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The Beatles, “Anna (Go to Him)” from Please Please Me (1963): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “Anna (Go to Him)” from Please Please Me (1963): Deep Beatles

“Anna (Go to Him)” impacted the Beatles’ songwriting, and Arthur Alexander’s heartfelt vocal style influenced John Lennon’s intensely personal performances.

Motorhead, February 16, 2011: Shows I’ll Never Forget

Motorhead, February 16, 2011: Shows I’ll Never Forget

I saw body surfing up close at this Motorhead show, almost became an unwilling member in a mosh pit, and escaped unscathed. Who could ask for more?

S. Victor Aaron’s Best of 2017  (Part 1 of 4, Non-Jazz): Taj Mahal/Keb’ Mo’, Blackfield, Arto Lindsay

S. Victor Aaron’s Best of 2017 (Part 1 of 4, Non-Jazz): Taj Mahal/Keb’ Mo’, Blackfield, Arto Lindsay

Even in my jazz-centric world, I can come upon enough standout non-jazz records to put together a decent-sized Best of 2017 list.

Elliott Sharp, with Mary Halvorson  and Marc Ribot – Err Guitar (2017)

Elliott Sharp, with Mary Halvorson and Marc Ribot – Err Guitar (2017)

‘Err Guitar’ by Elliott Sharp, Mary Halvorson and Marc Ribot is three masters of the outside guitar pushing each other to go even further out, making this a notably delirious entry in the catalogs of all three.

Gary Numan – Telekon (1980): On Second Thought

Gary Numan – Telekon (1980): On Second Thought

While ‘Telekon’ went on to inspire many new wave synth-pop artists during the ’80s, Gary Numan’s time in the spotlight wouldn’t last long.

Denise LaSalle, Soul-Blues Belter (1939-2018): An Appreciation

Denise LaSalle, Soul-Blues Belter (1939-2018): An Appreciation

We loved the sexy, hard-as-nails Denise LaSalle for creating a series of titanic grooves, and also because we were never certain that she couldn’t have kicked our ass.

Stephen Stills & Judy Collins – Everybody Knows (2017)

Stephen Stills & Judy Collins – Everybody Knows (2017)

Stephen Stills finds the fountain of youth by going back to one of his original muses, Judy Collins, who co-headlines on ‘Everybody Knows.’

Alestorm, Bob Wayne, Alice Cooper, Hellbound Glory + Others: Fred Phillips’ Best Metal, Country and Hard Rock of 2017

Alestorm, Bob Wayne, Alice Cooper, Hellbound Glory + Others: Fred Phillips’ Best Metal, Country and Hard Rock of 2017

It was, honestly, a pretty lousy year for music. This list of Best Metal, Country and Hard Rock of 2017 highlights five exceptions, and some key honorable mentions.

Gregory Lewis, with Marc Ribot – Organ Monk Blue (2018)

Gregory Lewis, with Marc Ribot – Organ Monk Blue (2018)

‘Organ Monk Blue’ sustains Gregory Lewis’ intriguing concept of a Thelonious Monk on the organ. It didn’t hurt that this time Lewis revitalizes the blues along the way, too.

Gene Clark – Firebyrd (1984): On Second Thought

Gene Clark – Firebyrd (1984): On Second Thought

The late Gene Clark’s work never lacked critical praise, but mainstream acceptance was not to be had – and ‘Firebyrd’ was no exception.

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