I know, I know. It's the first week of January, so what am I doing posting yet another Christmas album cover?
Well, to be honest, I don't have much of a justification. Sure, I could chalk it up to post-traumatic stress disorder from the long and bloody War on Christmas, or the fact that our tree will likely remain up until mid-March. But I think I'll just let the awesomeness of this album cover make the case for me.
First of all, there's the simple fact that it's a Six Million Dollar Man Christmas album. (I guess we now know how Santa knows when you've been sleeping, etc. -- bionic vision, my friends.) But get a load of the titles of his four adventures. "Christmas Lights" sounds pretty boring, but the other three have real potential. "The Toymaker" could be a showdown with Batman's old nemesis, while "The Kris Kringle Caper" sounds like a precursor to Bad Santa. But the real winner here is "The Elves' Revolt." I have an image of Herbie the Would-Be Dentist seizing power in the workshop, only to be removed in a reindeer commando raid. Chilling, chilling stuff.
Anyway, the lingering presence of Steve Austin, Secret Santa, can only mean that it's time once again for the Friday Random Ten. You know the drill -- set the iPod to random and forthrightly admit the first ten songs that show up. Here's mine:
1. The Chemical Brothers, "Galvanize" -- Whether you know it or not, you've already heard this song a trillion times. It's a catchy song that's being used in the Budweiser ads currently airing on network TV every three minutes. (That's none other than Mos Def instructing you that there's a party over here, so you might as well be here, where the people care ... so ... don't .. hold ... back!) Even though it's been beaten to death by our corporate overlords, it's still a solid tune. 7/10
2. The Beatnuts, "Who You're Fuckin' With" -- It's only 50 seconds long, but this tune has a hook that's catchy as hell. I just wished they'd developed it into a full-length song. 6/10
3. RJD2, "Through the Walls" -- I really, really like the Since We Last Spoke album, but this song is the rare exception. Its guitar riffs and breathy vocals always remind me of Rick Springfield singing "Jesse's Girl." Sad, but true. 5/10
4. Spider Harrison, "Beautiful Day" -- This is an incredibly funky R&B number, with some nice guitar and organ hooks and soulful vocals. I came across this tune through a great collection, The Funky 16 Corners. If you're looking for lesser-known soul strutters, this is the place. 7/10
5. The Church, "Under the Milky Way" -- Hey, remember high school? 6/10
6. The O'Jays, "Love Train" -- Well, this makes for two separate beer commerical anthems in a single FRT. (Assuming we can count Coors Light as "beer." I tend to lump that weak brand in with all the other mildly minerally-enhanced water products, like Vitamin Water or Fresca.) Unlike the Budweiser ad, this one's so annoying I'm going to hold it against the O'Jays. Sorry, boys, but that's the price you pay for hitching your wagon to the Coors Empire. 5/10
7. Band of Horses, "The Great Salt Lake" -- I didn't have the time or sobriety to do one of those "Best of 2006" lists that make up most of the non-porn traffic on the internets these days, but if I had been so inclined, Band of Horses would've made it there. It's solid, if occasionally listless, indie rock along the lines of the Shins and their ilk. 7/10
8. Dr. Octagon, "Trees" -- Dr. Octagon is one of the 38 personae of schizophrenic hiphop genius Kool Keith. This is a funky little number that seems to be channelling the musical sensibilities of electrofunk bands like Zapp or Laid Back for environmental ends. How many times have we seen that before? 8/10
9. Hank Williams, "Cold, Cold Heart" -- A classic tune from a country superstar. It's hard to believe that a genius like Hank Sr. was in any way related to a mouthbreathing sellout like Hank Jr., but apparently that's the case. So sad. 6/10
10. Danger Doom & Talib Kweli, "Old School" -- If you haven't discovered The Mouse and the Mask, the join collaboration of Danger Mouse and MF Doom, you've missed out on one of the most entertaining hiphop CDs of the past couple years. The songs aren't simply catchy, but they're liberally sprinkled with dialogue stolen from the shows on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. Beautiful all around. 9/10
Alright, that gives me a 6.6 rating. While some people might relent in the face of consistently mediocre showings like I've had in the past few months here, I'm hoping that my musical lethargy is in its last throes. Hey, that attitude's working for the president, right?
As always, feel free to lambast me for my ratings above, or else drop your own Friday Random Ten in the comments below. May the power of Steve Austin be with you!