Friday, February 16, 2007

Friday Random Ten

Today's album cover -- which comes from a new treasure trove of trainwrecks that iRod found -- is dedicated to the life-affirming, sucker-hating Gospel According to T.

For those of you who've never had the pleasure of experiencing Misterteeism in all its splendor, here's a full list of his Commandments.

I. "I am the Lord thy T. Thou shalt have no false gods before me, and that includes Apollo Creed, sucker."
II. "Thou shalt make no graven images of me, but if you do, thou shalt not make me into a eunuch."
III. "Thou shalt not take the name of T in vain."
IV. "Remember to keep holy Monday nights on CBS, for special new episodes of 'The A-Team'"
V. "Honor thy father and thy mother."
VI. "Thou shalt not murder. Sure, thou might use a homemade rocket launcher to blow up a truck full of bad guys, but they'll all just fly harmlessly through the air and land in some haystacks."
VII. "Thou shalt not commit adultery, Face Man."
VIII. "Thou shalt not steal, but thou may 'borrow' tanks of compressed air, garden tools, and metal plating to turn my van into a shovel-shooting armored tank."
IX. "Thou shalt not bear false witness against an elite group of commandos, thereby forcing them to enter the Los Angeles underground."
X. "Thou shalt not get me on a damn plane, Hannibal."

If you'd like to learn more about Misterteeism, please consult your local cable stations.

I know I can't top the holy power of Laurence Turead, but I've got my own list of ten to deal with. Let's start up the God Machine and get this thing rolling. Big bucks, big bucks! No whammies!

1. Johnny Cash, "If You Could Read My Mind" -- I'm a sucker for Cash's American Recordings albums, and this is a fantastic example of why. He takes a Gordon Lightfoot song that might as well be the poster boy for '70s schlock songs, and turns it into a heartbreaker. 9/10

2. Death Cab for Cutie, "Crooked Teeth" -- I normally like the work of Ben Gibbard and the boys, but this one is just a little too contrived. Can't put my finger on it, but it just comes up a little short. 7/10

3. Kirk Van Houten, "Can I Borrow a Feeling?" -- Hey, it's what came up. You don't go to war with the FRT you want, you go to war with the FRT you have. If you need a refresher course in the magic of KVH, check out the song for yourself here. 3/10

4. Massive Attack, "Angel" -- A nice dark number from my favorite album of theirs, Mezzanine. If I'm remembering correctly, this song reached its widest exposure when it was used as the backing song for the scenes in The West Wing when They Kidnapped The President's Daughter! You can almost hear the shark jumping in the chorus. 8/10

5. Andy Reynolds and His 101 Ranch Boys, "Beer Bottle Mama" -- A lovely bit of country boogie dedicated to romancing the local barfly. He'd just better be careful that lady doesn't break the PBR longneck on the bar and turn it into a hillybilly knife. This is like an episode of COPS waiting to happen. Still, great tune. 7/10

6. Esquivel, "Mucha Muchacha" -- Esquivel was the leading proponent of "space-age bachelor-pad music," which is essentially what you'd imagine the hipster readers of Playboy were spinning circa 1962. So uncool it's cool again. Well, kinda. 5/10

7. Dionne Warwick, "You're Going to Need Me" -- It's hard to remember that long before the Psychic Friends Network, well before "That's What Friends are For," and well before the TV show Friends -- OK, she had nothing to do with that last one -- Dionne Warwick actually carved out a place for herself as a sultry, funky soul singer. This song is Exhibit A. 9/10

8. R.E.M., "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" -- A little overplayed, but you've got to admire a rock song about psychopaths attacking Dan Rather. While my longtime love of R.E.M. has faded with the last few Bill Berry-less albums, Monster was a classic. 7/10

9. Smashing Pumpkins, "Zero" -- Speaking of the early '90s... This song always reminds me of their guest spot on the Simpsons. "Billy Corigan, Smashing Pumpkins." "Homer Simpson, smiling politely." Still, one of my least favorite songs off this album. I'm going to catch hell for this from the other boys here, but .... 6/10

10. Cibo Matto, "Spoon" -- What the hell ever happened to these ladies? I'm not sure I've heard much of anything from them since this album, Stereo Type A. Funky, happy, Japanese chick pop. It's like the Hello Kitty Conglomerate formed a band. 9/10

Alright, that gives me a 7.0 average on the coolness scale, which is just enough to graduate. And here I was worried i'd be doomed to repeat the course and live through a wacky series of Happy Gilmoresque antics. Whew.

Let's see what you've got. Drop your own random ten songs in the comments below, with or without the coolness self-audit. But no cheating! Mr. T is watching you, fool!


Ed in Westchester said...

I thought the A-Team was on NBC?

Anyhow, nice list. I know about 4 of the songs.
I really need to broaden my music listening.

Otto Man said...

Yeah, that was a shot in the dark. No one ever said Mr. T was an informed deity.

peb said...

Otto, I know one of the girls from Cibo Matto has a new album out. I think her name is Miko Hatori. From what I've heard, it's more serious than Cibo Matto which could be a good or bad thing depending on your view.

1. The Beatles, “Paperback Writer” – According to A Hard Day’s Write, Paul’s aunt complained to him that all his songs were about love and challenged him to write about something else. So he came up with this. The music itself is good, but couldn’t he have come up with something more interesting than a paperback writer? Since this was the psychedelic ‘60’s, you could have sung about anything. Space, time travel, what you had for breakfast. 7/10

2. The Beatles, “Mean Mr. Mustard” – What, the Beatles again? This is off my favorite Beatles album, but it doesn’t carry the resonance of the whole song suite that it’s part of when it’s played by itself. Basically, it’s like a Guided By Voices song: good but barely over a minute. 6/10

3. The Rolling Stones, “Salt Of The Earth” – All of a sudden, we’re in Swinging London in the late 1960’s on my iPod. This song closes off Beggars Banquet which might be my favorite Stones album. It starts off with a nearly unintelligible lyric by Keith before Mick takes over singing. I like to think that Keith passed out in the middle of singing it and Mick kind of rolled his eyes before taking over. 9/10

4. Can, “Future Days” – I had a thought the other day that there is a little bit of the unyielding groove of Can in the music of AC/DC. I would guess that’s completely coincidental as I don’t see Bon Scott being a big fan of German krautrock. This is a fairly mellow song bordering on easy listening that runs 9 minutes. Probably not their best. 5/10

5. The Rolling Stones, “Happy” – Not only is this another Stones song, this is another Stones song that Keith sings on. This is off Exile On Main Street which, now that I think about it, might be my favorite Stones album. It’s a constant battle between Beggars and Exile that rages in my mind every minute. 8/10

6. The Replacements, “Here In The Dark” – This off the Uptown Dec 1985 bootleg. It’s pretty good and surprisingly together for a live Mats song. This song was originally done by an obscure early ‘80’s group called the Vertebrats that only had like one album. Uncle Tupelo covered this too to add to the hipster cred. 8/10

7. The Clash, “Charlie Don’t Surf” – If your iPod picks a song off the Clash's triple album Sandinista, there’s an equal chance of the song being great or sucking. This song is closer to being good, but not by much. 6/10

8. The Shins, “Know Your Onion!” – All right, immediately this song gets points off for the title. It looks like the Shins are pretty popular now and I don’t dislike them for that, but their album really hasn’t grown on me since I bought it. This song isn’t helping. 5/10

9. Hüsker Dü, “Pride” – Notice the umlauts Otto. Thank God for Bob Mould showing up and rocking my FRT with a Zen Arcade classic. 9/10

10. The Flaming Lips, “Okay I’ll Admit That I Really Don’t Understand” – I had a song off the Lips 4 CD experiment Zaireeka on last week’s FRT as well. This one is basically a driving drumbeat and bassline with a banshee-like wailing in the background for two minutes. It feels like a skeleton of a Flaming Lips song. Maybe if I ever get these 4 CD’s synchronized to play at once it’ll be cooler than this. 6/10

Not even a British re-invasion could save my FRT from a disappointing 6.9 average today. I was wondering when my crappy FRT’s would start and it looks like they start today.

Otto Man said...

It's Miho Hatori, and she's been doing the mellow thing for a while now. I just want to get the band back together, Elwood.

Nice umlauts, mein herr.

Mike said...

“Know Your Onion!”

Now that sounds like a Ciba Matto song. I know my onion, you got to know your onion . . .

Peb's got a few sweet Stones tunes there too.

OM - I'm tempted to give you crap for the 6 on the Pumpkins tune, but I'm not sure I know that one. What album was "Zero" on? It's not Gish or Siamese Dream, so I have no problem assuming that it's not that good.

Mike said...

Miho Hatori And the other is Yuka Honda, right? I never know which is which. If Miho does "mellow," I assume she's not the one who screamed "Shut up and eat!"

Smitty said...

ARRRRGG! I just typed a whole FRT with comments on other ones, and IT GOT DELETED!!!!!

The short version:

I love Cash. His version of My Life by the Beatles is miles more sentimental and meaningful than the verison that was a song about nothing in a long life's experiences compares to the love he has for his wife. Sung by 20-year-olds who were unmarried and shagging every screaming American chick they could? Shallow. By Cash? Deep.

1) All at Sea; Jamie Cullum. Great young jazz pianist I saw on a DVD of a live show. Not disappointed with the album. 8/10.

2) We Got Robbed; Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Normally high marks, this effort feels forced and contrived. Trying too hard. 6/10.

3) Dead Embryonic Cells; Sepultura. Who knew a 12+ year-old song would be so relevent today. 8/10.

4) Free For All; Ted Nugent. The Whackmaster is currently pissing me off for being a conservative mouthbreathing pompous basketcase. 3/10.

5) Monkey Business; Skid Row. Sebastin Bach's vocal range never fails to impress, great guitar riff on this song. 8/10.

6) Freewill; Rush. I will choose the path that's clear, people. I will choose free will. 10/10.

7) Old Dan Tucker; Bruce Springsteen. Off his bluegrass album. Great fun played by tight, talented musicians yields a well-executed album that I recommend. 9/10.

8) Ostracized; Grip, Inc. Features monster drums by Slayer's old drummer, decent vocals, and the speedy and-and-down-the-scale Euro-metal guitar work metalheads love. 7/10.

9) Jesus Built My Hotrod; Ministry. Ding along dang my ding-along ling long. 9/10.

10) Beer, Beer, Beer; The CLancy Brothers. An Irish Drinking tune. huge fun, and perfect way to end an FRT! With beer!! 10/10.

Otto Man said...

Mike, "Zero" was on Mellon Collie.... Eh.

Nice list, Smitty. THous will appreciate the Rush love.

Mike said...

Smitty - That sucks about the comments. Whenever that happens I feel like I lost something near & dear.

Freewill; Rush. I will choose the path that's clear, people. I will choose free will. 10/10.

Sweet. That was a real favorite of mine in high school. Great tune, plus Geddy had that little bass solo going into Alex's guitar break. And a line that blew this 16 year-old's mind: If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice.

Bird Spot said...

February 19, 1985 Tuesday

We actually had school today after being out on Tuesdays for about 2 months now. School was ok. Nothing much happened. We went to chorus, PE, Band, same old thing. The A-Team was a re-run so we watched another show called 'Who's the Boss.' Daddy said he never wants to see it again.

Mike said...

Mellon Collie.... Eh.

They'd jumped the shark in my mind by that point.

When I met my (future) wife in 1998, she told me she "loved the Smashing Pumpkins." At least til I played Gish for her. Then she changed it to "loving Mellon Collie."

norbizness said...

OK, I'll play this week (no ratings), and give you a future entry for weird album cover of the week.

1. Get on the Snake by Soundgarden // 2. Alex Chilton by The Replacements // 3. I Want You to Be My Baby by Louis Jordan // 4. All Hail Me by Veruca Salt // 5. Slow Dance by Motorhead // 6. BD3 by New Model Army // 7. Listen to the Flower People by Spinal Tap // 8. Everybody's Gone to the Movies by Steely Dan // 9. 3-D Mambo by Tito Puente // 10. Safe European Home by The Clash.

And now... introducing The Galileans!

Otto Man said...

I knew if anything would get Norb out of retirement, it would be the Power of T.

Thanks for the Galileans. I'm pretty sure those suits have been banned in most states.

Rickey Henderson said...

Funny stuff sir. And who's knocking Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness? Fools.