Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday Random Ten

Due to time constraints today, we're running a classic edition of the FRT.

Nothing quite embodies the wild world of Dixieland jazz like a group of geriatric, white Shriners at a funeral.

Look at them. The liveliest one of the bunch is the dude in the coffin. The rest exude the kind of excitement and joy you'd only see in a urologist's waiting room. (Please insert your own "eight balls" joke here.)

I'd always thought jazz was all about free flowing music and improvisation, but these guys look about as spontaneous as the Nixon Library. Mr. Magoo on the left can't even find the photographer, so how's he supposed to find the rhythm? Welcome to Squaresville, baby. Population: You.

Anyway, the appearance of the mighty mighty Eight Balls can only mean that once again it's time for the Friday Random Ten. You know the drill, so let's do this thing.

Here's mine:

1. Hank Williams, "No No Joe" -- A great little bit of Cold War country, this is Williams' ode to Joseph Stalin. "The Kaiser tried it and Hitler tried it / Mussolini tried it, too / Now they're all sittin' around a fire and did you know something? / They're saving a place for you." Man, I bet Stalin cried like a Trotskyite when he heard that part. 7/10

2. The Flaming Lips, "Pilot Can at the Queer of God" -- I have absolutely no idea what this song's about, and I say that having read the lyrics. Whatever. It's still a nice chunky rocker. 8/10

3. Fishbone, "Subliminal Fascism" -- Once upon a time, these guys seemed to be at the forefront of a great fusion of punk rock, funk, and hiphop, with a sharp political edge. Of course, once upon a time, the Commodore 64 seemed to be at the forefront of home computing, too. 3/10

4. Wolf Parade, "Shine a Light" -- I just scored tickets to see these guys in concert and I am, as the kids say, psyched. Apologies to the Queen Mary is an amazing debut album, and they're supposed to be absofuckinglutely phenomenal live. Here's hoping. 8/10

5. Elvis Presley, "It's Now or Never" -- I have a soft spot for the cheesier songs in the King's repertoire, and this one certainly qualifies, what with the mariachi sounds and the "Five Neat Guys" making an appearance on backing vocals. Still, I suppose this isn't even remotely cool. 2/10

6. Curtis Mayfield, "We People Who Are Darker Than Blue" -- I pretty much love everything Curtis Mayfield ever recorded, but this is a bit of a sprawling Black Power anthem, moving through soul lyrics to congo drums to funk groove to a harp interlude (?) and back again. Not great, but I refuse to give Mayfield anything less than a 5/10.

7. De La Soul, "I. C. Y'All" -- A pretty solid collaboration with Busta Rhymes from Art Official Intelligence. This song has more bottom end than Louie Anderson. Oh, that's right. I went there. 8/10

8. Parliament, "Flash Light" -- The gold standard of funk. I made this my cellphone's ring tone last summer, and ever since, I haven't been able to hear the original without wanting to check the caller I.D. 7/10

9. João Gilberto, "Falsa Baiana" -- A nice bit of classic bossa nova from one of the masters. I may not understand a single word, but my body is still always possessed by the power of Latin rhythms. 6/10

10. Stereolab, "The Seeming and the Meaning" -- One of the most inventive and unique bands around, here with one of my favorites, a tune from the Peng! album. Scorching and sweet at the same time, this is Stereolab at its finest. 10/10

Alright, that gives me an underwhelming 6.4 on the coolness scale. It seems that I, as part of the MTV Generation, really can feel neither highs nor lows. What's that feel like? Eh.

Let's see what you've got. Break out your iPod (or steal a friend's), give us the first ten songs that pop up, and, if you damn well feel like it, throw in a Coolness Self-Audit as well.


Mike said...

A FRT Classic, huh?

I remember this one, partly for the high-larious album cover, as well as for the disgracefully low score for "Subliminal Fascism."

I also assume Thrill was still playing back in those days, and gave us our dose of Tales From Topographic Oceans, "Braun-y-aur Stomp," and Hemispheres.

Where, o where, have the good ole' days gone???

Thrillhous said...

And like Spock in The Search for Spock, I'm back!

Juggling a baby today, so must keep comments short.

1) Friends - Zeppelin. Just for Mike! 8/10

2) Rhythm of Love - Scorps. Woo! great for any day of the week.

3) Brighton Rock - Queen. On my "to listen to" list, don't know it.

4) Megadeth = This was my life. From the corporate era, but I still likes it! 8/10

5) Walking on the Edge - Scorps. A two-fer! Now this is a great friday. IF I didn't have this kid in my lap, I'd be doing a keg stand now. 7/10

6) Killer Wolf - Danzig. The wolf may be killer, but the song is crappy. 1/10

7) I will buy you a new life - Everclear. I just want to be loved, is that so wrong? 6/10

8) 2112 - Rush. Yes, the whole 22 minute thing! Take that, Mike! 10/10

9) Sunshine - Pink Floyd. No thanks. 2/10

10) I Don't Know - Ozzy, live w/ Randy Rhodes. What a way to finish!!! Best ever!!! 11/10

Otto Man said...

Yeah, I remembered that, but unlike the White House, I refuse to rewrite history.

Mike said...

Thrill, it's as if I scripted it. I call for Rush's 2nd best album side-length opus, and I get the best one instead.

(And . . . no TFTO.)

Otto Man said...

Oh, looking over this post, I'm proud to report that Wolf Parade was, in fact, absofuckinglutely phenomenal in concert. Best show I've seen in five years.

peb said...

Man, I thought FRT wasn’t happening today and it turns out to be a rerun? I’ll just have to remedy that with some blistering iPod action.

1. Public Enemy, “She Watch Channel Zero?!” – I always feel like an old white dork when I talk about rap (or really, pretty much anything else that passes for pop culture these days), but I think rap reached its apex with Public Enemy’s It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back. Just about every song on that album deserves a 10. But I’m afraid all Public Enemy songs now get one point deducted solely for Flavor of Love. 9/10

2. Tom Waits, “Frank’s Theme” – The word of the day is eclectic. This is off the Frank’s Wild Years album. I don’t know what the deal is with this guy Frank, but he inspired Waits to do some great stuff. 8/10

3. Pixies, “I Bleed” – Between this and Public Enemy, I feel like I’m back in college with Otto. I’m sure everybody who reads this list is familiar with this song so you won’t be surprised when I give it a 10/10

4. Bombay The Hard Way, “Punjabis, Pimps & Players” – This is Dan the Automator laying some beats down over some Bollywood movie soundtracks. Yeah, it’s as awesome as it sounds. 8/10

5. Minutemen, “Jesus and Tequila” – The title itself makes this a pretty cool song. The fact that it’s a Minutemen song that’s almost 3 minutes makes it even cooler. I need to listen to this album more. 9/10

6. Grandaddy, “So You’ll Aim Towards The Sky” – This is a very dreamy song with a country feel that sounds like a Mercury Rev/Wilco collaboration. Another album I need to listen to more. 9/10

7. Guided By Voices, “Alright” – This is the rare Guided By Voices instrumental. They’re probably rare because Bob Pollard can’t shut up, but here, thankfully he does, and the rest of the band rocks out hard. 9/10

8. Outkast, “Prototype” – I think I mentioned my opinion before about the relative wimpiness of Andre 3000’s The Love Below compared to Big Boi’s Speakerboxx. Still, this is a relatively good Prince impersonation. 7/10

9. Liz Phair, “Fuck and Run” – Holy shit, am I on a tear here today or what? I used to get sick about hearing how Exile In Guyville was such a great album usually from disgruntled ex-girlfriends. Of course, now that there's some time and space distance between us, I realize how good it is. Too bad Liz wants to be Avril Lavigne now. 8/10

10. Minutemen, “The World According To Nouns” – Well, I guess I will get to listen to more of this album. You probably shouldn’t jam like this if the song only lasts two minutes, but I guess that the Minutemen set out to defy the iron-clad classic rock rules that I hold onto to this day. 8/10

So I’m in today with a scorching 8.5 average. Just think if FRT didn’t happen today. This awesome set list would have been known only to a parallel universe. I’m glad I could prevent that sad fate.

Otto Man said...

Man, I thought FRT wasn’t happening today and it turns out to be a rerun?

This from a man who watches reruns of the Match Game '74.

3. Pixies, “I Bleed” – Between this and Public Enemy, I feel like I’m back in college with Otto.

All we need now is the green pleather couch, the Elvis clock, and the painting of dogs playing poker in the downstairs bathroom.

Nice showing today, Pedro.