vann thumb

“Santa Claus Is A Black Man.”

Illustration by Joe Alterio

Everything that ever was, and is now, and ever will be.

Glen Campbell

A reach for beauty to the exclusion of the world itself.

RonnyElliott-MeaningToWrite

An avuncular yet urgent singer-songwriter.

tiny-tim

He gave himself to Tiny Tim, and Tiny gave himself to us.

jimmy cliff

An outlaw hero who found mainstream fame.

RufusThomasTheFunkie

Stax, and soul, wouldn’t have been the same without him.

creager

The unquiet, wandering spirit of the freshly possible.

charley pride-6

He returned Southern Soul to its Country roots.

NatKingCole-PianoStyle

1956 was an annus mirabilis for Nat King Cole.

mississippi_john_hurt_2

His career recapitulated the mystery of the blues in miniature.

Villa-Lobos-Cigar

Brazilian masterpieces small and humongous.

lou reed

Lover of noise, angel of the unaccepted.

nina-simone-1969

“I was half-crazy with anger… a woman on fire.”

cobain

His presence is his lasting act of resistance.

Exene+Cervenka+exene

Replacing something shitty with something great.

chan marshall

“There’s nothing like living in a bottle.”

RayPrice-LoveLife

He was country when country wasn’t cool.

ronaldshannonkjackson-nasty

“Life is rhythm.”

jemaine

He is brilliant at blending comedy with sensuality.

elvis_Presley_Biography

“Beware of Elvis.”

miller

The morose or blissful episodes of life as it is lived.

Photo of Paul Westerberg

An underrated, under-appreciated, undercover overachiever.

Skeeter_davis_the_end_of_the_world

A convincingly defeatist song about the end of the world.