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January 2019

Unsung Soul: Iconic but obscure tracks by (mostly) famous singers

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, an episode that celebrates extraordinary vocal performances in one of our most influential and significant musical styles: American Soul. Joined by our resident vocal expert, we listen to a playlist of fantastic—but relatively obscure--recordings by mostly famous soul singers, with a couple of lesser-known artists included, too. This episode's playlist covers recordings from 1964-1976, and also captures the pivotal moment when more traditional, blues- and gospel-tinged Soul transmogrified into Funk (that most essential of styles). 

Playlist for this episode:

  1. Aretha Franklin - You’ll Lose A Good Thing (1964)
  2. Otis Redding - I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now) (1965)
  3. O. V. Wright - Motherless Child (1965)
  4. Wilson Pickett - Ninety-Nine and One-Half (Won’t Do) (1966)
  5. Betty Harris - What’d I Do Wrong (1969)
  6. Nina Simone - To Love Somebody (1969)
  7. Lee Dorsey - Yes We Can (Pt. 1) (1970)
  8. Al Green - Love and Happiness (1972)
  9. Labi Siffre - I Got The.. (1975)
  10. Bootsy Collins - I’d Rather Be With You (1976)

Organized Chaos: the art & craft of metalcore

The niche sub-genre of metalcore has quietly built a dedicated fanbase over the past 20 years. With a sound world that is complex, dense and industrial in nature, it’s often kind of impenetrable or off-putting to those who aren’t fans—but there is much worth listening to. In this episode, we listen to The Dillinger Escape Plan, whose distinctive music—replete with complex polyrhythms and dissonance—pushed metal and hardcore to a greater level of sophistication. The progression of songs in our playlist illustrates the wide range of influences and techniques that the band incorporated and developed, and serves as a great introduction to this style.

Playlist for this episode (all tracks except #7 by The Dillinger Escape Plan)

  1. Calculating Infinity - 43% Burnt (1999)
  2. Irony is a Dead Scene - When Good Dogs Do Bad Things (2002)
  3. Miss Machine - Setting Fire to Sleeping Giants (2004)
  4. Ire Works - Black Bubblegum (2007)
  5. Ire Works - When Acting as a Wave (2007)
  6. One of Us Is the Killer - Nothing's Funny (2013)
  7. Michael Gordon - Yo Shakespeare (1992)