There are times when it’s easy to determine the 5 Best Songs Of The Week, and others when it gets a little tougher for us to figure out what should go where, what belongs and what doesn’t. Then there are weeks like this, where debates about inclusion and placement stretch into long email chains over hours. That’s because across the board this was an unreasonably great week for music (Tuesday morning alone topped most entire weeks). We’re letting you know in advance: You’ll see some hard snubs this week, and some of those songs left on the cutting-room floor were ones that we really loved: Future’s “Benz Friends,” the Pains Of Being Pure At Heart’s “Eurydice,” and Crow Bait’s “The Ocean,” among others, could have made this list if it were a different week. That said, any of the five songs below could have topped this list under different circumstances. They’re all incredible; the only problem is they all came out within days of each other. Check them out below and let the debate continue in the comments.
Amongst the major musical titans emerging during the second half of the 20th century, the Belfast-born Irish soul troubadour Van Morrison is perhaps the most underappreciated — a figure every bit the equal of Dylan, Young, and Cohen in terms of achievement and influence — but somehow one also subtly marginalized in the annals of music history.
The coolest thing about the four-headed Nirvana proxy that performed at last night’s Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony was the demographic disparity of the women involved. No, in every real sense, it’s not like Joan Jett, Kim Gordon, Annie Clark, and Lorde represent anything more than a tiny sliver of the global community, but in the little corner that is rock & roll, they’re a pretty diverse group: the old-school rocker; the iconic noise-punk; the baroque poet; the precocious pop/goth/other superstar. Those women are links in a sort of evolutionary chain, but none of them really resembles the others in any artistic capacity. The other coolest thing about the Rock Hall’s big night was Questlove inducting Hall & Oates: one of hip-hop’s great transformative figures celebrating the career of one of history’s finest pop and soul groups. Gene Simmons wouldn’t have liked it, but Gene Simmons is an idiot. What could be more idiotic than trying to reduce the possibilities of music? This week’s 5 Best Songs showcase plenty of those possibilities, from Future and Young Thug to Nicki Minaj and Pharmakon. In fact if the Rock Hall wanted to extend the running time of their already absurdly long ceremony by enlisting another couple of revolutionary women to sing old Kurt Cobain songs, they would have done well to call up both Ms. Minaj and Pharmakon’s Margaret Chardiet. No worries, though. They’ll get their chance.