'Bluebird of Happiness' by Mojave 3
'Don't Believe the Hype' by Public Enemy
'Cool Waves' by Spiritualized
Each month on All Things Considered, we turn to our listeners for a sampling of the music they're listening to. Our guest this week is Alexis Wright, principal for The University of Chicago Laboratory School, a private middle school.
Wright's first selection is "Bluebird of Happiness" by the British group Mojave 3 from the album Spoon And Rafter. A dreamy, mellow song, "Bluebird" is reminiscent of music of the '60s and '70s from the Young Rascals and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. You can hear a variety of instruments, including a glockenspiel, pedal steel guitar, piano and synthesizers. It's orchestral, but almost has a country feel.
The second selection takes us to the realm of old-school hip-hop: Public Enemy's "Don't Believe the Hype" from the 1988 album It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. Wright describes this track as a protest song, very different from much of the rap today, which focuses on partying and violence. He says the lyrics stand the test of time, and show Public Enemy's reaction to some of the racial incidents that happened in the late 1980's in New York, Wright's hometown.
Finally, Wright chooses another tune with an atmospheric, sweeping feel. "Cool Waves" by Spiritualized from the album Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space combines an indie rock sound, psychedelic overtones and a glorious gospel choir. "If I went to church," Wright says, "this is what I would imagine the music being like."