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June 26, 2008


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Abe Goldfarb

God-the-fuck-damn-it is Sir Duke a tight song. Yeah, Songs in the Key of Life is one of those records everyone should own. For me, the high point is I Wish, though Sir Duke has that unbeLIEVable horn line.

Jennifer Gordon Thomas

this and Talking Book are 2 of my all-time fav albums.


what is the matter with me? Why don't I own a lot of Stevie Wonder?

Had I known, I would have asked you the same question. Make sure you pick up some of the teenage Motown stuff with James Jamerson on bass (especially "I Was Made To Love Her"). Stevie's keyboard bass lines on his 1970's records sound so awesome because he'd learned to effectively channel Jamerson.

But when music's power is really cooking, there are few non-cheesy reactions that are available.

Indeed. The power of Stevie Wonder is that (A) the musical craftsmanship is just fucking stunning -- even the simplest-sounding song is dense with with layer upon layer of harmonic and melodic sophistication, and his ability to make it all instantly understandable and accessible is the highest form of genius, and (B) he the living embodiement of musical joy. I am deeply suspicious of anyone who cannot let go of their habitual cynicism and enjoy Stevie's art without worrying about whether someone else might think it's somehow "cheesy." And I maean deeply suspcious of those people as human beings, not just as music listeners. If you don't love Stevie Wonder, there is something seriously wrong with you as a person.


I had some of these same thoughts about a month ago. I got some Stevie Wonder and I know have a little more bounce in my step.


I'm a "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" man myself. God, I love when that song comes on. Also, "I Wish" is pretty great.

Rob Kendt

Seriously? "Sir Duke"? It's not the cheese I object to on "SITKOL," it's the sugar headache. I'll take "Innervisions" or "Talking Book" or "Fulfillingness' First Finale" anyday. "You Haven't Done Nothin'" and "Living for the City" and "Superwoman" and "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing" and "Have a Talk With God" blow the lid off anything on "SITKOL."


Alright. I didn't post yesterday because I didn't want to look like a pretentious asshole, but it looks like I don't mind looking dumb, so here's why music is so powerful:

Music talks to the part of you that is pre-verbal, non-verbal.

Music goes all the way back to when, as a baby, you couldn't see for nothing, and the only thing you could recognize was the beating of your mother's heart and the timbre of her voice.

Music can bypass the critic and his incessant yammering.

Music gets inside you in the way that watching a play or reading a text or looking at a painting cannot - everything we see, we think of as "outside" us, while music is invasive. It rumbles the bones, rattles the fillings in the teeth, moves the hips.

Music is (obviously) all about the hearing; it's "hot" as McLuhan would say.

It is vibration, as are we all, and so we resonate in sympathy.

P.S. Glad you got SITKOL. Now go get Talking Book, right now. Your welcome.


Rob-- "Have a Talk With God" is ON "Songs in the Key of Life"!

Rob Kendt

Oops...sorry...those records got all mixed up in my collection on various mixtapes and Musiquariums years ago, and now it's all iTunes-ified and hopelessly shuffled, of course...Though I will say that "Innervisions" is the only one of those records I fondly recall putting on in vinyl form, one side at a time, without mixing or skipping, with repeated relish, while as a mass of music "SITKOL" cloyed quicker, its high points notwithstanding.

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