Friday, May 19, 2006

Friday Random Ten

As much as I'm impressed by the expensive Olan Mills photo used by the Crawford family, it's the concept of being aboard "Heaven's Choo-Choo" that really grabbed me.

I'd like to think that this was the inspiration for Reverend Lovejoy's train trek through Baboon County U.S.A. on The Simpsons: "Baboons to the left of me, baboons to the right, the speeding locomotive tore through a sea of inhuman fangs. A pair of great apes rose up at me, but biff! Bam! I sent them flying like two hairy footballs. A third came screaming at me, and that's when I got mad...." Now that's a sermon.

Speaking of spreading the good word, it's time again for the Friday Random Ten. You know the drill by now, so let's do this thing.

1. Cut Chemist, "The Garden" -- This is a track off The Audience's Listening, the new solo effort by Jurassic 5's more prominent DJ. Pretty light and airy, with some nice bossanova samples thrown in. I've only listened to this once before, but I'm pretty sure it's a keeper. 8/10

2. Rosco P. Coldchain with Pusha-T and Boo-Bonic, "Hot" -- I'll give you a chance to rest after reading that Bataan Death March of an artist listing. Ready? OK, this is a pretty uninspired bit of Neptunes-produced hiphop. I guess they put all their energy into thinking up cute names. 2/10

3. Dinah Washington, "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby? (Rae and Christian Remix)" -- Another tune from the Verve Remixed series. They've given this a little too formulaic a beat, but the original is strong enough to withstand the tinkering. Not too bad. 6/10

4. Stereolab, "The Noise of Carpet" -- Excellent. I recently saw Stereolab on tour, and this was one of the few uptempo songs they did. But it just wasn't the same without former guitarist/vocalist Mary Hansen, who died in a bicycle accident in 2002. I'm not sure if they'll ever recover from her loss, but here's hoping. 9/10

5. Elvis Presley, "That's Alright Mama" -- An early classic by the King. I think I like the original version by Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup a little better, but this one still works. But is it cool? Doubt it. 5/10

6. TV on the Radio, "Dry Drunk Emperor" -- A nice tribute to the unmitigated awfulness of the Decider. "All eyes upon dry drunk emperor / gold cross jock skull and bones / mocking smile / he's been naked for a while. / Get him gone, get him gone, get him gone!!! / and bring all his thieves to trial." It's available at the Touch & Go website for free download, if you're interested. 8/10

7. Jerry Reed, "When You're Hot You're Hot" -- Part of me appreciates the weird sensabilities of the man who played the Snowman in the Smokey and the Bandit trilogy. And part of me sees him as a musical version of Larry the Cable Guy. 4/10

8. LL Cool J, "I'm the Type of Guy" -- Never has cuckoldery sounded so damn smooth. There are a lot of reasons why the Ladies Love Cool James, and if you doubt them, he's got a four-knuckle ring coming to your grill right away. 7/10

9. Magnetic Fields, "Strange Powers" -- In recent months, frontman Stephin Merritt has been the target of a ridiculous and pathetic smear campaign asserting, among other things, that because he doesn't think much of Beyonce and Justin Timberlake, he is a "cracker racist." This may be the stupidest complaint in the history of music criticism, and that's saying a whole hell of a lot. 8/10

10. Radiohead, "There There (The Boney King of Nowhere)" -- Probably my favorite song off Hail to the Thief. With a tour and the release of Thom Yorke's solo album, this summer is shaping up to feature a Radiohead revival. God bless 'em. 9/10

Alright, that gives me a whopping 6.8 average in the Coolness Self-Audit. I seem to get that score no matter what songs pop up on the iTunes. To paraphrase George McFly, mediocrity just must be my density.

Well, let's see what you've got this week. Drop your own random ten in the comments below, with or without a heaping side serving of coolness ratings.


Wild Beast said...

1. "G-House Project" - Gerling. Not one of the best songs Gerling. It's one of their more techno-style songs. Sounds like they got Madonna to sing on this (not in a good way). 4/10

2. "Ain't that Nothin'" - Television This song is a little sparce. If they had upped the tempo a bit or livened up the drum beat I'd like it more. Some of the bridges are pretty cool. 5/10

3. "here we are (again)" - +/-. Certainly not a song I'd pick as a single from a really good album, but a solid tune. I don't think these guys have a bad song. 7/10

4. "Butter" - Tribe Called Quest. Reminds me of 1988 when I was a senior at Garvey High. Classic. Strickly butter, baby. 10/10

5. "Watching the Wheels" - John Lennon. This is from his greatest hits cd. Bruce McCullough says that greatest hits cds are for housewives and little girls and he's right. 6/10

6. "Everloving" - Moby. Sometimes I forget that Moby ever existed. But here's living proof. The is one of the few songs on Play that is still decent, and has actually gotten better (especially out of context of the rest of Play). 8/10

7. "I found that Essence Rare" - Gang of Four. Bad ass 8/10

8. "Damn, Sam (I love a Woman That Rains)" - Ryan Adams. The more I listen to Ryan Adams the more I like it. 7/10

9. "Sad Professor" - REM. 8/10 Love it and not going to apologize for that. So get off my back.

10. "Blonde on Blonde" - Nada Surf Great tune. 7/10

Isaac Carmichael said...

Seeing as I haven't done an FRT lately, I suppose I'll stand up and deliver:

1."Erase and Rewind" - The Cardigans. What is it with me and the Swedes? ABBA, the Cardigans, Him (ok, they're actually Finnish, but whatever)...I can't get enough of 'em. This song is alright, I guess. (6/10)

2."Fume" - Beck. Off of the "Loser" import single. If there's a bad song about doing drugs in a car while scarfing down donuts, I haven't heard it. (8/10)

3."99%" - Soul Asylum. I like this band, but I wonder if my regard is exaggerated because they're local. (7/10)

4."Help Me I Am in Hell" - NIN. I tend to think that Trent Reznor's instrumental tracks are better than his singy ones. This one is good, building tension and emotion, but is over way too soon to be all that effective. (6/10)

5."Manic Depression" - Jimi Hendrix. In my opinion, best Hendrix track ever. The chunky drums and guitar threaten to devolve into chaos for all 3:42 of the song, but they somhow keep it together. (10/10)

6."Little Babies" - Sleater-Kinney. Now that's bubble gum! Probably my least favorite off of Dig Me Out. (3/10)

7."Levitate Me" - Pixies. Great song. Plus one point for giving me a mental picture of Kim Deal. (8/10)

8."Bells For Her" - Tori Amos. This song still gives me chills. For her first three albums, Tori could do no wrong. Then she had to go get married, start a family, stop being so depressed...what a selfish bitch. (9/10)

9."Possibly Maybe" - Bjork. I've never been to Iceland, but Bjork Guttermunderwhateverherlastnameis makes me want to go. (7/10)

10."Monday" - Wilco. Not my favorite Wilco song...(5/10)

Average: A respecable 6.9/10.

Now respect me, dammit!

Otto Man said...

Plus one point for giving me a mental picture of Kim Deal.

Mmmm. One thing I hate is when my mental picture of Kim Deal (circa 1991) is contradicted by an actual picture of Kim Deal today. Stupid reality.

Dr. Milton von Fünkdoctorspock said...

1. DJ Shadow, “Letter From Home”- Normally DJ Shadow would be a terrific FRT jump off, the exception of course being when the one minute intro track comes up. Rarely should anyone put talking on an album. If I wanted to talk I’d call 1-900-LETS-RAP. 3/10

2. Christopher O’Riley, “True Love Waits”- The good doctor gets a kick out of kitschy stuff like a talented pianist covering Radiohead. And yes, he did also enjoy The Langley Schools Music Project. Got a problem with that? Step. Bitch. 7/10

3. Beck, “Static/Diamond Bollocks”- Beck is just way overrated. Words like “talentless,” “hack,” “unoriginal,” and “married to some actor’s sister” come to mind. That’s what I’d be saying if I was irrational. Somehow this album still continues to get better with each listen, and the bonus track is dynamite. 10/10

4. Gomez, “Rie’s Wagon”- I have way too much Gomez on the ‘Pod, but they do have a number of fantastic songs. This nine minuter is not one of them. 3/10

5. A Cricket in Times Square, “Careless”- Yes! The fist is pumping. The divine lead track from their excellent self-titled album. Today’s spin on classic rock, an instant classic if you will! And I will. 10/10

6. Sonic Youth, “Shaking Hell (live ’83)- Even though they’re the band who’s put out more quality music in my lifetime than anyone else, you can be rolling the dice with the early eighties’ goods. Fortunately, this is a winner. Picturing a six-year-old Fünkdoctorspock at this show is funny, funny because I would have fit right in. 8/10

7. Bob Dylan, “Ring Them Bells”- Not a very Dylan-ish song title. Not much guitar work here either. Oh, Greatest Hits Volume Three. That explains that. It’s okay, but not what I’m going for when I’m going for Bobert. 4/10

8. Radiohead, “Talk Show Host”- Not one of my favorite ‘head songs until I heard it live, now it’s one of my all-time fave Fuck You songs (don’t fret, “You and Whose Army” is also there), a genre the Fünkdoctorspock takes seriously. “It you want me, then fucking come and find me. I’ll be waiting with a gun and a pack of sandwiches”? Oh, yeah. That’s the stuff. 9/10

9. “Monday Night Football Theme”- Are you ready for some football??!!!!??!! What? It’s only May??? #!$%@#$%@#$! I play this whenever myself and Mrs. Fünkdoctorspock make sweet, sweet lovage, only I don’t say “football,” and what I do say is inappropriate for public discourse. 8/10

10. Django Reinhardt, “Honeysuckle Rose”- Worth his rep, but these diesel inclusions kill me becauese I never listen to them, never recognize them, and thus can’t give the song the rating it deserves. And, yes, it is all about the rating. 6/10

6.8 average. FRT, why do you always leave me wanting more?

Otto Man said...

The good doctor gets a kick out of kitschy stuff like a talented pianist covering Radiohead.

I heard that guy on NPR live a few years back. Amazing. His versions of "Airbag" and "Everything In Its Right Place" are unfuckingbelievable.

Dr. Milton von Fünkdoctorspock said...

Most songs sound like there has to be more than one piano rocking, but it's all him, all the time. Guy's the troof. After two Radiohead discs he just gave Elliott Smith a go, which I would love to hear because it's a perfect selex(though a questionable choice commercially, which earns him more props).

Pooh said...

The iPod, She was good this week!

1. "Come On Home" - Franz Ferdinand. If ever there were a song written in search of a Quentin Tarrantino soundtrack. 6/10.

2. "Pink Houses" - John Mellancamp. I won't change hit the skip track button, but if I start listening in mid-song, I'm not rewinding, either. Meh. 4/10.

3. "My Immortal (Band Version) - Evanescence. What? What?!? I like this band, screw you. Though this particular song (which you have to have the CD and then download this 'free' version and then go through a whole rigamarole) was perhaps more trouble then it was worth to get into the White Plastic Box of Muscial Goodness. But it's here now and nothing you can do will change that. A defiant 8/10.

4. "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" - Led Zeppelin. One of my 10 favorite songs of all time. Incidentally, also a song that demonstrates why Zep is head and shoulders above most other 'Hard' bands - yes they "rock", but these guys were just better at music. By a lot. 10/10.

5. "Eighteen Hammers" - Taj Mahal. How many people write a part in a blues song for a tuba? How many of those can actually pull it off? (My guess is 'Taj' and that's all for both...) 7/10.

6. "Ramblin' On My Mind" - Robert Johnson. Something almost ghost-like about the main slide-riff of this bad boy. I may have mentioned it somewhere around here before, but Clapton's solo performance of this to open "VH1's Concert of the Century" a few years back is "the one that got away" as far as my recordings of musical performances goes. If anyone out there has a copy, I'll pay you 1, maybe even 2 $ for it. 10/10.

7. "Simple Kind of Man" - Lynard Skynard. Not quite the pinnacle of the "good song ruined by use in crap commercials" genre - that would be Seger's "Like A Rock" - but right up there. 8/10.

8. "Machinehead" - Bush. For being a bunch of poseur Brit-wannabe-be-Seattle-grungers, these guys don't totally suck. Even Klosterman begrudingly acknoledges that "6Teen Stone" is a listenable album - though "listenable" from Chuck is sort of like describing a whine as "quaffable, though hardly transcendant." 7/10.

9. "My Son Calls Another Man Daddy" - Hank Williams. The orignal Hank, not the "ready for some football" wanker with the C. Everett Koop beard and aviator shades. The joke about playing country music backwords, you get your girl, your truck and you dog back, etc...5/10.

10. "Check Yo Self" - Ice Cube. This song is just so good, I have to post some lyrics and leave you with that - (plus the use of "The Message"'s like a jungle sometimes and makes me wonder how I keep from goin' under...) actually, no I'm not, because they're pretty filthy upon reflection. Not "Wait" filthy, but filthy... 9/10.

7.4 avg. Boo-yeah.

The Doc said...

The Doc's really quick FRT!

1. The Last Canadian Boy - The Hanson Brothers. Fitting considering the "last Canadian team" kicks off the conference finals tonight. Gets two extra cool points for hockey relevance. Go Oilers! 10/10.
2. Father Speaks - Handsome Boy Modeling School. Father Guido Sarducci approves of the Handsome Boy Modeling school! Not a song, but moderately amusing - even if it goes on a little long. 5/10.
3. Ace of Spades - Motorhead. This one goes to eleven, but is constrained by the points system. 10/10.
4. Nowhere Fast - The Smiths. Good song, but leaves me a little empty. 6/10.
5. The Very Thought of You - Elvis Costello. I love this song, and Elvis does it justice. 7/10.
6. We Will Become Silhouettes - The Postal Service. Average pop. 6/10.
7. Low - Foo Fighters. This song is one of my theme songs. Gotta give it up. 9/10.
8. Parabola - Tool. I hear not-so-good things about the new album, but Lateralus was always good to me. 8/10.
9. Silverfuck - The Smashing Pumpkins. Man, this takes me back to high school. The song still holds up, even if the memories don't. 7/10.
10. Zithi Nqonqonqo - Ladysmith Black Mambazo. To my ear, many of Ladysmith Black Mambazo's songs sound very similar. However, they also sound really good. 7/10.

With a total of 74/100, my long weekend starts off pretty good!

Otto Man said...

3. Ace of Spades - Motorhead. This one goes to eleven, but is constrained by the points system.

The judges have conferred, and have decided to grant you an eleventh point. Lemmy would want it that way.