Song of the Day #3,711: ‘Just a Man’ – Los Lobos

The L.A.-based rock band Los Lobos has released nearly two dozen albums over the past 40+ years, but none has been more celebrated than 1992’s Kiko. It also happens to be the only album of theirs I own, so I guess I chose right.

Kiko is full of off-kilter rock and blues songs, tracks that sound like long-last classics. Today’s random SOTD is one of the most straight-forward cuts on the album but it’s a great listen as well.

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Song of the Day #3,705: ‘West Gwillimbury’ – Ron Sexsmith

This weekend has offered up one of those weird coincidences that come with true randomness.

Here we have a Beck song followed by a Ron Sexsmith song. The last time I’ve blogged about either of those artists was in November of 2017, when I posted a Beck song followed by a Sexsmith song. I won’t bother calculating the odds but they have to be pretty damn high.

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Song of the Day #3,704: ‘Youthless’ – Beck

I’m never disappointed when a Beck song pops up on Random Weekends. No matter the album or the track, it’s going to be interesting and entertaining.

‘Youthless’ is a cut from the 2008 album Modern Guilt, a record I’d rank near the middle of the pack of Beck’s discography. That still makes it better than most albums by most artists.

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Song of the Day #3,698: ‘Si Señor’ – Control Machete

The Random iTunes Fairy must be in a Hispanic mood this weekend. Today’s track is from the Mexican rap group Control Machete, and it’s in my music collection because it appeared in Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu’s 2001 film Amores Perros.

Amores Perros was Iñarritu’s first film, and though he would go on to win back-to-back Best Director Oscars 14 years later (for Birdman and The Revenant), it remains the best thing he’s ever done.

It was also the first film of one of my favorite actors, Gael Garcia Bernal, and one of the best films of that decade.

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Song of the Day #3,697: ‘Don’t Bother’ – Shakira

‘Don’t Bother’ is the lead single from Shakira’s 2005 album Oral Fixation Vol. 2, the English-language follow-up to Fijacion Oral, Vol 1 from early that same year. This was Shakira’s second English-language album.

With a few exception, I’ve always preferred Shakira’s Spanish-language work, and this song is a good example of why. The lyrics are just odd to the point of distraction.

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Song of the Day #3,691: ‘The Dream Police’ – David Byrne

Rei Momo, released in 1989, was David Byrne’s first proper solo album, coming on the heels of Talking Heads’ final album, 1988’s Naked.

Byrne had always explored Afro/Caribbean sounds with Talking Heads (Naked being a great example) but he doubled down on the concept on this album. Every Rei Momo track features a different musical style, which is noted in the track list: cumbia, orisa, salsa, merengue, bomba, rumba, all that good stuff. Today’s SOTD is an example of ‘cha cha cha.’

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Song of the Day #3,690: ‘The Long Way Around’ – Dixie Chicks

My daughters have recently rediscovered the 2006 Dixie Chicks album Taking the Long Way, so I’ve heard today’s random SOTD a lot lately. It’s the lead-off track to that fine album, which won five Grammys including Album of the Year.

This song, about leaving a small town to explore the world, reminds me of some of Miranda Lambert’s best work (at least thematically). It has the added element of responding to the controversy over lead singer Natalie Maines’ comments, spoken overseas, about then-president George W. Bush.

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