Playlist
Celebrated California duo The Weepies return with Be My Thrill, the follow up to 2008's critically acclaimed sophomore album Hideaway, on August 31. Their deepest, most accessible album yet, Be My Thrill is a collection of 14 tracks that crystallize the pair's organic acoustic sound and pop harmonies. Bouncing lead single "I Was Made For Sunny Days" is bound to have listeners humming along instantly.
Be My Thrill
The Weepies
Be My Honeypie
Year: 2010

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Blood Money is up there with Waits's best albums from the mid-'80s, veering as it does from sexy insomniac circus music to gorgeously heart-tugging lullabies to woozy zigzag bluesy romps to what can only be described as Oscar the Grouch singing out of tune on top of the soundtrack to an old French film. Blood Money's 13 songs were cowritten by Tom Waits and longtime collaborator and wife Kathleen Brennan for a Robert Wilson production of Georg Büchner's unfinished, protomodernist 1837 play, Woyzeck, about a Kafkaesque German soldier who goes crazy after doing medical experiments for money and kills his girlfriend after witnessing a perceived infidelity. The album's worldview is, necessarily, bleak. The lyrics are hilariously misanthropic, occasionally hallucinatory, and ring with the truth of Tin Pan Alley clichés turned inside out. "Coney Island Baby," in particular, is a grand statement, with Waits delicately croaking the lines "She's a rose, she's the pearl / She's the spin on my world / All the stars make their wishes on her eyes." The album's manifesto, however, is to be found in the title tune, as Waits spits out the words "If there's one thing you can say about mankind / There's nothing kind about man / You can drive out nature with a pitch fork / But it always comes roaring back again." Released at the same time as the lyrical, lovely Alice, the ragged and rhythmic Blood Money marks the return of one of our most gifted meta-singer-songwriters to the top of his game. --Mike McGonigal
Blood Money
Tom Waits
All The World Is Green
Year: 2002

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North American only release! Personally picked by Elvis Costello this collection includes 22 songs from 1977-1986. The disc clocks in at 78 minutes and includes such hits as Radio Radio, Accidents Will Happen, Clubland, Watching the Detectives and Alison among others.
The Best of Elvis Costello: The First 10 Years
Elvis Costello
Alison
Year: 2007

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2011 album from the former Danger Danger guitarist. As the title suggests, this is Timmons' rockin' instrumental take on the classic 1967 Beatles album.
Plays Sgt. Pepper
Andy Timmons Band
When I'm Sixty-Four
Year: 2011

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Big Bach Set
Vienna State Opera Orchestra, Felix Prohaska, conductor
Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D, BWV1068 5. Gigue
Year: 2012

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Patently incapable of making substandard records and equally hopeless at actually selling them, XTC's 10th studio album, Nonsuch (produced by Gus Dudgeon and benefiting from the crisp drum work of former Fairport Convention sticksman Dave Mattacks), was yet another sublime, literate and unpredictable Anglo-pop masterpiece, brimming with tuneful deviousness, intelligent arrangements and interesting subject matter but nevertheless avoided by the public as if it were an approaching tramp with a personal hygiene problem. That quirky Canadians Crash Test Dummies actually had a hit with an exact replica of "Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead" can only be attributed to their choice of deodorant. A similar injustice befell single "The Disappointed" (Andy Partridge's anthem for the amorously disenfranchised and surely one of their best ever recordings), which narrowly failed to win an Ivor Novello Award. Still, typically for a band who've never enjoyed the full rub of the green, some of the finest moments on Nonsuch deal with either underachievement (as on Colin Moulding's "Smartest Monkeys", which questions how mankind can get to the moon but can't solve problems of hunger and homelessness); such anti-showbiz mundanity as walking the dog ("Humble Daisy"); or aspiring to a retirement home by the sea (another forlorn Moulding number fusing Noel Coward with the Beach Boys' pocket symphonies). Other than "The Disappointed", the real must-hear is the anti-censorship "Books are Burning", inspired by the Salman Rushdie affair and by German poet Heinrich Heine's famous quote, and musically pitched halfway between "Hey Jude" and Leo Sayer's "When I Need You", ascending to a climactic duel between the frying guitars of Partridge and Gregory. --Kevin Maidment
Nonsuch
XTC
Rook
Year: 1992

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Although America's first great songwriter, Stephen Collins Foster, died 140 years ago, his legacy lives on in the hundreds of songs he left behind. Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster was recorded to celebrate his enormous gift to American culture. Foster's compositions (including "Oh! Susanna," "My Old Kentucky Home," "Camptown Races," "Jeanie With The Light Brown Hair" and "Hard Times Come Again No More") are woven into the fabric of our national identity, yet most music fans today know little about him. Foster has been unjustifiably overlooked in recent decades. No collection of his music recorded by contemporary artists has existed until now. Although tribute albums have become much too common, this project's historical significance distingusihes it from a crowded field. Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs Of Stephen Foster is a collection of Foster's most beloved compositions – and lesser-known exquisite parlor songs of his day – sung by some of today's most respected musical artists. The album includes songs by: Raul Malo, Alison Krauss with Yo Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer and Mark O'Connor, BR549, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Judith Edelman, The Duhks, John Prine, Henry Kaiser, Beth Nielsen Chapman, David Ball, Michelle Shocked & Pete Anderson, Grey De Lisle, Mavis Staples, Ollabelle, Roger McGuinn, Suzy Bogguss, Will Barrow and Ron Sexsmith. All of the proceeds from Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster will benefit American Roots Publishing, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving American regional culture through literature and art. Goals are accomplished by supporting artists who honor regional culture through their work and by linking them with communities in focused educational programs.
Beautiful Dreamer - The Songs of Stephen Foster
Stephen Foster
Holiday Schottisch
Year: 2004

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Bride Of The Noisemakers
Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers
Tango King
Year: 2011

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Founded in 2009 by Brad Wells, Roomful of Teeth consists of eight classically-trained vocalists. During their annual residency at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, the ensemble has studied Tuvan throat singing, belting and pop techniques, yodeling, Inuit throat singing and, in their summer 2012 residency, new techniques from Sardinia and Korea. Roomful of Teeth's debut album features seven composers who each incorporate the ensemble's polystylistic virtuosity in unique ways. From Rinde Eckert's neo-alpine yodel "Cesca's View" to Caleb Burhans's post-minimalist take on bel canto singing in "No", the album breathes fresh life into the a cappella landscape. One of this generation's most dynamic vocal talents, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, contributes two stunning compositions. Garbus's tunes find a range of world-inspired grooves, from African pygmy yodels, Inuit rhythmic pulsing, and Appalachian hymn tunes to bracing eastern European belting, all filtered through her powerful compositional voice. New Amsterdam co-directors Judd Greenstein, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and William Brittelle each contribute debut pieces highlighting Roomful's blazingly unique skill set.
Roomful of Teeth
Roomful of Teeth
Amid the Minotaurs
Year: 2012

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A Deeper Silence
Steve Roach
A Deeper Silence
Year: 2008

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Mezzanine is the third studio album by English trip-hop group Massive Attack, originally released in 1998 on Virgin Records. The band's most successful commercial outing, 'Mezzanine' went on to sell over 4 million copies, and win the Q Award for 1998's Best Album. Produced by Neil Davidge, 'Mezzanine' showed once again that despite a rapidly changing trip-hop scene, Massive Attack could not be ignored. Hits like, 'Angel,' 'Risingson' and 'Teardrop' - which make up the powerhouse beginning to the album - have been heard across a variety of media, including movies, television shows and video games. Another of 'Mezzanine''s many claims to fame include that it was the first full album available for legal download on Massive Attack's website. Massive Attack consistently pushes the envelope with their revelatory songs - myriad mixing effects, fuzzy guitars, eerie vocals - and 'Mezzanine' is a shining example of the group's enduring creativity.
Mezzanine
Massive Attack
Teardrop
Year: 1998

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After a four-year hiatus notable for some film and television soundtrack work, a lapsed contract, and a relaxed songwriting schedule Fountains of Wayne return with their third and best CD to date. The New York-based power-pop quartet delivers a diverse feast of infectious melodies and endlessly clever lyrics. Songwriters Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood still slide on a sweet scale between the Beatles and the Monkees, but they've branched out from '60s sounds to include bona fide alt rock ("Little Red Light," "Bought for a Song"), orchestrated pop ("Halley's Waitress"), a country lark worthy of Dwight Yoakam ("Hung Up On You"), and hints of psychedelia ("Supercollider"). The Cars-flavored "Bright Future in Sales" and "Stacy's Mom" warrant heavy-rotation airplay. Following their acclaimed eponymous debut and the vastly underrated Utopia Parkway, Welcome Interstate Managers leaves no doubt that Fountains of Wayne are gaining strength. --Jeff Shannon
Welcome Interstate Managers
Fountains of Wayne
All Kinds of Time
Year: 2003

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The Wonderful and Frightening World of the Fall is the apex of the Fall's Brix era in which Mark E. Smith, unheralded hip priest of Manchester punk, finally met his match (Smith and young American Brix met at a Chicago gig and quickly wed.) With Mrs. Smith aboard everything upgraded--the lyrics and vocals took a quirky turn as Brix chimed in, and the guitars gained a more streamlined edge. Yes, she could play guitar, and write. Even the cover art seemed to suggest a new Fall, writ large in day-glo colors. This record, their second with Brix, shows them finally ready to grapple with notions they'd scorned previously, such as actual production values (with Rough Trade honcho John Leckie engineering) and commercial accessibility (witness the sawing chords of "2x4" and "Lay of the Land"). This marks a critical moment in the Fall saga as they finally gained some U.S. recognition and prepared to up the commercial ante even more. --Gene Booth
The Wonderful and Frightening World of...
The Fall
Oh! Brother

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The Wonderful and Frightening World of the Fall is the apex of the Fall's Brix era in which Mark E. Smith, unheralded hip priest of Manchester punk, finally met his match (Smith and young American Brix met at a Chicago gig and quickly wed.) With Mrs. Smith aboard everything upgraded--the lyrics and vocals took a quirky turn as Brix chimed in, and the guitars gained a more streamlined edge. Yes, she could play guitar, and write. Even the cover art seemed to suggest a new Fall, writ large in day-glo colors. This record, their second with Brix, shows them finally ready to grapple with notions they'd scorned previously, such as actual production values (with Rough Trade honcho John Leckie engineering) and commercial accessibility (witness the sawing chords of "2x4" and "Lay of the Land"). This marks a critical moment in the Fall saga as they finally gained some U.S. recognition and prepared to up the commercial ante even more. --Gene Booth
The Wonderful and Frightening World of...
The Fall
C.R.E.E.P.

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This Nation's Saving Grace
The Fall
L.A.

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Founded in 2009 by Brad Wells, Roomful of Teeth consists of eight classically-trained vocalists. During their annual residency at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, the ensemble has studied Tuvan throat singing, belting and pop techniques, yodeling, Inuit throat singing and, in their summer 2012 residency, new techniques from Sardinia and Korea. Roomful of Teeth's debut album features seven composers who each incorporate the ensemble's polystylistic virtuosity in unique ways. From Rinde Eckert's neo-alpine yodel "Cesca's View" to Caleb Burhans's post-minimalist take on bel canto singing in "No", the album breathes fresh life into the a cappella landscape. One of this generation's most dynamic vocal talents, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, contributes two stunning compositions. Garbus's tunes find a range of world-inspired grooves, from African pygmy yodels, Inuit rhythmic pulsing, and Appalachian hymn tunes to bracing eastern European belting, all filtered through her powerful compositional voice. New Amsterdam co-directors Judd Greenstein, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and William Brittelle each contribute debut pieces highlighting Roomful's blazingly unique skill set.
Roomful of Teeth
Roomful of Teeth
Amid the Minotaurs

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Founded in 2009 by Brad Wells, Roomful of Teeth consists of eight classically-trained vocalists. During their annual residency at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, the ensemble has studied Tuvan throat singing, belting and pop techniques, yodeling, Inuit throat singing and, in their summer 2012 residency, new techniques from Sardinia and Korea. Roomful of Teeth's debut album features seven composers who each incorporate the ensemble's polystylistic virtuosity in unique ways. From Rinde Eckert's neo-alpine yodel "Cesca's View" to Caleb Burhans's post-minimalist take on bel canto singing in "No", the album breathes fresh life into the a cappella landscape. One of this generation's most dynamic vocal talents, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, contributes two stunning compositions. Garbus's tunes find a range of world-inspired grooves, from African pygmy yodels, Inuit rhythmic pulsing, and Appalachian hymn tunes to bracing eastern European belting, all filtered through her powerful compositional voice. New Amsterdam co-directors Judd Greenstein, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and William Brittelle each contribute debut pieces highlighting Roomful's blazingly unique skill set.
Roomful of Teeth
Roomful of Teeth
4 Pieces: IV. Passacaglia

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Dynamic Stillness is a vast new work that has progressedover the past three years. The opening for these pieceswas accessed through long periods of solitude at Roach shigh desert studio and beyond. The record reaches intoa realm of amorphous soundworlds filled with a senseof unresolved expansion and mystery, blooming intocloudlike form. A moving meditation on the quiet power inherent in vastspaces. Roach has come back around to the slow-motionterraforming of soundworlds that seem to go on forever,pulling skeins of light through layers of cloud to describegorgeous imaginary landscapes ... Dynamic Stillness isRoach at his contemplative best, a sure and silent guidecoaxing us to follow him into the endless realms insideourselves. (Hypnagogue)
Dynamic Stillness
Steve Roach
Long Tide
Year: 2009

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Songs for Imaginative People
Darwin Deez
(800) Human
Year: 2013

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Murder Ballads
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Stagger Lee
Year: 1996

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Fountains of Wayne is one of the leaders of the latest in a long series of power- pop revivals. If the music sounds a lot like mid-'60s pop rock, it's no accident, for the songwriters are unabashed British Invasion fans. The songs on the debut album, Fountains of Wayne, take perky, '60s-like hooks and marry them to ambiguous, unnerving, '90s-like lyrics. Some songs offer an untrustworthy narrator; when the singer complains about "Joe Rey," a Eurotrash jet-setter, you wonder whether he's expressing disdain or envy and whether the song's noisy guitar energy belongs to the band or to Joe Rey. And there's something about the pent-up Mersey-beat energy and pleading vocals of "Please Don't Rock Me Tonight" that make one suspect the singer doesn't really mean what he says. Schlesinger and Collingswood are undeniably clever, but they're not afraid to rock. --Geoffrey Himes
Fountains of Wayne
Fountains of Wayne
I've Got a Flair
Year: 2004

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To gauge the magnitude of Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's popularity in his native Hawaii, consider this: following his death in 1997 (at age 38, attributed to his profound obesity), Kamakawiwo'ole's body lay in state in the state capitol, only the second person to receive such an honor. Kamakawiwo'ole's appeal lies in his love for prestatehood, precondominium Hawaii and the expressiveness of his gently passionate voice, which can float through higher registers with an ease that brings Johnny Mathis to mind. Several selections ("Ka Pua U'i," "White Sandy Beach of Hawai'i," the sun-kissed "La 'Elima") feature Kamakawiwo'ole in a traditional mood, using only his ukulele to adorn the charm of his native lyricism. Others, such as the Jimmy Buffett-like "Maui Hawaiian Sup'pa Man" add playful contemporary touches that suit Kamakawiwo'ole's style. Most touching are the string-backed laments that open and close the album, "Hawai'i '78 Introduction" and "Hawai'i '78," initially a reflection on his father's death, later on the passing of Hawaii's native culture. Best known is his medley "Somewhere over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World," which played over the closing credits of the film Meet Joe Black. --Terry Wood
Facing Future
Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
Kaulana Kawaihae
Year: 1993

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1. Harbor Lights (7:11) 2. Talk Of The Town (5:11) 3. Long Tall Cool One (4:59) 4. China Doll (5:16) 5. Fields of Gray (4:52) 6. Rainbow's Cadillac (4:37) 7. Passing Through (5:58) 8. The Tide Will Rise (3:55) 9. What A Time (4:03) 10. Pastures of Plenty (6:37)
Harbor Lights
Bruce Hornsby
Pastures of Plenty
Year: 1993

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Paris Concert
Keith Jarrett
October 17, 1988
Year: 1988

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Here Comes The Reign Again: The Second British Invasion
Tracy Bonham
Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)
Year: 2014

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Here Comes The Reign Again: The Second British Invasion
Secret Friend
West End Girls
Year: 2014

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Here Comes The Reign Again: The Second British Invasion
Freedy Johnston
Promises, Promises
Year: 2014

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ENDLESS ROAD
Endless Road
Tommy Emmanuel
Windy & Warm
Year: 2005

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Todd
Todd Rundgren
A Dream Goes On Forever
Year: 1974

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LUX
Brian Eno
LUX 1
Year: 2012

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The Koln Concert
Keith Jarrett
Part I
Year: 1975

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The Koln Concert
Keith Jarrett
Part II B
Year: 1975

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The Koln Concert
Keith Jarrett
Part I
Year: 1975

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Foo Fighters have confirmed that the making of their upcoming eighth album--due out this fall on Roswell/RCA--will be accompanied by an as yet untitled HBO series documenting the eight-city odyssey during which the record was created.In the series, directed by FF founder Dave Grohl, the Foo Fighters tap into the musical heritage and cultural fabric of eight cities--Chicago, Austin, Nashville, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans, Washington, DC and New York--basing themselves at a legendary studios integral to the unique history and character of each location.One song was recorded in each city, every song featuring local legends sitting in, and every lyric written in an unprecedented experimental style: Dave held off on putting down words until the last day of each session, so as to be inspired by the experiences, interviews and personalities that became part of the process.
Sonic Highways
Foo Fighters
What Did I Do? / God As My Witness

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Dislocation Blues
Chris Whitley and Jeff Lang
Stagger Lee
Year: 2007

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Murder Ballads
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Stagger Lee
Year: 1996

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Murder Ballads
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Stagger Lee
Year: 1996

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Here Comes The Reign Again: The Second British Invasion
Linus Of Hollywood
Everytime You Go Away
Year: 2014

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This is the album that started it all for George and Andrew! Whether or not it will ever be "cool" to admit liking them, Make It Big sounds pretty good after all of these years. Granted, "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" is an impossible notion to begin with--who could possibly sleep after this sugar binge? But "Everything She Wants" has a sophisticated tension in its syncopation, and, wow, could the boy sing! "Careless Whisper" really showed that George Michael had a firm grasp on R&B and soul. --Steve Gdula
Make It Big
Wham!
Freedom

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Here Comes The Reign Again: The Second British Invasion
The Davenports
Freedom
Year: 2014

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Here Comes The Reign Again: The Second British Invasion
Ken Stringfellow
Digging Your Scene
Year: 2014

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Here Comes The Reign Again: The Second British Invasion
Tracy Bonham
Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)
Year: 2014

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Tooth of Crime
T-Bone Burnett
Dope Island
Year: 2008

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So
Peter Gabriel
Don't Give Up
Year: 1986

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