I've hesitated using this album cover for a Friday Random Ten for a long while now. As disturbing as it is to see the searing image of Tino in his short short jean shorts -- or "jorts," if you will -- I'm worried that leaving this image on my computer's hard drive will only lead the authorities to investigate me as a possible sex offender.
Anyway, as Tino's seductive gaze has no doubt alerted you, it's time for the Friday Random Ten. Take our your iThing and give us the first ten songs that stumble into the daylight. And if you're feeling frisky -- and I mean, Tino-style frisky -- then throw in a Coolness Self-Audit too. Even if it is, like Tino, "for the first time."
1. Wilco, "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" -- A song so perfectly Wilconian that they named a tour documentary after it. Just a little bit off-key and off-kilter, this slow strummer from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot really is the band at its best. 8/10
2. Greenskeepers, "Lotion" -- Lordy, Lordy, I love this song. It's catchy as hell, but you'll hate yourself for singing along, since the entire tune is written from the perspective of Buffalo Bill from "Silence of the Lambs." The song is absolutely brilliant on its own, but the video -- which syncs the song up to actual clips from the film -- is pure genius. 10/10
3. Irma Thomas, "Time is on My Side" -- I forgot to include this in yesterday's post on original songs that were better than the more popular versions, but this predecessor to what would become a Rolling Stones' classic is just phenomenal. She belts out the lyrics like a woman scorned, a woman that Mick Jagger could never be, no matter how much lipstick and hot pants he tries on. 10/10
4. Radiohead, "Everything In Its Right Place" (live) -- Normally, live albums are fairly weak reflections of the original work, but the excellent I Might Be Wrong strikes a nice balance between capturing the quality of the album versions and livening them up before an audience. Great stuff. 8/10
5. Earth, Wind and Fire, "September" -- A great song, and usually the one song I can count on for rump-shaking inspiration at a wedding. But if Aunt Reba is shaking her considerably large groove thing at the same time, I suppose the song can't be all that cool. 7/10
6. Yo La Tengo, "Cherry Chapstick" -- Hoboken's finest deliver the goods here on a nice strummy bit of indie rock. I think the entire And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out CD is terrific, and this song is certainly no exception. 7/10
7. Archers of Loaf, "Might" -- Two minutes of stripped-down indie-rock love. Sweet. 8/10
8. ...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, "The Rest Will Follow" -- Not surprisingly, a band with the balls to use that as their name also throws a wall of sound at you too. Two drummers and what sounds like a half dozen guitars lead to a nice driving rocker. Solid stuff. 8/10
9. Blackalicious, "Powers" -- This song has everything you'd expect from Blackalicious, a driving beat and mile-a-minute vocals, but it also has something a little different for them, some tongue-in-cheek sassiness. Daddy likey. 9/10
10. Simon & Garfunkel, "The Only Living Boy in New York" -- Yes, I own the Garden State soundtrack. 8/10
Alright, that gives me an 8.3 average. Either I'm getting cooler as the holiday season nears, or just getting much less judgmental. I prefer to think it's the former.
Let's see what you've got, folks. Drop your own Random Ten in the comments below, with or without the Coolness Self-Audit.