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Chris Ballew Kids Songs

Musical Transcendence for Parents & Kids

Our friend Chris Ballew is our guest editor this week. He sent this family-focused piece while on a trip to Japan, just in time for Father’s day! In it, he discusses the transcendent power of music shared between parents and children. He also shared this fantastic playlist to let our readers hear some of the sounds behind his inspiration.   The[…]


Spotlight: Ripped-Off Riffs

It’s not news that sometimes two artists write a great song using the same riff. In 1994, Bush and The Offspring had hits with “Little Things” and “Self-Esteem,” respectively, which put the same chords in a different order and treated them like the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” sons they are. Sometimes a familiar riff gets cannibalized intentionally — like when Coldplay sought permission from Kraftwerk to repurpose the[…]


Celebrity Playlist: Nikki Lane

When Nikki Lane left Greenville, S.C., for Nashville, she hoped to find some likeminded folks who shared her appreciation for both real, old-timey country and the awesome clothes the stars wore on the album covers. Lane scoured stores for vintage clothes and cool items from a bygone era, and sold them at a small store in East Nashville called High Class Hillbilly.[…]


Celebrity Playlist: Afrojack

Nick van de Wall has been one of the world’s biggest DJs for so long that it may come as something of a shock to recall that he has yet to record a solo album. That all changes now, as van de Wall — better known as Afrojack — finally drops his debut album, Forget the World. No figure better personifies the crossover[…]


Celebrity Playlist: Tori Amos

Tori Amos has never shied away from controversial topics. With her trusty piano by her side, Amos has unflinchingly sung about rape, religion, miscarriage and, most recently, menopause, offering up cleverly written songs that are sometimes sad, often angry, and always come from the heart. After a few years flirting with classical music, Amos, now 50, has returned to the piano-driven[…]


Celebrity Playlist: Michael W. Smith

Michael W. Smith is a singer, songwriter, composer, worship leader and crossover pop star whose career reads like a history of the Christian music genre as a whole. From the post-Jesus music of the early 1980s to the pop push of the ’90s to the worship craze that marked the turn of the century, he’s reinvented himself multiple times. Along the[…]


Celebrity Playlist: Caught a Ghost

Singer, songwriter and producer Jesse Nolan of Caught a Ghost has quite a range of influences — everything from Southern gospel to Motown to electronic — that mix and mingle in his band’s sound. Their debut album, Human Nature, is riddled with tasty nods to great musical moments: Just check out the Motown-styled horn in “Sleeping at Night” or the hypnotic pulse of[…]


Celebrity Playlist: G. Love

G. Love & Special Sauce are a longtime Philly institution, with funky hits like “Cold Beverage” and “Stepping Stone” finding the nexus between blues, old-school rap and coffeehouse acoustics. Mr. Love compiled a playlist for Rhapsody of his favorite hip-hop songs, with track-by-track commentary. Enjoy. Arrested Development, “Tennessee” The first time I heard this song on the radio in Philly, it[…]


Celebrity Playlist: Cyndi Lauper

Cyndi Lauper burst onto the scene in 1983 with her debut, [She’s So Unusual], an album that helped define her as a colorful, independent spirit in the already colorful New Wave era. A hit-making force to be reckoned with, Lauper made history as the first female artist to have four singles — “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” “Time After Time,”[…]


Celebrity Playlist: Run River North

Run River North are a Los Angeles-based indie folk sextet comprising four guys and two girls. Two years ago, the group made a splash when the video of them recording “Fight to Keep” in their Hondas (yes, Hondas) went viral. So viral, in fact, that Honda helped surprise the group with an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Their sunshine-infused sound is heightened[…]