Friday, June 16, 2006

Friday Random Ten

I'm not really sure this album cover needs much discussion. I just wanted to share.

Alright, let's do this thing:

1. Gnarls Barkley, "Go-Go Gadget Gospel" -- Gnarls Barkley is the latest effort from serial collaborator Danger Mouse. In this incarnation, he joins forces with Cee-Lo to do battle against the forces of something or other. This is a nice piece of high-energy gospel-hiphop. Hard to describe, but it works. 9/10

2. R.E.M., "Leave" -- From my favorite R.E.M. album, New Adventures in Hi-Fi. Nice, but hey did a sparer version for the brilliant soundtrack of a horrible movie, A Life Less Ordinary, which I do believe I prefer. 6/10

3. Jane's Addiction, "Summertime Rolls" -- Back in college, I briefly (and badly) played bass guitar in a (worse) band. When I told StudioDave I'd taken up the bass, he asked if I could play this song like a friend of his could. When I had to say no, I felt like a fraud. A bass-playing fraud. 6/10

4. Tortoise, "It's All Around You" -- A fairly unimpressive instrumental. Feh. 3/10

5. Mark Robinson, "Perks and Presents (remix)" -- Some slow and stripped-down indie pop from the former frontman of Unrest. I've never heard the original, so I'm not sure how this is a remix. Not sure I need to know, either. 5/10

6. Neutral Milk Hotel, "The King of Carrot Flowers, Pt. 1" -- Despite the too-precious song title, this is a nice little bit of alternative pop. Easy to see why this band's on Merge Records. Great stuff. 10/10

7. Dead Kennedys, "Viva Las Vegas" -- This comes from the soundtrack for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and thus starts off with a nice sample of Johnny Depp channeling Hunter S. Thompson. Quite fitting. 8/10

8. Magnetic Fields, "Two Characters in Search of a Country Song" -- Well, speaking of Merge .... A great, twangy number from Charm of the Highway Strip. Damn, I love this album. 10/10

9. Undisputed Truth, "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" -- It's hard to top the Temptations version, but this one comes close. mixing in female voices with the men works well. Hard to believe a song so sad could be so funky. 7/10

10. Muddy Waters, "Got My Mojo Working" -- Ah, way to stick the landing. Some typically scorching Chicago blues from the greatest bluesman ever. This comes off the incredibly strong Chess collection. Box sets are normally a gamble. (As a comedian once put it, it basically boils down to thinking: "I own nothing by Toto. I want to own everything by Toto.") This one was worth it. 9/10

Alright, that gives me a perfectly respectable 7.3 average for the day. After a string of FRTs in the 6 range, the Little iPod Who Could is slowly creeping up in the rankings.

Let's see what you've got. Drop your own random ten in the comments below. And if you damn well feel like it, throw in a Coolness Self Audit as well. (Coolness Self Auditing 101 rules available here.)

18 comments:

Mr Furious said...

Major upheaval on the iPod this week. Lots of new (old) stuff.

1. "Rough Boys" - Pete Townshend If I'm a big Who guy (I am), then I'm an even bigger solo Townshend guy. I absolutely love his first three albums. When I first bought a CD player and quickly started spending all my money on CDs and eventually HiFi gear, Mr. Townshend was a staple. A nice reminder. 9

2. "Slow An' Easy" - Whitesnake From the seminal (pun intended) "Slide It In." The second song off one of the greatest album sides ever. This line-up bears almost no resemblence to the hair band poseurs that Coverdale hired later in the 80s. Jon Lord played keys, and Cozy Powell just absolutely laid down the law behind the kit. Among the rare 80s hard rock tracks that holds up and still sounds just as hard twenty-plus years later. (If anyone knows how I can get my hands on the reputedly stronger UK/Canada mix of this album, let me know.) 10

3. "Torture" - Jon Spencer Blues Explosion A good song from the great "Acme." And as much as I love this album, I just never warmed up to the others... 7

4. "Kingdom Come" (studio album) - Coldplay I was neither enamored with nor opposed to Coldplay, but after catching the Freeview of their Austin City Limits show, I'm a fan. I'm not sure what it is, but sometimes it takes me watching a band to really appreciate them. This song, which in the concert turned into a Johnny Cash medley, cinched it for me. 8

5. "Fools In Love" - Joe Jackson A good cup a Joe. From the Look Sharp / I'm the Man incarnation. The best version of Joe Jackson. 7

6. "Little Bird" - White Stripes After a long car trip where every other song that shuffled up was the Stripes I really pared 'em back on the iPod before our trip last week. This made the cut, and for good reason. Meg White is the anti-Cozy—possibly the most tentative drummer ever. 8

7. "Possum Kingdom" - The Toadies Deserves a spot on any "90s Collection." It's actually dangerous to listen to this in the car—kind of an updated "Radar Love" in its direct connection to my accelerator. 9

8. "Say It Ain't So" - Weezer Ouch. this is a good tune, don't get me wrong, and it's not often that Weezer is a low point, but not what I wanted to hear... 6

9. "Bang a Gong (Get It On)" - The Power Station Sorry, but I love this song. I'm a sucker for Robert Palmer, and Tony Thompson hits it as hard as anyone on this track. Even those Duran Duran guys rocked. Depressingly, both Palmer and Thompson are now dead... 9

10. "Walkin On A Thin Line" - Huey Lewis and the News Ugh. When I ripped this CD, I thought "Hey, that was a pretty good song, wasn't it?" Not so much. 4

7.7 Average (!)
The '80s giveth and taketh away this week.

Mr Furious said...

Oh, and my iPod's stellar showing (despite Huey) renders your's the Little iPod Who Couldn't Quite...

[/smack]

Smitty said...

The album cover makes me wish I had a playlist entitled "sex."

You know, I don't have a playlist titled "beer" either. Though, there aren't many songs solely about beer, so maybe that playlist would simply include songs about substance abuse.

Anyway:

1) "You can Love Yourself" - Keb' Mo'. HA!!! Especially relevent for this week. Great guitar blues song from the perennial W.C. Handy Blues Award Winner. W.C. Handy!! Comedy all the way around! 8/10 for good blues, boosted by timely comedy factor.

2) "A String of Pearls" - Glenn Miller. I'm not making this up. This was the second song. A String of Pearls. More comedy. But Big Band ain't what I needed right now. 4/10.

3) "Albatross" - Corrosion of COnformity. I really like the "Deliverance" release; lots of great bluesy/Texas metal that worked so well for the group project with Pantera and Crowbar called Down. 7/10. It had to take a bit of a hit for being overplayed when it first came out. Stupid FM radio.

4) "New Blues" - Joe Satriani. Someone please shoot me for having this in my collection. It's like the time I had people over and tried to hide the can of Nat Light in the back of the fridge behind the milk. Still got busted. 1/10.

5) "The Blues Walk" - Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown. Excellent blues from a steel guitar-playing blues master with a big band backup. Love it. 7/10.

6) "Battery" - Metallica. Metallica when they still had balls and were struggling to make a name against Punk and Hair Metal out of L.A. 8/10.

7) "Pressure" - Staind. &%$#@ing Nu-Metal Corporate bullshit. How did Staind make it to the iPod? Because I thought it'd be cool to put every CD in the house on the iPod. Where's the delete key? 4/10.

8) "Whisky in the Jar" - Blackthorn. The real version of the song from a real band from Ireland. Not the shitty Metallica "metal" rendition of this classic drinking tune. Idiots. 7/10 because it's hilarious when sung the right way. Women...

9) "Would?" - Alice in Chains. I. Love. This. Song. 10/10.

10) "Groovy Gravy" - Bill COsby and Quincy Jones. This is off the 'Original Jam Sessions of 1969' release, where they dusted off some old stuff that Coz and Quincy Jones did with some other huge names. Cool cool cool music with a "let's tinker around with this riff" feel to it. 9/10.

6.5. The coolness equivalent of having moved from your parents' basement into that loft above the garage. You have a separate enterance, sure, but it's still their house.

sideshow bob said...

Ah, FRT...it's been a while. Let's do this thing!

1) "Sometimes Salvation"-Black Crowes. Probably my favorite song off of Southern Music..., which I feel is probably their best album. "Sometimes salvation is the eye of the storm"...ain't that the truth. (7/10)

2)"Take A Walk"-Urge Overkill. I've never been a big UO fan, but this I like. (7/10)

3)"Epic"-Faith No More. Um, can you say "overplayed"? (5/10)

4)"JFK Inaugural Address"- WTF? How the hell did that get on there? Speeches+Politics on your iPod=FAG! (0/10)

5)"Earthcrosser"-Veruca Salt. Man, this song has everything that I likes; delicious dischord, good lyrics, and lovely intertwined vocals from Louise Post and Nina Gordon...the only question is which of the two is more attractive. The correct answer is Louise, by the way, hands down. (9/10)

6)"Never Let Me Down"-Depeche Mode. I know, I know, DM is not exactly cool, but I dig this offering. Minus one point for having a French name. Minus one more for having a name that translates as "fast fashion".(5/10)

7)"Chop Suey"-SOAD. Just try and sit still while this song is playing. Can't be done. (9/10)

8)"If I Had $1,000,000"-Barenaked Ladies. OK, first of all, this is blantant false advertising. Second of all, I'm not sure who put this in here, but I've narrowed it down to my wife or Satan. (0/10)

9)"I'd Like Your Hair Long"-Hum. Ah, that's better! Barenaked Whonow? (8/10)

10)"Packt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box"-Radiohead. Viva la Radiohead! (8/10)

5.8 average. That, I believe, is refered to as a "Gentleman's F". Not bad considering I laid two goose eggs.

Otto Man said...

Oh, and my iPod's stellar showing (despite Huey) renders your's the Little iPod Who Couldn't Quite...

I think I just got served. By a guy who gave the Power Station rendition of "Bang a Gong" a 9, too.

Damn.

Otto Man said...

5.8 average. That, I believe, is refered to as a "Gentleman's F". Not bad considering I laid two goose eggs.

At least you have your honor. If you'd given that Barenaked Ladies song anything higher than a zero, we would've been forced to issue a drug test.

Thrillhous said...

6.5. The coolness equivalent of having moved from your parents' basement into that loft above the garage. You have a separate enterance, sure, but it's still their house.

Classic. Not that, you know, I ever did that or anything.

I also agree w/ your two Metallica comments, and I can't second the Staind comment enough (although I am something of a sucker for corporate metal).

Mr Furious said...

Smitty-

9) "Would?" - Alice in Chains. I. Love. This. Song. 10/10.

I concur. Their best, and easily one of the best ten songs of the last 15 years.

Also a big Gatemouth Brown fan. Based solely on a radio appearence I taped twenty years ago. Did he just recently pass?

--

Sideshow-

1) "Sometimes Salvation"-Black Crowes.... (7/10)

Interesting, I thought you were a big Crowes guy—a 7 for the best song of the best album? You later dole out the 8-plusses... FWIW, I'd put "Remedy" on the same list as "Would?".

2)"Take A Walk"-Urge Overkill. I've never been a big UO fan, but this I like. (7/10)

Is that the tune from the "No Alternative" compilation? A good one. Some other real gems on that CD.

5)"Earthcrosser"-Veruca Salt. ... (9/10)

There are many songs off "American Thighs" I'd give at least a 7 or 8. I went through a serious grrl band phase and practically burned a hole in that CD. I bought "Blow it out your ass" and "Eight Arms" but the moment had passed. I 'm not sure I've ever sat through either of them.

--

OM-

Don't take it too hard.

Close your eyes and pretend you don't know guys from Duran Duran are the axemen, and that's a pretty damn fine piece of funk-rock. Also, the fact that I have no affection for Marc Bolan or TRex helps.

--

In conclusion, I'm glad I got back in the FRT swing...

Mr Furious said...

Thous, no love for the Whitesnake?

Thrillhous said...

Speaking of corporate rock, let's get jiggy!

1) Back on the road again - REO. These guys would never sell out, would they? 8/10

2) The Frayed Ends of Sanity - Metallica. Another great one back before they got in touch with their feelings. 9/10

3) In the Flesh? Floyd. Okay, I'm starting to come around on this Wall thing. I like about half the songs, including this one. But there's a Dickensian quality to the whole thing that I just don't like. 7/10

4) Going to California - Zeppelin. What a crappy song. 2/10

5) Fucking Hostile - Pantera. Now these guys were always in touch with their feelings, and they still rocked. 10/10

6) ATWA - System of a Down. Some of that corporate rock that I love. 8/10

7) Gets Me Through - Ozzy. You don't get no more corporate than Ozzy, but you don't find no Ozzy fans more gullible than me. 9/10

8) Mars, the Bringer of War - ELP. Gustav Holtz's most famous piece, this time on keyboard! 6/10

9) Over the Mountain - Ozzy. Let's all go to McDonald's! 10/10

10) Sweetness - Yes. From their second album. I still get nice notes from Bill Bruford thanking me for buying it. 8/10

Not too shabby, tho I don't get into that frenchy averaging crap that y'all do. My tabulations tell me I get yet another top score in keepin' it real.

Smitty said...

Mr. Furious:

Yup. Gatemouth passed away on September 10 of 2005, right after he fled Katrina (which destroyed his home and left him 'devastated').

Otto Man said...

My tabulations tell me I get yet another top score in keepin' it real.

Since when did REO Speedwagon and Yes qualify as "keepin' it real"?

Mr Furious said...

1) Back on the road again - REO. These guys would never sell out, would they? 8/10

Selling out requires somebody wanting to give them money. Last I heard of these guys they were playing on the beach for free at spring break.

Really. True story.

Mr Furious said...

Yup. Gatemouth passed away on September 10 of 2005, right after he fled Katrina (which destroyed his home and left him 'devastated').

So it's Bush's fault?

sideshow bob said...

mr furious-

I was (loosely) following OM's guidelines for the self-coolness audit, and I don't think that anything by the Black Crowes would inspire awe from an indie record store resident snob/employee.

Plus I hadn't had my coffee yet at that point in the morning.

And yes, that was off of No Alternative.

Eight Arms... would've made a better EP than a record...you pretty much have to skip 6 or 7 songs in the middle to get to the good stuff at the end.

Otto Man said...

I have to agree with the Black Crowes snubbing.

But I've have just about enough of your Vassar bashing!

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

1. The Kinks, “Phenomenal Cat”- You know how the US World Cup team is outrageously overrated? Imagine FIFA doing band rankings. Now imagine a band being as underrated as the US was overrated. That band is The Kinks. You know how sometimes you want to listen to the Beatles, but you can’t decide on an album and you know you can’t look elsewhere because nowhere else measures up? That’s where you’re wrong. Like Jesus, The Kinks save. 8/10

2. Beck, “Bogus Flow”- I have dozens of non-album Beck tracks, some of which are divine, some of which are unreleased for a reason, and others that are ho-hum. This is ho-hum, though largely because I’m not a big harmonica fan, and that’s largely because I hate hobos. Also, a hobo killed my father. 6/10

3. The Unicorns, “Child Star”- The Islands before they were The Islands! Clever lyrics over infectious melodies? Don’t mind if I do. One of my fave album titles: Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone? 9/10

4. Malcolm Clarke, “Bath Time”- The BBC Radiophonic Workshop was a founding force for electronica music. I would never throw this stuff on when I want to jam, but it’s a damned interesting listen. This song could be on the soundtrack to a Wes Anderson flick. 7/10

5. Super Furry Animals, “Father Father #2”- I feel bad for Super Furry because they haven’t had any songs I like come up on the almighty shuffler, and thus they get a bad rap. So let’s pretend “She’s Got Spies” played: if this song and Pulp’s “Common People” are played simultaneously, time travel is possible. Thank you. 4/10

6. The Jackson 5, “The Love You Save”- Hot cut. Gary, Indiana indahouse! Do you ever wonder how different life would be if Tito and LaToya had become super famous instead of Michael and Janet? I do, and it’s a surprisingly pleasant thought. 9/10

7. Michael Jackson, “Human Nature”- A twofer! And it’s not even Tuesday! This is Michael’s eighties love ballad, which makes it a great example of music that sucks. 4/10

8. Beck, “Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometimes”- Great cover from the great Eternal Sunshine sdtrk. Apparently Beck has already recorded his next album. Turns out getting married and having a kid occasionally has good results…. 9/10

9. “Saturday Night Live Theme”- The TV themes collection is a lot of fun when you want to cheekily break out the theme to “Airhawk,” but it’s awful for the FRT. Teacher, mother, secret lover. 2/10

10. The Sopranos, “Bonus Track”- Kind of another twofer. I’m frightened. All dialogue, all the time. From the second soundtrack release, Peppers and Eggs, which is absurdly fantastic. Every track… excellent. Normally I’d dock points for a dialogue track, but not one with Tony Soprano describing to Janice the “hill with pinecones” where he buried her dead hubby. 8/10

66. Satan no doubt played a big part in that score. Why must the FRT always make baby Jesus cry?

Otto Man said...

I hate hobos. Also, a hobo killed my father.

Hobophobe.