Song of the Day #3,239: ‘The Cowboy Mambo (Hey Lookit Me Now)’ – David Byrne vs. Taylor Swift

Today’s Montauk Madness matchup is similar to yesterday’s, in that it pits a modern-day juggernaut against an established artist likely past his prime.

Apart from Adele, nobody has the four-quadrant appeal of Taylor Swift. She parlayed country stardom into pop superstardom and is now pretty a much a genre unto herself. David Byrne is an indie rock, New Wave and world music pioneer who has influenced scores of modern musicians. Note: For the purposes of this face-off, we are considering only Byrne’s solo work, and not Talking Heads.

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Song of the Day #3,208: ‘Now I’m Your Mom’ – David Byrne

Hmm, what are the odds? Eight days after the Random iTunes Fairy served up a track from David Byrne’s 1992 album Uh-Oh, she came right back to the same album.

‘Now I’m Your Mom’ is an odd song, either poking fun at or celebrating the transgender community. I think the lyrics lean toward a supportive stance but the falsetto reading of the title line feels like schoolyard taunting.

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Song of the Day #3,200: ‘Girls On My Mind’ – David Byrne

One of the down sides of being a music fan who constantly seeks out new artists and albums is that you’re leaving other artists and albums behind along the way.

Twenty-five years ago, I listened to a shit ton of David Byrne and Talking Heads. The 1992 album, Uh-Oh, on which today’s Random SOTD appears, was in constant rotation. But I’ve probably listened to in only once or twice in the two-plus decades since.

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Song of the Day #2,167: ‘Lilies of the Valley’ – David Byrne

davidbyrneIt’s been ten years since David Byrne put out what I would consider a real David Byrne album. That was 2004’s Grown Backwards, which went off on a few tangents but was mostly the sort of tight, quirky, literate world pop album he’d released four other times since 1989.

Those five albums — the kind of David Byrne records I adore — are (chronologically) Rei Momo, Uh-Oh, David Byrne, Feeling and the aforementioned Grown Backwards.

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Song of the Day #1,786: ‘Marching Through the Wilderness’ – David Byrne

reimomoDavid Byrne’s first proper solo album, 1989’s Rei Momo, remains his best.

He has released five since (not counting several albums he released in partnership with other artists) but that initial blend of his signature art pop with Caribbean and Latin rhythm tracks hasn’t been topped.

A year before Paul Simon’s Rhythm of the Saints, Byrne mined similar musical territory with equally strong (if less celebrated) results.

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Song of the Day #1,625: ‘I Feel My Stuff’ – David Byrne & Brian Eno

everything_that_happensThis is the second track from the Davd Byrne and Brian Eno collaboration, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, to show up on a Random Weekend.

And as much as I enjoy David Byrne’s work, both as a solo artist and as leader of Talking Heads, I just can’t make it through his work with Eno. This track runs six and a half minutes and I have yet to make it through three of them without turning it off.

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Song of the Day #1,428: ‘Everything That Happens’ – David Byrne & Brian Eno

I’ve never really gotten Brian Eno.

I like his work as a producer (including memorable albums by U2, Talking Heads, Sinead O’Connor, Paul Simon and Coldplay) but the few times I’ve heard him step out from behind the boards he puts me to sleep.

Eno goes for that whole ambient soundscape thing and while I’m sure his version of it is deeper and more meaningful than most, it still reminds me of those stand-up CD stands you see at Target hawking titles like Tranquility and A Spring Morning.

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