Friday, March 23, 2007

Friday Random Ten

This album from Oral Roberts takes on a whole new meaning these days.

Oral Roberts, for those of you who don't remember, is the televangelist who insisted in 1980 that he'd seen a vision of a 900-foot-tall Jesus Christ and, then in 1987, said that God told him if he didn't raise $8 million dollars in a couple months, God would "call him home." (Oral Roberts apparently sees God as an intimidating double threat -- a 900-foot-tall shot-blocker on the court and a bossy motivating coach off it. No wonder Oral Roberts University made it to March Madness this year.)

Needless to say, wacky televangelist Oral Roberts's insistence that "We are Partners" and belief that we've "joined in a Blessing-Pact" sounds a little suspicious these days. I doubt you'd see a leader of the Religious Right making such double-entendres today, what with the heated debates over gay marriage. Well, maybe Ted Haggard.

Speaking of holy unions, it's time for the FRT. Man, I wish I had some MC 900 Ft Jesus on my iPod, because you know it would make a command appearance here.

1. Notorious B.I.G., "Party and Bullshit (Ratatat Remix)" -- There are very few artists who are capable of remixing a hiphop hit in a way that makes it sound like their new version was actually the original vision. Ratatat is one of them. They've added some fuzzed out guitars and a killer hook to Big Poppa's vocals. Highly recommended. 10/10

2. The Detroit Cobras, "Cry On" -- The Cobras are a nice throwback to the old Motown sound with just enough modern sauciness thrown in to make a difference. They're sort of the R&B analogue of Rev. Horton Heat. I normally like the cut of their jib, but this is a somewhat mediocre effort. 6/10

3. Gnarls Barkley, "Transformer" -- I really like half of this album, but the other half (which includes this tune) is just a little too precociously busy for my tastes. This song sounds like what you'd get if Pee Wee Herman produced an Outkast CD. 4/10

4. William Shatner, "Common People" -- I think I enjoyed the William Shatner Experience back when he wasn't in on the joke with us. To his credit, he's made peace with the world of campy, self-mocking -- see also West, Adam -- but the music just doesn't do it for me when it doesn't seem sincere. Eh. 5/10

5. Rufus and Chaka Khan, "You Got the Love" -- Damn straight. This may be my favorite Rufus tune, slightly edging out the funkier but slower "Tell Me Something Good." Whatever. It's musical gold, Jerry. Gold! 10/10

6. The Roots with Common, "Love of My Life (live)" -- The slow opening of this song is absolutely fantastic, especially the ways in which they slowly creep the organ and drum into the vocals. It's like a goddamn ninja, I tells ya! One of the two times I've liked the live release of a song better than the original album version. (The other, since you're dying to know, is Radiohead's "I Might Be Wrong.") 9/10

7. Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Someday Never Comes" -- Lordy, do I loves me some CCR. 8/10

8. The Beanuts, "Muchachacha" -- I suppose the greatest fame of the Beatnuts is that J.Lo shamelessly stole the beats from their excellent "Watch Out Now" for her crappy "Jenny from the Block." This is an equally funky tune from the same album (theirs, not J.Lo's) and it's got some saucy lyrics. "Taste dick when you're kissin' your girl? / You should, 'cause she swallows more nut than a squirrel." I believe they're up for the Gloria Steinhem Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's NOW Convention. 8/10

9. Dead Prez, "Hell Yeah (Pimp the System)" -- I have a soft spot for this song, merely because the third verse was lifted and used brilliantly in a Diplo remix of TV on the Radio's "Staring at the Sun." The original version is pretty sweet, except for the lame-ass chorus. (There's a reason Diplo only stole the verse.) Good, but not great. 6/10

10. Broken Social Scene, "Handjobs for the Holidays" -- How can you not love a song with a heart-warming title like that? Nice catchy indie pop from a band that's quickly ingratiating its way into my heart. 8/10

Alright, that gives me a 7.4 average. I had it all this week -- the terrifying lows, the dizzying highs, the creamy middles -- and yet somehow balanced out with my Coolness Tank at nearly three-quarters full. I'll take it.

Let's see what you've got. Drop your own FRT in the comments below, or else free associate with my own selections and/or ratings. Surely, we've got at least one Shatner apologist in the house, right?


peb said...

It's odd you bring up Shatner because today (Thursday) is the man's 76th birthday. Seventy-fucking-six?! Maybe "Star Trek XII: So Very Tired" will happen after all.

1. Led Zeppelin, “Heartbreaker” – It wouldn’t be an FRT if I didn’t start it off with another classic rock staple. I wrote a post a few weeks ago how I think that Led Zeppelin II is the best Zeppelin album and this song is a big reason why. The instrumental bridge may be my favorite Zep musical moment ever. 9/10

2. Built To Spill, “Center Of The Universe” – I bought this album (Keep It Like A Secret) a couple of years ago, didn’t really get into it at first, and tossed it in my closet. But I’ve relistened to it lately and at the very least, I’m impressed with how awesome the guitar is on here. The songs are growing on me a little bit more this time too. 7/10

3. Modest Mouse, “The Cold Part” – My Modest Mouse story is very similar to my Built To Spill story. Except I’ve heard so much Modest Mouse over the years that I never really forgot about them. This still doesn’t really grab me like the Built To Spill stuff is now, but it’s not bad. At least they like freaky guitar effects too. 6/10

4. All Night, “Feelin’ Good” – is a band from Greensboro that broke up awhile ago. They were Southern Rock in the best sense of the words. My brother is a big fan of this other band called , also from Greensboro, who are like All Night, but to me, not as good. 8/10

5. Guided By Voices, “Volcano Divers” – Another 1:20 minute epic from GBV. I would give these songs higher scores if they were longer, but there’s not much here. 6/10

6. T. Rex, “Jeepster” – T. Rex is the shit. Electric Warrior is the shit. This song is…pretty good. It does have one of his best lyrics: “You slide so good with bones so fair, you’ve got the universe reclining in your hair.” Poetry, man. 8/10

7. The Clash, “Stay Free” – Odd. I just listened to this album on the way to work this morning. I’ve been reading a biography about the Clash and I thought I’d give Give ‘Em Enough Rope a second chance. There are some great songs on there (Safe European Home, Tommy Gun), but this is a sappy sentimental Mick Jones' tune reminiscing about his younger days. Screw that! When I hear the Clash, I want to hear about conflict, Armageddon and all that good stuff. 5/10

8. David Bowie, “Panic In Detroit” – I’ve gone back and forth most of my life on whether I really like Bowie or whether I think he’s a pretentious poser. However, whenever I hear this song, which may be my all-time favorite of his, I lean strongly towards the former. 10/10

9. The Ramones, “I Can’t Be” – This is a demo version off the Ramones’ first album. If you haven’t seen End of the Century, the documentary on the Ramones, go to your Netflix homepage and move it to the top of your queue post-haste! 7/10

10. Galaxie 500, “Plastic Bird” – Galaxie 500 seems to be a love ‘em or hate ‘em band, but I am firmly in the love ‘em camp. This is off the On Fire album which, in my mind, is easily their best. 7/10

Coming in today with a 7.3 average. I felt I could’ve done a little better with some Zep and classic Bowie in there, but maybe I need to become partners with Oral Roberts first.

Mike said...

OM - I'd settle for "Jesus Built My Hotrod."

Peb -

"Heartbreaker" is a great song, but it's real musicus interruptus when you don't hear Plant bust out the "With a purple umb-er-ella and a fifty-cent hat . . ." and the thundering riffage we're accustomed to hearing afterwards.

peb said...

Ack. Sorry half my post is blue. (Be careful of late night HTML tagging kids!) The other band I meant to mention in my All Night paragraph that my brother likes was called Tiger Bear Wolf. Click anywhere in the bottom half of my post to check them out.

Tom Hilton said...

Bob Marley - Get Up, Stand Up (7/10 - pretty good but kind of obvious)
Sugar - What You Want It to Be (7/10)
Pine Box Boys - The Wedding Gown (8/10 - blood, vengeance, and the Old West--what's not to like?)
Blondie - Heart of Glass (7/10)
Nick Cave - Ain't Gonna Rain Anymore (8/10 - Nick at his most lugubrious, and I mean that in a good way)
Sonics - Have Love, Will Travel (9/10 - just a small notch below Strychnine)
Nirvana - Plateau (7/10)
Sleater-Kinney - Let's Call It Love (4/10 - I'm not ideologically opposed to 11-minute songs, but this one is kind of tedious)
Joy Division - Shadowplay (9/10)
Divinyls - Love School (7/10)

7.3 overall. Good stuff, just not so much great stuff this week. And any other Sleater-Kinney would have bumped the average up.

Tom Hilton said...

By the way, the machine-gun sax solo in Have Love, Will Travel is one of the finest moments in the history of mid-60s proto-punk.

George said...

Television "Torn Curtain" Marquee Moon 10/10
Janet Bean "One Shot" Dragging Wonder Lake 7/10
Matthew Sweet "Thunderstorm" In Reverse 7/10
The Decemberists "Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home Then)" The Crane's Wife 9/10
Luna "IHOP" Pup Tent 8/10
"Sex Pistols" "L'Anarchie Pour le UK" Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle 8/10
AC Newman "The Cloud Prayer" The Slow Wonder 6/10
Robert Fripp String Quartet "Blockhead" The Bridge Between 8/10
Swell "Life's Great" Particle Theory (comp) 3/10
John Cale "The Cowboy Laughs at the Round-Up" Paris S'eveille 5/10

After Tom Verlaine and the gang, everything is a tragic falling off.

sideshow bob said...

I hope this is good...Satan said he was going to "call me home" if I didn't use the power of rock music to beat OM's score.

1) Tori Amos- Doughnut Song. Nice and mellow way to start out the morning. I like it, but Beelzebub would not approve. (7/10)

2) Breeders- No Aloha. The mellow just keeps on coming. Speaking of the Breeders, I'm very excited because just yesterday I found my Divine Hammer CD single, featuring a wonderful version of Hank Williams, Jr.'s "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still In Love With You)". Awesome! (7/10)

3) Smashing Pumpkins- In The Arms of Sleep. OK, now I'm starting to doze off. Nice, pretty song, but come on...let's get something that rocks! (6/10)

4) Smashing Pumpkins- Thru the Eyes of Ruby. Alright, I'm starting to think that Satan has a hand in this FRT. Not only another Pumpkins song, but one from the very same album. At least this one really starts rocking at about the 2 min. mark, but geez, it's almost 8 minutes long. (7/10)

5) Beck- Painted Eyelids. And we're back to the mellow. I can appreciate this song, I think it's good, but still I always hit skip when this comes up on the ol' iPod. (5/10)

6) Mazzy Star- Blue Flower. Oh, so this is how it's gonna be. What's next, an honest to goodness lullaby? (5/10)

7) Ministry- Breathe. Wow...didn't someone just mention "Jesus Built My Hotrod"? I like he very beginning of this song, but it's all downhill from there. A long gradual slope downhill, not even good for sledding. (4/10)

8) De La Soul- 3 is the Magic Number. Finally, something to get the head a-bobbin'! I just may escape the hellfire yet! (9/10)

9) Sleater-Kinney- Steep Air. I know many, many people absolutely abhor the production of this album, but I love it. Good album to go out on, girls! (9/10)

10) RHCP- Give It Away. Great song, but I think it's too little, too late. (8/10)

6.7, but I think we can round it down to a 6.66. See you in Hell, suckers!

TravisG said...

I've been listening to "Common People" like crayzay for the last week or so. I'd put it up there with "Like A Rolling Stone" in best English-language songwriting territory. (Oddly enough, they cover similar territory, no?)