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Humpday Recommendations 06/27/2023

Watch: “The Dirty Dozen.” This iconic 1967 film starring Lee Marvin, John Cassavetes, Ernest Borgnine, and football legend Jim Brown tells the story of a maverick military officer who offers a group of convicted murderers, rapists, and robbers the chance to earn their freedom by joining a daring military mission during World War II. Any resemblance between this film and an unnamed private military company now operating in Ukraine (or maybe Belarus?) is purely coincidental, but Vladimir Putin better hope that any Russian officer hoping to lead such men is as tough as Lee Marvin. – Willis

Listen: “Powderfinger.” This five-person rock band (lite) was all the rage in Australia for around two decades until they broke up in 2010. The group’s earthy, laid-back vibe endeared them to whimsical musos and disillusioned youth alike – and I have felt very nostalgic getting back into the mix in recent months. Let me know what you think. – Gabrielle

Listen: to “The Voice.” This Thursday marks 30 years since the death of legendary Puerto Rican salsa singer Hector “The Voice” Lavoe. He was one of the pioneers of the genre in Spanish Harlem in the 1960s and 1970s, especially after linking up with a streetwise trombonist named Willie Colón. Lavoe’s most famous records are probably the operatic “El Cantante” (written by a future government minister of Panamá) and the trombone-banger “La Murga” (with Colón). But for my money, nothing beats his live performance of “Mi Gente,” (“My people”) at a sold out Yankee Stadium in 1975. “It’s cool to be great,” Lavoe once said, “but it’s greater to be cool.” Here’s to one of the coolest greats there ever was, El Cantante de los Cantantes, Hector Lavoe! — Alex


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