Friday, October 19, 2018

McQ's Best Of 1977 Vol 9 - Leisure Suit Larry In The Lair Of The Extended Dance Grooves (Disco's Biggest Year Pt 2)

Wrapping up our look back at Disco's biggest year, this mix focuses less on 1977's hits (though there's still some huge ones here) and more on the genre's extended-dance-track club aesthetic that always lay at the its core and is probably its most enduring legacy today.

In fact, for me, it's almost shocking how much more directly linked to today's EDM and alt R&B scenes these tracks sound versus their more popular counterparts we just listened to on Vol 8 - The Ballad Of Tony Manero. But however you like your disco, influential or purely endearing, I think most of you will find this mix to be an addictively propulsive ride with a killer three-song close out.

Here's the link...

About The Artists/Albums/Songs:

1. & 2. Once Upon A Time / Faster And Faster To Nowhere - Donna Summer: Donna Summer released two albums in 1977. We'll get to the bigger one later in this mix, but for now we start with a pair of tracks from her second '77 release - and the first double album of her career - Once Upon A Time. A concept album cowritten with (as was much of her material of the era) producers Giorgio Moroder and Peter Bellotte, Once Upon A Time cast Summer in a Cinderella-like narrative and was designed to be played in long extended passages with no perceivable breaks between many of its songs, a design so well achieved the album in full landed as the #1 single on the US Hot Disco/Dance chart. A few of the album's songs, especially I Love You and Rumour Has It, charted in Europe, but I felt its opening two tracks presented successively gave the best sense of the album's unrelenting dance floor flow.

3. Fire Island - Village People: My favorite cut from the Village People's self-titled debut, Fire Island only features one member of the band's signature lineup, lead vocalist Victor Willis.  The act was actually the brainchild of French producer Jacques Morali, who had already experienced a degree of success in Europe but wanted to make a name for himself in the states. Armed with a batch of new songs, he relocated to New York, discovered Willis on a demo tape, and the two quickly got to work, recording the debut and assembling a supporting troop of backup dancers. But when the album took off, they soon realized they hadn't assembled the a strong enough backup crew built for the long haul, so all the original Village People other than Willis were let go, and a new/more talented cast of supporting "People," were chosen, giving us the band's definitive late 70s lineup.

4. Give Me Love - Cerrone: One of Europe's most important and coolest disco producer's of the 70's and 80's, Frenchman Marc Cerrone sounds as dialed in as any artist of the era to the future of electronic music, and no more so than on his '77 magnum opus Supernature. This shortened radio edit of Give Me Love is one of two tracks from the album we'll be profiling on this mix.

5. Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah) - Chic: Hoping to project themselves as the "rock band of the Disco genre," Chic was founded in 1976 by a duo of phenomenal session musicians, bassist Bernard Edwards and rhythm guitarist extraordinaire Niles Rodgers.  They wanted to create a fully immersive live experience along the lines of what Roxy Music and Kiss were doing in rock, and like the Village People, began work on their eponymous 1977 debut album before they had even solidified their original lineup.  Dance, Dance, Dance, the record's biggest hit, is the first track they ever recorded.

6. Tried, Tested, And Found True - Ashford & Simpson: Here's another aces Ashford & Simpson song, this one from their first full-length release of that year, So So Satisfied.

7. La vie en rose - Grace Jones: Primarily the brainchild of prominent disco producer Tom Moulton, there's very little in Grace Jone's fairly generic (and if we're being honest, not very good) disco debut Portfolio that bears much resemblance to the daring, genre-mashing work that would define the bulk of her career. But in a few moments on the album, glimmers of the unusual musical force Jones would become sneaks out, particularly in a splendid dance cover of Send In The Clowns that became a club favorite in the states, and her awesome, breezy but personal feeling rendition of La vie en rose included here.

8. Supernature - Cerrone: Another shortened radio edit from Cerrone's 1977 album Supernature, this time it's the knock-out title track here to wow us. Cool contemporary acts like Jungle seem almost unimaginable without this song having come before.

9. Shame - Evelyn "Champagne" King: The biggest hit of Philly-based singer/songwriter/producer Evelyn King's career, from her '77 full-length debut Smooth Talkremains a dance floor scorcher to this day.

10. From Here To Eternity - Giorgio Moroder: Much like the long extended-suite sections of Donna Summer's Once Upon A Time, the first five songs on Giorgio Moroder's '77 solo debut From Here To Eternity, kicked off by the album's title track included here, were intended to be taken in in one uninterrupted listen.

11. Disco Inferno - The Trammps: Considered by many the greatest Disco track of all-time (and if it's not, the song that immediately follows on this mix might be), Disco Inferno is another late 1976 single that didn't really explode on the charts until after its inclusion on the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack.  We're going all in with the long version of the Philly soul act's jokey reinterpretation of scene's from The Towering Inferno here.

12. I Feel Love - Donna Summer: The lead track from Summer's first '77 album I Remember Yesterday, again, a Summer, Moroder, and Belotte collaboration, was, aside from Summer's vocal, performed entirely on synthesizers, and is now considered one of the most influential recordings of all time, and the first  bona-fide EDM recording.

13. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood (12" Club Remix) - Santa Esmeralda: Though originally released as the 16-minute, side-long title track to Santa Esmeralda's 1977 debut, it was a 12" club remix pressed shortly after that became the most popular version of this French Disco act's infamous Nina Simone/Animals cover. So we're going with the club remix here to close things out, just as did Quentin Tarantino, who used that version with its signature opening handclaps to score the Uma Thurman / Lucy Lui winter-garden face-off at the end of Kill Bill Vol. 1. 

Thursday, October 18, 2018

McQ's Best Of 2017 Vol 8 - Just A Pulse

"Just a pulse..."

It's one of my favorite line readings in any film I've ever seen, the beyond reverent words F. Murray Abraham's Solieri used to describe the opening notes to the first composition he saw Mozart conduct in Milos Forman's Amadeus.

It is also a perfect title for this mix, the first pure ambient mix Nancy and I have put together in all our years of doing these collections. We 've usually included an ambient track or two in past efforts, but 2017 saw several of the enduring (if not mainstream-popular) genre's most legendary names step forward with significant new releases.  Coupled with strong efforts from by some relative newcomers, the time felt right to give ambient music a full mix of its own.

I'm sure most of you have a clear understanding of the genre, but on the off chance there's a few who don't... Ambient music is intended to be exactly what it's called, ambience; background music to set a mood, gently inhabit the spaces in which you live, and free the mind for wandering, rather than a foregrounded, seize-your-attention listen. As such, these pieces here veer into highly abstract, minimalist, quasi-new-age territory, but most of them are also quite beautiful, and several pack a serious emotional punch.

Here's the link!

About The Artists/Albums/Songs:

1. andata - Ryuichi Sakamoto: One the most multi-talented electronic musicians and composers to ever come out of Japan (or anywhere for that matter), the now 66-year-old Sakamoto's resume is insane.  After his beginnings as a key member of Japan's pioneering late-70s house act Yellow Magic Orchestra, Sakamoto got his hands dirty in just about every electronic genre in the decades that followed, collaborating with many of the top names in the electronic, ambient, and experimental fields, and writing music for the opening ceremonies of the 1992 Barcelona games. He also developed into a world-class film composer, winning the Oscar in 1987 for The Last Emperor and gaining a second nomination just a few years ago for 2015's The Revenant. Following a year-long hiatus to battle cancer, Sakamoto returned with his first album in four years, async, a long, minimalist/ambient work very much in the vein of one of his peers and frequent collaborators, Austrian experimental composer Christian Fennesz. Andata, my favorite track from async, is a gentle-on-the-ears opener that eases one into the album before it turns much more challenging in the tracks that follow.

2. Norderney - Vermont: Vermont is the ambient side-project of German house producer / Motor City Drum Ensemble member Danilo Plessow and fellow German production ace Marcus Worgull. Norderney comes from their logically titled second release II.

3. PHANTOM BRICKWORKS II - Bibio: This very long, gorgeous piano-anchored background composition comes to us courtesy of veteran electronic/experimental composer Stephen Wilkinson, aka Bibio, who hails from England, and his 2017 full-length release Phantom Brickworks.

4. Motion In Field - Tom Rogerson & Brian Eno: There's something so cool about how the songs on Finding Shore, Brian Eno's collaboration was British improvisatory pianist Tom Rogerson, were created. Almost all the playing on the album is done by Rogerson, but while recording, Eno set upon Rogerson's piano a Moog Piano Bar, a complex electronic instrument which shines an infra-red beam of light on each of the piano's 88 keys, and then each time a key is struck, that specific beam is broken, triggering all manner of programmable electronic effects. Needless to say, Eno focused his attention on the Piano Bar programming. The resulting album is both beautiful and loaded with surprising experimental touches.

5. For David Robert Jones - William Basinski: Probably the most praised ambient composition of 2017, this lengthy tribute to David Bowie from legendary Houston-born, New York-based avant-garde composer Basinski's 2017 release A Shadow Of Time was built solely on the mix-board manipulations of two cycling tape loops that a cat was allowed to chew on before recording started. For me, it creates a haunting sense of the saxophones from Bowie's Berlin-era albums slowly fading into the ether. Not something you'll throw on frequently, but an amazing piece of conceptual music.

6. Starwood Choker - Bing & Ruth: This is the opening track from No Home Of The Mind, the third album this decade from the stellar Brooklyn-based ambient quintet Bing & Ruth, who try to emphasize grace and (as will be immediately apparent given the percussive nature of the David Moore's piano) texture in their compositions. Very pretty, evocative, Windham Hill-ish vibes from these guys, just with a bit more edge.

7. Valve (Revisited) - Visible Cloaks: One of the more interesting ambient works this year, Portland duo Visible Cloak's Reassemblage was thematically anchored around the same "representation without representing" concepts that informed filmmaker Trinh T. Min-ha's 1982 experimental documentary of the same name. Here, the acoustic signatures of various instruments from around the world were converted to digital replications, and then it was those digital replications that were used to construct the album's songs, like this bonus track collaboration with Diplo included here.  

8. Narkopop 10 - GAS: We end with a selection from German electronic musician Wolfgang Voight's Narkopop, his first release under his GAS moniker (he has something like thirty other names he also records under) in seventeen years. Like all of his earlier work under the GAS alias, his take on ambient music includes a solid rhythmic foundation anchored to traditional four-on-the-floor House beats.

Friday, October 12, 2018

McQ's Best Of 1977 Vol 8 - The Ballad Of Tony Manero (Disco's Biggest Year Pt. 1)

Ah, Disco.  Love it or hate it (and I was definitely in the Steve Dahl camp growing up), Disco was everywhere in 1977, a cultural force that completely reshaped how many around the world danced, dressed, and lived (and that was all before Saturday Night Fever the film hit in mid-November, which sent Disco-fever into the stratosphere).

But as meteoric as Disco's rise had been, it's fall from grace was just as dramatic, finding itself nearly irrelevant from a mainstream standpoint within another few years, and the butt of a never ending array of pop-culture jokes for decades to come.

But then, around the turn of the century, based in part on the success of the play Mama Mia, the expanding electronic music scene, and especially, the rapidly growing popularity of a pair of French robots, a positive reappraisal of Disco began to emerge and has continued to gain traction ever since, to the point we find ourselves at now, where Disco is widely regarded as one of the most dominant influences on the music of today.

So now that we are all deeply enmeshed in Disco Phase 2, let's take a two-mix look back at some of the biggest hits in the biggest year of Disco Phase 1.

Here's the link.

About The Artists/Albums/Songs:

1. Night Fever - The Bee Gees: Kicking things off with another Bee Gees cut from the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack, aka the best selling soundtrack of all time (over 45 million copies), and also arguably the most influential soundtrack all-time, with probably only the Jimmy Cliff-dominated The Harder They Come soundtrack and just maybe the soundtrack to The Big Chill giving SNF a run for its money. But give this cheeseball classic its due, there's never been a single album that single-handily encapsulates an entire genre the way the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack does disco. And a funny tidbit about Night Fever - it actually appears in a way on the soundtrack twice. After the recording of Night Fever was finished, its physical drum track tape was cut and spliced back together in an alternate pattern to get the drum track for Stayin' Alive

2. Take A Chance On Me - ABBA: This second single from Abba's late 1977 release Abba: The Album was their final UK#1 hit of the decade, powered by its rhythmic "Take a chance, take a chance, take a chance" vocal riff that originally was just a pace-keeping nonsensical chant band member Bjorn Ulvaeus would hum to himself when jogging.

3. Boogie Nights - Heatwave: One of my personal disco favs, Boogie Nights was the first in a long string of late-70s/early-80s hit songs for the Britain-based but international in makeup Heatwave, which boasted members from America, England, Switzerland and Czechoslavakia.

4. A Fifth Of Beethoven - Walter Murphy: The first of three chronological cheats on this mix and the next that were actually originally released before 1977 but felt like they belonged here due to their inclusion on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, composer/arranger/producer Murphy tried for several years to repeat the fluke success of A Fifth Of Beethoven to no avail, but he would go on to experience tremendous success over the next four decades as a film and television composer, with several of his biggest, award winning efforts coming from his many collaborations with comedian / show runner Seth McFarlane.

5. Yes Sir, I Can Boogie - Baccara: Though they never had any chart impact in the States, this first song ever by a pair of Svengali-controlled Spanish flamenco dancers/folk singers turned disco divas was one of the biggest songs of the year throughout Europe and within a short period became the best selling single of all-time by a female act or artist until Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You surpassed it in 1992. They would continue to thrive in Europe for a few more years exclusively as singles artists, and then see interest in their song revived in 1997 with the success of the British comedy The Full Monty, which featured the song prominently in its soundtrack.

6. Boogie Shoes - KC & The Sunshine Band: Another chronological cheat, Boogie Shoes first appeared on the Florida act's 1975 debut KC & The Sunshine Band, but didn't become a hit until late-1977/early 1978 after its inclusion on the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack.

7. Strawberry Letter 23 - The Brothers Johnson: This song was one of three late-70's hits for the Motown-promoted but LA-based Brothers Johnson, a pair of actual brothers who went by the amusing nicknames of Lightnin' Licks and Thunder Thumbs.

8. I Just Want To Be Your Everything - Andy Gibb: The song, the very first release, single or otherwise, from the Bee Gees' kid brother Andy, was one of the biggest hits of 1977, dominating AM radio throughout August and September of that year. It was so omnipresent at the time, even my mother, who rarely paid much attention to music as she was bogged down raising two unruly tween-age boys, bought a copy of the single.

9. By Way Of Love's Express - Ashford & Simpson: Possibly the greatest husband and wife songwriting duo in R&B history, by 1977, after 10 years of penning Motown hits, including but not limited to most of Marvin Gaye's collaborations with Tammi Terrell, Ashford & Simpson were as focused on their performing career as their songwriting/production efforts, releasing two albums over the year. This track was one of two R&B hits from their bigger-selling second album of that year, Send It.  We'll catch a track from the duo's first album So So Satisfied when we get to Part II of our look back at Disco's biggest year.

10. How Deep Is Your Love - Bee Gees: So here's another fun factoid about Saturday Night Fever the film.  The Bee Gees did not work on the soundtrack until after principal photography was finished. Most of the dance scenes were actually performed with Boz Scaggs or Stevie Wonder playing in the background, but when Scaggs refused to license Low Down and other tracks to the film because he already had an arrangement with another disco-themed film in the works, the Bee Gees were contacted.  This track here would go on to win the 1978 grammy for Best Pop Performance By A Group.

11. Love's What's Happenin' - The Emotions: Considered amongst the most influential all-female acts in soul history, the Chicago-based Emotions made the canny switch from Gospel to Disco right as Disco was taking hold. By '77, they were at the peak of their popularity, based in no small part on Rejoice, the best selling record of their career, and the album we pull this deep cut from here. The album's top track, Best Of My Love, has already been profiled on our Vol 2 - Nancy's Favorites.

12. Jack And Jill - Raydio: This late December '77 lead single from the eponymous debut full-length for the Ray Parker, Jr.-led Raydio (yes, Ray Parker Jr. of Ghostbusters fame), a song which reworks the Jack and Jill fable in a tragically modern romanticized way, was the band's first hit, but they would continue to appear on the US R&B charts for the remainder of the decade.

13. Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band - Meco: Meco was the recording name created specifically for this classically cheesy novelty disco track by well-respected industry session musician, producer, Chuck Mangione high school buddy, 1960s West Point graduate, and bonafide Star Wars nut Domencio Monardo. Holding down the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks, it was, like for so many artists on this mix, the biggest hit of his career.

14. You Can't Turn Me Off (In The Middle Of Turning Me On) - High Inergy: Pasadena's High Inergy would land a number of small hits on the US R&B and Pop charts throughout the remainder of the 70s, but none would hit with the impact of their debut single here.

15. (Every Time I Turn Around) Back In Love Again - L.T.D.: Yet another one-hit wonder from 1977, this song could have just as easily ended up on our upcoming funk mix.

16. Don't Leave Me This Way - Thelma Houston: Motown originally planned on giving this monster cover of the Blue Notes' original to Diana Ross, but for some reason changed their minds and gave to one of their younger emerging artists instead.  It would go on to win Thelma Houston the 1978 Grammy for best R&B Vocal Performance.

17. Devil's Gun - C.J. & Co.: The super funky title track to C.J. & Co.'s debut album was the highest charting song of the Detroit-based production duo's short-lived careers, but it continues to land on film soundtracks to this day.

18. Float On - The Floaters: Another of the biggest singles of 1977, Float On peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, but spent a full six weeks topping the US soul charts. It would be this R&B act's only mainstream hit.

19. If I Can't Have You - Yvonne Elliman: Yvonne Elliman was a well known Hawaiian singer of Japanese and Irish descent, who in addition to having a few charting singles in the early 70s, had also been an original member of both the original stage version and 1973 film production of Hair (as Mary Magdalene) and toured as a back-up singer for Eric Clapton. After landing a top-20 hit with the Bee Gees-penned Love Me in 1976 she was recruited by the Bee Gees to perform How Deep Is Your Love, a song they written specifically for her, on the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack, but producer Robert Stigwood objected, thinking How Deep should be performed by the Bee Gees, so they gave her another new song, If I Can't Have You, instead. The rest, as they say, is history.

20: Love Is In The Air - John Paul Young: Though he would have greater international success in the UK, South Africa, and his native Australia (after emigrating from Scotland as a child), Love Is In The Air was the only American hit for John Paul Young.

21. More Than A Woman - Bee Gees: Though one of the few songs original to the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack that was never released as a single, this has always been my second favorite Bee Gees' number from the soundtrack after Stayin' Alive.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

McQ's Best Of 2017 Vol 7 - Coachella Starters (Final Deluxe Edition)

Well, all good things must someday come to an end.

For the last seven years, Coachella Starters has been our annual look back at the undercard acts that impressed us most at that calendar year's edition of the festival.  But with both our kids off to college starting in the fall of 2019, Nancy and I decided the 2018 festival would be our last one for a while, so this year, we're going to combine our favorite undercard acts from 2017 with our favorites from 2018 and give this traditional mix the grand finale it deserves.

As with all the Coachella Starters mixes, the goal is eclecticism, recreating a sense of the live fun and adventurous multi-genre, international feel that has always been the festival's greatest strength.

Here's the link.

And for those who might want to revisit past editions of this mix.

Coachella Starters 2016
Coachella Starters 2015
Coachella Starters 2014
Coachella Starters 2013
Coachella Starters 2012
Coachella Starters 2011
Coachella Starters 2010

Now, about the Artists/Albums/Songs on this year's mix:

1. Highway Tune - Greta Van Fleet: If there's one shining star emerging out of today's contemporary music scene that could legitimately re-vitalize a passion for hard rock amongst today's younger listeners, it's this collective of classic-rock-loving brothers from Detroit. They can play and sing lights out, they just need to figure out how to differentiate themselves a bit more from Led Zeppelin if they ever want to truly be taken seriously. Still, as is, I can't deny how refreshing it is to hear something so balls-out Zeppish in this day and age as Highway Tune here from the band's 2017 mini-album From The Fires.

2. French Press - Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever: This talented,  up-and-coming Aussie quintet led by a trio of guitarist / singer / songwriters hits with a jangle pop sound that instantly calls to mind the genres past greats, from The Byrds, to REM, to Belle & Sebastian, and especially to their fellow Aussie's The Go-Betweens.  They put on an charming set when I caught them Sunday at Coachella 2018, and no song struck me more that day than this title track from their 2017 The French Press EP.

3. Valle Moreno - QUITAPENAS: Though just a tiny regional act out of San Bernadino, California, Latin act QUITAPENAS put on one of the most entertaining sets my kids and I saw at Coachella 2017, a set that also enjoyed some of the best crowd interaction I've ever seen at a festival, culminating in a conga line during the bands closing number that felt like it got over 500 people long.

4. Heaven - Pvris: One of the most impressive live acts Nancy and I caught at the 2018 festival, this Lowell, Massachussetts power trio combines dark electro-pop with surging, arena-sized mainstream rock and then channels it through their multi-talented lead singer and principal songwriter Lynn Gunn. This song comes from their glowingly reviewed 2017 release All We Know Of Heaven, All We Need Of Hell, and like most of the material from the album, deals with Gunns experiences coming out as a lesbian to family and friends.

5. Le perv - Carpenter Brut: One of the weirdest acts I've seen at the last two festivals, Carpenter Brut is the performing name for the mysterious, horror-film-loving Frenchmen Franck Hueso, a synthwave artist in the vein of Stranger Things-composers S U R V I V E who adds heavy doses of metal and industrial rock to his electronic compositions, and then performs them accompanied by projected montages of the goriest moments of various grindhouse films. This track comes for 2017's Triology, a collection of three earlier released EPs.

6. B Boys Anthem - B Boys: This young Brooklyn act has the late-70s/early 80s art-punk vibe of Wire and Gang Of Four down cold and are already very good on record. Too bad they got stuck with a super early set time in that 2018 Coachella graveyard known as Sonora Tent and played to the sparest crowd I saw all weekend. This track comes from their 2017 sophomore full-length Dada.

7. Jungle - Tash Sultana: Melbourne's Sultana is a young solo artist who performs in the manner of K.T. Tunstall/Tuneyards, utilizing live tape loops to build up her songs one instrument at a time. 2016's Jungle is to date her most popular song.

8. Hostage - Klangstof: The first Dutch act to ever play Coachella, this promising group of Radiohead devotees was one of the first two or three acts I caught at 2017 festival.  This track comes from their 2016 album Closed Eyes To Exit.

9. Love Is Short - Otoboke Beaver: This band is an experience. An all-female punk quartet, their whole shtick is basically to shriek and scream Japanese profanities at their audience for the full duration of their Ramones-length sets. All I can say is, it's way, way more entertaining than it sounds, a must see live if they're ever at a fest your attending. This song is the title track to their 2017 EP of the same name.

10. The Taker Story - Chicano Batman: A Coachella repeat act, this Los Angeles band returned to the polo fields in 2017 to promote their excellent new album, Freedom Is Free. This song from it perfectly captures the album's loose, winning, Latin/psychedelic-rock vibe.

11. Pork Soda - Glass Animals: The popular Oxford-based art-pop act found their careers in ascendance in 2017, landing third-line for their day on the festival poster, and then being upgraded again with a 6 pm Main Stage set time, traditionally one of the five most coveted daily stage/time slots at the festival.  This song here was their biggest hit from their Mercury Prize-nominated 2016 release How To Be A Human Being.

12. Castigadas En El Granero - Hinds: Hinds is a quirky, energetic, all-female indie/garage act out of Madrid, Spain. This track here comes from their well-reviewed 2016 release Leave Me Alone.

13. Blue Wine - Nao: This gorgeous-voiced Brit took a while to get her career going, starting out as a backup singer for the likes of Jarvis Cocker and spending half decade as a member of the female a cappella act The Boxettes before finally bringing attention to herself as a featured vocalist on popular songs from the likes of Disclosure and Stormzy. This track is my favorite from her 2016 debut album For All We Know.

14. Born To Be Free - X Japan: This legendary, 30-years-running hair-metal band is the most popular rock act in Japanese history, quite literally their Beatles/Stones/Led Zeppelin. So what does Coachella do after finally booking these guys and flying them halfway around the globe to play in 2018? Schedule their entire set against Beyonce, ensuring virtually no one at the festival makes an attempt to see them. Go figure. So in our own small attempt to repair the Trump-level international relations damage caused by the scheduling move, we're going to feature X Japan's popular 2015 single Born To Be Free here and leave Bey completely off this mix😉😉.

15. I Wanna Be Like You - Ibeyi: This beautiful little song of sisterly admiration, the best song from Ibeyi's 2017 second release Ashwas one of the vocal highlights of the entire Coachella 2018 weekend.

16. Valley - Perfume Genius: Here's another track from Perfume Genius's 2017 release No Shape, which he presented live in his second Coachella appearance in 2018.

17. Told You I'd Be With The Guys - Cherry Glazerr: A super young rock act out of Los Angeles that, though barely out of high school, has already released two EPs and two full lengths, I caught them in the Sonora in 2018 and came away impressed with charismatic lead singer/songwritir/guitarist Clementine Creevy, who is just an old-school rock natural. This song here, a nifty slab of garage, was the lead single from their second full-length, 2017's magnificently titled Apocalipstick.

17. I Really Love You - The Delirians: One of my favorite sets from the last Coachella day I'll be attending for some time, the relaxed, East LA Ska vibes the Delirians summoned in their early Sunday 2018 set went down just as easy in the Sonora tent as they do here on this cut from their 2017 Mezcla de Musica y Amor EP.

18. Blanket Me - Hundred Waters: Another 2018 victim head-to-head Beyonce scheduling, this highly regarded electronic act was forced to play their stunning, intricate numbers like Blanket Me from their 2017 album Communicating to an almost empty tent. So as with X Japan, giving them a plug here.

19. Unforgiving Girl (She's Not An) - Car Seat Headrest: Okay, truth be told, Car Seat Headrest did put on one of the best sets I saw in 2017, but the main reason I close with them here is it allows me to squeeze in one more track from one of my favorite albums of this decade, their fantastic 2016 indie-rocker Teens Of Denial.