Thursday, August 17, 2006

Friday Random Ten

I've held off on using this album cover for so long now because it's featured in the alternating all-star images over at the Poor Man. But I can't hold off any longer. I've got a request, dammit, and it's 100% Ken.

The beauty of this album cover is its simplicity. A nice high school photo layout, with the serious close-up well balanced by a smiling, kick-back-casual seated shot. It showcases both sides of Ken, with the high-fiber Ken giving you the stuff you need and sugar-coated Ken giving you the stuff you crave. Ken. He's everywhere you want to be!

Alright, let's do this thing.

1. Muddy Waters, "I'm a King Bee" -- Some classic late-career blues from McKinley Morganfield. (Yeah, yeah, you call him Muddy Waters. His mama called him Morganfield -- I call him Morganfield.) Nicely done. 7/10

2. Band of Horses, "Weed Party" -- I finally listened to the recommendations of a number of friends about this band, and I can't say I'm disappointed. Sort of a blend of Hüsker Dü, the Byrds and a whole lot of Built to Spill. Very nice. 8/10

3. The Magnetic Fields, "Young and Insane" -- This is from the excellent House of Tomorrow five-song EP, one of those discs that is nothing but beauty. I have a soft spot for Stephin Merritt's work, and this one always reminds me why. 9/10

4. Asheru and Blue Black of the Unspoken Herd, "Smiley (The Woh, Woh Song)" -- Don't let the awful song or artist names scare you away. This is some phenomenal hiphop, blissfully smooth and catchy as hell. (Asheru does the theme to the Boondocks cartoon if that helps you place the voice.) Very nice. 10/10

5. Elvis Presley, "Can't Help Falling in Love" -- I have a soft spot for Fat Elvis, but there's no way in hell this song can be classified as "cool." 4/10

6. PJ Harvey, "Man-Size" -- I tend to run hot and cold when it comes to Polly Jean, and this is a song that belongs in the fridge. Just a little bit too much angst and screaming for my tastes. 6/10

7. Jungle Brothers, "What U Waitin' 4?" -- Damn, whatever happened to these guys? Back in The Day, they were always right there in the wake of De La Soul and Tribe Called Quest, but they've long since disappeared from the scene. Shame. 7/10

8. Kashmere Stage Band, "Kashmere" -- This is a great instrumental group along the lines of the Funk Brothers, the Stax studio band, or any other set of professional backing musicians. But they're a high school band. Unbelievable talent. If you have the first Handsome Boy Modeling School album, this song is used for most of the horn and drum breaks on "Holy Calamity." Amazing. 9/10

9. David Lee Roth with the John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band, "Jump" -- No, seriously. 7/10

10. The Raconteurs, "Broken Boy Soldier" -- I was always a little lukewarm about the White Stripes, but I like the latest incarnation of Mr. White here. I'm not sure if it's the fact that he finally has a full band working around him, or if Brendan Benson's influence is that strong, but if this is where he's heading from here on out, sign me up. 9/10

Alright, that gives me a 7.6 average. Not the best I've done, but at least I'm in the top quartile of all Friday Random Tens. Call Harvard!

Let's see what you've got. Please feel free to drop your own FRT in the comments below, or unleash your inner music snob to rip apart my songs and ratings. Bring it!


Mike said...

Hatin on Meg, huh?

Uhhh, ok. Can't really argue with that. Elephant still rocks.

But I think I gotta check me out this Raconteurs thing.

That was, by the way, a nice run you had going til Fat Elvis took that dump. Now if it was A Little Less Conversation & A Little More Action . . .

Remix or not; no diff to me.

Otto Man said...

I don't mean to hate on Meg, but give the Raconteurs a listen and see the difference. It's like going from a flat drawing to a 3D model.

And, yes, there are exceptions to the Fat Elvis rule. That would surely be one of them.

Mr Furious said...

The Raconteurs, "Broken Boy Soldier"

And that's the worst song on the album...

I "reviewed" the album in June. It's only improved with age.


I've also done a bit of Meg-bashing, but the biggest problem with the Stripes isn't that she drums like the kid in the Partridge Family (she does), it's the lack of bass. The Rac's are a fully fleshed-out band, and it works.

I should note, I am a BIG Stripes fan, and love 90% of the catalog, bass-free and weakly drummed as it is.

Mr Furious said...

Oops, blew the link. Here.

Otto Man said...

I think Furious has hit the nail on the head -- no bass. I like my music with some bottom in it, and the Stripes are pretty top-heavy.

The only band that could pull off a bass-free zone was the Doors. (Anyone remember the Kids in the Hall sketch about the Doors? Classic.)

Mike said...

I agree that's a problem on White Blood Cells.

But on Elephant that combo of the octave shifter (or whatever it's called) to give that bass-effect, plus the usual phat & heavy rhythm guitar give it enough bottom for me.

But I hear you. If you want bad-ass bass, there's no substitute.

Mr Furious said...

All complaints are relative, as I love all of this stuff...

I just listened to the entire Raconteurs album. This album is right in my wheelhouse—two lead singers trading off and harmonizing, good musicianship (esp. guitar), and an intangible drumming connection. My wife actually pointed out how Posies-ish they are, and it's no wonder I love it.

As for the White Stripes, I was listening to "Little Bird" earlier today, and "The Same Boy You've Always Known" just came up on shuffle. It's really a whole other genre from the pop rock that is the Rac's—much bluesier in most cases, and the rawness and simplicity of the rhythm works.

Dr. Milton von Fünkdoctorspock said...

Thank you, Furiouso. Glad someone's at least kind of got the Stripes back. For Milt's $, the Stripes are one of the 5 best (or dare I use the ultra-snobbish term "relevant") acts of the last decade. So many groups go for the bigger, ten member sound these days (which I also love), and here's two people doing it proper. Jack White is big pimpin' guitarist extraordinaire numero uno in all the land, which is to say Rockville.

De Stijl, White Blood Cells and Elephant are an unequalled five star threepeat.

Y'all be FRTing it early this week. Milt'll be back after a few flapjacks.

Smitty said...

Without further ado:

1) Bonerama, Bonerama. Awesome group of 5 trombonists and 1 tuba player. Caught them in New Orleans about 3 years ago. Totally awesome show.

2) Primus, Southbound Pachyderm. Ummmmmm...huh? Slap bass as played by Flea is awesome. Slap bass as played by Les Claypool leaves me confused and directionless.

3) Van Halen, And the Cradle Will Rock. Old school VH, and one of my favorite tunes.

4) Maceo Parker, Walkin' Home Together. What a riot! I love this song from the former James Brown sax player. Great "call and response" song also featuring the Rebirth Brass Band from N.O.

5) Freddie King, Going Down. A guitar MASTER with a distinctive twang to his guitar...I see him as heavily influencing SRV.

6) System of a Down, Bounce. Wow. Thank God I had my coffee this morning, on an empty stomach.

7) Robert Cray, These Things. A blues dude who plays a steel guitar standing-up like a regular guitar. Cool sound.

8) White Zombie, More Human than Human. I loved this song...when I was like 17. Zzzzzzz...

9) Taj Mahal, The Car of Your Dreams. Taj Mahal in a bit of his funk stage...which was awesome for the King of American "Roots Music."

10) Rage Against The Machine, Freedom. Usually, I love this song. But currently, with images of Mel Gibson as Braveheart running through my makes me laugh. Still...a great song.

And I gotta say, OM, I loves me some Muddy Waters. Or whatever his real name is. Man Child is one of my faves.

Otto Man said...

Muddy's a genius. That 3-CD Chess box set is nothing but magic from start to finish.

Mr Furious said...

Oh, I've got their back allright, Dr. Milt. Next time the Von Bondies want to throw down with Jack, I'm only a half hour away...

I'll go as far as to say the White Stripes are Top 3 (for the decade). In fact, I cannot think of anyone I'd put ahead of them, at the moment, but I won't commit to the number one slot.

Dr. Milton von Fünkdoctorspock said...

Haha, Furio, you're 30 min away line made the Doc ponder, "Is he in Ann Arbor?" only to click on your profile and confirm. Go blue.

Damn, I was just about to hit shuffle when I realized all of Idlewild is online at See y'all this afternoon....

B.S.E. Mechanical Engineering, UofM '00
M.S. Biomedical Engineering, UofM '01


Thrillhous said...

I don't know who Meg is, but I'd be glad to hate on her. and this white stripes, what are you talking about? I know White Lion, Great White, and Stryper. the rest is all buzzes and pops to me.

Time for some real music! Please, Hammer, don't hurt 'em!

1) Showtime! - Mike Post. From the A-team soundtrack. Nobody does TV music like the Postman. This track is even better than "helicopters". 9/10

2) The Rock - The Who. Gotta be in the right mood for Who, and I ain't in it. 2/10

3) I've Seen All Good People - live. One of several Yes songs that are even better live than studio. 10/10

4) Thick as a Brick - Tull. Again, the mood thing. 3/10

5) Pictures at an Exhibition, part 1 - ELP. Rockin' rendition of Mussorgsky's hit symphony. Warning: attention span required. 9/10

6) Bad Moon Rising - CCR. More cajun goodness from the boys from California. 7/10

7) Friends - Zeppelin. 8/10

8) Steal Away (the Night) - Ozzy. The final incredible track on Ozzy's nonstop blockbuster hit debut solo album. 11/10

9) God Smack - Alice in Chains. So much better than the band that stole that name, although I like them too. 8/10

10) Mood for a Day - Yes. One of Steve Howe's accoustic joints. 9/10

Not bad, but at 11 I have Sweet Love Child, so I'm kinda bummed that didn't make the cut.

The Doc said...

1. Got To Get You Into My Life - The Beatles. Not a bad start. Sir Paul and a big horn section. Decent. 6/10.
2. Coffee & TV - Blur. A good pop song that has a great video to go along with it. +1 for animated milk carton. 8/10.
3. If You Find Yourself Caught In Love - Belle & Sebastian. Wow, I'm all about the pop music so far this morning. This is an okay song, but it just doesn't grab me with its awesomeness. 6/10.
4. Star Bodies - The New Pornographers. Yipes! That's a hot song to bust up the joint. Still pop, but upbeat and kinetic. 8/10.
5. The Finest Kind - Stephen Fearing. Canadian-British folk-pop music. It's a good song, but I'm kind of getting sick and tired of this holding pattern. 7/10.
6. Aluminum - The White Stripes. Ah, and now The Doc gets to enter the White Stripes fray. This song may not be the best song to do that with. It's pretty much just Jack noodlin' around on the guitar and people goin' "Aaaa!" Sorry, people, wish I could have come out swinging with a great Stripes song, but instead I have this. 4/10.
7. Gonna Leave You - Queens of the Stone Age. Woot! A little more rock never hurt anyone, especially if it's a heavy, melodic rock song. Dig this a lot. 8/10.
8. Sabrina - The Hanson Brothers. A punk ballad about a man whose burgeoning AHL career takes him away from the girl he loves. Classic. 8/10.
9. Makin' Whoopee - Ella Fitzgerald. Nothing really standout here, but Ella puts a little attitude in all the right places. 7/10.
10. She's Hot To Go - Lyle Lovett. How to decide on a rating for this? Is Lyle Lovett cool or not? Then again, the song has the lyric: "Man, this girl was SO ugly -" "Hey, you ugly too!" That has to take a bit of awesome, right? 7/10.

That gives me 69/100. A little low, but I can't complain if I'm not cool.

Otto Man said...

Got To Get You Into My Life - The Beatles. Not a bad start. Sir Paul and a big horn section.

I just heard recently that this is supposedly about Sir Paul's love for the marijuana. Anyone know if that's true? I always thought this was a moderately lame love song, not a tribute to the sticky and/or icky.

Dr. Milton von Fünkdoctorspock said...

1. Nirvana – “Heart Shaped Box,” from Outcesticide 2

The Outcesticide series is a bit excessive but has its moments, a worthy listen considering, well, you know, they won’t be putting out any new albums anytime soon. Song’s a 9, maybe a 10 on a good day, but minus 1 for this being a version only worthy of a boot. 8/10

2. Sonic Youth – “Cross the Breeze,” from Daydream Nation

If my FRT shuffled only songs from this album, I would score 100. 10/10

3. T. Rex – “London Boys,” from The Very Best of T. Rex

Think Bowie crossed with The New York Dolls. Seminal. Honestly, they couldn’t have called themselves anything but T. Rex. 9/10

4. Stevie Wonder – “We Can Work it Out,” from At the Close of a Century

This boxed set is neither excessive nor indulgent. If you don’t own it, I can only assume you hate blind people. Go back to Russia. Commie. 8/10

5. Be Your Own Pet – “Bog,” from Be Your Own Pet

Fave song from fave debut of ’06. True story:

They played in the high noon heat at Lollapalooza two weeks ago. Jemina, the punky front gal (who is furiously cute by the by, future mag cover girl for sure if Milt has any say in it), says, “We have one more song,” to which the drummer replies, “I think we have time for two.” She says, “Okay, maybe two,” but she spends the last thirty seconds of the first song vomiting and dry heaving onstage. Nobody helps her. Post song:

Jemina: I just vomited. Should we play one more song, or is that heat exhaustion? [bounces around stage] One more!

It was the rock ‘n roll moment of three solid days of rock. 9/10

6. “Wasuze Otya,” from A Putumayo Blend: Music of the Coffee Lands

Not to be confused with Music of the Coke Lands from Bolivia, which is loud techno music. 6/10

7. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - “Love or Confusion,” from Are You Experienced?

Jimi’s one dude whose catalog far outshines his hits for Milt’s $. Are “Purple Haze” and “Foxy Lady” really his crowning radio hits? The two albums after this one are ten freaking feet tall. 6/10

8. Iggy & the Stooges – “Raw Power,” from Raw Power

The hot rock is currently being brought, Spock.

Sorry, really wanted a rhyme there. 9/10

9. Eric Clapton – “Alberta,” from Unplugged

God bless him for single-handedly extending Unplugged’s run by years, but too bad no one else could keep the torch lit. Hasn’t been a great one since Jay-Z. Too few and far between. This album is an easy choice for Milt’s crowning Clapton moment. This and “Layla.” 7/10

10. Radiohead – “Subterranean Homesick Alien,” from Live in New York, 19Dec97

A ladyfriend Milt recently parted company with didn’t like the ‘head because their lyrics are too depressing. Are they too depressing… or too real? Milt begs to differ. 9/10

81! Easily a FRT PB for the M-I-L-T.

Mike said...


There's a Beatle's website (I'll try to hunt down the links) with commentary from the boys (at least when they were alive) talking about the songs. Paul waxes rhapsodic about the lovely, lovely weed, and explains that he wrote this song as an homage a herb,.

And no, I don't know French.

Thrill, baby: Friends & Godsmack. Heeeeee-haw! I does love me my Zep III. And Godsmack is my numero uno, favorite AIC song. "Whhhhaaat in god's name have you duu-uh-uuun . . ." That's some balls-to-that old-wall R&R, huh?

Dr. Funk-

If you'd followed up Thrill's list with Teenage Riot I doubt I'd be able to write this. In fact, just your mention of Daydream Nation makes me want to go home right now and crank it up to 11.

In fact, maybe I should . . .

grandpaboy said...

A friend who knows my VH mania told me about Roth performing a bluegrass Jump on Leno. I laughed and asked if it was as good as that ACDC bluegrass. She said it was an abomination, in so much as anything Jump-related could be an abomination.

Maybe he was just nervous being on Leno.