Friday, December 08, 2006

Friday Random Ten

To answer your first question, no, I don't know what "I Farta" means in Norwegian. This may shatter your opinion of me, but I don't speak Norwegian and it's not a cool enough language to be featured on Babelfish.

I'm just hoping it doesn't mean what i think it means, because if it does, the goofball in the Bill Cosby sweater really, really needs to remove his finger from the behind of the Jackie Earle Haley wannabe in the acid-washed jeans. (You're supposed to pull his finger to make him go, Knut. He's not supposed to push yours.)

Anyway, the arrival of the Norwegian gas face can only mean it's time, once again, for the Friday Random Ten. Take out your iWhatever, put it on random, and give us the first ten songs. And if you'd like to send out the jazz and bring in the funk, throw in a coolness self-audit as well. Here's mine.

1. The Archies, "Sugar Sugar" -- Goddammit, who's been messing with this thing? 1/10

2. Moby, "I'm Not Worried at All" -- While I didn't like 18 as much as I loved Play, I also didn't have to hear every single song in forty different American Express ads or in the end credits of every third Hollywood release. So this one's a little cooler just because it wasn't mass-merchandised. 7/10

3. James Brown, "Soulful Christmas" -- Call me a traditionalist, but it's just not Christmas to me without the holiday singles from the Godfather of Soul. He put together a different single each season, and as the '60s spun out of control, they became more and more militant. This isn't exactly "Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto" but it's pretty close. "James Brown loves you, you lucky so-and-so." Yes, he does. 8/10

4. Grandaddy, "Guide Down Tonight" -- From Just Like the Fambly Cat, the fifth and final album from this group after fourteen years of precious, precocious, alt-nerd sounds. Nicely mellow. 7/10

5. Handsome Hank and his Lonesome Boys, "Video Killed the Radio Star" -- Yes, it's a bluegrass cover of the Buggles song. What? Stop staring at me like that. I am not an animal! I am a human being! 6/10

6. Beck, "Missing" -- From the excellent Guero album, a song that somehow manages to be sparse and haunting on one hand, and catchy as hell on the other. You may be a nutball Scientologist, Beck, but you make a mean song. 9/10

7. Leonard Cohen, "Hallelujah" -- A tremendously moving song, ruined by Leonard Cohen's tremendously creepy monotone in the lead vocals. Yeesh, sounds more like Leonard Nimoy, or perhaps South Park's Ned on a good day. There's a reason that when this song is used in four different Very Special Episodes of television dramas this season, it's a different singer. 5/10

8. Nina Simone, "House of the Rising Sun" -- Only Nina Simone could make this song a raucous soul number, and make it work. Take some notes, Leonard. This is how it's done. 9/10

9. Jane's Addiction, "Summertime Rolls" -- True story. Soon after I started playing bass in college, I ran into StudioDave. He wanted to know if I could play the bass line to this song like a guy on his hall could, and when I said no, I hadn't mastered this complicated song in my two weeks of practice, he was visibly unimpressed. His lack of faith soon caused me to abandon the instrument. (I said it would be a true story. Not that it would be even remotely interesting.) Anyway, I'm taking off a few points for the mental trauma inflicted by this song. 6/10

10. Eric B. and Rakim, "Don't Sweat the Technique" -- Ah, what a nice way to round out the FRT. (That's F-R-T, Norwegians. You may not buy a vowel.) Probably the biggest hit from the best hiphop act of the late '80s. Yes, better than Public Enemy. Yes. 9/10

Man, I was all over the place today. And somehow I still ended up with a 6.7 average. I'm two-thirds cool, just like Wilson Phillips was two-thirds hot.

I'm sure you folks can do better. Drop your own FRT in the comments, or feel free to launch a rebuttal in the Eric B. vs. Chuck D. battle.

8 comments:

Smitty said...

1) Nookie, Limp Bizkit. I can't finish the rest of my FRT because I am too busy killing myself. There is no excuse good enough as to why this is anywhere on or near my iPod. I want to shoot Fred Durst in his big, fat, whiny mouth. -10/10. Yes. -10.

2) Parabola, Tool. NOW we're talking. Sure, Tool misses sometimes with a 20-minute guitar meandering, but this is not one of those songs. 9/10. Still at -1.

3) Subdivisions, Rush. It's Rush. It's great percussion (yes, Rush is beyond simply drums and is in the realm of percussion), it's great guitar work, it's socially and politically conscious lyrics. It makes me feel guilty for living in a new-construction subdivision in a suburb. This is not their most dynamic song, though. 8/10.

4) No Place to Hide, Korn. Was cool, then got overplayed. Then got corporate. 6/10.

5) She, Harry Connick, Jr. This is off of his "She" release, which is an exploration of funk and NOLA jazz instead of his dinner-music crooner stuff. It's actually really good. 8/10.

6) Right Turn, Alice in Chains. This is off the "Sap" release, which is predominantly acoustic. It highlighted Jerry Cantrell's songwriting abilities and brought in some guys from some of the other grunge bands. A decent, hazy, lazy release that was musically something different for the grunge crowd, from the grunge crowd. 7/10.

7) Break You, Lamb of God. Wow...from soft, depressed acoustics to an all-out assault on my ears. These guys just crush. It's sick. The coordination between the guitars and the bass drums are amazing. 8/10.

6) Hey Bob-A-Ree-Bop, Cleveland Fats. This is a standard blues song. Guitar, straight drum beat in 4/4 (emphasis on beats 2 and 4). Guitar noodles "just so." Head-nodding beat. Piano tinkles away "just so." Wholly unremarkable for a blues song...what I'd hear from a cover band in a bar. 5/10.

7) Lithium, Nirvana. Not the one off of Nevermind, which is awesome. This is off the live release, From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah. It highlights what Jerry Cantrell always said about Cobain: great and profound songwriter; worst guitar player I have ever heard. Playing it LOUD really covers mistakes. 6/10.

8) Down in a Hole, ALice in Chains. Speaking of Jerry Cantrell...we have an AIC twofer on this week's FRT. Loves me some AIC, I do. Not bad for a slow song either. I can totally see a flannel-clad dude slow dancing this one with a flannel-clad chick at some Seattle highschool dance. 7/10.

9) Bacchanal, Clutch. This is off of one of their earlier releases when they were heavier than they are now. Fun song about how drinking and bacchanalia allows us to be controlled like puppets. 8/10.

10) Replica, Fear Factory. These guys are leaders, in my mind, in the Industrial Metal genre...damn close to death metal. This is the live version from Ozzfest. It starts "Here's a song you'll never hear on MTV. F$^$ MTV!! This is Replica!!" 8/10.

I end with a 7. SLightly above average, but still a C. The -10 in front didn't help. Yet one more reason to loathe Fred f-ing Durst and Limp Bizkit.

InanimateCarbonRod said...

1) Black Lung - Rancid. Love it. One minute and 53 seconds of unironic punk. 9/10

2) Last Goodbye - Jeff Buckley. Not the best song off this album, but you can't speak ill of the dead. 7/10

3) The World is Mine - Cracker. This track is okay, but I like it because it makes me think of college days when I only had to worry about how much, uh, stuff we had left. 6/10

4) Don't Make Waves - The Gossip. This is a live track I downloaded. The sound quality is horrible, but the energy is phenomenal. 8/10

5) Stink Foot - Frank Zappa. Scientists call the disease bromodrosis. 10/10

6) Range Life - Pavement. I'm such a Malkmus whore. 9/10

7) Make U Fly - Zion I & Grouch. Fine hip hop track by someone I've never heard of. Pro-woman, so I'll give it an extra point. 6/10

8) 21st Century (Digital Boy) - Bad Religion. It's post-punk punk day here on the FRT. This band is one of those that I like just good enough to like their songs, but not so much that I buy their albums. 6/10

9) My Brain is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg) - The Ramones. More post-punk (or is this one punk punk?) The Ramones should not write songs that last for four minutes, but the chorus is catchy. 6/10

10) Isis - The White Stripes. From that post-Turkey day FRT that Otto Man did. That was a great live set, but this is not the best song they did that night. 6/10

Mike said...

Smitty-

Yeah, that's not one of the stronegr cuts from Muddy Banks . . .. The songs 2-4 run of "Drain You," "Aneurysm," "SLTS" from the 1991 show in Del Mar is the highlight of that album. That version of "Aneurysm" is a fucking MONSTER.

"Down in a Hole" is a nice tune. But "Subdivisions," or Signals more specifically, is about the point where Rush started losing it for me. Grace Under Pressure didn't work for me at all.

OM-

I think "Summertime Rolls" deserves more than a 6, but what do I know. So you & SD go back to college? How bout ICR & TH? Is LLPON a college era project?

And, as always, GOTTA love the Nina Simone doing Eric Burden thing. She owns The Animals.

Smitty said...

OM:

6. Beck, "Missing"---I loves me some Guero...one of the best releases of that genre ever, and one of my favorites overall. 9/10 indeed.

7. Leonard Cohen, "Hallelujah" -- A tremendously moving song, ruined by Leonard Cohen's tremendously creepy monotone--- it is a moving song, but there is some newer artist who sings it with such a grating whine to his voice that it is again ruined for me. I have to say that there may not be an artist out there who does it any sort of justice. It would be better-off as spoken word maybe. Just not by William Shatner.

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

1. George Harrison – “Isn’t it a Pity,” from All Things Must Pass

Whooooooooooa, Doctor! Milt’s a Lennon-Beatles man from here to eternity, but this is the crown jewel of them bugs’ solo efforts. Sizzlin’ start to the FRT. 10/10

2. Smashing Pumpkins – “Wave Song (Demo),” from There it Goes the Early Years

When one band means more to one man than any band ever will, that one man will go to the ends of the earth to unearth their tunes. Case in point. 5/10

3. Modest Mouse – “Styrofoam Boots- It’s All Nice on Ice, Alright,” from Lonesome Crowded West

Top to bottom Milt’s MM record of choice. Their infectiously rocking geeeeeeeetar work is what whets ye olde ‘tite, but this one is strangely percussion driven. Not a prime cut, but FDA approved no doubt. 7/10

4. The Beatles – “Searchin’,” from Anthology 1

Also more of a late era Beatles man, so this early outtake sounds pedestrian. 5/10

5. Loose Joints – “Is it All Over My Face?,” from How to Kill the DJ (Part 2)

Great comp, great title. Sadly it works better as a whole, and this slice of house tunage is lacking seeing as the good doc’s office lacks a strobe light. 5/10

6. Miles Davis – “Godchild,” from Birth of the Cool

Could this be the first ever techno to jazz FRT segue? It smells like victory. 7/10

7. Fugazi – “Link Track,” from Instrument Soundtrack

Third dud outtaker from an epic band. So let’s not dwell. Just let it be known that last night at NYU The Evens, which feature Fugazi Ian MacKaye on guitar and Amy Farina on drums reaching the summit of Chill Rock Mountain, put on the best damn show you’ll see for $5. 5/10

8. Eric Clapton & John Mayall – “Bernard Jenkins,” from Crossroads

#1 box set on The Official List of Box Sets Milt Could Probably Do Without. To reiterate: not hating, just not Milt’s thing. 5/10

9. U2 – “Lemon,” from Zooropa

The # of songs on this list the good doc spins regularly (or even irregularly, which is to say ever) is two. #1 and #3. Props to U2 for branching, especially since they’ve thrown it back in neutral and lost the doc’s ear again, but how often do you think, “I’ll listen to U2,” and then think, “Zooropa it is!” Not often. Now read this: http://mcsweeneys.net/2006/10/20malla.html 7/10

10. Clor – “Good Stuff,” from Clor

This is a fun Friday finish. If you like keyboard-y 80’s rock buy this now. Thought it would blow up a bit but they broke up before the US release. It’s a pic perf ode to that 80’s stuff. Would’ve been a fun live whatnot. 8/10

64. Putting the “R” in FRT.

The Doc said...

Otto, I can't weigh in on the Eric B vs Chuck D debate, although I have to admit I'm skeptical. I guess I'll have to listen to more Eric B & Rakim! And Smitty, if you like the funky Harry Connick, check out Star Turtle. Bizarre concept album with some good songs.

1. Ramshackle Day Parade - Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros. It's a good song, with a crazy build. But I'm thinking it's not very high up on the cool spectrum. 6/10.
2. Daly City Train - Rancid. Not as good as Black Lung, but I still like it. 8/10.
3. I Got Knocked Down (But I'll Get Up) - Joey Ramone. And apparently Motherboxxx is kicking out her punk rock jams this afternoon. It's not The Ramones, but it's not supposed to be. Joey needed to write music while he was dying, and it's actually sad and uplifting at the same time. 7/10.
4. So. Central Rain - R.E.M. I really can't be objective about this song, because I honestly think it's the best song they've ever done. Back when they were cool. 10/10.
5. All Our Dark Tomorrows - Bruce Cockburn. My funniest memory of Bruce Cockburn is when we studied one of his song lyrics in English class, and my teacher wrote his name on the board and said "it's pronounced COH-burn!" An interesting song, not as folky as I'm used to from him. 6/10.
6. You Can't Lose A Broken Heart - Billie Holiday. Oooh, a classic. 9/10.
7. Sufragette City - David Bowie. This song drips cool into your earholes until it solidifies and then you pull it out and then all the bad music comes out. It's like ear candling, except not dangerous and it actually works. 10/10.
8. Earthshine - Rush. This may come as a shock to the Rush fans out there - especially since I'm Canadian - but I don't really like Rush that much. I do however, like Vapour Trails. A lot. This song rocks it. 7/10.
9. The Man In The Iron Mask - Billy Bragg. Ooh. Turn down the rock, turn up the sweet. It's a hell of a song, if a little cheese. 7/10.
10. 7/4 (Shoreline) - Broken Social Scene. Excellent! I don't really listen to the radio, but apparently this song got moderately popular (at least, up here). Which is good, because it's awesome. 9/10.

Gives me an average of 7.9. Not too bad, although the very next song was Ana Ng, so I came in as moderately cool just under the wire.

Otto Man said...

I want to shoot Fred Durst in his big, fat, whiny mouth. -10/10. Yes. -10.

At least you did the honorable thing with the negative ten.

Otto Man said...

So you & SD go back to college? How bout ICR & TH? Is LLPON a college era project?

Only our parole officers can say for sure.

I guess I'll have to listen to more Eric B & Rakim!

Yes. you will, my friend. "Follow the Leader," "Don't Sweat the Technique," "Eric B. for President," etc. etc.