Song of the Day #3,873: ‘Black Math’ – The White Stripes

This is the second song from The White Stripes’ 2003 album Elephant to show up on Random Weekends in the last month. On that post, I noted that the song was the fourth from Elephant to come up randomly. Now we’re at five — more than a third of the album’s tracks.

‘Black Math’ is Jack White’s spin on “We don’t need no education.” It’s a fast and furious screed against doing what you’re told.

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Song of the Day #3,872: ‘Roses’ – Kanye West

Kanye West has been acting a fool long enough now that it’s easy to forget he released some very good music back in the day.

West’s second album, 2005’s Late Registration, remains the early pinnacle of a career that has gone off the rails due to West’s ego and (on a sadder note) his mental health issues.

Co-produced by Jon Brion, who Kanye discovered through his work on the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind score and Fiona Apple’s second album, Late Registration is still a great listen.

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Song of the Day #3,871: ‘Beverly’ – Low Cut Connie

Low Cut Connie is a beloved Philly-based rock band I discovered just a few weeks ago, though they’ve been recording since 2011. They have a swagger and sound that taps into the great music of the 60s and 70s.

I’m so late to the game on this one that even Barack Obama, who had a lot more going on than me, highlighted one of their songs on his 2015 summer playlist (setting aside all the fundamental, important differences between Obama and Trump, I also miss having a president who was just plain cool).

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Song of the Day #3,870: ‘Friend Better’ – Joe Jackson

Singer-songwriter and all-around cool guy Joe Jackson has released his first new album in four years. Titled Fool, the record is receiving some of his best reviews in years.

I was actually surprised to see Jackson has been relatively prolific over the past couple of decades. Fool is his sixth release of the 2000s, which isn’t exactly a torrid pace but more than I would have guessed, likely due to a lack of publicity.

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Song of the Day #3,869: ‘The Joke’ – Brandi Carlile

I spent all of my year-end energy on the movies the past couple of months, so I never got around to counting down my favorite songs of 2018.

Had I done so, much of my focus would have been on seven albums that really knocked my socks off last year: Elvis Costello’s Look Now, Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computer, Josh Rouse’s Love in the Modern Age, Pistol Annies’ Interstate Gospel, Camila Cabello’s Camila, Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour, and Brandi Carlile’s By the Way, I Forgive You.

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Song of the Day #3,868: ‘Swan Song’ – Dua Lipa

I asked my 16-year-old daughter if she’d heard the new Dua Lipa song and she said “yeah” with a shrug, then followed up with “she’s not really relevant anymore.”

It seems like less than a year ago that Lipa was the hottest thing going — an insanely beautiful woman with next-level vocal chops and a stellar debut album under her belt. She had superstar written all over.

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Song of the Day #3,867: ‘Harmony Hall’ – Vampire Weekend

Yes, queen! New music from Vampire Weekend! What a lovely and welcome surprise. It’s been six years since the band’s last album, Modern Vampires of the City, which topped my list of the best albums of 2013. That’s a friggin’ lifetime.

Last week the band dropped two tracks from their upcoming album, Father of the Bride. Both are unmistakably Vampire Weekend, which is a relief given the departure of key member Rostam Batmanglij.

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