It is full of gorgeously dirty, sludgy riffing, rock, and love. Heave yourself into the pit below on Soundcloud or Spotify.

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist #4 of 2023

Time for the WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the finest songs we’ve heard over recent days. These 13 tracks that follow are beautifully rockin’, magnificently sad, and oozing with melody. For the record, I’m one of those weirdos who thinks 13 is not a demonic number and is actually pretty cool. Oh, I used to be superstitious, in fact up until about a year ago if my daily commute playlist totaled 13 songs I would add or subtract one so as not to tempt fate. As an aside, I make a playlist every morning the contents of which are determined by my mood and general level of optimism that day which is usually sea level or lower, though I still don’t ever, ever put The Blue Nile in the AM playlist or else I fall into instant emo-ness and start to get misty wherever I happen to be standing so no “Let’s Go Out Tonight” for me unless I’m out of the public eye. Of course, if you feel like crying/cleansing your soul, don’t let me stop you and please have at it here. So anyways, my brain chemistry has shifted in some inexplicable way over the past year and the maligned and shunned 13 has become the track number I shoot for when assembling my daily playlist.

And with that, come now enjoy this devilishly seductive group of new wonders…and all hail the mighty 13.

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist #3 of 2023

Last week I went to Strand Bookstore to buy their one copy of The Richard Burton Diaries. Why? Well, I’m going through a bit of an Elizabeth Taylor-Richard Burton phase. In fact, it’s best not to mention them to me right now unless you want an earful of my questionable “insights” regarding their relationship and careers. Anyway, as it was very cold in NYC that day, I had to dress warmly to go get the book. So of course, that meant I was sporting my favorite piece of winter headwear: a 27-year-old black Jamiroquai beanie ( that’s it in the accompanying picture). 

The enormously-hatted, slick, clubby soul funkster Jamiroquai was a big f-ing deal in the ’90s and the beanie was meant to be given away in a contest Sony was having in the HMV record store where I was working back then. The thing is, once I had it in my hands, I fell in love with it (because I’m weird) and didn’t want to give it away. The Sony rep saw how enamored I was with this silly thing and proceeded to cancel the contest on the spot and let me keep it (FOREVER).

When I went to pay for my Burton book, the woman at the counter, who couldn’t have been more than 25 years old, quite literally lit up and broke into a huge smile. No, it wasn’t that she too was going through a simultaneous Burton and Taylor phase and was excited to find a comrade. It was all about the hat. “OH MY GOD, IS THAT JAMIROQUAI?! I LOVE JAMIROQUAI!”. This never happens. Seriously. Never ever ever. I’ve worn this hat a kabillion times and the last time anyone recognized the logo on the hat was in the actual ’90s when the J-man was still a huge star. I was flabbergasted and praised her recognition accordingly. My hat was older than she was. We talked about him a little and before I left she ecstatically told me again “I LOVE JAMIROQUAI!”

It doesn’t matter when you meet a song or artist, if you’ve discovered them in real-time or decades after they came to be. You and the song/artist tend to find each other when the universe decides you’re ready to meet and connect. Simple as that. It’s a beautiful thing. It means the possibility of discovery is never ending which is one of the coolest f-ing things in the world I think. I know all this sounds kind of silly but that’s what I was thinking about after that whole bookstore exchange. It was cosmic (girl).

Speaking of discovery, it’s time for the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the finest new songs that have crossed our path in recent days. It features a couple of weeks’ worth so it’s a bit stuffed but as every one is a heart-squeezing, lustrous anthem hopefully you won’t mind too much 😉 Listen below on Soundcloud or Spotify.

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist #2 of 2023

There were a lot of words spilled about David Crosby after his recent passing. So many that even though I’m a fan, I decided not to write anything about him as the worldwide remembrance pile was already overflowing. But here we are, weeks later and I’m officially caving in. I confess that I didn’t fully appreciate ornery, angel-voiced Croz until a decade into the 21st century. At that point, for reasons I cannot recollect, I became maniacally obsessed with his discography, in all its iterations, especially the solo stuff. I then did what crazy music nerds do and embarked on some relentless collecting, buying dozens of live bootleg cds from one of those predictably weird online blokes who sold rare, unreleased stuff. My favored illegal entrepreneur would also include bizarre, overly-friendly notes on post-its inside the CDS I ordered. The CDS themselves were nerdily-titled things that only demented hardcore nuts would be remotely interested in, shit with titles like “Rarities Volume 1” and “Live at Rockefeller’s ’87” (all wondrous though, I’m tellin’ you). He’d also throw in stuff I hadn’t asked for, which is how I ended up with a lot of odd Neil Young compilations that sounded as if they were recorded from the inside of a knapsack. I remain grateful to weird-bootleg cd-bloke (whoever he was/wherever he is), my musical drug supplier for feeding my then insatiable need. The songs and sounds of Croz emanating from these goofy CDs singlehandedly roped me in and calmed my soul at a time when I was feeling pretty damn crazy ( and they still do, when I’m in need). Croz = Genius.

And with that, it’s time for the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the finest new tracks we’ve heard over recent days. Again, as it is so early in the year, and releases are only just getting rolling, the playlist is pretty short. That is no reflection on the selection i.e. these songs are all lethally beautiful-handsome and would’ve made the cut any time of year. You can listen on Soundcloud or Spotify below.

Also want to shout out Permanent Damage, the latest album by Joesef (two songs of which are featured in the playlist). It is melodic, lush, and endlessly lovely, and has already won January as far as albums go (for me at least). You can check that out here.

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist #1 of 2023

I think we can all agree, Peanuts is life. And with that, welcome to the first WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST of 2023⚡️! As it’s only the second week of January, there isn’t a ton of new stuff happening, so it is exceptionally short (4 songs!). It is “why even make a playlist? ” short. But it seemed disrespectful to the songs to hold them back. Plus among them lives a supremely magnificent cover of “Pure Imagination” (from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory) by Storefront Church and Circuit des Yeux that I’ve grown rapidly, disturbingly obsessed with over the past 24 hours. I’ve played it at least 50 times and it’s definitely starting to screw with my brain chemistry. I’m suffering from that “looking straight ahead but not being able see anything because your eyeballs are turned inside out and are instead looking at the weird daydreamy visions in your brain that have been stirred up by the song”…which is probably a sign that I should give it a rest. But you don’t have to. You can hear that stunner and more beautiful January friends on Soundcloud or Spotify below. And may all of us have a muthaf*ckin’ Lucy year 😉

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