Friday, October 14, 2005

Friday Random Ten

Yes, that's right. The Addicts Sing. That's not an edgy punk name bragging about drug abuse, like "The Vein Tappers" or "David Crosby." Nope. They're actual drug addicts, putting out this sweet, sweet music as part of their recovery. And what a treat it is! Your favorite 1960s pop standards sung by a group of people fighting the shakes with regular doses of methadone. It's as good as it sounds!

I have nothing more to say about these icons of pharma-pop, so let's just move on to the Friday Random Ten. You know the drill by now, right? Give us the first ten songs that spew from your iWhatever and, if you damn well feel like it, throw in a Coolness Self-Audit as well.

Here's mine:

1. Johnny Cash, "Hurt" -- Well, I'm a big fan of all things Man in Black™, but I'd have to say his American Recordings era was one of his best. This reworking of this Nine Inch Nails song is just phenomenal. (And the video for the song is absolutely amazing as well.) A great swan song from a legend. 9/10

2. Belle & Sebastian, "My Wandering Days Are Over" -- A grooving little folk tune about an indie rocker settling down. This will take the sting off if you're in your early 30s and wandering why those damn kids won't turn it down. 8/10

3. The Clash, "White Riot" -- If you can listen to this song without the overwhelming urge to bob your head along, then you, my friend, have no heart. No heart, skip. 9/10

4. Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" -- A legendary Hawaiian singer of legendary Hawaiian girth, IK passed away a couple years ago. His music is still everywhere, though, like this cover of the Wizard of Oz classic, which crops up in a television ad or "ER" episode every six minutes. Which I guess takes the coolness down a bit. 5/10

5. De La Soul with Common, "The Bizness" -- For my money, De La Soul ranks right up there with the Roots and Outkast in forming the Holy Trinity of Hip Hop. Like their colleagues, De La Soul has been putting out consistently strong CDs for a decade now, and they're only getting better. This is a great De La tune with Common along for the ride. Very nice. 8/10

6. San Francisco Seals, "Baby Blue" -- Barbara Manning? Doing a cover of a Badfinger ballad? Sold. 8/10

7. Cat Power, "The Greatest" -- This is a sneak peak from the forthcoming CD. Chan Marshall sounds great here in a song that's a little more orchestral than the past albums. Very sweet. 9/10

8. The Stanley Brothers, "(Say) Won't You Be Mine" -- I'm a sucker for good bluegrass, and these boys fit the bill. Not one of their best songs, but still some excellent harmonies. 6/10

9. Black Sabbath, "Fairies Wear Boots" -- Supposedly this is about English skinheads who were known for wearing big boots as part of their get-ups. (I'm suddenly reminded of the Bill Hicks routine about English hooligans. Heh.) Anyway, good rocking for a good cause. Or something. 6/10

10. Television, "Venus" -- Though not as well known as fellow '70s New York punk bands like the Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads and shudder the New York Dolls, Television put out some great stuff. This is off their 1977 debut album Marquee Moon. Solid stuff. 8/10

That gives me a 7.6 average, which is good enough to be a Cabinet member of this administration. Look out, Norm Mineta! I'm coming for you!

Alright, your turn. Drop your own random ten in the comments below, with or without the Coolness Self-Audit.


Mr Furious said...

1. "Airport Song" - Guster From an old CMJ disc. I uploaded a whole stack of those a couple weeks back. Really paying dividends. 8

2. "Take It So Hard" - Keith Richards Ah, a great Stones album from a time when the Stones were long past good albums. So good I had to repeat it so I could hear it again on the headphones after I got out of the car. 8

3. "Feats Don't Fail Me Now [live]" - Little Feat Any tune fom the greatest live album of all time starts with a seven. 8

4. "Rocket Queen" - Guns & Roses Great song off of an epic album. God, these guys were kings of the world and where are they now? Good. I can't think of a bigger bunch of assholes deserved to lose it all faster. Axl Rose still owes me $80 for cancelling a show. 9

5. "Crush With Eyeliner" - REM I laughed last week when someone mentioned that there's a reason why $5 bins are thick with copies of "Monster." I remember grabbing this disc out of one of those bins, thinking, "There are a bunch of good songs on here!" Counting this among them. NONE of these songs are really that good after all. 5

6. "The World I Know'" - Collective Soul Standard radio fare. If Kansas formed in the 90s they would have been these guys. 5

7. "Whip it Up" - Keith Richards Okay, these KR songs have been on the iPod for months and I don't think I've ever heard one til today, and now two? The best thing about this album (and it's most evident on this track) is that the production is totally raw and natural. You know these guys were all just jamming in one big smoke-filled room. Every rip on KR's guitar is picked up in the snares of the snare drum. Awesome. 9

8. "You're the Beautiful One" - Posies On any given day, this could be my favorite band. 9

9. "La Do Da [live]" - Journey Come on, it's mostly drum solo..."The one, the only, Steve "Machine Gun" Smith!!" 9

10. "All That You Dream [live]" - Little Feat Obviously my iPod thinks it's "Two-fer Tuesday." [Once I finished putting down these ten songs, it promptly reeled off another Journey "Captured" tune and two Foo Fighters. There really are 900 songs on this thing...] This tracks also an 8

The list suffers somewhat in variety, but makes up for it in quality. 7.8 average.

ORF said...

Oooh! I'm numero dos! Sweet! Too bad this week's spin is so femme-y

We did start out with a bang though:
1) "Tears Before Bedtime"-Elvis Costello 8/10
How is it all his songs are so damned catchy? And, really, IS there a better lyricist out there?

2) "Blak Iz Blak" Mos Def 7/10
Spelling issues aside, Mos Def is the hip-hop world's Elvis Costello when it comes to lyrics...err...rhymes!

3) "Domino" Van Morrison 8/10
Even though he is one ugly-ass mothertrucker.

And here is where my iPod gets its period and starts crying at any ad on television where a father gives away his daughter at her wedding where there are babies and puppies and long distance phone calling going on. NOT THAT I HAVE EVER DONE THAT. ahem.

4) "Khaki and Corduroy" Laura Cantrell 6/10
I downloaded this album for free to make a copy for my dad and because she sounded kind of cool since she'd left a big job in the big city to be a country singer. I like her, but I was in the mood for something more upbeat. We begin our descent.

5)"Mercedes Benz" Janis Joplin 9/10
I seriously do not think this woman was ever not high after the age of about sixteen. The ramblings at the front of this track are hilarious. And, of course, "of great social importance."

6)"Kind and Generous" Natalie Merchant 2/10
The rest of this album is actually really good, but I forgot to de-select this particular track when I burned it onto the iTunes. Evidently, my iPod is mad at me for no good reason. Yep, PMS for sure.

7)"Nicotine and Gravy" Beck 5/10
Just for being Beck, he gets a 5. But still going to stick with the PMS theme: craving cigarettes and a high-sodium content are we today, little iPod???

8)"Winter" Tori Amos 8/10
See what I mean?

9)"Don't Talk" 10,000 Maniacs 8/10
I couldn't make this shit up!!!
Actually, tho, I really like this album (the MTV Unplugged one) and find myself listening to it as a good standby default quite a bit.

10)"No Name #5" Elliott Smith 6/10
I rest my case...

67/100. Natalie Merchant, you BITCH! You tanked me...

I never bought into that crap about how women who live together will all have their "cycles" normalize to one another because I've lived with lots of different women and sometimes we bleed together and sometimes we do not. But maybe the phenomenon should be applied to iPod technology because in the next ten, I got Tracy Chapman, Sade (twice) and some more Natalie Merchant and Patsy Cline. What the EFF??

Mr Furious said...

I hear ya, orf. Nobody can tell me these iPods don't know exactly what they are doing...

I expect to wake up up one night and see it sitting in a chair watching me.

InanimateCarbonRod said...

Don't call it a comeback, I've been here for weeks. Didn't have time last week, so hopefully I'll have two week's of good karma at this session's iPod Plinko:

1) 3 4 12 - Solex. What the hell is this? Where did it come from? Half of me hates it, half of me kind of likes it. It's the first song on FRT, and I'm feeling generous. 6/10

2) 5 Times Out of 100 - Hot Hot Heat. This is a fun song that makes me think of Madness, which makes me think of that episode of The Young Ones. Was it the one with the giant sandwich? Now I'm in a Friday kind of mood. 8/10

3) Fett's Vett - mc chris. AHHHH YEAHHH BOYEEE! I got frontin' and Star Wars nerdhood in one great freaking song. Bonuse: Ain't It Cool reports that at an mc chris concert he said an ATHF feature film is in the works, and new episodes start next month. This is a great day for a great song. A true classic. 10/10

4) The Lions and the Cucumber - Manfred Hubler. A song from the Vampyros Lesbos soundtrack. It's pretty good, but it's great if you're into softcore lesbian eurotrash cinema. 8/10

5) Paul Ha'Penny medley - Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill. A twelve minute medley of Irish folk songs. So thirsty.... 8/10

6) Spaceship - Kanye West. This might be my favorite song on that College Dropout album. 9/10

7) Montana - Frank Zappa. I love it when FZ pops up on these things. I'm going to have "Yippee-Yo-Kai-Yay" stuck in my head all day now. That's a good thing. 9/10

8) Deck the Halls/We Wish You a Merry Christmas - Neil Diamond. A little out of season here, but a great a cappella version of this overplayed holiday favorite. Figgy pudding always deserves high marks. 7/10

9) Go Power at Christmas Time - James Brown. Wow, two Christmas songs in a row after all these incredible songs? Maybe it's not karma I should be crediting here. JB makes me feel the holiday spirit deep in my bones when he screams like that. 8/10

10) Hole in the Ground - The Mekons. Meh. Fine, but I was expecting fireworks here at the end. 6/10.

The Power of Christ compels you to bow before my superior Random Ten!! C+

peb said...

Hello there. Although I’m looking forward to showing you my list, I have to take issue with Otto’s Coolness Self Audit scale. I prefer to use the Rock God scale which was created and used mainly within the Smith family.

10 – Immediate ascension into Rock God heaven
8-9 – The Rock Gods are pleased and make plans for you to cut to the front of the line when you get to Rock God heaven.
6-7 – Duly noted that you have made a good selection, the Rock Gods are still more interested in planning the massive year-long celebration for when Keith Richards arrives.
5 – The Rock Gods consider you neither good nor evil. Sort of like jazz.
3-4 – The Rock Gods smirk and wonder when you are going to grow up and start taking responsibility for your music choices.
1-2 – The Rock Gods are not amused. You are put behind Carlos Santana on the waiting list, but just ahead of Rob Thomas.
0 – Immediate expulsion into Easy Listening purgatory

With that out of the way, let us present our offerings to our mighty rock overlords!

Strokes – Last Nite – 5 – Although their hype machine was much bigger than the band themselves, this is a pretty catchy tune. Too bad it was already called “American Girl” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Cult – Love Removal Machine – 8 – The Cult catches a lot of shit for being preening mystic metalheads, but they also made songs with Rick Rubin that sounded like AC/DC. I don’t see how that’s bad thing.

Libraness – Sykes Temple Lane – 7 - The solo project of Ash Bowie from Polvo. His solo album shows who was responsible for Polvo’s wilder stuff, but this is a quiet contemplative tune that he’s prone to put out every once in awhile.

The Rutles – OUCH! – 5 – Nobody mimicked the Beatles better than Neil Innes and Eric Idle in The Rutles but I can’t say this really comes close to being as good a song as Help! Or Cheese and Onions for that matter.

T. Rex – Chariot Choogle – 9 – If Marc Bolan doesn’t have a throne in Rock God heaven, I don’t wanna go.

Palace Brothers – Horses – 8 – I’d love to hear this song at my wedding. Or my funeral. Will Oldham makes me proud half my family is from Kentucky.

Joy Division – She’s Lost Control – 9 – Even though New Order has had a very solid career, made a lot of money and received a lot of critical respect, I wonder why they even bothered trying to top this.

Flaming Lips – The Machine in India – 6 - A song off of their experimental 4 CD set Zaireeka meant to be played all at once, I never managed to coordinate such an effort. So I imagine I’m missing something here on this 10 minute chant/free jazz freakout/Disney theme song.

Boris – The Melvins – 9 – My brother made a mixtape my senior year of college called “Ernest Baked Stupid” that Otto, my brother, myself and a bunch of other degenerates listened to a lot. Needless to say, this sludgy 8-minute Sabbath-inspired jam was the highlight.

Snoop Dogg – Beautiful – 7 – Snoop hadn’t made any worthwhile music in years until he turned up on like the 3 millionth Neptunes’ song that came out that year. Still, this pales in comparison to any Clipse song that the Neptunes made.

So my first FRT ends up with a not-bad average score of 7.3. But my main goal was just not to anger the Rock Gods so I think I’m O.K. for now.

The Doc said...

1. Danko Jones - Bounce. The man and his band are all about rockin', shakin' it, and whatever a combination of those two eventually leads to. Rock and roll, baby. 7/10.

2. Talking Heads - Burning Down The House. When I saw David Byrne last year, I went on a major 'Heads binge. This song may not rock very hard, but it's a classic for a reason. 8/10.

3. The New Pornographers - The Slow Descent. Second week, second NP song. I love these guys for making great pop songs, but the significant lack of Neko Case lead vocals makes them lose a point. 7/10.

4. Outkast feat. Killer Mike - THe Whole World. This song doesn't really meet the high standards that Outkast usually sets down, but it's still a nice enough song. 6/10.

5. Lushlife (Kanye West & Beach Boys) - Diamonds (From Sierra Leone). I picked this up on a lark; Kanye West mixed with The Beach Boys sounded like a poor man's Grey Album. It's not too bad, though, and this song in particular is an interesting mishmash. 7/10.

6. M.I.A. - Galang. Hot fudge. From one of the best albums of the year so far, and even though it's not the strongest track from the album, it blows away almost everything else so far. 8/10.

7. Handsome Boy Modeling School - The World's Gone Mad. Wow, my player just wants to get its beats on. It's kind of slow, but any track with Del Tha Funky Homosapien on it demands respect. 7/10.

8. NOFX - Regaining Unconsciousness. And apparently we're done with Hip-Hop. High-energy punk from a band that should technically have passed its prime years ago. 8/10.

9. Bill Janovitz and Crown Victoria - One Two Three. Slightly-better-than-average rock song. Kind of reminds me of Tom Cochrane, which is not necessarily a good thing. 6/10.

10. Ismael Lo - Tajabone. Aaaand now we have a song by the great Senegalese artist Ismael Lo. A nice song, but it ends the ride on a fairly mellow note. 6/10.

Grand total= 70/100. Better overall set this week, with a minor let-down at the end.

Volanta said...

I'll try again. I managed to screw up the comments 24 hours ago. Maybe it was all the rain we were getting here. Now the rain stopped for the first time in a week and maybe I can manage to have my list show up.

1. Mount Eerie, "With My Hands Out,"--Phil Elverum sounds like Neil Young in his "After the Gold Rush" days; that same off-key singing that seems to throw off everyone around him but seems to work. I got turned on to Mount Eerie by Salon. This is part of Seven New Songs that are available for free at I'm loving it. 9/10

2. Portishead, "Seven Months"--I like Portishead and I love Beth Gibbons voice, but sometimes the music pushes me me away. This song songs like they're using a grandfather clock and a puppy yelping; it's so distracting. 7/10

3. The Geraldine Fibbers,"Trashman in Furs"--I first time I heard this song it was in piles of other music and I could't get the voice or song out of my head and I had to work to track it down because it was showing up in my dreams--a sure sign it's pretty good. An odd ending because when I first heard this album I didn't like it because some of the tracks are clearly country. This was the group's last album together; lead singer Carla Bozulich now fronts The Night Porter. 10/10

4. Johnny Cash, "Folsom Prison Blues"--I have a few country songs on my IPOD that remind me of my relatives and childhood family events. It's funny that it seems so cool now--it was excruciatingly painful then. 8/10

5. Cobra Verde, "I Feel Love"--A Donna Summers cover from an album of covers. They softened vocals and added more instruments to that stark backbeat. It's still goofy. You are still dancing to a disco hit. 6/10

6. The B-52's, "Love Shack"--It's The B-52's! Turned on to them when I lived in California. Even the hubby, who is so catholic in his musical tastes that he thinks The Pretenders are a "new" group, likes The B-52's! 9/10

7. Joan Osborne, "Dracula Moon"--Loved this album and this song in particular. She is one of these artists who did not benefit from taking an extended period of between records. 8/10

8. Action Figure Party, "George & Cindy"--A kind of jazz fusion band made of up members of other bands with many guests on different tracks. A great uptempo CD that I bumped into and never thought I would like. Now I use it as a mood-alterer. 9/10

9. Billy Bragg, "Brickbat"--I love his combination of social commentary and observations on life. Unlike most of you, I got to Wilco from Billy Bragg and through Wilco to Uncle Tupelo and Son Volt--kind of backwards. 10/10

10. Cake, "I Will Survive"--Disco cover night. How unexpected, but not really. It's a perfect song coming out of John McCrea's mouth. What a crack-up. 8/10

8.3 as I disco out to the dawn.

Otto Man said...

Great lists, folks. Sorry for the radio silence, but I've been soaking up the love in Las Vegas.