Curtis Mayfield, "Move on Up"
Curtis Mayfield was the leader of the Impressions, but when he went solo, he found another gear. This is the centerpiece of his first solo record, and it's just incredible stuff. The urgency of the percussion, the punchy horns, just everything about this is a joy. This entire record is one of the greatest soul records ever made, and it along with Mayfield's other early 70s records set a benchmark for other soul artists to try for.
The Roots, "I Don't Care"
Starting in 1999, the Roots went on an incredible tear, dropping Things Fall Apart, Phrenology, Game Theory, and Rising Down over the next seven years. And if you look carefully, you'll notice that I omitted today's record, The Tipping Point. It's not that it's a bad record or anything, it's just a step behind those other four, and I don't really break it out too often.
Seaweed, "What Are We Taking?"
I think we've had several tracks from this record, and I'm out of stuff to say about it. I wonder why I don't really pick up new punk bands any more? I don't think it's that I don't like the music or anything. I think maybe I've just got enough punk records I love? Or I'm just old as hell.
Karl Hendricks Trio, "Painted My Heart"
This is from the first Karl Hendricks Trio album, Buick Electra, and they came out of the gates with their power-pop approach already in place. While later records would be more refined, they wouldn't really ever change things up radically. Because this is a band that I saw a ton, and I spent a fair bit of time talking to Karl about music, it has a special place in my heart that is perhaps outsized. But nothing wrong with that!
Edenic Past, "Beria"
Here's another Krallice-spawned project, with Colin Marston and Nick McMaster forming the instrumentation, and they recruited a singer (?) to generate these gutteral vocals. It's a fine example of what's known as brutal death metal, and sometimes this kind of nonsense is what I really want. Just otherworldy, inhuman grunting and knuckle-dragging riffs.