1. Alamaailman Vasarat, “Liskopallo”
I would be a fool not to share this wondrous music with a campus full of diverse tastes. I am confident that you’ve never heard a tango quite like this — unless you’ve been to a Disciples of Huuro Kolkko show. This Finnish band describes their music as kebab-kosher-jazz-film-traffic-punk-music. Honestly, it makes more sense to call it world music, from a world we may never know.
2. The Cat Empire, “The Wine Song”
The debut album by this band is quite confusing, as it fuses jazz, ska, funk and rock with a great deal of salsa. This track shouts celebration through a drunken waltz, sure to bring joy to any group of rowdy characters. The sparse screams of brass horns throw a great deal of spice into this delightful drinking song.
3. Little River Band, “Reminiscing”
Probably one of the most corny songs I have ever heard, but it just feels so right. Whoever wrote the harmony did their theory homework — just ask Doc Helvering!
4. Lettuce, “Salute”
Ever since Porky’s Groove Machine started funking up the Lawrence party scene with their hard grooves, I’ve been craving more! This tune reminds me of past tunes covered by Love Constellation, and excites me for the future of funk on campus.
5. Explosions in the Sky, “The Birth and Death of the Day”
Listening to this band’s music is the easiest way to make a mundane task or chore seem like you are living out “The Odyssey.” This song in particular is fantastic for bringing an epic feeling to your drowsy journey to an 8:30 class, provided it takes you roughly eight minutes to get there. I’m looking at you, Trever-ites!
6. Kurt Rosenwinkel, “A Life Unfolds”
A good friend recently shared this with me, and subsequently made my brain unfold. This is a track that I have been constantly revisiting and learning more from each time I listen. After a soulful guitar introduction, the entire group plays together with textures that flow seamlessly together into a beautiful whole. The improvisational concept of each player’s voice on this recording is unique, expressive and inspirational.
7. Sam Cooke, “That’s Where It’s At”
To me, no one can sing like this man. His voice is rich, honest, and preaches soul like no one’s business. If I can some day sing like that through my horn, I will be a happy man.
8. Jay Dee aka J Dilla, “Brazilian Groove (EWF)”
James Dewitt Yancey is a huge inspiration to me and the rest of the Dilla Gents, and has produced countless beats of undeniable buttery goodness. So why choose a Dilla track that’s less than two minutes to share? Honestly, I had to do it for the guitar line, it kills me every time.
9. Nujabes featuring Substantial, “Think Different”
This isn’t rap, this is soul music. Beat poetry never sounded so good. One couldn’t expect any less from a producer born under the same moon as J Dilla. What you can expect is a sound native to the hip hop scene on the opposite side of the planet.
10. Jonwayne, “Be Honest”
This selection is one of the more tame tracks from the album, I highly recommended this to anyone who loves chip tunes. The entire album, “Bowser,” is an ode to video game music! Jonwayne combines elements of minimalism, 8-bit music, and dub step with his personal experiences playing video games as a child. Perhaps the most prevalent theme in this album is the sense of danger one experienced as a young lad or lass during an epic boss battle!