Staying Cool With The Songs Of The Week

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Magnolia Electric Co., led by Jason Molina (right), sings a new kind of blues

Magnolia Electric Co., led by Jason Molina (right), sings a new kind of blues. Will Claytor hide caption

itoggle caption Will Claytor

It's getting harder to stay cool, and not just in meteorological terms. Trends come and go, and finding the best music amid the din can be time-consuming.

One way to keep up is NPR Music's Song of the Day, which features a new track every weekday. Each piece offers analysis of the music, links to each artist's Web sites and, of course, a chance to hear the song itself. Host Jacki Lyden recently spoke to Song of the Day's editor, Stephen Thompson, about this past week's selections.

After Lyden requests a definition of "candy-coated insects" — a phrase Thompson applies to songs by Metric, whose members disguise bitter lyrics under catchy dance-pop — the two play and discuss Metric's "Sick Muse" and Magnolia Electric Co.'s "Whip-poor-will," as well as uplifting late-career highlights from two music legends in their 60s. After discussing an unlikely cover of OutKast's 2003 hit "Hey Ya" (by organ legend Booker T. Jones of Booker T & The MGs), Lyden and Thompson marvel over the resilient voice of The Band's Levon Helm, who covers Muddy Waters' "Stuff You Gotta Watch" on his forthcoming album Electric Dirt.

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Fantasies

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Album
Fantasies
Artist
Metric
Label
Metric/Last Gang
Released
2009

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Josephine

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Album
Josephine
Artist
Magnolia Electric Co.
Label
Secretly Canadian
Released
2009

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Potato Hole

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Album
Potato Hole
Artist
Booker T
Released
2009

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Electric Dirt

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Album
Electric Dirt
Artist
Levon Helm
Label
Welk
Released
2009

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