SotD: Cream · This my fave Prince song, by a mile. I sus­pect that makes me a heretic, and is al­so wild­ly in­con­sis­tent be­cause it’s got none of his gui­tar shred­ding on it, which al­ways makes me grin ear-to-ear. But it’s a pure pop gem, a thing no song should ev­er apol­o­gize for in any com­pa­ny, no mat­ter how au­gust ...
 
SotD: Spinning Centers · This is from Un­known Rooms, a very beau­ti­ful col­lec­tion by Chelsea Wolfe. It’s a lit­tle un­usu­al for this se­ries in that it’s hard­ly a song al­l, just a float­ing, ethe­re­al mu­si­cal mo­ment three min­utes and nine sec­onds long. But you won’t re­gret lis­ten­ing to it ...
 
SotD: Submission · Sub­mis­sion was a late ad­di­tion to (most ver­sions of) Nev­er Mind the Bol­lock­s, Here’s the Sex Pis­tols, which any­one will tell you is Cul­tur­al­ly Im­por­tan­t. But most­ly it’s just a re­al­ly great rock song, which re­veals that in among be­ing Cul­tur­al­ly Im­por­tan­t, the Pis­tols were a high­ly com­pe­tent and heav­i­ly re­hearsed hard-rock band ...
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SotD: Walk Like an Egyptian · By The Ban­gles; OK, one of the most cheer­ful songs ev­er record­ed, with a hi­lar­i­ous video. But it’s got a good beat, you could dance to it. And at 50° North Lat­i­tude where I live, we’ll take any Fe­bru­ary smiles we can get. Se­ri­ous­ly, lis­ten to the song, watch the video, you’ll smile, how could that not be a good thing? Even bet­ter, stand up and do the dance around the of­fice ...
[3 comments]  
SotD: Take Me To The River · You can call this one of the great songs in just about any mu­si­cal con­ver­sa­tion and you’ll get no ar­gu­men­t. A great big swirl of the sa­cred and the sen­su­al, with a ra­zor rhythm and lots of chances to show of­f ...
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SotD: Into the Dark · In ful­l, I Will Fol­low You In­to the Dark, by Death Cab for Cu­tie off their al­bum Plans. This is a so­lo acous­tic thing, stripped down to noth­ing but a love­ly tune and a haunt­ing mes­sage; both will stick to you, even if you heard them a mil­lion times on the ra­dio a decade back ...
 
SotD: Do You Love Me? · Nor­mal­ly I write Song of the Day a few days ahead, and to­day I woke up on Valentine’s day and re­al­ized that day’s “song” was sym­phon­ic stuff by Brahm­s, which is great but not per­haps the Lan­guage Of Love. To make up for that, I’ll send you all along a Hap­py Valentine’s for a few days back with a song that’s about noth­ing but love, by Nick Cave ...
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SotD: Fine and Mellow · This is a song not on­ly per­formed but writ­ten by Bil­lie Hol­i­day; it was a hit in 1939, the flip side of the beau­ti­ful but grue­some Strange Fruit (the fruit was a lynch­ing vic­tim). Fine and Mel­low is sad too, but a fair­ly stan­dard man-treats-me-bad blues. It’s a treat for the ears and the heart ...
 
SotD: Death Don’t Have No Mercy · Death Don’t Have No Mer­cy is a very old, very dark blues by Rev. Gary Davis which has been cov­ered lot­s, by Dy­lan and the Dead among oth­er­s. But to­day I’m plug­ging a live ver­sion record­ed by Hot Tu­na in 1992 ...
 
SotD: Ashes the Rain and I · The James Gang was a stripped-down band that most­ly played prim­i­tive rock and roll (which I love) very well, and Rides Again is an ex­am­ple of that, but Ash­es the Rain and I isn’t prim­i­tive at al­l; five min­utes of con­tem­pla­tive beau­ty ...
 
SotD: Brahms’ Variations · To­day, let’s do clas­si­cal mu­sic, as in a great big splodge of or­ches­tral goo by a dead Ger­man. Brahms op. 56a and 56b is a set of vari­a­tions on a the­me; he thought the theme was Haydn’s, thus called it Vari­a­tions on a Theme by Joseph Haydn. But now they think the Haydn at­tri­bu­tion on the theme is sketchy, so now you’ll see ’em la­beled some­times as the Saint An­tho­ny Vari­a­tions. Any­how, this is a su­per tasty splodge of goo, the kind of thing or­ches­tras ex­ist to play ...
 
SotD: Jah Glory · Third World have al­ways had had a dif­fer­ent sound, lean­ing quite a bit on sweet har­monies and in­stru­men­tal fla­vors. It’s reg­gae all right, but im­pure like most great mu­sic, and sounds as tasty as any­thing you can imag­ine. Jah Glo­ry is such a sweet wel­com­ing thing, a soar­ing song of wor­ship. (You don’t have to be­lieve in Jah.) ...
 
SotD: Dear Darling · Mary Mar­garet O’Hara, a daugh­ter of Toron­to, hasn’t record­ed much and hasn’t had hits and these are ter­ri­bly sad things be­cause she’s a gem, a won­der­ful un­con­ven­tion­al song­writ­er and singer. Her stuff gets pret­ty far out over the edge some­times, but Dear Dar­ling is a love­ly straight-up coun­try tune, hard­ly weird at al­l, or on­ly in places ...
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Photo Antiphony · Mobile-phone cam­eras are bet­ter this year than last, and next year they’ll be bet­ter again. The no­tion of car­ry­ing around a heavy chunk of met­al and glass called “a camera” is be­com­ing dif­fi­cult to de­fend and this makes me sad, be­cause I like cam­eras. Us­ing the big fat Samyang 135mm F2 is giv­ing me strong opin­ions about what a cam­era has to be to be­come the anti-phone, the one you’ll take along even though there’s a good cam­era on your phone ...
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SotD: Mercy Street · No­body could call this ob­scure; Peter Gabriel’s So sold a kazil­lion copies and was right in the cen­ter of the zeit­geist for months back in the late Eight­ies. The songs were good, the sound was good, and (e­spe­cial­ly) the videos were good, which re­al­ly mat­tered in 1986. Mer­cy Street was not one of its big hit­s, which al­ways as­ton­ished me; I thought it by far and away the album’s high­light ...
 
SotD: Fantaisie Impromptu · After the hot gui­tar a cou­ple days back, I thought some more flashy solo­ing would be fun, and the world cur­rent­ly has no­body flashier, on any in­stru­men­t, than pi­anist Yun­di Li, who seems to have re­brand­ed him­self as YUNDI. But I end­ed up at this Frédéric Chopin Fan­taisie which has, yes, flash, but lots of mu­sic among and be­tween it, and Mr Li re­al­ly seems to un­der­stand Mr Chopin ...
 
SotD: Broken English · This the ti­tle track from Bro­ken English, an al­bum by Mar­i­anne Faith­full, on which ev­ery song is good and some are ter­ri­fy­ing (not this one) ...
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SotD: Pride and Joy · It’s been most­ly gen­tle and so­phis­ti­cat­ed around here re­cent­ly. Let’s turn to Texas and fix that; Pride and Joy, by Ste­vie Ray Vaugh­an, is about the sim­plest blues holler you can imag­ine, with a hap­py mes­sage and some smokin’ hot gui­tar ...
[1 comment]  
SotD: Sodade · Cesária Évora is prob­a­bly the on­ly per­son you’ve ev­er heard of (now that you’ve heard of her) from Cabo Verde, which is an is­land group 570km west of Africa’s west­ern­most point. She was a re­al­ly great singer and record­ed lots of fine col­lec­tions of mu­sic. It’s hard to pick from among them, but So­dade is a fine ex­am­ple ...
 
SotD: Both Sides Now · Anyone’s list of top song­writ­ers would in­clude Joni Mitchel­l, and any list of her top songs would in­clude Both Sides, Now. There’s lit­tle I can say that will add val­ue here, just give it a lis­ten and it’ll im­prove your day, any day ...
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