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This page contains a collection of music that I love, by artists that I love.

I've written some blurbs about the artists and songs and I hope you enjoy reading/listening.

Common – Be  
Common - Be
I want to be as free as the spirits of those who left
I'm talking Malcolm, Coltrane, my man Yusef
Through death grew conception
New breath and resurrection
For wrongs, new steps in a direction
In the right way
Told her, "inside is where the fight lay
And everything a nigga do may not be what he might say."
Chicago nights stay, stay on the mind
But I write many lives, they, lay on these lines
Wavin' signs of the times
Many say the grind's on the mind
Shorties blunted-eyed and everyone wanna rhyme
Bush pushing lies, killers immortalized
We got arms but won't reach for the skies
Waiting for the Lord to rise
I look into my daughter's eyes
And realize that I'mma learn through her
The Messiah, might even return through her
If I'mma do it, I gotta change the world through her
Furs and a Benz, Gramps wantin 'em
Demons and old friends, Pops, they hauntin' him
The chosen one from the land of the frozen sun
When drunk nights get remembered more than sober ones
Walk like warriors, we were never told to run
Explored the world to return to where my soul begun
Never looking back or too far in front of me
The present is a gift
And I just want to be

Common is, I think, a great way to start this list. Staying true to his original stage name (Common Sense), Common presents us with a view from the inside. His broad range of lyrical and musical styles bring us to wherever he wants us to be and shows us what we may not have wanted to see: the world through the eyes of reason and intellect.

Unlike some similar artists, Common maintains the sounds of his culture - showing us that the rough edges of theAfrican American dialect are far from synonymous with ignorance. Common, for me, is a voice of reason in hip-hop, and he stands for the music and the movements that have allowed it to progress to where it is today.

"Be" seems to put together all of these elements. I can simultaneously feel his optimism and desperation. The music is in such perfect dialogue with the lyrics. The song is so short, but gets into me every time - I can't explain it. As the closing lyric goes: Never looking back, or too far in front of me. The present is a gift, and I just want to be.

Nas – I Can  
Nas - I Can
[Kids]
I know I can (I know I can) 
Be what I wanna be (be what I wanna be) 
If I work hard at it (If I work hard at it)
I'll be where I wanna be (I'll be where I wanna be)

[Nas]
Be, B-Boys and girls, listen up 
You can be anything in the world, in God we trust
An architect, doctor, maybe an actress 
But nothing comes easy it takes much practice
Like, I met a woman who's becoming a star
She was very beautiful, leaving people in awe
Singing songs, Lina Horn, but the younger version
Hung with the wrong person
Got her strung on that
Heroin, cocaine, sniffin up drugs all in her nose...
Coulda died, so young, now looks ugly and old
No fun cause now when she reaches for hugs people hold they breath
Cause she smells of corrosion and death 
Watch the company you keep and the crowd you bring
Cause they came to do drugs and you came to sing
So if you gonna be the best, I'ma tell you how,
Put your hands in the air, and take a bow

[Chorus - 2x (Nas and Kids)]
I know I can (I know I can) 
Be what I wanna be (be what I wanna be) 
If I work hard at it (If I work hard at it)
I'll be where I wanna be (I'll be where I wanna be)

[Nas]
Be, B-Boys and girls, listen again
This is for grown looking girls who's only ten
The ones who watch videos and do what they see
As cute as can be, up in the club with fake ID
Careful, 'fore you meet a man with HIV
You can host the TV like Oprah Winfrey 
Whatever you decide, be careful, some men be
Rapists, so act your age, don't pretend to be 
Older than you are, give yourself time to grow
You thinking he can give you wealth, but so
Young boys, you can use a lot of help, you know
You thinkin life's all about smokin weed and ice
You don't wanna be my age and can't read and write
Begging different women for a place to sleep at night
Smart boys turn to men and do whatever they wish
If you believe you can achieve, then say it like this

[Chorus]

[Nas]
Be, be, 'fore we came to this country 
We were kings and queens, never porch monkeys
There was empires in Africa called Kush 
Timbuktu, where every race came to get books
To learn from black teachers who taught Greeks and Romans
Asian Arabs and gave them gold when 
Gold was converted to money it all changed 
Money then became empowerment for Europeans
The Persian military invaded 
They heard about the gold, the teachings, and everything sacred
Africa was almost robbed naked
Slavery was money, so they began making slave ships 
Egypt was the place that Alexander the Great went 
He was so shocked at the mountains with black faces
Shot up they nose to impose what basically 
Still goes on today, you see? 
If the truth is told, the youth can grow 
Then learn to survive until they gain control
Nobody says you have to be gangstas, hoes
Read more learn more, change the globe
Ghetto children, do your thing
Hold your head up, little man, you're a king
Young Princess when you get your wedding ring
Your man is saying "She's my queen"

[Chorus]

Save the music y'all, save the music y'all
Save the music y'all, save the music y'all
Save the music

Nas has been around forever, hanging on the edge of popular rap music. His great effect on the field is undeniable, with many of the most famous rappers alive citing him as an important influence, though he is hardly as famous as many of them. He has had several moments of popularity but has failed to remain in the spotlight for very long.

There is a deep honesty in Nas's lyrics; a pain and struggle that he wishes to present to the listener. Many of his songs are depictions of life in the ghetto, or realizations or encouragement from within that life. Nas is, in a way, still fighting for black power and pride. I think he fights so intensely because he preceives very little change in the status of civil rights.

"I Can" is easily Nas's most well known song. The sample of Fur Elise would probably have been enough to accomplish that, but his lyrics hit home for many people, myself included. There are so many brilliant moments in "I Can" but at end of the last verse, in which he essentially re-writes the history that many of us are taught, he breaks away breifly and seems to completely shatter the common view of African-American culture - telling the "ghetto children" that they can move beyond their stereotypes. The juxaposition of positive outlook and negative terminology is exactly what I appreciate Nas for. He is an idealist, but honest. Clever, but trapped.

Fiona Apple – Paper Bag  
Fiona Apple - Paper Bag
I was staring at the sky, just looking for a star
To pray on, or wish on, or something like that
I was having a sweet fix of a daydream of a boy
Whose reality I knew, was a hopeless to be had
But then the dove of hope began its downward slope
And I believed for a moment that my chances
Were approaching to be grabbed
But as it came down near, so did a weary tear
I thought it was a bird, but it was just a paper bag

Hunger hurts, and I want him so bad, oh it kills
'Cause I know I'm a mess he don't wanna clean up
I got to fold 'cause these hands are too shaky to hold
Hunger hurts, but starving works, when it costs too much to love

And I went crazy again today, looking for a strand to climb
Looking for a little hope
Baby said he couldn't stay, wouldn't put his lips to mine,
And a fail to kiss is a fail to cope
I said, 'Honey, I don't feel so good, don't feel justified
Come on put a little love here in my void,' he said
'It's all in your head,' and I said, 'So's everything'
But he didn't get it I thought he was a man
But he was just a little boy

Hunger hurts, and I want him so bad, oh it kills
'Cause I know I'm a mess he don't wanna clean up
I got to fold 'cause these hands are too shaky to hold
Hunger hurts, but starving works, when it costs too much to love

Hunger hurts, but I want him so bad, oh it kills
'Cause I know I'm a mess he don't wanna clean up
I got to fold 'cause these hands are too shaky to hold
Hunger hurts, but starving works, when it costs too much to love

Hunger hurts, but I want him so bad, oh it kills
Because I know that I'm a mess that he don't wanna clean up
I got to fold because these hands are just too shaky to hold
Hunger hurts, but starving, it works, when it costs too much to love

Fiona Apple, on a completely different note, is one of my new-ish favorites. I think Quentin Tarantino described her best: YouTube.

In some circles she is almost famous for her anger, many of her songs being about failed relationships. But she transcends anger, with such carefully crafted lyrics that seem to introduce entire scenes with a single phrase. There is a degree to which she can be seen as a intellectual self-exile, with the heavy wisdom of a woman with the age to deserve Fiona's deep singing voice.

"Paper Bag" (video included) is an perfect showcase of her talent and beauty in nearly every way imaginable. 'Nuff said.

Regina Spektor – On The Radio  
Regina Spektor - On The Radio
This is how it works
It feels a little worse
Than when we drove our hearse
Right through that screaming crowd
While laughing up a storm
Until we were just bone
Until it got so warm
That none of us could sleep
And all the styrofoam
Began to melt away
We tried to find some worms
To aid in the decay
But none of them were home
Inside their catacomb
A million ancient bees
Began to sting our knees
While we were on our knees
Praying that disease
Would leave the ones we love
And never come again

On the radio
We heard November Rain
That solo's really long
But it's a pretty song
We listened to it twice
'Cause the DJ was asleep

This is how it works
You're young until you're not
You love until you don't
You try until you can't
You laugh until you cry
You cry until you laugh
And everyone must breathe
Until their dying breath

No, this is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else's heart
Pumping someone else's blood
And walking arm in arm
You hope it don't get harmed
But even if it does
You'll just do it all again

And on the radio
You hear November Rain
That solo's awful long
But it's a good refrain
You listen to it twice
'Cause the DJ is asleep
On the radio
(oh oh oh)
On the radio
On the radio - uh oh
On the radio - uh oh
On the radio - uh oh
On the radio

Regina Spektor is easily tied for my favorite artist (Jack White and Eminem being in the running as well). She is beautiful, thoughtful, quirky, and downright adorable. But beyond my crush on her as a person, she creates such wildly varying music, influenced strongly by her background in classical piano, and imprinted pointedly with her unsusual voice and style.

Nearly everything Regina makes is so visceral it plants itself inside of you, if you're willing, and grows exponentially with repeated listening. Some songs are forays into minds she wishes she could understand or experience, many from the perspective of men, and ranging through topics from finding a wallet on the street to being the fabled Icarus, falling into the sea, melted wax wings in hand, and facing the death at your own hand (a metaphor to modern society).

I had a great deal of trouble picking a song of hers, mainly because I love all of them, but "On the Radio" highlights many of her more prominent characteristics while still being a fairly normal and understandable song. However, if you like this (or even if you don't), I highly recommend checking out some of her other stuff on YouTube. She's fantastic.

Fiona Apple – Not About Love  
Fiona Apple - Not About Love
The early cars
Already are
Drawing deep breaths past my door
And last night's phrases
Sick with lack of basis
Are still writhing on my floor

And it doesn't seem fair
That your wicked words should work
In holding me down
No, it doesn't seem right
To take information
Given at close range
For the gag
And the bind
And the ammunition round

Conversation once colored by esteem
Became duologue as a diagram of a play for blood
Took a vacation, my palate got clean
Now I could taste your agenda
While you're spitting your cud

And it doesn't make sense
I should fall for the kingcraft of a meritless crown
No, it doesn't seem right
To take information
Given at close range
For the gag
And the bind
And the ammunition round

This is not about love
'Cause I am not in love
In fact I can't stop falling out

This is not about love
'Cause I am not in love
In fact I can't stop falling out
I miss that stupid ache

What is this posture
I have to stare at
That's what he said when I'm sittin' up straight
Change the name of the game 'cause he lost
And he knew he was wrong but he knew it too late
But I'm not being fair
'Cause I chose to listen to that filthy mouth
But I'd like to choose right
Take all the things that I've said that he stole
Put 'em in a sack
Swing 'em over my shoulder
Turn on my heels
Step out of this sight
Try to live in a lovelier light

This is not about love
'Cause I am not in love
In fact I cant stop falling out

This is not about love
'Cause I am not in love
In fact i cant stop falling out
I miss that stupid ache

Revisting Fiona.

"Not About Love" needed to be on this list, if only for the Zach Galifianakis music video. Apparently the two are friends.

But this song is, in my eyes, the perfect love/breakup song. The sheer honesty with herself and the situation she finds herself in is only exceeded by the cogency of her anger.

Death Cab for Cutie – I Will Possess Your Heart  
Death Cab for Cutie - I Will Possess Your Heart
How I wish you could see the potential,
the potential of you and me.
It's like a book elegantly bound but,
in a language that you can't read.
Just yet.

You gotta spend some time, Love.
You gotta spend some time with me.
And I know that you'll find, love
I will possess your heart.
You gotta spend some time, Love.
You gotta spend some time with me.
And I know that you'll find, love
I will possess your heart.

There are days when outside your window
I see my reflection as I slowly pass,
and I long for this mirrored perspective
when we'll be lovers, lovers at last.

You gotta spend some time, Love.
You gotta spend some time with me.
And I know that you'll find, love
I will possess your heart.
You gotta spend some time, Love.
You gotta spend some time with me.
And I know that you'll find, love
I will possess your heart.
I will possess your heart.
I will possess your heart.

You reject my... advances... and desperate pleas...
I won't let you... let me down... so easily.
So easily.

You gotta spend some time, Love.
You gotta spend some time with me.
And I know that you'll find, love
I will possess your heart.
You gotta spend some time, Love.
You gotta spend some time with me.
And I know that you'll find, love
I will possess your heart.
You gotta spend some time, Love.
You gotta spend some time with me.
And I know that you'll find, love
I will possess your heart.
I will possess your heart.
I will possess your heart.

Death Cab for Cutie, like basically all of the artists on the list, is a band that is excellent at describing the world as it is. In the between their sometimes normal sounding choruses, they find a way to really get at whatever it is they are exploring. Most of their songs deal with love and appeal very much to teen-agers and twenty-somethings that feel emotionally exposed, wanting only for a connection, however brief.

The long intro to "I Will Possess Your Heart" is one of the most calming pieces of music I've encountered. I can go into it in any state and come into the first verse in a serene and hopeful state.

Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out  
Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out
So if you're lonely, you know I'm here waiting for you
I'm just a cross-hair, I'm just a shot away from you
And if you leave here, you leave me broken shattered I lie
I'm just a cross-hair, I'm just a shot then we can die
I know I won’t be leaving here with you

I say, "Don't you know?"
You say, "You don't know"
I say, "Take me out"
I say, "You don't show"
Don't move time is slow
I say, "Take me out"

Well I say, "You don't know"
You say, "You don't go"
I say, "Take me out"
If I move this could die
And eyes move this could die
I want you to, to take me out

I know I won't be leaving here
(With you)
I know I won't be leaving here
I know I won't be leaving here
(With you)
I know I won't be leaving here with you

Well I say, "Don't you know?"
You say, "You don't know"
I say, "Take me out"
If I wane this could die
I wait this could die
I want you to take me out

If I move this could die
Eyes move this can die
Come on, take me out

I know I won't be leaving here
(With you)
I know I won't be leaving here
(With you)
I know I won't be leaving here
(With you)
I know I won't be leaving here with you

Blast this song. Seriously.

For a repetitive song with average lyrics, I consider "Take Me Out" to be almost perfect. The way it builds, slowly and yet suddenly shifting into another song. The same, but a more modern take on the concept. It's very simple, but there something about it that hits me right in the perfect spot.

Death Cab for Cutie – You Can Do Better Than Me  
Death Cab for Cutie - You Can Do Better Than Me
I'm starting to feel
We stayed together out of fear of dying alone
I've been slipping through the years
My old clothes don't fit like they once did
So they hang like ghosts of the people I've been

It's like my heart can't be tamed
I fall in love every day
And I feel like a fool

I have to face the truth
That no one could ever look at me like you do
Like I'm something worth holding on to

There's times I think of leaving
But it's something I'll never do

'Cause you can do better than me
But I can't do better than you
[repeat]

Another Death Cab song.

There isn't really much to say about this one, it's a just a cute tune I've stuck with since the first time I heard it. :)

Cage the Elephant – Ain't No Rest for the Wicked  
Cage the Elephant - Ain't No Rest for the Wicked
I was walking down the street
When out the corner of my eye, 
I saw a pretty little thing approaching me.
She said I never seen a man, 
Who looks so all alone, 
Oh, could you use a little company?
If you could pay the right price, 
Your evening will be nice, 
And you can go and send me on my way, 
I said you're such a sweet young thing, 
Oh why you do this to yourself.
She looked at me and this is what she said.

Oh, there ain't no rest for the wicked, 
Money don't grow on trees, 
I got bills to pay, 
I got mouths to feed, 
There ain't nothing in this world for free.
Oh no I can't slow down, 
I can't hold back
Though you know, I wish, I could, 
Oh no there ain't no rest for the wicked, 
Until we close our eyes for good.

Not even 15 minutes later, 
After walking down the street, 
When I saw the shadow of a man creep out of sight, 
And then he swept up from behind, 
He put a gun up to my head, 
He made it clear he wasn't looking for a fight, 
He said give me all you've got, 
I want your money not your life, 
If you try to make a move I won't think twice, 
I told him you can have my cash, 
But first you know I've got to ask, 
What made you want to live this kind of life?

He said there ain't no rest for the wicked, 
Money don't grow on trees, 
I got bills to pay
I got mouths to feed
There ain't nothing in this world for free.
Oh no I can't slow down, 
I can't hold back
Though you know I wish I could
Oh no there ain't no rest for the wicked, 
Until we close our eyes for good.

Well now a couple hours passed, 
And I was sitting in my house, 
The day was winding down and coming to an end, 
And so I turn to the TV, 
And flipped it over to the news, 
And what I saw I almost couldn't comprehend, 
I saw a preacher man in cuffs
He'd taken money from the church, 
He'd stuffed his bank account with righteous dollar bills
But even still I can't say much
Because I know we're all the same, 
Oh yes we all seek out to satisfy those thrills.

You know there ain't no rest for the wicked, 
Money don't grow on trees, 
We got bills to pay
We got mouths to feed
There ain't nothing in this world for free.
Oh no we can't slow down, 
We can't hold back
Though you know we wish we could.
Oh no there ain't no rest for the wicked, 
Until we close our eyes for good.

Cage the Elephant is a band that caught me off-guard. They have some really solid songs that have that special something I like.

Needed to throw them in here somewhere.

Regina Spektor – Us  
Regina Spektor - Us
They made a statue of us
And it put it on a mountain top
Now tourists come and stare at us
Blow bubbles with their gum
Take photographs have fun, have fun

They'll name a city after us
And later say it's all our fault
Then they'll give us a talking to
Then they'll give us a talking to
Because they've got years of experience
We're living in a den of thieves
Rummaging for answers in the pages
We're living in a den of thieves
And it's contagious
And it's contagious
And it's contagious
And it's contagious

We wear our scarves just like a noose
But not 'cause we want eternal sleep
And though our parts are slightly used
New ones are slave labor you can keep

We're living in a den of thieves
Rummaging for answers in the pages
We're living in a den of thieves
And it's contagious
And it's contagious
And it's contagious
And it's contagious

They made a statue of us
They made a statue of us
The tourists come and stare at us
The sculptor's marble sends regards
They made a statue of us
They made a statue of us
Our noses have begun to rust
We're living in a den of thieves
Rummaging for answers in the pages
Were living in a den of thieves

And it's contagious
And it's contagious
And it's contagious
And it's contagious
And it's contagious
And it's contagious
And it's contagious
And it's contagious

"Us" is another great song by Regina. Here lyrics are flawless, the music addictive, the video odd and entertaining; I don't really know what else anyone would want.

I love her.

Jack White & Alicia Keys – Another Way to Die  
Jack White & Alicia Keys - Another Way to Die
Another ringer with the slick trigger finger for Her Majesty
Another one with the golden tongue poisoning your fantasy
Another bill from a killer, turned a thriller to a tragedy

Yeah, a door left open, a woman walking by
A drop in the water, a look in your eye
A phone on the table, a man on your side
Or someone that you think that you can trust
It's just another way to die

Another tricky little gun giving solace to the one
That'll never see the sun shine
Another inch of your life sacrificed for your brother, in the nick of time
Another dirty money, heaven sent honey, turning on a dime

Well, a door left open, a woman walking by
A drop in the water, a look in your eye
A phone on the table, a man on your side
Or someone that you think that you can trust
It's just another way to die

It's just another
Hey!
It's just another
You're nothing to me, die
It's just another
Shoot 'em, bang bang!

Another girl with her finger on the world
Singing to you what you wanna hear
Another gun thrown down in surrender took away your fear, hey
Another man there, he stands right behind you looking in the mirror

A door left open, a woman walking by
A drop in the water, a look in the eye
A phone on the table, a man on your side
Or someone that you think that you can trust
It's just another way to die

It's just another
It's just another
It's just another way!
Shoot 'em up, bang bang
Hey! Hey!
It's just another
Yeah! Yeah!

It's just another
It's just another
It's just another
It's just another day!
Bang bang bang bang

Jack White is my idol.

I was probably at my peek of discovering him and The White Stripes when this song was released. The theme for one of the most recent James Bond movies, this song was spectacular in so many ways.

Written, produced, and performed by Jack White (with some Alicia Keys on the vocals), this song is not only a great Bond theme, but a shining moment for Jack White. It was the first duet to grace the opening of a Bond film and, as far as I can tell, only featured Alicia Keys as a way to market the almost complete creative license to Jack White.

Though it was received poorly, seen by some critics as out of the ordinary for Bond, I felt that it match the paradigm shift present in the Daniel Craig James Bond — a darker, more honest tale.

The video is also interesting, with shifting blacks and whites (watch Jack's tie and shirt), which I think further emphasize the new Bond motif: Good then bad; bad then good.

At the end of the day, Jack White is a genius in my estimation... one worthy of this list, and worthy of any others like it.

The White Stripes – Icky Thump  
The White Stripes - Icky Thump
Ya-eee! Icky thump, who'd a thunk?
Sittin' drunk on a wagon to Mexico
Ah well, what a chump, well my head
Got a bump when I hit it on the radio

Redhead señorita lookin' dead
Came and said, "Need a bed?" en español
Said give me a drink of water
I'm gonna sing around the collar
Well, I don't need a microphone

Icky thump with the lump in my throat
Grabbed my coat and I was freaking, I was ready to go
Yeah, I swear, beside the hair she had one white eye
One blank stare, lookin' up, lyin' there

On a stand near her hand was a candy cane
Black rum, sugar cane, dry ice, somethin' strange
La la la la la la la la la la la la la la

White Americans, what, nothin' better to do?
Why don't you kick yourself out? You're an immigrant too
Who's usin' who? What should we do?
Well you can't be a pimp and a prostitute too

Icky thump handcuffed to a bunk
Robbed blind, looked around and there was nobody else
Left alone I hit myself with a stone
Went home and learned how to clean up after myself

Speaking of Jack White, "Icky Thump" is the epitomy is of The White Stripes song's in my opinion. It displays Jack's prowess on the guitar &mdaash; most notably his abilities to make pretty much whatever sounds he wants (in this case an almost bagpipe-like electronic sound) and turn a phrase on par with some of the best. It was the last single that topped any charts for The White Stripes (US Alternative Rock) and the title track of their final album.

The video shows their humor, intensity, and honesty as well as the Red and White color scheme, 2-man/Brother-sister-band look, and miniscule stage setup that Jack White carefully chose as a gimmick to define and disguise the band from the very beginning. Jack wanted to play the blues, but he knew it wouldn't fly. So he hid it in the patterns of stage performance and electric rock chords so it would be there for those that knew to look.

He's an odd man, both on paper and in person, but Jack White is #1 in my book. Second to none, but third when it suits him.

John Mayer – Daughters  
John Mayer - Daughters
I know a girl
She puts the color inside of my world
But she's just like a maze
Where all of the walls all continually change
And I've done all I can
To stand on her steps with my heart in my hands
Now I'm starting to see
Maybe it's got nothing to do with me

Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

Oh, you see that skin?
It's the same she's been standing in
Since the day she saw him walking away
Now she's left
Cleaning up the mess he made

So fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

Boys, you can break
You'll find out how much they can take
Boys will be strong
And boys soldier on
But boys would be gone without the warmth from
A woman's good, good heart

On behalf of every man
Looking out for every girl
You are the god and the weight of her world

So fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too [x3]

I have a huge amount of respect for John Mayer. It may be a bit cliché at this point, but I think it's worth noting that he dropped out of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. As such, his techinical ability is undeniable. Any listener can tell that he's comfortable with a guitar, improvising, feeling things out. He epitomizes so much of what jazz and the blues are about, even if he doesn't strictly stick to those styles. But all that aside, he's a wonderful songwriter. The topics he brings up are so normal, so common; ordinary. But I'm always surprised at how involved I always seem to get.

"Daughters" is especially important to me. Not only is the message wonderful, but it resonates with my own desires to have a daughter and how I hope to treat all of the women in my life. In fact, all of the people I encounter. If I had to pick a favorite song, this would almost surely be it–the music, lyrics, and meaning being so perfect and powerful, so vital to my own self-definition. In my eyes, this song is the zenith of human creativity and emotion.

Ingrid Michaelson – Be OK  
Ingrid Michaelson - Be OK
I just want to be ok, be ok, be ok
I just want to be ok today
I just want to be ok, be ok, be ok
I just want to be ok today

I just want to feel today, feel today, feel today
I just want to feel something today
I just want to feel today, feel today, feel today
I just want to feel something today

Open me up and you will see
I'm a gallery of broken hearts
I'm beyond repair, let me be
And give me back my broken parts

I just want to know today, know today, know today
I just want to know something today
I just want to know today, know today, know today
Know that maybe I will be ok

Open me up and you will see
I'm a gallery of broken hearts
I'm beyond repair, let me be
And give me back my broken parts

Just give me back my pieces
Just give them back to me please
Just give me back my pieces
And let me hold my broken parts

I just want to be ok, be ok, be ok
I just want to be ok today
I just want to be ok, be ok, be ok
I just want to be ok today

I just want to feel today, feel today, feel today
I just want to feel something today
I just want to know today, know today, know today
Know that maybe I will be ok
Know that maybe I will be ok
Know that maybe I will be ok

Ingrid Michaelson has such a unique and wonderful voice. She writes songs that a four year old will love but others that cut to core. Be OK is one of the former-a simple song-but with elements of the latter. She has a child-like honesty that makes you want to trust her. And a perspective that forces you too.

Oh, and she's gorgeous, which is always a plus. :)

The White Stripes – Ball and Biscuit  
The White Stripes - Ball and Biscuit
It's quite possible that I'm your third man girl 
But it's a fact that I'm the seventh son 
It's quite possible that I'm your third man girl 
But it's a fact that I'm the seventh son 
And right now you could care less about me 
But soon enough you will care, by the time I'm done 
Let's have a ball and a biscuit sugar 
And take our sweet little time about it 
Let's have a ball girl 
And take our sweet little time about it 
Tell everybody in the place to just get out 
And we'll get clean together 
And I'll find me soapbox where I can shout it 
Yeah 
Read it in the newspaper 
Ask your girlfriends and see if they know 
Read it in the newspaper 
Ask your girlfriends see if they know 
That my strength is ten fold girl 
I'll let you see if you want to before you go 
Let's have a ball and a biscuit sugar 
And take our sweet little time about it 
Let's have a ball 
And take our sweet little time about it 
Tell everybody in the place to just get out 
We'll get clean together 
And I'll find me soapbox where I can shout it 
Yeah I can think of one or two things to say about it 
Ah listen 
Yeah it's quite possible that I'm your third man 
But it's a fact that I'm the seventh son 
It was the other two which made me your third 
But it was my mother who made me the seventh son 
Right now you could care less about me 
But soon enough you will care by the time I'm done 
Just wait 
Stick around 
You'll figure it out

Ball and Biscuit is easily one of my favorite White Stripes songs. It's one of the few examples where the blues notes in Jack White's music really shine through. This is one of the grooviest songs you'll ever wrap your ears around, and it really carries you through the entire 7 minutes.

Though the lyrics seem a bit nonsensical, they are steeped in the lore of Jack White. He was the last of 7 sons, and has a record label called Third Man records (hence the recurring line: "It's quite possible that I'm your third man, girl. But it's a fact that I'm the seventh son."). He also has a weird things with threes-although the blues are often built on threes, so it's not all that surprising considering his style is essentially blues masked by the harsh twangs of hard rock. He may not make anything as complicated as the well known rock bands, but it all feels so good...