Some terrific new songs and RIP to one of the biggest names in the history of popular music.

“Wild” – Spoon
Spoon never, ever release a bad single. That doesn’t mean every single is great, but they always hold my attention for a week or two. This, however, is a great single, as good as anything they’ve done in quite awhile. This is also the song that reminded me to start my Favorites of ’22 playlist.

“You Will Never Work in Television Again” – The Smile
Hot damn! Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead, along with their regular Radiohead producer Nigel Goodrich, with a side-project that kicks ass. I’ve always admired, but never loved, the direction Radiohead took after back-to-back alt rock classics The Bends and OK Computer. If this was the path they had taken, which is different from what they were doing but still honors their alt rock roots, I would have totally been onboard.

“Slide Away” – The Verve
Speaking of great 1990s British alt rock bands, I got on a kick late last night where I was listening to a bunch of tracks by The Verve. Urban Hymns will forever be one of my favorite albums. This was the first song I heard from them, in late 1993, and I remember it totally blowing my mind.

“Tomorrow” – Waxahatchee
From the soundtrack Katie Crutchfield wrote for the Apple TV+ series El Deafo, about a girl who loses her hearing and creates a superhero alter ego to get through life. Of course the song is delightful.

“Be My Baby” – The Ronnettes
We lost an angel this week when Ronnie Spector passed. Probably the first bad ass chick in the history of rock ‘n’ roll, she was the voice on this, one of the biggest and most important songs of the 1960s. Her ex-husband Phil Spector tried to destroy her life, and was nearly successful. She survived, put her life back together, and had a strong third act to her life. And she out-lived that fucker by about a year.

“Take Me Home Tonight” – Eddie Money
Money’s 1986 album Can’t Hold Back was meant to be a comeback for him after several middling years thanks to drugs and booze. Adding Ronnie Spector to this track turned it into the vehicle that brought her back to the public eye. She famously had to be coaxed to sing her lines. Who knows how the rest of her life would have turned out if she had not eventually relented. Soon she was singing and performing on her own again, and loving it, for the first time in nearly two decades.