My admiration for Fiona Apple is well documented on this blog. By now, I believe I’ve posted more than half of her songs, including the entirety of her second album (When the Pawn…).
When I want to offer up something provocative and challenging, she’s my go-to gal.
Take today’s left-field mind-bender. ‘Left Alone’ starts off with a peppy little drum solo before launching into an unsettling, discordant piano part that underscores the rest of the song.
I’m still in the process of discovering just how great the Rolling Stones were. Perhaps I should say “are” as the band is still touring together 42 years after today’s song was released, but I doubt they’ve had anything as good as Sticky Fingers or ‘Moonlight Mile’ in them for a long time now.
They still sound great, though. Keith Richards is as ingenious a guitar player as ever and Mick Jagger still sings the hell out of every song. But it was their songwriting that really set them apart.
Last week I wrote about the dilemma of posting a year-end favorite song before the year-end recap. Today’s song is an example of the opposite problem — not realizing a song is a favorite until the recap has come and gone.
The most noteworthy example is Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used to Know,’ which I encountered in late 2011 without fully recognizing its charms. Fortunately, the song’s official single release came in early 2012 and I was able to sneak it onto that year-end list (in the top spot, no less).
It’s funny how whenever I come across a song I don’t know very well, the accompanying YouTube comments always paint it as the most essential recording of all time.
It could be a song considered a classic by many (like today’s SOTD, from The Replacement’s acclaimed album Let It Be) or a song loved by only the artist’s immediate family, by rest assured, somebody will go over the top on YouTube.
Here’s another in the long line of random tracks culled from Elvis Costello’s many reissues.
I’ll be honest, I would probably never hear these songs if it weren’t for Random Weekends. It’s not that they aren’t worthy… I just don’t have much patience for bonus tracks in general. That’s like watching deleted scenes rather than a favorite movie.
I started this non-theme week with a Ben Folds Five song and I’m finishing it with a tune by Guster. As it turns out, I’ll be seeing both of these bands in concert (along with the Barenaked Ladies) next month. So maybe this turned into half of an unofficial theme week after all.
I’m excited by idea of seeing Guster in concert. I don’t think their drummer plays exclusively with his hands anymore, but even absent that quirk, they have always struck me as a the sort of group that would dial things up creatively in a live performance.
In looking for good songs to feature this week, I was surprised to see that I hadn’t posted a Belle & Sebastian song for 6 months, and only two in the past year.
I was even more surprised to learn that I’d never featured today’s SOTD, ‘My Wandering Days Are Over,’ one of Belle & Sebastian’s signature songs and a favorite of mine.