I hope to one day make a playlist featuring great music (and great music videos) from every country in the world. Here are my first ten entries.
This band single-handedly reaffirmed my faith in and appreciation of music that’s actually being played on the radio these days. If Bruce Springsteen was from Montreal, was 25 years younger, and added a few additional instruments to the E Street Band, he could have easily formed this group.
Abhijeet and Anuradha Sriram strut their way from India to San Francisco in this song from the Monsoon Wedding soundtrack. My wife has observed that the male shoulder wave, followed by the female hip shake, interspersed with lots of “come hither” looks, appear to be a universal part of dance. They’re certainly in the vocabulary here.
Me voy, que lastima, pero adios (“I’m leaving, it’s a shame but goodbye”), sings Mexican pop superstar Julieta Venegas in one of her most popular singles. Fun facts: Julieta Venegas is an identical twin, and she thinks her eyebrows are her most beautiful body part.
6. New Zealand: Flight of the Conchords — Hiphopopotomas vs Rhymenoceros
New Zealand’s fourth-most popular folk parody duo sing one of their classics in an attempt to intimidate some thugs.
Calle 13 is one of the world’s most popular reggaeton (actually a blend of hip-hop, dance music, and several Latin genres, with very little reggae) bands. “Nadie como tu (no one like you) is a great song to learn (or relearn Spanish by), especially with this charming fan-made video that illustrates the lyrics, sometimes literally, sometimes comically.
This Ukrainian artist won the 2004 Eurovision song contest, and five years later received the honor of being included in the soundtrack for Grand Theft Auto 4.
A few notes:
- These are all songs I genuinely like, so future entries may take a while.
- That said, constructive suggestions for future entries are welcome.
- I’m focusing on contemporary, “fun” pop music, with the exception of the Beatles, because they’re the Beatles.
- Of course I’m not trying to sum all of any country’s musical influence into one song. What song could ever do that?
- *I reserve the right to include Puerto Rico even though it’s not a country. I like Calle 13.