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What's better than 'Words With Friends'? That's easy: Music From Friends

I reached a point about four days ago when I simply could no longer tolerate the music that had been keeping me going.

 Springsteen's "Wrecking Ball"? Enough already.  Foster the People?  So last summer.  Usher's "Burn"? Once my favorite, and now deeply tiresome.  The mashup of Drake and Adele that seemed fresh a month ago"? I'd rather sit in silence. Overkill will do that.

So I did the sensible thing.  I posted a low-key request on Facebook for suggestions of new music in the genres of alternative, power-pop and neo-soul/R&B.

 Within a few hours, I was a rich woman.

 My college friend Dan Butturini in Connecticut suggested Mayer Hawthorne's latest album, "How Do You Do?" I checked it out and was immediately entranced.   It was Motown with a fresh twist from a young Ann Arbor singer-songwriter -- a former hip-hop deejay -- who looks like Clark Kent and sings like a dream. (His video is at the end of this post.)

Local musicians (who happen to be married to each other) Erin K. O'Brien and Michael Swain each checked in.  Erin brought my attention to Live From Daryl's House -- the amazing live web concert that Daryl Hall has been doing the past few years, inviting musicians of every stripe to join him. I lost the next several hours of my life happily exploring back episodes.

 Michael suggested neo-soul sensation Raphael Saadiq, whose "Stone Rollin'" is not only a great song but quite a sultry video.   

And there were plenty of other suggestions -- all appreciated, and more than I can mention here -- including those from experts like News critic Jeff Miers who thought I might like the Beatle-y band Purple Melon, and singer-songwriter Michael Oliver who offered power-pop band The Menzingers' "On the Impossible Past."

News Online Editor Geoff Nason suggested alt-country's First Aid Kit.  News reviewer and Block Club editor Ben Siegel liked Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.   Alfredo Carbajal, managing editor of Al Dia at the Dallas Morning News, demanded that I download his album-of-the-year choice, "My Head Is An Animal" from the Icelandic alernative band Of Monsters and Men.

So since I like to share, too, here's one of my favorite new songs, Mayer Hawthorne's  "Just Ain't Gonna Work Out," recorded on "Live From Daryl's House."   

   

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