Song of the Day #3,281: ‘Lucinda’ – Randy Newman vs. The Rolling Stones

Here’s a nice meaty Round Two Montauk Madness matchup, pitting one of the greatest singer-songwriters against one of the greatest rock bands.

Randy Newman got here by defeating Adele with 90% of the vote in Round One, while The Stones took out Toad the Wet Sprocket in a unanimous vote. Pretty easy pickings for both of them.

Now it gets interesting. Continue reading

Song of the Day #3,280: ‘Higher Ground’ – Stevie Wonder vs. Michael Jackson

Fate has arranged the Montauk Madness bracket in a way that led to today’s spetacular Motown Showdown, pitting Stevie Wonder against Michael Jackson.

Wonder defeated Talking Heads in Round One, pulling in a sizable 71% of the vote. Michael Jackson fared even better, defeating Belle & Sebastian with 86%. Poor Belle & Sebastian… a top five band for me, but destined to ride the pine in the broader contest. Continue reading

Song of the Day #3,279: ‘Moving On and Getting Over’ – John Mayer vs. Elvis Costello

The next Montauk Madness Round Two battle is a bit of a laugher, particularly for readers of this blog. I’ll be surprised if John Mayer manages more than a single vote (my wife’s) against Elvis Costello.

Costello got here by taking out Carly Rae Jepsen, who did manage to pick up 33% of the vote. Mayer narrowly defeated Beck, 55% to 45%. Had Beck triumphed, the Beck/Costello matchup would have been interesting. Both have proved adept in multiple genres and are masters of the unexpected. Continue reading

Song of the Day #3,278: ‘The Hard Way’ – Mary Chapin Carpenter

I’ve lamented the lack of women in Round Two of Montauk Madness (in Round One, as well, for that matter). That’s my fault, of course, as I could have deliberately offered up a more balanced lineup.

Could I have found room for Mary Chapin Carpenter or k.d. lang, for example, two women who have released an album or two I love but many more I’ve never heard? How about Brandy Clark, Ashley Monroe or Kacey Musgraves, who have only a couple of albums each under their belts, but very strong ones? Continue reading

Song of the Day #3,277: ‘Angel, Angel, Down We Go Together’ – Morrissey

Morrissey is a glutton for punishment. I don’t mean that his lyrics are full of him wallowing in misery, though that’s certainly true, too. I mean that he keeps popping up on Random iTunes Weekends despite the fact that I am the only fan of his who reads this blog.

Today’s track is the ninth Random Weekend appearance by Morrissey, and that doesn’t count anything by The Smiths. Continue reading

Song of the Day #3,276: ‘For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her’ – Simon & Garfunkel vs. Prince

This might be the most incongruous matchup of Montauk Madness’ second round — the gentle acoustic folk rock of Simon & Garfunkel against the hyper-sexual experimental funk of Prince.

Simon & Garfunkel made it here by eliminating Rufus Wainwright rather easily, with 80% of the vote. Prince had an even simpler path, picking up 91% against Squeeze. I imagine they’ll both have a harder time in this round, though I don’t have a ready prediction as to who will win. Continue reading

Song of the Day #3,275: ‘Begin Again’ – Taylor Swift vs. Tom Petty

Two of the more compelling Round One Montauk Madness matchups pitted pop (and pop culture) sensations Beyoncé and Taylor Swift against Tom Petty and David Byrne, respectively.

Petty won his battle in one of the closest Round One contests, picking up 56% of the vote. Swift had an easier time dispatching Byrne, netting 88%. Now they face off against each other.

Continue reading