John Handy

I came across John Handy’s name, and I thought, “I should give him a list. I really don’t know much about these old blues dudes.” Then I found out he’s an avant-garde jazz saxophonist. Which basically proves, I really don’t know much about anything.

John Handy AllMusic page

John Cage

John Cage’s “4’33”” is four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence. When you start to listen to his songs with notes, the silence thing starts to look not so bad.

John Cage AllMusic page

Joe Henderson

Joe Henderson has an album named Tetragon, which I’ve decided is the coolest album name ever. Which is kind of ironic, because as cool stage names go, I’m pretty sure “Joe Henderson” doesn’t make the top ten.

Joe Henderson AllMusic page

Jam/Style Council

This list contains nine loud, punky, politically charged tunes, and one radio-friendly, smooth-as-silk track. Guess which one is the one I like? For that matter, guess which one is the only one I’ve even heard?

Jam AllMusic page

Style Council AllMusic page

Iggy Pop/Stooges

The (un)harmonic dissonance of Mr. “Lust for Life/I Wanna Be Your Dog” Iggy Pop getting the Christmas playlist is so hilarious to me, I’m not even going to comment any further. Enjoy with your eggnog.

Iggy Pop AllMusic page

Stooges AllMusic page

Hugh Masekala

Many of these round 2 lists are artists who made a 1- or 2-song appearance on a genre list in round 1, but whom I decided were important enough to get the full shebang. Hugh Masekala makes the cut, and not just because he is a borderline member of the “quite the looker in his younger days” club. I’m not that shallow. Much.

Hugh Masekala AllMusic page

Howlin’ Wolf

As blues nicknames go, I still think “McKinley Morganfield” to “Muddy Waters” was the Best. Business Decision. Ever. But “Chester Arthur Barnett” to “Howlin’ Wolf” is a close second. On a related note: On the list of “presidents I want to name my son after,” who picks Chester Alan Arthur? (Yes, that’s actually where his given name comes from.)

Howlin’ Wolf AllMusic page

Harry Nilsson

Bonus points for naming an album “Nilsson Schmilsson,” which is the kind of goofy thing I’d probably do (if I had an album, which would imply that I have any musical talent, which would be incorrect). On the other hand, dock points for naming one song “Without Her” and another “Without You” (somewhere in his catalog there’s probably a “Without Me” and, if he was feeling sexually frisky, maybe even a “Without Him” and/or “Without Them”). That’s just cheating.

Harry Nilsson AllMusic page

Graham Parker

He was supposed to be equal to Elvis Costello, but he never had any hits, and I’d be surprised if anyone can name at least one of his songs. On the plus side, he never did a country album or duets with Burt Bacharach, so there’s that.

Graham Parker AllMusic page

Gonzalo Rubalcaba

New category! In addition to, “Artists Who Were Quite the Looker in Their Younger Days,” we now have, “Artists Who Are Pushing [insert appropriate age here] and Are Still Quite the Looker”! Charter member: Gonzalo Rubalcaba.

Gonzalo Rubalcaba AllMusic page