For the second straight week, I'm posting an album cover that leaves me absolutely speechless.
I mean, Me and My Bean Bag? Seriously?
I'm hoping this is a pathetic marketing ploy -- this album was released by "Kimbo Records" and the cover shows a "Kimbo Bean Bag" in the photo -- but even then, it just doesn't make sense. I wouldn't think the lowly bean bag would generate enough passion and excitement to merit a haiku, much less a full-length album. But the kid seems amused. I bet that bean bag has provided him with literally minutes of entertainment.
Anyway, with your expectations lowered to subterranean levels, it's time to build them back up again with the Friday Random Ten.
Here's what I've got:
1. Thievery Corporation, "Marching the Hate Machines (Into the Sun)" -- This is one of those musical collaborations that ends up being greater than the sum of its parts. I like the dulcid electronica of TC just fine, and I appreciate the quirky-breathy vocal stylings of the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne as well. But they come together here in the sweetest union since you got your chocolate into my peanut butter. 9/10
2. Charlie Louvin, "Great Atomic Power" -- This is one of my favorite old bluegrass/country songs, a tune that treats the Second Coming as a nuclear armageddon. Louvin is a country legend and, with a forthcoming album featuring Jeff Tweedy, Elvis Costello and Will Oldham, he seems to be primed to follow in the footsteps of fellow Country Music Hall of Famers like Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn in making friends with a new generation of hipsters. Bring it on. 7/10
3. Dead Kennedys, "Too Drunk to Fuck" -- Talk about your abrupt transitions. Not sure what needs to be said about this song, since the artist and title tell you pretty much everything you need to know. 6/10
4. Propellerheads, "360 (Oh Yeah)" -- Another nice collaboration, bringing together the vocals of De La Soul and the electronica love of the Propellerheads. Actually, it pretty much sounds like a De La tune, which is fine by me. 8/10
5. Chuck Womack and the Sweet Souls, "Ham Hocks and Beans, Pt. 1" -- It may surprise you, given the name of this artist and the title of this song, but this is a 1960s soul tune. I know, I know. Stunning. Sadly, it's a minute-and-a-half long and none too exciting. 3/10
6. The Byrds, "So You Want to Be a Rock'n'Roll Star" -- There's not a lot of hippie-era rock that I love. Most of it belongs to Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Hendrix produced a lot of the rest. But this song is right up there. Short, sweet, and catchy as hell. 8/10
7. Johnny Cash, "Personal Jesus" -- I'm a big fan of the American Recordings albums Cash did at the end of his career, but I can never decide how I feel about this one. Like Milhouse Van Houten and Martin Prince watching the all-nude Top Hat Channel, I find this Depeche Mode cover to be both gross and strangely compelling. 5/10
8. The Subways, "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" -- And while you're at it, hide this cover, too. 3/10
9. Broken Social Scene, "Cause = Time" -- Friends have been recommending BSS to me for a couple years now, but due to my patented combination of forgetfulness and apathy, I only got around to getting some of their songs after the ITunes gift certificates started rolling in after the winter season holiday. (No, no. Fuck you, Bill O'Reilly.) Anyway, I'm kicking myself for not getting to them sooner. This song in particular, a strummeriffic bit of indie rock, is catchy as hell. 9/10
10. The 6ths, "In the City in the Rain" -- The 6ths are one of the forty-three side projects of the Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merritt, the one where he recruits indie rock all-stars to do the vocals. This is a nice slow number with Sebadoh's Lou Barlow at the mike. Pretty nice. 7/10
Well, that gives me a 6.3 average on the coolness scales, somewhere between Tito Jackson and Tito Puente. Oh well.
Alright, let's see what the rest of you have. Drop your own FRT in the comments below, with or without the coolness self-audit.