Category: Weekly New Wonders Playlist

Weekly New Wonders Playlist # 5 !

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Though at the end of the day we are all the exact same doomed dust balls, we humans still like to entertain the idea we are “special” & that we personally are unlike anyone who has ever walked the earth before us. While the latter applies or has applied to say David Bowie, Prince or Kate Bush, the rest of us are not that special…which is to say it’s never nice to find out you are an utter cliche. As I watched the new & pretty cool “High Fidelity” series on Hulu yesterday, several moments within it hit dangerously close to the bone, including our hero as played by Zoë Kravitz breaking down Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” track by track & acknowledging her preference for “Tusk” & then later correcting a major chronological error made by an asshole regarding the release date of the “Wings Over America” album. I watched in abject horror & thought ” uh oh, that sounds like me”.

At some point each & every day I think of Fleetwood Mac & Paul McCartney. I might not always be talking about them but not a day has gone by in the past trillion years when they haven’t made their daily cameo in my mind. Don’t get me wrong, I still think of my family & stuff like I’m supposed to, it’s just I also think of Fleetwood Mac & Wings. It’s too late to recalibrate & fix at this stage, just know if anyone needs breakdowns on which live versions of “Sara” are the best or wants someone to rank all the McCartney releases from 1970- 1980 in meticulous detail, I’m here for you.

And with that WELCOME to the latest & greatest in pop music from recent days within the WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST. You can listen below on Soundcloud or Spotify. Here’s hoping you meet your new favorite song & future favorite band there.

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist # 4 !

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This week, in an effort to clear space & make my computer “run faster”, I deleted a bunch of stuff. And in my haste I accidentally obliterated about 100 songs from my hard drive. While there a were a few beloved friends among them, long term loves that I rushed to recover immediately, I was surprised to find that most of what I’d lost I could do without for a minute, even though some of the songs been high on my hit parade at some point over the past 10 years. As an example, I’d gone through a weird phase one summer where I was obsessed with deep cuts by Seals & Crofts , the mustachioed pop-folk duo of ’70s “Summer Breeze” fame. For an entire July and August, I’d had them playing in an endless loop. I still have no idea what drove this impulse, I mean shouldn’t America’s Greatest Hits have provided all the soft rock any one person would ever need ? One day I just found myself rummaging through all the Seals & Crofts albums on I-tunes & next thing you know I was rocking a carefully curated 20 song playlist every time I walked out the door. And so you can probably guess what I’m about to say. Yes, a bunch of those Seals & Crofts songs died during in my accidental purge . Although it may have been a “disaster” had it happened 10 years ago, as of this week I just didn’t care. They’d ceased to be important anymore.

There are songs that are only meant to soundtrack a specific part of your life and then evaporate into the ether once you’ve gotten everything you need from them which I guess means songs are like people. And so it was with Seals & Crofts who inexplicably rocked my world for 2 whole months until I no longer needed them. But hey “Summer Breeze” is still a classic.

And here are some gorgeous new songs we’ve heard over recent days that I hope you never get sick of…
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Weekly New Wonders Playlist # 3 !

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Back in the late ’90s I was in charge of ordering the cds in a big mega record store & watching the Grammys was an essential task. I would literally sit with a notepad writing down anything that seemed significant so the crew & myself could order bulk of whatever it was the next morning. This was because the next day would see floods of people coming to purchase whatever thing won “Album of the Year” or whatever release coincided with whoever gave the best performance on the show. Those were the only 2 things that mattered. The sub-categories seemed to mean nothing to people.

These days the Grammys are a complete mess for more reasons than I could possibly list here. There’s so much brilliant stuff never gets acknowledged & never will. And there is heinous stuff living inside it’s infrastructure. But this year, within the mess was this one particularly sweet thing.

Country music legend Tanya Tucker has LIVED. She’s been kicking out records since 1972 & has been put through the ringer of life in every which way you can imagine. I was blessed to see her play live in 2019 & she was an open book on stage, intense, tough as nails & vulnerable as well as self-deprecatingly funny.  And her raw razor blade voice sounded amazing. I took the pic above at the show & yeah, she offered us all a drink becuz she rules like that. Anyway, she just received the 1st freakin’ Grammy Awards of her nearly 50 year career this week, at age 61, and holy shit, it took waaay too long & she totally deserved them. And it was a beautiful thing because it meant so, so much to her. Hail to you Queen Tanya, hope yer livin’ it up.

Now please enjoy the latest & greatest new music we’ve been exposed to over recent days within the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST !! There’s post-punk anthems, Nilsson-esque crooning, plush synths & a 400 year old folk song amongst them & in the midst of the current misery & mayhem, they are here for you. Hope you fall in love with something.

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist # 2 of 2020 !

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January 19 marked what would have been the legendary, they only made one of her, Janis Joplin’s 77th birthday & it’s already the 20th as I write this so I’m technically “late” in mentioning it. And main reason I’m bringing it up is so I can recommend this completely freakin’ amazing new book about her life, “Janis: Her Life and Music” by Holly George-Warren. You don’t need to be a hardcore fan of her music to get into it, the  story alone is at once fascinating, frustrating, triumphant & tragic ( and who knows maybe reading it will pique your interest about her music). As a nerd who reads loads of music related books, believe me when I tell you they are not created equal & this is a good one. Okay, have to go off on a tangent for a second to talk about one of the key music book sub-genres, the rock star memoir. Unfortunately most follow the same formula which is basically 100 pages of debauchery followed by 200 pages about taking the twins to school, cooking vegan feasts & daily one on one martial arts training sessions with an esteemed master guru. Plus some stuff about how the new music the author is making is the best they’ve ever done. And yeah it’s awesome that everything’s worked out but it generally makes for a terrible read. Sorry about that, just had to get it out of my system. Anyway, the Janis book is obviously something else & it’s awesome & so please check it out !

And now back to our regular programming ! Please head to the blog (link in bio) for the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the FINEST NEW MUSIC we’ve heard in recent days. Here’s hoping you’ll find a song or band that warms your heart, ignites grand emotional epiphanies, becomes a shoulder to lean on, inspires you to kick ass in your daily endeavors & gets you through the night.

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist # 1 of 2020 !

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Rush were one of those bands where while we  weren’t exactly friends, we would still acknowledge each other when we passed in the hall. We moved in the same circles ( I liked prog but mostly in it’s female friendly form which was Phil Collins-era Genesis). They had a song I genuinely loved upon release & still do to this day (“Subdivisions“). I thought their 2010 documentary “Beyond the Lighted Stage” was ridiculously fun, watched it multiple times & still regularly recommend to people, especially those that are wont to say, “I don’t know, I’m not really into Rush” ( by the way, please watch it if you haven’t). I loved how Jason Segal’s character on “Freaks and Geeksworshipped Rush’s virtuosic drummer Neil Peart & spoke of him with a love bordering on obsession. And speaking of Neil, I really dug his 2002 book “Ghost Rider” for it’s sadness & serenity.  Most recently, in early 2019 to be exact, we went through a major Rush phase at work, listening to playlists that lasted the full 8 hour shift for several weeks & resulted in our using the word “Narpets” on a regular basis from that point on. Neil Peart’s death last week was both sad & shocking but what I’m getting at here is that even if you don’t love every Rush song, they are worth getting to know, Neil is worth getting to know. Check out the doc, read one of his books, listen to the wonderful “Subdivisions”, hey even watch some “Freaks and Geeks” because something in there will assuredly penetrate your heart, it definitely did mine.

And with that WELCOME TO OUR FIRST WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST of 2020, featuring the best songs we’ve heard over recent days: they are all BEAUTIFUL ! Listen below on Soundcloud or Spotify:

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist !

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A black squirrel scurried across my path in Central Park today in the cold rain and while I’m not going to attach any deeper meaning to it ( apart from the fact I rarely see them there), I wanted to acknowledge that it was cool just to run into him or her being all unusual and shiz. Jeezus I’m rambling already. Welcome to the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST ! I haven’t done this for a couple of weeks because there’s some bigger piles of words on the horizon that are taking my attention, one being the Top 50 SONGS OF THE YEAR as well as a lengthy, maniacal article on some ’80s popsters who are going to remain nameless for a minute. Anyway, that’s all coming in the next week or so and hope you dig it all ! On the off chance you actually miss my hyperbolic scribbling, please head over to covermesongs.com to read my weekly contributions to the world’s best cover songs blog Cover Me ! It’s not my blog as there is some serious quality control employed and awesomely awesome writing by a whole lotta amazing contributors but I am honored to be a small cog. Please go check it out ! Believe me when I tell you the cover version world is an endlessly fascinating, bottomless well of discovery.

Okay, so here are some of the finest pop songs and instrumental interludes (for emo moments) we’ve heard over recent days. Hopefully they will warm your heart and inspire you to kick ass in your daily endeavors. You can listen on Soundcloud or Spotify.

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist

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This latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring our favorite new songs from recent days is kind of small. 2019 has been a crazy good music year, with inevitably more to come so we can just put this down the universe taking a breather. And hey, this is in no way a reflection on the beauty and finery of the songs included this week. In fact we are going to take the half full approach because it so happens there was a brilliantly wonderful album released this week to fatten up your listening schedule.

Michael Kiwanuka’s third album titled Kiwanuka was released this week and it is too, too beautiful. As in every song. Now while The Guardian review of the album this week described it as “one of the greatest albums of the decade”, I’m not going to go there just yet. That’s because I’m currently in throes of complete irrational infatuation with this thing. And so I think it would be best to wait until the emotional smoke clears before I’m saying crazy, over the top shiz about how I want to spend the rest of my life with it or start comparing it to my favorite album of all time, Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”BUT it is without question one of the absolute best things I’ve heard this year, managing somehow to be both tear inducing and life affirming.

It sounds like the past distilled through the lens of the future. It’s ROCK AND SOUL united. Like The Isley Brothers in 1971 disassembling and transforming “Fire And Rain” and “Ohio” into profound, powerful soul. Like the haunting psychedelia of Minnie Riperton on “Les Fleurs”. Like Gil Scott-Heron preaching about how hard it is to be alive while embedded in the sweetest melody. Like the mournful majesty of Friends of Distinction’s “Going In Circles”. “Kiwanuka” just glows with all of this and more. It feels both eerie and like the sun warming your face. It’s instantly memorable and endlessly tuneful.

I know I sound like a nerd saying all that in such a flowery over the top way but I just want to drive home that this thing is really kind of beautiful. Check both that and the wonderful new stuff out below !

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist !

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Sometimes a song will be so good, so perfect, that I will actually get misty. It doesn’t happen that often but whenever it does, it feels like being gifted with some brilliant, mystical prize. I’ll always remember hearing Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U” for the very first time in my teenage bedroom & dissolving into floods of tears because…I don’t know. It wasn’t just the words, it was the sound of it. I mean, it was everything. It forcefully hit every nerve in ways I’ll probably never understand. I definitely didn’t then. All I knew is that I wanted to play it over & over & over again. Anyway the night sky is crying in NYC as I write this, plus it’s a little chilly which means conditions are ideal for putting on the headphones & cranking up the best new music from recent days. It’s all right here for you. WELCOME TO THE LATEST WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST ! You can listen on Soundcloud or Spotify below.

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist !

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Rock and Roll has officially been kicking around since the mid ’50s. Since then many albums have been released. As a result of all this, not a week goes by these days, where someone does not call attention to a specific album anniversary. 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 50 freakin’ years. I’m not 100% sure what is being signified by showcasing these anniversaries other than we are all getting older. Whenever I see an article celebrating an album’s original release, I think one of two things :

1- Shit, it’s been that long, seems like yesterday. Also, I’m old.

2-That album is not very good ( I’m phrasing that more politely than what my actual thought usually is).

The potentially mind-blowing album anniversary factoids haven’t happened yet, you know, like when The Beatles “Sgt.Pepper” turns 100, or Taylor Swift’s “Lover” turns 50. That stuff seems genuinely insane.

Anyway, last week saw the 37th anniversary of Daryl Hall and John Oates wondrous 1982 album “H20”, a record full of the awesomest 80s NYC soul pop this side of heaven. 37 is not a genuine demarcation point in anniversary world of course but in Hall and Oates world, this record was a significant event. And so any excuse to celebrate it’s beautiful, sweaty, poptastic life is valid.

There are going to be some new long form, faintly demented pieces appearing on the blog over next 2 weeks. One of them involves Hall and Oates and it will be both loving and critical, full of joy and Oates. I can’t wait to share it with the 1 or 2 of you that care ( seriously) !

Welcome to the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST, featuring some beautiful pop music from recent days. You can listen on Spotify or Soundcloud below. And let’s make a pact to meet back here in 2056 to celebrate how awesome these songs still sound then okay ?

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist !

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Ric Ocasek was one of those people where if he was out in the street you couldn’t miss him. One day about a dozen years ago, my co-worker Dennis and myself were in Union Square Park on our lunch break from the music store where we worked, walking through the food stands and heard a couple of woman shouting. “Ric ! Hey Ric !” We turned and saw Ric Ocasek  meandering through the moderately crowded path between the stands. The women were giggling and prodding each other, trying desperately to get his attention but he didn’t acknowledge them. They appeared to be a couple of suburban ladies who couldn’t believe their luck ( Hey, I can say that because I’m one of those technically), here he was, the man who soundtracked their school years in the flesh.

Dennis and I were embarrassed on his behalf, I mean he was just peacefully cruising through his neighborhood, not looking for attention. But I understood and appreciated their excitement even though we’d seen him around before. It was Ric of The Cars. Ric who wrote Just What I Needed, Let’s Go, You’re All I’ve Got Tonight and Drive. Ric from MTV and Creem Magazine. And so yeah, they couldn’t help themselves. You couldn’t really blame them for getting excited.

Ric was one of a kind in every way. He and the Cars made perfect weird and wonderful pop music that will endure as long as the earth is turning. He also actively mentored, coaxed, and nurtured new bands. As I write this, The Cars Complete Greatest Hits album is # 1 on iTunes. No matter what you might feel about people predictably jumping on the posthumous bandwagon, the fact that these songs are still getting love and that maybe a younger generation are discovering them for the first time is really kind of beautiful and awesome.

Okay, no way to transition neatly from that. Let’s just say here is some wonderful new music by some artists you may not know of yet but who hopefully will make your day feel better. Welcome to the latest Weekly New Wonders Playlist. Heartbeat City, here we come…

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