Friday, July 21, 2006

Friday Random Ten

Hey, you know the the old saying: It's Laverne Tripp's world and we're just livin' in it.

This is an impressive album cover, especially when you consider the lengths they had to go to in order to create this stunning image. Where on earth could they find an overhead projector? Would the local junior high let them in? How would they explain the fact that "Laverne" looks like a middle-aged man?

Well, the power of Laverne Tripp opens plenty of doors, my friend. Plenty.

Alright, time for the Friday Random Ten. Take out your iPod, your iPod Mini, your iPod Nano, your iPod Snowflake Baby, or whatever you have; set it to random; and give us the first ten songs that are brave enough to show their faces. And in case you feel compelled by the power of Christ, go ahead and give unto us a Coolness Self-Audit.

Here's mine:

1. Death Cab for Cutie, "Tiny Vessels" -- A very pretty song with some very ugly lyrics. I haven't checked in with Hipster Central to see if these kids are still the shit, but I don't care. Transatlanticism is one of my favorite albums of this decade, and this is one of its better tunes. 10/10

2. Dionne Warwick, "You're Gonna Need Me" -- Man, whatever happened to Dionne Warwick? (If only there was some way we could reach out and find our dear, long lost friend. If only....) This is actually a fantastic soul song, with some nice West Coast guitars and a great vocal track from Warwick. 8/10

3. Les Savy Fav, "Pills" -- A couple of these kids met while studying at the Rhode Island School of Design, which is how the Talking Heads got started too. The similarities end there, as LSF is a bit more all-up-in-your-grill than the Heads ever were. I'm not entirely sold on this song, but I certainly like the cut of their jib. 7/10

4. Frank Sinatra, "The Lady is a Tramp" -- As much as I respect and, yes, fear the Chairman of the Board, this was a song that always seemed to send him into the realm of self-parody. In the live versions, he'd always change "the lady" to "that koo-koo broad" by the time he hit his third chorus and fifth scotch. This is not even remotely cool, especially when set against Ella Fitzgerald's much better rendition. 4/10

5. Hayseed Dixie, "My Best Friend's Girl" -- These guys have apparently made a career out of performing bluegrass covers of rock tunes. (Their rendition of "Back in Black" is, in my opinion, fanfuckingtastic.) Here they take a swing at the Cars' classic. As Bill Hicks would say, it's a hoot. You gotta think about it, but it's a hoot. 6/10

6. Wolf Parade, "Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts" -- I cannot recommend this band strongly enough. I know, I know, you've been burned before, with all the overblown blogosphere buzz about the Arctic Monkeys, Tapes 'n' Tapes, and Of Montreal. But these gentlemen have stood the test of time. This album still kicks my ass, and seeing them live this year was probably one of the top ten concerts of my life or of any life, for that matter. Trust me. 10/10

7. Charles Wright, "65 Bars and a Taste of Soul" -- You may know Charles Wright from such previous hits as the original "Express Yourself" and "Doin' What Comes Naturally." This is an absolutely scorching instrumental, one that not only brings in the jazz but pushes out the funk. Brilliant. Do we have our first ever back-to-back perfect tens here at the FRT? Yes, Virginia. Yes we do. 10/10

8. Blind Willie Johnson, "Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed" -- I don't want to begrudge a dying bluesman his last wish, but it seems to me that if you were about to pass on and had the Messiah on the line, you might want to ask for everlasting salvation instead of a turn-down service. But that's just me. 6/10

9. Ghostface Killah, "Struggle" -- Another spinoff from the Wu-Tang Clan's vast empire. There are a few songs on this album that I really really like. This, however, isn't one of them. 5/10

10. Ram Jam, "Black Betty" -- Kick out the motherfucking jams, boys! If this song could maintain its full-throated swagger the whole way through, it'd have a chance of being the perfect classic rock tune. But they run out of steam about halfway through with a wholly unnecessary, tempo-destroying geetar solo. But all things considered, it's a pretty inspired take on an old blues traditional. (However, I believe the original version, performed by Leadbelly and others, lacks the Bonhamesque drum solo.) 7/10

All in all, that gives me a whopping 7.3 average. Considering I had three perfect tens this week, that's actually a little disappointing. Oh well, such is life during the Bush presidency. Can't get my hopes too high.

Alright, your turn. Think you're better than me? Because I will fight you.

No, no, wait, that's the liquor talking.

What I meant to say is -- kindly drop your own FRT in the comments, with or without the Coolness Self-Audit.



Mags said...

Here are mine, devoid of any sort of commentary:
1. "Mona Lisa," Wyclef Jean & the Neville Brothers
2. "Date With the Night," Yeah Yeah Yeahs
3. "Hyphy Remix," The Federation
4. "No one," Maxwell
5. "Ups & Downs," Snoop Dogg
6. "General Public," General Public
7. "Headhunter v1.0," Front 242
8. "I'm the Kinda," Peaches
9. "Ether," Gang of Four
10. "What About the Half," Dennis Brown

Mike said...

Wolf Parade, huh? I gotta check this out.

Otto Man said...

Good hunting, Mike. They have two singers who alternate, one a more straightforward rocker ("This Heart's on Fire") and the other a quirkier voice ("Dear Sons..."), so sample broadly.

And give them some time to grow on you. When I first heard them, I sorta liked them, but after several listens, I'm a full-on cult member.

sideshow bob said...

These are mine, complete with raves and rantings:

1. "Dig Me Out"-Sleater-Kinney. Did I ever mention how much I like girls that rock? I have, huh? Well, this old timer does tend to ramble on...(9/10)

2. "Son of Sam"-Meat Beat Manifesto. Wonderful early to mid-90s techno-stuff. It's got a good beat and I can dance to it!(9/10)

3. "Painted Eyelids"-Beck. Off of "One Foot in the Grave", my favorite album by my favorite Scientologist. Maybe he's my favorite Scientologist because he keeps his mouth shut about it. (8/10)

4. "Marion Bar"-Requiem for a Dream Soundtrack. Beautiful and haunting, like a hot chick with a terminal disease...who didn't love that analogy?!?(8/10)

5. "Darkness"-Rage Against the Machine. Off of the Crow soundtrack. I dig.(9/10)

6. "Dry"-PJ Harvey. Damn I'm on a roll! And did I mention I love girls that rock? I did? Good.(10/10)

7. "I'm Sailin'"-Mazzy Star., huh, what? Excuse me, I dozed off for a second there. Not a bad song really, but you certainly shouldn't operate any macinery heavier than an iPod while listening to it.(5/10)

8. "Animal"-Pearl Jam. Ugh...another 'meh' song, and after so many great ones. Looks like I'm getting to the bottom of the batting order here.(4/10)

9. "Extraordinary Machine"-Fiona Apple. Sweet merciful crap! The number 9 batter steps up and knocks it outa the park..touch 'em all, Fiona!(10/10)

10."Ode to Joy"-Beethoven. Best music written by a deaf guy. Ever!(10/10)

.820 batting average! Which way to Cooperstown?

Norbizness said...

God, I hate Of Montreal. Here's my abbreviated list from the portable device:

1. Labelled With Love (Squeeze)
2. Milk and Honey (Beck)
3. Danger Zone (Wilson Pickett)
4. Texas and Pacific (Louis Jordan)
5. Britches (The Meters)
6. Virginia (Os Mutantes)
7. When I Paint My Masterpiece (The Band)
8. Heaven is a Place on Earth (Belinda Carlisle.. no foolin', I transported my entire 80s playlist on to the device)
9. Drive (The Cars... see?)
10. Alexander's Ragtime Band (Willie "The Lion" Smith)

Otto Man said...

Of Montreal is so godawful it makes me hate both Quebec and prepositional phrases.

TravisG said...

Hahahaha. I was just coming in here to express my hatred for Of Montreal. Too funny. I also fucking hate Sinatra. The most overrated person in any field, ever.

Malibu Stacy said...

Well, it has been a while since I've been on here and it feels damn good to be back. In honor of that, the list lives up to the random in Friday Random Ten...

1. U Can Do / De La Soul: Great song by De La Soul. Little mellow, little funk.
2. Pick Up the Change / Wilco: I can't decide if I like this song. I do like Wilco, but just a little too country for me today.
3. Think (About it) / Lyn Collins: Great.
4. Love Is a Battlefield / Pat Benatar: SO happy this came up in my list.
5. Good Woman / Cat Power: I have liked Cat Power for a while, but have recently been getting more into her... great mellow tunes for the background on my iPod.
6. Let's Lynch the Landlord / Dead Kennedys: Considering our landlord only raised our rent in the fourth year we've lived here, I can't back the Dead Kennedy's on this, but a pretty good song.
7. See-Line Woman / Nina Simone (Masters at Work Remix): Love this song, and love the remix
8.Joga / Bjork: There's only so many times you can hear "state of emergency" before it gets on your nerves. I like Bjork, but this remix does nothing for me...
9. Let's Get It on (Da Producers MPG Remix): As I told Otto Man, there was nothing wrong with the original version of this song and the remix sounds like something I would have heard when I went roller skating in the eighth grade. Not exactly the image that would make you want to get it on. Stick to the original.
10. The Only Living Boy In New York / Simon & Garfunkel: Fantastic song to kick the weekend off in NY...

Mike said...


That was a stellar line-up. Hot damn, I was thinking the same thing when I saw Extraordinary Machine roll on in.

And if you'd given Animal the 6 or 7 it deserved, you'd've hit .850 or so.

I'm not sure what pitches my tent more: Sleater-Kinney, Polly Jean & Fiona all in one Random Ten; or Lovely, Lovely Ludwig Van ending the run.

Either way, congrats (congrats to your I-pod!). That's the best 10 I've seen since tuning in here.

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

1. Keane, “We Might as Well be Strangers”

Damn you, iPod! I’m pretty sure Keane’s come up before, and I’m pretty sure I said I don’t listen to it much. So this misrepresents my Keane listenership. And in that respect, this song speaks to me, because, “Keane, we might as well be strangers.” Otherwise, this song kinda blows. Kinda really blows. 5/10

2. Sonic Youth, “Hoarfrost”

In all mine years I’ve obsessed over three bands: The Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead and these guys. Can you name any other musician in any genre who’s put out amazing, important records for 20+ years? Me neither. Jay-Z remains my second best NYC musician sighting to Thurston. Bonus nugget: do yourself a favor and check out Thurston’s new record label signee Be Your Own Pet. They’re a punky Yeah Yeah Yeahs. You’re welcome. 8/10

3. Nirvana, “Return of the Rat”

Rumor has it that Kurt couldn’t think of lyrics to this song. Then Courtney came home. Problem solved. Actually, this is a cover. The boxed set is worth effort. 7/10

4. A Tribe Called Quest, “Find a Way”

How did they resist a reunion tour this long? Props for kidding yourself that each of your negligible solo career was going to do an about face for this long, but it’s the right move. Look forward to seeing y’all this fall. If it makes you feel better, I think The Love Movement is grossly underrated. With Beats, Rhymes and Life you were doing that thing you do but it didn’t measure up, so exploring a new sound was the logical move. People are idiots for not following you. Thank god for people like me…. 8/10

5. Love, “No Fourteen”

You can’t spell classic rock without classic. 8/10

6. Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions, “Sad Sad Girl and Boy”

Is the boy also sad? Or is it a sad girl and a boy who’s consoling her? 7/10

7. N.W.A., “Fuck Tha Police”

Milt feels like this album is viewed as a novelty these days. Milton feels these people are dead wrong.

Mama Said Knock You Out < It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back < Straight Outta Compton 9/10

8. The Secret Machines, “Nowhere Again”

This song is exhibit A for people thinking of skipping the Machines opening for Bloc Party in Brooklyn next weekend. Wall of sound, people. 9/10

9. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, “Animal Midnight”

Each of his solo albums have been better than the last, w/ the most recent reaching excellence. 8/10

10. Yves Montand, “Rue St. Vincent”

From Rushmore, aka the best movie my five senses have sensed (tied w/ Fargo). 7/10

76. My ‘Pod cleansing to date has improved my score about ten points. Dare I try to boost it more? Sifting through 15,000 tracks is even more arduous than it sounds. I’ll do it tomorrow….

Otto Man said...

How did they resist a reunion tour this long?

I saw them on the Low-End Theory tour. They came out, stumbled through parts of three songs -- I stress "parts" -- and only finished one, "Butter." After less than ten minutes, they walked off the stage. And, according to a friend who worked bar there, stole a mike.

I'll always love the music, but they will never ever get another thin dime of my precious rock dollar.

Yeah, I'm talking to you, Phife Dog. Fuck you.

sideshow bob said...

Thanks, Mike! My iPod is blushing...that's probably not a good thing, is it? Better check my warranty.

Otto Man said...

For the record, I also love women who rock. But my iPod is apparently gayer than Jeff Goldstein.

Otto Man said...

Speaking of rocking chicks, the Sleater-Kinney fans should direct their internets here for some live tracks. Enjoy.