Kevin Hyfantis will lead his Bishop’s Band, a crack local group that slides jazzy leads over smooth R&B rhythms, during a day-long tribute to George Harrison at Preservation Pub on Monday, Dec. 1. Here’s what Hyfantis has been listening to lately.
MGMT, “Electric Feel” from Oracular Spectacular (Columbia, 2008)
One of the best-produced tracks I’ve heard in a long time. Check out the music video if you want a trip—one of the commenters on YouTube accurately describes it as “middle-earth on acid.”
George Harrison and Friends, The Concert for Bangladesh (Apple/EMI, 1971)
A spiritual experience and a documentation of the first mega-charity concert shows my favorite Beatle gathering and inspiring people to serve someone besides themselves. And if you watch the DVD, you get to see Clapton so fucked up that he picks up the wrong axe on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” (He still nails it!)
Bobby McFerrin, “Blackbird” from The Voice (Elektra, 1984)
Could anyone do this song better than the original version? Maybe. I discovered way too late that the guy who sang “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” (which is still a great song) is actually a musical genius. Really, I put him right up there with Beethoven, Ray Charles, and Pavarotti. He has a vocal range that’s unmatched, even by Mariah Carey. If you are out of the loop, do yourself a favor and go buy one of his albums.
Earth, Wind & Fire, “September” from The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire Vol. 1 (CBS, 1978)
This is the song that I always inject for a pick-me-up. When I find myself spending too much time dwelling in dark places, it’s my special medicine.
U2, Boy (Island, 1980)
It’s a bit rebellious, a bit religious, naive, and sexual. There is something charming about listening to songs written by a band before they became superstars. These pre-fame songs always seem to contain more of a human element.