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Tenure must be great—like a sweet oasis in a desert of university politics. Someday you’ll get there, and you’ll be able to let all your anti-social eccentricities hang out on full display. Until then, you’ve got to impress. Consider throwing a dinner party for some of the faculty. Food is a solid way to get into folks’ good graces, so be sure to make something impressive. Sweet potato gnocchi and blanched asparagus with a balsamic reduction, perhaps? Maybe pair it with a bangin’ Sangiovese? Whatever the menu may be, here are a few tunes to keep your party both classy and clever.

Paul Simon‘s cross-cultural Graceland endeavors are always an academic favorite. This performance is from the tour he did on that album; however, the song, “Nelson Mandela (Bring Him Back Home),” is actually by South African virtuoso Hugh Masekela, with whom Simon shares the stage. The combination of an accessible, literary American pop figure and a remarkable, jazz-schooled African musician is a surefire hit.

Jeff Buckley‘s angelic voice melts the hardest of hearts. Here he performs “What Will You Say?” It’s a tune he once performed as a duet with Alim Qasimov, and the Azerbaijani influence shines through even when he performs it alone.

Put on some Tropicalia as played by locals Alma Tropicalia. It’s got the spice of psychedelia alongside the charm of ’60s pop and the allure of a foreign tongue. Here Alma Tropicalia offers their take on Os Mutantes’ “Ando Meio Desligado.” Impress your fellow academics by telling them about their live show after you check them out Friday night at Velvet Lounge.