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FUV Essentials

There are so many variables that determine what makes an artist or band “essential” — longevity, impact, influence, history and discography — so WFUV is taking a deeper look with FUV Essentials. On-air and online, we'll celebrate the musicians who have shaped our cultural soundtrack for the past fifty years and still continue to do so. Let’s love these essential artists while they’re here, and also honor those who have departed too soon.

Chuck Berry

"If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry." John Lennon read those words from a cue card on "The Mike Douglas Show" in 1972 when he introduced his idol. Berry's songs trained you to expect the unexpected, no matter how familiar the package; his prerogative has always been theft, even from himself. His enduring legacy is that everyone stole from him in turn. The enduring charm of the man is that he did it with a wink and singularity that literally changed the world — and it's why Chuck Berry is an FUV Essentials artist.

Summer of Love

What was the gateway to 1967's Summer of Love? The very phrase conjures a psychedelic idyll of the Sixties: blissed-out hippies splayed on the grass, hazily wreathed in the smoke of Acapulco Gold and campfires. On the 50th anniversary of the Monterey International Pop Festival and the Summer of Love, that era and its music is this week's FUV Essentials.

The Black Keys

Over a 16-year span of eight albums and a handful of EPs, the Black Keys' Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney evolved from two scrappy guys playing local bar-and-garage blues in Akron, Ohio, to platinum-selling, Grammy-winning music industry heavyweights. And they're FUV Essentials.

Brandi Carlile

With a voice that rings to the heavens like a deep, clear bell, Brandi Carlile is a longtime friend of FUV, ever since she released her breakthrough album, The Story, in 2007. With the release of the charity album Cover Stories, which celebrates the songs of that very album to benefit War Child UK, Carlile, the artist and the activist, is this week's FUV Essentials artist.

Pixies

Talk to a musician who caught a Pixies gig back in the late Eighties or at the cusp of the Nineties and it's likely that they were compelled to start a band. Over the past three decades, Radiohead, Nirvana, Weezer and Blur have all cited Pixies as a point of departure. The import and influence of Pixies is undeniable and this beloved, challenging, and unconventional band is one of our FUV Essentials.

Pearl Jam

When David Letterman inducted Pearl Jam into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2017, his affectionate, funny speech made special note not only of the Seattle-bred band's legacy, but its committments beyond the boundaries of music. There are many reasons why Pearl Jam is one of our FUV Essentials, but their beneficence is as inspiring as their rock 'n' roll legacy.

The Rolling Stones

No other rock 'n' roll band in history has reigned like the Rolling Stones. As their 55th year rolls on in 2017, they're still swaggering across stages, recording (2016's Blue & Lonesome), and doing their best to ignore time.  FUV's two biggest Rolling Stones fans, afternoon weekday host Dennis Elsas and Paul Cavalconte, host of "Cavalcade," reflect on what the band has meant to them over the years.

Aimee Mann

A master of the withering riposte, the witty jab, and the wistful aside, Aimee Mann has always tackled difficult subject matter on her albums: abandonment, betrayal, doubt, and depression. But no matter what melancholy tides might drift into her lyrics, her songs are perceptive and tactical more than gloomy. She has also been one of FUV's most beloved musicians and a friend of the station, and will always be one of our FUV Essentials.

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