Friday, December 02, 2005

Friday Random Ten

With the power of the incredibly funny Yacht Rock retrospective still pulsing through my veins, I had no choice but to make Herbie Mann this week's album cover.

While Herbie wasn't technically part of that "smooth music" genre, I think a smooth jazz flautist deserves an honorable mention. And with his balding, mammoth-chested, oil-lubed, porn-mustachioed raw sexuality, he certainly belongs smack dab in the middle of the Kenny Loggins-Michael McDonald-Ron Burgundy pantheon. Face it, with a look like that, he had no choice but to title the album Push Push and you, gentle ladies, have no choice but to submit to his smouldering velvet-haired sensuality and cry out the name "Herbie!" in ecstasy.

Anyway, the appearance of Herbie the Love Bug on this site can only mean it's time for the Friday Random Ten. You know the drill by now, so let's just get this thing going.

1. Victoria Williams, "You R Loved" -- Nice little tune, and a solid antidote to the type of Christianity being peddled by the Religious Right. "Jesus walked on the water, He turned the water into wine / Went down to the drunkards, told them everything is fine / You are loved, you are loved, you are really loved." Suck it, Falwell. 7/10

2. Beck, "Broken Drum" -- I really love the Guero album, but this is probably one of my least favorite songs from it. A little too slow and drony for my tastes. Eh. 6/10

3. Air with Hope Sandoval, "Cherry Blossom Girl" -- Don't let the credits fool you: This sounds a lot more like the breathy acoustic stuff that Sandoval's done so well with Mazzy Star than it sounds like the soft electronica of Air. It's soft and gorgeous, like Farrah Fawcett's hair. 10/10

4. Prince, "Kiss" -- This may be His Purple Badness's first appearance on the Friday Random Ten, and what better song for the debut? Not exactly cool, but still solid. Tom Jones covered it with Art of Noise. 'Nuff said. 6/10

5. Superchunk, "Precision Auto" -- Back when I still owned a working record player, I had a series of 7" singles that gave a different spin to this song. This is the standard version, but it still rocks in Superchunk's pogo-pop ways. (The song title refers to an auto repair shop in the band's hometown of Chapel Hill. Thank you. I'll take "Obscure Indie Rock Trivia" for $200, Alex.) 8/10

6. Dead Kennedys, "Moral Majority" -- Well, there's a nice coincidence. Two bits of Falwell bashing in a single post. The song itself is pretty disappointing, but anything with a chorus of "blow it out your asses" directed at the MM works for me. 6/10

7. Merle Haggard, "I'm a Lonesome Fugitive" -- There are some Haggard songs you can admire from an ironic place, and some that are just great tunes. This is one of the latter. Speed on, brother! Hell ain't half full! 7/10

8. Parliament, "Chocolate City" -- One of the funkiest anthems from the Black Power era, and one of the most politically even-handed too. (After all, he does ask God to bless not just the chocolate city, but also its vanilla suburbs.) Man, we made the wrong Clinton president. 10/10

9. Blackalicious, "Aural Pleasure" -- And the funkitude continues. From the phenomenal Blazing Arrow CD, this is a nice groove with Jaguar doing guest vocals alongside Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel. Absolutely great stuff. 9/10

10. Muddy Waters, "Little Geneva" -- Some classic Chess-era blues with just brilliant guitar work and powerful vocals, from one of the all-time greats. 9/10

Some last minute coolness saves me from what would've been a new low. Instead, the Coolness Self-Audit leaves me with my standard C-plus score of 7.8.

Think you're better than me? Bring it on. Drop your own Random Ten in the comments below, with or without the Coolness Self-Audit. (And I should note that had we elected George Clinton president, the Internal Revenue Service would do nothing but Coolness Audits. You had your chance, America, and you blew it.)

22 comments:

Studiodave said...

I hope he's the last thing Scotter Libby sees that first night in prison.

I wonder which photo's during the shoot they said "not good enough for Push, Push". "No, not that one, you see his eyes. 'Push, Push' needs to be more animal than man.

Otto Man said...

I think the album was originally titled You Got a Purty Mouth, but the studio nixed the idea.

Mr Furious said...

There's no way that photo shoot went off without that flute spending time in that big hairy navel.

[shudder] Or worse...

Thrillhous said...

Man, that's a rough picture to look at. very rough.

Here we go!

1) Put me in the sky - Floyd. From an early singles collection, sounds more Beatles than Floyd, but it's a great song. 8/10

2) Torn Between - Prong. Yep, the player loves its Prong. 6/10

3) Gates of Delirium - Yes. One of their very best 20-minute-long songs. 10/10

4) ATWA - System of a Down. Probably my favorite of their songs. 9/10

5) Yours is no disgrace - Yes. Off a sessions disk, a nice take on a classic. 9/10

6) Tired of Being Alive - Danzig. Hey, this list is turning out good! One of my favorite Danny Z songs. 9/10

7) Crackerman - Stone Temple Pilots. So very 1992. 2/10

8) Pod Party - The Dark Crystal Soundtrack. Love the movie, love the soundtrack, composed by Trevor Horn (who was briefly the lead singer of Yes; he was also the singer for the Buggles, who had that first video ever on MTV). 6/10

9) Thriller - MJ. Hell yeah. 10/10

10) Tom Sawyer - Rush. Hell yeah deux. 10/10

What a week!

alex supertramp said...

furious - where else does a flute belong??? - and Otto, once again you BROUGHT it, I mean seriously, it has been broughten - first we get the scary porn stylings of Herbie Burgandy AND then some sexy Hope Sandoval, sexy Prince, Superchunk, DKs, Haggard, Waters, Blackalicious AND the rightful heir not only to the presidency but to the THRONE?! -- how in the hell do you only have a c-plus??....

1.Asylum Street Spankers - Paul Revere... so this jazzy busker band (that is finally getting their dues on the jambandy circuit) doing a beasties cover, reckless fun and frivolity ensue.8/10

2.ODB f Ghostface Killah - Back in the Air - funky beats and funky ass flow from this crazy dead mofo.8/10

3.Maktub - 20 Years (acoustic) - Reggie Williams and his Seattle crew just get cooler and cooler, and the man does stand-up on the side, fuck they rock (in a soulful funky way...) - this tune acoustic does come close to Seal territory though...7/10

4.Funky Meters - Pass the Peas...yeah, dog, pass the peas and shut the funk up...10/10

5.Bloc Party - Tulips... sure, lots of hype, but I really like these guys and think much of that hype is appropriate, nice mix of dance-y new wave and indie rock fervor.8/10

6.Damien Marley - Welcome to Jamrock... damn, the more I hear this the more it clicks - and it came on at the bar the other night and rocked the fuckin house...9/10

7.Drive By Truckers - Puttin People on the Moon.. a little politi-social commentary about the everyman, from one of the best damn bands around...10/10

8.John Lee Hooker - hittin the bottle again ... a slow blues ode to normalcy, any other dirge like tune might break my stride, but in the immortal words of Matthew Wilder, nobodys gonna slow me down oh no...8/10

9.Stooges - 1970 -holy crap, just like that I'm back on top (although I just broke my keyboard...) .. all you retro kids, it isn't about the music, cause nobody knows how to play, it's about the spirit and yep, you guessed it, it's all about the soul (well, and maybe the crazy pills help). 8/10

10.Fela Kuti - Eko Ile 1...wow, the segue from stooges to fela was remarkably smooth, see reference point above...it's all about the soul kids, the funky fucking soul....10/10

Otto Man said...

how in the hell do you only have a c-plus??....

I'm apparently a self-hating hipster.

alex supertramp said...

just for the record, Reggie WATTS fronts Maktub - reggie williams is other people....

Mr Furious said...

1. "Battery" - Metallica
Kicks off my favorite Metallica album. It's been years since I played this one.
8

2. "Against the 70s" - Mike Watt
I had high hopes for this CD when it came out. fIREHOSE main man goes solo and taps every badass in the early 90s to record with him. Result? About 4 or 5 good songs out of like 16 and an unwieldy case that won't fit in any CD rack...Eddie Vedder sings this one.
6

3. "Royal Station 4/16" - Melissa Etheridge
Album back-fill. It's not "Brave and Crazy" or "Let Me Go," but it's good.
7

4. "Up on the Sun" - Meat Puppets
Old school Puppets. I'm pretty sure the Kirkwoods were playing guitar on that Watt track...
7

5. "Lay Your Hands On Me" - Peter Gabriel
The second-best song off his second-best album
8

6. "Mighty Joe Moon'" - Grant Lee Buffalo
Title track from a tremendous album. Not the best song, but a good one.
7

7. "Take It Easy" - Bright Eyes
The only track I have (or have heard). Off a CMJ or Paste disc. Not seeing the hype here...
5

8. "Anna" - Pure
Canadian band that never really went anywhere. This was the single off their second album. She's a speed freak...
7

9. "Tunnel of Love" - Dire Straits
"Making Movies" is a really good album—leaps and bounds better than anything that followed it—but not quite as good as the first album, which I only have on vinyl and haven't heard in eons.
8

10. "Tantrum" - Ned's Atomic Dustbin
Customers who bought albums by Ned's Atomic Dustbin also bought: The Farm, Soup Dragons, Jesus Jones
7

7.0 average. Not a high-scoring random ten, but it was good in terms of pleasant surprises.

Otto Man said...

just for the record, Reggie WATTS fronts Maktub - reggie williams is other people....

That's right. He's a receiver for the Jaguars now.

InanimateCarbonRod said...

There's this one time at band camp...

Studiodave said...

Time out! Time out!

Dark Crystal soundtrack? Houz, did you inherit that from a relative - one named Jim Henson?

Cause I can't imaging double digit sales for that one.

Otto Man said...

Seriously, it's one thing to somehow own that. It's another to go through the trouble of loading it onto your iTunes.

Nerrrrrrdddddd!!!!

Mrs_Thrillhous said...

As the one who had to search high and low (thanks, Google) for what might be only CD Amazon doesn't sell, I must say that the Dark Crystal is...not bad, considering that otherwise we'd be listening to Yes when he drives.

While I'm here, I'd like to say that Trevor Jones actually composed the soundtrack, as he is the god responsible for the score masterpiece that is The Last of the Mohicans.

Mr Furious said...

go through the trouble of loading it onto your iTunes

Especially since he probably had to somehow convert it from tape or vinyl...

Mrs. T is right on the Trevor Jones, he or Stewart Copeland composed just about every soundtrack in the 80s... Pretty sloppy for a Yes-man T'hous.

Thrillhous said...

I'll have you know that the wife had to special order me that two-disc set; it was a limited release. Limited!

And who are you people to mock me, what with your Spulamine Bands and Dancing Dead Broccolis? You make me sick.

Trevor Horn, Trevor Jones, Trevor Rabin, whatever. Mistakes were made. It's been discussed. Now is not the time for the politics of defeat.We will turn the corner on this mistaken reference. Anyone who mentions it again is clearly in league with the terrorist. Or the Styx fans.

ORF said...

Otto, you have TRULY truly outdone yourself on this cover. Mama like!!!

And Mr. Furious, I have to concur on your missing the hype with Bright Eyes. If I hear/read/see one more GD story about how "brilliant" Conor Oberst is, I'm going on a shooting rampage. I've heard more of them and I think they suck pretty bad.

Ok, my list:
1) Reservations-Wilco 9/10
This is one of the best love songs ever written because it's totally lacking in schmaltz and chock full of angsty truth about relationships. Better than a foreign film!

2) This Flight Tonight-Joni Mitchel 8/10
Speaking of angst-ridden relationships...I think this is one of Joni's best

3) Hotel Arizona-Wilco 7/10
In my eyes, there is VERY little Jeffy Tweedy can do wrong.

4) Peach Trees-Rufus Wainwright 7/10 Not one of my fave Rufus tunes, but they're are every last one of them very pretty

5) The Flyer-Nanci Griffith 7/10 She's kind of a guilty pleasure for me because I feel like I turn on the Easy Listening station when I hear her, but she could take Emmylou Harris to task for sure.

6) Group Four-Massive Attack 4/10
I have this CD thanks to a weird two-month period during my junior year in college around the time I was plotting my move to steal this guy away from my roommate (They weren't officially together, she just sweated him-relax.) I really like the idea of them, but Portishead does it better.

7) It's a Hit-Rilo Kiley 10/10
I recently got into them and then discovered that the lead singer is that chick from Troop Beverly Hills, which I used to L.O.V.E. as a kid. It was standard fare at all grade-school sleepovers, esp. those of us in Girl Scouts. Anyway, I think this song starts that album off with a total bang, to say nothing of the barbs they toss at the POTUS!

8) Right Here Right Now-Beastie Boys 6/10
I'm not crazy about this album--they tried to replicate the success of Hello Nasty and they didn't do it. A couple tracks are repeat-button worthy, but not this one.

9) Blower's Daughter-Damien Rice 8/10
This song is really gorgeous, as is the rest of the album, but goddammit is it ever sad. And it's even sadder now that that movie with Jude "Jackass" Law used it for a themesong.

10) Such Great Heights-The Postal Service 10/10
And speaking of movie theme songs...
I really mostly like the intro of this song best. It makes me exceedingly happy. And, like the first track on my FRT today, it's a great love song. I wonder if Herbie's free.....

76/100. Better than usual. Thanks a lot, Massive Attack.

Mr Furious said...

"... had to special order me that two-disc set; it was a limited release. Limited!"

On LaserDisc?

Okay, back to the bands thing...

Mr Furious said...

"she could take Emmylou Harris to task for sure"

Carefull...


Never heard of Postal Service until an hour ago in the bands thread. And there they are. orf, you must be much cooler than I.

Otto Man said...

Never heard of Postal Service until an hour ago in the bands thread.

You've actually probably heard them, all the same. "Such Great Heights" was a mini-hit earlier this year, due to the exposure in Garden State.

alex supertramp said...

'hous - i believe you mean chopping broccoli...the lady I know has nothing on the dark crystal, but a first pressing of dark impulse.......

The Doc said...

Good lord, but that is a pug-fugly album cover. Excellent - and terrifying - work.

Coming home from work, my FRT is coming in just under the wire, sadly too late to join in on the Dark Crystal mocking. Seriously, though: The Dark Crystal? No, no, I shouldn't judge, lest other people judge me too harshly. Let's see how we roll.

1. Clean - Depeche Mode. A mellow way to start it off, but any song from the greatest DM album is an good choice. 7/10.
2. Tomorrow Never Knows - The Beatles. This could be one of my favourite Beatles songs. Every time I hear this, I have to remind myself that they only had 4-tracks. 10/10.
3. The District Sleeps Alone Tonight - The Postal Service. The Postal Service strikes again. I may quibble with ORF, as I like this better than Such Great Heights, but it's all good with Ben Gibbard. 10/10.
4. Sound of Love - Danko Jones. If bands got radio airplay for raw talent, Danko Jones would have a platinum album. He's just a straight-ahead rock-and-roller. 7/10.
5. Prince - If I Was Your Girlfriend. Dang, my FRT is starting to absorb the artists from other peoples' lists! I have a serious mad-on for Prince, but as talented as he is, he's rarely cool. (I would have given Kiss an 8 though, Otto Man.) 7/10.
6. Having A Party - Sam Cooke. Wow, hearing this song reminds me of being five and driving around in my dad's big blue truck. My dad forever engendered in me a love of Motown. 8/10.
7. Rufus Wainwright - Poses. I like Rufus, but this song irks me just a little. The lyrics are just so superior to the tune. 7/10.
8. Robot Parade - They Might Be Giants. NOT cool. Angry nerd-rock for five-year olds. 3/10.
9. Fugue 1 / More Is More - Joe Jackson. Joe Jackson did a pop classical album, and every song was based on one of the 7 Deadly Sins. It is rather obscure but really good. This song kicks ass. 9/10.
10. 200 Balloons - Prince. More Prince! This is a b-side re-working of Batdance. Remember Batdance? This is MUCH better. 7/10.

That gives me a total of 75/100. They Might Be Giants skewered any chance of Honor Roll status, but then again: is it really cool to be on the Honor Roll?

Mrs_Thrillhous said...

I have to concur on your missing the hype with Bright Eyes.

The only Bright Eyes for me are found in Total Eclipse of the Heart.

too late to join in on the Dark Crystal mocking

It's not too late! not as long as that DVD is in my house! And I just found out there's going to be a sequel! We can monitor T-hous's increasing excitement as the release date approaches.