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.
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.