This column is like the title says - its intention is to fill the gap for those of us who were satiated musically in the '60s and then searched desperately as we aged for music we could relate to and get the same buzz from nowadaze. iTunes was the answer for me in 2003 and I have been following the new releases every Tuesday ever since I realized there was an endless stream of music I could enjoy there.
I also include older items that I felt were obscure originally and might not have been heard back then. The reason I am writing this column is to make sure others don't miss this wonderful music. These are not top ten items; but they SHOULD'VE been!
Below is a jukebox containing all the songs I picked this week. After you read about them below, go back and listen to whatever you like by just clicking on that title in the jukebox, or stream the whole playlist by clicking on the "play" icon at the top. It's free and it's the entire song. We're not selling anything. We're just in the business of hopefully making your days better by listening to great music.
We apologize to our readers/listeners who are trying to enjoy the playlists via mobile devices like iPhones/iPads and are finding that they can't; these are, unfortunately, circumstances beyond our control. At present, Grooveshark is not compatible with those operating systems, and in order to stream the playlist, you will need to use a PC or Mac.
1. "Sexpot" — Jr. Walker & The All-Stars (2:35)
Sometimes there is nothing better than these guys when ya just gotta dance. This is a good example, albeit a short one. But then again, that’s dance music for old people.
2. "Love Ain't Somethin' U Get 4 Free" — Bobby Womack (2:23)
This isn’t from Bobby’s brand new collaboration with Brit Damon Albarn. I’m still on the fence with that one. This is a short overlooked gem by one of the legends of soul music. As a matter of fact, half this week’s tracks are under three minutes. Leaves ya wanting more...
3. "Lonely Loves" — Bahamas (1:55)
After backing Feist for awhile on the road, Afie Jurvanen, a Toronto-based guitarist-singer-songwriter, spit out a couple of low-key albums in the last three years, Pink Strat (2009) and Barchords (2012). The common thread here is good taste — something not found in many albums nowadaze. Afie knows what it’s all about. Take a wee listen. The first of the two albums won a Juno award in 2009 (that’s a Canadian Grammy for those who don’t know).
4. "These Days" — Dan Fogelberg (4:35)
Gawd, I LOVE this! I can just play this over and over. The late Mr. Fogelberg was quite a talented gentleman and stuff like this lives on. He was on an Eagles level, but didn’t sell quite as much as those high flyin’ birds. His fans are still out there and they don’t come any more loyal. I have two more that I like just as much. Guess I’ll include them in a few weeks. Meanwhile, if you like this one, you can play it again. I always do.
5. "The Tally" — Mona (2:15)
This is sort of a guilty pleasure. It’s very commercial and radio-like, and the lyrics didn’t need anything but a bachelor of ill repute, but for some reason I like it so I’m throwin' it out on the stoop to see if the other cats lick it up. A Gnashville band of refugees from Ohio and Kentucky, their self-titled debut album is a year old and they have played it all out on the road for the past year. Curious as to the next release ... then I’ll know fer sure.
6. "Oh Me, Oh My" — Imogen Heap (3:41)
She’s an electronica-loops queen who made a lotta good noise when she debuted a few years ago. Haven’t heard much about her lately, so I’ll put this one on now and then. A very well-made track and in some ways an original soul. Time will tell as younger fans now gravitate by the thousands to this trendy genre.
7. "How Do I Know" — Here We Go Magic (3:33)
These guys are loop MANIACS, as you are about to hear. They’re very skilled at this and not that imitative, so this may be one of the most original bands in the above-mentioned genre. I love the care they give to the loops, whether it’s guitars, vocals, synths, whatever — it’s all done with great musical taste. How do they know?
8. "Cherry Bomb" — Spoon (2:12)
Another band that I have collected a few tracks on over the years. I can’t completely decipher the lyric, but I suspect it's undoubtedly a nefarious sexual reference. No matter — a good listen as are most of their others. This is a band that deserves to keep going. I’m a fan.
9. "When You're Around" — Cris Cab (3:27)
Okay. Now trust me. Don’t read any further til you listen to this FIRST. Okay ... I’ll wait ... This well-made, Marley-influenced track is strong and stands on its own today. What if I told you the artist was white, born in Miami in 1993, and looks like Justin Bieber’s best friend? After living with this track for a week, the biography and photo blew my mind. It trivializes Mr. Bieber, that’s fer damned sure. I will go on record as saying this kid could be huge when he’s in his mid-20s if he sounds like this NOW. WOW!
10. "Wild Child" — Valerie Carter (4:08)
You know me — I save the best for last. And the best is all over this track: Steve Lukather, David Hungate, Jeff Porcaro, Victor Feldman, Fred Tackett. It was produced by James Newton Howard in 1978. I bought the LP back then. There was an album two years previous to it that was just as good back in 1976. I bought that one first. Luckily, SONY re-released these on CD sometime way later and Al snapped ‘em up. When everything is cast perfectly on an album, so far it lasts forever. The little-known ones are the most precious to me. Valerie was in a class by herself back then and these two albums became constant companions. The first one is called Just a Stone's Throw Away and her two backup bands are Little Feat and Earth Wind & Fire. The second album is called Wild Child and the backing band is primarily members of Toto. This is everlasting greatness done perfectly. And now YOU get to hear it. Such a deal!