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What Are You Listening To?

Jeff Martinek, college prof and music aficianado.
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Jeff Martinek, college prof and music aficianado.

In a quest for music that is not typically heard on the airwaves, All Things Considered is quizzing people around the country about what sort of music they've got in their CD players, tape decks and computers.

This week, NPR's Steve Inskeep talks to Jeff Martinek, an English professor from Missouri Southern State College in Joplin, Mo. Martinek does about 95 percent of his radio listening online.

Martinek's first selection is "Contact High" by Ike and Tina Turner, a rare 1970 B-side from a vinyl recording that he found after searching high and low for about 10 years. The hard rock sound may not be a departure, but the lyrics, which describe a wild, drug-fueled party, certainly are! The single was released just a few months after Ike and Tina opened for the Rolling Stones at Altamont.

His second choice is something completely different -- the humorous rap song "I Still Live With My Moms" by Thirstin' Howl III. It's from the album Skilligan's Island on Landspeed Records. Thirstin' Howl III is a Brooklyn-based hip-hop performer who is part comic and part MC. His shtick is a departure from the egotistical stylings of gangster rap.

Finally, Martinek picks a classic, "I Can Never Go Home Anymore," by The Shangri-Las. It's on the album The Very Best of the Shangri-Las, Cleopatra, 2000. The The melodramatic, highly produced sound of this girl group is said to have influenced Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys while he was writing the landmark album Pet Sounds.

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