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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.

The Decemberists

As FUV celebrates the Decemberists latest album, I'll Be Your Girl (this week's New Dig), we'll be spending the week revisting classic FUV Live sessions with a band that's never shied from its restless eclecticism, passion for language, bold theatricality, and fascination with the endless cycle of life and death. Poets and provacateurs, the Decemberists are FUV Essentials.

Erika Wennerstrom: Five Essential Led Zeppelin Songs

Erika Wennerstrom really is a big fan of Led Zeppelin. As the iconic British band marks the 50th anniversary of its formation in 2018, Wennerstrom is part of the impressive lineup for a benefit concert tribute show, "The Music of Led Zeppelin," which takes place on March 7 at New York's Carnegie Hall. She wrote up her "Five Essential Led Zeppelin Songs" for FUV too.

Led Zeppelin

Sorry, Led Zep fans. Even though the band marks its 50th anniversary in 2018, the likelihood of a band reunion this year—or any year—is pretty much nil. But from Robert Plant's expanded tour with the Sensational Shape Shifters to a March tribute show at Carnegie Hall to a new 368-page illustrated book, there are plenty of celebratory Led Zep-releated events on the horizon.

Sylvan Esso: Five Essential David Bowie Songs

Deep in heart of Sylvan Esso's "Radio" lurks a clue to one of Amelia Meath's favorite David Bowie songs, "Blue Jean." Since Meath has already confessed to one of her most beloved Bowie tracks, FUV wondered if she had four others she might want to write about for "Five Essential David Bowie Songs" for FUV Essentials. She most certainly did!

David Bowie

Following a five-year journey at museums across the world, the exhibition "David Bowie is" opened on March 2 at its final stop, New York's Brooklyn Museum, where it remains until mid-July 2018. Bowie was FUV's first ever FUV Essentials artist back in March 2016, but what better reason for another all-day celebration of his music and legacy?

Nina Simone

Nina Simone made us weep, articulated our rage, turned a mirror to our hate and prejudice, and inspired a generation in the throes of resistance. She still does so, nearly 15 years since her passing. She is not only one of our most vivid #FUVEssentials, she's essential to who we are as Americans.