"Popular Russian Hits"? For some reason, that reminds me of the moment in Airplane! where the passenger asks for some light reading, and the stewardess offers up a leaflet titled "Famous Jewish Sports Legends."
Seriously, if these are popular hits, someone should get Lenin's corpse off the dance floor. The look of coma-inducing ecstacy on these hip, happenin' Muscovites' faces is amazing. The only ones who even seems to be within striking distance of a smile are the couple up front, and I'm pretty sure they're sharing a laugh over the drowned lemur on that guy's head.
Anyway, the appearance of Soviet Bandstand here at LLatPoN can only mean one thing -- it's time for the Friday Random Ten.
For those of you who are joining us for the first time or, like iRod, have the reading retention skills of a kindergartner with ADD, here's how you play: Take out your iPod or iWhatever, set it on Random, and give us the first ten songs that pop up. (Hence the name, "Friday Random Ten." Get it? OK, it's Friday, too. Get it now?)
As always, if those of you at home would like to play the advanced version, throw in a Coolness Self-Audit as well. (Check out last week's FRT for a friendly guide to that. Or don't. See if I care.)
Alright, here's mine:
1. Billy Paul, "Am I Black Enough For You?" -- Some classic Philadelphia Sound soul from the early '70s. While Paul is probably best known for "Me & Mrs. Jones," this is actually a much better tune. It starts with a scorching organ intro that sounds like it should've been on Stevie Wonder's Talking Book, and then edges into some sultry Teddy Pendergrassish vocals. Sweeeeeeeeet. 10/10
2. Shirley Bassey, "Big Spender (Wild Oscar Remix) -- This is from an entire CD of remixes of Shirley Bassey tunes. Her name may not be familiar to you, but you've certainly heard her stuff, whether it's one of the many '60s Bond movie theme songs she recorded ("Goldfinger," "Diamonds Are Forever") or the brassy showgirl numbers like this one. Not a bad remix, but it gets a little cute at times. 7/10
3. Dub Narcotic Sound System, "Fudgy the Whale" -- You think I'd like a campy Calvin Johnson tune about a crappy Tom Carvel ice cream product, but you'd be wrong. The only time I like to listen to insane nonsense for ten full minutes is when Bill O'Reilly lays down his talking points. 3/10
4. Django Reinhardt, "Saint Louis Blues" -- The greatest guitarist of all time. Period. I'm not sure how he did it -- maybe it was the Belgian-gypsy blood, maybe it was selling his soul to Satan -- but dear Lord can this man play. 9/10
5. The Replacements, "Can't Hardly Wait" -- This may be the perfect distillation of the Replacements, in both sound (right at the peak of Pleased to Meet Me) and style ("Jesus rides beside me / He never buys any smokes"). 7/10
6. The Flaming Lips, "If I Only Had a Brain" -- Absolutely unlistenable. The English language lacks the adjectives to describe the awfulness of this song, which may very well be the worst thing I own. Seriously, boys, lay off the LSD before you're consigned to the care of Nurse Ratchet. 0/10
7. TV on the Radio, "Ambulance" -- It sounds like Peter Gabriel has teamed up with an a capella group, and yet it somehow works. 6/10
8. MC Chris, "Fett's Vette" -- The man who made a splash as MC Pee Pants on "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" appears here with a blistering gangsta-rap boast from the baddest bounty hunter of all: Boba Fett. The entire song is pretty damn funny, with MC Chris delivering lines like "Jabba has a hissyfit / Contact Calrissian / Over a Colt, the plan unfolds / No politic is legitl" in a voice that sounds like Chris Tucker's Smokey character from Friday. This is one you really need to hear yourself, and since MC Chris has the entire album available for free download here, you have no choice. 8/10
9. KISS, "Rock and Roll All Nite" -- You know, I used to rock and roll all night and party every day. And then it was every other day. And now I'm lucky if I can find half an hour each week in which to get funky. 4/10
10. Junior Varsity KM, "Fourshadowing" -- I tend to find most drum'n'bass stuff fairly repetitive, but these folks always come up with something interesting. This song, from their 1999 release, sounds like blissed-out Aphex Twin or some sort of wonderful walking coma. 9/10
You know, I made a remark in the comments last week that I rarely got a song with a rating under five because there were so few of those songs on my iTunes to begin with. Looks like I spoke too soon, since this week I was blessed with a subpar song not once, not twice, but thrice! There was some good stuff in there too, though, so I'm left with a 6.3 average. At least the passing grade means I won't be held back in Coolness School (official motto: "Whatever").
Let's see what you folks can do. Give us your own Friday Random Ten in the comments and, if you want to take this relationship to the next level, add in a Coolness Self-Audit as well.