Friday, August 26, 2005

Friday Random Ten

The image above is a rare find, the cover to our very own Studio Dave's smash solo album from 1985. (This was back when he still toured the country, before he locked himself inside the recording studio, only opening the door to allow his helper monkey in to change the urine jars and restock the beef jerky.) Back in the day, Studio Dave -- or, as he was known then, Devastatin' Dave the Turntable Slave -- was the hottest thing on the Newark hiphop scene. Big. Gabby Hayes big.

Alright, back to business. It's Friday, and that means it's once again time for the Friday Random Ten. Take out your iPod or imitationPod, set it on random, and give us the first ten songs that pop up. If you think you can handle it, go ahead and add on the Coolness Self-Audit. (No, you won't go blind if you self-audit.)

Here's my set:

1. Ike and Tina Turner, "Funkier Than a Mosquito's Tweeter" -- Truth be told, it's not that great a song. It drags in a few spots, and there's a lot of spoken lyrics. But with a title like that, in the hands of Ike and Tina? Please. 7/10

2. Common, "The Hustle" -- Like virtually every song on Common's sophomore effort, this one starts slow and finds its groove near the middle. Well worth the wait. 7/10

3. The Gourds, "Miss You" -- A bluegrass band, live in concert at the Bluebird in Nashville, and they close their set with two brilliant cover songs -- their amazing version of Snoop's "Gin and Juice" and this nice cover of the Stones' "Miss You." Fairly good work, though I especially love the opening accordion. 6/10

4. Wilco, "Heavy Metal Drummer" -- A surprisingly sunny song on an otherwise dark and sweet Wilco CD. Not their best, and certainly not unknown. But with lines like "playing KISS covers, beautiful and stoned," you're a winner in my book, and you're a winner in Ace Frehley's book too. 7/10

5. TV on the Radio, "Staring at the Sun" -- Did you ever wish that they'd uncover a long-lost Peter Gabriel album from 1982? Well, Nerdlinger, they did. But they released it as something "new" under this band's name. I don't care what you call it, this song kicks your ass, my ass, and an ass to be named later. 10/10

6. Muddy Waters, "Can't Get No Grindin'" -- One of many classic Muddy Waters blues tunes about his inability to get his mojo working. Seriously, he must have three or four songs about that topic. It's a great song, with a funky backbeat, but I'm really surprised this hasn't wound up in an ad for erectile dysfunction by now. 8/10

7. Cibo Matto, "Spoon" -- Either you like Japanese Women's Alternapop or you don't. I happen to like. Can't handle that? Suck it. 8/10

8. Tegan and Sara, "Walking with a Ghost" -- This sounds like something that would appear during a breakup montage during "The O.C." A catchy-as-hell, nice little powerpop strutter. I'm a sucker for American Women's Alternapop, too. 8/10

9. Dead Kennedys, "Kill the Poor" -- I'm not entirely sure, but I think Jello Biafra might have been using sarcasm in the song. Hard to say. I'm going to catch grief for this rating, but this DK song always struck me as too easy. You're better than this, Jello. And you know it. Now hit the showers. 6/10

10. Mos Def, "Close Edge" -- An amazing song that floods the zone with coolness. First, it's stark minimalist hiphop, with very little in the way of beats and just a semi-sample of Grandmaster Flash's "The Message." Second, it was performed on the last season of "Chappelle's Show" as Mos Def and Chappelle drove around New York and, using just a CD recording as backup, Mos Def sang the whole thing from the passenger seat. Third, it's Mos Def. And, fourth, it's Mos Def. 10/10

Well, that gives me a 7.7 average. According to the Cool-o-Meter, that puts me somewhere between Jay-Z and the ghost of Jam Master Jay. Nice.

Alright, you know the drill. Drop your own Friday Random Ten in the comments below, with or without the Coolness Self-Audit.

Until next time, keep your feet on the ground and keep reachin' for the stars.


Steusch said...

I pretty much read your blog every day, although I won't say I like it or dislike it much, as I don't believe in enthusiasm.
Keep up the work. Here's my Random Ten:

1. Can, "Soup" - These early 70s kraut-rockers were so ahead of their time, they probably even had hoverboards. 9/10

2. Yo La Tengo, "Cherry Chapstick" - One of YLT's countless rewrites of "Teenage Riot." 6/10

3. M83, "6" - This band has no idea how cool it is. This song is hysterical, and not in a funny way. 9/10

4. David Bowie, "Time" - I'd like to say that I'm a complete Bowie buff, but that mullet he had on the cover of this album (Aladdin Sane) pretty much kills this phase of his career for me. Thus, I've never heard this song, but I'm sure it's raucous and/or fabulous. N/A

5. Modest Mouse, "3rd Planet" - This song's so good, I can barely listen to it sometimes. Also, I think the chorus is about abortion, so, ya know, yay for that. 10/10

6. Burning Spear, "I & I Survive (Dubmission Remix)" - Because listening to dub just makes me feel so hip and urban and such. 7/10

7. Radiohead, "Everything in its Right Place" - This song actually starts making sense if you listen to it enough. Which you should, becuse it's probably the best "first song" off any album in years. 10/10

8. Smashing Pumpkins, "Silverfuck" - The third-best drum track on Siamese Dream, which is saying quite a lot. Jimmy Chamberlain is decidedly NOT on heroin here. 9/10

9. The Books - "There Is No There" - I've really, really tried to get into these Pitchfork darlings, but I can't do it. 4/10

10. The 6ths, "Here in My Heart" - I would never listen to this song at a loud volume in my car, as it's unfathomably gay. 3/10

Average: 5.7
Pretty dismal, but I have 7400 songs, most of them blindly stolen from friends with dubious taste in music.

Yossarian said...

Steush -
I was driving in my car yesterday with a 20-nothing who is an intern on different political campaigns. We saw a bumper sticker that read "Yo La Tengo for President". And I said "I'd vote for that" He looked at me and asked me which party he was on. God - I hate young people!

Here is my angry old man FTT

1. Bad Reputation - Joan Jett -An utterly useless singer since she left Lita Ford And The Runaways 6/10

2. Evaporated - Ben Fold- This is from his new live "Songs for Goldfish". It is not much different that the original except every pause is peppered with drunk ass sorority girls going "whooh" 7/10

3. Celebrity Jeopardy - Connery/Heche/Tucker - The Day is Mine! It makes me laugh. 8/10

4. Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley - This is a Leonard Cohoen song that has been covered soooo many times, but lets faces it - this is the best recording.

5.Life on Mars? - David Bowie - Old Davie Bowie, new David Bowie, It's all good. Off the "Hunky Dory" album and used in the movie "The Life Aquatic" 10/10

6. Chi-Chi - Charlie Parker - Parker was such an influence that when he was strung out and showed up to gigs disheveled and with a wrinkled suit, all the younger players would go to the bathroom and take off their suits and "wrinkle" them. They thought that if you looked like bird, you could play like bird 8/10

7. Jenny (867-5309) -Tommy TuTone - Wasn't the 80's fun? only back then could a song about stalking be a pop hit. 7/10

8. I'm Only Sleeping - The Vines - half assed cover of a decent song to begin with. 5/10

9. Fight Club Rules - Brad Pitt - I was making a mix for somebody and this was part of the it and I left it in my iTunes. I really have to clean out my computer. 3/10

10. The Love Below (intro) -OutKast - Is Outkast still cool? I see them on Mtv so I assume not. 8/10

alex supertramp said...

Otto -- "you had me at hello", in other words, damn son you are a bad mutha...not only do you kick FRT booty, but you are quick witted and a bit harsh on your grooveness, marry me - or at least suck me off? C'mon, Ike and tina (not the best track but Ike and tina for god's sake, common followed by LIVE gourds COVERS!, I got chills just hearing that you were listening to "staring at the sun", giving Jello shit (and yeah, you should take a hit for that) AND Tegan and Sara ..damn son, rock the random bullshit and kick a big fat friday beat....

steusch - you came in strong but faltered near the end, it's okay, search and you will find some pretty weak ass shit here too, just wait for studiodave to post

as for me -
1.Bemol Jean Telfort - road song - some hatian jazz that treads very close to syrupy lite jazz territory, but keeps a nice bossa beat -as much as I love jazz, I need the full experience and not headphones at work, this is only here to move to my PC for burning. 6/10
2.ted leo - since U been gone - I should warn everyone I just emptied out my mp3 player and am transferring a bunch of recently downloaded tracks, and this is yes, an acoustic recording by the master of indie of Kelly Clarkson's little ditty, never heard her version but I actually kind of dig this tune, notably because this isn't kitsch, but Leo playing a song that caught his attention with no regard for "cool" or mockery...damn he is cool. 7/10 (only losing points because the song is a bit whiny, the song, not Ted).
3-Ludacris - What's your Fantasy (feat shawna) - yeah, R&B these days is trite and simplistic and generic as hell, but Luda is just fun, and catchy as hell, I want to lick lick lick ya from your head to your toes... damn 8/10
4-the Apaches - Trying to Make Ends Meet - a fun little slice of classic Detroit soul that isn't quite as funky as it would like to be but still damn good. 8/10
5-damien jurado - I am the mountain - sweet jesus I love me some damien, (and by the way that is not a reference to the whole he is a christian thing, fuck it) for those of you who don't know mr jurado is one of the best singer songwriters around today (sure he tends to hang a bit heavy on the negative side of things, but damn he's just so good at it).9/10
6-Mr. Bungle - carry stress in the jaw - christ almighty, mike patton is a genius, crazier than a fuck, but pure genius ...of course my head is pounding and blood is trickling out of my ears but is that really a bad thing, yeah ,maybe it is - I HAVE to take this entire album (Disco Volante) off my player, or do I?. 7/10
7-grateful dead - eyes of the world - yeah, it's the drug induced haze that brought them my way, but damn I dig me some grateful dead, they begot so many bands and incorporate so many styles and emotions, not to mention fostering many a splendid acid trip. 9/10
8-Go Your Own Way - Death Cab for Cutie/Decemberists (Live) a fun Fleetwood Mac cover song, it's got a nice beat and I can dance to it, and I'm sure spectacular at the venue, but seems a bit plain in the retelling, fun but this is more for nostalgia and "collectors". 6/10
9-lushlife slow jamz mashup - I just downloaded this so I'm still getting the full effect but lushlife has mashup kayne west and beach boy's "pet sounds" ... I should say I love both (sure kayne west is lowest common denominator slick production r&B crap, but hey it's pop music for the masses, it's just supposed to be catchy, not change your life and the Jamie foxx hook in slow jamz, damn!) - this leans heavy on the kayne side and just uses some beach boys piano but I like it okay for a remix -- although the mashups are entertaining they are already starting to get a bit old, oh well.7/10
10-Mekons - last night on earth - well a decent ending at least, the Mekon's are amazing and this little ditty can’t help but get me shaking my ass.9/10

wow - I was feeling good and sorta petered out, I'm too lazy to add up my score or come up with a witty rejoinder, so I simply bid everyone adieu....

Otto Man said...

We saw a bumper sticker that read "Yo La Tengo for President". And I said "I'd vote for that" He looked at me and asked me which party he was on.

I mentioned the Pixies to a 23-year-old guy the other day, and he looked at me like I was insane.

Otto Man said...

Alex, to quote Homer Simpson, "Sure, I'm flattered. Maybe even a little curious. But the answer is no."

Where did you get that Death Cab and Decemberists cover? They closed down a show here with that. And it was, in fact, phenomenal live.

Steusch, thanks for the even-handed evaluation. You're like a nihilist who's found equilibrium. said...

Hoy, hoy.
Yossarian, I think you're too harsh on Joan Jett -- Bad Reputation is a very solid song. And I'm not just saying that because I saw her serve as the batgirl in the Orioles/Phillies old-timers game to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the ’83 World Series. Alex ST – I’m sure I’ll get crap for saying this, but I like the Kelly Clarkson version, (and here’s my attempt to retain any credibility) as far as disposable pop goes. And I’m a Ted Leo fan, so I'm very intrigued by his version -- I'll check it out. Here are my random ten this Friday:

1) “Que Nao Se Ve” by Caetano Veloso. Brazilian (I left out 37 accent marks). Folkish, popish. Rather good. Recommended by a Brazilian … um … dancer in NYC.

2) “Claire” by matt pond PA. Likeable indy pop. Surprised t(he)y haven’t been buoyed along by the same popular wave with Arcarde Fire and their ilk.

3) “10:20 am” by Spoon. Great song by a great band. In my mind they’re named after the Tick’s rallying cry and that’s all that matters.

4) “Nightclubbing” by Iggy Pop. Oh Iggy, will you ever win?

5) “Aint’t that a Kick in the Head” by Dean Martin. Somehow, I thought this would mean that I’m cooler than I am. It doesn’t.

6) “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen. People who know more about music than me can criticize the Boss on technical merits, but this, in my opinion, is in the pantheon of rock songs.

7) “Mysterious Ways” by U2. I’m a big U2 fan but I don’t get the praise they received for their last album. I think there’s only one debate left – time of death. Occurred sometime between pre-“Joshua Tree” to sometime in “Zooropa” (so as to include the Johnny Cash collaboration).

8) “Pass in Time” by Beth Orton. Like a relatively-undiscovered Dido, except not as poppy but much better.

9) “A Stroke of Genius” by Freelance Hellraiser (Christina vs. The Strokes). There used to be a site called Crabwalk where the guy would send out a monthly mix CD to everyone who sent him one. This was on the only one I took part in. It’s a mash-up of “Genie in a Bottle” with a sample from “Hard to Explain.”

10) “Cha Ching” by Lady Sovereign. Grime, England’s addition to rap. I dig it like a ditch. Catchy, clever.

alex supertramp said...

otto -- grabbed it from a sweet musiblog I like to frequent, stereogum, that I am sure you will enjoy... buffalo, not at all, I'm going to go check out the clarkson version I'ma big fan of just digging what you dig and not getting caught up in the hipster BS - I have EVERY r kelly ablum for god's sake, what do they say about living in crappy houses made of melting poop?... and Bruce is the man, Brazilian ladies of the night are amazing, and matt pond's beuatiful chamber pop is heads and shoulders above that currently trendy ilk...

alex supertramp said...

by the by - sorry for the internal link, but is there a way around the new window attrib for the html? when I post _blank it sees my link as broken and will not accept?

Mr Furious said...

1. "Them Bones" Alice In Chains -- I once had a co-worker claim Jerry Cantrell was the modern equivilent to Mozart. Come on, he's Salieri at best. 7/10

2. "The Magnificent Seven" The Clash -- What'da we got for entertainment...? An 8 out of 10.

3."Cinderella" Cracker -- Featuring a stand-out guest vocals by LP—think Janis Joplin with a better voice. I saw Cracker in NYC a few years back, and they brought her out for the encore to do this tune. Tremendous. Unfortunately, none of her own material was ever close to this good. Extra coolness point for being a "hidden" track. 8/10

4. "Shine A Light" Stones -- Nice gospel-ly deep cut from Exile. 6/10

5."Solar Sister" The Posies -- One of my favorite bands, and a good song. Extra point for the lyric that inspired the great album cover for 'Frosting on the Beater'. 8/10

6. "Couldn't Stand the Weather" SRV -- Music doesn't get any better than this. One of my all-time favorite songs. A standard for me when auditioning hi-fi equipment. A timely selection, as tomorrow marks the 15th anniversary (wow) of his tragic death. 10/10

7. "Black Coffee in Bed" Squeeze -- Pop used to really be musical back in the day. Harmonies, canons, "ooo"s and everything. 6/10

8."Born On The Bayou" CCR -- One of the only things I ever got off Napster. And thank god, because it's the best song Creedence ever did, and it's not on 'Chronicles,' which means nobody under 50 owns it, and you can never find it in a jukebox. 9/10

9. "Magnolia" Screaming Cheetah Wheelies -- Would Mike Farris ever win American Idol? Bo Bice couldn't hold his jock. This guy is in the pantheon of hard southern rock vocalists. 8/10

10. "Full Moon, Empty Heart" Belly -- Always makes me think of a particular scene from 'Homicide'—the greatest TV show ever. An extra point for being part of one of the greatest TV/film song placements of all time (a list-worthy topic for another time). 7/10

Total of 7.7 out of 10 overall. That's a tough score considering both a 9 and a 10 were in there. This is off my iPod mini, so it already is a condensed selection of 800 or so "better" songs.

Otto Man said...

"Full Moon, Empty Heart" Belly -- Always makes me think of a particular scene from 'Homicide'—the greatest TV show ever.

I'm with you, on both counts. That song always makes me think of that episode. Man, that show did great things with the music. I've been renting past seasons through Netflix, and a couple weeks ago watched the one with Rev. Horton Heat playing a psycho preacher (I know, big stretch) in the New Moon Motel. Brilliant.

Otto Man said...

Thanks for the Stereogum link, Alex. That site is amazing.

No idea how to make a new-window link.

Mr Furious said...

Whoever was picking tunes for that show had some good taste. dada, Chris Whitley, the Belly tune, Morphine, Tori Amos, even a great use of a Candlebox tune (when Beau returns home to his empty house...)

now that I think about it, that must be a great job—scouting shows and movies for music...

I like the Rev, but I gotta confess, I think that was my least-favorite episode.

Otto Man said...

Seriously? I loved that one. Not my all-time favorite -- either the one with Steve Buscemi or the one with Vincent D'Onofrio -- but a nice quirky change of pace.

And yes, that would be a great job.

alex supertramp said...

i gotta give an extra shout out to mr fur... I was forced to run over and pluck out my 45s and under disc (of course I'm not old school or hip enough to have a needle on my turntable to pull out my actual squeeze lps) and groove to some UK new wave pop, and I forgot just how damn good these guys were, for some reason (I still miss you anne - okay, maybe I know the reason) Goodbye Girl still brings tears to my eyes...

ORF said...

you know, I've been wondering if you were related to the Turntable Slave...