Five Essential Songs
At SXSW this past March, punk icon John Doe, who co-founded X with guitarist Billy Zoom, took part in a Grammy Museum panel on the Ramones and explained that the Queens rockers were akin to "pop art," a bridge between Andy Warhol and street art. Doe also said that the Ramones influenced X, reflected in Zoom's guitar playing and even the robust brevity of many of X's early songs. So what better man to assess "Five Essential Ramones Songs" than the great John Doe?
John Doe (photo by Jim Herrington, PR)
Margaret Glaspy's dynamic full-length debut, Emotions and Math, is a thrilling joyride of sinewy, bluesy rock and pretty, robust ballads. She has been compared to Joni Mitchell by a lot of music critics and in truth, Mitchell's Blue has always stood out for Glaspy as an embodiment of great songwriting craft.
Margaret Glaspy (photo by Ebru Yildiz, PR)
Derry-born Bridie Monds-Watson, who records as Soak, was born in 1996, two years after Joni Mitchell released Turbulent Indigo, but the Northern Irish songwriter discovered the elder musician's albums thanks to her parents. Read Monds-Watson's carefully considered list of her "Five Essential Joni Mitchell Songs" for FUV Essentials.
Soak's Bridie Monds-Watson (photo by Joshua Halling, PR)
Car Seat Headrest's Will Toledo has already released over a dozen albums via Bandcamp. Toledo's sharp, intelligent lyrics often reflect on his generation and brim with humor, violence, self-reproach, and sadness. His drive to release a lot of music, with and without his bandmates, also points to a restless documentarian, capturing ephemeral moments of millennial angst. When FUV asked him if he wanted to write about Beck—an artist who followed a not-so-dissimilar lo-fi path in his early days (without the advantages of laptop recording and Bandcamp)—Toledo agreed.
Car Seat Headrest's Will Toledo (photo courtesy of Matador Records, PR)
Britt Daniel, the lead singer and guitarist of Spoon, is a longtime admirer of Paul Simon's songwriting. When FUV asked Daniel if he could find the time to write about Simon for FUV Essentials, he swiftly sent on this wonderful assessment of his favorite Simon songs:
Britt Daniel (in the shades) and his Spoon bandmates (photo by Tom Hines, PR)
Joseph Arthur's album The Family was released on Real World Records in June, marking a nearly twenty year relationship with Gabriel and his label. Not surprisingly, Arthur deeply admires his longtime friend's music and drew up an insightful, personal list of "Five Essential Peter Gabriel Songs" for FUV Essentials.
Joseph Arthur (photo by Ehud Lazin, PR)
Back when Wild Nothing's Jack Tatum visited WFUV for a session in 2013, in support of his lovely second album, Nocturne, he spoke of his admiration of Fleetwood Mac, Kate Bush, and shoegaze bands like Slowdive. His impressive 2010 debut, Gemini, deftly embraced the grey, dream-pop terrain of Cocteau Twins, The Go-Betweens, and The Cure. FUV asked Tatum to come up with a list of some of his "Five Essential Cure Songs" for FUV Essentials and his selections include a long-lost B-side that's been cropping up in the Cure's 2016 tour.
Wild Nothing's Jack Tatum (photo courtesy of Captured Tracks, PR)
One of Laura Mvula's kindest supporters, especially as she first navigated the whirlwind of early fame, was Prince. Mvula discusses Prince's wise advice and more in her thoughtful and lovely assessment of "Five Essential Prince Songs" for FUV Essentials.
Laura Mvula (photo courtesy of Columbia Records, PR)
Wild Belle's keen appreciation of reggae music of the '60s and '70s, especially the releases of Bob Marley and the Wailers, is reflected in Natalie Bergman's thoughtful, esoteric choices for her Five Essential Bob Marley Songs for our FUV Essentials week honoring this great artist.
Wild Belle's Natalie and Elliot Bergman (courtesy of Sony Music, PR)