Song of the Day #2,405: ‘Elastic Heart’ – Sia

sia_elastic_heartSia’s ‘Chandelier’ video generated some controversy from those who thought an 11-year-old girl dancing in a nude body suit was catnip for pedophiles.

That controversy died down pretty quickly, though, as people realized how friggin’ good the song was, and what a talented dancer little Maddie Ziegler was. It clearly wasn’t a stunt but a real work of art on both of their parts.

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Song of the Day #2,403: ‘Big Decision’ – Elliott Smith

elliott_smith_new_moonElliott Smith’s New Moon was released posthumously in 2007 and contains outtakes and discarded tracks from the recording sessions of his second and third albums.

Given that those records, Elliott Smith and Either/Or are two of his finest, this is a solid collection, all the more effective for being released after his suicide.

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Song of the Day #2,402: ‘Stevie Wonder Tribute’ – Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran & Gary Clark, Jr.

beyonce_stevieWhat better way to close out the week than with a 9-minute performance by Beyoncé from this week’s Stevie Wonder tribute show?

Queen B, joined by Ed Sheeran and Gary Clark, Jr., tore through ‘Fingertips,’ ‘Master Blaster’ (Jammin’)’ and ‘Higher Ground’ in front of an enthusiastic crowd.

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Song of the Day #2,401: ‘Ever Had a Little Faith?’ – Belle & Sebastian

b-s_girls-in-peacetime_packshot-1When R.E.M.’s 1998 album Up, their first without drummer Bill Berry, was met with mixed reviews, Michael Stipe said this in an interview: “If this record dropped out of the sky by a three-piece band that nobody had heard of, people would be in the street shouting at the top of their lungs, naked, about it.”

He was being overly defensive, but I could see his point. Established bands — especially great ones — are always measured against their own legacy, their finest moments.

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Song of the Day #2,400: ‘Stay With Me’ – Bob Dylan

dylan_shadows_in_the_nightHalfway through February, I’m finally ready to put 2014 to bed. I’ll spend the rest of this week writing about a trio of new releases.

When I heard that Bob Dylan’s next album would be a collection of obscure songs once performed by Frank Sinatra, I can’t say I was surprised, exactly. This is the man who put out an old-fashioned Christmas album five years ago. Nothing he does is unexpected, because he does whatever the hell he wants.

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