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!