1. Bright Eyes, “At The Bottom of Everything”
A guilty pleasure of mine is making art inspired by song lyrics. Conor Oberst’s subtle command of musical prose will never cease to be a source of inspiration.
2. Jake Shimabukuro, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
This man is a god on the ukulele. Seriously. Listen to it.
3. Ennio Morricone, “Tema d’Amore”
The entire “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso” soundtrack is great, but particularly this track is stunning. It highlights the romantic theme that weaves throughout the film as a recurring motif — an absolutely gorgeous melodic line. Listen, and be swept away.
4. Katzenjammer, “Demon Kitty Rag”
If you want to see the greatest thing ever, YouTube search this song and click on the second result. Spoiler: there is a Cheshire Cat/Totoro bass.
5. Bon Iver, “Re: Stacks”
This is my favorite song off of the album “For Emma, Forever Ago.” It captures what I love most about Justin Vernon’s work: an honest, down-to-earth, element that creates an introspective and inviting effect.
6. The Rapture, “Echoes”
I will personally high-five anyone who can name what show this song is from.
7. Melody Gardot, “If The Stars Were Mine”
Where have all the lady jazz singers gone? Riddle me this.
8. Philip Glass, “Mad Rush”
Glass’ ability to create various vast and complex soundscapes is unparalleled, and his work is only amplified when combined with another art form. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to see a performance of Alejandro Cerrudo’s “Extremely Close,” a modern dance piece set to Glass’ “Mad Rush.” The cumulative result was incredible. Ask me about it sometime, I don’t have room to go into detail here.
9. Gogol Bordello, “Not a Crime”
I saw these guys in concert over the summer. The crowd was ultra-rowdy. I almost died. It was great.
10. Brenton Wood, “Oogum Boogum”
This song has recently become an obsession of mine — a thousand thank-yous to WLFM’s DJ Funky Brenton Wood, Oogum Boogum Hayride and ODDSTACHE.