Snarky Puppy earned their second Grammy on Sunday for their ninth album “Sylva,” an instrumental masterpiece of composition. Michael League, bassist, bandleader, and the group’s main composer has been aiding in the redefinition of big band jazz-fusion on a mainstream level for over 10 years. An art form that has been slowly escaping the public’s ears, Snarky Puppy is successfully bringing big band music back into the spotlight.
The creative lyricism of Tom Petty was thrust upon me at a young age. My mother used to sing “Free Fallin” as she reminisced about living in California in the 80s. When I was about 15, I imported all eight CDs of the complete Tom Petty collection onto my iPod. But, not all Tom Petty albums were created equal. For me, Full Moon Fever takes the cake. Released in 1989, Full Moon Fever was Tom Petty’s first official solo album – he previously performed with a band as “Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.” This album is about love, break-ups, loneliness and achieving international stardom. Most of these we can all relate to. The point is, no matter where you are in your personal life, Tom Petty’s got you covered.
1. Free Fallin’
This is the #1 song to play at max volume while you’re driving down a deserted highway. It arouses feelings of nostalgia and the lyrics are perfect for a sloppy sing-along. Watch out for the awesome guitar solo at 3:19.
Heads up, the John Mayer version sucks. This is a prime example of a cover that should never have been attempted. Stick to the original.
“All the vampires walkin’ through the valley, move west down Ventura Blvd. And all the bad boys are standing in the shadows and the good girls are home with broken hearts”
In Galaxie 500’s incredible On Fire, the opener “Blue Thunder” immediately places the album—and the listener—into a state of motion. The iconic refrain of “I’ll drive so far away” never really addresses the place from which the speaker is so intent on leaving, letting the focus rest on the act of departure and the imagined “elsewhere” to which we’re going and being taken. Money’s sophomore album Suicide Songs is at times thematically and sonically reminiscent (with singer Jamie Lee even belting “I’m on fire” in “Night Came”), positing suicidal ideation as an act of departure from the self, offering a framework through which to explore and complicate the notion of identity formation as simultaneously oppressive and liberating.
Allow me to introduce you to The Oh Hellos. Siblings Tyler and Maggie Heath (center) formed a folk rock duo in 2011 and have since released three albums. Today, as you can see, they are supported by an army of musicians. The Oh Hellos are an independent band, meaning they are self-funded and do not belong to a record label.
Before you say “oh no, not another indie folk band,” hold your judgment and watch their NPR Tiny Desk Concert from December.