Thou, "Find the Cost of Freedom"
Metal has links to folk in a bunch of ways, ranging from the atavistic impulses of black metal, the explicit crossover of various folk metal acts, the lack of fear of being totally uncommercial, or even just the willingness of metal bands to strip things down to provide contrast, like Thou is doing here.
Louis Armstrong, "Ain't Misbehaving"
We, of course, are well aware that I don't know shit. About anything, really. But I have to do something to entertain myself while listening, so I read a little potted bio of Armstrong. Why not? And this bio declared that Armstrong is the most influential figure in jazz. Huh.
(NB: For once, I think this actually is the same performance I listened to.)
Julieta Venegas, "Flor"
Hell yes. I don't have anything interesting to say here, but this song is fun.
The Vaselines, "You Think You're A Man"
One of the things that caught me off-guard about the Vaselines, noted favorite of Kurt Cobain, is how far from what you might think "one of Kurt Cobain's favorite bands" would sound. I mean, listen to this. That doesn't make it bad or anything, but it's just not really what I expected. No, what makes it bad is that it's bad.
Easy Big Fella, "The Road Alone"
I think the key to this song's charm lies in how they're willing to use both piano and some nice warm organ, which just gives the whole thing a fuzzy lift that pairs so well with the airy vocals. It's undemanding, yes, but sometimes you need a confection.