This week, Alex and Wesley discuss Stevie Wonder and Songs in the Key of Life, the fifth straight masterpiece he realized between 1972 and 1976. Who, since, has come close to matching or topping that? ([Stage whisper] Maybe Prince.) Wonder’s been on a tour in which he performs the entire album, almost in order. It’s a great show. Alex and Wesley unpack what makes Wonder’s songs so great, which of his albums is best, and why it’s rude to write off “I Just Called to Say I Love You.”
Then it’s on to a discussion of Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, Brett Morgen’s documentary that attempts to re-create and reimagine Cobain’s inner life using home movies, audio diaries, and some fantastic animation. The movie’s second hour isn’t nearly as powerful as its first, but you are reminded, yet again, of Cobain’s particular genius and its effect on the planet.
Listen to the podcast here.
Here are links to topics discussed in this week’s show:
Songs in the Key of Life
“We Went There: Stevie Wonder Is Perfect Performing ‘Songs in the Key of Life’ at MSG,” Grantland, November 7, 2014
Songs in the Key of Life, Stevie Wonder, 1976
Songs in the Key of Life, Zeth Lundy, 2007
“Stevie Wonder ‘Pastime Paradise,’” Sound on Sound, December 2007
Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck
“‘Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck’ and Searching for Signs of Life in the Nirvana-verse,” Grantland, April 29, 2015
“Notes on the Life & Death and Incandescent Banality of Rock ’N’ Roll,” Greil Marcus (08/92),” Greil Marcus, Esquire, 1992
Jam of the Week
“Not Over You,” Basehead, 1992