A little different format this week. You will learn why below.

“Natural Light” – Flowertown
This band went so hard for the retro sound that they put fake crackles and pops, as if you were listening to vinyl, onto it. In fact, they put those “artifacts” on every song on their new album. Which, to be honest, gets a little old. But in a single, pretty song like this, it works.

“Love Will Work It Out” – Durand Jones & The Indications
I think this is the third-straight week we’ve had some modern soul? And quite a track to continue that run, as this calls back to some sweet, sweet early ’70s soul. This band got together right down the road in Bloomington, IN.

“Fairytale in the Supermarket” – Jen Cloher, Hachiku
This is a fun little song, and certainly a huge departure from Cloher’s past work, which was much more mellow and folk-based. Turns out this is a cover of a song by late ’70s British punk band The Raincoats. I just checked out the original and it has a much more abrasive sound, consistent with the era it was made in.

“Hot Summer” – Prince
The latest song pulled from Prince’s vault, this was played once, by Prince himself on Minnesota public radio station The Current on June 7, 2010 – Prince’s 52nd birthday – before he buried it in the vault. Not that we needed it, but further proof he could write a song that was perfect for radio whenever he wanted.

Tomorrow is the 40th anniversary of MTV. I know the surviving original VJs have some stuff planned for SiriusXM over the weekend. I imagine there will be several articles exploring those early days, how the channel evolved, and so on that hit today. I came across this piece yesterday, in which Stereogum ranked all the videos played on MTV’s first day. It was fun to skim and see how strange some of the selections were. Two jumped out at me, so I will share those, then a video from an MTV legend who we lost this week.

“Video Killed the Radio Star” – The Buggles
There may not have been a better choice for the first song played that day. A classic example of a song that got much more popular well after its original release.

“Once In A Lifetime” – Talking Heads
Number one on the list was this classic. I honestly thought this song was from later, likely in 1982, because I remember seeing it a lot that summer when I would hang out with friends who had MTV. It was such a memorable and influential video, and indicative of the time, where anything could go as artists were figuring out this new medium. In addition to the images of this video, I remember my mind being blown a little by the song itself, which wasn’t like anything Casey was playing or that I was buying from the Columbia Record Club.

“Gimme Me All Your Lovin'” – ZZ Top
Speaking of masters of the medium, ZZ Top will always be at the top of the list (no pun intended). This was always my favorite song off their breakthrough album Eliminator. RIP to bassist Dusty Hill who passed this week.