Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday Random Ten

This week's album cover ... uh ... This week ....

Yeah, I've got nothing.

In any case, I'm pretty sure the deep sadness of this album cover speaks for itself, like one of those tacky oil paintings of a depressed clown or an extended commentary by retarded manchild John Madden. It's just wrong.

Maybe the Friday Random Ten can help ease the pain. You all should know the drill by now -- set your computerized, electronic music box to random and give us the first ten songs that show up. If you damn well feel like it, conduct a Coolness Self-Audit as well, rating the songs on a scale from a craptacular Welkian zero to a perfect Funkadelician ten.

Here's mine:

1. Lush, "Sweetness and Light" -- If there were ever a perfectly apt band name and song title, this is it. Lush stood at the forefront of the shoegazer movement, and this is a strummy, fuzzy little number. A little too ethereal at times, but it certainly gets the job done. 7/10

2. Tortoise & Bonnie Prince Billy, "Daniel" -- Yes, the Elton John song. Covered here by Tortoise and one of the many alter egos of alternafolk hero Will Oldham. I never really cared for the original, but this is just edgy and dark enough to make it work beautifully. 9/10

3. Ramasutra, "Marder" -- Who doesn't love South Asian electronica? Me, apparently. 5/10

4. Tapes 'n' Tapes, "Insistor" -- T'n'T is one of those music blog favorites that I've never really understood. (See also, "The National," "Of Montreal," and "The Arctic Monkeys.") Actually, T'n'T doesn't really belong on that list, as I merely think they're good -- and this song is good -- just not as mindblowingly, pantsshittingly great as the hip bloggers all tell me. Those other bands I mentioned can burn in hell. Yeah, I'm lookin' at you, Of Montreal. 6/10

5. Jurassic 5, "If You Only Knew" -- I love this group, but this is definitely the weak link on Power in Numbers. Eh. 5/10

6. Willie Eason, "Franklin D. Roosevelt, a Poor Man's Friend" -- A six-minute blues tribute to the death and legacy of FDR. It's a little plodding at times, especially the blow-by-blow description of his passing, but the general sentiment is nice. Sort of a "George W. Bush Doesn't Like Black People" of an earlier generation. Except it's, you know, favorable. 4/10

7. Modest Mouse, "Gravity Rides Everything" -- One of my all-time favorites. This song just doesn't get old. Not even the Volkswagen ad took the shine of this one. 10/10

8. Silversun Pickups, "Lazy Eye" -- I stumbled across this band only recently, thanks to multiple recommendations -- including a TBogg post that features the video for this very song. If you miss the heyday of the Smashing Pumpkins, you should definitely check this one out. The album version is better than the single used at TBogg's, because it has a nicely warped synthesizer interlude. 8/10

9. Gloria Jones, "Tainted Love" -- This is the original, '60s soul version of a song that Soft Cell would turn into their one-hit wonder in the '80s. It blows that nancy-boy, synthesized piece of shit right out of the water. 9/10

10. Neil Young, "One of These Days" -- I picked this song up after watching the imminently enjoyable DVD of Heart of Gold. Young's entering the last years of his career, but he's doing it with a lot of style and class. This is a nice, sweet, reflective ballad. If you like that kind of crap. 7/10

I stumbled pretty badly there in the middle, but a nice string of songs at the end helped bring me back up to a 7.0 average. I did it by a whisker, but I finally passed Coolness 101! Goodbye, G.E.D.!

Feel free to drop your own snark about my choices in the comments below or, better yet, give us your own FRT.

16 comments:

peb said...

Otto, "Sweetness and Light" is at least an 8, Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" deserves better than that and the Arctic Monkeys are actually pretty good. Otherwise, I approve of your list.

1. New Order, “State of the Nation” – New Order has some really good stuff, but this isn’t it. In fact, I’m pretty disappointed in that this is pretty indistinguishable from all the other early ‘80’s dance crap out there. This is like a Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam song done by Englishmen. Not a great start. 4/10

2. Slint, “Nosferatu Man” – There’s no stronger indie-rock credibility bounce back song than something from Slint’s Spiderland. Holy fuck, what a great album. 9/10

3. AC/DC, “Ride On” – I would think that this would qualify as a power ballad for AC/DC. But hair-metal bands take note: Bon Scott is not declaring his everlasting love for some pure and innocent young girl. He’s admitting that he’s broken hearts and he’s lonely. But what is he going to do? Ride on. That’s how you do it, Bon Jovi. 8/10

4. Devo, “Gates Of Steel” – I think that Devo seems to be the most credible of those ‘80’s new wave bands even though they sound the most ‘80’s out of all those bands. Does that make sense? Well if not, just know that Devo rocks. 6/10

5. Husker Du, “The Girl Who Lives On Heaven Hill” – Oh yeeah…This is probably my favorite Husker Du song. Let me just say that just like there are Beatles fans who prefer John or Paul over the other one, I am firmly in the camp that prefers Grant Hart’s work with the Du over Bob Mould’s. Listen to this and tell me I’m wrong. I dare you. 10/10

6. Gorillaz, “Clint Eastwood” – I dunno. You’d think that this was just a phase at one time in my life. But it still holds up all right I think. It’s got a pretty weird and cool vibe. I like it a hell of a lot better than Blur. 8/10

7. Beatles, “Happiness Is A Warm Gun” – You know John Lennon was really out there when this is only his 2nd weirdest song on the White Album. 8/10

8. Beatles, “Drive My Car” – What the hell? My iPod doesn’t want to get off the Beatles. But that’s not a bad thing. On a shameless self-promotion note, check out my latest blog entry where I rank all the Beatles albums after Rubber Soul. Feel free to add your list if you’re so inclined. 7/10

9. Thin Lizzy, “Cowboy Song” – Oh fuck YES! I know my 5 year old nephew would agree with me that this is the best Thin Lizzy song ever. But if you know his parents, that’s not surprising at all. 10/10

10. Minutemen, “Shit From An Old Notebook” – Does my indie-rock credibility come back with this? Ah, who cares. 7/10

Otto Man said...

Otto, "Sweetness and Light" is at least an 8, Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" deserves better than that and the Arctic Monkeys are actually pretty good. Otherwise, I approve of your list.

Say what you will, but I'm not going to be lectured by a man who has the nerve to de-umlaut Hüsker Dü.

Have you no decency, sir? At long last, have you no decency?

Mike said...

That album cover. Wow.

As usual, I don't know any of OM's songs, but I like shoegazer music. What I've heard n by Lush through the years I've liked. They're no MBV, but who is?

And I'm with you about the Arctic Monkeys, and I'm glad to no longer be an army of one in that regard. I just don't see what sets them apart from doxens & dozens of similar bands.

Peb --

I think Grant's songs were more accessible, more tuneful than Bob's. What ever happened to him?

"Happiness is a Warm Gun" has to get more than an 8 though, doesn't it? Anyhow, I'm gonna swing over to your Beatles rankings in a second, so maybe I'll get more insight into the low score over there.

Norbizness said...

Speaking of unfortunate disco albums, check out this one.

Mike said...

Now way! Is that real?

Dr. Milton von Fünkdoctorspock said...

1. Jeff Buckley – “Corpus Christi Carol (For Roy),” from Grace

Chilling voice. Virtual certainty that there will be a Jeff Buckley and a Sigur Ros song played at Milt’s funeral, which is mad respek. Milt trusts that if he passes before penciling down his last will, you LLPNers will rectify. 7/10

2. Jens Lekman – “The Wrong Hands,” from Oh You’re So Silent Jens

Sweden be taking this B over. Charming, chilling, popping indie-liciousness. Like Sufjan but smaller and less infectious. 8/10

3. Beck – “Puttin It Down,” from Stereopathetic Soul Manure

The good doc went through that phase where he downloaded everything Sir Beck ever recorded, of which there is aplenty, and aplenty of Soul Manurey folky happenstance. The folky stuff generally gets listened to between zero and two times. Folk doesn’t get Milt’s motor revving. 6/10

4. Primus – “Groundhog’s Day,” from Frizzle Fry

What an album! A Funky fave for ten years, though sadly they never equaled the brilliance of their debut, but what a debut! 9/10

5. Weird War – “I Live in a Dream,” from Weird War

You should know Ian Sevonius’s catalog. Weird War and The Make-Up. Some dirty melodies behind Sevonius’s pipes. 7/10

6. Be Your Own Pet – “Fuuuuuun,” from Be Your Own Pet

Jemina will be on the cover of magazines by 2008. Mark Milt’s words. Great party calls: “And everyone’s like, ‘Where’s the party at?’ And they’re all like, ‘It’s at the two zone,’ and I’m all like, ‘Fuck the two zone. C’mon, guys, let’s go!” This album has the funniest but appropriate lyric of ’06: “Have fun, and be safe with it. Just kidding, fuck shit up!” Delightful. 8/10

7. Sonic Youth – “Mackin’ for Doober,” from Made in the USA Sdtrk

Great title. Rockers doing proper soundtrack work are too few and far between. Spoon freaking glistened behind Stranger Than Fiction. 6/10

8. Weezer – “My Best Friend,” from Make Believe

The Weez has gotten a little too paint by numbers for Miltonius. Disappointing. 6/10

9. Elliott Smith – “Rose Parade,” from Either/Or

Wouldn’t be out of place at a funeral, but damn would it be depressing. And for good reason. ES got them mad skillz wearing emotionz all up on them sleevez. 8/10

10. Pearl Jam – “Ghost,” from Riot Act

Don’t recognize this. 6/10

A no crap 71. It’s what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would have wanted.

Otto Man said...

Yeah, I've used that Ethel Merman one here before.

I didn't want to use it. But you people left me no choice.

peb said...

Mike, Grant Hart is kicking around Minneapolis still. He released an album a few years ago but it didn't get nearly as much hype as Mould's stuff. As for "Happiness", I thought 8 was a pretty solid score. Maybe the lyrics are just too free associative (is that a word?) for my tastes.

Otto, I've figured out how to make umlauts. Hüsker Dü, Hüsker Dü, Hüsker Dü! Respect my umlaut-making authority! Or should I say äüthörïty!

Otto Man said...

Nicely done, Pedro. Your life will be richer for it, even if Blogger won't let you put them over all the consonants in Grotus.

sideshow bob said...

Otto Man, as a rule, I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of Of Montreal, but I actually heard a song from them just yesterday that I actually liked. Too bad they have such effed-up names, or I might have actually bought it off iTunes...losers.

OK iPod, in the words of environmental hero Richard Nixon: sock it to me!

1)PJ Harvey-Rid of Me. If the FRT were sexual congress, I would've just have an embarassing premature climax. 10/10

2)Radiohead-Pyramid Song. I think I'm having this song played at my funeral...remember to bring your lighters! 10/10

3)Veruca Salt-Venus Man Trap. Not my favorite VS song, but one of the best off of "Eight Arms to Hold You". Hey, it's not like the beatles were gonna use the title. 7/10

4)Sleater-Kinney-Night Light. Beautiful ending to a beautiful album. 9/10

5)KMFDM-Liebesleid. I'd heard that KMFDM stood for Kill Mother Fucking Depeche Mode, but later found out that it stood for a German phrase that meant, roughly translated, "no pity for the majority". Oh, those wacky, wacky, angry Germans. My, this song goes on forever...3/10

6)Machines of Loving Grace-Golgotha Tenement Blues. This song is on The Crow soundtrack. It's a pretty good song, but when it's over, it's like, so what? 5/10

7)Nirvana-Mexican Seafood. How ironic that mexican seafood could take the nasty taste of the past couple of songs out of my mouth. 7/10

8)System of a Down-Needles. Good song, but the image of pulling a tapeworm out of your ass just really does nothing for me. 6/10

9)Pixies-Levitate Me. When the Pixies broke up, it was to me like the Beatles breaking up. I'm not sure whether Frank or Kim is John or Paul, but I do know that the other two Pixies are certainly no Ringo. 8/10

10)Deftones-Minerva. I heard that this song was almost title "Stupid Lisa Garbage Face". 8/10

I'm not gonna lie, after starting of with two 10s, I was hoping to crack the elusive 8.0, but all I got was a lousy 7.3...reminds me of the time my grandpa went to Jamaica and he brought me back a tee shirt.

Mike said...

SB -

Not only that, but had you cracked the elusive 8.0 with such a boatload of Chicks Bringing The Rawk, we might have turned OM to the dark side once & for all.

But all it takes is a German or two, and look where we end up.

Otto Man said...

I feel the same way about the Pixies. I've got their latest concert DVD coming to me by Netflix soon. I can't decide if it's going to be good to see them again, or if it's going to be Wings/Traveling Wilburys.

peb said...

I always heard that KMFDM stood for Karl Marx Found Dead Masturbating. Now I know that's not true, but I still choose to believe it.

Otto Man said...

I heard it was the Depeche Mode one, which always made me smile.

Don't rob me of that precious memory, dammit!

Norbizness said...

The story behind the flickr picture of Ethel Merman is (name drop ahead) I goaded Amanda from Pandagon into purchasing it at the semiannual Austin Record Convention; we listened to it later and the title of the album is accurate. Singing Everything's Coming up Roses and There's No Business Like Show Business over a disco beat.

I think it got her noticed for her Academy Award-winning Cameo in Airplane!

Mrs_Thrillhous said...

Sorry, no FRT from me today. After the baby's nap, we're going to my mom's house. (a McMansion with dial-up!?) She's off from work for Lee-Jackson Day.

Where is Mr. Mom? Perhaps he's busy gabbing with soon-to-be former coworkers in his last day in the corporate world!