Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday Random Ten

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.


peb said...

That album cover reminds me of the Mr. Show sketch "The Altered State of Drugachusetts". And what do you know? You can watch that right here.

1. The Rolling Stones, “Waiting On A Friend” – We start it off with the softer side of the Stones. I always liked this song’s video where Mick is waiting around for Keith and when they meet up, they go to a local bar and play with the rest of the Stones. It’s a nice little vignette, but I bet Mick was probably thinking about snorting coke of a supermodel’s ass the whole time they shot it. But then again, Keith probably was too. 8/10

2. Trans Am, “Polizei (Zu Spat)” – I actually saw these guys play a few weeks ago. They rocked pretty hard so check them out if you get a chance. This song I believe is a tribute to the equivalent of 1-900 numbers that they have on German TV. There’s a lot of synthesizer, panting and a robotized German voice. In other words, it’s a fairly typical Trans Am song. 7/10

3. The Beastie Boys, “Intergalactic” – I remember really liking this song when it came out, but not liking the album so much. I keep thinking this is a pretty recent song, but actually it came out almost 9 years ago (or in Beastie Boys terms, 2 albums). 8/10

4. Lush, “Sunbathing” – I’m a fan of Lush’s early stuff where they stuck with their Cocteau Twins/My Bloody Valentine influences. I’m not a fan of their later stuff where they sounded like Elastica. Luckily, this is off their first album so it’s fairly decent. 7/10

5. Dusty Springfield, “Love Shine Down” – Although I like Dusty Springfield, this is a little bit too 1970’s easy listening for me. Granted it’s a hell of a lot better than anything that the Carpenters or the Captain and Tennille could do. 5/10

6. The Byrds, “Pretty Polly” – This is the version of the Byrds where Gram Parsons pretty much took over and made them play country music. It’s O.K. but I prefer the more rock-oriented version of the Byrds. You know, the one that sounded like Tom Petty? This song is maybe a little bluegrassy (?!), but give them points for trying. 6/10

7. John Coltrane, “Giant Steps” – Coltrane is undeniably cool, but every time I hear a jazz song like this, I recall the Kids in the Hall sketch about hating jazz. Jazz Schmazz. I can’t find that sketch but here’s something I think you might enjoy. What were we talking about? Oh yeah, Coltrane. This is all right. 6/10

8. The Beatles, “Your Mother Should Know” – If my mom likes a Beatles song, you know Paul wrote it. Therefore, it must suck. 5/10

9. The Stooges, “Loose” – The Stooges have reformed and recorded a new album. I saw them on Jimmy Kimmel the other night and frankly, I was disappointed. They played a new song, which sucked, and they played “I Wanna Be Your Dog” which wasn't nearly as good as the album version. Well, at least we’ll always have this gem from Funhouse. 9/10

10. The Pogues, “Streams of Whiskey” – No matter what you think about punks playing traditional Irish music, you have to give them points for singing about whiskey. Anybody who sings about whiskey is cool in my book. 7/10

Didn’t really pull my weight today with a 6.8 average, but since I’ve been commenting faithfully each Friday while our fearless leader is out gallivanting across the country, I think I should be the new taste judger for FRT's. And therefore, I declare my FRT this week to be "awesome".

Mike said...

"Only Shallow."

Mmmmmmmmm. Sleep like a pillow, indeed. Man, I simply can't express in words how much I like Loveless.

Peb - I also liked that vid. Thanks for reminding me; that was one of the really early MTV videos too.

I love Sweetheart of the Rodeo, but I don't think "Pretty Polly" is one of the stronger songs. I think McGuinn sang this one. I prefer the songs on that album that Parsons or Hillman sing more; McGuinn's voice is great, but better suited for rock it seems.

Otto Man said...

Pedro, I've had just about enough of your Mom and Paul bashing.

Otto Man said...

Actually, just the Mom bashing.

Paul's deserved the insults ever since he left Wings. He was the best one!

Thrillhous said...

Fearless is definitely a great Floyd tune. And I've got to check out that Sabbath cover.

The Maranathans are definitely one of them Christian cults/sects. They had a meeting room in Mrs. T's old apt. building in Falls Church. I never smelled any of the wacky tobacky. All I know is they were sucky at parking their cars.

peb said...

Otto, I'd like to state for the record that my mom is the best in every possible way...except for musical taste. I'm glad I didn't inherit that.

Otto Man said...

True. There are some genes that thankfully skip a generation.

sideshow bob said...

Thanks for the link peb! Here's hoping that David Cross will find his way back to the small screen soon.

1)Beck - Corvette Bummer. Nice mellow groove with typical Beckian lyrics: "Gonna crawl like a rock, gonna take my shoes right off and smell my socks". Whatever floats your boat, Mr. Hansen. (7/10)

2)Tori Amos - Over It. This song is a piano instrumental...nothing too special or exciting. I do like the production: you can hear the faint sound of Tori working the foot pedals and physically hitting the keys. (6/10)

3)Foo Fighters - Lonely As You. Dave Grohl has escaped the fate of fellow super group drummer Ringo Starr, but I'd like to see him try to run Shining Time Station. There's only one conductor in my book: Ringo. And George Carlin. And Alec Baldwin. You selfish little pigs! (6/10)

4)Fiona Apple - Never is a Promise. I loves me some of that Fiona, but this is a little to mellow and dreary for me right now. (7/10)

5)Cannon - The White Stripes. OK song I guess. Plus one point for the picture of Meg on the album cover wearing a skirt that barely covers her hoo-haa. (6/10)

6)System of a Down - Forest. My favorite SOAD song, I do believe. (9/10)

7)Sleater-Kinney - One More Hour. I used to hate Sleater-Kinney, because the only song I had heard from them was "Little Babies", which hails from the same album as this song. This song I don't hate. (8/10)

8)Pop Will Eat Itself - Not Now James, We're Busy. So you've always wanted to hear the story of James Brown running from the Carolina Police back in the 80's set to music, but didn't know where to turn? Look up this song, you won't be disappointed. (10/10)

9)Dirt - Alice In Chains. I like these guys, but I don't get as fanatical as some do. I tend to subtract point from their songs due to the fact that they are way over-played. Happily, this song hasn't been run into the dirt (if you'll pardon the pun) by corporate radio...yet. (7/10)

10)Buena - Morphine. Mark Sandman is a bad-ass cool motherfucker, and that's all there is to it. (9/10)

An average score of 7.5. I can barely contain my excitement. Seriously, like, wow.

Smitty said...

Sideshow: Dirt is one of the best songs on the same-named CD. I can't get enough of the harmonizing.

1) Monkey Business, Skid Row. Nobody hits the scream like Sebastian Bach. 8/10

2) Caucasian Sketches, Arthur Fiedler. Classical has made it on to my iPod. Wow. 6/10

3) Rain When I Die, AIC. Fortunately, as Sideshoe Bob said of many AIC songs, it's not overplayed. 8/10

4) Rose of Sharyn, Killswitch Engage. I don't know what it is about these guys....I just love their sound. I can't put my finger on why, and I really shouldn't even like them that much. But I really really do. 9/10

5) Trapped Under Ice, Metallica. Classic stuff from Ride the Lightning. Wasn't Burton still their bassist on this one? 9/10

6) Re-Arranged, Limp Bizkit. Oops. Looks like I missed a song. Gotta delete. I want to punch Fred Durst in his fat, pozer mouth. -5/10

7) I've Got You Under My Skin, The Chairman of the Board--His Royal Highness--Mr. Frank Sinatra. Interesting dichotomy when up against that asshole Fred Durst. 8/10

8) Fireal, Deftones. The Deftones just get.....weird. The guitars play an extended chord, mostly white noise, while the "singer" sort of tunelessly sings along almost like he's singing a different song. I keep trying to get into these guys, but it's just a little weird. 3/10

9) We Die Young, AIC. My iPod knows I'm in the mood for AIC today. Love this song. Classic grunge. It has juuuust a scant bit of hair metal to it, but is just dirtier. 9/10

10) Tonight's the Night for Drinking, Blackthorne. These guys are a Michigan-based Irish band. Mr. F, if you're reading, they play at Cowley's in Rochester at least one weekend a month. Huge fun. I used to work with their guitar player. 7/10

Ugh. 6.2. Fucking Fred Durst and the Deftones killed my average.