This week's album cover comes from Swamp Dogg, a man whose style and name suggests he's somehow related to Snoop. An uncle, maybe, or perhaps even the Dogfather's father. Who knows? In any case, Swamp Dogg appears here on one of his many, many disturbing album covers, riding what is apparently a refugee from the Eighth Avenue subway line here in New York.
As always, the appearance of a ridiculously sublime or sublimely ridiculous album cover here at LLatPoN can only mean one thing -- it's time for the Friday Random Ten. You know the drill, so here we go.
1. Al Green, "Simply Beautiful" -- What a beginning. This is a slow, sultry song from the Reverend Green, one that combines his sex-you-up goodness with some lush instrumentation. 10/10
2. The 6ths and Katherine Whalen, "You You You You You" -- The Billie Holiday-ish vocalist from the now defunct Squirrel Nut Zippers appears here in Stephin Merritt's side project from the Magnetic Fields. Confused? You won't be after the next episode of "Soap." 8/10
3. Loretta Lynn, "Don't Come Home a-Drinkin' with Lovin' on Your Mind" -- A classic country tune from Lynn here, one that borders on Lurleen Lumpkin levels of country excess but still manages to sound sincere. 7/10
4. Esquivel, "Estrellita" -- The master of '60s bachelor pad music, Esquivel gives us a sparse, almost haunting song here instead of his usual space-age wackiness. I think I miss the space-age wackiness. 6/10
5. Marvin Gaye, "Trouble Man" -- Like I've said before, I'm a big fan of the music from blaxploitation films, and this song is one of many good reasons why. It's the theme song to a film coincidentally titled Trouble Man, a movie that not only features a lead character named "Mr. T" but also co-starred Paul Winfield as a man called Chalky. One of my favorite Marvin Gaye tunes, and that's saying a lot. 10/10
6. The Rolling Stones, "Under My Thumb" -- A classic from the Stones and the days when an antifeminist anthem could be considered a counterculture hit. 7/10
7. Jungle Brothers, "What U Waitin' 4?" -- Despite the title, which was apparently stolen from the Artist Formerly Known as Sane, this is a nice little hiphop groove from the early '90s. Does anyone know what happened to these guys? 8/10
8. DJ Shadow, "Fixed Income" -- This song always makes me feel like I'm driving a deserted highway at night. I'm surprised David Lynch wasn't somehow involved in its creation or distribution. Very nice stuff. 9/10
9. Superchunk, "Cast Iron" -- A great bit of punk pop from Chapel Hill's finest. This song always makes me nostalgic for the South. 8/10
10. The Decemberists, "The Mariner's Revenge Song" -- I normally love this band, but this song grates on my nerves. Between the accordion and the entire maudlin-dying-mother theme, it just seems a little too self-consciously precious to me. It grates at the beginning, and nearly nine minutes later, it's not any better. 5/10
Alright, that gives me a 7.8 for overall coolness on the day. As usual, I blame the low scores on the East German judge.
Think you've got the goods? Give us your own random ten, and if you damn well feel like it, toss in a coolness self-audit as well. You'll feel better when it's all out there in the open. Trust me.