Friday, February 03, 2006

Friday Random Ten

Yes, folks, it's true. God isn't dead, and the lovely Getrude Behanna is here with the proof.

While I haven't listened to the album myself, I'm assuming from the unusual cover art that she's arguing that the antidote to atheism is alcoholism. True, many people end a night of drinking by crying out "Oh God!" when they're embracing a drunken conquest or, alternately, the toilet. But I think she means that the path to salvation comes at the bottom of a bottle. Or ten. As we all know, President Bush only found Jesus after his long sojourn in the shadow of the valley of Schlitz.

Anyway, the ascension of Gert Behanna can only mean that it's Friday, and the workweek is almost done. In no time at all, you'll move from working for the weekend to just plain working the weekend.

With that in mind, it's time for the Friday Random Ten, our little recognition that the light at the end of the tunnel is a cigarette dangling from Keith Richards' leathery lips.

Unless you've been in a coma, you know the rules by now. Take out your iPod -- or your iPod-like knockoff from one of those competing brands like Sorny, Panaphonics, or Magnetbox -- put it on random, and give us the first ten songs. And if you're feeling frisky, throw in a Coolness Self-Audit as well.

Here's mine:

1. Talib Kweli and Hitek, "Move Something" -- When Black Star broke up and Mos Def and Talib Kweli went there separate ways, I thought it was clear that Mos Def would emerge as the Darryl Hall to Kweli's John Oates, the George Michael to his Andrew Ridgley, the Paul Simon to his Art Garfunkel. I've heard nothing since the breakup to convince me otherwise, and this certainly isn't it. 4/10

2. Bravo Silva, "400 Days" -- I have absolutely no idea where I got this. It's fairly bland "alternative" music, the kind that would've made an appearance as the bad band of the week at 90210's Peach Pit. Eh. 3/10

3. Zero 7, "Salt Water Sound" -- The nicely atmospheric electronica of Zero 7 is the musical equivalent of really nice wallpaper. You don't really notice it, but it adds a little color and texture to the background while you're focused on other things. 6/10

4. The Roots, "Respond-React" -- An excellent track from Illadelph Halflife. With odd bits like the out-of-key piano at the start and the sparse instrumentation of the main song, this one was an early sign of the inventive approach the Roots would bring to later albums. And it's still damn good. 9/10

5. Wolf Parade, "Lousy Pictures" -- According to the information I've been able to piece together from old oatmeal packets, this band was formed to open for Arcade Fire in 2003 and then toured with them for a while. Apparently, the newborn band must've imprinted on its surrogate mother, because Wolf Parade still sounds a lot like Arcade Fire. And that, of course, isn't a bad thing. 8/10

6. Sonny Boy Williamson, "Ninety Nine" -- Every time I hear Williamson I'm reminded of this story: When I worked as a DJ in college, a friend of mine and I once co-hosted a three hour show on postwar Chicago blues. At one point, he couldn't find his Sonny Boy Williamson discs in the chaos of the studio and, like a three year old, went on air to announce that we would defiantly sit in silence until they were returned to him. Another DJ came running in with them within seconds, but the Sonny Boy tantrum had been displayed. (I never said it would be a good story. But it's still the first thing I think of when I hear SBW.) 6/10

7. Tami Lynn, "Mojo Hanna" -- Good Lord, this is a scorching soul song. If this does not, in fact, make you shake your groove thing, then I'm afraid you're clinically dead. Sweeeeeet. 10/10

8. Marlena Shaw, "Woman of the Ghetto" -- Apparently, Tami Lynn shook my iPod's groove thing, because it's keeping up the relentless rhythm here. This song has been mined to death by hiphop acts -- from the blistering "ging, ginga-ginga-ging-ging" chant at the start of the song all the way through her closing cries of "remember me, I'm the one who had your baby!" And with good reason. Alternately angry and sultry, this is soul at its finest. 10/10

9. Editors, "Munich" -- The Editors, a.k.a. I Can't Believe It's Not Interpol!, are a UK band who sound strikingly like everyone's favorite group from late 2003. If you don't mind generic knockoffs of brand-name products, you'll love this. 7/10

10. Uncle Tupelo, "We've Been Had" -- This is a good enough rocker off Anodyne, but the dueling vocals make it seem like a preview of the imminent Son Volt-Wilco separation. Hmmm. Looks like I've come full circle, back to another band's breakup. 6/10

Alright, that gives me a 6.9 average. Sheesh, if it weren't for Lynn and Shaw, I'd be even lower. I'm imminently beatable this week, so ahead and drop your own random ten in the comments, with or without a Coolness Self-Audit.

In the meantime, I'm going to get started on my own path to salvation. (Let it be noted for the record that the blogger made the "drinky-drinky" motion.)


alex supertramp said...

Otto -- gotta call you out on the low UT, but all will be forgiven if you are actually drinking this early and not just going through the motions...

1- Gypsy Queen - Mount Pilot - fun loving recent alt-country band that incorporates a bit of jazz, strum and rock into the mix. Fun but not ground-breaking on this little bluegrassy romp, 7/10.

2- Alcohol - Howlin Maggie - while the theme catches my interest, the song really doesn't - tried to get into the band based on lead howler Chichester's Whigs/Dulli/Twilight Singer's associations, but it never really rises above bland alt-rock 90's throw-away. 3/10

3- Stone Wall - Taxi Gang featuring Sly and Robbie - okay dub, but a bit too indicitave of the mid 80's release date. 5/10

4- Shooting Spree - Doomed to Obscurity - nice little blast of literate punk that avoids the current punkcrack pop that pervades today's malls - ironically named since this is writer Tristan Egolf's musical side project (he of Lord of the Barnyard, political activism and recent suicide)- 7/10.

5- Westboro Baptist Church - I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In The House - oh it has been faaar too long since this little gem has brightened up my day..fuck fred phelps, Pat Robertson (#1 fucko), Benny Henn, Prez Dubya, man fuck 'em all till their rectum hurts... 9/10

6- So Fresh, So Clean - Outkast - ain't that shit the truth!! 9/10

7- 74-75 - The Connells - ohhh yeah, take me back and take me home...pop should always be this good. 8/10

8- Pass the Peas - The Funky Meters - normally when a band puts a musical adjective in their name it just looks and plays out corny, in this case it just seems right - funky NO funk indeed, pass those goddamn peas already! 9/10

9- Nevada, California - the Jayhawks - pure, unadulterated genius in musical form, 10/10

10- Parking Lot - Mineral - good sweet jesus what a way to cap the FRT, pure bliss from this emo classic that is far too unknown. 9/10

Thrillhous said...

Today's list is for Rush fans, if any. I think most folks have that one friend who is really, really, really into Rush. They know all the words, they can play air drums right along with Neal Peart, and they're always trying to convince the rest of us that Rush is the greatest band ever. I like them a lot, but if I were to put bands into Dieties and Demigods form, Rush would barely rate Lesser God status.

1) Santa Monica - Everclear. I know I'm not supposed to like it cuz it's too poppy, but I like it. 8/10.

2) Ty Cobb - Soundgarden. Every week I get an SG song, and every week I say it's one of my top two or three SG songs. This is one of my top two or three SG songs. 10/10

3) Anthem - Rush. Now we're talking. I think this tune is basically about the Ayn Rand book, but I can't tell if they're pro or anti Rand. That Peart sure can get jiggy, though. 9/10

4) The Necromancer - Rush. This is the kind of Rush song that only Rush fans like, but man do they love it. It's a continuation of the Bytor and the Snowdog song story from Fly By Night. Yeah, I know I lost you. Just mention it to your Rush friend. He can fill you in. 10/10

5) Point Me at the Sky - Floyd. Perhaps my favoritest of their songs. Damned Syd Barret going nuts. 11/10

6) Merlin the Magician - Rick Wakeman. Yes's best keyboarder's solo album, which is a meditation on the King Arthur stories. I think I might be the only person on this tectonic plate who likes this. 7/10

7) Sick Man - Alice in Chains. I love this tune, partly for the tune and partly for the strong memories it brings up. Hours and hours of playing Castle Wolfenstein 3-D and drinking Night Train. Yes, I was very popular in college. 10/10

8) Need Some Love - Rush. Off their first album, before Peart joined. Peart brought all the weird, cosmic, Tolkien type of lyrics to the band. Before him their lyrics were pretty commonplace. Still, a very fun song. 8/10

9) South Side of the Sky - Yes. I'd say this is classic Yes's (i.e., Yes of the 70s, not 80s) most underrated song. Kick it, Bill Bruford! 10/10

10) Shoot Me Again - Metallica. Never listened to it, never will. The only reason I have Metallica's stuff post-2000 is cause of their crappy Napster whining. I make it a point to steal their stuff off the internet, but no way am I listening to it. "Ooo, I'm 45, I'm rich, and I'm angry." Whatever. 0/10

What a crappy way to end the list. My next two were "Welcome to the Machine" and "Mother" (the latter by Danzig), but no, I get stuck with crappy metallica inc.

Noah said...

Speaking of drinking early:

1) Stella Artois Euro Pale Lager. Not a grand showing for the first beer out of the gate. Light and pale, nice frothy white head. Clean smelling with grainy aromas. Vague hop bitterness with a mild sharpness. Not your typical Belgian beer (see last week), but surprisingly drinkable as an all-night sesison beer; provides more flavor than Bud or even Molson, but still a bit nuetral. 6/10.

2) Rogue Ale Brewery Shakespeare Stout. Pours pitch-black with a tan head and lacing. Creamy and thick, with sweet malt right up front...oh so inviting. Nice espresso aftertaste. I would drink this beer with dessert (or as dessert)...a rich chocolate dessert would do nicely. 8/10.

3) Stone Brewing Company Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale. Dark brown, almost coppery, slight haze. Very subdued nose, so I was worried at first. After I let it warm up a bit...WOW. Stunningly smooth from aging it in oak barrels...really smooths and mellows what is normally (the non-oaked AB) a hoppy powerhose, and adds some vanilla undertones, just sort of in between all the other flavors. The hops still own the joint, but they are mellowed just perfectly by the oak. Beautiful. 9/10.

4) Founder's Brewing Company Red's Rye. My God, another amazing offering from Founders. Massive herbal, fruity esters, and grapefruit. Lots of spice. Slightly chewy mouthfeel. Incredibly creamy on the palate. Big juicy fruity flavors of apples, some pear and peach. Crisp twang from the rye. Floral hops, with resiny oils that stick. 9/10.

5) Great Lakes Brewing COmpany Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. Fortunately for this beer, it does NOT follow its namesake. Black as the night the Edmund Fitzgerald sank, with a dense, rocky head and lacing to match what smashed her up. Carmel and chocolate in the nose, medium to full in body with a fat chewy malty mouth feel up front. A rich undertone of caramel fills a creamed coffee center, with a hop character that comes though and leaves a leafy / faded citrus taste. Perfect traditional porter. 9/10.

6) Brewery Castle Eggenberg Samichlaus Bier. Rich, clear amber. Pours with a creamy off-white head. Sweet, syrupy, malty nose, with heavy fruit esters (plum, raisin). Caramel/toffee, plum, raisin, grape, honey, sweet chocolate and light biscuit flavours come to the front. Alchohol bite adds a spicey note. Finishes with alcohol fumes and a light grain flavour with chocolate liquor notes. Gods, is this amazing. Brewed once a year and aged for 9 or 10 months. 9/10.

7) Dark Horse Brewing Company Double Crooked Tree IPA. Pours a glowing copper/orange color with a thick head. Slight alchohol nose with a citrus and pine scent as well. Tastes initially of pine, then caramel and melted butter. Creamy and thick, then suddenly, out of nowhere, the hoppiness of an IPA smashes through. Destroyed my tastebuds for the night with all the hops. Also, weighs-in at over 13% abv. Had to drink LaBatt. 8/10.

8) Dogfish Head Brewery Chicory Stout. More coffee-black than actual black. Every had coffee in New Orleans? They add a root called chicory to it. It makes it bitter-strong but uniquely spicey at the same time. Unlike any other spice, though I could say a hint of nutmeg. Well, take a stout, which already tastes like coffee, and then add the chicory. Aaaa-iieeee! Leze le bon temp roulez! 7/10.

9) Dragonmead Brewing Company Sir Williams ESB. Dark red color with a huge off white head and lots of lacing all around. Caramel and a little toasted malt and spicey hops...almost peppery. Biscuits and caramel up front followed by a pronounced, bitter hoppiness. Dry, yet still malty finish. 7/10.

10) Kuhnhenn Brewing Company A Few Shilling Too Many Scotch Ale. Served to me in a tulip-shaped glass from the brewery, and it came the appropriate caramel brown/burgundy. Pungent and sweet, with aged wood tones in the nose. A smooth sweetness up front, fading to a taste that reminds me of a good, oak-aged red wine. Hints of peat moss, which is appropriate, but way more plum/raisin taste. Thick, but not syrupy. 7/10.

Another decent week of beer.

Otto Man said...

A smooth sweetness up front, fading to a taste that reminds me of a good, oak-aged red wine. Hints of peat moss, which is appropriate, but way more plum/raisin taste. Thick, but not syrupy.

This, by the way, is exactly how I like to describe Barry White.

Noah said...

It's also how I describe my gas after a "long night out."

The Doc said...

The soon-to-be-clean-shaven Doctor comes in early with his FRT, defying the coolness self-audit and getting down without getting funky.

1. Experimental Film - They Might Be Giants. Normally TMBG gets a pretty low ranking on the coolness meter, but the video was done by the Brothers Chaps of, so that boosts the coolness up a couple of notches. 6/10.
2. Diamonds & Pearls - Prince. This, however, does not get the benefit of any doubt. "Would you be a happy boy or a girl?" PLEASE. 3/10.
3. You're Just A Baby - Belle & Sebastian. I think this merits a quote from yesterday's Questionable Content: "I'm still lost as to why we would ever need to fight Belle & Sebastian in the first place. They write nice songs!" So true. 6/10.
4. Rebel Rebel - Seu Jorge. This song is cool, in a music-geek kind of way. 7/10.
5. The Man Who Loved Beer - David Byrne. Wow, this is a good album of orchestral pop music. I'm not sure how much cool is added by the Byrne, so I'll be conservative. 6/10.
6. Business Time (live) - Flight of the Conchords. Oh, this gets an bizarrely high coolness rating. I would walk into a bar to this folk-comedy song any time. 9/10.
7. Falling Through Your Clothes - The New Pornographers. Not as straight-ahead-pop as these guys typically put out, more psychedelia, but still good. 7/10.
8. Desculpe, Bebe - Os Mutantes. Speaking of psychedelia...not really sure why these guys keep popping up on my random lately, but I'm not complaining. 6/10.
9. Roll Off Me - Talib Kweli. I will agree with Otto that Mos Def is turning into the more accomplished MC, but Talib Kweli isn't that terrible. 6/10.
10. Lost In The Supermarket - The Clash. I'll be frank: not one of my favourite Clash songs. But even an average Clash song is better than most everything else. 7/10.

That gives me a total of 63, distinctly low, but considering the high geek content and the considerable lack of funk, I could have done much worse.

Noah said...

The Man Who Loved Beer - David Byrne.

A man after my own heart.

I would switch the coolness audit on that one to a 10/10....but that just be the beer talking.

Otto Man said...

I will agree with Otto that Mos Def is turning into the more accomplished MC, but Talib Kweli isn't that terrible.

True. The Oates/Ridgley/Garfunkel tag might have been a bit too harsh, but the song in question there was pretty formulaic.

Mr Furious said...

1. "Shining Star" - Earth, Wind and Fire
It may have taken me all day to get the ten songs, but when this is the first song of the day when you strap the earbuds on, it's a good way to start the day—and the list. It's not really a 10, that would be reserved for a select few tunes, but according to Otto's ratings, a 10 is a song you'd pick for a slow motion soundtrack as you walk into a bar. I could hardly keep from strutting like Huggy Bear as I made my way in from the parking lot. Seriously. 9

2. "Song for Margo" - NY Loose
Pretty good song from a girl-fronted band. From back in the Vinyl Solution days. That was a great record store in Port Chester where you could always find something good to buy, even if you'd never heard the band before. Jeff was spinning this once when I went in. I walked out with it. 6

3. "Stickshifts and Safetybelts" - Cake
Is there a band it would be more fun to be apart of than Cake? I mean, I'm sure it was fun to be in Van Halen in the early 80s, or Guns N Roses, but I mean playing the music. Upbeat music, funky guitars, spoken-style singing, horn section, What could be more fun? 7

4. "The Nurse" - The White Stripes
Alright. Not writing about my love for the White Sripes has been the worst part of the FRT hiatus. this is a solid song. An 8. But the real gem is "My Doorbell". It's probably the best song to come out in ten years. The White Stripes deserve their own post. I'll stop right there. 8

5. "Medicine Hat" - Son Volt
A nice track from the indispensible "Wide Swing Tremelo". It has a bridge (term?) that almost fools you into thinking it's about to become a Jimmy Buffet song, but despite that scary moment, it's still good. 6

6. "The Fleecing of America'" - dada Goddamn, do I love this band. Really. this is such the prototypical dada song. Great harmonies, tight musicianship. And this is just an average song for them. They are on tour right now, but not coming anywere near me (and who can blame them—the last show they did in Ann Arbor had me, my brother in law and the bartender in attendance—but they still rocked the house). I cannot recommend this band highly enough. If they are coming where you live (I'm looking in your direction Otto and Co.), GO SEE THEM! They're back playing the little places, so we're talking $12 bucks plus can't go wrong, trust me. 8

7. "Got the Time" - Joe Jackson
OnetwothreeGO! One of the perky, bass-driven JJ songs. That he can pull off this super-fast post-punk stuff and lounge and jazz is crazy. Tremendous range and talent. 8

8. "Red Barchetta" - Rush
Boy, did I used to be devoted to these guys in high school. I was definitely one of "those fans," Thrilhous—I would go see them in Springfield, Hartford and New Haven when they would tour, even though they would be identical shows—I needed all the airdrumming I could get. Standard Rush fare. 7

9. "Mother Popcorn" - James Brown
How do you spell a grunt from the Gofather? It's JB, what else needs to be said? 9

10. "Romeo and Juliet" - Dire Straits "Making Movies" is the only Dire Straits I ever bought on CD, I have others on vinyl, I need to at least get the debut album. It's been too long. 8

7.8 average. Pretty solid.

P.S. The EWF song inspired a visit to iTunes and the purchase of Philip Bailey's "Easy Lover" which, through the Phil Collins connection inspired the purchase of Howard Jones' "No One is to Blame."

Mr Furious said...

Link for dada tour dates.

East coast swing from Virginia to Boston, that should cover several of you guys. I'm serious, go see them. You don't even need to know any songs, if you like live music, you'll be glad you went.

Otto Man said...

"Easy Lover." A classic song from the heyday of biracial superduos -- Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Paul McCartney....

Anonymous said...

Yo, thanks for putting that little snippet of ginga-ging in from Marlena Shaw. I heard that song on local radio station KGNU (, but I was driving and didn't have my phone and when I got home later, I found they hadn't filled out their playlist on the website. Then none of the other DJs for that show ("Fillet of Soul and Waffles") could recognize the lyric. Although it stuck in my head, I wouldn't have found it except for your post. Thanks again!
-Hamish in Boulder