Song of the Day #3,252: ‘The Ocean’ – Dar Williams vs. Fiona Apple

Just yesterday I was discussing the tough road female artists have had in Round One of Montauk Madness, thanks to the luck of the draw in the matchups. Here’s another example, where two very talented women have to face off against each other (the first such battle, unless you count Lucinda Williams taking on the Shirley Manson-led Garbage).

Dar Williams is a relatively obscure artist who has quietly released almost a dozen albums of literate folk pop. She is a master lyricist and knows her way around a melody, and she’s responsible for one of my very favorite songs, ‘When I Was a Boy.’

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Song of the Day #3,251: ‘Louisiana 1927’ – Randy Newman vs. Adele

Women have faced an uphill battle in this first round of Montauk Madness, going up against the likes of Frnak Sinatra, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, David Byrne, Elvis Costello and Ben Folds Five. Here’s another example, as the talented and mega-successful Adele faces off against one of our greatest songwriters, Randy Newman.

I feel bad for Adele, who I like both as an artist and a personality, but this is an easy call for me. Newman is a unique and special talent who deserves to go far in this contest.

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Song of the Day #3,248: ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ – The Rolling Stones vs. Toad the Wet Sprocket

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.

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Song of the Day #3,247: ‘Off the Wall’ – Michael Jackson vs. Belle & Sebastian

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.

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Song of the Day #3,246: ‘Knocks Me Off My Feet’ – Stevie Wonder vs. Talking Heads

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.

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