I recently registered my vote for Talking Heads over Stevie Wonder in the Montauk Madness competition. Today’s random SOTD is one of the reasons why.
I hear the influence of Talking Heads all over the music I like. I’d never expect the delicate Scottish band Belle & Sebastian to lay down a groove like this, but here they are, channeling David Byrne’s ground-breaking work in a move that makes me appreciate both bands even more.
This year marks the tenth anniversary of Todd Haynes’ unique and excellent Bob Dylan biopic, I’m Not There, probably best known for featuring Cate Blanchett in a gender-bending, Oscar-nominated turn as mid-60s Dylan.
The movie contains mostly songs by Dylan himself, including a rare recording of the title song. But the original soundtrack album, a 2-disc set, features covers of Dylan songs by a host of other artists, both well- and little-known.
Here’s another Montauk Madness Round One matchup pitting a legend against a mere mortal.
Toad the Wet Sprocket is one of my favorite 90s bands and I have outsized affection for them due to the role they played in the early years of my relationship with my wife. But it takes more than that to topple The Rolling Stones, inarguably one of the greatest rock bands of all time.
Here’s a Montauk Madness first round matchup that has me hoping my blog audience skews more toward my sensibility than popular consensus. I assume R&B and pop legend Michael Jackson would take down Scottish indie act Belle & Sebastian in a poll of any significant size, by way of name recognition if nothing else.
But as much as I love the King of Pop, especially in his Off the Wall and Thriller days, I can’t give him the nod over one of my very favorite bands.
I’m curious to see how this vote goes. Stevie Wonder, an unquestioned musical genius and living legend, against Talking Heads, one of alternative music’s most innovative and influential bands.
This isn’t a tough call for me. I appreciate Stevie Wonder’s music more than I like it (don’t tell Michelle Obama!). Talking Heads, on the other hand, works for me on every level.
Our next Montauk Madness matchup pits somebody it’s very cool to like against somebody it’s very uncool to like. Beck, meet John Mayer.
I’m a big fan of both of these guys, so I’ll try to keep the hipness factor out of my vote. I realize that appreciating John Mayer is not great for my street cred, but I think anybody who dismisses his musical chops or his songwriting ability is mistaken. Sure, the guy can be a smug prick and some of his songs veer too close to maudlin, but so many more are spot-on.
The latest Montauk Madness Round One matchup features a prime contender for the whole title (Elvis Costello) vs. a newcomer with only a couple of albums under her belt (Carly Rae Jepsen). Not exactly a fair fight.
But Jepsen is a talent, no question. She might not be Rocky Balboa taking Apollo Creed to 15 rounds and losing by judge’s decision, but Costello is definitely in the other corner having taken a solid shot to the eye, nodding her way and saying “You have great things ahead of you, kid.”