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Mike Pride – Listening Party (2015)

Mike Pride – Listening Party (2015)

Mike Pride states, “making this solo record has been a total mind-bender.” Listening to ‘Listening Party’ is a mind-bender as well.

The New Trocaderos – Thrills and Chills (2015)

The New Trocaderos – Thrills and Chills (2015)

An ‘Animal House’-style party ambience, surrounded by garage rock grooves and crafty pop detours, powers the New Trocaderos’ ‘Thrills and Chills.’

Michael Dease – Decisions (2015)

Michael Dease – Decisions (2015)

A model of consistency, style and grace, Michael Dease stays at the head of the class among jazz trombonists with his seventh album, ‘Decisions.’

The Beatles, “Thank You Girl” (1963): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “Thank You Girl” (1963): Deep Beatles

Passed over as an A-side, “Thank You Girl” illustrated the foundational role the blues, R&B, and early rock ‘n’ roll played in the Beatles’ early sound.

Motley Crue – Theatre of Pain (1985): On Second Thought

Motley Crue – Theatre of Pain (1985): On Second Thought

Motley Crue’s ‘Theatre of Pain’ doesn’t equal the power of ‘Shout at the Devil’ or the sleazy fun of ‘Dr. Feelgood,’ but it’s worth another listen.

Sun Speak – Sacred Rubble (2015)

Sun Speak – Sacred Rubble (2015)

Guitarist Matt Gold and drummer Nate Friedman display a jazz acumen well beyond their years on Sun Speak’s sophomore album, ‘Sacred Rubble.’

Alan Parsons Project, “Lucifer” from Eve (1979): One Track Mind

Alan Parsons Project, “Lucifer” from Eve (1979): One Track Mind

The Alan Parsons Project’s ‘Eve’ arrived on August 27, 1979 with a life-changing – or, at the very least, an ear drum-rearranging – instrumental.

Tad Robinson – Day Into Night (2015)

Tad Robinson – Day Into Night (2015)

Tad Robinson has made a filler-free quality soul-blues record that faithfully follows in the stellar tradition of Hill, Bland and Little Milton.

Paul Simon’s Graceland stirred outsized praise, and some criticisms too

Paul Simon’s Graceland stirred outsized praise, and some criticisms too

To paraphrase Paul Simon, these are songs of miracle and wonder. Decades after its August 25, 1986 release, however, ‘Graceland’ still sparks controversy.

Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run (1975): Deep Cuts

Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run (1975): Deep Cuts

Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born to Run,’ released on Aug. 25, 1975, is dotted with career-making, warhorse tracks. But what of its lesser-heard songs?