Friday, April 28, 2006

Friday Random Ten

At long last, it's time for Mrs. Mills' Knees-Up Party.

While I'm sure that the "knees-up" comment is a reference to the irresistable urge we'd all have to dance once we'd heard her rendition of "Yellow Submarine," every time I look at this album cover, "knees-up" takes on a disturbing, troubling sexual connotation. And, truth be told, song titles like "Down at the Old Bull And Bush," "For Me and My Gal," and "Knees Up, Mother Brown" only cement an image that I'd only be able to get out of my brain with a nail gun.

Aside from the troubling sexual imagery, we also have the outfits on the inmates in Mrs. Mills' asylum. Looks like she saw one too many Ron Popeil infomercials for the Eazy Home Embroidery set and decided to jazz up those boring black outfits with a collection of old buttons, glitter, and chewing gum wrappers. I'm not sure what look she was aiming for, but an off-off-off-Broadway production of Alamo! The Musical! seems about right. (If you're wondering why those outfits look familiar, they were apparently claimed at a Salvation Army clearinghouse in the late '80s and recycled here. )

Anyway, since the knees are up -- and fashion's forward! -- that can only mean that it's once again time for the Friday Random Ten. You know the drill by now, so let's do this thing.

1. Rose Royce, "Born to Love You" -- Oh, that's a nice start. This is straight off the Car Wash soundtrack, and it's funkier and flier than Franklin Ajaye's massive afro. You might think that massive hand clapping would detract from this song. If so, you're a narc. 8/10

2. Pharoah Sanders, "Astral Traveling (Boozoo Bajou Remix)" -- This is a recent purchase, and one I'm not entirely settled on. It's a fairly atmospheric remix of the Sanders jazz tune, not all that thrilling but not too bad. Eh. 6/10

3. The Replacements, "Here Comes a Regular" -- I'd like to this of this as the Mats rebuttal to the "Cheers" theme song, one in which they envision Norm Peterson as a semi-suicidal type in a love-hate relationship with a closeted and certifiably crazy Cliff Claven. Maybe I'm reaching here. 7/10

4. Ray Charles, "Lonely Avenue" -- A classic bit of Atlantic-era Charles. It's a little bit plodding in parts, but given the theme of the song, I suppose that's the way he meant it. 7/10

5. Pixies, "Here Comes Your Man" -- The first and the only song I ever really learned how to play on the bass guitar. Probably the poppiest the Pixies ever got, so much so that it even yielded a medium-rotation music video. If I'm remembering this correctly, the band refused to lip sync for the video and instead simply opened their mouths wide whenever they had a line to sing. A nice touch. 8/10

6. The Isley Brothers, "Work to Do" -- Although most people never get past "Who's That Lady," the Isleys put together some wonderful R&B and funk numbers during their career. And this was certainly a great one -- powerful soul lyrics, a nice guitar riff, and incredible harmonizing. This is a perfect song for the morning commute. 10/10

7. Stereolab, "Ping Pong" -- Some sweet electronica love from the excellent Mars Audiac Quintet album. So many of Stereolab's songs seem to hinge on a minor moment, and this one comes together with the light la-de-dahs in the background vocals. Catchy as hell. 9/10

8. Common, "Go!" -- I'm normally a big fan of Common and guest vocalist Kanye West, but for some reason this song just never really did anything for me. Maybe it's the way the word "Go" is repeated three hundred times. Maybe. 5/10

9. Dead Kennedys, "Let's Lynch the Landlord" -- I've always wondered if Jello Biafra was a homeowner when this song came out and, if not, whether this was a not-so-subtle attempt to get out of some back rent. One of the more melodic efforts off the classic Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables. Cripes, it even has a guitar solo. WTF? 8/10

10. Bonnie "Prince" Billy, "Ignition" -- This is a live cover of a disturbing R. Kelly sex song. As anyone who's seen his 148-part epic video series knows, R. Kelly is the undisputed master of the modern metaphor, and here he uses automotive imagery to suggest sexual acts. Sadly, I must've listened to it a half dozen times before I realized what the repeated call to "switch lanes" meant. In this version from a 2004 concert, Will Oldham milks the magic for all it's worth. 10/10

Hey, that gives me a stunning 8.0 average on the coolness scales. I'm not sure, but that might be an all-time record. Hard to say, though. Much like Oliver North and other true patriots, we shred most of our records here so they can't be used against us.

Alright, folks, let's see what you've got. Give us your own random ten in the comments, and if you're feeling saucy, Bernaise, throw in a coolness self-audit as well.


Thrillhous said...

Eazy Home Embroidery set. Now THAT is funny!

I deleted some of the more losery stuff from my work music collection, so thank goodness there will be no Police or MJ in this list.

1) Seen all good people - Yes. the classic live version, with 10% more mandolin! 8/10

2) Blackened - Metallica. What I was listening to when some of you losers were in love with REM and Hudu Gurus. 10/10

3) The Rain Song - Zeppelin. The rain song is raining on my FRT. 1/10

4) Beg to Differ - Prong. 7/10

5) Kickstand - Soundgarden. That's some rockin'. 10/10

6) Flying High Again - Ozzy. The perfectest Friday song, at least for folks who don't have kids and still get to have fun on Fridays. 10/10

7) Out on the Tiles - Zeppelin. Man does this make up for that crappy rain song! 8/10

8) Tourette's - Nirvana. Probably the most intelligible Nirvana song. 7/10

9) Hell if I could - Prong. The crappiness of this one cancels Beg to Differ. 1/10

10) In the Light - Zeppelin. One of my top 5 favorite Zep tunes, one of them kooky zen-ish songs, like Kashmir. 10/10

Who knew it was Zeptember already! And here my calendar tells me it's still Smarch.

TravisG said...

That album cover makes me think of how different things must've been, like, a couple of generations ago, when old people, as a general rule, drank. Hmmmm. Your bass guitar reminiscing made me remember my old days, specifically the year Doolittle came out, when I learned to play the two-note basslines on the first couple of Cure records. Ah, the '80s.

"Child of the Moon," Rolling Stones -- One of their more successful forays into psychedelia. 7/10

"My Prerogative," Bobby Brown -- Thanks to this catchy vocabulary lesson, "prerogative" is one of the few big words that most people actually use in casual conversation. The other one being "plethora," for whatever reason. 4/10

"Lipstick," Buzzcocks -- I dare anyone to say something bad about them. See, you can't do it. 8/10

"Life's A Gas," T. Rex -- Is this the best T. Rex song? I dunno -- lemme ask the "20th Century Boy." 9/10

"Shoot You Down," Stone Roses -- This is from one of the few perfect albums to be recorded during my record-buying life. I read about them in NME, and ordered the cassette. It didn't even have "Fool's Gold" on it yet, because that single hadn't been released. (Seriously, what's with the running "1988/1989" theme today?) 8/10

"Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (Neptunes remix)," Daft Punk -- This is an awful remix of a song from one of the other perfect albums released since I've been buying them. The first three or four times I heard it, though, I hated it, and then one time it all just clicked for me and I realized that they were sort of kidding, but not. (The French are funny that way.) That album was the soundtrack to a very party summer. 4/10

"For All The Boys In The World," Chicks on Speed -- Ugh. Annoying and boring. A deadly combination. 2/10

"Born To Do Dishes," The Queers -- This song always reminds me of Rock & Roll Rick, this guy I used to know. He was really smart and exceedingly well read, but he worked exclusively as a dishwasher, on account of his communist politics. He walked it like he talked it, and now he lives in Germany. 7/10

"World Map Rearranged Alphabetically to Improve Kids' Geography Scores," The Onion Radio News -- These get less funny every time I hear them. 2/10

"She's A Little Runaway," Bon Jovi -- Those are some heroically bad falsetto backing vocals on the outro. I guess that's Ricky Sambora with his nuts in a vice? 6/10

"Durch Die Nacht (Geiger mix)," Dorau/Köhncke -- Could I get any more obscure? (Rhetorical question alert.) 6/10

PS-You are so wrong about the Rain Song, thrillhouse.

PPS-Hudu Gurus. Nice.

Wild Beasts said...

1. Lithium - Nirvana 9/10. This song still kicks booty

2. Spiderbite Song - Flaming Lips 8/10. Love the way they recorded drums on this. Sounds like it's blowing my speakers, but it doesn't. Sounds like it's blowing my mind, and it is.

3. Interlude - Jay-Z 2/10. The only thing worse than an interlude song on a rap CD is having that song pop up on shuffle. But he has sex with Beyonce, so it gets a 2 instead of a 1.

4. Noise - M83 6/10 I just got this on my iPod. Haven't gotten into them 100%. This song is a distortion heavy instrumental. Not nearly as sweet as Mogwai or Godspeed, but it's decent.

5. The Sleepy Strange - Japancakes 8/10 I love me some Japancakes.

6. Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos - Public Enemy 9/10. Don't hate me, but I actually slightly prefer the Tricky version. Still an easy 9.

7. Blizzard of '77 - Nada Surf 9/10. It's pretty. It's very pretty.

8.Standing in the shower ... Thinking - Janes Addiction 3/10. a lot of energy, but ultimately this song kinda sucks. The amusement of wondering if he says "piping" or "fuckinig" hot wore off a long time ago.

9. The Past and Pending - The Shins 2/10. I'm a mild fan of the shins and this song is boring.

10. 5.45 - Gang of Four 6/10. I WISH that this band had been named after the heads of the four prison wings in the Story of Ricky. This is far and away the worst song on Entertainment. Any other song would easily score a 9 or 10.

Otto Man said...

Metallica. What I was listening to when some of you losers were in love with REM and Hudu Gurus.

They're the Hoodoo Gurus and, yes, the late '80s were an unfortunate time. Just ask StudioDave about Guadalcanal Diary.

The other one being "plethora," for whatever reason.

Actually, in a nice coincidence, the "plethora" phenomenon stems from a bit of dialogue from "The Three Amigos!" who, in turn, stole Mrs. Mills jackets.

Isaac Carmichael said...

No FRT today, but I just couldn't let the reference to the Pixies "Here Comes Your Man" go....

Man, I love the Pixies, and man, I effing hate that song! It is not a bad song per se, but they have so many songs that are better and smarter, and it pisses me off to no end that that is the only Pixies song they ever play on the radio (at least it is where I live). EEEEIIIIIIGGGGGUUUHHHHHH!!!!

Thanks, I feel better now.

Isaac Carmichael said...

A plethora...of packages?

Another big word no one used to know but now is overused: ubiquitous!

Otto Man said...

Yeah, it's clearly an inferior Pixies tune, but the bass line was so much easier than the rest. Plus, everytime I tried to do Kim Deal's part on "Gigantic," the other guys got really creeped out.

TravisG said...

Three Amigos, eh? Who knew?

Re: Guadalcanal Diary

When I worked at this record store at the mall, circa 1992 (actually, it was 1992, so scratch the superfluous Latin) their guitar player called to see if we, by some chance, had any copies of one of their records (I forget which), because it was out of print and he didn't have one.

Otto Man said...

Jefe: We have stuffed many pinatas for your birthday celebration!
El Guapo: How many pinatas?
Jefe: Many pinatas, many!
El Guapo: Jefe, would you say I have a plethora of pinatas?
Jefe: Yes, El Guapo. You have a plethora.
El Guapo: Tell me, Jefe, what is a plethora?
Jefe: Why, El Guapo?
El Guapo: Well, you just told me that I had a plethora, and I would just like to know if you know what it means to have a plethora. I would not like to think that someone would tell someone else he has a plethora, and then find out that that person has *no idea* what it means to have a plethora.
Jefe: El Guapo, I know that I, Jefe, do not have your superior intellect and education, but could it be that once again, you are angry at something else, and are looking to take it out on me?

Pooh said...

Mine (eat it Sideshow!)

Apparently, I've been challenged to a brawl, (what are these Queensbury Rules of which you speak, Bob?) In order to prepare, this week's ten comes from my Eye of the Tiger, pre-fight, Pump (no, not the Aerosmith album) mix.

1. "London Calling" - The Clash. Man, if this is as fired up as I'm going to get, I'm in for an asswhuppin'. 5/10

2. "All Along the Watchtower" - Jimi. Is it me or is the now the standard "just found out my wife/gf is cheating on me with my best friend and I'm driving through the pooring rain to kill the bastard" soundtrack? It is, right? 8/10.

3. "Guildford Fall Demo" - Fugazi. And something like this song for when I actually do kill the bastard. Starts of all dark and jangly, then it gets a little funky and good to me. Slightly disconcering in the context of this list. 7/10.

4. "Closer" - Nine Inch Nails. Oh, it is SO ON. 10/10.

5. "What I Like About You" - The Romantics. Peaked to soon, I fear. (Man I have some crappy jock rock on my iPod...I'm shamed and chagrined). 4/10.

6. "Beautiful Day (Quincey & Sonance Mix)" - U2. Oonce oonce oonce oonce. Oonce oonce oonce oonce. Where's my glowstick? 5/10.

7. "Like a Stone" - Audioslave. Klosterman hates Audioslave. He also hates the blues. Therefore Audioslave is good...(or not, but I like their first album plenty) Not exactly TNT though as far as testosterone inducing...6/10

8. "Killing in the Name" - Rage Against the Machine. Oh it is SO ON AGAIN. 10/10.

9. "Good Ole Boys" - Me First & The Gimme Gimmes. 42 seconds. 42. That means something 9/10.

10. "Song 2" - Blur. Back in the day (i.e. college) we had a massive FIFA 98 World Cup tourney (with about 15 guys playing, going through qualifying and everything), and if my vidiot friends can remember, the soundtrack to the title sceen on the game was..."Song 2". WOO-HOO! (Game time. HUH!) 9/10.

7.3 average...Sideshow Bob brings it with...a forfeit? As my favorite character in Goldeneye for N64 might say "I'm invincible!"

Otto Man said...

"All Along the Watchtower" - Jimi. Is it me or is the now the standard "just found out my wife/gf is cheating on me with my best friend and I'm driving through the pooring rain to kill the bastard" soundtrack? It is, right?

Actually, according to the National Vietnam Remembrance Law, this song must be used to accompany any film or television montage of the war in Vietnam, protest against said war, or mockery thereof.

Tom Hilton said...

Wanda Jackson - Who Shot Sam? (8/10 - Gangsta rockabilly - good stuff but not her best)

Brian Eno - Under (7/10 - Eno back in fine form)

Wire - It's So Obvious (6/10 - this one is so short it ended before I really noticed it; 6 is a fairly safe guess)

Pine Box Boys - New Moon (8/10 - a disturbingly tender song about jealousy and murder)

Brian Eno - Dead Finks Don't Talk (8/10 - nice bookend with the other Eno)

Ofo & the Black Company - Allah Wakbar (10/10 - the epitome of cool; if I ever make a '70s blaxploitation crime movie set in Kinshasa, this is going to be on the soundtrack)

Moussa Doumba - Keleya (8/10 - from the same compilation as Allah Wakbar; very cool but not as cool)

Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet - 5 American, 6 Canadian (7/10 - best song ever written about an exchange rate)

Savage Republic - The Ivory Coast (9/10 - tough, tense, dissonant, melodic instrumental; Savage Republic doing what they did best)

Single Bullet Theory - Words Written Backwards (5/10 - the singer's phrasing really annoys me)

Pooh said...

Actually, according to the National Vietnam Remembrance Law, this song must be used to accompany any film or television montage of the war in Vietnam, protest against said war, or mockery thereof.

WRONG. That song would be either "War (What is it good for?)" or "Time" by the Chambers Brothers.

Otto Man said...

I've made my decision and I stand by it. In fact, Pooh, I'm putting my foot down.

grandpaboy said...

...and now he lives in Germany."

There but for the grace of Jeebus...

And I don't think you're reaching on the "Regular." Hell, I'd give it a 9.