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FUV Essentials

There are many variables that determine what makes an artist or band “essential” — longevity, impact, influence, history, discography — and WFUV takes a deeper look with FUV Essentials. On-air and online, we celebrate musicians who have shaped our cultural soundtrack. Let’s love these artists while they’re here, and honor those who have departed too soon.

Ted Leo: Five Essential Aimee Mann Songs

The partnership of friends Aimee Mann and Ted Leo as The Both is one of the best things to ever come out of Twitter: the two pals maintained a long-distance connection over clever tweets (and hashtags) and eventually toured together, supporting their solo albums. At some point on the road, in the wilderness of Milwaukee, they decided to write songs together too. Leo has written an affectionate assessment of his "Five Essential Aimee Mann Songs" for FUV Essentials (but since it's impossible to choose only five, he slipped in a few more too).

Aimee Mann

A master of the withering riposte, the witty jab, and the wistful aside, Aimee Mann has always tackled difficult subject matter on her albums: abandonment, betrayal, doubt, and depression. But no matter what melancholy tides might drift into her lyrics, her songs are perceptive and tactical more than gloomy. She has also been one of FUV's most beloved musicians and a friend of the station, and will always be one of our FUV Essentials.

Drive-By Truckers' Patterson Hood: Five Essential Clash Albums

When the Alabama-bred, mostly Georgia-based Drive-By Truckers were recording 2016's American Band, a candid assessment of contemporary issues drawn from a Southern perspective, they looked to a London band, the Clash, for inspiration and guidance. So for FUV Essentials, we asked frontman Patterson Hood to write about the band that has profoundly influenced him.

The Clash

The Clash were no mere rock 'n' roll band. A tempest of punk, reggae, funk, and sociopolitical fury, the "only band that matters" elevated protest songs to the raucous realm of punk-lashed anthems, roiling with intelligence and passion. It's been 40 years since the release of the band's eponymous debut album and they are this week's FUV Essentials.

Emmylou Harris

Revered as one of the greatest harmony singers and song interpreters of our age, Emmylou Harris claims a place in the high court of Americana royalty. She celebrates her 70th birthday on April 2 and we're honoring her this week as an FUV Essentials artist.

Mike Doughty: Five Essential Police Songs

Considering the jittery, restless legacy of Soul Coughing and Doughty's experimentation, street poet eloquence, and mutable solo releases, it's not too left field to learn that he really likes the Police, this week's FUV Essentials. Doughty's discerning list of "Five Essential Police Songs" highlights the often unsung impact of guitarist Andy Summers.

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