Sunday Music: Slick Rick’s Mona Lisa

When it comes to storytelling, Slick Rick is one of the greats. I don’t know how I ended up with “Mona Lisa” stuck in my head the other day, but the whole song is a masterpiece.  For the uninitiated, Slick Rick has already “made it” before he launches into the song (it’s important background if … Continue reading Sunday Music: Slick Rick’s Mona Lisa

Sunday Music: Remembering Betty Davis

Talk about a short career with a massive impact. Betty Davis recorded 4 albums in about as many years. She played with the best musicians of the time. She married Miles Davis. She wrote. She produced. She killed.  And then, she retired. She packed her bags, moved to Pittsburgh, and a few weeks ago she … Continue reading Sunday Music: Remembering Betty Davis

Sunday Music: DJ Jazzy Jeff Cutting It Up In 1986

The internet can be so amazing. One minute I’m listening to Will Smith tell a story about the 1986 World Supreme DJ Competition, and the next, I’m finding an actual set of DJ Jazzy Jeff killing it in a UK version of the competition in the same year. God bless you YouTube. Required background: DJ … Continue reading Sunday Music: DJ Jazzy Jeff Cutting It Up In 1986

Sunday Music: There’ll Be Days Like This

There. Will. Be. Days. Like. This. Whether your mama told you or not. Whatever it’s like. Tell ‘em about it Van Morrison. When it's not always raining there'll be days like thisWhen there's no one complaining there'll be days like thisWhen everything falls into place like the flick of a switchWell my mama told me … Continue reading Sunday Music: There’ll Be Days Like This

Sunday Music: I Am Gonna Make It Through This Year If It Kills Me

Apparently, a few of you noticed I buried this song after all the Depeche Mode talk last week. You’re right, it deserves some highlighting of its own. John Darnielle is a special songwriter. In 2005, Darnielle wrote one of his more (most?) autobiographical albums. The Sunset Tree is largely about his childhood. He dedicated it … Continue reading Sunday Music: I Am Gonna Make It Through This Year If It Kills Me

Sunday Music: Learning To Speak And Spell (Depeche Goats)

John Darnielle, author/columnist/founding member of The Mountain Goats, told Jesse Thorn that the thing he most wishes he had made, was Depeche Mode’s debut album, Speak and Spell. Wat? The Mountain Goats are a hyper-poetic, folkish, alt-rock band. I always suspected Darnielle had a broad range of things he loved, but I didn’t see this … Continue reading Sunday Music: Learning To Speak And Spell (Depeche Goats)

Sunday Music: Acuff-Rose By Uncle Tupelo

Play me a songThat everybody knowsAnd I’ll bet you it belongs to Acuff-Rose Roy Acuff and Fred Rose founded their music publishing firm, Acuff-Rose Music Inc., in 1942. Their goal was to give their writers an honest contract. Sounds like an obvious business move, but at the time it wasn’t the norm. The results they … Continue reading Sunday Music: Acuff-Rose By Uncle Tupelo

Sunday Music: Beavis, Butthead, And The Beasties

It’s 1993 and I’ve got my walkman loaded with The Beavis and Butthead Experience. I’m about 13, find the skits hysterical, and am already obsessed with music.  I’ve got the tape because every 90s kid of a certain age is endlessly imitating and quoting Beavis and Butthead. I’ve also got the tape because… would you … Continue reading Sunday Music: Beavis, Butthead, And The Beasties

Sunday Music: Play That Country Tuba, Cowboy

My brother said the song stopped everyone dead when it came on in the kitchen he works. At the mercy of shuffle mode, his Spotify-shuffle picked out “Play That Country Tuba, Cowboy” from the obscure Vandals album, The Vandals Play Really Bad Original Country Tunes. Understandably, nobody else had ever heard it, and the song … Continue reading Sunday Music: Play That Country Tuba, Cowboy