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Miles Davis' Top 10 Performances of American Standards

While Miles Davis will always be known for his original compositions and for genre-busting, innovative records like Kind of Blue, E.S.P., and Bitches Brew, it's worthwhile to give a listen to his great performances of standards from his earlier career.

Music

Top 10 Culturally Significant Banjo Moments

In the shadow of Earl Scruggs’ death, it’s worth taking a look at the role the banjo has played in American popular culture.

Music

Dropping Names, Cutting Tapes: Beastie Boys – “B-Boy Bouillabaisse”

“B-Boy Bouillabaisse” is one of the great denouements in the history of pop music, a 12-minute suite that gives us a definitive, multifarious view of urban life in the late 1980s.

Music

Dropping Names, Cutting Tapes: Beastie Boys – “Shadrach”

The boys employ religious allusions on “Shadrach” in a similar manner as they have used the references to movies, kids’ cartoons, and cereal boxes. They’re simply trying to come at their subject from multifarious angles and provide variety and interest for the listener.

Music

Dropping Names, Cutting Tapes: Beastie Boys – “What Comes Around”

“What Comes Around” is an ebullient three-minute track that highlights the Beastie Boys’ and Dust Brothers’ incomparable ability to create pleasant irony through perfectly-placed samples and humorous turns-of-phrase.

Music

Dropping Names, Cutting Tapes: Beastie Boys – “Car Thief”

Although the lyrical content feels a bit repetitive from previous songs on Paul's Boutique, the chill, soulful groove makes “Car Thief” memorable.

Music

Dropping Names, Cutting Tapes: Beastie Boys – “5-Piece..."/"Looking Down the Barrel..."

The Beastie Boys give us “5-Piece Chicken Dinner”, a brief, bright roll in the hay, only to juxtapose it with “Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun”, one of the darkest, dirtiest tracks on Paul’s Boutique--and also one of the best.

Music

Dropping Names, Cutting Tapes: Beastie Boys – “Hey Ladies”

On “Hey Ladies”, the Beastie Boys prove that their hip-hop collage approach to making tunes is applicable to the four-minute single format, resulting in a track that is both technically accomplished and danceable.

Music

Dropping Names, Cutting Tapes: Beastie Boys – “3-Minute Rule”

Coming after the aggressive intensity of the end of “The Sounds of Science”, “3-Minute Rule” seems slight, like the Beasties went on a mini-vacation.

Music

The 10 Best John Coltrane Solos

The process of deciding which John Coltrane solos are the best of the best gave me a good reason to go back and listen to his catalog once again, as if an excuse is even needed. I hope you do the same.

Music

Dropping Names, Cutting Tapes: Beastie Boys - “High Plains Drifter”

Despite the more solemn subject matter, on “High Plains Drifter” the Beasties still give us the chance to play that old game “spot the pop-culture allusion”, with references to Clint Eastwood, Hunter Thompson, The Andy Griffith Show, and more.

Music

Dropping Names, Cutting Tapes: Beastie Boys – “Egg Man”

As if to prove that an accomplished work of art can be inspired by anything, no matter how trivial or adolescent, on “Egg Man” the Beasties turn their shell-cracking exploits into a mock-heroic epic full of faux pathos and legitimate laughs

Music

Dropping Names, Cutting Tapes: Beastie Boys – “Johnny Ryall”

With “Johnny Ryall”, the Beastie Boys manage to challenge the audience’s ideas of what it has come to expect from hip-hop. The Beasties were no longer just rappers--they were crafters of one of the 1980s’ great short stories.

Music

Dropping Names, Cutting Tapes: Beastie Boys - “To All the Girls” and more

The first Between the Grooves series of 2012 focuses on the new Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Beastie Boys’ postmodern, sample-heavy masterpiece Paul’s Boutique (1989). First, Jacob Adams explores how “To All the Girls” establishes a deceptively mellow vibe only to have “Shake Your Rump” groove the listener into a funky reality.

Music

The Top 10 Jazz Tunes For People Who Don't Like Jazz

While jazz’s complexity cannot be denied, much of the music remains accessible to all. The trick is just finding the right tunes and artists, those who have a universal appeal beyond the scope of the typical, admittedly somewhat limited, jazz audience.

Music

The 10 Best Hold Steady Songs

The Hold Steady's music represents a delightfully perverse amalgamation of the Rolling Stones’ unbridled sexuality, Jack Kerouac’s open-road spirit, and the Replacement’s independent sensibility. No doubt, any of these 10 songs would make a great “gateway drug” for anyone interested in discovering the charms of the group for the first time.

Music

The 10 Best Wilco Songs of All Time

With the upcoming September 27th release of Wilco's The Whole Love, the band’s eighth studio record, it's worth going back and revisiting the group’s impressive discography.

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The 15 Best Red Hot Chili Peppers Songs

Red Hot Chili Peppers have unquestionably produced some of the most memorable and influential rock songs of the past couple decades. Here are their 15 best.

Film

'Ghost World' Revisited

Terry Zwigoff’s film serves as a reminder of what independent cinema could and should be, yet often isn’t.

Music

A Stormy Playlist: 10 Songs for Before, During, and After the Summer Storms

If we are going to learn to grin and bear this year's enhanced, prolonged stormy activity, we need an equally stormy playlist to accompany the thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and whatever other maladies Mother Nature might throw our way during this summer season

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