The Rolling Stones, "Happy"
It's time for True Stupid Facts About Josh's Musical History (yes, I know nobody cares). Despite Exile on Main St. being part of the rock 'n' roll canon, regarded by many as the Stones' best album, I actually heard the Pussy Galore full-album cover of this record first. The Pussy Galore interpretation is chaotic and deliberately ramshackle, a total mess released only on cassette in small numbers out of fear of getting sued into dust. WRCT had a copy of this record, legendary among the underground, and I checked it out after reading about it on Usenet. It was ridiculous, and I wasn't sure what to make of it, and didn't get around to listening to the actual Stones record for probably another ten years. The list of people who listened to the record in this order might be limited to just your very stupid correspondant.
Jawbox, "Chinese Fork Tie"
My favorite song on the swan song self-titled album from Jawbox. Driven by the propulsive drum beat, the menacing, mechanical main guitar riff, and a disjointed feel, it's a fantastic post-hardcore song. It also clearly presages Burning Airlines, and you could slip this song onto Mission: Control! and I doubt anybody would notice.
Luscious Jackson, "Deep Shag"
Luscious Jackson garnered a lot of attention by being the first band to sign on the Beastie Boys' label, Grand Royal. They further stood out by being entirely a group of women, and by working in a genre very much out of fashion in 1994. This is an album filled with bright, danceable, shiny rock, with a little funk. There wasn't a whole lot out there that sounded much like this at the time, when rock was dominated by aggrieved grunting and/or walls of distortion. Ultimately, the album never really stuck with me that much - pleasant enough to listen to, but kind of forgettable.
Ben Pirani, "Dreamin's For Free"
Part of the neo-soul movement, on the excellent Coalmine Records, Ben Pirani's record draws more from the Motown tradition than some of his contemporaries. So you get strings in a bunch of places where you might have instead had a horn section. It's a nice change of pace, and the record is a good listen.
Freeway & Girl Talk, "Lived It"
Freeway's EP made with Girl Talk producing, 2014's Broken Ankles, is super fun. Girl Talk proves that he can go past his masterful mashup records to create beats that stand alone, and Freeway gives one of his typical energetic performances. While not my favorite Freeway record (that would be 2010's The Stimulus Package), it's still up there.