400 Blows, "The Ugly Are So Beautiful"
There's a ruthless, efficient logic at the heart of 400 Blows. The find their groove, riff, or idea and just hammer away at it. It's not that they're robotic or simplistic or anything, but they recognize that repetition has a power of its own, and are unafraid to make use of it. It's the sort of music you can disassemble an engine to.
Cix Bits, "Season's Greetings"
A Stax Christmas album would be amazing!
Stevie Wonder, "As"
There's not really an emotional center to Songs in the Key of Life, as it is full of emotional highs across both albums. It does a disservice to so many other peaks to call this the center of things. But if you were to try to identify that center, this would be one of the possibilities.
J Church, "Good Judge of Character"
Quetzalcoatl was the debut J Church album, and I was immediately smitten with it when I was asked to evaluate it for WRCT when I worked there. I wrote up the little card to sit with the CD suggesting some tracks to play (this was one of them) and stuck it into the box for exciting new releases in the DJ booth. The rest of the staff then proceeded to mostly ignore it, but not to worry, I easily made up for that with how often I played it. It wouldn't surprise me if I played this album on the air more than anybody outside of the Bay Area. It rules, J Church were the best.
Cop Shoot Cop, "Nowhere"
Big 1993 energy here today! Take these two tracks and throw in, I dunno, some Operation Ivy, Descendents, Einstürzende Neubauten, Superchunk, and Fugazi, and you've got a really good facsimile of what it would have been like to listen to my dumb radio show.