Category: Weekly New Wonders Playlist !

Weekly New Wonders Playlist # 28 of 2021!

This is a picture of the playground at my old elementary school on Long Island. And that small space you see is where we, the girls, played “bullet” i.e.dodgeball at recess every day (no idea how we came to call it by that name but there you go). One team stood on the fenced in side, the boundary line was where the fence ended, and the other team was positioned in front of the wall with the orange square on it. I know it looks terrifyingly small but at ten, eleven years old we weren’t all that big and strong honestly. Still, if you were on the brick wall side of the equation, well, lets just say you needed to be on extremely high alert if you wished to survive. To be clear, this was a voluntary activity, just something we did for fun after lunch. And despite my shy, sensitive and artistic nature I actually loved playing bullet. Could not wait for recess every day. My tomboy-competitiveness coupled with my desire to act out my irrational childhood anguish-anger by throwing balls at popular girls as hard as I could and maybe knocking one of them over meant I found the whole experience absolutely exhilarating. I freakin’ loved it. And maybe best of all, my athletic aggression ensured I wasn’t picked last. And so, it was kind of a win-win. Anyway, I went back to the old stomping grounds recently and as I passed by the old school decided to stop and take a look. And when I came upon the old bullet court, which I hadn’t seen for decades, I was a little bit stunned. Not only because it hadn’t changed (comforting) but because I couldn’t believe just quite how small it was…and how unknowingly brave-stupid we were to have been playing such a violent game in this concrete shoebox with no supervision or regard for our own personal safety. What the holy hell were you kids thinking? Head shake. Sigh. Oh children of the ’70s and ’80s, you guys were f-ing nuts…and know what, I love you. Just rub some dirt on it, you’ll be okay.

Hey how about some music ? I present to you the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the most gorgeous song specimens that have surfaced over the past couple of weeks. In these songs you will find lustrous heartbreak, downtown lights, warm tears and lots and lots of melodic beauty. Check ’em all out below…

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist #27 of 2021!

Every day is a good day for some Aretha. She’s a healer and who doesn’t need at least 3 minutes of healing a day? She’s always got you covered whether you want to dance or roll up in a ball and cry with the lights out. With that in mind, if you are looking to read something nerdy and ridiculously idiosyncratic regarding how a besotted fan ( uh, that’d be me) listens to her, then I invite you to head over to Medium to check out this weird thing I wrote. It’s called “Aretha’s Greatest Bits” and is basically a descent into the sublime weeds of a few vocal performances of hers. You know how you have favorite lines in movies ? Well it’s kind of like that except Aretha herself is the movie. Check it out here !

And oh yeah, it’s time for the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the absolute finest new tracks we’ve heard over recent days. It’s not a big list this week but it is, as they say, perfectly formed. Lush and dirty, sweet and sad, it’s just a concise, focused 7-pack of love. You can listen below on Soundcloud or Spotify.

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist #26 of 2021 !

I’ve written about Paul McCartney about 10 billion times at this point & I’m sorry but I have to do it one more time. Right so, there is a new 6 part series on Hulu called “McCartney 3,2,1”.In it Rick Rubin & Paul rumble through the Beatles & solo Macca catalogue analyzing isolated parts & reminiscing while air-drumming/bass-ing. Through it all Paul seems as mystified by the brilliance of what he’s created as the rest of us. Okay, they spend too much time talking about freakin’ “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”& Paul repeats some truly well-worn anecdotes but it’s engaging, intimate & genuinely moving ( yes, I did tear up a few times). You should definitely watch it ❤️

I actually met Paul once back in 2007 when I was working at Virgin Megastore in NYC. When we were introduced he took both my hands & smiled. It is at this disturbingly early point of our story that I officially lost my shit. I did not let go & “dragged” him forward into my own office to show him the picture I had on my wall of he & his beloved Linda.
Me : “Paul, I have to show you something”. I then pointed to the photo. Why I felt the need to do this I still don’t know.
Paul: “That’s my baby and me”
I then babbled for several minutes telling him how much I loved his band & that I was psyched that he was including “Too Many People” in his live shows again. This is the solo track where he famously attacks John in one of the verses. He said “Oh you like that one do you ? “.
He then hailed his photographer over to take a photo of us, his idea (holy jeezus) & so I got to hold onto him again.
And then he was gone, downstairs to sign autographs for the fans.
To review : I mentioned his late wife AND the song with the famously mean line about his deceased musical soulmate John Lennon in the space of a few minutes & may have set a new land speed record for complete inappropriateness when talking to a Beatle. Also once he left the office I had an attack of what I can only describe as “jelly legs” & almost fell down. And then when I got home I cried. Yes, I gave a truly full circle performance on this special day.

Basically IT WAS THE GREATEST THING EVER. And so yes, you should definitely check out the Hulu show okay ?

And now please join me for the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the finest new songs that have crossed our path this week. They are all fabulous & beautiful & # 1 in this heart here ( and hopefully will be in yours too).

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist # 25 of 2021 !

I wouldn’t normally do this but today is my Mom’s 81st birthday and I just want to pay tribute to her this week ! That’s a pic of her in our kitchen in the’80s with our diva hound dog Daisy (RIP girl) and her ever present (back in the day) Salem cigarette. Just want to send big blessings to this Brooklyn born hippie girl who throughout the ’70s drove a white Chevy Nova with a huge yellow sunflower🌻 painted on the side proudly through our conservative town, who worshipped Janis Joplin, referred to Bob Dylan as “Bobby”, Jim Croce as “Jimmy” and LL Cool J as “JJ Cool” (which even though it was a mistake I still find to be awesome). She’s the coolest and I hope I can grow up to be like her someday. She once told me the happiest day of her life was the day she stopped caring what people thought of her and yeah, here’s to that 😉 Anyway, Happy 18th Birthday Mom (not 81 as you reminded me), you rule forever ❤️ !

Thanks for indulging me. Now it’s time for the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the finest new songs that have crossed our path over recent days. It’s a small one, easily digestible, sweet and lustrous and every track is currently occupying the #1spot in our heart.

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist # 24 of 2021 !

That is a pic of Sinead O’ Connor when she was a teenager (love those gloves). Just wanted to recommend her new memoir “Rememberings” which is equal parts intense, indulgent, fascinating and weird-funny. In it you will find spirituality, shagging and yes nerds yes, an album by album breakdown (!). I’m old so I’ve seen Sinead play dozens of times over the years and she has never been less than staggeringly wonderful every single time. At festivals, in theaters, in tiny clubs. No matter what she sang. Originals. Traditional folk ballads. Obscure reggae covers. She’s just one of those artists where it doesn’t matter what songs she sings, she just has that ability to keep you in rapt attention and utterly awe-struck at the power of her voice for an entire show. It’s kind of amazing. When you see Sinead you aren’t obsessing over the setlist or waiting for just that one song, it’s always big picture powerful, cathartic and beautiful. And so yes check out the book in whatever format you can. I have to say the audiobook where Sinead herself reads and chuckles aloud while reeling off certain anecdotes is especially great.

And now for music! Welcome to the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the finest songs that have surfaced over recent days. Not sure if anyone has noticed but I haven’t posted a playlist for a couple of weeks which means this one is a little bit bigger than usual. I’ll be back to the normal routine this coming week. That said, there are some outrageously wonderful songs within this mega-list and I think you should listen to all of them. Do it in intervals, take breaks, listen to some today and some tomorrow but check them all out, they are all melodic, fantastic, sad and jubilant and surely taking turns occupying the #1 spot over on Earth 2 as we speak.

Nothing compares to u…

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist # 23 of 2021 !

Gonna keep it brief today because I’m working on some lengthy, rambling essay things for this place that’ll be coming your way this very week (uh oh). And so with no further ado, I present to you the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the finest new songs that have crossed our path over recent days. I need to warn you, it’s kind of big. It was just one of those weeks where we were gifted with a whole lotta good ones. And so think of it as a melodic journey. A blessedly wordless podcast. An opportunity to meditate on some gorgeous pop music. Just something to get invested in and hell, you might find your next favorite song or band amongst ’em. You can listen below on Soundcloud or Spotify!

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist #22 of 2021!

Hey, I want to recommend a book ! “You’re History:The Twelve Strangest Women In Music” by Lesley Chow is not so much actual ‘history’ as it is a celebration and appreciation of sounds. Literally. It’s about songs and artists infiltrating our hearts not via literal, linear lyrics but rather through idiosyncratic improvs, ad-libbing, glitches and off the charts weirdness. Here is her description of the book’s inspiration in the intro:

“What lifts a song into greatness may be the singer’s impulse to lengthen, slur or skip over a note, or an incorrect turn of phrase that nonetheless becomes iconic”.

It’s about how Chaka Khan’s glorious “oohs” on “Ain’t Nobody” and Rihanna’s emphasis on the “ella” in “Umbrella” embody life itself. How lyrics that say “nothing” can be everything. The book features chapters on several of my personal and forever Queens ( Sade, Kate Bush, TLC, Chaka), breaks down the endless wonder of Janet Jackson’s lustful, obsessive “If”, offers the absolute best take on Tom Tom Club I’ve ever read in my whole nerdy life and closes things out with her own list of “The Greatest Oohs in Modern Music”. I was endlessly nodding as I read it, all the while marking pages with freakin’ post-its so I could re-read them and nod again later.

Look, it’s cool to read a music book and get some validation once in a while, to discover that someone else is experiencing songs like you. And it’s rare to hear someone taking the angle Chow does in “You’re History”. Never mind that I am always down for deep analysis regarding TLC. It’s inexpensive, paperback and is only 162 passionate pages long so it’s easy in every respect. If you are the kind of person who actually enjoys my meandering blog, then I think you might like it 🙂 Okay, onward !

And now please join me for the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the best new songs that’ve crossed our path over recent days. All are lush, tuneful, anthemic and beautiful. You can listen below on Soundcloud or Spotify.

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Click here for Spotify Playlist

Weekly New Wonders Playlist #21 of 2021!

Back in the ’80s, the Museum Of Modern Art curated a show of what they felt were the most innovative and exciting music videos available up to that point. It was called “Music Video: The Industry and Its Fringes”, a title which while it did not scream FUN, intrigued me. I was a young, obsessed MTV watcher at the time which meant I just had to see it. I went in knowing that they probably wouldn’t be featuring my beloved Duran Duran or Culture Club, this was an art museum after all, but hoped there would be a song or a someone I’d never seen that I could potentially fall in love with ( hopefully British with a big, fat synthesizer and frosted tips). That didn’t happen. I was instead confronted with this disturbing, well, something. Amongst the slate of videos was one for a song called “Frankie Teardrop” by the NYC duo Suicide ( neither of which I’d heard of at the time). I found both the song and video supremely unsettling.

“Frankie Teardrop” was not a pop song. It was a sinister, repetitive electronic drone with a creepily fey vocal about a guy who’d finally reached his breaking point and committed an unspeakable act. It was 10 minutes of blood curdling screams and menace and a very long way from my favored musical candies like Men At Work and Madonna. The video, which you can check out above, with its blurry images of child mannequins, James Dean, crabs, rats, desolate streets and anonymous faces went a long way to maximizing the terror of the song.

It rattled me. It gave me the chills and blotted out all of the videos that came before or after it. No new pop babes for me. All I could think about after watching the 30+ clips on offer was “Frankie Teardrop”. It lingered and haunted. Frankie, Frankie, Frankie.

Something about “Frankie Teardrop” turned my head around. Even though I wasn’t sure I’d ever want to play it, I bought the Suicide album it came from. For some reason I had to have it. And a week later I decided I had to see the video again and so returned to MOMA for that sole reason. 

The world’s most popular Suicide fan boy, Bruce Springsteen, once said about “Frankie”; “Oh, my God! That’s one of the most amazing records I think I ever heard. I love that record”. Bruce loves Frankie.

Anyway, I was talking about “Frankie” to a friend last night and the weird sensation of revering a song, being fascinated by its every molecule but not really wanting to hear it (or see it) often, if at all. All these years later I still vividly recall the shock and surprise of it, how it shook my pop music perceptions around, discovering that a song could actually scare you, make you feel so weird. It was unnerving…and totally amazing.

Right, enough stream of consciousness craziness 😉 I now invite you to check out the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the best new songs we’ve heard over the recent cold and rainy days. It was a very POP week, full of hooks and swoon-worthy sugary tunes. All great and all surely occupying the #1 spot on the chart over on earth 2. You can listen below on Soundcloud or Spotify. We’re all Frankies.

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist #20 of 2021!

I don’t have any weird anecdotes to offer today, just gonna offer you the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the best new songs that have crossed our path over the past week. It is big and it is especially, gloriously melodic. You can listen below on Soundcloud or Spotify !

For anyone interested, there’s a bunch of stuff on the way here at PuR (!) including a terrifying, topical mega-artist album breakdown ( oh it’s a big one ), new essays on under-appreciated albums and artists in our ongoing and questionable “That’s Their Pet Sounds” series, as well as some deep dives into particular years in pop music history that will be full of nonsense, hot takes and cringe-worthy coming of age musical related memories ( uh oh ).

And so please stay tuned ( and subscribed ) for all the self-indulgent craziness coming soon ;)!

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Weekly New Wonders Playlist # 19 of 2021 !

Don’t be scared. That’s just Sadie the small stuffed bird who hangs over my desk. My Mom gave her to me a few years ago after finding her at a yard sale. I have no idea why she is dressed like a spoiled Victorian child. And while she’s not as menacing as one of those terrifying antique dolls whose eyes follow you around the room, I can confirm she does give off a pretty impressive cute-creepy-demonic children’s choir vibe in person.

But hey, it’s time for the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the most heart-squeezingly handsome songs we’ve heard over the past week. They are all 🔥 and tied for the #1 spot on the chart over on Earth 2. You can listen on Soundcloud or Spotify below.

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