Friday, December 22, 2006

Friday Random Ten

Finally, we can reveal just how Santa always knows when you''re sleeping and knows when you're awake. He's got more electronic surveillance out there than the NSA. And from the panicked, wide-eyed look on his face, it sounds like he just overheard something serious. Maybe it's a Bumble plot to assassinate Yukon Cornelius, or maybe he's just found out that the wayward Mrs. Santa has been on Donner, on Dasher, on Prancer and Blitzen. Whatever it is, it doesn't look good.

Alright, Misfit Toys, it's time for the Friday Random Ten.

1. The Arcade Fire, "Haiti" -- Say what you will about the Francophone world -- and, believe me, I've heard what you've been saying -- but those people stick together. Here's a band from Montreal not only singing about Haiti, but adopting a little Carribean steel drum to make the song feel at home. Vous bâtards magnifiques! Je vous salue. 8/10

2. Them, "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" -- Probably my favorite bit of work from Van Morrison. It doesn't hurt that this was sampled beautifully for Beck's "Jack-Ass" either. 7/10

3. Sleater-Kinney, "Entertain" -- I had some grrrl friends who were really into these ladies a few years back, but I never really caught the bug. Am I alone on this? Is it a sign that I hate women? 4/10

4. The Aqua Velvets, "Spanish Blue" -- This is a fairly straightforward, surf rock instrumental. Not much amazing about the tune, but you've got to love the band name. 5/10

5. The Amps, "Pacer" -- The Amps are one of the forty-eight bands that Kim Deal helped form during the late '90s between gigs with the Pixies. The lone (?) album by the Amps, also named Pacer is solid enough, but for some reason this title track is one of the weaker songs. Eh. 6/10

6. The Velvet Underground, "Sweet Jane (live)" -- A terrific track off the 1969 live album. Not sure what else needs to be said. 8/10

7. J.J. Chauke & Tiyimeleni Young Sisters, "Madyisa Mbitsi" -- South African pop from the '80s, I believe. I have no proof of this, but I'm convinced the opening riffs of this song are what inspired Paul Simon's "I Know What I Know" from the Graceland album. Very nice. 7/10

8. Harry Belafonte, "Will His Love Be Like His Rum?" -- Of all the calypso wedding numbers I have, this is easily my favorite. 6/10

9. The Grifters, "Bronze Cast" -- Some outstanding indie rock from the early '90s, off the album Crappin' You Negative. I shit you not. Anyone know what happened to these guys? 9/10

10. Ray Charles, "Greenbacks" -- This is a great song from his Atlantic sessions in the '50s, a rolling R&B jumper with some catchy hooks and nice vocals. 7/10

Alright, that gives me yet another 6.7 rating. The same as last week, and a couple weeks before that. It seems it's Santa's will to keep me at two-thirds cool, so who am I to argue?

Let's see what you've got this week. Go ahead and drop your own FRTs in the comments below. Remember, the coolness self-audit is optional, but the sacrificial offering of milk and cookies is mandatory.


Dr. Milton von Fünkdoctorspock said...

"Entertain" was Milt's #1 rock song of '05. Sweet mercy.

And speaking of best of lists, 'tis the season and the doc will try to put a F-not-so-R-Ter best of for '06 today.

Mike said...

OM, you're a misogr . . . I mean Mr. Ogen . . . oh, a , uh, a woman-hater!

If you can get past Corin's banshee wail, the gals in S-K bring the rawk, and they bring it good. But that voice . . .

Any FRT that has an appearence by Kim Deal, well that's gotta add 0.3 to the overall score, right? So I think you earn a 7.0 today.

Hell, it's Christmas . . . or Happy Holiday, anyhow. Soa present is in order.

Dr. Milton von Fünkdoctorspock said...

But 2006 isn’t over yet! Yeah, kid, that’s what they all say. Maybe something with the triple hotness drops in the next 1.5 weeks. In that case color Milt’s face red. Else, take this as the best. Or the favoritest. Songs and albums. A curious mixture of the lot.

10. Gnarls Barkley – “Go Go Gadget Gospel,” from St. Elsewhere

Creativity alone fuels this entry. W/ no clear cut hip hopping top tenner (though the Roots and Lupe’s efforts were tip top), gots to go soul hop.

9. Cat Power – “The Greatest,” from The Greatest

Good year for the ladies. Nellie McKay, Jenny Lewis and Neko Case amongst them. Cat Power, however, was la crème. And dammit is she cute.

8. The Walkmen – “Emma, Get Me a Lemon,” from A Hundred Miles Off

Exhibit A for the strength of this year’s tunage. Spectac album, maybe their best and certainly their most accessible. Good drinking music. Also, their signer has a great name: Hamilton Leithauser.

7. Love is All – “Talk Talk Talk Talk,” from Nine Times That Same Song

Indie rock with brass. Balls and instruments.

6. Sonic Youth – “Incinerate,” from Rather Ripped

One of the best ever back with one of their best ever. Punchy rock tunes from some guitar wizards.

5. The Thermals – “A Pillar of Salt,” from The Body, the Blood, the Machine

#1 gym album of the year for the poppy punksters. Anthemic.

4. Tapes ‘n Tapes – “Just Drums,” from The Loon

Just when you thought that tune was over, it comes back at you in a completely unexpected yet charming way.

3. Silversun Pickups – “Little Lover’s So Polite,” from Carnavas

Oh me. Oh my. For someone who once bled for el Pumpkins de Smashing, and for someone who hates ripoff artists, these kids have the speaker-blowing guitar thing down. Wall of sound.

2. The Decemberists – “When the War Came,” from The Crane Wife

The album of the year that was pushed over the edge by a tremendous live show. More likable with every listen for a healthy 22 listens.

1. TV on the Radio – “Wolf Like Me,” from Return to Cookie Mountain

Best song. Best album. There. That was easy.

What a faulking year. Don’t feel bad Annuals, Band of Horses, Be Your Own Pet, Deerhoof, the Flaming Lips, Thom Yorke, Tokyo Police Club, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Rapture, Beck or Yo La Tengo. You done us all proud. Ten ain’t many.

And w/ The Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails and plenty others set to drop in 2007… sweet sexy.

Happy hollerdays, people.

Smitty said...

I looked at the album cover. What the Hell is a "Moog Synthesizer???"

1) Welcome Home (Sanitarium) -- Metallica. Tasty little start to this week's FRT.

2) Early in the Morning -- Taj Mahal. Smooth, cool guitar riff over lyrics about a surprisingly romantic walk to school. I wonder if school, in this case, is a metaphor for something.

3) A.D.I.D.A.S. -- Korn. I have always loved this song, being based on one of my all-time favorite elementary school jokes.

4) Temptation's Wings -- Down. Awesome conglomerate band of Pantera, Corrosion of Conformity and Crowbar. The riffs on this entire CD are Texas-bluesy with sufficient crunch behind them to make it metal instead. This is one of my favorites.

5) Rambling Irishman -- Blackthorn. Cool traditional Irish ballad, a capella. Blackthorn is an Irish band from Michigan. They do both traditional stuff and write some of their own.

6) Got To Be More Careful -- Jon Cleary. Funk, anyone? Killer groove over Cleary's tinkling piano riffs.

7) Jesse James -- Bruce Springsteen. This is off of The Boss's recent American Roots music CD, We Shall Overcome - The Seeger Sessions. Awesome stuff, recorded in his livingroom. I never thought I'd get into bluegrass and traditional American folk. Is it age? Or is it timeless? This is such a great song.

8) A String of Pearls -- Glenn Miller. I tried to think up some fun little 40's catchphrases, but I don't know any. Yeah, I am a big band geek. So what.

9) Pueblo Nuevo -- Buena Vista Social Club. This is one of the best songs on an overwhelmingly good CD. It's an all-piano song of latin jazz that goes from one type of song to the next seamlessly; flamenco, samba, etc.

10) Serenity in Murder -- Slayer. All speed and crunch, in classic Slayer style. I've always secretly thought that Tom Araya's vocals were weak compared to the other 80s underground metal groups.

Now THAT was about as random as it gets.

sideshow bob said...

Your lack of S-K love is disturbing, but as Mike said, Corin's vocals can be a love-'em or hate-'em proposition...

1)Third Eye Blind-Losing a Whole year. I really, really like these guys. Not sure if it's their catchy tunes or wild "San Francisco" values. I'd like to give this song a 7, but I'm a realist, and they are certainly not cool. (6/10)

2)Don't Talk-10,000 Maniacs. I much prefer Maniacs Natalie to solo Natalie, still...this song is nothin' special. (4/10)

3)Go-Pearl Jam. There's a special place in my heart for this song. It came out about a year after my son was born, and every time I changed a diaper, I'd find myself singing to him, "Please, don't go on me". (7/10)

4)Is It Luck?-Primus. Pretty good, but the best part of the song is in the first fifteen seconds. (6/10)

5)Negative Creep-Nirvana. One of my favorite Nirvana songs. I have a wicked headache this morning, but I still cranked it to 11. (9/10)

6)Rooster-Alice in Chains. Lovely song...and pro-soldier before it was cool. Minus one point for being overplayed. (7/10)

7)Would?-Alice in Chains. I have over 800 songs, 8 of which are by Alice In Chains. Two in a row would seem to really be against the odds. But I guess that's why you play the FRT; anything can happen on any given Friday. (7/10)

8)The Hand That Feeds-Nine Inch Nails. I really think Trent Reznor deserved the Comeback Player of the Year for this 2005 effort but, unfortunately, no such award exists in the music world. All they got is Grammys, and who'd want one of those? This song is good, but not among the top tier from With Teeth. (7/10)

9)Creep-Stone Temple Pilots. I seem to have a 'creep' theme going. Again, Overplayed. (6/10)

10)Close To Me-The Cure. Ugh, what a crappy way to round off a subpar outing. (3/10)

Average: 6.2

But my mom says I'm cool!

Smitty said...


Would?-Alice in Chains

One of my top-5 favorite songs of all time. I am awarding you an additional 2 points, boosting that score to 9/10. Your audit is now a passing grade og 6.4, or 64%.

Mike said...

I'm with Smitty.

SSB, that was a collection of ass-kicking Seattlisciousness. Your scores do it no justice: "Negative Creep," a decent PJ tune, and not one, but TWO great A-in-C songs!

Everyone deserves more pints today. We're all winners.

(Ya see, even us Christ-killers can catch the Christmas Spirit!)

Otto Man said...

I knew the Sleater-Kinney snark would unleash a hailstorm. Oh well. As the baby Jesus said, I am what I am.

sideshow bob said...

otto man- you, sir, are worse than Hitler!

Otto Man said...

otto man- you, sir, are worse than Hitler!

What can I say, SSB? I'm in flavor country.