Song of the Day #2,113: ‘Spotlight’ – Shakira

shakiraI don’t know if I can defend — on artistic grounds — my enduring affection for Shakira.

Her lyrics are often absurd, and only sometimes intentionally. Her voice can be jarring, even grating. Her music tends toward mid-tempo soft rock with a dash of top 40.

And yet I own, and love, all eight of her studio albums — including five recorded in part or in full in Spanish.

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Song of the Day #2,112: ‘Imagine the Band’ – John Lennon/Wings

john_lennonI came across this mash-up of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ and Wings’ ‘Band On the Run,’ somebody’s attempt to manufacture a Lennon/McCartney reunion post-Beatles breakup.

It’s an interesting experiment that improves on the latter song (at the expense of the former). But I’m mostly intrigued by the crazy creative things people can do now with basic computer equipment.

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Song of the Day #2,111: ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ – Billy Joel & Jimmy Fallon

billy_joel_jimmy_fallonI have a feeling Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show will provide fodder for this blog for years to come.

The man is an unapologetic fan of so many musicians, not to mention a damn fine musician himself, and he never passes up an opportunity to turn a standard guest spot into a YouTube moment.

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Song of the Day #2,110: ‘West Coast’ – Lana Del Rey

lana_del_rey_west_coastLana Del Rey is simultaneously the most underrated and overrated artists working today.

When she first emerged, she was dismissed as a vapid model pretending to be a musician. Her stiff SNL performance was excoriated to an absurd degree.

At the same time, her lush and dreamy songs have been raised to the level of high art by some critics and legions of fans.

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Song of the Day #2,109: ‘Hurricane’ – Bob Dylan

hurricane_carterRubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter died in his sleep on Easter Sunday, nearly 30 years after he was freed from prison.

Carter was incarcerated for 19 years for a murder he didn’t commit, after being convicted by an all-white jury based on the testimony of two criminals who later recanted.

Carter’s story was dramatized in the 1999 film Hurricane, starring Denzel Washington, and more memorably in Bob Dylan’s 1975 song of the same name, the opening track on Desire.

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Song of the Day #2,108: ‘Kate’ – Ben Folds Five

whateverOn a film podcast I listed to recently, the hosts discussed Sight & Sound‘s decision to no longer let critics combine The Godfather and The Godfather Part Two into one entry when submitting their “ten best films of all time” lists.

It’s no doubt the correct decision. It’s patently unfair to let two masterpieces join forces in facing off against individual films. But they tell such a potent and tragic tale together that you kind of want to bend the rules and just go with it.

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Song of the Day #2,107: ‘Sugar Moon’ – k.d. lang

kd_lang_shadowlandk.d. lang is one of those performers who elevates any material she works on. Her voice is reason enough to listen, no matter the song.

My favorite album of hers remains Absolute Torch and Twang, lang’s wonderfully titled 1989 release. As the title suggests, that record is a perfect blend of her country and crooner sides.

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