Friday, January 05, 2007

Friday Random Ten

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!


Bird Spot said...

"Herbie" vs "Hermie"

The debate continues: It's a Wahoo Gazette tradition. From Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer, the question: Is the elf who wants to be a dentist named "Herbie" or "Hermie"? I ask it every year. If you watched the Rudolph show, you would have heard the head-elf definitely call the dentist elf, "Herbie." He is called "Hermie" elsewhere. So which is it? Find out here:

I know, I was shocked, too.

Noah said...

Welcome back, FRT!

OM: I am with you 100% on the Coors Empire rant. Bad beer, so-so song, the combo certainly leaves a, uh, bad taste in the mouth.

1) Man in the Box - Alice in Chains. Love this band, love this song. 8/10.

2) Wang Dang Doodle - Koko Taylor. I don't know if this was originally "her" song, since so many blues artists do eachothers work. But it is certainly the dirtiest and best version. 9/10.

3) A Warm Place - Nine Inch Nails. This is off the Downward Spiral release, which is probably overall my favorite NIN work. This particular song, though, is not tops on the cd. 6/10.

4) Hot for Teacher - Van Halen. Classic. It is sad when the songs of my own youth are now played on my local "classic rock" station. Jesus...I'm only 32. 8/10.

5) Severed - Mudvayne. I am taking the whole CD off of my iPod later tonight. I let a friend talk me into how cool they are. They're just standard nu-metal duldrum. 5/10.

6) In Bloom - Nirvana. Possibly my favorite on the CD. 9/10.

7) Chloe - Loius Armstrong. Look, I really like Satchmo. Just not this song. It's a bit grating. 6/10.

8) Camouflage - Boney James. Boney James is what Kenny G wishes he was. Problem is, Boney James knows that he is what Kenny G wishes he was. 7/10.

9) Refuse/Resist (live) - Sepultura. Sepultura was my first death metal band to listen to. I was hooked immediately. They like to go to a very tribal rythmic feel to some of their songs, making them really chug. Great set of lungs on Max Cavalera, too. Too bad they kinda broke up then dissolved. But Max's new(ish) band Soulfly is just as cool. 8/10.

10) Soon As I Get Paid - Keb' Mo'. Kevin Moore can pretty much do no wrong in my book for easy blues. 8/10.

7.4. Vaguely better than average in terms of passing grades. A straight C.

Otto Man said...

Actually, that was a typo -- it's Hermie as far as I'm concerned. I guess part of me has a thing for the Love Bug.

Mike said...

It's Hermie! There's no debate.

Now . . . to the debate: I have to give way more than a 6 to the Church for "Milky Way." The song starts at about a 5 or 6, but that instrument in the bridge -- organ, accordian, Jim Morrison's ghost? -- adds at least a point or two.

And THEN, we have to acknowlegde the amazing use of that tune in the party scene in Donnie Darko. In full context, I really have to give it a "9."

Shoot me now if you must, but I'm sticking.

Now as to the demerits against the O'Jays for not only whoring out a classic, but whoring it out to a company that won't hire "soul music fans," now that's just abominable.

A "1" may be in order: great tune, but so uncool at this point, it hurts.

alex supertramp said...

got to go with mike on the Church cut, nostalgia or not (or excellent Donnie Darko placement) the song is so sweet, and exactly WTF is wrong with Jessie's Girl you f'in homo mofo - and while we're at it, get off of Hank Jr's back or Hank III will come over and kick the ever lovin shit outta ya for bad-mouthin his pa....and by the way, smitty, that bad taste in your mouth ain't no Coors.............

Isaac Carmichael said...

Isn't the instrument in the bridge of "Milky Way" bagpipes? If not, it ought to be. Bagpipe solos always bump a song up a point on the coolometer, at least that's the way I see it.

Regarding Hank Williams, Jr., I prefer to think that he's the offspring resultant from Mrs. Williams cheating on Hank, thereby giving birth to the wonderful musical collection of Hank Sr....and a bastard child. Anyhoo, I guess I'll try the ol' FRT. Are you ready for some football!?!

1)Holy Man-Blind Melon. Average song from average hippy band. But at least it's better than Jessie's Girl...(5/10)

2)George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People-Legendary K.O. I was turned on to this song by none other than OM hisself. I LOVE this song! There is so much going on in this country these days that should make rap a fertile ground for political action and discussion, but instead we have to hear about how apt this or that guy is wit tha bitches...sad. (9/10)

3)Harry Dean Stanton-Pop Will Eat Itself. The lyrics suck, but the music is transcendant. Plus, how can you not like a song names after the Repo Man?(7/10)

4)Extraordinary Machine-Fiona Apple. Title track from her wonderful last album. She takes barbershop to strange new places...(10/10)

5)Pardon Me-Incubus. Fianlly, a song about spontaneous combustion! But I'd rather watch a documentary on the subject than listen to the song. (5/10)

6)Dry-PJ Harvey. My favorite PJ song. Made back when she was kind of sloppy and unkempt, which I rather prefer to her later makeover years. (10/10)

7)Holiday Song-Pixies. One of the best bands ever. (8/10)

8)My Favourite Game-The Cardigans. Yes, I have a shameful soft spot for Scandanavian bands. But my mom says I'm cool! (5/10)

9)Sharks-Morphine. If there's a cooler motherfucker than Mark Sandman, I haven't met him. (8/10)

10)Screwed It Up-Limblifter. I don't really have much to say about this song other than I like it. (7/10)

7.5...ah, right in the creamy middle!

InanimateCarbonRod said...

You can call Coors Light beer if I can call Zima wine.

Noah said...

Coors is not beer. Coors is a "refreshment."

Mike said...

From Wikipedia's "Under The Mikly Way" page (

"What sounds like a bagpipe solo midway through the song, was actually performed by a synthesizer."

InanimateCarbonRod said...

>From Wikipedia's "Under The Mikly Way" page.

Good God, do I love the internet. From learning details of semiobscure early 90s college music to watching Brazilian models have sex with their boyfriends, is there anything it can't do?

peb said...

I feel obligated to get back on the FRT horse since I just bought an iPod and loaded up most of my CD collection on it. Forget those other FRT’s I did previously. I didn’t realize that I downloaded so many Weird Al songs on my computer! They weren’t representative of my true coolness.

1. Polvo, “Sense Of It” – Good stuff from the local band I was probably the most nerdy about in college. Now two guys from this band are in the band Black Taj with my friends Grant and Tom. Check them out if you ever get the chance. 8/10

2. Husker Du, “I Apologize” – This is from New Day Rising which is possibly my favorite Husker Du album. I’m probably punishing this song a little too much only because I couldn’t figure out how to get the umlauts to show up in the name Husker Du. 7/10

3. Pavement, “My First Mine” – I’ve gone back and forth over the years whether Pavement was really good or really overrated. This song doesn’t really help settle the argument. 6/10

4. Tom Waits, “Hang On St. Christopher” – I believe that Otto’s Coolness Self-Audit says that the rating of a song should be determined by how cool it would be if you walked into a bar to it in slow motion. This song would be pretty damn cool. 9/10

5. The Rolling Stones, “Turd On The Run” – Every time I listen to Exile On Main Street, I appreciate it just a little bit more. This isn’t one of my favorites off it, but it’s not bad. 7/10

6. My Bloody Valentine, “You Never Should” – The album this song is off of (Isn’t Anything) is as good as the seminal Loveless album, but it’s still pretty good and has a lot of great songs on it. This song is about average for the album. 7/10

7. AC/DC, “Problem Child” – I think this is my iPod’s concession to Thrillhous. Still, I have much respect for Acca Dacca even though this isn’t one of my favorite songs. 6/10

8. Guided By Voices, “My Impression Now” – This is a relatively epic song in the Guided By Voices catalog clocking in at 2 minutes and 7 seconds. This is off the Fast Japanese Spin Cycle EP which is pretty good but this song is not a standout. (Is this the curse of my FRT this week? Average songs from great bands?) 6/10

9. Outkast, “Dracula’s Wedding” – This is pretty cool, but is it wrong to admit that I prefer Big Boi’s Speakerboxx over Andre 3000’s The Love Below? It is? O.K. Never mind. 8/10

10. A Tribe Called Quest, “Excursions” – Beginning and ending the FRT with heavily played college favorites. I actually remember listening to this a lot with Otto back in the day. Tribe played a show one year at our school and I think it lasted for the grand total of one half hour. I won’t hold it against them here. 8/10

That averages out to a 7.2 which seems appropriate. Not much great, but nothing too embarrassing. Give it time though.

Mike said...

watching Brazilian models have sex with their boyfriends, is there anything it can't do?

When the internets somehow allow me to have sex with Brazilian models, then we're certainly on to something big.

Otto Man said...

Pedro back in the house! I have a feeling 2007 is going to be alllllllright.