Friday, June 02, 2006

Friday Random Ten

Yes, friends, at long last, you can enjoy the soothing experience of a New York City taxi ride from the comfort of your own home. No longer will you have to pretend to need a ride to Grand Central in order to get all the latest full-throated, half-brained opinions on the Yankees, the Knicks, and, of course, the CIA agents who are using gamma radiation to control the pigeon population in Battery Park.

I can't imagine this album was a big seller when it came out back in the '50. "Hey, ma! An album of cabbie wisdom! I wonder if this has that rare ethnic slur we heard on 48th Street? I sure hope it has that authentic cabbie smell of cherry air freshener, b.o., and slow-simmering rage!" Sure, maybe if it was a couple decades later and this guy were on the cover instead. Now that's an album I'd buy.

Speaking of homespun New York wisdom, it's time for me to dispense with yet another Friday Random Ten. Here goes:

1. Ike and Tina Turner, "River Deep, Mountain High" -- One of the better songs from this dysfunctional duo. If you listen closely, you can hear Ike keeping time by beating a backup singer with his Italian loafers. 8/10

2. Lou Reed, "Romeo Had Juliette" -- Most of Reed's solo work doesn't really do it for me, but the New York album was a welcome surprise. I remember getting a copy of this in high school, loving it, and working my way backward into the Velvet Underground years from there. Still works for me. 7/10

3. R.E.M., "Leaving New York" -- Huh. Start off with the NYC cabbie jokes, and two of the first three songs are NYC related. I've always loved R.E.M., but I've been forced to admit that the band really lost a step with the departure of drummer Bill Berry a few albums ago. Everything since then has just been a little flat. This song isn't exactly bad, but it's not exactly great either. 5/10

4. Dizzy Gillespie, "Manteca (Funky Lowlives Remix)" -- I swear I heard this during the Nacho Libre previews the other day. An odd choice for a film about a Mexican wrestler, since the most prominent lyric is "I'll never go back to Georgia!" But this is a great tune, and an inspired remix. 10/10

5. De La Soul, "Peas Porridge Hot" -- Although I love De La Soul is Dead, this is one of the more uninspired songs on the album, with some craptacular skit material intruding throughout and a subpar rhythm to boot. Eh. 4/10

6. Kolar Goi, "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Computer" -- Although the title might suggest a nice electronica reworking of Ennio Morricone's genius work, this is really just a cacophonous waste. I'm reminded of a classic SNL sketch, in which Phil Hartman's Sinatra explained that he couldn't understand a word being spoken by Chris Rock's Luther Campbell: "I got nothin' here. Just pops and clicks." 3/10

7. The Whatnauts, "Why Can't People Be Colors Too?" -- A great bit of early '70s funk from a completely forgotten band. If that doesn't spike the Cool-o-Meter, then it's time to check the batteries. 10/10

8. The Posies, "Second Time Around" -- I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever listened to this track. And it might just be the last. 3/10

9. Brownie McGhee, "Anna Mae" -- Some great, late '50s blues from a legend. It's rare to hear McGhee without his longtime partner Sonny Terry right by his side, but here we have it. What the song lacks in inspiration, it more than makes up for it in energy. 7/10

10. Gilberto Gil, "Bat Macumba" -- This is a great example of what the kids down Latin America way would call "tropicália," a Brazilian blend of bossanova, American rock, African folk, and Portuguese fado. Apparently, the Brazilian government actually considered the music a threat to their regime in the late '60s. All I know is, this is scorching stuff. 10/10

Man, I was all over the place today. Three perfect tens, and I still wound up with yet another 6.7 average. In honor of the forthcoming, creepy remake of The Omen, I'll just round that down to a 6.66 and be done with it.

Alright, let's see what you've got. Drop your own random ten in the comments below. Remember, the coolness self-audit is optional, as is the Satan worshipping. Hail Sagan!

7 comments:

grandpaboy said...

I can't imagine this album was a big seller when it came out back in the '50.

I'm guessing it found its way into the collection of an impressionable, young Tom Friedman.

Thrillhous said...

Ha! Well played, gpboy.

Man, that album must be great, especially the track "All about women." If there's anyone who knows women, it's cab drivers.

Now let's get to rockin!

1) Without You - Asia. Ballad, so not too great for a Friday. 7/10

2) Dazed and Confused - Zepp. Much better! 9/10

3) I Know Somethin' - Alice in Chains. I know somethin' too: this song rocks! However, I had no idea what "ain't go no shit today" meant until I saw "Trainspotting." 10/10

4) Keep Pushin' - REO. Wow, another song with that silent "g"! That's always a sign of a great tune. 8/10

5) Serve the Servants - Nirvana. Meh. 5/10

6) Take a Pebble - ELP. Nothin' like a 4-minute piano solo! 9/10

7) Learning to Fly - Floyd. I will learn to fly before I learn to like this song. 1/10

8) Wasp etc. - Sabbath. One of my favorite Sabbath tunes! Anti-war, populist, and satanic all at once! 10/10

9) Tom Sawyer - Rush. don't know what it's about, but it sounds cool. 10/10

10) The Grudge - Tool. This is the one that was on the radio a lot a few years back. 8/10

While you're here, let me tell you All About Women!!

Dr. Milton von F├╝nkdoctorspock said...

1. The Rolling Stones, "I Just Want to See His Face"- Anyone who thinks they can just get by with a Stones greatest hits is crazy insane. Also, they got no brain. That being said, even though this is from the epic Exile, this song's somewhat lacking. 6/10



2. Arctic Monkeys, "Riot Van"- Some syllogistic fun: 1. Arctic Monkeys are the next big British thing. 2. I'm not British. 3. Arctic Monkeys are not my next big thing. Apologies, but they sound like any other punky British rock band that's come out the last five years. See the Libertines. Best I can give you is that they do sound slightly better than most, but more of the same will never cut it for the good doctor. 3/10



3. Miri Ben-Ari, "2 Words Miri's Free at Last Mix"- Hysterical. I got this free somewhere. She calls herself "the hip hop violinist," and from the sounds of this that's what she is. Can you go wrong with a song featuring Kanye West and Martin Luther King, Jr.? No, you can't. I heard her big rival is a hip hop cellist. 6/10



4. Super Furry Animals, "A Touch Sensitive"- Best FRT ever, and by best I mean worst. Hell. SFA have some great songs, and none of them are trippy instrumentals. Friend of mine said it best: The Flaming Lips are everything SFA aspires to be. Amen, broseph. 3/10



5. Kool Keith, "I Don't Play"- Number one all-time hip hopper whom I wish I listened to more. Wild beats and crazy (literally dude's spent time in an asylum) flow. Despite this being a great tune, I have to penalize myself for not being familiar with it. I disappoint myself sometimes, but the tears make me feel better. 7/10



6. Band of Horses, "The Great Salt Lake"- If these horses shattered their leg in seventy-three places coming out of the gate, you'd hope the doctor could save them, and you'd send get well cards. Guitar rock is my favoritest…. 8/10



7. Tapes 'n Tapes, "Just Drums"- Remember that one time Thomas Edison came to that dinner party at your place, and he brought this thing he called a "phonograph," and he played pre-recorded music on it and you said, "By jove, Tommy! It's brilliant!" I had the same reaction when I heard this album. Some groups settle for verse-chorus-verse. Others give more. TnT gives you more. 10/10



8. Air, "Alone in Kyoto"- You would like Air. What's that? "But I don't like electronica," you say? Bolshevik, you would like Air. Lots of commercial-worthy cuts. I also think this was the Air song in Lost in Translation. 9/10



9. Sam Cooke, "Everybody Likes to Cha Cha Cha"- Yes, I do like to Cha Cha Cha. In fact, I'm Cha Cha Cha-ing right now. Stop staring. 7/10



10. PJ Harvey, "Highway '61 Revisited"- What a f*cking cover, and what a f*cking record! Shortlist of artists whose albums I'll buy blindly when they come out. If you live in some kind of backwards world where you think women don't bring the rock, I feel sorry for you. Remember how bad you used to think Hacksaw Jim Duncan could beat your ass when you were growing up? PJ could beat your ass like that times ten. And Sleater-Kinney? My god, let's not even think about that.... 10/10


69. Normally I would be disappointed with a score in the sixties, but not 69. My second favorite number is 11. And my third is fisting.

I'm so immature. I apologize.

Otto Man said...

Nicely played, Gramps.

And Dr. MVF, you're now my MVP. Most Valuable Pervert.

Wear the honor with pride. Or at least wear some pants.

Ra_wiggum said...

my name is ralph

Otto Man said...

Ralphie drank.

Ra_wiggum said...

How did you know?

My favorite part of a hungover Sunday is going to my e-mail outbox and checking out who I sent a drunken e-mail to.