On my playlist: favorite songs from favorite artists

I’ve been immersed in music lately (listening, not making), because I’m going through my CD collection in preparation for our move. I thought it would be fun to share some of the highlights with you, so I’ll be doing a number of music posts in the next few days (or weeks, or months, depending how things go). Today’s post is a quick sampler of some favorite songs from artists I really like.

Jolie Holland, “Mexico City”

I love this song extremely. Ever since I downloaded it a few months ago I have been replaying it and singing it all the time (in the shower, badly). I find Holland’s bizarre enunciation (or lack thereof) totally fascinating and beautiful — and impossible to replicate, hence the bad shower-singing. The lyrics are evocative, too. I was interested to read that “Mexico City” and “Palmyra,” another song off the same album, started off as one song and were later separated.

The Black Keys, “The Only One”

I love their sound. To me it sounds like an updated version of some of my favorite 70s rockers (Erik says that’s the blues influence). As a fan I’m in great company — The Urchins also wrote about this band about a month ago, and Brothers, the album “The Only One” comes from, won the 2011 Grammy for Best Alternative Album.

TV on the Radio, “Staring at the Sun”

In grad school I took a postmodern dance class with Hassan Christopher, and for our end-of-quarter performance he choreographed a piece to TV on the Radio’s “Dreams“. We spent weeks practicing to their album Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes. At first I didn’t like it; I found it raucous and discordant. But it grew on me, and now it’s one of my all-time favorite albums. Odd coincidence: in college I loved the indie film Jump Tomorrow, whose star Tunde Adebimpe is the lead singer of TV on the Radio.