I'm not sure if this week's album comes from one of the self-described "Jesus freaks" of the 1960s, but it certainly seems that way. The barefoot dude with the striped pants and starry eyes certainly seems to come from that mold.
And given the fact that he's surrounded by heavy-lidded, dopey-smiling, happy-singing mountains, I'm pretty sure that "Maranatha" is a colloquialism for "Marijuana." The hills are alive, dude, with the sound of music! Feel the vibrations! Don't get me started on those stoner trees, either. Yeesh. Talk about the Petrified Forest.
The appearance of this high and mighty album cover can only mean one thing -- it's time for the Friday Random Ten.
1. Pink Floyd, "Fearless" -- This is an often overlooked tune from the Floydians, but one I like a lot. Very mellow, with a nice English football chant overlaid at the end. Well done, boys. 8/10
2. Tapes 'n' Tapes, "Omaha" -- I tend to disagree with the blogosphere's universal rapture for these kids, but I do like this song quite a bit. It builds nicely, starting out quiet with soft vocals and a spare drumming, and then moves to an indie rock crescendo. 9/10
3. Cal Tjader, "Suicide is Painless" -- Yes, it's a saucy Latin jazz cover of the theme song to "M*A*S*H." No, it doesn't work at all. It sounds like Schroeder from the Peanuts crew in the depths of a real depression. 2/10
4. The Cardigans, "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" -- Now here's a light-hearted cover that works. Putting Ozzy's vocals in the hands of a saucy Nordic babe somehow only makes the song even creepier. 7/10
5. Roger Miller, "Chug-a-Lug" -- I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for the cornball country of Roger Miller, and this ode to underaged alcoholism is a perfect example of why. Makes me wanna holler hidi-ho, indeed. 6/10
6. Charles Kynard, "Soul Reggae" -- Despite the title, this song is neither "soul" nor "reggae," but instead a scorching Hammond organ R&B instrumental. Discuss. 8/10
7. Overlord, "Love Goes Home to Paris in the Spring" -- Jeebus, another cover. This time it's a rendition of the Magnetic Fields song. The instrument work is fine enough, but the vocals are a little too emo-angsty for my tastes. Eh. 4/10
8. Johnny Cash and the Original Tennessee Two, "Rock Island Line" -- This is a live recording from early on in Cash's career, on a radio program called Country Style USA. Not exactly a stirring number, given that it largely consists of details of railroad cargo, but Cash's patented thumpity-thump railroad beat is on nice display here. 5/10
9. My Bloody Valentine, "Only Shallow" -- The pinnacle of shoegazery. I'm making this one a coast-to-coast dedication in Pete Smith's honor. 10/10
10. Leadbelly, "Midnight Special" -- One of the many traditional blues songs that Leadbelly helped put on the map, only to find '60s rockers covering it in their own way. CCR took the lead with this one, but it's hard to surpass the blues rendition. 7/10
Alright, I ended up with a 6.8 average, which makes me a little more than two-thirds cool and just a tenth of a point shy of a score that would make an eighth grader giggle. I can live with that.
Let's see what you all have. Drop your own FRT in the comments below, with or without the coolness self-audit.