John Moses' Message Machine - Episode 3

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Let’s start with a broad stroke statement: as long as there has been recorded music, there have been one-hit wonders. You know them well - there’s “Mickey” by Toni Basil, “Take On Me” by Aha, and who can forget the anthemic chorus of Eiffel 65’s “Blue?" (Turns out, “I’m blue daba dee daba die” is super easy to remember.) Whether you like it or not, they’re total classics; even on your foggiest day, you could still probably belt out the lyrics on command and feel good doing it. Timelessness aside, I could not tell you the name of another song by any of these artists. There’s something about these tunes (and all one-hit-wonders) that grabs hold of the listener in a singular way. For whatever reason, these songs strike a particular chord that the rest of their material fails to achieve.

In a sense, this episode of Message Machine is all about one-hit-wonders, albeit on an intimate level, far from the roar of celebrity. What’s your personal one-hit-wonder? What’s the song you can’t shake by a band whose music you otherwise stay away from? Perhaps your love of a song came from accidentally grabbing the wrong vinyl at your local record shop (as Douglas did), or, like Tolliver, there’s a popular artist whose music just isn’t your style, aside from one AMAZING track you can’t deny. Maybe you’re transported to a certain time or place in ways you never expected, as Alex’s selection represents. Or, like New York rapper Yoh, you just didn’t get a song at first and found yourself coming back to it with a fresh new level of understanding. Like the universally celebrated one-hit-wonders referenced above, our guest selectors all agree that there’s an intangible quality about these songs that burrows into their ear holes on a deep, gooey, waxy, cellular level.

Keep in mind, we didn’t ask people for a song by an artist they actively hate, but a piece of music they love by an artist or band they don’t typically listen to. Aside from that one jam, it just isn’t their thing. From a production standpoint, and from the feedback of our hard-working guests, this was our toughest theme thus far. That said, it’s no surprise that my message machine was graced with a colorful variety of musical accounts, spanning both mega-singles, B-sides, indie favorites, and everything in between.

We hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed compiling it, and regardless of your enjoyment I have no doubt these songs will hang around with you, maybe even longer than you’d like. Did we miss a song this episode? Don’t be afraid to tell me about it over Twitter or Instagram – you might just end up on my message machine.

Until next time...





John Moses

Thanks to our guest selectors:

Lonnie Jordan - “Best Way I Can” (as selected by John Moses)

Jose Feliciano - "Light My Fire” (as selected by visual artist and filmmaker, Douglas Urbank)

CannedHeat - "Going Up The Country" (as selected by KCRW DJ Novena Carmel)

The Osmonds - "Catch Me Baby” (as selected by writer, editor, and founder of Week in Pop, Sjimon Gompers)

U2 - "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For” (as selected by publicist Emily Rosenfeld)

Stereolab - "The Flower Called Nowhere” (as selected by New York-based rapper, Yoh)

UB40 - "Don't Break My Heart” (as selected by Nicole Mckenzie of Mic Records)

TV On The Radio - "Will Do” (as selected by recording artist and founder of Trailing Twelve Records, NYIKO)

Aldous Harding - "Zoo Eyes” (as selected by radio host and music supervisor, Alison Moses)

Deadmau5 & Kaskade - "I Remember” (as selected by radio host and A&R at Third Side Music, Alex Kelman)

Madonna - "Like A Prayer” (as selected by rapper, singer, and writer, Tolliver)

Additional Credits:
Producers: John Moses, Alison Moses
Mixing: Cameron Marygold