Song of the Day #4,650: ‘Another Star’ – Stevie Wonder

One of my great musical shames is my inability to appreciate Stevie Wonder.

I understand why he’s considered a genius, and one of the most influential and accomplished artists of all time. I hear the intricacy in his melodies and instrumentation, and I marvel that he often played all the instruments himself. I pay my respects to a man who once won three Album of the Year Grammys during a four year span in the mid-70s, a feat nobody else has managed.

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Song of the Day #4,649: ‘Friend of the Devil’ – Grateful Dead

‘Friend of the Devil’ is my fourth Song of the Day from Grateful Dead’s classic 1970 album American Beauty, and probably my favorite of the bunch.

American Beauty is considered one of the greats, and I can’t argue with that assessment. The folk rock sound is sublime, the songs are memorable, the lyrics are evocative. My knowledge of the Dead pretty much starts and stops with this album, but it’s enough to make me understand their appeal.

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Song of the Day #4,643: ‘Pretty (Ugly Before)’ – Elliott Smith

Before today, Elliott smith had made 25 appearances as a Song of the Day artist. Thirteen of those were by my choice, while the other 12 were Random Weekend selections.

Today’s random SOTD evens up the score, making it a baker’s dozen of both random and intentional selections.

One thing is certain: every one of those 26 songs is a gem. In his short career, Smith seemed incapable of recording a song that wasn’t special in some way or another.

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Song of the Day #4,642: ‘You’ve Got Her in Your Pocket’ – The White Stripes

When The White Stripes pop up on Random Weekends, I never know what I’m going to get. It could be a hard-rocking amp buster, or something delicate like today’s Song of the Day.

This track was a Jack White solo song that kicked around for several years before finding a home on the band’s celebrated 2003 album Elephant. It’s one of the only White Stripes tracks not to feature both Jack and Meg.

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Song of the Day #4,636: ‘The Hunter’s Wife’ – Pistol Annies

Today’s track is from Pistol Annies’ debut album, and was penned and performed by Angaleena Presley, the least-famous Annie.

This tongue-in-cheek tune explores the life of a hunter’s wife, and throws in enough hunting jargon to weigh down an 11-point buck.

It got me thinking… what came first, country music’s music or its lyrics?

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