Blake Garris, Associate Producer of Editorial Content and Programming at Marvel Entertainment, has chosen his top 10 headphone tracks.
The layperson knows Fleetwood Mac as that band fronted by Stevie Nicks that Bill Clinton loved to play during his campaign stops. They also may know that Tusk and Rumours are their two most important records. Well they’re not. Christine McVie, “the other lady singer” as most people know her if they know her at all, has basically been overshadowed in history by Nicks; which is unfortunate because she probably has the most beautiful voice in music. Strong yet sensitive, she’s my Fleetwood Mac and you can’t really hear her subtle inflection changes without a good pair of headphones.
Some of the prettiest music in the world with one of the dreariest vocalists in the world as well as some if the most depressing lyrics in the world and it all mixes together beautifully. Don’t miss their wonderful baselines. Bring the beat down low, Stephen Merritt!
Jeff Lynne is a mad genius. I actually don’t know if he’s mad or not; he seems like a nice enough guy. But he’s a genius nonetheless. The way he crafts orchestral sound with digital and pop is the best modern day representation of the idea of “The Wall of Sound” that we’re probably ever going to get. And good headphones bring out that guitar. Oh that guitar.
Patty Griffin – Living With Ghosts – ‘Forgiveness’
You’d never think a stripped down track of just vocals and guitar could feel so big. You’ll be transported into your own world… a world that you might cry in… but one of those good cries. Get them tears out!
If you are sad and you listen to these songs and they don’t cheer you up then you’re probably a robot; a robot that has bad taste in music. Listen carefully and you can just imagine how Simon slaves away at every nuance of each song that he makes. Unless you’re a robot because your ears are probably already good headphones.
Another song that will immediately make you happy if you’re a sentient creature. The perfect example of big sound, obnoxious guitar, and a lot of embarrassing admissions you’ll have to tell your children someday. Also, with a quality pair of headphones you can listen to this all day and no one will probably know what you’re listening to!
A band unfortunately overlooked by the music culture as a whole, based on their typecast Christian roots, the group weaves music and harmonies in such a beautiful way that this album is nothing more than a masterpiece. And I can’t fail to mention that Leigh Nash has one of the most wonderful falsettos in music. This is another track you should listen to with good headphones so no one will know and your football jock friends will still invite you to their nacho parties.
I can never make a music list without including my favorite band. Their albums are poorly recorded and the vocals and instruments are not quite mixed together properly but there’s something to be said for DIY every once in a while. Also, some of the best guitar work you’ll ever hear. They’ll make you wonder why their guitarists aren’t included in those 100 greatest magazine lists that you don’t read anymore.
If you threw the 80′s, country music, humor, nerdery, metal and Morrissey in a blender then you’d get Ryan Adams. And with his prior proclivity for releasing albums, you have a lot of material to “drink up.” Get it? A milkshake! Never mind. Anyway… an amazing musician, a wonderful songwriter and just enough crazy to be one of the greats. Transports you to a back porch in college with a broken heart. Or maybe that’s just me. Does anyone know the number of a good therapist?
Arguably the greatest Beatle, who also went on to be in — inarguably — the greatest supergroup of all time — The Traveling Wilburys (with Jeff Lynne of ELO). If you don’t play this song at your wedding then you’re probably going to get a divorce. All that big sound will get you out of those crying fits I got you into with some of my previous choices.