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When NASA launched the two Voyager spacecraft in 1977, set incongruously among the on-board scientific instruments was the Golden Record, a sort of cultural handshake from humankind (or at least a NASA-approved version of it). The disc was optimistically intended for any passing alien to set up and play in order to hear a representative selection of the world’s sounds and music. Hand-etched on its surface were the words ‘To the makers of music – all worlds, all times’.

This un-presented sequence is made up from the music and sounds on the Golden Record, from Bach to Chuck Berry, Stravinsky to Australian aboriginal song; from erupting volcanoes and a small selection of the world’s fauna to heavy industrial machinery and trains, planes and automobiles. Not to mention greetings in fifty-five languages and a personal ‘hello’ from 1977 UN Secretary General, Kurt Waldheim.

‘To the Makers of Music – All Worlds, All Times’ is a chance to imagine yourself as an alien in a distant galaxy in whose back garden a Voyager spacecraft has landed. Somehow, you’ve been able to follow the instructions which come with the Golden Record and, luckily, your auditory sense and your planet’s atmosphere enable you to hear what’s on it. Are you any the wiser about planet earth and its inhabitants? Or perhaps just a little perplexed? Is it time to get back to the gardening, plan an invasion or extend the hand (tentacle) of friendship? You decide.

You can listen to the record here.


Years back, British record labels Trojan asked Madlib for a mixtape of a few of their classics of ska, rocksteady, reggae and dub music . Likely excited by this proposition, they sent him a box with every record they had. This upload called “Blunted in the Bomb Shelter” features tracks from Truth, Fact & Correct, Dennis Alcapone, The Jay Boys, David Isaacs, Dillinger and more.

Blunted in the Bomb Shelter by Madlib on Mixcloud

“I Want You Back” is the debut major-label single for The Jackson 5 which became a number-one hit for the band and the Motown label in early 1970. The song, along with a B-side cover of Smokey Robinson & the Miracles’ “Who’s Lovin’ You”, was the only single from the first Jackson 5 album, Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5. It went to number one on the Soul singles chart for four weeks and held the number-one position on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart for the week ending January 31, 1970. “I Want You Back” was ranked 121st on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Wilton Felder is the American saxophone and bass player best known as a founding member of The Jazz Crusaders, later known as The Crusaders. Felder, Wayne Henderson, Joe Sample, and Stix Hooper founded the group while in high school in Houston. The Jazz Crusaders evolved from a straight-ahead jazz combo into a pioneering jazz-rock fusion group, with a definite soul music influence. Felder worked with the original group for over thirty years, and continues to work in its current versions, which often feature other founding members.

Felder also worked as a West coast studio musician, mostly playing electric bass, for various soul and R&B musicians, and was one of the in-house bass players for Motown Records, when the record label opened up operations in Los Angeles, California, in the early 1970s. Along with The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” he also played on “The Love You Save,” for Marvin Gaye and Grant Green. He has also played bass for soft rock groups like America and Seals and Crofts. Also of note was his contribution to the John Cale album, Paris 1919, and Billy Joel’s Piano Man and Streetlife Serenade albums. He was one of three bass players on Randy Newman’s Sail Away (1972) and Joan Baez Diamonds & Rust. Felder also anchored albums from Joni Mitchell and Michael Franks.

Andy Warhol gained fame and notoriety as the godfather of Pop Art. His electric-colored screen prints of Coca Colas, Marilyn Monroes, and electric chairs are iconic pieces, despite their iconoclastic origins. But there’s more to Warhol than Day-Glo portraiture: he was an author, commentator, filmmaker, sculptor, and socialite. Host Alec Baldwin talks to Eric Shiner, director of The Andy Warhol Museum, about the hyper-inventive multimedia star, and learns about the surprisingly deep emotional basis for Warhol’s obsession with Campbell’s Soup.


Akon’s shimmering, soulful voice has propelled countless hits across genres from pop to hip hop and dance. With over 35 million albums sold worldwide, five Grammy Award Nominations, 45 Billboard Hot 100 Songs, and to many numerous music industry awards under his belt to mention , he’s simply unstoppable. As soon as you hear Akon’s voice you know it’s him, he is iconic.

And being a founding member (and namesake) of the Akon Lighting Africa project is a major part of this discussion on SiriusXM. It’s Akon’s vision to drive development throughout Africa and to make it the world’s major investment hub in the 21st Century.

Populations in off-grid locations are the first to suffer from the lack of energy. The priority is therefore to electrify very isolated towns and villages, far from the capital cities. Thanks to the range of solutions distributed by Akon Lighting Africa, they can benefit from affordable, clean and endless energy.

You can hear Akon on my show – @ThatEricAlper – all weekend long on Canada Talks 167:

Saturday, September 12th at 12 pm and 4 pm EST
Sunday, September 13th at 6 am and 11 am EST
Monday, September 14th at 3 am EST

I never post my SiriusXM on Soundcloud, ya gotta pay for satellite radio, ya know. But this one was so special. I did an in-depth talk with global superstar Akon, and wanted to spread the word about Akon Lighting Africa, and his leadership to bring electricity to millions households in Africa with solar energy. It felt right to release this segment, and I hope you check it out:

Alanis Morissette was just a few months shy of her 20th birthday when she started recording Jagged Little Pill. This year, the legendary album has reached that same landmark. To celebrate the double-decade milestone, the multiple Grammy®-winning singer-songwriter has curated a special collector’s edition of her debut, an album that’s sold more than 33 million copies around the world and ranks as one of the best-selling albums of all time.

This new four-disc JAGGED LITTLE PILL: COLLECTOR’S EDITION includes remastered audio of the original album plus an entire disc of 10 unreleased demos from the era handpicked by Morissette from her archives, offering a deeper and more personal look at the classic album. Also included is a previously unreleased concert from 1995 as well as 2005’s Jagged Little Pill Acoustic. Limited to 30,000 copies worldwide, JAGGED LITTLE PILL: COLLECTOR’S EDITION will be available from Rhino on October 30th. Also available on the same day is a two-disc DELUXE EDITION that includes the remastered original album and the second disc of unreleased demos. Both collections will also be available digitally.

“I’m super excited to share this music with a whole new generation of peeps, as well as people who have grown along with me over the last two decades,” says Morissette. “Thankfully, these songs have stood the test of time for me, and in their timelessness, I am thrilled to honor and reflect on them as well as the last twenty years of my life and career.”

In addition to selecting music for the set, Morissette dug into her personal collection to include never-before-seen photos and other ephemera from the time. She also contributes a new essay reflecting back on this time in her life along with stories behind the 10 demos she recorded between 1994-98, all of which are making their official debut here. The track “The Bottom Line” is possibly the most historically significant—it’s the first song Morissette and album producer Glen Ballard wrote together within an hour of their very first meeting in 1994. Other early tracks from those sessions include “Superstar Wonderful Weirdos” and “Closer Than You Might Believe.” Also featured are several tracks Morissette wrote while touring the world and ascending into a global phenomenon following the album’s release including “King Of Intimidation” and “Death Of Cinderella.”

Ballard also oversaw mixing and mastering for this collector’s edition. “Twenty years has not diminished the energy and excitement we captured on these recordings from 1994,” says Ballard. “It’s been a joy to sit with these tracks after two decades and to find them in such good shape. The power of digital recording gives us this time machine and, although we are twenty years older, this music still sounds fresh!”

The third disc of JAGGED LITTLE PILL: COLLECTOR’S EDITION features Jagged Little Pill Acoustic. Released in 2005 to celebrate the album’s 10th Anniversary, this collection finds Morissette delivering “unplugged” and alternate interpretations of every song from the original album.

The set concludes with an unreleased complete concert from the Jagged Little Pill tour. Recorded in London at Subterranea on September 28, 1995, the show captures Morissette at the peak of her success as she makes her highly anticipated UK concert debut. For this powerhouse performance, she was backed by her touring band (dubbed Sexual Chocolate), which featured a stellar rhythm section with bassist Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction) and drummer Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters).

Track Listing

Disc One: 2015 Remaster
1. “All I Really Want”
2. “You Oughta Know”
3. “Perfect”
4. “Hand In My Pocket”
5. “Right Through You”
6. “Forgiven”
7. “You Learn”
8. “Head Over Feet”
9. “Mary Jane”
10. “Ironic”
11. “Not The Doctor”
12. “Wake Up”
13. “You Oughta Know” (Jimmy The Saint Blend) / “Your House” (A Capella)

Disc Two: Demos (Previously Unreleased)
1. “The Bottom Line”
2. “Superstar Wonderful Weirdos”
3. “Closer Than You Might Believe”
4. “No Avalon”
5. “Comfort”
6. “Gorgeous”
7. “King Of Intimidation”
8. “Death Of Cinderella”
9. “London”
10.”These Are The Thoughts”

Disc Three: Jagged Little Pill Acoustic
1. “All I Really Want”
2. “You Oughta Know”
3. “Perfect”
4. “Hand In My Pocket”
5. “Right Through You”
6. “Forgiven”
7. “You Learn”
8. “Head Over Feet”
9. “Mary Jane”
10. “Ironic”
11. “Not The Doctor”
12. “Wake Up / Your House”

Disc Four: Live At Subterranea, London 09/28/95 (Previously Unreleased)
1. “All I Really Want”
2. “Right Through You”
3. “Not The Doctor”
4. “Hand In My Pocket”
5. “Mary Jane”
6. “Ironic”
7. “You Learn”
8. “Forgiven”
9. “You Oughta Know”
10. “Wake Up”
11. “Head Over Feet”
12. “Perfect”

Here’s a little little seven inch flexidisc, titled “Singing Rice-Ipes”, containing seven songs about all of the wonderful things you can make with rice, featuring soundalike singers of Johnny Cash and others. Released in 1970, it’s a curious listen, since a giant label like Columbia couldn’t entice their own roster to have at it.

1.) Houston Hash (MP3)

2.) Sunnyside Rice (MP3)

3.) Cripple Creek Casserole (MP3)

4.) Texarkana_Rice (MP3)

5.) Blue Ridge Flap-Jacks (MP3)

6.) Skillet Gumbo (MP3)

7.) Hopping John (MP3)


Yes’s first track and single from their eleventh studio album (and still great) 90125, Owner Of A Lonely Heart was released in 1983. Written primarily by guitarist Trevor Rabin, contributions were made to the final version by lead singer Jon Anderson, bassist Chris Squire and producer Trevor Horn. This was the album that, like Genesis and Moody Blues around this time, gave the veteran band an extended life and a fascinating listen still to this day.

“The Lion King” is now the highest-grossing Broadway production of all time. Julie Taymor hadn’t seen the Disney film when she was approached to direct the project, but she had spent years studying the masks, mythology, and ancient ritual drama of indigenous peoples in Indonesia. She tells host Alec Baldwin how she incorporates theater’s primal magic into her many stage and screen projects: from the Beatles-soundtracked cosmic narrative of “Across the Universe;” to the elemental brutality of “Titus;” to her recent hallucinatory production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Do stories grow? Pretty obviously – anybody who has ever heard a joke being passed on from one person to another knows that they can grow, they can change. Can stories reproduce? Well, yes. Not spontaneously, obviously – they tend to need people as vectors. We are the media in which they reproduce; we are their petri dishes… Stories grow, sometimes they shrink. And they reproduce – they inspire other stories. And, of course, if they do not change, stories die.