Song of the Day #4,103: ‘Dear Chicago’ – Ryan Adams

Demolition, Ryan Adams’ collection of outtakes from earlier albums, is as solid as many artists’ top tier work. Today’s track is a particular standout, a song about a man tentatively moving on after a failed relationship (he personifies the women as cities in these lyrics).

This is the second Ryan Adams song to pop up on Random Weekends since he was exposed as an alleged predator and harasser who derailed the careers of many female artists. It’s hard not to at least mention that fact, even as I appreciate his work.

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Song of the Day #4,097: ‘Hiroshima (Japanese Version)’ – Ben Folds

Ben Folds wrote a song called ‘Hiroshima’ for his 2008 album Way To Normal. The lyrics describe a time he was performing in Japan and fell off the stage, suffering a semi-serious head injury. He continued playing as blood poured down his face.

Apparently he later returned to Japan and performed that song in Japanese, which is the version presented here. It appeared on an alternate version of Way To Normal called Stems and Seeds, which included different mixes of the original album’s tracks plus other odds and ends.

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Song of the Day #4,096: ‘Stay Up Late’ – Talking Heads

Here’s a fun track from Talking Heads 1985 album Little Creatures, the band’s most commercially successful effort. After the exploration of world music on 1980’s Remain in Light and 1983’s Speaking in Tongues, found its influences back in America.

Pop, funk and country sounds dominate a song cycle about relationships and Americana. Songs ‘And She Was,’ ‘The Lady Don’t Mind’ and ‘Road to Nowhere’ found modest success on the charts.

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Song of the Day #4,090: ‘Restless’ – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ sophomore album, You’re Gonna Get It!, was released in 1978, between the band’s 1976 debut album and 1979’s classic Damn the Torpedoes.

As such, it suffers a bit from middle child syndrome, and was received rather tepidly by critics. It produced two singles, ‘Listen to Her Heart‘ and ‘I Need to Know.’

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Song of the Day #4,089: ‘Walking On Thin Ice’ – Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello and the Attractions recorded this cover of Yoko Ono’s ‘Walking On Thin Ice’ for a 1984 Yoko tribute album titled Every Man Has a Woman.

It was later released on Costello’s compilation Out of Our Idiot and finally on the reissue of Punch the Clock, where I first heard it. It’s pretty great.

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Song of the Day #4,082: ‘Life Itself’ – Bruce Springsteen

I recently saw the film Blinded by the Light, a movie about a young Pakistani teen in London who finds creative salvation in the music of Bruce Springsteen. It’s a lovely, uplifting film that really understands the mind-blowing phenomenon of discovering an artist who speaks to your very core.

It also made me want to dig up some old Bruce Springsteen albums and pay my respects, though I haven’t gotten around to that just yet.

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