Friday, February 24, 2006

Friday Random Ten

Because all of us here at LLatPoN are Southerners, I thought it was about time we showcased an album devoted to the true spirit of the region -- Lenny Dee's Down South.

And as we all know, there's nothing more stereotypically Southern than a piano being towed by a speedboat with a Vegas showgirl doing ski tricks alongside. Robert E. Lee would've wanted nothing less. Sure, ideally, there would've been a bassett hound named Flash riding on top of the piano, but as anyone who's ever tried that can tell you, it's a hard trick to pull off.

In any case, the appearance of the Waterskiing Rebs can only mean that it's once again time for the Friday Random Ten.

Fire up the iTunes, set it to random, and let loose the first ten songs that are brave enough to show themselves. And, if you're feeling saucy, Bernaise, then go ahead and give us a Coolness Self-Audit. (Check out this classic edition of FRT for a guide to that. Or don't. See if I care.)

Here's my list:

1. Stereolab, "Transoma Five" -- A mellow bit of background music from the finest English-French collaboration since the completion of the Chunnel. Not their best work, but some passable synthesizing goodness. 5/10

2. Hank Williams, "Settin' the Woods on Fire" -- This is a great bit of classic country, but it's been warped in my mind by the fact that the PBS "American Experience" series used this song for the theme and title of their documentary on George Wallace. Now every time I hear this, I don't hear Hank's dulcid tones but a redneck's cries of "segregation forever!" instead. That's gotta lower the score a bit. 6/10

3. Howlin' Wolf, "Evil" -- The bluesman born as Chester Burnett gives us a particularly gravely-voiced tune here about yet another woman who done him wrong. How come we never hear about all the good things that happen in the love lives of blues musicians? How come we never get to hear the other side of the story? 6/10

4. Radiohead, "Nobody Does It Better" -- This is a live version from the B-Sides collection. Thom Yorke introduces it as "the sexiest song that was ever written," and dammit, I'm inclined to agree. Not even Roger Moore's stiff-assed Bond could rob this song of its sultriness. 8/10

5. Pavement, "Silence Kit" -- I fell in love with Pavement when their first album came out, but everything since then seemed a little like diminishing returns. The Crooked Rain Crooked Rain CD was a bright spot though, and this tune was a big reason why. 7/10

6. Uncle Tupelo, "Acuff-Rose" -- A nice hat-tip from the alt-country kids to their old-country ancestors. The Acuff-Rose label was a prime force in the classic era of Nashville country, and this is a nice tribute. 6/10

7. Mudhoney, "Pump It Up" -- That's right, the masters of Seattle grunge covering an Elvis Costello tune. Somehow it actually works. 9/10

8. Velvet Underground, "What Goes On" -- While the live version from 1969 is probably my favorite rendition of this song, this studio version still has everything I love about VU -- driving guitars, a little background organ, and lots and lots of Lou Reed. They always seemed to do their best when Andy Warhol was somewhere else. Go figure. 8/10

9. Betty Bonney, "Joltin' Joe DiMaggio" -- This is a cute novelty swing song about the Yankee Clipper's slugging streak. However, I hate the Yankees. 3/10

10. Jets to Brazil, "Perfecting Loneliness" -- I really loved their first album, but everything since has been pretty weak. Especially this. Bleh. 1/10

Well, it looks like I drifted from mediocre to craptacular. (Insert your own joke about the Bush administration here.) We all know you can do better than this, so have at it in the comments.

Spin the wheel, raggedy man!


Mr Furious said...

I can remember feeling like I should be liking Pavement. I tried on Crooked Rain and/or S;anted and Enchanted, but they just didn't fit...

I'll try and type up my list later on. I jotted 'em down, but I am slammed today. Damn jobs.

Smitty said...

Ah yes. It's Friday. It's time for 10 beers in my fridge. Grab some pretzels and a bottle opener, it's time to tie one on.

1) Brouwerij Westmalle Tripel. This is perfect. It has replaced Duvel as perfection. This is the quintessential Tripel. You will not have a better Tripel, let alone a better beer. 12/10.

2) The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout. Dark brown, color, similar to black walnut. Creamy and smooth. Like a cafe au lait, perhaps. Some bitterness in the aftertaste to cleanse the palate and leave a clean feeling in the mouth. 7/10.

3) The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery Rabid Duck Imperial Stout. Pours a deep dark brown with a thick chocolate-colored head. Smells strong and potent, lots of dark wine and cherries, some dark-roasted malt. Tastes of espresso, dark chocolate and burgundy flavors with a slight sweetness and a very faint hoppy element. Solid beer. 8/10.

4) Great Divide Brewing Company Yeti Imperial Stout. Pours black, with a chocolate brown head. There is a heavy roastiness, strong dark roast, stong hop bitterness present as expected from the "75 IBU" claim. Smooth and very rich, a chocolate-espresso syrupy bottle of bliss. 8/10.

5) Great Divide Brewing Company Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout. See above, but way more mellow, with an undertone of vanilla from the oak. Smoooooooooth. Chocolate-vanilla. Gods. 9/10.

6) Dragonmead Microbrewery Final Absolution Tripel. Hazy amber with copper hues, topped with a snapping white foam head. Smelled of cloves and...white pepper. Thick mouthfeel, very sweet. A little caramel, lots of honey. Cloves strenghten as the beer warms. Slight bubblegum in the end. Quite complex, but pales in comparison to the Westmalle Tripel above. 7/10.

7) Dragonmead Juggernaut Double Red. Dark ruby red, tan head and lacing. Syrupy, sweet candied fruit taste, raisins, molasses. Slightly grfainy, but very smooth. 7/10.

8) Brasserie de Rochefort 8 (Belgian Dark Strong Ale). Smells of rum, ripe banana and maybe pear. Silky smooth, slightly spicy at first, mellowing to something close to brown sugar and brownies. Amazing. 9/10.

9) Founders Brewing Company Frangelica Stout. Holy crap. Wow. This is a Founders-style stout (heavy on the chocolate and coffee), brewed with Frangelica. The result, a 10% abv stout that tastes like hazelnut coffee. I wept. 9/10.

10) A first! This is a PROSPECTIVE review. This weekend is the Michigan Winter Beer Festival. Founders Brewing Company is releasing their limited Kentuckey Breakfast Stout. This is their Breakfast Stout, which is alllll coffee and dark toasted bread, which has been aged for a year in Jim Beam barrels. I can't wait. It ought to impart a strong burbon twang to the coffee flavors, making it like a coffee-and-burbon, and it may add a little vanilla and bonfire aromas and flavors. I am predicting a 9/10. I will post on Monday what it actually is.

Mr Furious said...

Is that in Lansing? You live in MI, Smitty?

Smitty said...

Hey Mr. Furious. Yes. I live in Lansing, MI. The Winter Beer Fest is in Old Town (North Lansing), where Turner St. Dead-ends into Grand River Ave. $35 at the door gives 20 drink tokens.

Here's a link:

See you there?

Mr Furious said... dropped off the priority list a long time ago. if it were in Ann Arbor, I could walk downtown and I'd be happy to throw back a pint or two with ya.

Otto Man said...

You guys are going to drive me to drink before lunch.

Not that there's anything wrong with that....

alex supertramp said...

smitty -- I like your alcoholic tendencies -- but your high falutin' fancy ass tastes pretty much guarantee that you are gay – not that there’s anything wrong with that….

Otto, dude, What the fuck? UT's Acuff-Rose gets a 6?? AND Jets gets a freakin 1!!! - granted it's the newer mellower kinder jets but damn dude! ---, I'm gonna smash one of smitty's craptastic beers (after drinking of course, I would never dream of wasting the contents contained therein, regardless of over-fancification) and cut your fucking eyeballs out with the shards - unless you buy me a PBR of course, in which case it's a wash....

ummm, anyway---
1-by the time I get to phoenix - glen campbell - a 70's crossover country classic that has been covered countless times (a personal fav is Isaac Hayes' version), but no one touches Campbell's heartache and despair with such subtle flair. I might start crying here....8/10

2-Brown Sugar - D'Angelo - ahhh sookie sookie, there goes the tears and here comes the smoove groove. 7/10

3-welcome to jamrock - damian marley -I really need to load the rest of this album into my player, cause the whole album rocks, but this tune just outright kicks. 7/10

4-where the fuck is kevin shields - PS I love you - these guys can seemingly do no wrong, updating shoegaze with witty banter, serious chops and a predilection for hot tennis players. 8/10

5-USA (Unilateral System of Attack) - Akoya Afrobeat Ensemble - damn these guys throw down a groove, harkening back to the heyday of King Fela and the birth of the afrobeat movement with politically charged titles and lyrics and amazing musicianship borne of the disenfranchised and the uprising masses. 8/10

6-funky string quartet - dave gleason's wasted days - so much like gram parsons, the only thing better would be the real thing, and holy shit is that saying something.8/10

7-carry stress in the jaw - mr bungle -- wow, mike patton is insane, but the guy makes some amazing music....just not in the mood for this whirlwind musical abuse right now...5/10

8-hidden superstition - grace potter - a bluesy burner form this vermont hottie. I guarantee that many of you will be seeing her during this summer's festival tour season (I know they've already signed on for bonnaroo and have an album deal in the works - just remember I told ya first, and that she's MINE!)8/10

9-never ending math equation - sun kil moon -- mark kozeleck is a cool crazy dude, and so mellow, maybe he could hang with me and smokey on the curb ... and this entire album (tiny cities - modest mouse covers) is great, and made me revisit all my mm albums, which is a nice little bonus.8/10

10-sounds better in the song - drive by truckers --- an excellent song and sure to be stuck in my head for the rest of the weekend, but not the big ending I was hoping for. Still, patterson and crew are the shiznit in my book.8/10

Tom Hilton said...

Siouxsie & the Banshees - Nicotine Stain (6/10 - from her first, punkish album, which has a couple of much better tunes (Metal Postcard and Overground among them)).
Modern Lovers - Pablo Picasso (10/10 - that's a no-brainer)
Bryan Ferry - Windswept (5/10 - impeccable as always, but not really more than impeccable)
Dusty Springfield - Son of a Preacher Man (8/10 - an obvious classic)
The Terry-Tones - Sinner (9/10 - an awesome early '60s instrumental, and it gets an extra point for having inspired Weight Lifting Lulu (I think)).
The Corvettes - Shaften (8/10 - another great instrumental).
13th Floor Elevators - You're Gonna Miss Me (7/10 - not in the top 3 favorite songs on their first album, but a great song by any other standard).
Shriekback - Over the Wire (6/10 - one of the better songs from their most forgettable album)
Sorten Muld - 2 Sisters (7/10 - angst and terror from the frozen north; it would almost certainly lose a couple of points if it were in a language I understood).
Savage Republic - Tabula Rasa (8/10 - Savage Republic doing what they do best).

Otto Man said...

Modern Lovers - Pablo Picasso (10/10 - that's a no-brainer)

Yep. The opening guitar plucks on that one never fail to make me smile.

Smitty said...

My wife might object to you calling me gay, alex supertramp. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

And dropped off of your priority list???? I...I just can't wrap my brain around that...

Otto Man said...

And dropped off of your priority list???? I...I just can't wrap my brain around that...

I assumed he meant "deer."

Otto Man said...

Smitty, Alex may have called you gay, but at least he didn't threaten to cut your eyeballs out.

Smitty said...

Methinks Alex might need one of those beers to calm him down....that Westmalle Tripel put me AND my huge liver to sleep, sp maybe that one.

sideshow bob said...

Otto- totally agree about Warhol. And Pavement too.

1)Jet Pilot- System of a Down. A song about the interaction between an airplane and a horse. Finally! (6/10)

2)Halah- Mazzy Star. I bet Hope Sandoval sings in the elevators in Heaven. (7/10)

3)Walking with a Ghost- White Stripes. A good cover of a Tegan and Sara song. Minus one point for eliminating the tinge of lesbianism. (7/10)

4)Down in a Hole- Alice in Chains. How long before this is being played on KFSL (Fossil Radio)? Still, awesome song. (7/10)

5)Dedicated- the Amps. The Amps are basically the Breeders. Love Kim Deal! This song is off of the Pacer CD. (6/10)

6)Sheep Go To Heaven- Cake. Fun, quirky little band, but they have better songs (4/10)

7)Breaking the Girl- RHCP. Pretty good, I guess. (6/10)

8)Burnt Orange Peels- Beck. I never get tired of touting the glory of "One Foot in the Grave", which this song came from. Get it. Now. (9/10)

9)Brick- Ben Folds 5. Dude...this is a downer. (5/10)

10)Driving on 9- Breeders. I love the sweet voice of Kim Deal singing about shotguns in a muppety-sounding song. Always lifts my spirits.(8/10)

Average 6.5/10. Could be better, could be worse...

Otto Man said...

Bob, welcome to the Kim Deal Lust Support Group. There's just something about that voice. I think it all goes back to her vocal turn on "Gigantic."

alex supertramp said...

methinks tom hilton is a bad motherfucker ... tom, does your wallet SAY bad motherfucker?? otto - watch your shit, the eyeballs - I cut them out and skullfuck your brain, just wait - or buy me that beer already!