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 #1,407: ‘She’s Mad’ – David Byrne

OK, it’s getting weird now. Here we have another instance of the Random iTunes Fairy honing in on the most popular track from the selected album.

To be fair, it’s not as if ‘She’s Mad’ was a runaway hit, but this track was the only single released from David Byrne’s 1992 album, Uh-Oh, and it had some success on the Modern Rock chart. So if a conspiracy theorist were to predict which track from Uh-Oh would be picked, this would be it.

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Song of the Day #565: ‘Tiny Town’ – David Byrne

After the unexpected brilliance of Rei Momo, David Byrne’s second solo album was a disappointment. 1992’s Uh-Oh felt far too processed… it lacked the organic feel of his first solo outing.

But, as the saying goes, the worst David Byrne album is still better than most albums, and Uh-Oh does have its share of worthy tracks. The best of them maintain the world music feel of his previous record while leaving room for his signature eccentricities.

And you have to admire the CD cover art, which depicts a Snoopy-like cartoon dog sitting on what appears to be God’s throne in Heaven.

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