- James Van Hoy
Essential Saturday night listening: I prefer live music on a Saturday night, either performing or attending a concert. If I could choose a lineup to see — not including deceased musicians — it would be Death Cab for Cutie opening for a reunited Smiths.
Essential Sunday morning listening: Brad Mehldau’s album Largo is amazing, especially the first track, “When It Rains.” He is a suave jazz pianist and struck gold on this Jon Brion-produced record.
First record I bought with my own money: Stevie Wonder’s Original Musiquarium. This is a two-album greatest hits collection that I wore out as a kid. Growing up in Detroit in the ’70s, Stevie’s music was everywhere and I am thankful for that.
“Wish I’d written that” song: I am going to give you two, since this is very hard to narrow down. “Your New Twin Sized Bed” by Death Cab for Cutie and “North and South” by Hey Marseilles. These are songs that I cannot listen to enough, and must listen to to the end whenever they come on.
“Wish I could unhear that” song: “Oops!... I Did It Again” by Britney Spears. My daughter is 9 years old and I hear this song on the daily.
My latest online discovery: The Wild Reeds. They have a fantastic Tiny Desk video. I love harmonized female voices and these three women can all sing lead with a boatload of soul.
Artist more people should know about: Beirut, which started out as Zach Condon’s solo project. A native of Santa Fe, he dropped out of high school to travel through Europe. He brought back the Balkan brass band sound to his ukulele and trumpet songs and, along with his crooner’s voice, hits all my happy spots as a musician and music lover.
Guilty pleasure: I try to avoid these, but my daughter listens to a lot of Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Adele, Justin Timberlake and Meghan Trainor. I suppose Adele gives me the most aural pleasure from this list, so I choose her.