Song of the Day #3,761: ‘First Timer’ – Elliott Smith

The Random iTunes Fairy has a thing for Elliott Smith. Today’s SOTD is the seventh Smith tune to pop up on Random Weekends, and the third from the double album New Moon.

I don’t know how that stacks up against other artists. I’ve long regretted that I never kept detailed stats of Random Weekends so I could do exactly the kind of analysis I’m wondering about now. But my gut tells me Smith is better represented than most.

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Song of the Day #3,760: ‘Babies Makin’ Babies’ – Miranda Lambert

The Random iTunes Fairy is getting cute again, serving up a Miranda Lambert track the day after I posted the latest from Pistol Annies.

‘Babies Makin’ Babies’ is a cut from Lambert’s 2014 album Platinum, one of her most successful critically and commercially. The album ranked #12 on the Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics poll and topped the Billboard 200 album chart. Esteemed critic Robert Christgau praised it as “apolitical de facto feminism at its countriest” (I love that line).

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Song of the Day #3,759: ‘Best Years of My Life’ – Pistol Annies

Few musical announcements excite me more than word of new material from Miranda Lambert. Lambert is one of the few artists I follow who has yet to release an album that’s less than excellent.

2016’s double album The Weight of These Wings was her best work yet, and that’s saying something given that her previous two records showed up in my top five albums of the first half of the 2010s.

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Song of the Day #3,758: ‘Mariners Apartment Complex’ – Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey is sticking to her pace of a new album every other year, with her next release (amusingly titled Norman Fucking Rockwell) due in early 2019. As a preview, she recently dropped a couple of new tracks on an EP.

‘Mariners Apartment Complex’ and ‘Venice Bitch’ are both vintage Lana Del Rey, though the latter goes in some trippy new directions, including a meandering space-synth solo that stretches the track’s running time to more than 10 minutes. That sounds horrible on paper but the song is hypnotizing and beautiful, like everything Del Rey touches.

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Song of the Day #3,757: ‘Medora and the Moonlight’ – Hold the Dark Soundtrack

This will go down as the year NetFlix jumped fully into the major motion picture game, releasing films by top-tier directors Alfonso Cuaron and the Coen Brothers. A Martin Scorsese film is due in early 2019.

A lesser-known but very promising talent, Jeremy Saulnier, has also released his latest film on the streaming network. Saulnier, whose Blue Ruin and Green Room were exhilarating, harrowing revenge thrillers, is back with Hold the Dark, a film that is dark and chilling both metaphorically and literally.

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Song of the Day #3,756: ‘Maybe It’s Time’ – Bradley Cooper

In all of my blathering about A Star is Born in yesterday’s post, I neglected to mention my favorite song from the film’s soundtrack.

‘Maybe It’s Time’ was written by Jason Isbell, a singer-songwriter I discovered earlier this year who has quickly become a favorite of mine. Do yourself a favor and listen to his albums Here We Rest, Southeastern and The Nashville Sound. If you like today’s SOTD at all, you’ll find a lot more just as good and even better on those records.

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Song of the Day #3,755: ‘Shallow’ – Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

Writer/director/star Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born is one of the most buzzed-about movies of this year’s award season, and now it has a hefty box office take to match. The only thing keeping it from Oscar glory at this point is the risk of peaking too soon.

I liked the film quite a bit, though I didn’t share the rapturous reception of many critics and fans. I loved the languid first half, which depicts Cooper’s Jackson and Lady Gaga’s Ally falling in love. It’s all warm, syrupy hues and hushed conversations.

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