Friday, March 16, 2007

Friday Random Ten

For the first time here at the Friday Random Ten, I'm featuring a bizarre album cover that I actually used to own. Well, technically, my parents owned it, but I'm pretty sure it was purchased for my benefit. If not, me and my Dad really need to have a talk. Or an intervention.

At the time, I'm pretty sure I didn't catch the Springsteen reference -- I was four, so cut me some slack -- but I have to think that the good people from E Street might have been unsure of how to react to this honor from the good people of Sesame Street. On the one hand, you've clearly made it big when you're the basis for a spoof like this. On the other, you can't be too thrilled with the muppets cast to play you. Seriously, who should be more pissed off? Clarence Clemons, who is replaced here by the semi-retarded, bakery-addicted Cookie Monster? Or the Boss himself, who is replaced by a dorkily-dressed meganerd with an odd fondness for pigeons and his longtime male companion?

And don't get me started on who's missing. How do you have a Sesame Street album called "Born to Add" without featuring the Count? Ouch.

Anyway, it's time to add up ten songs here for the Friday Random Ten. Let's do this thing, Mr. Blooper!

1. Bill Haley, "Thirteen Women (And Only One Man in Town)" -- A nice bit of early rock'n'roll from a man most of us associate with the opening credits of "Happy Days." The song's all about how sweet it would be if the world were destroyed by atomic bombs, except for Haley and his harem. You know, you rarely hear about the upside of nuclear war. Good for you, Bill. Good for you. 7/10

2. Al Green, "Simply Beautiful" -- One of my favorite songs by the Reverend Al. This sultry soul tune is so damn seductive, I just made out with my PowerBook. I couldn't help myself. 9/10

3. The Roots, "Star/Pointro" -- The opening track off their terrific Tipping Point CD, this tune begins with some nice sampling from Sly Stone's "Everybody is a Star" and a simple guitar hook, and then Black Thought just runs away with it. Excellent. 10/10

4. Lou Reed, "Street Hassle" -- A different sort of sound from Reed here, with a string section and some plodding bass lines alternating. Nice stuff, but it goes on for eleven minutes. Eh. 5/10

5. The Kinks, "Johnny Thunder" -- From the incredibly uneven album, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, the album with "Picture Book" and other early semihits. This one has its moments, but there's just too much of the "lalala" and "bababa" lyrics to make it work. 6/10

6. Erick Sermon, "Music" -- When this song came out, I was convinced it had to be a different Erick Sermon. I loved EPMD, but those guys had really been out of the spotlight for a decade or so when this tune started chewing up R&B radio here in New York. But it's the one and the same man -- the Green Eyed Bandit, Erick Onassis, the E-Double. Nice to have him back. 8/10

7. Silver Jews, "People" -- I'm one of those people who's convinced that everything the guys in Pavement did was all downhill from the first album on. (For the record, I choose to believe they've gotten lamer, not that I've gotten older.) Two of the Pavement boys glommed onto this band in the mid-90s, and I've never gotten into them. This song, however, does get points for apparently being the inspiration for the band name Suburban Kids with Biblical Names. 4/10

8. Björk, "I Miss You (Photek Mix)" -- I've got a couple other remixes of this song, and this is easily the worst. Very stripped down, with some awkward horns and a drum-and-bass rhythm that was apparently smuggled out of 1998 inside an Oasis CD. Pfft. 2/10

9. Silversun Pickups, "Well Thought Out Twinkles" -- One of their songs where the similarities to the Smashing Pumpkins move from "slight coincidence" to "label lawsuit." If you're waiting for Billy Corgan to get his bizarre shit together and put out a new Pumpkins CD, you might as well kill some time with this one. Solid, if unoriginal. 7/10

10. Fatlip, "What's Up, Fatlip?" -- Another old rapper making a comeback. Fatlip was part of the Pharcyde back in their all-too-short career in the '90s. I have a few tracks off this new album, and they're all pretty solid, like this one. 7/10

Somehow this turned into a very special "Where Are They Now?" edition of the FRT, and even with a collection of hasbeens and neverweres, I still managed to pull out a decent 6.5 average. I can live with that.

Feel free to reminisce about the mid-'90s in the comments below or, better yet, drop your own FRT there.

13 comments:

Tom Hilton said...

I don't know what album that is or where the image is from, but it doesn't display for me...and when I try to click through, the firm firewall blocks me.

Ooookay. Moving right along:

Dick Dale - Riders in the Sky (10/10)
Thin White Rope - Burn the Flames (8/10)
Mekons - Wild and Blue (9/10)
Wall of Voodoo - Ring of Fire (9/10)
Yulduz Usmanova - Shoch va Gado (7/10)
Thunderheads - Thunderhead (9/10)
Ennio Morricone - Guns Don't Argue (9/10)
10,000 Maniacs - I'm Not the Man (6/10)
Wailers - High Wall (10/10)
New Order - Confusion (6/10)

I'd have given Confusion 7 if the next song hadn't been Joy Division. Oh well. 8.3 overall, thanks partly to the 4 awesome covers in a row.

Otto Man said...

Hmm. That's odd. Anyone else not seeing it?

For the record, Tom, it's a Sesame Street spoof of the "Born to Run" cover with Bert and Cookie Monster.

And Dick Dale, Ennio Morricone, and the Mekons? Well played.

mediapossum said...

I actually kind of dig the album cover. I love spoofs.

Today's random 10:

1. Pavement - "Cut Your Hair"
2. Franz Ferdinand - "40'"
3. Radiohead - "Lucky"
4. The Black Keys - "Just Couldn't Tie Me Down"
5. Charles Mingus - "Boogie Stop Shuffle"
6. Fiona Apple - "Paper Bag"
7. Frank Sinatra - "They Can't Take That Away From Me"
8. Jurassic 5 - "Sum of Us"
9. Elton John - "Rocket Man"
10. Pas/Cal - "Poor Maude"

George said...

The image works for me--reminds me of this cover from the Bruce Springstone parody.

Ice T "O.G. Original Gangster" Just Say Sire: The Sire Records Story (7/10)
Bill Nelson "Hope for the Heartbeat" (Remix) The Love That Whirls (Diary of a Thinking Heart) (6/10)
Sleater-Kinney "Jenny" Dig Me Out (7/10)
Steve Earle "The Kind" Jerusalem (7/10)
Richard Thompson "The Woods of Darney" You? Me? Us? (6/10)
The Magnetic Fields "Busby Berkeley Dreams" 69 Love Songs (10/10)
Speed the Plough "Napoleon" Mason's Box (9/10)
Petra Haden "Armenia City in the Sky" The Who Sell Out (9/10)
Sleater-Kinney "O2" One Beat (8/10)
Moe Tucker "S.O.S." I Spent a Week There the Other Night (6/10)

That's a 7.5. Wish that was a better Richard Thompson cut.

Tom Hilton said...

For the record, Tom, it's a Sesame Street spoof of the "Born to Run" cover with Bert and Cookie Monster.

Huh. Sounds very cool. I wonder if that falls under the category of pr0n, or if it's a hate site? The firewall works in mysterious ways...

Otto Man said...

It's from the same site as many of the recent covers, and it would only fit a definition of pr0n that I'd find very, very disturbing.

alex supertramp said...

its been a while -- but I think I'm in...george , nice inclusion of albums and tom -- well played indeed!

1-Chuck Prophet - Pin a Rose on Me (8/10 - chuck, you complete me....)
2-Cee Lo Green - Soul Machine (9/10 you can say that again, the only drawback to this track is it is far too short!)
3-Marvin Gaye - Anger (9/10 - damn...)
4-Abigail Washburn - Halo (7/10 - Uncle Earl singer and banjo player who does a very interesting blend of newgrass and folk with a Chinese backdrop)
5-Lee Perry - Bless the Weed (8/10 - minus one for poor production, plus one for preaching the gospel -- lee, you crazy f@ck - shouldn't a renowned producer actually pay attention to the production! - what, are you stoned?? - oh wait, nevermind...)
6-Nevada Bachelors - Jimmy's Off (6/10 - catchy pop, but just too generic for their own good)
7-Triffids - Wide Open Road (8/10 - I'm sure I'm scoring this too high, but there is a very special place in my romantically nostalgic heart for the Triffids and David McComb's haunting vocals and evocative lyrics...)
8-Banda Black Rio (8/10 - holy crap, it's the 70s in Brazil - funky and hot, sign me up!)
9-Lucero - The Mountain (8/10 - these guys can do no wrong, but that transition I have to admit was a harsh one...)
10-Caitlin Cary and Thad Cockrell - Conversations About A Friend (Who's in love with Katie) (8/10 - while not the most rocking tune to finish out with, it is an amazing tune and everyone would be a better person if they run out and pick up this amazing 2005 release from two excellent artists who happen to specialize in a special cosmic american music)...

i hope everyone has a magically intoxicated st patty's day

peb said...

Personally, I would have put Grover in Bert’s place. Grover matches Springsteen’s scruffiness whereas Bert seems a little too clean cut. And yes, the Count not being on this album cover is a travesty.

1. The Rolling Stones, “Love In Vain” – My iPod has a habit of starting off with classic rock radio staples when I put it on shuffle. I had Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Won’t Get Fooled Again and Travelin’ Band start if off the past three consecutive days. You might say “Well, doesn’t your iPod only contain classic rock radio staples?” To which I would reply “Enough with the third degree already, Nosy!” 9/10

2. AC/DC, “Down Payment Blues” – Let us now praise Powerage. Possibly the least successful of the Bon Scott AC/DC albums commercially, it might also be their best artistically. At least in terms of having a bunch of 5 minute driving-riff AC/DC classics. It’s hard for me to rate any song on this album less than a 9/10.

3. Echo & The Bunnymen, “In Bluer Skies” – This is off their Porcupine album which has really grown on me recently. This song is a winner too. Good bassline, funky beat, crazy guitar work with Arabian influence. All the ingredients for a good song. 9/10

4. Nirvana & Mudhoney, “Money Will Roll Right In” – This is a very unpolished demo of Nirvana jamming with Mudhoney apparently. Sorry I don’t know much more about this one. I was searching for music one day and I saw “Nirvana” and “Mudhoney” and that was good enough for me. 8/10

5. The Dismemberment Plan, “Pay For The Piano” – Another one of those bands who I hear something complimentary about, and then I download one song that doesn’t really grab me. I heard these guys described as Fugazi combined with Prince. Believe me, they’re nowhere near as good as either of those two. 6/10

6. Polvo, “Lazy Comet” – Off possibly the most played album in my college experience, Today’s Active Lifestyles, nice slow jam by Polvo revs up into a more typical Polvo jam. That’s all right in my book. 9/10

7. Cocteau Twins, “Glass Candle Grenades” – For some reason, this says “Grenads” on my iPod. I thought it might be some Scottish slang for grenades that coincidentally matches the American slang for testicles. My iPod has a dirty digital mind. 8/10

8. The White Stripes, “China Girl” – Jack White in his Robert Johnson phase here. I suppose I shouldn’t put him down for doing basically the same thing that Led Zeppelin made a career out of. 7/10

9. Polvo, “Bridesmaid Blues” – More Polvo. Hmmm. This is off the Exploded Drawing album which, while good, seems to be everybody’s favorite except mine. I like Today’s Active Lifestyles or the Celebrate The New Dark Age EP better. Speaking of Polvo, check out the new Black Taj album when it comes out sometime soon. It rocks. 8/10

10. The Beastie Boys, “Remote Control” – Off the Hello Nasty album, I distinctly remember liking this song more so than most of the others off this album. And this came out in 1998 or 1999 and they’ve only put out one album since then which I didn’t like at all, so this might be the last good song by the Beastie Boys. 8/10

I was smokin’ today with an 8.1 average. Cookie Monster and Bert can’t handle this!

Mike said...

That album cover is the fucking bomb. Awesome. But I agree that Bert as the Boss is bizarre. The Count is surely playing drums, since Max Weinberg was a time-keeping skinsman anyhow.

Dick Dale & Ennio Morricone definitely go well together.

George busting out the double S-K. Soo-weet. I'm not huge on O2, but I like that 9-11 song that comes right before it so much, I'll take it's extra mojo and give it to o2.

(By the way, OM doesn't dig on the S-K thing, so watch out.)

Otto Man said...

OM doesn't dig on the S-K thing, so watch out.

I don't hate them; I just don't get them. I have friends who rave about SK, but they've never really done it for me.

You all are more than welcome to rock on. Real rebels don't need approval from the Man.

Mike said...

Real rebels don't need approval from the Man.

Ahhhh, thus the "Man" in Otto Man. Nonetheless, I'm feeling especially oppressed right about now.

Anyhow, I'm sending Corin Tucker to fuck you up. I think she can do the job with fists and kicks, but I told her she can shriek, screetch & scream if need be. You're doomed.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

*i hope everyone has a magically intoxicated st patty's day.*

Alex, this is (1) the best advice and (2) the nicest thing I have heard in a very long time.

The best to you as well!