Friday, April 06, 2007

Friday Random Ten

In the spirit of Easter, I thought I'd pass on this disturbing album cover from Li'l Richard. As you can see, this isn't Little Richard, but rather Li'l Richard, who apparently escaped from a cartoonish southern world in which Li'l Abner and Elvis Presley had a bastard love child.

And it's not just him, but his All-Stars! Normally, such a label would only refer to a supergroup of musical giants, but here it's apparently an assortment of stuffed bunny rabbit dolls. Because as any good Christian will tell you, nothing commemorates the death and resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ more than a sad collection of upholstered rodents.

Well, perhaps there's one better way, as Bill Hicks will tell you here. (Warning: Audio NSFW.)

Anyway, the resurrection of Li'l Richard can only mean that it's time for the Friday Random Ten. Let's do this thing.

1. Lightnin' Hopkins, "Come Go Home with Me" -- Some fairly straightforward blues here, just Hopkins and an acoustic guitar. Nothing too spectacular. 5/10

2. Of Montreal, "A Question for Emily Foreman" -- Dammit, I can't stand this band. Delete, delete, delete. 1/10

3. Bobby Womack, "You're Welcome, Stop on By" -- This song should get the shitty taste out of my mouth. A sultry soul number from a man who's probably best known for some of his blaxploitation flick theme songs, like "Across 110th Street." Only this time, instead of kicking ass, he's waxing it. 9/10

4. Stereolab, "French Disko" -- This may well be my favorite tune by them, a blistering bit of electronica with lyrics drawn from the French revolution. Somehow it works. They recorded a number of versions of this, but the best was one that only appeared on the four-song "Jenny Onodioline" EP. 10/10

5. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, "Gimme Some Salt" -- This is a live track from an appearance on WOXY. Their vocals always wander off into David Byrne territory, and this is one of the clearest examples. Very nice, if a little odd. 8/10

6. Nada Surf, "Popular" -- Hey, remember them? Me neither. 5/10

7. The Magnetic Fields, "Love Goes Home to Paris in the Spring" -- A beautiful track from the mind of Stephin Merritt. Jangling guitars and a catchy hook, leavened by Merritt's melancholy vocals. Excellent stuff. 9/10

8. Madder Rose, "While Away" -- This group always seemed to reside at the exact midpoint between Mazzy Star and Bettie Serveert on the spectrum of sultry indie pop. Not exactly earth-shattering, but excellent background music for a rainy day. 7/10

9. TV on the Radio, "Ambulance" -- An a capella track from their brilliant first album, Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes. I never would've thought this would work, but by God, it does. 8/10

10. Nina Simone, "I Can't See Nobody (Daniel Y. Remix)" -- As the Verve Remixed series made clear, there's something about Simone's discography that lends itself to fantastic electronica remixes. This is from a new album, Remixed and Reimagined, which tackles Simone's later work. It's a little uneven, but this new rendition is absolutely fantastic. 10/10

Alright, I was all over the place this week, rambling from here to there like a presidential press conference. Despite the early stumbles, I managed to pull it together with a 7.2 average. A Gentleman's C. I guess this really was reminiscent of The Decider™.

Let's see what you've got. Give us your own FRT in the comments, or whatever other thoughts you might have on celebrities like Bill Hicks and Jesus.


peb said...

Happy Easter everyone! I suppose it's only right after having weird Christmas album covers that we have an equivalent for Easter. Although I would have to say that the guy on today's album cover definitely gives off more of a '50's puppetphile vibe.

1. The Clash, “The Sound of Sinners” – I start this week’s FRT like I started last week’s FRT with the Clash. It appears the ghost of Joe Strummer still lives in my iPod. Off the triple (?!) album Sandinista, this is the Clash’s attempt to copy American gospel music and they do a fairly credible job. 7/10

2. The Verve, “Slide Away” – I suppose the Verve are best known for the late ‘90’s hit “Bittersweet Symphony” which they didn’t make any money off of because they sampled a Rolling Stones song on it (lesson learned: don’t fuck with the Stones). This is off their first album A Storm in Heaven though and it’s a lot different than the orchestral and laid back “Symphony”. I think the best way to describe it is as psychedelic shoegaze. Please do check it out if you get a chance. 9/10

3. All Night, “Guitars & Wine” – All Night made an appearance on one of my FRT’s a few weeks ago and I’m glad they popped in again. They deserve all the exposure they can get since they’re now broken up. If only local classic rock radio would play stuff like this instead of only playing Skynyrd over and over. If it were a fair world, All Night and Skynyrd would both be huge and would tour together…with Skynyrd opening. 8/10

4. Death From Above 1979, “Dead Womb” – Good Canadian punk rock unlike Sum 242 or whatever their name is. This band just broke up so they won’t be gracing us with their unique bass-and-drum-only style anymore. Hopefully more bands will explore that territory in the near future. 7/10

5. The Flaming Lips, “Evil Will Prevail” – The Lips are my favorite ‘90’s band (O.K. maybe they’re tied with GBV) and this is off my favorite Lips album Clouds Taste Metallic (I wonder if that title was a tribute to Metallica?). This is sort of standard Lips material but that’s generally pretty good. 8/10

6. The Jimi Hendrix Experience, “Gypsy Eyes” – Hendrix is awesome. Electric Ladyland is the best album title ever. Freaky little solo at the end, but what Hendrix song can’t you say that about? 8/10

7. The Meters, “Give It What You Can” – The Meters are, quite possibly, the funkiest band ever. Straight out of New Orleans, apparently they were a big influence on the Beastie Boys’ Check Your Head. This is from their late ‘70’s period which, unfortunately, approximates the Doobie Brothers a little too much. But it’s still funkier than 99% of the stuff that passed for funk back then. 7/10

8. Led Zeppelin, “Kashmir” – O.K. I love Led Zeppelin and I love “Kashmir” and Physical Graffiti, but I’m nearing the point with this song (much like I already have with “Stairway To Heaven” and “Freebird”) where I can’t listen to it anymore. So I’ll just give it a 9/10 and move on.

9. Outkast, “Behold A Lady” – Every time my iPod chooses Outkast, it’s always something off The Love Below. I guess that’s O.K., but I wish it were something off Speakerboxx more often. This sounds like something Usher would do if he listened to a lot of Kraftwerk. 7/10

10. The Verve, “Make It Till Monday” – Two tracks from the Verve? It’s odd how my iPod works, it is. A very mellow, dreamy track off the aforementioned A Storm in Heaven, this would make a great ending track to an album. Of course, it’s track #7 out of 10, but I’ll bump it up one scorewise. 8/10

A pretty consistent showing today with a 7.8 average with all 7’s, 8’s and 9’s. I don’t know if that says I need to put more crappy music on my iPod or if my rating ability is malfunctioning.

Mr Furious said...

It's been awhile. The iPod's been collecting dust since the baby was born in February. Here goes...

1. "Whale and Wasp" - AIC Brief acoustic(ish) interlude from Jerry Cantrell. I think I detect some bass too, so throw the bass player in there as well. A good start, but I looking to pick things up a bit. 7

2. "Fuzzed and Fading" - School of Fish You might know their hit, "Three Strange Days." A good band that should have done more. I found out years later they didn't because the lead singer died. Oh well. 7

3. "Groovy Train" - The Farm Am I at a design studio party in 1992? It's probably the last time I heard this. 6

4. "Indian War-Cry" - Laura Ingalls Wilder "Next morning Pa went whistling to his plowing..." Book on CD for my daughter in the car. It's no "A Scream in the Night", but as Little House chapters go, it's pretty good... No, I'm not going to count this one.

4. "Southern Cross" - Crosby, Stills and Nash So what if it's a little too easy-listening... Simply one of my all-time favorite songs. 10

5. "Hotel Yorba" - White Stripes A quickie. Less than two minutes of fun with Jack and Meg. 8

6. "Rehumanize Yourself'" - Police Sting can really play some bass. Give this one a listen some time. 7

7. "Emotional Rescue" - Stones Fucking tour de force for the rhythm section. Wyman and Watts lay down the law. A top three Stones song. Don't ask me what the other two are, they'll be different any given day, but any time I hear this song it catapults itself up there. 10

8. "From One Cums One" - fIREHOSE Standard 'HOSE. The boys must've been on the phone with Prince when they wrote down the title. 7

9. "Spiders (Kidsmoke)" - Wilco Hands-down my favorite Wilco tune. If more of their songs were like this one, I wouldn't find them so damn inaccessible. 9

10. "Angeles" - Elliott Smith Brilliant talent. Makes me sad every time I hear him to realize the misery he poured into his music was genuine enough to actually have ended his life. 8

7.9 average. Nice comeback.

P.S. Oh, and based solely on what I've read here in the FRTs I snagged both CYHSY and TVOTR from the library. I requested them both weeks ago, and they both came in this week. After only a spin each, it's too early for a verdict.

Mike said...

I kinda liked that Nada Surf song, though it was definitely a novelty.

TV on the Radio followed by a remixed Nina song sounds like a pretty bad-ass way to finish off. I'm not familiar with the remixes. All good?

Ped -

I'm with you on "Stairway" and "Kashmir." Songs don;t get overplayed by sucking. But I never wanna hear these songs again at this point.

Furious -

Sad about the School of Fish dude. I remember you and I talking about them on your site close to a year back. Now we know whey they never followed up.

"Whale & Wasp" is a nice little ditty. I really like Jar of Flies, and I always have. But since Layne followed the School of Fish fellow to wherever the fishes sleep, it sounds even more poignant and sad.

Smitty said...

Peb: I'm with you on the Zep. Such a great song that every half-assed DJ and "R-r-r-r-rock Station" in America plays it to death. But undeniably a classic.

1) Angel City Outcasts, "Ten After Midnight" A friend of mine is in a punk band. He turned me on to these guys. Everything to like in a punk band: snarly vocals, rapid guitars, f-you lyrics. 7/10.

2) Jimmy Cliff, "Vietnam" Solid, politcal reggae from a sometimes-overlooked reggae artist. His movie, The Harder They Come is a classic. And despite its title, it's not a porno. 7/10.

3) Taproot, "Now" A nu-metal band out of Ann Arbor. They bore me now. 5/10

4) Keb' Mo', "As Soon As I Get Paid" I simply love Kevin Moore's music. He is my favorite modern blues performer. His live shows are at once fun and humble. 8/10

5) Grip, Inc., "Hostage To Heaven" This is the band that Dave Lombardo started after he got kicked out of Slayer. Decent enough, with heavy euro-metal influences (up and down the guitar scale as fast as you can noodle). 6/10

6) Skid Row, "Monkey Business" Hair Metal Fabulousness! Nobody in the Hair genre could hit the high notes that Sebastian Bach could hit. 8/10

7) John Coltrane, "Giant Steps" Enough said. 10/10

8) Metallica, "...And Justice For All" Remember when Metallica was still awesome? 9/10

9) Johnny Cash, "Ring of Fire" Another classic! 8/10

10) Shadows Fall, "What Drives The Weak" Searing metal. Searing. I love this band, and their sound only gets better. 10/10

Mr Furious said...

That's the only Skid Row song I have any use for. It's a good one, and yes, and epic performance by Bach.

Smitty said...

"Whale and Wasp" - AIC

I love AIC, and I think Jar of Flies was a really talented and interesting foray into a different sound.

Mike said...

Smitty - Your 7, 8, 9 is stupendous!


Studiodave said...

Thanks for bringing back the Bill Hicks. Folks, if you don't know who he is, get to know him and you will be a better person.

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