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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.

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.

The Clash

The Clash were no mere rock 'n' roll band. A tempest of punk, reggae, funk, and sociopolitical fury, the "only band that matters" elevated protest songs to the raucous realm of punk-lashed anthems, roiling with intelligence and passion. It's been 40 years since the release of the band's eponymous debut album and they are this week's FUV Essentials.

Emmylou Harris

Revered as one of the greatest harmony singers and song interpreters of our age, Emmylou Harris claims a place in the high court of Americana royalty. She celebrates her 70th birthday on April 2 and we're honoring her this week as an FUV Essentials artist.

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