Forgotten Gems & Dusty Classics: Vashti Bunyan, Bob Wills, Bud Freeman, Big Mama Thornton, Robert Pete Williams

Amassing rare and forgotten music is a peculiar sort of hobby — one that slowly transforms into an addiction. It’s not that I don’t love mainstream music. It’s just that the thrill of listening to some forgotten gem that everybody else has overlooked is powerful. It also feeds into the collector’s impulse I have to overturn every stone to find that song, and my love of complete collections. Not surprisingly, I also like to collect comic books. I guess I’m the type. In any event, here are five lesser-known musicians that I believe everybody should give a listen to, dating as far back as the 1920s and focusing on jazz, folk, and blues. See all Forgotten Gems & Dusty Classics

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TOP POPS! Neo-Soul w/ Kelela, Lili K, Monophonics, Brownish Black (Premiere)

Top neo-soul pop tracks from Kelela, Lili K, Monophonics, and a track premiere of “Life Lessons” from Portland eight-piece, Brownish Black.

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Indian Wells – Pause Album Review (Bad Panda Records)

Not only did Italian producer Pietro Iannuzzi name Indian Wells after the Californian city that hosts the BNP Paribas Open (formerly known as the Indian Wells Masters), but the release date of his new album, Pause, was timed to match up with the first day of this year’s tournament. This isn’t the first time Iannuzzi has made such overt thematic connections with this project; tennis references were equally clear on Indian Wells’ 2012 debut, Night Drops. For one, a picture of a tennis court at night was used as that album’s cover image. For another, the first track on Night Drops was called “Wimbledon 1980″, and is built on samples of the sound of tennis balls being whacked back and

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TOP POPS! Tei Shi, Shy Girls, Oko Tygra, Force Publique (Track Premiere)

Top indie pop tracks and tour dates from Tei Shi, Shy Girls, Oko Tygra, a Force Publique track premiere, and some SXSW shout-outs.

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Jose Gonzalez – Vestiges & Claws Album Review (Mute Records)

José González’s music has always maintained a timeless quality. In the realm of contemporary folk, there is no competition for his soothing yet soulful tones and melodic, plucking guitar. On Vestiges & Claws, the first solo album he’s released in 7 years, a new kind of electrifying energy is at play. Melding the intimately personal with the overwhelming impersonal, González takes us on a journey with him, creating the kind of depth that elevates a folk album from pleasant background music to a collection that will stay and grow with you — as it has evidently stayed and grown with him — for a long time.

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Lilacs & Champagne Band Interview: Midnight Features w/ Emil Amos & Alex Hall

“It’s kind of fun to have this open-ended series… It’s really just the psychological triggers that you do with yourself. No one is actually imposing restrictions or boundaries on you, but at times, you feel like you have a place, a repository to fit these other ideas, that doesn’t lose your format.” – Alex Hall, on Lilacs & Champagne’s Midnight Features series

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