Friday, July 14, 2006

Friday Random Ten

Just back from a brutal week, so I'm phoning it in with a recycled, "classic" Friday Random Ten. Enjoy.

That's right. The Best of the Singing Postman. You no longer have to carry around all his albums, that crateload of bootleg tapes, and the lock of his hair you got from sleeping with that roadie at Tiger Stadium. No, at long last, they've searched through everything and come up with his best work. Thank God.

Alright, you know what this means -- time for the Friday Random Ten. Get out whatever thingamajig you use to play those new-fangled electronic songs, set it on random, and give us the first ten songs that come forth from the spirit world. And, as always, if you're ready to run with the big kids, give us a Coolness Self-Audit as well.

Last week, someone finally thought to ask for an explanation of the Coolness Self-Audit. First of all, remember that it's an optional addition to the FRT, sort of like power windows and curly fries. But if you decide to go with it, here's a handy rule of thumb:
0: painfully uncool
1-4: bad enough to change the station
5-6: classic tune, but one everyone knows
7-8: rarer, a little off the beaten track
9-10: so cool it would impress a snotty record-store clerk
Got it? Alright, here's mine:

1. Overlord, "Love Goes Home to Paris in the Spring" -- Found this recently on a website devoted to Magnetic Fields covers. While I'm a fan of both the Magnetic Fields and cover songs in general, this doesn't seem to have much spirit. Eh. 6/10

2. Mudhoney, "Good Enough" -- A surprisingly accessible song off an otherwise mediocre album, Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge. Still, it's strummeriffic! 8/10

3. The Frogs, "I've Got Drugs (Out of the Mist)" -- How do you explain the Frogs? Well, it's sort of like the Gimp and Zed from Pulp Fiction drank a cask of absinthe and formed a band. Other song titles include "Hot Cock Annie," a tune that sounds like it could be subtitled "Love Theme from 'The Aristocrats.'" Back when I tended bar, we used to play this album when we were closing up and trying to get rid of the frat boys. Worked every time. 10/10

4. Radiohead, "Wish You Were Here" -- Hmm, another cover. Maybe I have a problem. From the B-Sides compilation, a surprisingly faithful rendition of the Pink Floyd classic. 6/10

5. Dinah Washington with Cootie Williams' Orchestra, "Long John Blues" -- One of the sweetest, dirtiest jazz songs ever recorded. Supposedly about a trip to the dentist, but not quite. "He took out his trusty drill / And he told me to open wide / He said he wouldn't hurt me / But he'd fill my hole inside / Long John, Long John, you've got that golden touch / You thrill me when you drill me, and I need you very much." Every time I hear this song, I need a cold shower. And a fluoride rinse. 10/10

6. Throwing Muses, "Not Too Soon" -- Throwing Muses were a powerhouse of righteous, estrogen-fueled, indie rock back in the early 1990s, before Tanya Donnelly and Kristin Hersch went their separate ways. This is them at their peak. 8/10

7. Dr. John, "Mama Roux" -- A classic bit of creepin' New Orleans soul. While some say that the fact that Dr. John is not, in fact, a real doctor somehow diminishes the healing powers of his music, I strongly disagree. Look at the man. That beret screams "trust me." 7/10

8. King Tee and Ice Cube, "Get Your Girl in the Mood Quicker" -- Another song I discovered trolling the internets for free music. This is from a collection of classic commercials for St. Ides Malt Liquor, and it just so happens to be my favorite. "Get your girlie in the mood quicker / Get your jimmy thicker / with St. Ide's Malt Liquor." Damn, that boy's a Shakespeare! 10/10

9. RX, "Sunday Bloody Sunday" -- Wow, a third cover. I do have a problem. But this cover is unique: the vocals are completely culled from the speeches of George W. Bush, set to an electronica background. Sounds bizarre, I know, but it actually works quite well. Especially when they replace Bono's "Let's go!" with Bush's "Let's roll!" 8/10

10. Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet, "13" -- These surf-guitar geniuses will forever be associated with the theme to "The Kids in the Hall," but there are certainly worse things in life than that. Still, this is fairly predictable stuff. Sounds like something Franky and Annette would listen to while they did the watusi. Or danced. 6/10

Well, that's a 7.9, continuing my slow and steady improvement over the past few weeks. Either I'm getting cooler, or we're experiencing the soft bigotry of low expectations.

Alright, let's see what you've got. Drop your own FRT in the comments, with or without the Coolness Self-Audit.


Thrillhous said...

Woohoo Friday!

1) Harvester of Sorrows - Metallica. Good song from a great album. 7/10

2) Prime Cut - Prong. An even better song from another great album. 8/10

3) I've Seen All Good People - Yes. This song name was used in my crossword puzzle this week, proving the worldwide importance of the band. 10/10

4) No Bone Movies - Ozzy. Possibly my favorite Ozzy song of all time. A stern warning to not get addicted to porn movies. 11/10

5) Room a Thousand Years Wide - Soundgarden. Junky. 3/10

6) Bounce - System of a Down. Don't think I've had enough coffee yet to listen to these guys. 7/10

7) Pulling Teeth - Metallica. Instrumental by former bassist Cliff Burton, RIP. 8/10

8) Trampled Under Foot - Zepp. Not a favorite of mine. 6/10

9) Victory - Megadeath. Pretty conventional for Mustaine, but fun. 7/10.

10) Mailman - Soundgarden. Wow, this totally makes up for number 5. I love this song. 10/10

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

The Doc said...

1. Make It Rain - Tom Waits. Either you like him or you don't. This track is bluesy and delicious. 8/10.
2. Once Again (Here To Kick One For You) - Handsome Boy Modeling School feat Grand Puba & Sadat X. Good hip-hop tune, but ultimately the samples are a little better than the rhymes. 7/10.
3. Knock On Wood - Jacksoul. A cover tune from one of my favourite albums of late. Lacks a little of the original (how could it not?), but it's still good. 7/10.
4. Before My Time - Johnny Cash. Let's slow it down a little bit, shall we? A good love song, but it's hardly going to impress a music snob. 7/10.
5. Max - The Future Sound of London. I've never heard this track in isolation from the record, but it's actually a nice little piece of ambient fluff. 7/10.
6. The New Year - Death Cab For Cutie. Remember when these guys used to rock? You may scoff, but it actually happened. This is proof. 8/10.
7. Man Research (Clapper) - Gorillaz. One of the Gorillaz tracks I'd be likely to skip if I heard it on the cd. 4/10.
8. Hi We're The Replacements - They Might Be Giants. Ah, one of the two banes of my coolness. But at least this one gets +1 coolness for being about The Replacements, a band that's actually moderately cool. 5/10.
9. Strange Currencies - R.E.M. A great love song from an underrated album. 8/10
10. Undertow - R.E.M. Wow, two R.E.M. songs in a row. Man, they lost a whole lotta credibility when they lost Bill Berry. This song's good though. 7/10.

Well, that gives me a 68/100, or 6.8. Wow, that's kind of depressing, as I'd gotten off to a pretty good start. I could just blame TMBG, but I actually like them, so I'll just blame me instead.

Mike said...

Sheeeet, you guys suck.

Every week I go six days not giving a hoot that I don't own an I-pod. Then come Friday . . .

Bastards! I wanna play too.

norbizness said...

Nothing this week, still winding my way through my top albums and the radio at work is pegged to classical music to help me sleep. But I heard that the Singing Postman and Mr. McFeely, the postal employee from mister Rogers' Neighborhood, once got into an epic knife-fight.

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

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, people, a beautiful day. Milty’s two favorite things in the world are the FRT and the weekends he gets to see his kids. Both happen this week. Giddyup.

1. The Go! Team, “Bottle Rocket”

!!! started some revolution with band names and exclamation points, which begs the question why some bands who could justify it don’t use it (Wolfmother! par example). Fortunately, these guys earn it. High energy live show. Song’s an 8 but gets a bonus point for its live rendition, which the Milton will be seeing for the third time this year at Lollapalooza. Their will be dancing. 9/10

2. Iggy and the Stooges, “Search and Destroy”

Of all the great, great, great, fantastic things that have come out of Ann Arbor, Michigan over the years, the Stooges are second only to Ryan Stayton’s engineering education. Something in the water up in AA…. 9/10

3. Thelonius Monk, “Ask Me Now (Take 2)”

Take 2? Come on, ‘lonius! Time is money. Be a professional. 6/10

4. The Beatles, “Yesterday”

Frankly, I don’t understand why this is considered their best pop song, though I do understand why their best pop song is considered the best pop song (they’re considered the best band ever for good reason: they are). I tracked Abbey Road, my Beatles record of choice, this morning. It was beautiful thing. 7/10

5. Outkast, “E.T. (Extraterrestrial)”

I saw a mag cover recently that said, “Outkast: Best Hip Hop Group of All Time?” Can you believe a major publication would have such an egregious typo on its cover? Me either, because the question mark’s unnecessary, because it’s the triple truth. 7/10

6. John Lennon, “Love”

The reason I don’t feel “Yesterday” as much as the next guy is I’m a Lennon man, and this song is “Yesterday”-ish… but better. 8/10

7. Danger Doom, “No Names (Black Debbi)”

“Why is she Black Debbi?”

“No, no, no. Not in a bad way, it’s just to tell them apart… because she’s black.”

Now that’s a funny intro. Adult Swim + Danger Mouse + MF Doom = Afternoon Delight. Danger Mouse is laying down the best beats these days. Sorry, Pharrell. Relinquish yonder crown. 8/10

8. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, “Shhh”

This is the funniest track on any rock album. Fake commercial for the record. “ACME is the best record of 1998. And 1999. It's simply that good.” True dat. Very, very rare high score for a non-music track, appropriate for one of the best rock groups of the good doctor’s lifetime. 8/10

9. The Magnetic Fields, “For We Are the King of the Boudoir”

What a fantastically unique triple album 69 Love Songs is. I would love to know what Stephin Merritt’s love life is like, and more specifically what the ladies are like. A little kinky I’m guessing. 7/10

10. Shudder to Think, “Chakka”

I tried. I really tried to like this band. I just couldn’t do it. 5/10

When I first added it up I got 84. The only thing worse than realizing that was a miscount was knowing before I recounted that I’m not hip enough for an 84. It’s 74. Still pretty good, but after that first count today’s a wash. Even worse is that I’m bound to take my disappointment out on my kids this weekend. Sigh.

Otto Man said...

I heard that the Singing Postman and Mr. McFeely, the postal employee from mister Rogers' Neighborhood, once got into an epic knife-fight.

Pfft. The liberal media has exaggerated once again. It was a letter-opener fight, and only one of them was killed.

I would love to know what Stephin Merritt’s love life is like, and more specifically what the ladies are like. A little kinky I’m guessing

If my "kinky" you mean "male," then yes.

Mags said...

RE: your pick for #8, why would you want a thick jimmy?