I apologize for this non-political post, but I wanted to let you know my annual Father's Day listening, just in case you need to know.

1. I always begin with the 1962 Duke Ellington and Count Basie classic on vinyl "The Count Meets the Duke." It's impossible to not feel your body being filled with vigor and spirits being grooved to the sky after a track or two.

2. ABBA's 1977 "The Album," also on vinyl, but starting with side 2 and the underrated "Move On," then closing out with the ubiquitous but still great "Take a Chance on Me." A little tricky on LP, but keeps me hopping. Or one of my children, except I had to flip over the record myself today because apparently they're secretly making me a card or something.

3. Rachmaninov's Piano Concertos. Varies from year to year, but this year it's Stewart Goodyear and Czech National Symphony Orchestra's fabulous interpretation of Nos. 2 & 3. Spine-tingling delicious. Played as loud as speakers can go.

4. Dan Deacon/Chemical Brothers. Selections, mainly from 2015's Glass Riffer, 2012's America, 2009's Bromst, 2010's Further, and 1999's Surrender. Digital melody collagist vs. kings of big beats. So good.

*two song segue: Xavier Rudd's Time to Smile and and Set Me Free; his current collab with United Nations*

In the afternoon by this point.
5. Lana Del Rey/Neko Case/Mates of State/Sea of Bees. Selections, which always include Blue Velvet, Shades of Cool, West Coast, Off to the Races, most of "The Tigers Have Spoken," Staring Contest, Palomino, Long Way Home, Like U Crazy, For the Actor, Willis, Gone, and Take.
*wild card, depending on the day's tone and events, but will provably involve ending with some Tom Waits, Phosphorescent, Franz Ferdinand, Fun., and possibly M.I.A., depending on where we're at and how loud of an outdoor dance party we can have at that point.

As the French band Stardust sang in '98, "Music Sounds Better With You."

It was the only song they ever did.

But it's true. It does sound better when you're around people you love, and the inverse is true: You Sound Better With Music. Everything is better with music, and everything sounds better with a soundtrack. So whatever you're doing today, hope you are scoring it with something that will make it even better!

Happy Day, universe. Music sounds better with you.

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